Despite the fog that descended upon Michigan some time on Saturday, I made it home from ConFusion 43: Friendship is ConFusion. It was an amazing and wonderful weekend, as always. And as always, my biggest frustration is that there just wasn’t enough time to talk to and catch up with so many cool people.
A few random highlights…
- Doing the Steven Universe
DiscussionSquee panel with Amal El-Mohtar
- Nabbing copies of books by Kameron Hurley and Mishell Baker
- Reading a bit of Terminal Alliance and having the audience laugh in the right places. (And not laugh at the other parts.)
- Lots of hugs!
The hardest part of the weekend was the loss of Larry Smith, a convention book dealer who passed away unexpectedly on Friday. I met Larry and his wife Sally when I was first starting out as a writer, more than ten years ago now. He was a great bookseller, always doing his best to make sure he stocked up on titles by guests and attendees, and very knowledgeable about the field. Midwest conventions aren’t going to be the same without him.
I also put the new Canon 6D through its paces. I had a little bit of focus trouble with the new lens, but the camera did much better in the low-light environment, which is what I was hoping for. I could take higher ISO shots that would have been far too noisy on the old camera. And I got to do author photo shoots for two friends, which was fun.
Pics are up on Flickr. Here are a few of my favorites…
My thanks as always to everyone who works to make such a fun, welcoming, well-organized convention happen year after year.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they disgorge every single day.
Which is to say nothing of the reprobates in the Republican Congressional caucus, who, working with unofficial White House Congressional liaison Vice-President Mike Pence, will be unleashing their own relentless series of terrors onto the U.S. public.
And naturally there will be all sorts of myriad trash coming from Republican-majority state legislatures, who have been empowered by the Trump presidency, a Republican Congressional majority, and an open seat on the Supreme Court.
It is going to be tough for any individual person to follow. Which, of course, is precisely the point.
To that end, I am launching the "We Resist" thread, which is a space for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.
Some of these things I, or one of the other contributors, will write about, but we can't cover all of them. Between all the members of this community, however, we have a better chance of at least making sure everyone gets as much info as they can about what is happening every day.
So each weekday, sometime during midday (and always to be followed by the Daily Dose of Cute, except on days when something breaking intercedes), I will post this thread, with links to relevant news items I have seen, and invite you to share what you have been reading.
Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.
* * *
Here are some things I've read today:
[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Eric Bradner at CNN: What the Trump Administration Has Done So Far. He's already gone haywire in his first 72 hours.
Jeff Pegues at CBS News: Sources Say Trump's CIA Visit Made Relations with Intel Community Worse. Which should not come as a surprise to anyone here, as I've been saying for months that Trump is waging a campaign to discredit the intelligence community so he can replace them with "his own people." What's new in the piece is the confirmation that Trump brought "his own people" to clap and cheer at the event, to give the appearance of his being well-received by the intelligence community. Wow.
Eric Lipton and Adam Liptak at the New York Times: Foreign Payments to Trump Firms Violate Constitution, Suit Will Claim. His first full day of work (since he took the weekend off), and a lawsuit has been filed against him.
David Smith at the Guardian: Trump Will Issue Executive Order to Begin NAFTA Renegotiation, Report Says.
Cyra Master at The Hill: Report: Trump White House Hiring Breitbart Writer. Welp. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich is launching an all-out assault on the political media.
Robert Pear at the New York Times: Trump's Health Plan Would Convert Medicaid to Block Grants, Aide Says. This would be utterly devastating.
And, already today:
Trump signed three executive orders today:— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) January 23, 2017
1) Withdrawal from TPP
2) Federal hiring freeze
3) "Mexico City policy" on abortion funding
Jennifer Haberkorn at Politico:
If there was any doubt about President Donald Trump's stance on abortion, he settled it Monday by using an executive order to bar U.S. aid to groups that provide or promote the procedure overseas.What have you been reading that we need to resist today?
The decision to reinstate the Republican policy known as the "Mexico City policy," or the "global gag rule," was delivered a day after the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion and two days after the Women's March on Washington and similar events across the country drew crowds to rally for reproductive rights, among other issues.
Bean was upstairs napping and missed out on the outing, but Wylla and I slipped outside onto the deck and spent a little time in the sunshine yesterday. It was just what that restless kitty needed.
We were both entertained by some chubby robins that were looking for lunch in our holly tree. Wylla paced on the deck railing and chirped as they fluttered about.
