monanotlisa: (ignoranus)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Also off my trusty friendslist, here is a dossier on white supremacy in the US -- from a source on the inside who infiltrated key organizations for years.

White Supremacy background and history, plus of course present danger: The International Alternative Right


monanotlisa: Lucca Quinn, centered, looking thoughtful (lucca - the good fight)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
C/p'd from [personal profile] giandujakiss:

The GOP broke off bipartisan talks with Dems to shore up ACA's insurance markets, and now they're trying - again - to unilaterally repeal ACA and take with it a huge chunk of Medicaid (which will, of course, completely destabilize our entire healthcare system, but that's where we are).

You can find more information by googling Graham-Cassidy, but here's one link [on this new attempt to dismantle the ACA].

Apparently, Lindsey Graham - one of the bill's sponsors - got on Breitbart radio (yes, now we're integrating Breitbart into GOP mainstream, fun times ahead) to urge listeners to call in support of the new bill, so it's VERY IMPORTANT that the Senate be flooded with opposition calls.

Here is one script and information resource.

L'shanah tovah!

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:01 am
monanotlisa: (apples how you like dem)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
A little early, but I won't be around later, so: a happy start of the High Holy Days to you, if you celebrate!

My secular Jewish household will mostly eat apples and sweet honey when it comes to action. But both my wife and I will think of the Jewish community, in our different ways as an American Jew and a German Gentile.

Surfacing, the real-life edition

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:29 am
monanotlisa: Lincoln Lee against a red jagged background, captioned "mind is a razorblade" (Lincoln Lee - Fringe)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Let's start with five good things about my life right now:

1. Ask, and ye shall receive. Under pressure at work to put together a presentation in October, I texted one of my non-profit co-founders on a whim, not expecting her to have time or interest in co-chairing a webinar. But she immediately said yes; we're having a planning session tonight. Now I'm both relieved and a little bit excited about the subject of much procrastination.

2. Our wedding celebration preparation is almost done. WHICH IS GOOD, BECAUSE IT IS NEXT WEEKEND. Can't claim I was the driving force here; my wife was much better. But still, I too knocked several preparation points off our list. There's a price to pay if neither you nor your life partner are Planners or Organizers, but we had the privilege to pay in hard coin (i.e. having vendors do more for us) rather than familial currency (i.e. putting it on a date fitting for her auntie, who would have loved to go full Weddingpalooza).

3. The cats are very affectionate these days. Still semi-feral, of course, and not into being petted :( or even touched, although Poppet tolerates it from my wife. But they are social with us, head-butting and nose-sniffing and watching us Do Important Human Things In The Kitchen through the glass without feigning the usual disinterest...okay, fine, sometimes they feign disinterest; they're cats. :)

4. If one door closes, a window opens. (It's small, but it's a window.) I was devastated when the only dedicated gluten-free sweet pastry shop in San Francisco with actually good baked goods (glutless) closed, but they have just re-opened as a delivery-only service for Fridays and weekends. Weekends aren't excellent for someone living in the East Bay, but Fridays, Fridays I shall feast on cake! Except this upcoming one, given no. 2.

5. No periods forevermore, and everything works. Once the non-surgery issues were resolved, for the most part, life without a uterus has been excellent...except on the one day of my cycle when everything is terrible and the world is dull and gray, of course. But even that pleases me conceptually, because that plus the other two signs of an upcoming period mean my left (heh) ovary has taken over the full hormone production, and I don't have to consider HRT.

Unfortunately, like humans are wont to, I make bad decisions in the spur of the moment, so right now I am struggling with an old-new issue. Oral surgery talk, pretty gruesome, so please mind the cut-tag )

Yuletide noms!

Sep. 14th, 2017 06:24 pm
astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)
[personal profile] astolat
They close tomorrow so hurry and get your nominations in!

Mine are:

Witcher: Geralt, Emhyr, Ciri, Dandelion (duh)

Dragonriders of Pern: Menolly, Robinton (I totally want Menolly/Robinton NOT SORRY)

Dune (the book): Paul, Jessica, Stilgar, Feyd -- I don't know exactly what I want here, I think I want some outsider POV on Paul maybe?

