"For both men and women the first step in getting power is to become visible to others, and then to put on an impressive show ... As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as WOMEN see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we'll all be better off for it." -- Sandra Day O'Connor (b. 1930-03-26; US Supreme Court Justice 1981-09-25 to 2006-01-31)
Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.
Paladins take their adventures seriously, and even a mundane mission is, in the heart of the paladin, a personal test an opportunity to demonstrate bravery, to learn tactics, and to find ways to do good. Divine power protects these warriors of virtue, warding off harm, protecting from disease, healing, and guarding against fear. The paladin can also direct this power to help others, healing wounds or curing diseases, and also use it to destroy evil. Experienced paladins can smite evil foes and turn away undead. A paladin's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast. Many of the paladin's special abilities also benefit from a high Charisma score.
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.
Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)
To get some good AC I went to the cheap seat movie theater tonight and saw "Step." This is a documentary about a Step dance team at a girls' high school in Baltimore. The film focuses entirely on black girls and women. Recommended.
I'm a chapter and a bit into the second Gentleman Bastards book, and having trouble getting into it - not because it's not interesting, but it keeps filling me with nebulous dread. The prologue scene is set later in the timeline than the first few chapters so I KNOW things are going to go QUITE WRONG. Or maybe the apparent wrongness is a cunning trick and our hero-bros will be fine! But first, long detailed scenes involving gambling scams! It's very good writing, and it's giving me anxiety.
Recently Finished: This is the third weekly post in a row (normally I aim for every 2-3 weeks) and STILL these reviews are four books behind my actual recently-finished list. Welp.
Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a delight to read, and a logistical pain in the ass to cook from, unless you live somewhere with access to really good Indian grocers. Asfoetida, where do you even BUY that?
Still, I'm getting there. My cupboard is now home to four different kinds of daal. I've even put my coffee grinder to work grinding spices, because that's the kind of person I have become.
Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European Literature by Carolyne Larrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
YES GOOD VERY USEFUL MUCH WOW
The Course of Honour by Avoliot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well this was an absolute delight of trope-tastic proportions. I particularly enjoyed the unexpected detour into 'plot devices we loved in Inception fandom circa 2011' toward the end.
It's also very skillful writing, esp in terms of examining without over-explaining one character's experience of relationship abuse. And it doesn't fall into lazy racist tropes, either! In this it leaves Captive Prince dead in the water.
Trowchester Blues by Alex Beecroft
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed the set-up to this and massively side-eyed the, like, six week transition from 'why hi i have never come out to anyone but you're hot' to 'picket fence cohabitation'. Excellent cast of side characters, though, and if I'm going to be reading sickly HEA it's nice not to have it set in the US, for once.
Also finished: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland; a book about the American founding fathers and their female friends; Ben Law's Quarterly Essay on Safe Schools; Griffith Review 56.
DNF: Clare Hemmings, 'Bisexual Spaces'. The ILL was overdue and I skimmed the intro and decided it was *too dense* for me right now, and despite the title, not actually about space (I was hoping it would be about gender/sexuality and architecture or geography some how - useful for thesis purposes). I've put it back on the to-read list though. Another day.
A recommendation I forgot this when I reviewed the last Meanjin, but Jock Given's essay Enterprise in the Forest weaves together the story of the early development of QLD state parks and the story of the wreck of a Stinson aircraft in the south queensland highlands. I sent the essay to my Dad and he tells me he learned the story very young, because my grandfather knew someone who knew someone who knew the guy who found the aircraft (via the Army, or boxing, or Pop's brothers, Dad isn't sure).
[Site note: my computer just turned itself off and on again without warning. That's... less than ideal]
Up Next: I have a stack of books about semiotics, for work, and Rita Felski's 'The Uses of Literature'. I think my next fun book in hard copy might be The Essex Serpent.
Music notes: I got nowhere near my habit targets for this week, so no new purchases. I have, however, organised a bunch of tango and flamenco music into a spotify playlist for which I blame the entire sport of figure skating.
I also unearthed an old link I'd saved to Sara Bareilles' King of Anything, and from there the soundtrack to the musical Waitress and that's pretty awesome right now.
(I also reached the point in Postal Survey Coping Mechanisms that involved loop-listening to 'Epiphany' from bare: a pop opera, because words alone cannot express the furious feelingswamp this whole bullshit thing induces.)
