highlyeccentric: A photo of myself, around 3, "reading" a Miffy book (Read Miffy!)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
Currently Reading: Arundhati Roy, 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness'; Science of the Discworld II, and a few other bits and pieces.

Recently Finished: Backdated reviews from the UK trip, as follows

The Lawrence Browne Affair (The Turner Series, #2)The Lawrence Browne Affair by Cat Sebastian

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Apparently I was on a roll with 'accidentally reading book two before book one of a series'. I liked this one! Although without the context of book 1 I had some trouble figuring out WHY a slum-born swindler was a competent secretary, I liked it a lot. I liked that the give-and-take came from both directions (Georgie's decision to read up on electricity was a nice touch), and I'm a fan of the cast of supporting characters - Lawrence's female inventions buddy especially.

The Soldier's Scoundrel (The Turner Series, #1)The Soldier's Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I liked this one a lot less than The Lawrence Browne Affair. It just seemed... meh. Meh in world-building, and in character-building. I think there's only so many 'scoundrel goes straight for love' romances one can read in a row, and I was coming to Cat Sebastian off the back of KJ Charles' An Unnatural Vice.

Mother of Souls (Alpennia, #3)Mother of Souls by Heather Rose Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was *interesting*. This book is definitely marking a genre-stamp for the series, moving it more firmly into historical-fantasy and away from romance. Which, given I was getting sick of neatly parcelled romance novels, is a good thing to me. I enjoyed both of the new lead women characters, and the returning ensemble cast. It was particularly rewarding to see Anna the apprentice develop more as a character. The test to Margerit's worldview & philosophy of the mysteries via Serafina was great, as was the increase in ensemble cast diversity.

I'm just a bit surprised - I thought this was 3 in a trilogy, but it's clearly not a final-in-the-series book. This is, overall, a GOOD surprise. I have high hopes! Especially for Margerit's niece - I devoutly hope she's our next heroine.

Frenchman's Creek (VMC Book 2160)Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I've never read any Du Maurier, and I'm told this is atypical - the only one of her works she claimed as a romance at all. It was a bit weird to read, like, say, if you'd read LOTR *after* reading Raymond E Feist. Suddenly I could see all these influences on the queer histrom I've been reading - not only faithfully adapted elements but *deliberately departed from* ones. Like. If this was written by one of the m/m histrom crowd now, there would be a *lot* deeper interrogation of the class issues in the novel. (Class here is used primarily as a _uniting_ factor, something to bring its heroine together with her Manic Pixie Pirate Baron, and not really interrogated at all.) Fisherman's Creek is definitely better literature, but less self-aware.

Good things: it's not in the slightest HEA. Which I liked - I was surfeited on HEA by the time I got to this one, and I can't see how a HEA would have *worked* here (unless you rewrote it as m/m. In which case they run away to sea together).

Also, Our Hero is a Manic Pixie Pirate Baron. That part seemed fairly self-aware: burned out woman gets to meet an inspiring rebel who Changes Her Life and recharges her to go back to her real world, much as has happened to dudes in literature forever.

To review later: Georgette Heyer, Tanya Huff, a book about beds, the latest Archer magazine issue, and LM Montgomery's autobiography.

Up Next: I need to attack Carolyne Larrington's 'Brothers and Sisters in Medieval Literature'




Music notes: well I saw Midnight Oil, asyouknowBob. And I bought Alan Doyle's first solo album, Boy on Bridge. Today I noticed that the song 'Testify', which sounds like country-gospel, is actually a song about a dude escaping prison by staging a river immersion baptism. This pleases me.

QotD

Jul. 23rd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"For it's not enough to walk the moon, send robots off to Mars
 Nor send a lucky handful out to catch a glimpse of stars
 We're gonna live and work and space. We're gonna go to stay
 And the ones who'll make it happen,
  the ones who make it happen,
   yes the ones who'll make it happen
 are the ones who make it pay"

  -- Jordin Kare (b. 1956-10-24, d. 2017-07-19), "Bloody Bastards"

Gleefulness!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:16 pm
brooksmoses: (Default)
[personal profile] brooksmoses
I just looked at the Schlock Mercenary comic for tomorrow, and the sound effect for firing the Very Large Gun that was introduced a storyline or two ago is making my vibrate and clap my hands with utter glee.

