My Loncon panels

Jul. 28th, 2014 06:51 am
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
(The whole guide is here: http://guide.loncon3.org/  I am currently failing at reading it, but I've got a few weeks.  I also think I have some reading and rereading to do in preparation.)

"We have always fought": warriors vs llamas

Sunday 16:30 - 18:00, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)

In a Hugo-nominated essay published on Aidan Moher's blog A Dribble of Ink in 2013, Kameron Hurley argued that in order to challenge prevailing narratives of women as passive adjuncts to men, we must write more stories that reflect the genuine history of women's involvement in war and conflict. (How) is this being pursued in contemporary SFF? What are the strategies being used by writers to turn the stories we tell about women into stories about warriors, rather than - as Hurley put it - llamas?

Jeanne Gomoll (M), Rachel Coleman, Kristina Knaving, Liesel Schwarz, Rebecca Levene

The Politics of the Culture

Monday 11:00 - 12:00, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)

In her review of Look to Windward, Abigail Nussbaum suggests that the central paradox of Iain M Banks' Culture is that it is "both a force for goodness, freedom, and happiness in the galaxy, and an engine of its citizens' selfish, childish needs to imbue their lives with meaning, to which end they will cause any amount of suffering ... both are true, and both are reductive." To what extent is the Culture, as a political entity, built around this unresolvable duality? How do the Culture novels grapple with the contradictions at the heart of this utopia? And how do the actions of the Culture connect with the more immediate political choices we face in the present world?

David Dingwall (M), Rachel Coleman, Ken MacLeod, Gemma Thomson, Lalith Vipulananthan Lal


School uniform audit

Jul. 27th, 2014 09:11 am
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I think we started the school year with 6 each of trousers, polo shirts, jumpers.
We end it with: 5 trousers (1 with a tiny hole in the knee), 3 polo shirts, 1 jumper.

I think this is the worst yet for losing things.   At least the jumpers were all cheap ones? (Because I left restocking to the last minute last summer and my preferred supplier had sold out of everything - trying not to do that this year, but maybe I should just go cheap anyway if this is the rate of attrition.)

Also C is still apparently in the same school uniform size as last year.  What are the odds of him doing a growth spurt at the start of next term?
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
(A tidied-up, expanded, written-down version of a conversation I had enthusing about them to [livejournal.com profile] fanf at the weekend.)

Read more... )

feeling

Jul. 20th, 2014 09:05 am
brainwane: spinner rack of books, small table, and cushy brown chair beside a window in my living room (living room)
[personal profile] brainwane
I'm in Boston visiting a few friends, and wow, it's been too long since I just spent several unstructured hours sitting around talking with friends, one-on-one, without worrying about the next talk to get to. I have been too tightly wound.

I realized that I've had more distinct jobs (even full-time jobs) than romantic relationships, and that this differentiates me from folks who have had more relationship experiences than jobs.

Intense friend-feeling is weird! I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I feel embarrassment when I tell a friend how intensely I care about them, and it's doubly embarrassing in public. The other day, on the Hacker School chat network, Julia Evans thanked me for sharing a useful resource on a topic she had been thinking about, and I burst out, "I could live my whole life just trying to create and curate and give you the resources that you are about to need, like rolling a carpet out in front of you, and that would be a worthwhile life." And then felt really vulnerable. What if people think I am in love with her? I'm not! What if she thinks I feel too strongly and am creepy? (She reacted happily so I do not think she thinks this.) I bet non-English languages are better at this, or maybe English registers or dialects or discourses that I'm not used to.

A friend asked me what is most meaningful to me in art, what it is in art that affects me. I slightly got at this when I wrote about what I like and do not like in fiction, but I also ended up saying: seeing some bit of the human experience, described or shown, that I deeply recognize and/or that I've never seen put that way before. And then, what changes me? Travel and music and sex and meditation, which get past my word-shields, I think.

I feel as though I am the most sentimental person I know, aside from my mother.

A few of us were talking about Seth Schoen, and about open source culture. He was my first open sourcey friend and the guy who got me into All Of This. He is my origin story. And he is a gentle hippie who loves to teach and who exuded calm and kindness whenever I asked a question. So I suppose I thought he was what FLOSSy types are like. And then some of my friends came in a different way, and imprinted on shouty people and rose in hierachies where articulating your anger scored you points, gave you cred, got other people to pay attention to you.

A friend has just made me oatmeal. Post.

Beginning of the end

Jul. 19th, 2014 09:53 am
rmc28: (nursing)
[personal profile] rmc28
I am trying not to feed Nico except in his bed now.  I have also started trying to refuse/redirect feeding except at bedtime/overnight.  This follows a shift to never-offer-never-refuse from when he was about 18 months, and explicitly refusing to feed him at nursery pickup (waiting until we got home) a few months after that.

As a result, I no longer need to choose my clothing by whether I can breastfeed in it, which was especially useful in yesterday's record heatwave when I could wear the lightest work-appropriate clothes I owned.

I'm some way off stopping breastfeeding outright and I have mixed feelings about finishing. Breastfeeding is one of the things my body seems to do well and that feels good, and I will no doubt miss it when it's gone.  On the other hand, I have spent 7.5 of the last 8.5 years either pregnant or breastfeeding, and more than half of that year off I was focused on getting pregnant again.  It will be both strange and good to have my body entirely to myself again.

Wednesday reading

Jul. 16th, 2014 08:49 am
rmc28: (books2010)
[personal profile] rmc28
Finished in the last fortnight
Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
Prisoner by Lia Silver
The Rhesus Chart by Charles Stross
Longbourn by Jo Baker
The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

Currently reading
I just finished The Suffragette Scandal, I haven't made progress on either Bad Spell in Yurt or Infidel in weeks.  So right now - nothing!

New acquisitions
Prisoner by Lia Silver
The Rhesus Chart by Charles Stross
The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan
Unveiled by Courtney Milan
Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan
Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan
Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan
Star Wars: Hard Contact by Karen Traviss

Next books
Saga and/or the rest of the new Courtney Milan acquisitions

I really liked The Suffragette Scandal, as I have the others in its "Brothers Sinister" series.  They're slightly AU historical romances, set in the ~1870s, with women being awesome at maths, science and politics, and with Cambridge settings for at least three of them.  (And Oxford settings for two.)   I also like that I can buy them from Smashwords without DRM. 

The other five Courtney Milans I bought are on offer at 99c (which appears to translate to 72p on Amazon) until 25th July, and are "enhanced" versions of her first five books, of which I think I've read one at the library some time ago.  Sadly they aren't available through Smashwords so it's your choice of DRM-infested sales venues.



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Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Nebula. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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