My runners-up were:

Rome: Pullo, Vorenus, maybe Octavian -- man, I would love a story that undid what the show did to Octavian in S2 so much

Gladiator: Maximus, Commodus

Brimstone: Ezekiel, The Devil

Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon: Eric, Hank, Sheila, Venger

Battle of the Planets: Mark, Jason

and my perennial hope-springs-eternal Dracula: the Series: Lucard (hope doesn't really spring very far lol)

I am totally not mentioning these here in hopes that someone has a spare nom they wouldn't mind using on one of these. ;)
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times: Selected Haiku of Basho, by Bashō Matsuo, translated by David Young: A delightful collection. David Young's introduction is informative and easy to read, which is a rarity in poetry collections and must be praised, though you won't learn a thing about Bashō from it. Young says you can get that everywhere else; instead, the introduction addresses Young's approach to translating these poems, and I was quite surprised at the amount of latitude Young gave himself. Due to the differences between the number of syllables in English and Japanese, he disregards the West's belief that haiku must conform to a 5-7-5 arrangement, which is fine by me, but he also elides cultural references he thought would be lost on English-speaking audiences, reorders the lines themselves, and even removes the occasional question mark, and I don't know how I feel about that. The result is lovely, but is it an honest reflection of Bashō's words?

In Young's hands, Bashō's poetry is clear and simple, each haiku a meditation on life and nature. They are, by turns, longing, playful, soothing, and contemplative, and it's remarkable how many sensory details they include. So much is packed into these little sentences, giving you brief glimpses of another life, transporting you to where Bashō was three hundred years ago, listening to the rain, gardening, or:
Big white leeks
washing them off
feeling how cold
The poetry is transcendent, in that it moved me to a different place. Once I came back, though, I wondered a lot about the choices Young made. I really would have liked some translator's notes (outside of those in the introduction), but instead I'll have to content myself with reading Jane Reichhold's Basho: The Complete Haiku and go over her notes to see how their translations differ. This is actually Young's idea, and he helpfully includes an appendix that correlates his page numbers with Reichhold's numbering system for easy comparison.

Really accessible, and highly recommended.

On Anxiety, but funny

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:25 am
monanotlisa: Misty Knight lookin' hilarified (misty knight - luke cage)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
That "Distracted Boyfriend Meme"? It's really not that funny in the original, but I keep cracking up about all the clever fandom renditions...and threw my hat in the ring to make one myself (with that handy meme generator out there on the internets):

I made dis (on tumblr)


What, ouch, and also -- already?

Sep. 13th, 2017 07:43 am
monanotlisa: philipp broyles in b/w, captioned with his name (broyles back - fringe)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
:: It's raining. I would have never grasped the weight of this statement in 2012 when I came here, but the song is true, mildly modified: It never rains in Northern California in summer. It's the softest and gentlest reminder of climate change, and the polar opposite of what the folks in the Caribbean, Cuba, and states like Florid and Texas experience. But...it's a reminder.

:: Also a reminder of my short memory when it comes to non-chronic pain: God, my lower jaw hurts. Yesterday I tried to have the implant for my lower jaw put in, finally. But even with "perfect-looking" bone (after chewing in the front to remind my jaw of its job; after popping calcium pills like it was my job) there was simply too little of it post-accident. Cutting for tooth surgery details )

:: My boss is back in the office today. I am quivering in what might feasibly be boots (given said weather situation).
monanotlisa: (spring sky)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
:: Went on a bucket-listed trip to Angel Island in the Bay of San Francisco with a bunch of excellent fangirls, from [personal profile] cofax7 over [personal profile] laurashapiro over [personal profile] shrift to ladies who are not on my friendslist but really need to be.

:: Am contemplating what to do regarding the Equifax breach that stole my data -- might even write about it; it's not my core area of expertise but adjacent enough that a contribution could help others. Partially, I'm fed up because of yet more US-American privacy and security practices that run roughshod over individuals, and partially because two of the consumer reporting agencies, namely Equifax (surprise) and Experian don't let me do online credit freezes. Only TransUnion gave me the easy option of five minutes and ten bucks. I'll also look into the forced arbitration clause and the signing away of any class action rights, so let me know if you want to know the results.

