About

29 · non-binary (they/them) · neurodiverse · spoonie · queer femme · NSO & trainee zebra · polyamorous · burned-out activist · geek.



♥ coffee ♥ roller derby ♥ photography ♥ knitting ♥ exploring ♥ creating ♥

Jul. 28th, 2017 02:47 pm

The most bourgeois hotel room in Kiev

sabotabby: (lolmarx)
[personal profile] sabotabby
We're heading out for lunch as soon as the dude can get the AC working, but in the meantime behold the "VIP suite," in which we will spend our last evening in Kiev. We are pretty sure Soviet dignitaries stayed here and they haven't touched the room since:

enjoy
Jul. 28th, 2017 12:31 pm

History

liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (mini-me)
[personal profile] liv
I don't normally care whether people read my links or not, but I would very much like it if as wide an audience as possible saw [personal profile] sovay's post I was anticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry, about visiting an exhibition of photos from the Lodz ghetto. The subject matter is the Holocaust / Shoah.

I don't know my family history as well as Sovay does. All my great-grandparents were in England by 1900, so none of my close relatives were directly involved. I'm in a similar position that I'm pretty sure there are third etc cousins of mine who should exist but don't. The people who should have been their ancestors might be in the photos; there probably were people related to me among those murdered in Poland, no idea if they were in Lodz specifically.

Whichever Nazi it was that claimed 'a million deaths is a statistic', the scale matters in a different way. That is, one person murdered because of who they are is already too many, but once you get into the millions, everybody is affected. Every Jewish person with any European connections at all might, it's probably best to assume they do, have missing relatives. Every part of history since 1930 is marked by that mass murder.

Anyway. I have more to say but I'm not sure I want to say it on a public post, and you're better reading the linked post anyway.
Tags:
Jul. 28th, 2017 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 28-07-2017

miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Jul. 28th, 2017 01:12 am

(no subject)

dancefloorlandmine: Me pointing at camera (Kitchener)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
This is quite an interesting and convoluted tale ...

The Hijacking of the Brillante Virtuoso
Jul. 27th, 2017 08:46 pm

2017, #76, "Sovereign", April Daniels

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Second in Daniels' Nemesis series. Was looking forward to it after having read the first. Now looking even much more forward to #3 in the series, even if I occasionally would like to shout "oh no, you're being an idiot" at the words on the page. But, they describe plausible happenings and misconstruing of behaviour that, well, maybe is more apparent to an external observer.

We're basically continuing "super-powered capers" that the first book was quite full of. With a side-line of court cases, politics and the like.

Ought to work well as a jump-off point, but why not start one book earlier?
Tags:
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Been a while since I read this. It's still eminently readable. The narrative style is a little bit weird, in that it flips between first-person and third-person, depending on who our POV character is. Thankfully, only one POV character gets first-person and I don't recall any case of third person when the first person POV character is present. o it mostly works out.

We follow a gambler and thief, who hooks up with some slightly dodgy characters claiming to work for the archmage of the wizard island (town?), re-homing ancient artefacts. Our thief comes in for artefacts whose current owners are unwilling to let said re-homing proceed. And of COURSE it's never than easy.

Being the first of McKenna's Tales of Einarinn series, it's a perfect place to start.
Tags:
Jul. 27th, 2017 09:15 pm

Kaunas

sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
I meant for this to be two separate posts: one for the fun stuff, one for the Ninth Fort, which is the most harrowing, emotionally devastating place I have visited since Buchenwald. But of course image hosting isn't cooperating, so unfortunately at the moment, if you want to see the fun pictures, you will also have to see the depressing pictures (which I promise aren't actually that bad, as I only really took exterior shots that are only disturbing if you know the context). This said, here is the gallery, and content/trigger warning for some of the photos being of a place where 30,000-50,000 people were murdered.

(Of course, I have no idea if you can even view the photos. I really need to work out my image hosting issues. Flickr is an impossibility at the moment while I'm out of Canada.)

Anyway! I'm sure somewhere in your mind, you were wondering about the fact that I keep posting pictures of pretty buildings and lovely, walkable cities. Admit it--you expected a bit more Soviet brutalist and you were wondering where it was. The answer is that it's all in Kaunas. Kaunas does have a cute Old Town but the stuff we wanted to see wasn't there, and where we're staying is pure 1960s poured cement. I will admit a slight fondness for it, though I wouldn't want to live there.

Our first stop was the Devil's Museum, which is exactly what it says on the tin. It's an excellent collection of devils of all sorts. Our one criticism is that the gift shop was missing some obvious opportunities as it practically didn't exist.

Then we went across the street to the museum of M. K. Ciurlionis, a Symbolist artist and composer. Cool, not the most exciting, but some lovely work.

We also rode a funicular, which is kind of like an amusement ride except not very good. But it's one of my favourite words now.

The main event was going about a half-hour outside town to the Ninth Fort. It's an early 20th century fort that became a hard labour camp, then a transfer point for deportations to Siberia during the first Soviet occupation of Lithuania, then basically a killing field under the Nazis. The second time the Soviets occupied the country, they turned it into a vast and ghastly monument to the victims of fascism, which subsequently was expanded to include evidence of their own crimes after Lithuania's independence.

