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|Thursday, May 23rd, 2013|
|The Care and Feeding of Shira at Wiscon
Totally copied and pasted from last year, with minor updatery.Say hi!
I know a lot of people! This means I will often be with people. Please do not let this dissuade you from coming up and saying hi - my friends are friendly people too! I may take a sec to recognize you, or I may recognize you instantly. It will be a surprise to all of us, what happens. Seriously, though, I do love meeting people, and I'll be sad if I don't get to meet you, so come say hi. I'll be the short one.No, really, I'll be the short one.
4'11". Further data: Curly calico hair that currently wanders down to midback, burgundy cats-eye-ish glasses. Curvy. Gender
I identify as genderqueer, but I use female pronouns. Some people can totally tell when I'm feeling more on the male side of the gender spectrum, and some can't; I don't expect you to. Keeping in mind that I'm not cisgender is good enough for me. Please don't.
* Wiscon is less crowded than other cons, so my startle reflex is less primed, but still: grabbing or hugging me from behind or playing Guess Who will not work out in a way that you enjoy. I would love to hug you! Make sure I know you're there first.
* Having my hair played with is a very intimate thing. If you're not sure if we're that intimate, we're probably not. If you think we might be, ask. :)
* No photographs, please! If you do catch a bit of me in a photo you must post to Facebook, don't tag me.Logistics
I'm arriving Thursday afternoon, leaving Monday. If you don't have my cell phone number and feel that you require it, e-mail me.My body wants to kill me.
* Seizure response info can be found here
* I am not currently on anti-seizure medication, because pretty much the last possible AED started to give me unlivable side effects. I am managing my epilepsy in my own way, and I've been able to keep my seizures as well controlled as they were with the drugs. I am not seeking advice; I'm doing fine, thank you!
* I have celiac disease. This makes the "feeding' part of "care and feeding" difficult. I believe Wiscon's restaurant guide has a list of GF-friendly restaurants. I would love
to go to lunch or dinner with you. Please understand that when I need to know what restaurant first, it's not that I'm being a diva, it's just that I don't want to be sick for a week. If I say no, it's not that I don't love you, it's that I'm not sure about my ability to eat safely where you're going. You don't have to amend your dinner plans for me, it's cool, we can hang out later! Indian food tends to be safe, and there's an Italian place nearby that has GF pasta.Where I'll Be
Dishing out cookies at the Gathering, on my panels, at my reading! I will be attending the Queers Dig Time Lords/Outer Alliance party for sure - most parties, really! - and Genderfloomp. I'll probably be bouncing merrily along the sixth floor all night. Like Edward Bloom, I am a social person.My ScheduleFriday
Coffee, Tea, and Subversion (1pm-4pm; the Gathering): Enjoy coffee, tea, ice water, and/or cookies! Members of the Interstitial Arts Foundation serve up refreshments and a bit of chat about the interstitial arts and the work of the Foundation.
Women's Speculative Poetry Now (9pm): Ursula K. Le Guin publishes Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems; Tracy K. Smith's science fiction-y collection Life on Mars wins a Pulitzer; Aqueduct issues The Moment of Change, an anthology of feminist speculative verse. If you were standing at the intersection of poetry and speculative fiction, 2012 was an interesting year. In this roundtable, poets, critics, and editors take turns briefly addressing several interlocking questions: What are the most interesting developments in 21st century speculative poetry by women? Where's the action—what magazines, presses, and virtual / physical communities are fostering those trends? What are the audiences—how are these poets reaching readers and listeners? We'll devote much of the allotted time to an exploratory conversation involving the roundtable audience.Saturday
Open Secrets: A Speculative Poetry Reading (2:30pm): Members of the Secret Poetry Cabal (a speculative poetry group) will read their work.