"COME CLOSER, PLEASE!" she said.
It looks lovely out there again today, so as soon as I wrap up Blog and work stuff, we will all head out and say good morning to the robins. I can hear some crows fussing, so maybe they can join us too.
...are you familiar with the idea that I tend to go overboard? Yeeeeeeah. So now I have a question, though ultimately this is all going to boil down to "the maple, grape, and root beer candies we've got sitting in our pantry" anyway: It's easy to find out what American candies you don't have in England and/or Australia. Are there any savory snacks that are lightweight and yummy that you don't have?
He went through my game collection and picked out three games he wanted to try: Mass Effect 2, Lego Marvel Superheroes, and The Witcher 3. I can't possibly let him play The Witcher 3 -- it's waaaay too dark and adult. But he said he wanted to try it last, so I figured we just wouldn't get to it, and we didn't.
Mass Effect 2 is a game we've tried before - last time he didn't get through the intro, although he was clearly captivated by the graphics. This time he played for a little over an hour. He needed a little extra coaching to get through the tutorial, he mostly chose his dialogue options at random, and I did the hacking mini-game where you have to match code segments. He was very adept at the circuit matching mini-game once I explained it to him, though, and he got remarkably good at navigating the interface by the time we finished.
Then we switched to Lego Marvel Superheroes. The Lego games are really fun for kids and adults to play together.
it would be a copout to say New York, right, since I live here? Even though there is so much to do and see that I have not done and seen? But of cities I have been that I would like to go back to, San Francisco probably tops the list followed closely by New Orleans. I feel like they also have so much to do and see that I have neither done nor seen since I was only there for work and thus, despite the occasional outing, spent most of my time holed up in various hotel conference rooms for work.
So the title of Star Wars VIII was revealed today and I guess I'm still working through my thoughts on it.
WIP roundups are going on all over so here are mine:
if you find yourself lost, dig, the Rey & Leia bonding story I tried to finish for More Joy Day but since I was utterly lacking in joy, was not able to. I'm still hung up on the details which should be handwaved as "for reasons not explored at this juncture they are in this situation" except I keep trying to explore them and that has led to a lot of deleting and rewriting. Sigh.
Talking Points, Luke and Rey and trying not to make the same mistakes past generations did.
nobody move, nobody get hurt and the movement and the spin, generally known as Thing One and Thing Two in this space, but I've been amused at the titles for so long that I need to share them. Hopefully they'll both be finished at some point in the near future! Writing happens, but since they're tied together so closely, it's a question of which POV better serves which part of the story, while leaving them both things that could stand on their own if they had to, but also make sense if read together as intended. So there's some referencing back and forth that happens as well. They're also AU, so there's figuring out how the changes impact events down the line. Sigh.
leave all your love and your longing behind, the SW drabble sequence, which I keep opening and closing because drabbles are hard. Or, rather, choosing that one moment/decision/scene to encapsulate each character is hard enough; writing it satisfactorily within 100 words is even harder.
how strangely my life is curved, aka, Ahsoka unfrozen in the future and Steve Rogersing her way through the Resistance.
Night Five, Anakin/Ahsoka trope fic ("there's only one bed at the space hotel!") for silveronthetree.
Drive It Like You Stole It, the Han/Leia PWP that is basically nothing but a title and some notes. I have to figure out what the point is so I know whose POV to write from. *hands*
the untitled story where Force ghost!Obi-Wan haunts Darth Vader and Darth Vader is just like, "I already have an Obi-Wan in my head criticizing everything I do! What fresh hell is this?" also for silveronthetree.
writing is hard!
(I use the beta entry creation page, so saving drafts is a non-option.)
1. My slightly elevated mood lasted approximately a whole 24 hours last week, at which point we went to exhausted, dreading Friday, and full of gloom and doom. Which is not much of a surprise, really; no matter how much CBT shit I did at my brain it was absolutely convinced the world was ENDING!!!! at noon eastern. So y'know. Whatever, brain, go sit in the corner and freak out while I do what work I can. Once it passed, of course, I was all OKAY THERE SEE? No world ending. Let's get back to work. But it's very frustrating.
2. I am today INCREDIBLY irritable because certain people decided that they needed to rustle tin foil and fuck if I know what all else, while getting a lunch packed at 6mumble, so I got shorted an hour of sleep. SO. ANNOYED. Also mostly upright so I can do routines and then nap.