I can't really describe it to you properly. Unless you've been in the remnants of a concentration camp or similar, you won't be able to get what it's like to stand in a place that is well and truly haunted by the unquiet dead. The museum consists of one building that's an overview of the atrocities committed on the premises, but focusing mainly on the Soviet occupation, several vast, giant sculptures and plaques describing the Nazi massacres, and the fort itself, which shows prison cells, interrogation rooms, a recreation of a Kaunas Ghetto house, and informational rooms with the requisite belongings of the victims. It's cold, and damp, and good luck ever not feeling that bone-deep chill again. Also, this is why we don't fucking compromise with fascists, okay?

Anyway we coped really well after, which is to say I had 1/3 of a bottle of wine and I'm just about shaking history from my head. Tomorrow it's back to Kiev, and then home.
Jul. 27th, 2017 04:36 pm

Sharing photos

ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
One of the things I've been doing recently is learning photography. I'm getting the hang of a proper camera, and taking a lot of photos and hopefully improving. I've taken a couple of photos I'm really pleased with, and want to share further. Where's a good place for that?

This is what I've thought of: Facebook, but then Colin can't see. Tumblr, but I basically only use tumblr from my phone and that's a bit tricky. Just putting them on public galleries on Google, but I find the permissions hard to get right. Instagram, which seems to be a place for editing photos rather than showing off raw photos?

Any other ideas I didn't think of yet? Or is there a reason I'm just wrong about one of those?
Jul. 27th, 2017 03:46 pm

Music meme: day 17 of 30

liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
A song that you would sing as a duet on karaoke. I don't do karaoke, and I don't do duets, so this is a bit of a non-starter for me.

No, let me explain, because I'm having fun answering this meme in way too much detail. I think karaoke is an absolutely excellent idea in theory. It's really great to encourage people to sing just for fun and not worry about skill level. And it's really great to use technology to play the backing music and display the lyrics so that someone can just get up and sing the melody with little preparation.

The problem is that for me personally, karaoke means packaging up 30 plus years of abject humiliation over not being able to sing in tune, and asking me to enjoy that in public. I find it hard anyway to make myself sing in front of other people; I do it, because I absolutely do believe that music belongs to everybody (not just people who are "musical"), and shared music is a great way for people to connect. Singing in front of an audience who are paying attention to me, or even worse, in a competition, however light-hearted, is too terrifying.

Duets are possibly extra impossible, because singing in unison with someone else is already hard for me. Especially if they have a lower range; I can't really hear octaves, so I find it very difficult to join in with someone singing in the bass clef range. Singing in harmony is really really hard, because not only do I have to sing the correct notes which I always find difficult to remember, I also have to match the note which is very imperfectly in my head while being distracted by my partner singing a different note that my actual ears can hear. I can sometimes do multi-part harmony if there are several people singing each section, so I can listen to someone else who is singing the same line as me. And I'm fine with parts in music in general when I don't have to worry about pitch. But a sung duet is really tricky.

And really, I can think of very few duets that I know at all, for whatever reason, even to listen to. Let's call the whole thing off might work, because (at least in this superlatively great version with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong) it's mostly alternating verses or lines between the two singers rather than harmony. But hypothetically, if I were to find the courage to sing karaoke, I probably wouldn't start with something really amazingly great; somehow I'd feel less bad about murdering some ephemeral extruded pop product than attempting an actually good song.

I will admit, though, that my brother and I have been known to sing Always by Bon Jovi, as a sort of duet, sometimes in public and definitely not caring that neither of us can really sing. Partly because we always liked the dubious rhyme of:
I'll be there til the stars don't shine
Til the heavens burst, and the words don't rhyme
And partly because Bon Jovi can't really sing either, he just projected a persona calculated to appeal to teenaged girls in the 90s. So I probably wouldn't sing it actually in karaoke, and I probably wouldn't sing it with anyone other than my brother, but it seems slightly less impossible than any other options, so I think it seems in the spirit of the meme.

video embed )
Tags:
Jul. 27th, 2017 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 27-07-2017

miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Jul. 26th, 2017 10:06 pm

Mobile game/app recs (part one)

ysobel: (easily distracted)
[personal profile] ysobel
Games

Okay so a few months back, I was going to post about the games (mostly iOS) that I was obsessed with, only then I decided I had to do the Best And Most Thorough Recs Ever. Which sort of made it such a stupendously monumental task that I never did it.

I still may do a more in-depth thing later, but these are my current or recent iOS games. (Some may be available on other platforms, I don't know.)

The Game Formerly Known As Abyssrium

I'm sure they had good reasons for changing the name from Abyssrium (which evoked the premise of a deep-ocean virtual aquarium) to "Tap Tap Fish" (ugh) but the change very nearly kicked it off the list. But ... eh.

Read more... )

#

Zen Koi

Here, fishy fishy fishy. Pretty fishy.

Read more... )

#

Merge Dragons!

