(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 03:10 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
New type of soft, growing robot created

On Teaching, but Not Loving, Jane Austen

The 19th-Century Lithuanians Who Smuggled Books to Save Their Language

When Young Chinese Ask, ‘What’s Your Sign?’ They Don’t Mean Dragon or Rat

How Checkers Was Solved

'Super Producer' Donates Gallons of Her Breast Milk to Feed Other People's Kids

Balls Out: The Weird Story of the Great Truck Nuts War

The Lonely Lives of Dolphin Lice

Lemon juice has long come in containers shaped like lemons.

When Girls Studied Planets and the Skies Had No Limits

A Search for the Flavor of a Beloved Childhood Medicine

North Dakota’s Norway Prison Experiment

What's It Really Like To Work In A Prison Goat Milk Farm? We Asked Inmates (The issue isn't the work, it's the pay. Pay them actual minimum wage. If you don't want them to use that money, require them to save most of it for when they are released. Even if you don't want to pay them, it seems obvious that not doing so drives down everybody else's wages.)

Cooling the tube – Engineering heat out of the Underground

The Kitten Rental Program is Saving Lives (It's all in the marketing ♥)

When New York City Rioted Over Hamlet Being Too British

Sean Spicer stole a mini-fridge from White House staffers (One can only hope they are now able to reclaim it.)

In South Sudan, a child soldier long thought dead comes back

Schumer, Gillibrand Co-Sponsor Senate Bill That Would Make Boycotting Israel A Felony (Oh, ffs. You can have a perfectly rational reason for criticizing specific policies taken by the Israeli government without hating or even disliking: Jews, Israelis, and/or the modern nation-state of Israel. And I voted for these people! Oh, uh... don't read the comments. Sheesh.)

Israel's struggle to integrate ultra-Orthodox and Arabs raises economic fears

Disabled and disdained: In rural America, some towns are divided between those who work and those who don’t

For Ethiopia’s Underemployed Youth, Life Can Center on a Leaf

How smugglers use trucks with sometimes deadly results

Protecting our children from climate change might take more than just cutting emissions
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Welcome to the second half of 2017, which will go by in what feels like three weeks but will also feel like 19 years thanks to Political Shenanigans. Time is weird! Luckily, we have books to get us through it all.

I always enjoy looking at all the books I may read, even the ones that I'm going to have to make hard purchasing decisions about. Out of my anticipated books last time, I've read 10. For a lot of them I'm waiting for them to cycle out of the new collection and into general at the library so I can enjoy all the things I check out for a full, glorious month. I suspect I won't get to some of these until 2018 when my library buys all the late-year release books and cycles the others out of new. I love my library, but I wish the new book check out time was longer than two weeks. Two and a HALF weeks would help me. Alas, alas.

I have my eye on a ton of science fiction IN SPACE this time around. Some of these I suspect I'll buy if my finances work out so I can use them for my space opera challenge. Read more... )

What great-sounding books have I missed? What's everyone else looking forward to?

Doctor Who Christmas trailer

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:16 am
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
[personal profile] magister has just watched the new Doctor Who trailer next to me, and then I go look at my DW reading page and about three different people have shared it there too. Ha, I know good people here.

I was actually talking with James about this yesterday, I said I was mad it has Bill and this First Doctor-playing guy who's name I can't remember, and it has Capaldi, and maybe Missy? And this is great because I'd watch them all the time, but a shame because I feel like what's the point of the rengeration episode we just had, which didn't even have a regeneration in it? We could've had a lovely normal story instead of having to have two whole episodes full of doom about the Doctor dying.

It's been a generally pretty doomy season anyway, something I complained about all the way back in "Oxygen." Maybe I'm a big wuss (okay, I am a big wuss) but I do not want bleak right now. I don't want to watch people getting treated worse than they deserve or dealing with circumstances beyond their control. If I wanted that I could read the news or talk to a lot of my friends or indeed think about most of my goddam life.

I'm mad about what happened to Missy and Bill, and I hope though I'm not holding my breath that the Christmas episode will go some way to fixing that.