Spindles and Spitfire (4pm): Join us for a reading packed full of sinister whimsy, hidden hearts, folkloric sensibilities and SNACKS! Lisa Bradley dances with the skeletons in her closet. Shira Lipkin will apparently write anything if you dare her to on Twitter. Alex Dally MacFarlane works at a spindle of bones and gold. Patty Templeton writes hellpunk in a handbasket, full of ghosts, freaks and fools.Sunday
Exclusion and Inclusion, or Kicking People Out: A How-To Guide (10am): Often efforts to make spaces welcoming are confounded by an unwillingness to expel people who are already there. We'll discuss the issues involved in creating communities that are less alienating. How do we in fandom balance a desire not to explicitly exclude with the need to prevent implicit exclusion? How do we handle the backlash from active exclusion? What role do allies play in establishing and enforcing policies? How are opportunities for education balanced against the exhaustive requirement of providing that education? How do issues of age and ageism complicate these questions? And how do we actually say "you aren't welcome back"?
A Very Special Disability Panel (1pm): You've seen these panelists present on disability, impairment, abl(e)ism, normate bigotry, and similar weighty subjects. That won't happen here. Using a gameshow format, they'll explore vital topics including the silliest, the least effective, the most deadly, the sexiest, and the hardest to clean. The only reference to the social (justice) model of disability will be right here, in this sentence.
As usual, if you can only come to one thing, come to my reading
! And the Very Special Disability panel - I'm really looking forward to that one!
I hope to see you there! <3
|Things I was somehow unaware of:
Alexandre Dumas was mixed-race. His grandmother, Marie-Cessette Dumas, was a slave in Haiti. His father, Alex Dumas, was a war hero who was the highest ranking black officer in a Western country until General Colin Powell. (Well, he was tied with Toussaint Louverture, who was the SECOND black man to be general-in-chief of a French Army.) And who, even as a general, would lead extraordinarily dangerous commando raids. Because he was just that badass.
There is evidence that Haitian voodoo includes aspects of commedia del'arte characters in their versions of the Loa.
I'm reading The Black Count
by Tom Reiss. I'm only on page 43, and my entire impression of 18th century French Caribbean culture is, well, not OVERTHROWN, but definitely modified. You've got both the incredibly brutal "use 'em up until they die and replace 'em" sugar plantation slavery -- but you've ALSO got a class of well-educated, well-respected, highly cultured free black and mixed-race people.
History is always weirder, cooler, and more interesting than we think.
In addition to the panels below, I'll be reading and discussing world-building with Juliette Wade. Look for announcement in the daily newsletter (and we'll try to put up flyers).Women in Science Fiction
on Friday at 2:00 PM in San Tomas (with Sarah Stegall, Ann Wilkes (M), Sandra Saidak). Panelists discuss interesting women in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other speculative fiction, both as characters and as writers. Young Adult Fiction:
More than Blanking-out the Sex on Friday at 4:00 PM in Alameda (with Sarah Stegall, Ingrid Paulson (M)). Young Adult Fiction is a rapidly growing sub-genre. What does it take to write YA, and how is it different from either children's or adult fiction? Deep Reading, Deep Listening
on Saturday at 4:00 PM in Saratoga (with Dave Trowbridge (M)). The un-panel where everyone is on the panel. A structured listening experience for fans and pros to share the book that changed their lives. See more details at: http://www.davetrowbridge.com/2011/11/when-a-book-can-change-you-forever/
Notes: Only Deborah J. Ross and Dave Trowbridge will facilitate this time. Due to room size, only the first 12 people to sign up will be admitted. Sign up begins at 4 pm on Friday at the Info Desk. Sex in Space
on Sunday at 4:00 PM in Alameda [You are moderating.] (with G. David Nordley, Howard Davidson, Art Bozlee, Ann Wilkes). Kind of self-explanatory - 'nuff said!
|Link: Daniel Dennett's seven tools for thinking
Via Will Shetterly.
I admire this man's generosity of spirit and wish more people would follow his precepts:2 RESPECT YOUR OPPONENT
Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticising the views of an opponent? If there are obvious contradictions in the opponent's case, then you should point them out, forcefully. If there are somewhat hidden contradictions, you should carefully expose them to view – and then dump on them. But the search for hidden contradictions often crosses the line into nitpicking, sea-lawyering and outright parody. The thrill of the chase and the conviction that your opponent has to be harbouring a confusion somewhere encourages uncharitable interpretation, which gives you an easy target to attack.