"[...] one of humanity's tragic flaws is to take for granted the gargantuan effort needed to create and maintain even little temporary pockets of order. Again and again, people imagine that, if their local pocket of order isn't working how they want, then they should smash it to pieces, since while admittedly that might make things even worse, there's also at least 50/50 odds that they'll magically improve. In reasoning thus, people fail to appreciate just how exponentially more numerous are the paths downhill, into barbarism and chaos, than are the few paths further up. So thrashing about randomly, with no knowledge or understanding, is statistically certain to make things worse: on this point thermodynamics, common sense, and human history are all in total agreement. The implications of these musings for the present would be left as exercises for the reader." -- Scott Aaronson, 2017-01-01
[To my friends observing Tzom Gedaliah, may you have an easy fast.]
Getting a horse for Christmas when I was 11. Penny and I were soul-friends and I had so many good times with her. Here is a photo of us the next summer: https://flic.kr/p/63nL6f
2. What's the saddest thing to ever happen to you?
Maybe when my 2 best friends broke up with me when we were 11-ish (6th grade). In therapy, I determined this to be a watershed event for learning to shut down my emotions; and also the ringleader probably sensed something gay about me, and that is why she decided to stop talking to me. Also, the way they did it! They just stopped talking to me one day. I was bewildered more than anything.
3. What's the thing that got you the most angry in your life?
Probably at a therapist. I was about a day or two into a hypo-manic episode (?) after coming out and I thought she could help me. She didn't. I did write about it at the time http://sasha-feather.dreamwidth.org/
I got so angry about the Vivid Con ableism stuff in 2010 that I made myself ill. But, that anger has faded. I don't really feel it anymore.
I didn't get angry a lot before I came out; and then I was angry *all the time*; it seems better now a few years on.
4. What's the most frightening thing to ever happen to you?
Scary situations don't really "happen to me" so much as arise from my anxiety. I have gotten super anxious in totally mundane situations. It seemed like the only way out of the problem was to speak, and I was so anxious I could not speak, so I was stuck and frozen. Also, I didn't know why this was happening. Everyone else seemed to have no problem in these ordinary situations, like speaking to a teacher or knocking on a door. Then having random panic attacks sent me to therapy.
In a more traditional sense of frightening-- there was some scary-to-outsiders stuff with the horses, like getting bucked off. But it never seemed scary to me. Animals are easier than people, and that basic fear is easier to deal with than anxiety.
5. What's the most unbelievable thing to happen to you in your life?
a. Getting scholarships that paid for my college education
b. Getting a horse for Christmas!!!11!1!!!
c. Not realizing I was queer until age mumblety
d. getting facial pain that has no real diagnosis
e. Being on the State Champion poutlry quiz bowl team!
One of the things I want, is a Victorian-esque high-neck long-sleeves full length dress. Doesn't need to be period-accurate at all; just needs to have roughly the right silhouette. So I went to Amazon and searched for a few things; "maxi" is the current term for long dresses, but that gets me a bunch of sleeveless evening gowns. I searched for "long sleeves," which got me a number of pajama-esque looking shirt dresses, which warned me that searching for anything with extra coverage on top was likely to mean they removed an equal amount of fabric from the bottom. And sure enough, searching for high-neck dresses gets a bunch of sheaths that stop at the garter belt line.
And this monstrosity, which I am inflicting on you, dear readers, because otherwise I will have to bear the pain of having seen it alone. I think the... shoes? leggings? tights? ... are a separate article of clothing, and apparently so is the collar. But the full ensemble is stunning.
They've been at it for a couple of hours, and have made vastly more progress than I was able to make in quite a few hours of manual digging. Part of this is that they've got a small electric jackhammer, but it's clear that a fair bit of this is simply that they're better at it than I was.
Which just goes to show that "unskilled labor" involves skills too.
"This is a time for action -- not for war, but for mobilization of every bit of peace machinery. It is also a time for facing the fact that you cannot use a weapon, even though it is the weapon that gives you greater strength than other nations, if it is so destructive that it practically wipes out large areas of land and great numbers of innocent people. " -- Eleanor Roosevelt (b. 1884-10-11, d. 1962-11-07), My Day (newspaper column) 1954-04-16