Book Club: Foreigner 1: Foreigner

Mar. 28th, 2015 01:11 pm
fadeaccompli: (academia)
[personal profile] fadeaccompli
This is a post for collecting comments on the book club* (re)read of C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series, starting with the eponymous novel. Feel free to join in if you'd like! Please avoid major spoilers for further books in the series (minor spoilers are fine) since it's not a reread for everyone.

I'll put up a new post for each book as I happen to reach it myself.


* For values of 'book club' that mean 'me and two friends'

(no subject)

Mar. 28th, 2015 03:08 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1884 aged 30 Prince Leopold (my toy,wikipedia). Child of Queen Victoria. He suffered from haemophilia, and died of it just before the birth of his second child.

Born on this day in 1785 to Duke Franz of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Countess Aughusta of Ebersdorf, Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (my toy,wikipedia). Uncle of Queen Victoria (her mother's brother). Started out Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld but later Saxe-Coburg-Gotha after some territory was swapped (woo! German names, so... complicated).

Things I Like: Wilde Life

Mar. 27th, 2015 04:45 pm
fadeaccompli: (roles)
[personal profile] fadeaccompli
Wilde Life is an excellent webcomic about a young man, Oscar Wilde (no, not that Oscar Wilde, but named after him), who moves into an extremely small town in Oklahoma. Which turns out to be...a little strange.

You can start reading there! But if you want more information, with some minor spoilers--as it's only two chapters in, all spoilers are by nature fairly minor at this point--read on.

Also, pictures! )

(no subject)

Mar. 27th, 2015 07:47 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1625 aged 58 King James VI of Scotland & I of England (my toy,wikipedia). James succeeded his mother Mary Queen of Scots in Scotland after she was forced to abdicate by Protestant rebels, he was at the time still an infant. He succeeded his second cousin twice removed Elisabeth I when she died childless; although earlier the Scottish descendants of Margaret Tudor were viewed as unsuitable claimants to the English throne, being Catholic, and ignored in favour of Jane, James had been raised Protestant after the ousting of his Catholic mother and was generally accepted. He was the target of the Catholic gunpowder plot.

Born on this day in 972 to King Hugh Capet and Adelaide of Aquitaine, King Robert II of France (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-father of Matilda who married William the Conker.
umadoshi: (mermaid 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
First day back at the office: 8.5 hours. Notable only because the same workload in a week or so would probably take at least an hour less to clear the proofreading phase (maybe even two hours less?) because in a week or so we won't be getting back up to speed.

But it was fun touching base with my co-worders, and all of my work accounts were up and running with no hassle, and I made a reasonably good start at stocking my desk with supplies (by which I mean food). And for bonus points, because my parents were going downtown around the same time, and because there was chilly rain and I was transporting a fair bit of stuff, they swung by and gave me a lift to the office so I didn't have to contend with transit. Hooray!

I've caught up on some comments, but not all, and since usually I get up around 9:30-10:30 but tomorrow have to be at work by 9, I'm abandoning my catch-up efforts for tonight in a vague attempt at adulting.

Memo to self: over the weekend, I need to get around to asking [ profile] little_details for help figuring out some mermaidy stuff. Which I note here because, hey, maybe someone on my list has a reasonably educated idea of the answer to my question!

So just in case: would a mer need to keep their tail/gills wet and/or need to spend a certain amount of time submerged, presuming that they're perfectly comfortable breathing air for prolonged periods? Which I think really means "does a fish need to stay wet for reasons other than breathing?" (A fairly simple question, but while I'm reasonably good at some types of online searches, this isn't the type of research I have much luck with. >.<)

Right. Bed. Good night, all. Happy Friday tomorrow!

I did not mean to do that today

Mar. 26th, 2015 09:02 pm
marymac: Noser from Middleman (Default)
[personal profile] marymac
Today, I got turned down for a job, and bought a car.

This was not actually my plan for the day, it just sort of happened. I think I was riding a schadenfreude high from the epic crash and burn performed by the Government at lunchtime.

So I rang the car dealership on the way home, and asked had they anything in my price range, and went and had a drive around, and put the deposit on a car. It is a pale green Skoda Fabia, which given the friendly shape of the car, makes it looks alarmingly like someone bleached Kermit, it's going to cost a fortune to insure and ... I bought a car.

I may be insane.