But such easy targets are typically irrelevant to the real issues at stake and simply waste everybody's time and patience, even if they give amusement to your supporters. The best antidote I know for this tendency to caricature one's opponent is a list of rules promulgated many years ago by social psychologist and game theorist Anatol Rapoport.
How to compose a successful critical commentary:
1. Attempt to re-express your target's position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: "Thanks, I wish I'd thought of putting it that way."
2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
One immediate effect of following these rules is that your targets will be a receptive audience for your criticism: you have already shown that you understand their positions as well as they do, and have demonstrated good judgment (you agree with them on some important matters and have even been persuaded by something they said). Following Rapoport's rules is always, for me, something of a struggle…
Daniel Dennett's seven tools for thinking
I have a schedule! I may add to it, especially if I can get an autograph session. If you are planning on attending the con this is where I will be. Look me up.
1. The One Thing That I'd Change in the Constitution on Friday at 2:00 PM in Lafayette [You are moderating.]
(with James Stanley Daugherty, Jeremy Lassen, Robert Toland)
Every few years, some group calls for a Constitutional Convention to "fix" the Constitution. We've only amended it 27 times in over 220 years, and the first 10 amendments, the Bill of Rights, happened right out of the gate. What changes would our panelists be interested in, and why?
2. Fairy Tales and Mythology on Saturday at 2:00 PM in Winchester
(with Juliette Wade, Karen Williams, Jenna M. Pitman (M), Margaret McGaffey Fisk, Beth Barany)
What are we teaching our children about the fairy tales and mythology in today's media, or even as bedtime stories? Are we staying true, or drifting?
3. Themed Reading: Urban Fantasy II on Saturday at 4:00 PM in Central
(with Leslie E.H. Light, Colin Fisk, Jon DeCles, Jay Hartlove)
4. How to Tell one Dragon from another on Sunday at 11:00 AM in San Tomas
(with Audrey Kiehtreiber (M), Pat MacEwen, Chaz Brenchley)
Not all dragons are alike. Simple mistakes in taxonomy can be dangerous to your plot line or your health. In this panel we present dragons in history, myth, and folklore from Asia to New Age.
|too. many. books.
I know it’s blasphemy, but argh, there are too. many. books. in this house. Between Christmas and EasterCon, I (we, but I cop to it: *I*) had some significant Bookstores Accidents, and while this is most of the time merely inconvenient because there are never enough shelves, when I’m facing moving, all I can really wonder is why I didn’t bloody well buy digital copies of ALL THESE BOOKS.
I mean, I know why. It’s far, far more satisfying to go browse and buy physical books than it is to do the same with e-books. And the local bookstore from which I prefer to buy books doesn’t have an e-storefront, so I can’t even go browse and then order digital copies and keep the money flowing to Chapters. And I *do* bring loads of books back to the secondhand shop for credit (thus compounding the problem in one way, but nevermind that right now), but right now I have a *ton* of unread books, which obviously are not best for trading in.
I suppose all I can do is either pack them up or spend the next few weeks reading frantically. I mean, there’re what, maybe 30 books max, I could no doubt read them all–well, in a week, if I could just flop down and read without interruption, but ahahahah.
Maybe I should make a list and have people vote on the order I should read them in. Or maybe I should just START READING.
In the meantime, I really should instigate a rule of only buying one book by an author in hardcopy (because it’s easier/more fun to browse/discover that way), and if I like it, buy the rest digitally. I’m doing that with Rachel Caine’s Morganville books…
(x-posted from The Essential Kit)
|"it seems that all my bridges have been burnt / but you say that's exactly how this grace thing work
It's shading into late May without the ice having broken on the Santa Cruz River -- which is local idiom for reaching 100°F. Not that the Santa Cruz has had water through the year for a century, but that doesn't stop us from pretending. The point being that hovering in the mid-90s this long means we're having a relatively mild month -- and indeed, the smaller cacti are still blooming in yellows and reds and magentas, and the tall saguaro are still getting started on trumpeting white at the world.
This morning, though, the mountains were hazed, and distinctly fainter to the northeast -- bringing out the folds and ridges of the landscape. And in the air, the distinct tang of pine smoke.
It's started: wildfire season.