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:12 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
I had such dreams today! That I would go to campus early in the morning, spin Pokestops and replenish my Pokeballs, and catch pokemon and take a long enough walk to hatch more eggs!

Except, I went to bed at like 3am, so this was not a thing that could happen. By the time I got to campus, it was 11am, and dissertating was derailed in favour of writing an application for an internship that I think will be fascinating as an opportunity. At some point a friend of mine came to campus to help me take down an Articuno. We found three other people to join us, but even then, we couldn't take it down. And my battery was dying, so I couldn't play the rest of the day. Fickle phone!

I left campus late, had a late lunch, and then slept for like three hours. Couldn't even bring myself to take my evening walk. It's a little past midnight now and I am going to restore proper sleeping habits and good sleep hygiene so I can function tomorrow.

I will swim tomorrow. I will also try to see the doctor, or at least make an appointment. And I will pay my rent and request a lease renewal.

hi

Jul. 24th, 2017 02:15 am
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
[personal profile] wohali
sorry for the absence. been kinda busy. trying to get CouchDB 2.1 out the door. And some bouts of illness.

But this tab is back open again so I'll try and stream-of-consciousness this week.

yay?

Deborah A. Miranda, Bad Indians, 2012

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:54 pm
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Bad Indians opens with a line so good I'm angry I didn't write it myself: "CALIFORNIA IS A STORY. California is many stories." Deborah Miranda is a member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation, and this angry, loving book takes a knife to all the lazy and superficial versions of the California story. Of the history unit all Californian fourth graders (including my own two daughters) are required to take, Miranda writes: "[T]he Mission Unit is all too often a lesson in imperialism, racism, and Manifest Destiny."

A nonlinear collage of prose, poetry, pictures, transcriptions of interviews and more, Bad Indians can be hard to follow, but the effort pays off when the events of Miranda's life take their place in a precisely drawn and nuanced historical context. "The original acts of colonization and violence broke the world, broke our hearts, broke the connection between soul and flesh. For many of us, this trauma happens again in each generation," she writes. And: "I love my father. I hate my father. He died alone, in a hospice facility."

This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about the indigenous peoples of California, their present and their possible futures. Strong content warning for descriptions physical and sexual abuse of children, among many other horrors.

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:42 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] heyokish!

some things

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:13 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* I was reminded of Happy Together, last mentioned here two years ago, when Reason requested a Song So-hee clip from YouTube as bedtime music and YouTube's sidebar suggested the HT episode on which she'd appeared in 2014. (Reason is fascinated by a young entertainer; I ...want Song So-hee to continue maturing so that her voice sounds less shrill.) They seated her in the prestige spot, but she's youngest of the five guests on that ep and she knew it; she has restrained manners.

Anyway (I didn't watch the whole thing), then the sidebar suggested the 2014 HT featuring Jackie Chan, Narsha, and [Choi] Siwon. omg. (KBS is kind: HT ?always has English subtitles.) Chan speaks a bit of Korean, and the dour co-host speaks some Mandarin, so they patched the opener into a hilarious moment in which Chan (by far the eldest person present) says that he'd rather call the lead host "oppa" instead of "hyeong" because it's easier to say. In general, oppa is what a girl or woman might call a slightly older male person whom she considers close, or the term she'd use for an actual older brother; hyeong is what a boy or man would use for an older male person, similarly, except not so similar, is it, when most young women with boyfriends call the bf "oppa" too. And then Chan addresses the co-host as eonni (older sister if you're a female speaker). :P As the host remarks near the four-minute mark, everyone's wearing headsets so that offstage translators can supply the guests and hosts with translations as needed, heh. Those translators must be amazing---there's hardly a lag, and the manner of delivery (it's "live" comedy) suggests that they don't cut much during post-production.

Notably, the host calls Chan "seonsaengnim," teacher, which is as it ought to be. One reason that Korea likes Yu Jae Seok---"the nation's MC"---is that he's funny, he pokes at things, yet (at least on this show) he holds a line.

Also, Jackie Chan loves the environment, and he tries to make his staff respect it as well.