It works well as a standalone strip even if you're not familiar with the comic, too, so I'm going to make you click through to see it rather than spoiling it.
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
[personal profile] elf
Didn't I already do this one? Like, twice? Wait; this list has both "preteen years" and "childhood" songs - am I supposed to consider those as two separate, distinct categories? Does "preteen" mean 10-13 and "childhood" mean before that? If that's the case, then I messed up the "preteen" thing, because from where I am now, that's an awfully narrow slice to try to sort out. I mean, there are plenty of online lists that could help me put songs into the before-and-after 10th birthday groupings, or whatever it intended, but I'm really not going there.

But okay; I do actually have a playlist of "early childhood" songs, so I can grab a few from there. Even though several of them are TV show theme songs.

...omg, there's a whole generation who doesn't understand how nerve-wracking it was to watch them never get off that damn island.

Tom Dooley | I Wish I Was a Teddy Bear | Ballad of Gilligan's Island | Seasons in the Sun | Welcome Back | Queen of the Silver Dollar | The Aba Daba Honeymoon | Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

Manah Manah was not my favorite back then. )

Meme list

The Summer I Went Crazy

Jul. 23rd, 2017 05:47 am
ofmonstrouswords: (thg: haymitch coffee)
[personal profile] ofmonstrouswords
Serious content warning for this post. I talk about childhood abuse, trauma, suicide, and sexual assault.

There’s a video making the rounds on social media. I haven’t watched it. I don’t want to watch it. But I’ve seen the comments and I know, basically, what it’s about: a child having a tantrum on a train.

Comments have ranged from “this kid is probably autistic” to “this kid needs to be disciplined” and it strikes me this is just yet another way for people without kids to judge parents for not doing a good enough job; or people with kids to feel superior because THEIR child never had a meltdown on the subway.

It also strikes me how very lucky I am to have been born in 1986 and become a teenager in the 90s. Because I grew up without ubiquitous cellphone video cameras and the ability to post video of strangers online. I grew up without the danger that my one bad day would have meant worldwide shaming of my mother, and custody being ripped away from her.

Before we moved to Hawai’i my summers were split between my parents. (After moving there, I spent them with my bio-sire, for what was called “access” because he required access to his child and I was supposed to have access to my tormentors.)

After the first half of the summer being spent with my bio-sire and his new girlfriend, a woman we dubbed Wife #5 (he’s on #7 now), and her band of ill-mannered, horrific monsters of children, I got to spend time with my mom. This particular summer we went to Hawai’i to visit with people, including my new friend who became my best friend and still is (she was my maid of honor at my wedding).

I’m not really sure why she stuck with me for so many years, because that was the second year we knew each other and it was the summer I went insane.

I was a monster. I screamed and cried and kicked. I lashed out at everyone, including my best friend. I threw tantrums on a regular basis. I said cruel, hurtful things. I tried to kill myself. I wielded sharp weapons and was a danger to myself and others.

No one knew what was going on. My mother was at a complete loss, trying to manage a child who had never acted out on this scale before. She was inches from putting me into an institution, and had the threat of my bio-sire taking custody not loomed, she may have done so.

And I couldn’t tell her. I couldn’t tell anyone, because I didn’t have words for it and I blamed myself.

What was happening was a culmination of years of abuse and trauma. I had been suffering abuse from my bio-sire since I was 2 years old, and now he had a new family who liked to join in on the fun. I was accused of stealing money from my stepmom, had my belongings stolen from me by my stepsister and then blamed when I tried to get them back from her, called names, threatened, punished when I complained of headaches or coughing because my stepmom liked to smoke cigarettes below my room.

I remember being told by my stepmom that everything was my mom’s fault — yes, even the fact that she and my dad weren’t fucking anymore, which is completely appropriate to say to a kid, right? — and that she was my new mom now and I had to get used to it.

I remember being loathed so completely by my stepmom and step-siblings that I would have done anything to be accepted and loved. Anything.

So I was very easy to coerce.

My stepbrother may have only been 6 months older than me, but he was fully cognizant of what was going on. He’d convinced me the only way I could be accepted by the family was if I did what he asked. I didn’t want to, but I wanted to be accepted.

Of course, I never was. And I blamed myself for what happened for another 10 years. It wasn’t until I confessed, crying, to my first boyfriend about what a dirty, shameful slut I was for having had sex at age 10, telling him the whole story, that he held me and said: Babe. You were raped. That was rape.