There were spiders dropping down from the ceiling and into my wife’s cleavage. The wall behind her was a huge, stretched expanse of hairy green flesh, breathing slowly in and out. Phantom janitors stole in and out at the edges of my vision, sweeping in places they could not possibly stand and then vanishing when I tried to talk to them.
And my response was, “Oh. That’s interesting, what my brain is doing.”
These ridiculous hallucinations happened during my extremely traumatic 52-hour post-surgery recovery phase, when I was in tremendous pain and could not sleep. And yet, I think about the only other time I hallucinated, having dropped acid on a very hot summer’s night… and I found it disappointing. Yes, my vision was flexing and distorting, and I witnessed all sorts of curious artifacts as my brain’s visual processing center went into overload – but I quietly dissected each illusion, breaking it down into its interesting components, and in such a way I reduced what could have been a wild trip down into a series of interesting quirks.
I don’t really hallucinate, I don’t think. I know what my brain is up to. And today, I realized why:
It’s because I’m a depressive. I don’t trust my brain.
My brain has been a chronic liar for years, telling me how everyone hates me (when they don’t), how I’ve never accomplished anything of any note (I have), and how the world would be better off if I just killed myself (unproven, but I use the other two false conclusions to keep that one in the “bad idea” zone). I live a very strict life of having to double-check every input my brain gives me, for it routinely distorts a mundane “Oh!” into an encoded “You suck, Steinmetz, everything you ever liked was a fraud.” If I don’t, well, I ruin my life.
So when my brain starts providing false visual information, I do the same thing: I question it. I compare it to reality. And if it doesn’t make sense, I ignore it.
This makes me a little sad. I mean, it did protect me from a full-fledged freakout when I was in the hospital… but it means that while others experience an exultant joy with acid and peyote and other crazy drugs, seeing the face of God, I’ll never be able to flow with that illusion. They can trust what their brains give them, accepting most inputs safely and without harm, and so when some external source causes the brain to deliver crazy input, they can just run amuck with it like a kid whirling on a playground.
I’m off to the side. Analyzing. Breaking it down. Questioning relentlessly. Because that’s my survival. That’s what I do.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/304609.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.
|The Greatest 20th Century Symphonists You've Never Heard Of. Post 1: Kurt Atterberg
(This series of posts is dedicated to sartorias
, to whom I promised them last November)
The title above is only valid for certain values of "you," of course, but I expect that few of these composers will be known to the casual classical listener. By "greatest," I mean they wrote works which move me as the canonically great 19th century symphonies do: with fluid and subtle construction, strong and varied emotions, and memorable melodic material imaginatively presented and developed. For me, a great work of music has to click in my brain: after only a few listenings (and I want many of them) I find I've essentially memorized it: at all times while listening to it, I know what's about to happen next, and that something makes sense in context. At the same time, these works are modern
: they have the sound of their time, and are unmistakable for earlier work. Jean Sibelius, Carl Nielsen, Serge Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Ralph Vaughan Williams are great 20th century symphonists by my standards, and these names belong in their company. (Note: most of the links that follow are directly to YouTube audio files.)
For this post, we have Kurt Atterberg
(1887-1974). ( Lots of sound clips under hereCollapse )
|a small but heartfelt rant
An old friend of mine, who happens to be a minister, posted the following link to her facebook page:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/pope-francis-good-atheists_n_3320757.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
"Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics"Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists.My friend, who is a genuinely good person, was pleased by this, as though it was a good thing. And yeah, compared to "all who are not devout Catholic are going to hell" I guess it is. Anything that cuts down on the justifications for abuse is a good thing. Far better behavior than his unlamented-by-many predecessor.
Like the Mormons posthumously "baptizing" Jews and claiming them for their heaven, this strikes me as vaguely offensive chutzpah. He's saying "it doesn't matter what YOU believe, we're going to co-opt you anyway through OUR belief." And I'm not sure how that's supposed to make us feel better about our relations with the Church.