And then I stopped watching because sleep matters more, but on another day...

* ...I picked up the "I am from America" HT special (2015) with five guests, three younger and two older. I happen to have seen two (one from each subgroup) in kdramas: Stephanie Lee in Second Last Love and Yi Hyeon U in Dal Ja's Spring. The humor's more predictable because I'm more familiar with the crossings, but I still laughed. Must remember to dip into HT every so often for ear-practice.
thnidu: painting: a girl pulling a red wagon piled almost to her own height of books along a sidewalk (books)
[personal profile] thnidu
If you buy through the Amazon Smile links on the titles, a portion of your purchase price will go to Doctors Without Borders.


Dreadnought: Nemesis - Book One
by April Daniels
(Goodreads, 4.13 stars ·  1,008 Ratings  ·  359 Reviews  )

An action-packed series-starter perfect for fans of Heroine Complex and Not Your Sidekick.

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero.

Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.

She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.


And the sequel has just been released:

Sovereign: Nemesis - Book Two
(Goodreads, 4.05 stars ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews)

The highly anticipated sequel to Dreadnought, featuring “the most exciting new superheroes in decades.” (Kirkus, starred review)


Only nine months after her debut as the superhero Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-sized job and she’s doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it’s only going to get worse.

When she crosses a newly discovered billionaire supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there’s no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her.

She might be hard to kill, but there's more than one way to destroy a hero. Before the war is over, Dreadnought will be forced to confront parts of herself she never wanted to acknowledge.

And behind it all, an old enemy waits in the wings, ready to unleash a plot that will scar the world forever.


still aching

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:12 am
dragonyphoenix: Blackadder looking at scraps of paper, saying "It could use a beta" (Default)
[personal profile] dragonyphoenix
I told Dad about the auto accident. He thinks I should talk to a personal injury lawyer. Does anyone here have any experience - good or bad - with them?

Well, hi, journal.

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:29 pm
franklanguage: my little terrier (Corky)
[personal profile] franklanguage
It's been awhile; today, I had a slightly grueling day taking Corky up to the Animal Medical Center to be diagnosed. He's had ataxia and weakness in his hind legs for some time, so I decided that in the wake of his being cured of Cushing's syndrome a few months ago I wanted to find out what else was going on—since he was still incontinent, and I would have thought that symptom would ease up if the Cushing's weren't an issue.

Turns out they found spinal stenosis. There's no cure, no treatment to speak of, beyond palliative care. Currently, I have to give him strict crate-rest for 4 to 6 weeks—even after he seems to be getting better.

He's 11, but he's not an old dog; I mean, he seems older than he is because he has such difficulty walking. (I was plan nasty to a woman this morning who cocked her head and smiled before asking, "Is he an old dog?" "Leave me alone!" I bellowed. I was in no mood for chit-chat.)

I usually have to carry him; I have to carry him both up and down all five flights of stairs in my building—which I'm resigned to. You do what you can for the ones you love.

I'd like to get him a photonic-therapy unit—and now that there's a distributor in this country, I may do that; when I last checked, the only contact in the whole world was an address in Australia. When I mentioned it to the vet I saw last week, she thought it was a tall order for me to go learning all the acupuncture points, but I think it would be on an as-needed basis.

Unfortunately, he pooped in the front hall of the building earlier when I was carrying him out—and I didn't notice. Carmen—the woman in the front apartment, who's the de facto super and package receiver for the building—wrote a misspelled note and taped it to the glass of the front door about how tenants weren't supposed to let their dogs poop in the hallway without cleaning it up. Most tenants don't have to carry their dogs both ways.

I'm tired.

Beaverton Night Market

Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:25 pm
lovelyangel: (Riho Camera)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
PicTitle
Beaverton Night Market
The Round • Beaverton, Oregon
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Last night (Saturday) was the first of two Beaverton Night Markets for this summer. I’ve been planning to attend only one, and the second one is on the same day as the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. So… the first one or nothing. I went.