:: Politics remain dire, but talking about them yesterday helped. By law I am not allowed to participate in politics directly or contribute financially (foreigner and all) but that makes me ever more determined to help. In these times of DACA danger, it's ever more the immigration side. Please, US friends, remember all of us who have no voice but everything to lose.

:: Planning for the big day goes apace. By "apace" I mean "haltingly and in quite an incompetent manner", but at least I am working on being an adult doing adult things. See also the subject line (yes, I would eventually get to it): I will never ever be a good planner or organizer of personal affairs, but it's time to stop beating myself up over it. I was talking on the phone to my best friend from US High School yesterday -- and the fact I braved the telephone should tell you how much I love her -- and had to stop her from putting herself (an accomplished professional owning a place in the City of Boston) down. Your late 30s and early 40s are a great time to realize that you're never going to be The Perfect Adult, but that this is alright; you'll make do.

:: My physical health, minus the chronic conditions, is excellent, almost two months post-surgery. Except for when I look down at the three tiny scars, I'm suffering no ill effects. I can run 10k with ease, I can swim for an hour, I can hike the hills of bay islands happily. Everything is in working order; I can scratch two regular medications off my list completely and, what's best, no. More. Pain. :)
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Let Them Eat Cake: Classic, Decadent Desserts with Vegan, Gluten-Free & Healthy Variations, by Gesine Bullock-Prado: If this cookbook were an animal, it'd be a platypus. Male platypuses have venomous spurs on their hind feet. Did you know that? But they only produce venom during breeding season, which is between June and October. Their venom isn't lethal to humans, but its effects have been described as "excruciatingly painful."

This cookbook isn't venomous, and instead of excruciatingly painful, it's actually quite delightful. The author's funny, able to admit when she's made a mistake, and is capable of pointing out the problems of palm oil in a non-confrontational way. The book, though, is like if you started out with a beaver, and then someone was like, oh, but what if I can't do buck teeth? And someone else was like, my daughter only likes animals with duckbills. And then suddenly it's laying eggs and has venomous spurs on his heels.

BECAUSE—I swear this made sense when I started out—this book takes a standard, traditional muffin, quick bread, cake, pie, tart, or cookie recipe, and THEN it gives you a vegan variation, a gluten-free variation, and a "healthier" variation, which in this case means a version with a lower glycemic index and more fiber and nutrients. So, like, grapeseed oil instead of butter, and whole wheat or spelt flour rather than white flour.

It's unwieldy. As someone who is currently cooking gluten-free, I'm fine with checking this out of the library, but I'm not going to buy it. I guess if you were experimenting with your diet, or you bake with wheat at home, but need to make things vegan for the people at work, or gluten-free for your in-laws, or more nutritious for the school bake sale—then maybe. The focus is definitely on the traditional recipe, with little boxes afterwards (or on the pages before, the book's not picky or well organized) that explain how to make it vegan, or GF, or healthier by adding egg substitutes or switching out the flours. Sometimes the vegan variation will require an entirely different recipe, which is actually easier to deal with than a paragraph of text about substitutions, so while I might try making the biscuits and scones, I'm going to photocopy the recipe and write in the GF changes myself. Using this as a book would require a lot of flipping back and forth between the main recipe and the variations. I imagine it'd be very easy to make a mistake and put in the wrong amount of something.

So the layout is kind of baroque, but the colors are nice, and almost every recipe has a photo, even if they're sometimes a few pages away from the recipe. I suspect that the photos are of the traditional recipes, though, rather than any of the variants, because I'm a suspicious person by nature, and we all know vegan or gluten-free baked goods don't always look as nice as the traditional versions. Oh, can you merge two variants together and make a vegan gluten-free whatever? Never once brought up by the author. So I'm guessing...try that at your own risk.