3. Slowly working on getting back in the habit of also doing cross stitch, not just knitting. Given the relative complexity of the current project, this entails baby steps like "sit with the project materials out and do maybe a handful of stitches in an evening." Also, I wish to trade this brain in for a small shell script, which might be more useful. I hate having to do this incremental shit with every-fucking-thing.
4. Current vague theories for political action, which I put here, is that I need to assemble the text for some flyers about how to vote and ALSO (and arguably more importantly) getting appropriate documentation for registration. And seeing if I can find out what to do with bullshit like "oh oops we thought you were your father when we looked you up in the voter rolls." Funny how this rarely happens with Nice White People. Ahem. I might get someone ELSE to do the graphic design work, but I can pull the info together into something that's not in bureaucrat-ese. And of course I also spent time as an election aide and ten years ago or not, I'm great at osmosis and retention of bureaucratic standards. So.
4a. I mean I should probably also try to find people locally doing voter reg and teaching, and start in with ok so I wanna help explain to people how to browbeat the system into working for you goddammit (inasmuch as it can), but this is a step I can just... do on my own.
4b. Also don't get me started on how BAD a lot of the informational shit out there is. Particularly in terms of not being available anywhere BUT online. :|
5. Oh that's the one I meant to put closer to the top and then got distracted from. It's occurred to me that I was pretty well facedown in my own shit during the Bush II years, so protesting, political awareness, these were not things that happened. I mean I got a crash course in emotional manipulation and gaslighting! But even so, on the worldwide scale this FEELS like the first time even though intellectually I know damn well it's not.
And on that note I just found out that the illegitimate piece of shit government has already sent bombers to help Le Putain in Syria so I'm gonna go... something. Scream under a bridge, maybe.
Finishing A Bird of Paradise left me feeling rather spent, Merlin-wise. There are still plenty of things I want to write for the Falconry series but... the reality is that a new fandom has been forced upon me. No, not Yuri on Ice, as much as I'm enjoying that dalliance. No, my new fandom is political action.
After the election, I've needed to get involved. I started signing up with groups that provide coordinated actions, especially calling representatives. I've been calling pretty much every weekday, and it only takes a few minutes.
The thing is that a lot of my plans for Falconry revolved around the characters becoming politically aware and active and changing their world for the better. But my priority now is doing that for the real world.
If you want to do the same, join up with any or all of these groups below.
We Are The 65: Making Congress Work For Us
Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda
Stand with Planned Parenthood
ACLU - they've already begun their first of many lawsuits against Trump
re:act - a list of a few concrete things you can do to take action during the Trump presidency. Delivered via e-mail once a week.
Raise Your Hand If You're Gonna Fight - Daily actions to resist the incoming administration.
Flippable.org - flip the House, flip the Senate,
flip the President
Swing Left - An online network created to support progressive candidates in Swing Districts and help take back the House in 2018, regardless of where you live.
(I work at a club that serves complimentary tea, coffee, soft drinks etc. to poker machine players. I get a call and head to the machine where a lady wants to order something.)
Me: “Hi, how’s it going today?”
Patron: “Tea, please.”
Me: “Absolutely. What sort of tea are you after?”
Patron: “Uh, tea? You know… put the bag in the cup with boiling water. I can’t believe you don’t know what tea is.”
Me: “Yes, I do know what tea is. What I meant was do you want a black tea or white? Are you after sugar? Earl grey, English breakfast, decaf, peppermint, green, ginseng currant and lime, chai?”
Patron: “It’s all tea. Put the bag in the water. How is this so hard?”
Me: “No worries miss, I’ll be back in a second.”
(I go to the kitchen, close my eyes, grab any teabag, and put it in. Go back; she looks at it.)
Patron: “I asked for milk and two sugars.”
Me: “Of course you did. I’m sooo sorry about that. I’ll be right back.”
(Returns with correct tea.)
Patron: “Thank you sooo much.” *sarcastically*
The post Reached Your Tea Total, Part 5 appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.
It isn't as bad as I feared, but I should not leave it so long again, and so another of this week's tasks (I hope) will be to figure out a way to at least read it from gmail. Yes, I know, but Outlook through a web browser is horrible.
I'm still rather lurgified, which isn't helping with getting things done, and now beloved spouse is off work sick with the same thing.