It was rape, and it was the cherry on top of the shit sundae of trauma and abuse ladled out to me by my bio-sire and his new wife and her children.

And I couldn’t tell anyone. All I could do was go insane.

If this had been now, if I’d been acting out that way in the modern era, some asshole would film it and put it online so people could shame my mom. She’d lose custody of me and I’d have to live with my bio-sire, where my stepbrother would be free to rape me as many times as he wanted. And in the end, I’d take my own life.

There are so many times I wish I’d told my mom when it happened. If I had, that would have been it: she would have been able to get sole, full custody of me and prevent my bio-sire from ever seeing me again. I would have had a better adolescence. I would have started healing sooner. I wouldn’t have had to spend the night with then ex-Wife #5 in my teens because of a missed ferry connection, and weathered the look her older son gave me as I stood in their kitchen, the look that made me feel dirty, and ashamed, and like I wanted to jump into the Salish Sea and drown.

I have searched for years for ways to cleanse myself of the shame, and the anger and the hatred. Ways for me to process the trauma — not just that rape, but all the other compounded trauma that came after it, including another rape. I have done so much, but it is still not enough, and sometimes I feel like that ten-year-old: ready to scream and break down in public, ready to fling myself off a building, ready to kill anyone who gets close to me.

I’ve thought for a while that I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I’ve been close to committing myself a few times in the past year, which might be the right move seeing as I requested a psych consult over a year ago and BC’s medical establishment moves as fast as a glacier when it comes to mental health. I want a diagnosis. Because what I think I have doesn’t help me get help. It won’t help me get better meds than what I have.

Recently, I heard that Borderline Personality Disorder can look the same as C-PTSD. C-PTSD, or Complex-PTSD, is what happens when someone suffers trauma over and over for a long period of time.

I already know I have PTSD; now I’m pretty sure I have C-PTSD. Because I suffered trauma for years on end from my bio-sire and my stepfamilies, then later from partners, people who were supposed to love me but only hurt me.

One of them, I still can’t speak his name without freaking out.

Another, this year I celebrated it having been 7 years since he touched me. I have grown into a body he never knew.

And I had C-PTSD when I was 10, because that was after 8 years of hell.

Last night, instead of sleeping, my brain decided to replay the abuse over and over again. Over and over again, I remembered the rape. It’s been over two decades, and I still cannot shake this trauma.

Maybe that kid in the video just needs discipline. Or maybe they’re fighting a battle we know nothing about. Maybe the last thing that parent needs is strangers judging them. Maybe what they need is compassion, and understanding, and patience.

Maybe we don’t know the first fucking thing about other people’s lives. Maybe we should consider that before we whip out the cell phone and start filming.

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--

What if for 2018

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:53 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My Friday reviews rotated between four long running series? Say, Vorkosigan, Kitty and two others?

QotD

Jul. 22nd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From "Oh this has not gone well" (part 14) by Redditor "ThisHasNotGoneWell":

"Well," I started, how do I explain statistics, and not sound like the boringest boring person in the world, "In the world I come from people have enough free time on their hands, and they take games seriously enough, that people will study a game like a Mage might study magic. I had plenty of time when I was waiting for the pass south to clear, so I spent some time pulling the rules apart, figuring out the probability of any given hand. The other players might have a gut feeling as to how probable a given hand is, but I know the figures exactly. I'll also try to keep track of what cards I've seen played already. Between that, and having worked out the probabilities of each, I usually have at least an idea of how good my hand is compared to the others."

"Wait," she said, trying to wrap her head around what I'd just said, "So, you know what cards they have in their hand?"

"Not quite, I know what cards they probably have. And even if I don't know specifics, I'll at least have an idea of whether their hand is better or worse than mine, and that's really all I need."

"Don't humans have anything better to do?"

I thought of the many hundreds of hours spent playing videogames and watching Netflix.

"Nope."

Oh my

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:21 am
highlyeccentric: A woman in an A-line dress, balancing a book on her head, in front of bookshelves (Make reading sexy)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
This morning I made pancakes and ate them on the balcony, and started reading Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. I'm only about two chapters in, and am already blown away by her prose and her... I don't know what to call it, exactly, but it's there in God of Small Things and it's there in this one, and I haven't found anything in between that quite tastes like they do.