If you're interested in cutting down on wheat or animal products, or if you cook for several groups of people with different dietary restrictions, then maybe this is the book for you. If you're straight up vegan and/or gluten-free, I don't see the point. The recipes are pretty standard fare, except for the cake section which is full-on bananas; they involve a lot of layers, if you have the time for that. Measurements are by volume and weight (grams), and there's a helpful introduction to each recipe, but no storage advice, and the index isn't thorough enough for me.

The Leftovers

Sep. 9th, 2017 10:46 am
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Who among us has seen the HBO show The Leftovers? My friend, M, got me hooked - or rather, she wouldn't stop talking about the show, and introduced me to the achingly lovely score, and then earlier in the week I figured hey, why not watch the pilot and see how it is? And now it's ten episodes later and I am hooked.

If you haven't seen the show, the premise is that, without warning, 2% of the world's population disappears one October 14th. The show picks up the story three years later as everyone's still grappling with their loss. (The premise might sound sort of like the rapture, but it's not - it's never handled as that in the show, and ultimately you get the suggestion of other reasons why people disappeared.) The main protagonist is Kevin Garvey, the chief of police in a small, upstate NY town. He appears not to have lost anyone in the event, but he loses everyone just the same. His wife is in a cult-like group in town. His son is with a charismatic religious figure in the southwest. His daughter is deeply fucked up and remote. His dad is committed to a psychiatric hospital.

And then there's Matt, a local preacher, who lost one version of his wife, Mary. And Nora, who lost her husband and two children in the event. There's Patti, who's in charge of the cult, and Meg, who wants to join, and the town's mayor, Lucy, who is trying to chart a path through increasingly turbulent waters.

It's a slow burn of a show - I wasn't bowled over by it, but rather won over by it. Every episode the writers would drop a nugget of information about a character and I'd realize that meant X or Y, and then have to keep watching to see how that impacted everyone else, and before you knew it, it was episode ten and every, damn, thing in the show tied together. It was gorgeous.

Fair warning - in the first couple of episodes, as well as episode seven or eight, a dog (or dogs) are shot. If that's a deal-breaker, this wouldn't be the show for you. There's also some pretty graphic violence.

If you've seen it, talk to me about it!

linkspam on a gray Friday

Sep. 8th, 2017 10:23 am
cofax7: George from DLM saying Shit (DLM - George shit)
[personal profile] cofax7
It's been a terrible week. Have some puppies.

Turns out that turnabout isn't all that fair play: Catcalling dudes just isn't all that fun.

Shoulda called him Remington: a fake male entrepreneur gets more call-backs than the real women founders.

Medievalists struggle with the way nazis love them.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is on fire: And so the most powerful country in the world has handed over all its affairs-the prosperity of its entire economy; the security of its 300 million citizens; the purity of its water, the viability of its air, the safety of its food; the future of its vast system of education; the soundness of its national highways, airways, and railways; the apocalyptic potential of its nuclear arsenal-to a carnival barker who introduced the phrase grab 'em by the pussy into the national lexicon. It is as if the white tribe united in demonstration to say, "If a black man can be president, then any white man-no matter how fallen-can be president." And in that perverse way, the democratic dreams of Jefferson and Jackson were fulfilled.

*

ETA: If you think your data has been compromised (like mine!) by the Equifax breach, here's a guide on how to put a freeze on your credit. It's not perfect, but it's a start.


*

Holy crap the most comprehensive Metafilter post about pie. None more pie. (When come back, bring pie!)

Bookmarked for later evaluation: something about identifying your home style.

I haven't bought anything from Everlane yet, but I am interested in their new jeans. The Cut did a review; sadly they only chose thin women models, apparently all under 40, so I don't have a good sense of how they would do on my thickening menopausal frame. And of course the jeans themselves only go up to about size 14, it looks like. (Sigh.) The price point is appealing, though.

*

Courtesy of Metafilter, I have found a recipe for chai spice cake; I will experiment with it at some point and report back.

In the interim, I have to make a slab pie for an enormous memorial service next weekend. I don't have the energy to experiment, so if it doesn't work, it will just be composted.

This fucking year, I swear.

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