(no subject)

Mar. 26th, 2015 04:34 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1780 aged 66 Duke Charles I of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel (my toy,wikipedia). Grandfather of Caroline who married George IV. Founded the Technical University of Brunswick, which is nice, but in general he was bad with money and nearly bankrupted the state, his eldest son managed to rescue the state finances.

Born on this day in 1687 to King George I of GB and Sophia of Celle, Sophia of Hanover (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of George I. Married her first cousin the King of Prussia. They hated each other, and he was a horrible husband, beating her and their children (they had 14). Being a woman sucked a lot.

(But: Oh my! that dress! I want one)
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira

Many many many thanks to Gwyneth, commodorified, Rubynye, Stoatsandwich, Feanorinleatherpants, and Wintercyan for their help with this! And thanks also to anyone who's been waiting since August to read part 3 of this series. :D

Where the Fire Burns Hot and Bright (42221 words) by Dira Sudis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Sam Wilson, Steve Rogers/Sam Wilson, James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers/Sam Wilson, James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov, Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, Maria Hill
Additional Tags: Polyamory, Threesome - M/M/M, First Kiss, Cuddling & Snuggling, Mentions of Child Murder, Serious Injuries, Hospitalization, Hospital Sex, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Metal Arm Tinkering, Bucky Barnes Shows Love Through Surveillance
Series: Part 3 of Just Stay Alive

"I'll keep watch," Bucky said, and Steve jumped. Sam could only manage a twitch, but he meant it with every fiber of his where the hell did you come from being. Bucky was just there somehow, standing in the slice of shadow to one side of the room's window. "Sleep, both of you," Bucky repeated. "I've got this watch."

Ah, the timing

Mar. 25th, 2015 10:40 pm
umadoshi: (Scully "as if" (ropo))
[personal profile] umadoshi
My hair is red again! Red, red, red. *^^* Not cut, but maybe I can manage to get that done sometime in the next week or two. The color matters more to me anyway, much as I'm tired of putting my hair up.

As for the actual post topic: it took a day or two for this to sink in, but the X-Files announcement coinciding with my going back to Casual Job (and thus having my free time vanish for the next two or three months) is a little funny, because only a couple of weeks ago [personal profile] wildpear said something to me about possibly feeling up to trying The X-Files again.

See, [personal profile] wildpear and I (and two or three guys, depending on the time frame; my brother crashed with us for the last half of the lease) were roommates back when the show was still airing, but in its, uh...horribly bad less-than-stellar final year or so. I was grimly sticking it out as long as Gillian Anderson was still on board, but I was on my own. [personal profile] scruloose and [personal profile] wildpear were the two other occupants of the flat who were most amenable to watching things with me, but [personal profile] scruloose stopped being willing to subject himself to the increasing awfulness of the show at some point, reducing our "pizza and The Simpsons [and whatever aired at 9:30] and The X-Files Sunday nights" to just "let's get pizza and see if we feel like watching anything before The X-Files comes on and [personal profile] scruloose flees".

And [personal profile] wildpear and I, at the time, didn't have much overlap in terms of geeky interests, although she was willing to let me show her things and rec books to her. But her tolerance levels for eerie/creepy/ICKY things was rather a lot lower then, and those were what The X-Files still had in spades, so her experience with the show was, and is still, limited to the handful of episodes she managed to sit through with me...all of which were TERRIBLE, and a couple of which haunt us to this day.

(The one I think she tends to mention is whatever episode had the...legless Indian man dragging himself around on a creaking, squeaking cart by his arms. That is ALL I REMEMBER, other than the sheer awfulness, but I can still hear the rusty, shrieking SKWARK sound of it. *pokes the internet* Okay, disturbingly enough--if unsurprisingly--the search terms "x-files old man drag cart indian" led me straight to ep. 8x10, "Badlaa", summarized as "As Doggett tries to keep an open mind, he and Scully piece together evidence of a murdering Indian mystic who hides in the stomachs of his victims." I may cry. NO, SHOW. THAT WAS A HORRIBLE IDEA ON EVERY POSSIBLE LEVEL.)

ANYWAY. The important thing here is that [personal profile] wildpear's experience with the show is bad, but she's had previous good experiences with letting me show her things that she'd had a strong negative impression of (for years, the only episode of Buffy she'd ever seen was the one with the swim team from the first or second season), and her tolerance for gross/scary stuff is higher now, and she certainly knows I swear by skipping most of The X-Files season 1 and then watching season 2 through to the first movie and pretending the rest of it never, ever, ever happened. And she's now maybe willing to try it, and the announcement of the new episodes is the obvious time to have a rewatch (I'll quietly pretend her schedule would allow for binge-watching, much as it wouldn't), and the two of us are even between shows (in terms of watching one together when we hang out),

Maybe in July?

