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Ramblings of a Conuly
Believing in six impossible things before breakfast
conuly
which took for ev er.

Then we had another of this summer's daily very short, extremely torrential downpours. At least it's keeping the weather nice and clement. (Well, except for the part where you drown poking your head out the window.)

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that they will not eat their wet food unless it is lovingly hand-fed to them off a spoon.

However, although eating out of the bowl is entirely too declasse, they'll gladly eat the food that fell to the floor. Off the floor.

Silly doggos.

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Not the one I usually go to, the other one. My mother will like it - she thinks American-style sodas are too sweet. (Actually, the girls liked it too, so yay.)

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Because of waiting, not because of something wrong. Somehow, I ended up offering to write a children's booklist for my mother's neurologist.

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Some of us do not do well talking to people in real time. Some of us would prefer to make our complaints via email or snail mail, not live chat and phone. Make these options visible on your contact page.

(Also: Anne-Marie, note hyphen, is a valid first name for shipping. The hyphen is a valid character in English orthography. Shape up!)

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[community profile] femslashex has open sign-ups now.

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conuly
You spend $100 for butter? Your electricity costs $3.99 a month!?

For the record, our butter usually costs $3.49 or $3.99, but recently it's spiked as high as $7! (But not all over the Island, or even all over the city. Just near me.)

Also, Homefront is now letting me download it from the BBC again without worrying about being out of region (and, of course, not paying your TV/radio tax) so... yay!

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:(

On an utterly unrelated note, I want to see how badly I'm being ripped off on the butter front. How much is a pound of butter, not cultured, not organic where you are?

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What's your electric bill look like in the summer and winter, everybody? I'm trying to get a better feel for what's "normal". (If you live off-the-grid in the woods, disclose that upfront, thanks.)

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somebody was talking about the new Picard role (who wasn't, right?) and mentioned that they'd already seen people grumbling that TNG was the worst Trek, Picard the worst captain. Which is a viewpoint I've literally never heard espoused before, but I guess there's always somebody.

So we never ever get tired of making Best Trek Captain lists, right? It's polltime!



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In a non-derogatory way.

I really thought it was a reclaimed slur myself!

(Of course, key word there is reclaimed. If people from a certain group use a certain term about themselves in a neutral or positive fashion, then it's not a slur in that context no matter what the history is. Obviously. I kinda feel like this ought to go without saying, but apparently we have to say it?)

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Does this mean we're finally getting some shows that are a. in the prime universe (not the reboot) and b. really, really in the prime universe? I like Disco just fine, but with those tech levels there is just no way it's the same universe as the main series, nor even the spinoff reboots.

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Blah.

At least we started a new story on [personal profile] pollventures. Juliet (now with more muscles!) can do lots better than pretty-boy Romeo.

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This is unusual, but hardly unprecedented - there is a tornado in NYC about once every five to ten years. The last one, which twisted off our gutter from the roof and destroyed half the trees on our block, was apparently six years ago, so that's about right.

So why is it that every time there is a tornado, right on schedule, the news acts like it's a flabbergastingly unprecedented "Wow, you may've scoffed at the silly tornado warning, but aaaaah turns out it wasn't misdirected!" freak occurrence instead of a totally predictable event, made even more predictable by meteorology?

Once every five to ten years. That means two or three times between starting kindy and graduating college. Surprising and unusual, but actually not that unexpected. The guy running our sim has kindly turned off "Godzilla attack", but accidentally left "tornado" activated on the natural disasters tab. (Also, he forgot to use the cheat codes, which is why we don't have cold fusion yet.)

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THE NEVERENDING PILE OF LINKS

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But not the expansion just yet.

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161 tabs to get through! I'll have to break it up into a few postsCollapse )

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1. Tor is offering the Wayfarers series to a lucky winner, no purchase necessary

2. Over at [community profile] smallfandomfest: "it’s time for another new round of fandom pimpage! Remember, the pimp-your-fandom button is reset to zero, so every single small fandom is up for grabs."

3. And at [community profile] 12months_challenge this month's challenge, "agenderbend", has been posted.

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conuly
That's all I want. One trip.

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It's a bit weird that there's so little fanfic for those. (Well, excepting Strickland's work. I guess he tries, anyway.) Maybe we'll get more when the movie comes out?

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The pulmonologist, I mean, the Dutch one. Apparently he's from Friesland specifically. When Mommy told this to Ana, I said, of course, that "Bread, butter, and green cheese is good English and good Fries".

Mommy: Why, that's exactly what he said!
Me: Yes, if you don't consider Scots an independent language then Frisian is the closest language to English. Of course, if you do, then it's Scots.
Mommy: That's exactly what he said too!