Dude. Try asking. If we want to convert, we will. if we don't, we've got our exit plan worked out already, thanks.
|[cancer] The feet are always the first to go
Yesterday was my turn to cook here at Rio Hondo. I made momos, with a substantial assist from David Levine
and Carrie Vaughn
. In the kitchen cooking, which takes a while, my feet gave out. There's no other way to describe it. @dratz
came to my rescue, took over the cooking and final meal prep on my behalf, while I lay on the couch. Even sitting at the table eating dinner with my feet on the floor was painful, so I retreated once more to the couch before going to bed early.
The best I can describe it is that the skin irritations produced by Vectibix
sometimes express themselves as very tender, painful calluses on my feet. Being on my feet so much yesterday afternoon put so much pressure on those calluses that I could not be on my feet any more.
Next Monday, I start Regorafenib
, a medication which is much harder on the feet (and hands) than Vectibix. This is only a taste of things to come.
Cancer erodes me, piece by piece, until there will be nothing left of me but laboring breath and the last guttering sparks of my will to live.
|[links] Link salad can still taste the momos
Relay For Life
— Robin Silver raises funds to fight cancer.Kicked out of the mall — for an anti-cancer hat
— The most insensitive mall cops ever aggressively escort out two teens who just lost their mom
. That's family friendly, alright. (Via shsilver
and others.)The 5 Ugly Lessons Hiding in Every Superhero Movie
— Interesting. (Snurched from Andrew Wheeler
.) German software firm recruiting autistic workers
— German software firm SAP is recruiting autistic workers. To help the company hire autistic workers, SAP has hired Specialisterne. Together, SAP and Specialisterne will recruit individuals with autism that can work as software testers, programmers and data quality assurance specialists.Pavlof Volcano, Alaska Peninsula
— Oooh, pretty.What the State Birds Should Be
— Seven cardinals but no hawks? Come on!
(Via JL)Bitcoin Hits the Big Time, to the Regret of Some Early Boosters
— The first major conference for the digital currency suggests it is gaining legitimacy, but in a manner disappointing to some early enthusiasts.Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD
— (Snurched from Freakonomics
.)Tornadoes and Global Warming: Is There a Connection?
— Will the future bring more twisters to Oklahoma and Tornado Alley?
The science isn't clear yet, on account of unlike politics, science doesn't make up its mind in advance of the evidence.Portland, Oregon rejects drinking water fluoridation by wide margin
— Public health measure goes down amid vague concerns about safety and purity.
Even progressives can be idiots.Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics
— Why does any religion get to claim the good done by non-believers. Christ really didn't die for me, or for anyone else who isn't a Christian. While I surely appreciate the gesture of tolerance, it encloses a spike of arrogance. (Thanks to Danny Adams
.)Atheist lawmaker opened with Carl Sagan quote instead of prayer
— (Via shsilver
and others.)Ken Cuccinelli Loses Petition To Uphold Anti-Sodomy Law
— Yeah, pushing for a ban on oral sex is certainly one way to make the GOP more popular.Dear Oklahoma: We Feel for you, we love you, but do us some favors
— Shorter version: As you sow, so shall you reap. Unfortunately, the rest of America also reaps what you sow. So, sow better.Reaching the 'weather weapon' stage
— [T]he guy raising the specter of Obama using "weather weapons" to kill Oklahomans is the same guy helping influence several Republican policymakers in 2013.
Another of the many reasons why rational human beings everywhere think American conservatives are absolute lunatics. The GOP and its politicians embrace this kind of mind-melting insanity instead of rejecting it out of hand. (Via shellyrae
QotD?: Eaten Tibetan lately?
Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (WRPA editing, otherwise on workshop time)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block scamming disaster aid slush funds: 0
Currently reading: Night Watch
by Terry Pratchett
|Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013|
|Thursday, May 23rd, 2013|
|Book Fundraiser for Oklahoma
* Literati Literature Lovers Blog
is doing a fundraiser for the Red Cross to benefit communities affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. Donate and enter to win signed books by a bunch of different authors. I've contributed signed copies of Emilie and the Hollow World
, The Cloud Roads
, The Serpent Sea
, The Siren Depths
, and Wheel of the Infinite
They're hoping to raise $2500 by June 7. Please pass the info on.
* It's not part of the drawing above, but if you want to help displaced and injured animals too, you can donate to the Animal Resource Center of Oklahoma City
and Pet Food Pantry