(no subject)

Mar. 25th, 2015 02:31 pm
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (books)
[personal profile] violsva
Putting this on Dreamwidth as well as Tumblr:

So I’ve been thinking about soulmate AUs. The kind where your soulmate’s name is written on your skin. How would that start? When would that start?

Not with the beginning of writing. For centuries, in China, in Sumer, in Egypt, in Mesoamerica, writing was used for accounting or religion, and nothing else. Most people would never be able write their names or recognize them if they were written. Only royalty, gods, and perhaps some property owners would.

Individual scribes might have had signatures. For that matter, for all we know individual Paleolithic artists might have had signatures. But most people wouldn’t. What would happen the first time someone was born with an unknown symbol on their hand?

Probably it would be an isolated mystery. Remember, in most of these scenarios there’s no actual guarantee that you’ll ever meet your soulmate (although most people seem to end up with one from the same general area. Which is statistically unlikely). No one would know what it meant. Maybe people with symbols would be seen as special, or divine, or demonic.

And then it might start happening more often - or stop happening, if writing stopped being used (like in Greece after 1200 BCE). But most of the time still no one would know what the symbol meant. And most people wouldn’t have symbols, because most people’s soulmates wouldn’t know how to write.

(Sometimes I think the theory is that people would have a thumbprint instead of a soulmate mark? But this would be basically useless for matching purposes - you would have no idea where to start. So from that point of view the first people with actual names would just have them instead of the thumbprints that everyone else had and didn’t know the meaning of.

Incidentally, using thumbprints for recognition isn’t universal in non-literate societies either. European society didn’t realize that fingerprints were unique until the late 19th century. In a lot of places, they weren’t used until people were already using signatures, and needed an option for illiterate people. Also, while they are an identifying mark, they really have no relation at all to your name. For most of human existence, having a physical marker of your identity really wasn’t that important.)

Only somewhere with at least moderately widespread literacy would someone be able to look at a mark and go “Oh, that’s my friend Imhotep’s name. What a coincidence!” And only somewhere with widespread literacy would Imhotep’s soulmate also be able to write their name. Most early languages were logographic, and in cuneiform names specifically were almost always logographic, so you wouldn’t even be able to sound it out.

Phoenician (starting 1050 BCE) was the first widespread writing system, and was simple enough and common enough that sailors could write in it. It was also the first phoenetic script which would allow you to easily approximate the pronounciation of the writing on your skin.

But still, most people wouldn’t have symbols. Most people would never meet anyone with their name on their skin.

This would be a problem in AUs where you never feel sexual attraction to anyone who isn’t your soulmate. Imagine religion and culture in a world where almost everyone is functionally asexual.

How long would it take, until someone realized that if people’s names matched up, they had some kind of bond? How long would it take before this was a generally accepted theory?

Also, how long before this was seen as at all important, given that most people with the status to know how to read would also have arranged marriages?

But once it was generally accepted, suddenly literacy would become a lot more important. People would demand to learn how to write. (Some people would learn that their soulmate’s name wasn’t in the local writing system. What happens then?) People would want to give their children more unique names (ancient Rome had about thirty given names for men total, and they named their daughters “first Julia” and “second Julia.”)

Anyway, around ancient Rome or so, when there would not only be a lot of literate people but also a lot of people able to recognize foreign alphabets, suddenly there would be a huge drive for 1) more literacy and 2) better long distance communication, so you could find the Caius or Ξανθίππη or שָׂרָה who had your name on their skin. And as this idea became more and more widespread, so would this desire. The same thing would be happening in China and Ethiopia and India.

This would revolutionize world history. There would be strong motivations both for exploration and for making peace with foreign cultures. Everyone in Rome with a Jewish soulmate would want to make sure they wouldn’t be killed before they could meet them. Everyone with a soulmate in a strange language would want to know at least what language it was.

Come to think of it, these are also all good reasons for why people wouldn’t believe in soulmates. Your soulmate can’t be one of the hated barbarians, so that symbol doesn’t mean anything!

And that’s leaving out the fact that lots of people still wouldn’t have a soulmate who could write, and completely ignoring the existence of polyamory.

So getting to a modern society with everyone just knowing that that was your soulmate’s name would involve a really complicated history, probably nothing at all like ours. And there would be huge pressure to ignore the existence of soulmates at all.