This game has taken over my life, I think. I even get the Tetris effect of closing my eyes and seeing MD stuff.

Read more... )

I have more, but this is enough for one post /) I'm not sure whether the remainder will be one post or two.

Feel free to ask me any questions about any of these apps.
Jul. 26th, 2017 08:49 pm

So much for planning

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
The first week of school holidays; a big to-do list to get done at both home and work before Helsinki; in particular a big code push early on Tuesday morning.  I had a whole carefully worked-out schedule of when Tony and I would be at work and on leave and working from home and doing childcare runs.

Early on Monday morning, I woke up very suddenly and proceeded to have a very thorough stomach upset for much of the day.  My boss is the best boss, for taking over and sorting out my Tuesday work for me.  I had to reorganise the cleaner, and my routine bone marrow appointment due today (because taking a potential stomach bug into a ward of cancer patients is distinctly antisocial) and completely redo the who-is-home-when plan for the week.

But I was at least able to work today, and (fingers-crossed) I'll be back in the office tomorrow.

The most exciting thing this week has at least gone to plan so far.  My dad made a flying visit today to collect Nicholas for a long weekend at WOMAD. His first time away from home without a parent in tow; not his first time away from both parents though, and it should be a lot of fun for them both.  I look forward to hearing all about it on Monday.
Jul. 26th, 2017 11:42 am

Returning after long absence

1_mad_squirrel: (Default)
[personal profile] 1_mad_squirrel posting in [community profile] 2017revival
Any Pride and Prejudice or Lost in Austen active communities?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
We rolled into Vilnius, Lithuania just before 10 pm last night after a four-hour long bus ride. It was pouring rain, which is typical for here (apparently the weather is awful in one way or another at least 60% of the time), and late, so we grabbed dinner at a vegetarian bar and crashed out at the hotel. Today, it was supposed to pour--our cab driver assured us that this time, the entire city would be flooded--but our luck held and we were able to do a walking tour of the Old Town and the Republic of Užupis.

Vilnius has a messy, dilapidated charm. I think, perhaps, my lack of bonding with Riga was due to the fact that it's kept in such good repair; letting a city crumble a bit is much more aesthetically pleasing. It's slightly less Westernized--people here speak Russian as much as they do English, though mainly Lithuanian--and just, well, weirder.

photos )
Jul. 26th, 2017 11:28 am

Music meme

[personal profile] swaldman
See here for explanation.

29.A song you remember from your childhood

I thought I'd already done this...
I guess they don't want pre-teen, but a bit later? There's plenty of angsty-late-teen stuff, but nobody wants to hear that... Ach, screw the meme authors. You can have another TV show.




Tags:
Jul. 26th, 2017 10:39 am

Music meme: day 16 of 30

liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
Let's get the political complaining off the top of my journal, and talk about One of your favourite classical songs.

Because I always end up picking Fauré's Requiem every time I answer a meme about music, I'll stick to a strict definition of 'song' and go with Les roses d'Ispahan instead:

video (singing over animation of the score) )

The story behind this is that I fell in love with Fauré when I heard the school choir singing the Requiem when I was 12, and the singing teacher saw me falling in love and decided to try to teach me to sing, even though I notoriously couldn't hold a tune. And we talked a lot about singing Christian sacred music, but she also pointed out that Fauré wrote plenty of secular stuff, so I could learn that. Alongside lots of simpler things more appropriate for a beginning singer. And I loved all the repertoire I learned, but Les roses d'Ispahan best. Spending absolutely months trying to learn songs that were too hard for me gave me an appreciation that just listening to them never would.

Or, if I'm going with a strict definition of Classical, to get even further away from always going on about Fauré... most of the music I like is either Baroque or Romantic really, but I'm not against the entire Classical period. So let's go with Schubert, whom I always reliably like. I'm choosing the song Heidenröslein for the tune, even though I'm not wholly enamoured of the lyrics. I mean, it's Goethe, but it's also about the poet destroying his lover to punish her for rejecting him. Also because I discovered recently that there's a Rammstein song alluding to it, so I'm using the meme as an excuse to tell you about that.

video embed, containing religious violence )
Tags:
Jul. 26th, 2017 09:58 am

Happy Tom day!

ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
I first met Tom in 2001, and he appears to have spent much of the time since dedicated to making my life happier. He assures me this is not the case, and happiness is merely the natural consequence of spending time with him, but I suspect that's because of the myriad of things he does almost without noticing - tea when I'm overwhelmed, holding the baby so I can have a hot meal, switching attention to the toddler just before she got jealous, sharing his knowledge with us, finding exciting day trips.

Head and shoulders portrait of Tom


Anyway, enough about me. The children spent some time thinking about why they love Tom, and came up with some brilliant answers; because he is funny, kind, caring, because he answers questions well, and understands what question you want to ask before you can find the words to ask it. Because he is imaginative, which means he both tells good stories and really understands people.
They landed, however, on what I think is the perfect description: we love him because he is full of love.
Thank you, darling. Here's to the next 40!
Jul. 26th, 2017 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 26-07-2017

miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Most Popular Tags