Other facts:

- yesterday I spent 200 chf on a handbag. It's a very nice, very understated handbag made of good leather, so probably worth it. (There was a Fossil bag I liked, on sale, considerably cheaper, but it had suede panels and was probably more fashion-dependent.) Friend R went shopping with me, and I think I disappointed her: I did not want sparkles, or colour blocks, or quilt effects, or tassels, and most things with gold embellishments I thought were too overdone (for me: underdone for R, I'm sure). I kept gravitating to bags she described as 'my aunt has one like that'. Basically I wanted something considerably smaller than my satchel, that I can wear with a dress, and that won't draw much attention (so I can carry it with ANY dress. Or with a more masc outfit if I so choose).

- We then went prowling through the makeup section. I learned a lot of terrifying things about makeup. Again, a bit weird, because I'm attracted to makeup as a THING, but evidence proves I don't bother wearing it. R kept being like 'this would look good on you'. Well, yes. Except I wouldn't wear it. I bought some single-use face masque sheets from Sephora, though, and that turns out to be quite rewarding. I haven't had a good masque since I stopped buying clinque (the Sukin mud one may or may not have been good for my skin, but it didn't feel like anything on and was therefore a disappointment).

There have been some Girlfriend Situations in the past week that have varied from bloody brilliant (gosh I'm looking forward to seeing her!) to anxiety-hamster to quietly worrying.
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
Oh good. Back to song topics that don't make me want to rip my hair out.

Had to stop and think about this one, because "love the voice" is not high on my priority lists for songs I enjoy most. But for a long time, I listed my favorite type of music as "anything with a baritone voice and acoustic guitar."

What You Need | Dance Magic | I'm on Fire | Love Is Chemical | Holly Holy | Wherefore and Why | Stay Young | The Warrior | Rainy Days & Mondays | Delta Dawn | It's So Easy

And one where the vocals are so pretty, I almost forget that I love the lyrics, too )

Meme list

QotD

Jul. 21st, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Kids need superheroes so they can dream big. Adults need superheroes to remind them what being good is." -- Scott Weinberg, 2017-08-08

elf: John Egbert with a rocketpack, captioned "THIS IS STUPID" in all caps. (This is stupid)
[personal profile] elf
I'm behind again. This time it's not because I forgot or got too busy. Who MAKES these damn lists, anyway? Don't answer that. I know who. Teenagers, or maybe college students. People who think, "reliving heartbreak is a poignant moment, an interlude of quiet sadness in the midst of your hectic day," and not "reliving heartbreak is like walking naked into fire, so of course I'd want to share that with all my friends and casual acquaintances who knows how many strangers on the internet."

So I've spent a couple days trying to nudge the question from the side, trying to consider songs that I think of as heartbreaky without sending myself into a downward spiral that could take weeks to recover from.

Today doesn't get a list, and it doesn't get a video. [personal profile] mdlbear posted that Jordin Kare has died.

I remember one filksong from my first year at BayCon - Leslie Fish's "Banned from Argo," sung in the back corner of a party room by four people sharing a copy of Westerfilk. The next year, I went looking. I remember one song from my second year - Jordin Kare singing "The Bride of Saint-Germain."

I wrote about this before. Bride of Saint-Germain has, as far as I know, never been recorded. It's certainly never been publicly released. And now, no matter how well the OTW does in its struggles to get fanworks accepted as fair use, no matter what kind of precedents vidders win from congress... he's never going to record even one of the fannish concert versions that sometimes make their way to Youtube.

I loved Jordin's music; I have both Fire in the Sky and Parody Violation and I can sing along with all of them, even if I don't quite know all the words. The song that breaks my heart is the one I'll never hear again.

Meme list

Courtesy of Facebook's On This Day

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:30 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I just got to a series of posts from 2014 Wiscon harassment meltdown. Ah, memory lane.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Previous models set first occupation significantly later. Much earlier and the first humans on the path to Australia would have left footprints in the still-cooling ashes of the Toba eruption.

QotD

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Everybody knows, a humungous thing happened on Sunday, July 20th, 1969 at exactly 4:17E.D.T. The 'Eagle' has landed. Bingo. Just like that. Man became an alien." -- Janet Turpin Myers, Nightswimming

November 2009

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