No conclusions here, just taking an illogical premise way too logically.

Reading Wednesday

Mar. 25th, 2015 04:12 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Alif the Unseen (Wilson, G Willow)
This has djinn and computer programming and an excellent plot. Sort of Urban Fantasy maybe? (in that it's set sort-of-now and has djinn) but the setting is not like most of the other urban fantasy I have read. Very enjoyable read. Wilson mostly writes for comics, maybe there will be more novels?

Girl in the Dark (Lyndsey,Anna)
I read this because Women's Hour recommended it to me. It is a memoir by a woman with extreme photosensitivity who has to spend much of her life living in complete darkness to avoid painful skin issues. She writes engagingly, and I found it an interetsing read.

Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook (PTerry). Still reading. It's on my desk at work for the spare moment. I love how Discworld went from a comedy set to somewhere that I can actually imagine real people living ordinary lives.

What Makes This Book So Great (Walton,Jo). This is a collection of blog posts originally published on remarking about the greatness (or, sometimes, otherwise) or book when re-read. I am building a long list of books to read! Very bitty of course (each post is only a few pages).

Not sure. I've got Americanah, and that book about Crusades and one about the North Sea and a bunch of Diamond and a huge list from WMTBSG... so, we'll see.

(no subject)

Mar. 25th, 2015 01:19 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1323 aged 66 Mary of Hungary (my toy,wikipedia). Great-grand mother of Philippa who married Edward III. Mary probably started out a pagan Shamanist, but converted to Catholicism to marry Charles II of Naples. I don't think I've got too many people who aren't some sort of Christian, although I don't track this (it's not always obvious); maybe I should add a field for it. She married when she was only 12 and went on to have 14 children, the youngest when she was 14.

Born on this day in 1345 to Henry of Grosmont and Isabel of Beaumont, Blanche of Lancaster (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Henry IV. Married John of Gaunt, her 2nd cousin once removed (wikipedia says 3rd cousin, which is also true, but I think 2nd-cousin-once-removed is closer?). She died much earlier than her husband but he was later buried with her (not with either of his subsequent wives).
umadoshi: (Blackout - When Will You Rise?)
[personal profile] umadoshi
[personal profile] thatyourefuse asked me to talk about Blackout (the third Newsflesh book), in part because in November we had a conversation where I was telling her how desperately I love it. (Unavoidably, there's some repetition in here of things I've written in other Newsflesh meta posts, but I'm deliberately not looking back at older posts to see exactly how much of this ground I've covered before. None of those posts are recent, and I don't want to get bogged down in making absolutely sure I don't use similar wording this time out.)

I've actually kept major plot spoilers for Blackout out of this post, because [personal profile] thatyourefuse hasn't actually read Blackout (but has read Feed and Deadline and a lot of spoilers for Blackout), and I can talk about the things that make this my favorite book of the trilogy without touching on most of the major events in it because it's mostly character and/or thematic stuff. This whole post is massively spoilery in every way for both Feed and Deadline, though.

(As I've often explained, I love all three books, and people would be forgiven for assuming Feed is my favorite, but I love each of the three for very different reasons--which makes sense, since each book is very different from the other two.)

and lo, there was a long post--roughly 4200 words under the cut )

(no subject)

Mar. 25th, 2015 10:11 am
sixbeforelunch: hulk in the middle of ripping apart a plane, text reads "hulk smash plane" (mcu - hulk smash plane)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
I picked up The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford thinking it would be a light and easy romcom of a read. If the first two chapters are any indication, this is a book that plans to be much more deep and cutting than that.

Apparently Mitford based her novel on her own family, which makes me both a little sorry for the Mitford daughters, and also anxious to get my hands on one of the many memoirs and biographies that are out there about them. I am already reading In Tearing Haste, which is half made up of letters by Deborah Devonshire nee Mitford, but she doesn't talk very much about her childhood in that. There is, I believe, a proper autobiography out there somewhere.

I'm also reading Starman. I haven't done well with superheroes lately. I've picked up and put (sometimes thrown) down several Avengers trades. I think I have the same problem with comics!Tony Stark as I do with comics!Bruce Wayne. I fell in love with the character in another medium (movies and the animated series, respectively) and then got to the comics and realized that the character that I loved was a huge jerk in the comics universe. So I'm off any Iron Man comics, or any Avengers comics that include Iron Man in a large way, with a few exceptions (I enjoyed the Science Bros trade).

