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Jul. 24th, 2017 07:48 am[personal profile] copperbadge
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon reminds us that the 2017-18 school year is coming, and [tumblr.com profile] positivelypt has a post up with links to wishlists for underserved classrooms. You can check out the list, give, and reblog here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] globalsextrendsproject, who are working on an independent research projected aimed at establishing whether there are global trends in stimuli for sexual arousal and the content of sexual fantasies. You can read more and reblog here or fill out the form here. I took a quick breeze through the form and it's primarily short-answer rather than multiple choice, once you get past the demographic stuff.


[tumblr.com profile] stabulous has a post up about Welcome Blanket, a project initiated by the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago and anti-Trump craftivists. They are asking people to send handmade blankets to be exhibited at the Smart and afterwards distributed to refugees and immigrants arriving in the US. The hope is to create 3200 blankets to equal the length of the wall Trump wants to build across the US-Mexico border. You can read more at the link above, and find out how to participate at the official site, which includes activism resources whether you want to actually send in a blanket or not.

News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Creative Commons, which is offering grants of up to USD$1000 for small projects ("Salons, campaigns, translations, e-books, printing, collaborations, and more") which grow the global commons. They want help increasing discovery, collaboration, and advocacy towards their mission. You can read more and apply for a grant here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara's new comic available on ComixOlogy, [Super]Natural Attraction! Kara is well-known to me as a groovy artist who does cool stuff so while I haven't read this yet I wholeheartedly recommend her work. She has a rebloggable post about it here and you can buy and read it here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
copperbadge: (Default)
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2gQid4Q
copperbadge: (Default)
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2uB78KA

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:48 am[personal profile] copperbadge
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] sleepyheathen needs to make next month's rent and is selling items, offering commissions, accepting donations, and has an Amazon wishlist up. You can read more, purchase, or reblog here, or donate via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] tony-in-distress is trying to escape an abusive situation and hoping to take her siblings with her. She needs to raise enough money for a deposit on a safe house for her and her siblings to live in. You can read more and help out here.

Anon is raising funds to help a friend cover debt and pay for legal bills after her abusive husband took custody of their youngest son. You can read more and give here; unfortunately due to Australian law apparently they can't provide much information.

Sarah Sadat had to leave her job recently due to stress and is facing mounting medical bills for a failing kidney and previous hospitalization; she has surgery scheduled for next month, and is fundraising to help cover medical and other bills. You can read more and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] ohstephyy was let go from a job three months ago and hasn't been able to get another one; there are also other costs coming up to cover. You can read more and reblog here; a paypal address is available at the post.

[personal profile] laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for [personal profile] kuwdora, a talented vidder who is trying to become a professional editor. She has an opportunity for professional coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but can't afford the expenses on her own. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] tiarasnteakettles who is looking for work as a harpist, including attempting to purchase a harp that would be a massive upgrade from her current instrument and allow her more freedom in performance. You can read more about her situation and reblog here, including links to her Patreon and online store and Paypal donation address.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] wanderlust-anthology, an upcoming anthology of reimagined myths, legends, and folklore based on the theme Quests and Journeys. They are looking for creators for this anthology, which will be a full-color printed book with stories, comics, and artwork. You can read more at their tumblr or at the FAQ here; sign-ups close July 30th.


Riel is looking for a roommate in Austin, TX to share a townhouse; she and the other roommate (male) are both grad students, and they do have a cat. Riel is very fandom-friendly. Lease starts in August. You can check out the townhouse here and get in touch at ariellayendler at gmail.com.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
copperbadge: (Default)
A mango mixed jelly freeze from Chinatown is the best decision I have made all week.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2unZTVL
copperbadge: (Default)
My parents signed me up for Nextdoor, which is like some kind of community-based mini facebook, and I am signed up in their neighborhood, which is (as we have established) The Boondocks.

I don’t mind belonging to their Nextdoor, it means that I will be kept abreast of local news, but also the local news is hilarious. 

The latest messages concern a HEATED DISCUSSION about hoof trimming because someone posted asking if anyone knows a farrier who will trim miniature horse hooves, which apparently most farriers have some kind of BASELESS PREJUDICE against according to this poster. Battle lines are quickly being drawn between the various camps including:

Miniature horses don’t need hoof maintenance the way regular horses do
Miniature horses ABSOLUTELY need hoof maintenance you monsters
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves ain’t shit
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves have their reasons
Miniature horses are some bullshit
Everybody shut up about miniature horses
I Have A Miniature Horse For Sale

I can’t wait to see who wins. I suspect it will be me. 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2tKmpaV

Hey, so I'm still here

Jul. 13th, 2017 09:26 am[personal profile] iamshadow
iamshadow: Five pointed star surrounded by shattered glass from the Cap 2 credits. (Glass star)
So, here's a potted summary of stuff, I'll probably forget some things and may update as necessary.