My mother went up two flights of stairs without getting winded, and I guess they had to talk about something on the way up and down. (She did it pretty quickly, too, especially without her cane!)

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The bus was originally scheduled for 11:30. Last week we got an email saying all buses were rescheduled due to problems for lateness, our new time was 12. Guess what time it showed up?

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So Eva was starving, Ana and I had quite run out of patience, and it's amazing we didn't all lose it. As it was, I got home at 5, fell into bed, and didn't wake up until 10am. And I didn't even do anything yesterday besides wait around, eat fried chicken, and buy four pounds of sugar.

Eva told us all about camp. We got a refund from her rafting which was canceled due to rain. She did get to ride a horse. She disliked one girl and felt bad because that girl was so nice, and disliked another and didn't feel bad because she was such a pain. (Midway through her telling me what a pain this girl was, something about how that girl said her mother always packed all her bags and so she wouldn't even try packing hers to leave and her mother wrote her essays for her, I said that really, I feel sorry for this child. If this is true, then her mother isn't doing her any favors.) She didn't get a single one of my letters, and I mailed them one a day starting on Friday before she went! So I don't know what happened there. She ran out of books, but luckily there was a book shack. Unluckily, she thought they said "boat shack" and avoided it like the plague for the first few days because she didn't want to get roped into some boating-related activity in the rain. She made three friends. Yes, she wants to go back next year.

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Also, more sheets. But seriously, I need more sets of pajamas.

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The dog food is currently living in the freezer.

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I believe I've said that, but I'm saying it again. ALL OR NOTHING.

I sure hope Eva's happy. Me, I miss her, but I still think we've put in an awful lot of effort for a week. A weekish - she arrived Sunday afternoon and gets back Saturday morning..

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Also, I haven't cracked open my friends page all weekend, on top of skimming this last week, so if something important happened, tell me.

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If you are interested in children's literature of this century and/or about Blitz evacuees then you must read it... but you've probably already heard of it and don't need me telling you.

There's not much I can say in a review that hasn't been extensively covered before, and I'd want to re-read before typing up a review, but I will say this: It continually surprises me that when people recommend this book, they frame it as a book about a (poor, abused) girl with a physical disability (untreated clubfoot) being evacuated. Hardly anybody starts off saying it's a girl with chronic PTSD being evacuated, but that's by far the more disabling condition for Ada, and also the more convincingly written, probably because the author herself has chronic PTSD but doesn't have a clubfoot. (I'd be surprised if she did. Even in the 1940s it was pretty rare to see untreated clubfoot in the West, wasn't it?) The clubfoot is worked around with crutches, a pony, and eventually a surgery. The mental illness is harder to handle.

(Also, another main character is suffering from depression, and while the current bout is clearly related to the death of her partner, Becky, she states outright that she's always been prone to depression and seasonal depression, though she doesn't use those words. This is very much a book about mental illness as a disability, and not so much about clubfoot or WWII. Those are just the setting.)

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The forecast has changed a few times, though it's currently back to being pretty grim - rain, rain, and more rain.

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According to Weather.com, it's gonna be raining at Eva's camp for the next two weeks. She'll only be there next week, but still.

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And technically I accomplished my goal of "buy white t-shirts" and "equip Eva with snacks".

But somewhere in the middle there was a gas explosion at the Flatiron building and since I was walking in the area at the time it took me forever to get home.

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Three fic recs and a few others following.

"Oh," he says. "Bucky found out about bananas."

Wizards in Winter (this is the best Young Wizards/Calvin and Hobbes crossover ever.)

The Incredibles fixit crossover I didn't realize we needed

Something has gone horribly wrong here, he's right

The hotel bathroom puzzle

The surprising history of the term airline

The Glue Famine

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The Steven Universe themesong is about as long as the ABCs, so it works just as well to sing while washing your handsCollapse )

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All the prepwork, and she'll only be gone one week. Sheesh. She better have fun at this point, that's all I have to say on the subject. Currently she's worried she won't have enough to read.

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which sucks, and our plan was to replace them one by one, but none of us really wanted to do the part where we looked at the games and figured out which ones we were missing.

I've done that today, and the list isn't quite as bad as I'd feared!