But Starman has the stuff I enjoy about superhero comics (heroic angst, larger than life villains and heroes) with the stuff that I enjoy about indie comics (delicately constructed character moments, a sense of realism). And my library has the entire six volume omnibus, joy. I have the first 3 volumes checked out so far.

Other reading and library adventures:

Two travelogues by Guy Delise, about Burma and Shenzhen. The Phantom Tollbooth, which is highly inventive and a lot of fun. And Will and Whit, a YA story about loss and friendship that made me cry(!).

The state of things

Mar. 24th, 2015 10:50 pm
umadoshi: (Scully questions the Whammy (snarkel))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Two links to start:

Via [personal profile] mortalcity, until the end of March, Scrivener is 20% off with coupon code “Grak”.

It'd been sounding more and more like the X-Files revival was really going to happen, so I wasn't surprised by the official announcement, but seeing the news posted on [ profile] GillianA's account made it feel real. My feelings are probably going to be conflicted up until the episodes actually air, but apparently the one thing that will never change is that anything X-Files that has Gillian Anderson on board is something I'm gonna watch. [see also: why I stuck out the ENTIRE SHOW to the horrific end.]

Ginny flew safely back to Toronto yesterday. Alas, her flight out was delayed by three hours, which means she got up at Oh Hell No o'clock for no reason. *shudders* (Especially awful since she landed in Toronto and went straight to work.) But safe travel is the key thing.

Ginny's last Halifax visit. The end of an era. Just over three months until she moves here!

And I now have two days until Casual Job resumes. Today I caught myself saying, with all sincerity, "I need a vacation." Hilarious, self. (By this time next week my daily affirmation will be "I'll sleep in July.")

Tomorrow, among other things, I need to type up the few pages of handwritten style notes from work that have accumulated over the last couple of sessions. If I forget, it won't get done until the fall session. >.< And my handwriting is atrocious, so having it all typed would be very handy.

There is no way I'm getting a haircut before going back to the office (awkward; I think the last time I got it cut was before going to Toronto last August?), but with luck we can get it dyed tomorrow night. I generally have a standing hangout date with [personal profile] wildpear on Wednesday evenings when Casual Job isn't on, but since tomorrow's my last evening to prep, I don't know what the odds are of that happening, either. :/

The rewrite that was due this Friday has been bumped to being due Monday (with finished chapters getting turned in sooner if possible), since I proofread two volumes last weekend. I have another rewrite (for my super-wordy series, naturally) due a week from Friday. And I'm also going to be doing some more proofreading for Sparkler Monthly (not due until May), which is an exciting change of pace from my usual freelance stuff. I wish a change were as good as a rest, since April's probably going to be ridiculously swamped, but a) the proofreading should be fun and b) the payment for it should just about cover airfare to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which I didn't manage to attend last year and which is both the only chance I ever have to see Lianne Sentar anymore and the closest thing I do to professional networking. So. Yay!

(Note that I'm not sure about TCAF, but I'm now optimistic about getting to go. By which I mean justifying it to myself.)

(no subject)

Mar. 24th, 2015 07:37 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Seems I did today yesterday. Silly Silly. So, er, here's yesterday's people.

Died on this day yesterday in 1813 aged 75 Princess Augusta of Great Britain (my toy,wikipedia). Mother-in-law of George IV. Augusta married her second cousin, the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, she initially didn't like Brunswick much but fortunately it improved on her since she fell out with the English court (well, mostly the Queen, her sister in law).

Born on this day yesterday in 1430 to King Rene I of Naples and Duchess Isabella of Lorraine, Margaret of Anjou (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of Henry VI, her 3rd cousin. Margaret was a fierce Lancastrian, and took a large part in the Wars of the Roses; she ended her life an exile in France, after she lost everything in England. Margaret was rather more capable and interested than Henry it seems.
dira: My home is not a place ... it is people. (Home is not a place)
[personal profile] dira
More Aral/Jole fic! Now with an Explicit rating and a tag for ulcers! :D

Drive the Dark Things Away (9502 words) by Dira Sudis
Chapters: 2/3
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Lt. Jole/Aral Vorkosigan
Characters: Lt. Jole, Aral Vorkosigan
Additional Tags: Book: The Vor Game, Scars, Phone Sex, Ulcers
Series: Part 12 of The World That You Need

A triptych set during The Vor Game, in which Aral and Jole look after each other.