* We have given up Hill End, for good. My furniture should arrive today and be put for the most part into Mum's new shed, in case it's needed in the future. I'd like to say I'm gutted about losing it, but to be honest, I'm just glad it's over. It was such a stress trigger for the past three or so years that hopefully, I'll be able to step back from it now and move on.

* My mental health has not been good. My anxiety has been super bad. Got six sessions with a psych, eventually, which was... ineffective at best. She was not a bad person, just not what I needed. I'm moving on, on my own. I have plans that aren't conventional, but then, I need something outside the conventional. I am implementing some longterm goals.

- Books: Read more, buy less, ditch the baggage (Have begun on this with the best of intentions at author surname AA - Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch)
- Try to get back into exercising (I've put back on about 6kg)
- Seek adult ADHD dx (I need this. Having a self-dx is no longer enough. I need professional support and guidance. For now, reading You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy 2nd Ed and have Delivered From Distraction waiting in the wings.)
- Colouring in (I know it's a trope and the world has moved on, but I used to draw and colour ALL THE TIME to cope, all through school and into my early adulthood and just starting on a page in a book I paid under $20 for was so hard that I know it's important for me to work this back into my life.)
- Write. (I've begun what may be an autobiographical novel or may just be me writing out the noise that's in my head. It's unclear yet if it's something I ever tidy up and show anyone, but showing it's the point of it, right now.)
- Knit. I recently delivered a whole bunch of knit stuff to Wayside Chapel, and am continuing to knit more. I know it sounds strange, but I need to knit, and knitting for charity means I can do the thing without wondering where I'm going to keep it all. Also, long term goal of stashbusting.
- Tarot. (I know this sounds weird, but I know it's a way that I can use. For me, tarot has never been about magic, it's about finding answers and direction within yourself. It's about focusing in on a particular thing you might otherwise overlook without a prompt. I was on the lookout for my tarot cards, which I'd owned since I was in my teens. When I found them, they'd been destroyed. Completely unusable. So I knew I wanted to replace them. I managed to find a set identical to mine on eBay, which, great, but I also found another set, a newer, completely different set, that called to me-as-I-am-now the way the old set had called to me-as-a-teen. So, after some discussion, I have ordered both. Mum is paying for them, as it was her neglect of my belongings that led to the destruction of the old set and so many of my other things. They should both arrive early next month. My old set was the Celtic Dragon Tarot. The new is the Wild Unknown Tarot. They're both incredibly beautiful, slightly unconventional decks that have art that sings to me and should hopefully help me in my life. I'm not at this moment planning on buying more, but ones I also covet are the Welcome To Night Vale Tarot, the Earthbound Oracle and the Next World Tarot. So gorgeous.)

* Have been watching a bunch of Vera (we have the season 1-6 box set) in anticipation of season 7 on Foxtel. Also have box sets waiting of Agents of SHIELD 2-3, Once Upon A Time 4-5, and a bunch of other films and Marvel stuff to watch. Feeling more open to new stuff, now, since the anxiety is bearable right now. I loved Wonder Woman, and am definitely buying it on release, in steelbook if they have one. We haven't seen Spider-Man yet - we're waiting on pay day.

* The animals are all doing okay. Pip is old and arthritic, but isn't so underweight as he was around Christmas. The boy kittens are up for desexing in the next week or so, as we have discount certificates for them as part of a drive by the Animal Welfare League. They're sleek and affectionate and Sam in particular loves cuddles and purring really loudly. We think they're about eight months old. Nick, their mother, is fat! Fluffy, but also fat. We're having to watch how much food we put down in a day, because she'll scoff the lot. I feel better about her being fat than I did about her starving in our front garden, as she was until about February, when she relocated to the back yard.

* The tomatoes are still alive, but fruiting less now that the winter's fully here. The nasturtium is still vigorous, the chillis are delicious, the kale is too little to harvest yet and the rhubarb needs using, because it's loevly, and I keep forgetting. The sage is beautiful and the lavender I thought I'd killed in the summer is thriving. We have so much citrus fruit. Lemons and blood oranges, limes and makrut limes, and so many mandarins it's silly. I must make marmalade or citrus butter or something.

* Emma has had bad days and better days and bad patches that she's just had to wait out or slog through. She's got back into hydrotherapy, which is good, and has a great GP right now, which is getting the ball rolling on a lot of things she's needed for decades, but those things are stressful in their own way, too. She's had to be dealing with my problems, too, which I know she doesn't resent or anything, but it doesn't make it easier on her when I'm not as able to help her out as I would be were I well. I want to be well - for her, but also, for me too. I'm tired of everything being so hard, and I'm ready to force a change in my life, even if it's the hardest thing I've done.

January 2013

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