Here it is:

King of New York, plus expansion
King of Tokyo, plus expansion
Ticket to Ride, plus expansion
Ticket to Ride Europe, plus expansion
Carcassonne: The River (maybe, it's possible this is stored apart from the rest for some reason)
Clue Master Detective (out of print, and I swear this is the last time I'm replacing it)
Parcheesi (note: I want to find somebody to custom make me a six-person board)
Fairy Tale
Pick Picnic
Stone Soup (out of print)
Coloretto (actually, this was lost separately)
Scrabble (I have no idea why you can't replace tiles online but have to mail order them)
Machi Koro

And we already replaced Forbidden Desert, Forbidden Island, and Sheriff of Nottingham, plus Tsuro.

Some of those are a bit spendy, but they're all doable if we do it paycheck by paycheck. (However, if anybody has old copies they'd like to send over at a low cost, I'm happy to bargain!)

Any recommendations for the future, after we've restocked what we lost?

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On open plan houses. My mother has watched entirely too much HGTV and when she does, she sometimes rails against the stupidity of the open plan house. (Me, I rail against stainless steel kitchens. I can't decide if it's more ugly or boring. I keep waiting for the fad to die out, but it hasn't yet.)

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Sad thing is, I don't know the person it's for. She certainly does not live here.

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...I wouldn't do the unethical thing, but I'm really tempted to "win" $25 by claiming it never arrived after all. Really tempted.

(Not doing the wrong thing kinda sucks sometimes. I bet lots of awful people sleep well at night regardless.)

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"Turkish delight" and "New Amsterdam" are iffy risky too.

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[community profile] dcu_bang, [community profile] iddyiddybangbang, and [community profile] auexchange are closing sign-ups soon.

[community profile] bookfandomexchange is currently accepting nominations.

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The book is pretty much an allegory for growing up, which would be fine except that the author blows it halfway through. (Also, I'm not sure the allegory works, but that's separate.)

The premise is that there is a magical island - snakes and bees and feral kittens are friendly, there's plenty of food, the weather's nice, the sunrise makes beautiful pictures, there's a cliff where if you fall off you just float down - with nine children on it, in age order, alternating girls and boys. Every year (more or less - nobody thinks to count days so they just assume it's a year) a boat comes with a new toddler and the eldest child leaves. The new eldest takes that year to teach the new toddler how to live on the island (reading, swimming, cooking a meal) and then leaves when the next boat arrives, and the children in the middle mostly raise themselves. They have a dwindling collection of aging books, and all the shoes they arrived in are heaped in a pile - forty pairs, nearly all toddler-sized but a few larger ones. Nobody knows why they have to leave, it's just a rule, like the rule about not taking the last of something. Nobody knows where they go after they leave or where they came from. Nobody knows who the girl is who annotated all their books.

Our main character doesn't want to leave at the end of the year, and she spends the whole year dithering about it and trying to skirt the responsibility of teaching the new youngest child, and then at the end of the year she doesn't leave. And things go disastrously wrong - the sunrises get muddy, the fish go away, she gets her period and it's super traumatic because she doesn't know this is expected behavior for her body (truth in fiction, but given the typical age range of the readers of this book I'm giving that narrative decision some serious side-eye), the new child gets sick when a snake bites him, it starts to snow - until she finally gives in and gets on the boat.

If this was it, it'd be fine. I mean, the same oblivious reviewers would miss the point and complain that "nothing really happens" and "questions go unanswered" but since this isn't a plot-based book where questions exist to be answered that'd be all right. But that isn't it. No, instead young "Ess" keeps asking about her Mama that she won't see again and midway through the book our protagonist discovers a letter from long-ago-Abigail, written to her mother and complaining that "before we came I thought it'd be like summer camp but I miss you take me home" and mentioning that this is the last piece of paper and they've run out of pens. Which means we can't just comfortably place this in a vaguely defined dreamlike setting, we are forced to confront the reality that people did this. At some point, 40 kids ago, people made a decision to create this island and they've kept sending kids there but evidently never restocked the paper and the pens and the books and the one edible plant that somebody accidentally made extinct. Why would they do this? Who are these people? These and other questions will never be answered, but you're going to be forced to think about them instead of about the bittersweet process of growing up. (This also raises two very uncomfortable possibilities for the crisis in the book. Either the creators of the island are deliberately putting these children in real risk in order to force the main character to leave, or the entire system is breaking down and nobody is going to fix it. Given that nobody has replaced the books that fell apart, this is very possible.)

I think I like my allegories either a lot less allegorical or a lot more. This muddle doesn't work for me.