Linkspam, mainly

Mar. 23rd, 2015 11:30 pm
umadoshi: (kittens - sleeping)
[personal profile] umadoshi
I may manage something more like a proper post before I finally go to sleep, if I can assemble words beyond "my brain feels fuzzy and I seem to be having a bit of a mope".

A more cheerful thing: I've updated [ profile] jinksyandthebrain with three sets of photos of the kittens (who are 21 months old now!), all taken by [personal profile] seolh while we were away. Here are photos of Claudia, photos of Jinksy, and a few photos of them together.

Otherwise, since I just spent rather a lot of time wrestling with my tabs, have some (sorted!) linkspam for now:


[personal profile] musesfool wrote Raven Cycle fic! *^^* AO3 link: Searching for the Same Light (1711 words) by victoria_p. (Gansey/Adam/Ronan/Blue, Teen and Up, some spoilers.)

Apparently we're getting closer and closer to an honest-to-God X-Files revival with both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. I...don't know how I feel about this. Excited in spite of myself? Something like that?

[personal profile] ironed_orchid linked to this post at [ profile] the100discussion about the Grounders' language, Trigedasleng. That post links in turn to this post by the show's language creator and this site, which describes itself as "a fan-made dictionary/translation/grammar aid for Trigedasleng".

At House of 1000 Manga, Jason Thompson wrote about Sparkler Monthly.


On Twitter, Nell Farrell's poem "What the Mermaids Make of Christmas", with a link to purchase the new book it comes from.

Via Tumblr, "The Middle of Things" is Andrew Solomon's advice for young writers.


Semi-recent fanvids from around my DW circle:

--[personal profile] gwyn's Captain America (both movies) vid "Sorrow".

--[personal profile] sholio's Agent Carter vid "One More Day".

--[personal profile] frayadjacent's Orphan Black vid "Milkshake & Honey".


Five ordinary women given the Photoshop-for-models treatment, plus their reactions (overall, they were creeped out). (I'm not deleting this entirely, just in case anyone wants to go sifting for the post, but [personal profile] china_shop points out that the link redirects to the main site.)

25 photos of women in labor/giving birth (emotional shots; not terribly graphic).

"I Woke Up Like This" (NSFW). "For the past two months, I've been photographing women nude, moments after they wake up. I chose this time of day because it is the moment we begin to criticize and shame our bodies."

Social Justice

The sidebar at Conscious Style Guide describes the site as "a simple and accessible community resource for anyone curious or serious about conscious language. In one place, you can access style guides covering terminology for various communities and find links to key articles debating usage. We study words so that they can become tools instead of unwitting weapons. Brought to you by the creator of AP vs. Chicago."

Via Facebook: "We Need To Stop Devaluing Femininity". "The message that we consistently send out is that in order to achieve any kind of significant career goals, girls need to adopt traits that are typically associated with masculinity. Like, sure you can be a girl and write code, but you can't write code while wearing a dress. You can chair a meeting, but not while wearing sparkly hair clips. You can repair a bicycle, but not while wearing lipstick. Everyone knows that lipstick prevents people from being competent. / The flip side of all of this is that we shame any boys (and, to a certain extent, girls) who participate in activities or behaviors that are seen as being more 'feminine.'"
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
[personal profile] ilanarama
My expectations for the Canyonlands 5-miler were pretty low. Not only would this be my first race after the disastrous Winter Of Back Injury, I also caught a bad lung-rot virus on March 4th (ironically, the day after I posted about looking forward to this race!) and didn't run for 8 days. Still, I was hoping to win my age group, or at least top three, since except for a few short-distance specialists, the 5-miler is mostly run by people not fit enough to run the concurrent half marathon (which I usually do), so the level of competition is pretty low. I also hoped to clear out the cobwebs and jump-start my fitness with some (relatively) fast running, and get a read on just how out of shape I am.

When my lungs finally cleared, I did a few short, easy runs, and then a test speed run on the Thursday before Saturday's race: I ran an easy warm-up mile, a second warm-up mile with strides, and then held a tempo-ish hard pace for a mile, something that didn't wear me out but felt hard. Based on my recent easy pace, I figured this pace would be something around 8:15, and sure enough, my test mile came out at 8:08. I can work harder in a race than I can in training, and Canyonlands is about 2500 feet lower in elevation, which also gives me a little advantage. So my plan for the race was to go out at 8 to 8:05, hold that if I could for the second mile (which had a nasty hill) and then push as hard as I could without blowing up.

No plan survives first contact with the enemy )

By the numbers )


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