But let's address the allegory. Does it work? Eh... sorta. Leaving childhood behind can be scary. But you know what? I didn't both begin and end my childhood with an intensely traumatic experience where I was forced to leave behind everyone and everything I knew to go to a totally unknown place. Entering adulthood is scary and weird and a little smelly, but I did have some idea of what was coming. (I certainly knew about periods, and I'm going to go on record here as saying that if you don't tell your child by ten or so at the latest then you are being neglectful or even abusive.) And if real children linger in childhood longer than their peers, the sky doesn't literally fall. The moral message seems to be "you should definitely follow all the unquestioned rules of your society, even if you don't understand their purpose, because questioning these things can and will bring disaster. Have fun growing up, kids!"

(Also, Jinny tries to teach Ess how to swim the gentle way, and when that fails because the girl is scared another child just tosses her into the water and it works. If this is metaphorical, fine, but in real life this method is as likely to create a lifelong fear of water as to create a swimmer. Swim instructors spend a lot of time rehabilitating kids whose parents thought this was the way to teach their children. Not a fan.)

Of course, readers all get different things out of books, and not everybody is going to see this story the same way. But who is that reader going to be? As noted, it's not the sort of book where things happen and questions are answered. I'm not entirely sure most middle grade readers are going to fall in love with that sort of non-plot-based story. This is the sort of book that seems to me to be very popular among a certain sort of adult reader, but that is going to be extremely niche among the target audience. (Unfortunately, since that sort of adult reader no doubt includes many teachers, most kids exposed to this book are going to be forced to analyze it to death. That's not going to help.)

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That is all.

or maybe everybody else can learn to park all the way in their driveway and to stop behind the crosswalk, that is also a possibility

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Moonpie, in blatant violation of leash laws, may have slipped out while I was taking out the trash and forced me to chase after her wearing nothing but a very skimpy and disreputable nightgown.

Thankfully, some people happened to be chatting on their stoop and Moonie was so affronted by this act that she stopped to bark at them, allowing me to catch up and grab her. I think I probably flashed them leaning down but whatever. I didn't even have shoes on.

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to talk about A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and the sequel, A Close and Common Orbit.

Coincidentally, I just got around to reading them.

The science behind their spaceflight is implausible, but you know what? Nobody trips over their own two feet because their ship stopped accelerating, nor does that equal a dead stop, and I'm okay with that. It's a low bar, and they clear it.

Otherwise, I'm waiting on the third book. They're very character-driven novels, and so different from each other. The first, in particular, reads like a TV series, with each chapter its own standalone episode. It was hard for me not to hear the characters as those from the various Enterprises, and at one point I was half-expecting somebody to suddenly declaim on freedom and self-determination and the Prime Directive. If Q had popped by to deliver a moral lesson, a pizza, and a couple of Borg I would've been utterly unsurprised.

There's a narrative hidden in the road trip, but it's really about the journey.

And then in the sequel we've got alternating viewpoint chapters, past and present, and instead of a crew journeying together they're very much about separate people being individuals, and also freedom and self-determination. I expected more of the same, and it... really wasn't.

There are probably things I can say about the stories and the characters and all that... but really, I'm stuck on the vastly different writing styles from two books by the same author set in the same universe with some overlapping characters. I'll save all other commentary for after I've read the next one.

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I have explained this to you in every way I possibly can, short of interpretive dance. If you still aren't getting it, the problem is not that I am not trying hard enough to understand you. At this point, I have nothing left to say other than that I think you need to go home and rethink your life.

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well never, that's when, but in the interests of not being reviled as the neighborhood buzzkill I will begrudgingly accept "July 4, between the hours of 6pm and 10:30pm, 11pm if the next day is a weekend".

My goodwill does not stretch all the way to July 11, 3:37 in the morning. JFC.

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...

Listen, if you can't figure out a way to support LGB without bashing T, then maaaaaaybe you're the problem in this scenario, not the ~.5% of the population that identifies as transgender.

Note: This isn't an open debate. Or an any sort of debate, really.

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this is the song that's been running in my head nonstop the past few days. I'm pretty sure it's not some sort of sad subconscious commentary on the state of the world, I think it's just stuck on a loop.

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The younger one is 5 and a half now and going into kindy in September. One of the best things about that age is it provides such fodder for amateur armchair linguistics! (Linguistics is probably the only scientific field that sees more progress rather than less when its professionals become parents.) Today I caught him using a double modal: "We might can't walk fast, we should take a bus." (Nice try, kiddo, but your little legs can manage a ten minute walk.)

Are double modals common at his school/daycare? Or is he neologizing them because he's five? I haven't heard his mother use them, but maybe she does when she's at home? I have no idea, but now my ears are perked up and listening closely!

Also, I rather ambitiously offered to pick him up early and teach him how to read (or at least get him started with proper phonics) this summer. Wish me luck.

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