I did review my Blog Post from Last Year and my Photos from last Year to figure out a strategy. Again, I didn’t want to make a big thing out of this. The Night Market is fun, but it’s not one of my major photo events of the year.

I used the GoldenHour.one app on my iPhone to calculate the difference in golden hours between this year (July 22) and last year (August 13). And I wanted to spend more time in the dark. I figured arriving about 30 minutes later than last year would be fine. I used the PDX Bus app to check realtime arrivals/departures at Millican Way MAX station, and timed my departure from home about 15 minutes ahead of the next train. On arrival I had about 4 minutes to spare, so my wait was short. The train arrived at 8:15 pm. Beaverton Central is only one stop away, so I was there by 8:18.

The market was really, really crowded. I thought it was bad last year, but it was even worse this year, even though more physical space had been allocated. (I think there were more booths, also.) The crowds were all along the booths, and there were also long lines for many of the food booths. There were fewer people in the chalk area for kids, so that’s where I started out.




I did try to visit booths and take pictures, but it was tough with so many people. I simply did the best I could, reminding myself that this was just a minor photo op, and I didn’t have to be super photographer.

As the dusk settled in, I started playing follow the light – and that’s pretty much what I did for the rest of the evening. As the sun went down, the air started to cool a little (it had been a 90°F day) – but more importantly a refreshing breeze started to ripple through the market. That was really nice – especially after 9:00 pm when the crowd started to thin a little. The market remained very busy, but movement was easier, and there were some small open spaces around some of the booths.




When the night started to take over, and the number of people continued to fall, the market felt closer to what a natsu matsuri should be like. I really enjoyed the end time of the market. Walking was comfortable, and I followed the light to various booths, where the activities were illuminated by random, artificial lamps.




I stayed until 9:50 pm, and the market was scheduled to end at 10:00 pm. There were still a lot of people at the stage performance, and I wanted to catch a MAX train before the masses clogged up the station. From the time I caught MAX at 9:50 pm to the time I got home was only 10 minutes! Home-to-home total elapsed time was two hours.

The photos have been posted to the Beaverton Night Market 2017 Photo Gallery

Best Novels 2016

Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:05 pm
voidampersand: (Default)
[personal profile] voidampersand
Here are my thoughts on the Hugo ballot for Best Novel, 2016:

All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books)

I love this book. It is not long, but there so much in it. It is a modern fable, pulling in tropes from all kinds of pop culture: fairy tales, comic books, movies and cartoons. At the same time it is seriously realistic. The world is going to hell in exactly the same ways that ours is, just a little bit faster. People are (mostly) sympathetic and mean well but they are imperfect and success is often beyond them, especially as the world's problems become even more daunting. The tone is wry but not cynical. Things seem to be heading towards a conflict between magic and super-science, but the different schools of magic don't see things the same way, and the different groups of scientists and technologists are often competing instead of cooperating. But it's still worth trying. And it's worth trusting other people even when there is no way you can imagine how or why you can.

A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US)

I found out that it is a sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet so I read both. The worldbuilding is good, especially the aliens are truly diverse. It presents a vision of the future that is mostly positive. It reminds me of James White's classic SF. But the characters are just kind of what they are, and there are some structural issues. It's uneven. A Closed and Common Orbit is better written, and it has two really great characters with compelling stories. Along the way it raises some very interesting and subtle questions about morality (vs. legality), friendship, and personhood. In other words, don't underestimate this book, just because it's a fun read and it's nice.

Death’s End, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus)

I really liked The Three Body Problem. I started reading The Dark Forest and bounced off the prose in the first chapter. It was so clunky. I picked it up again recently and was able to make headway. I plan to finish the trilogy presently. I didn't feel any urgency to finish it before voting because the first book in the trilogy already won (deservedly), and the third book would have to be amazingly good in order to justify awarding two Hugos to what is really a single work in three volumes.

Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books)

The common question about this book is if it is really science fiction or merely fantasy. I am squarely in the it's science fiction camp. Space opera as a genre requires faster than light travel in order to maintain its traditional plot pacing (which happens to be exactly the same as 19th century steamship stories, go figure). Faster than light travel is bogus science. So are force fields, blasters, phasers, anti-gravity, teleportation, and so on. Yoon Ha Lee invented a fresh and new form of bogus science to power his space opera. He gets to do that. Go him. I think it's a lot of fun. The space opera is set in a grim dystopian interstellar empire. Not fun. I've read some other reviews where readers were bummed out because it was so grim and the characters were so constrained by the system. I didn't read it that way. The system has a lot of cracks in it, including a really huge one that maybe we'll learn more about in the third book. Many of the main characters are wild cards. Unexpected things happen. Overall, I think it's one of the most innovative and interesting space operas in recent years.

The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)

I think the The Obelisk Gate is good, but not at the same level as The Fifth Season. It reveals some things about the Earth that are very big, but we have to wait for the third book to see anything climactic (as opposed to climatic). The middle book is more about developing characters and moving the plot along. Unfortunately, the key character developments are sad, or creepy and unpleasant. At least the sad developments are very weird and leave at least a smidgen of hope. I am waiting for the third book and we'll see what happens.

Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer (Tor Books)

Too Like the Lightning is a dazzling and enthralling debut novel that is also unreliable and contrarian, sometimes even infuriating. Or maybe it is just Mycroft Canner, most reliable of servants and most unreliable of narrators. On the plus side, it's a science fiction novel set on a near future Earth where nobody is hungry, there are no wars, and politics are based on the fundamental principles of the Enlightenment: rationality, order, justice, humanism, enterprise, and compassion. On the minus side, decisions seem to be made by a very small number of elite leaders who are very much in bed with each other (except the utopians are snubbed for some reason), and it seems about to fall apart. What seems like an ultimate love letter to the Enlightenment could turn out to also be a devastating critique of it. Enough has been revealed in the first book to make it clear that it does not stand alone.

Novels I nominated:

Everfair, by Nisi Shawl (Tor Books)

This is a book that needed to be written and I am glad that Nisi wrote it the way she did. The steampunk movement imagines an alternate past where the second industrial revolution was accelerated to extraordinary heights and at the same time somehow was shared in an egalitarian way without colonialism, racism or sexism. Which of the two imaginations is more unrealistic is hard to say. Nisi tackles both head-on by establishing a 19th century high-technology utopian settlement in the Belgian Congo. It works because the settlers are not just technically skilled, but also radical socialists, the kind of people who would really try to create a steampunk utopia, and to fight King Leopold II. (It helps on the super-technology side that the Congo has major sources of uranium.) What I really liked about this novel was how the native African characters were just as empowered and important as the settlers. Also, as one would hope with radicals, just about every possible unconventional relationship that could occur does, and the love and care in these relationships is a great strength.

Arabella of Mars, by David D. Levine (Tor Books)

A delightful, strongly feminist, alternate-cosmology planetary romance that riffs on Jane Austen, Patrick O'Brian, Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Featuring a plucky heroine, a dashing captain and his brilliant mechanical sidekick, and a motley crew of tuckerized SF writers and fans. What more could you ever ask for? Okay, maybe it starts a bit slow. But it really gets moving soon enough, and the ending is fantastic. Now that it's won the Andre Norton Award, it is officially certified as suitable for corrupting the minds of our youth. But there's no reason not to corrupt your own mind too, it's good for all ages.

For the Library

Jul. 23rd, 2017 07:18 pm
lovelyangel: Hitagi Senjougahara, Nisemonogatari Guidebook (Hitagi Offguard)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Monogatari Series Heroine Books
Monogatari Series Heroine Books

This weekend Kinokuniya had another 20% off everything sale for members, and I couldn’t resist stopping by on Saturday. I was surprised to find some of the Monogatari Series Heroine Books in stock. The store even had some wrapped so that the contents were viewable – a big improvement over the fully shrink-wrapped packaging used normally.

I bought a Hitagi, Tsubasa, and the Fire Sisters – but passed on the Yotsugi. The Hitagi one starts off in a fun way – the cover has Hitagi with her usual serious look, but the first page inside the cover has the same view – but with her smiling. I love it! The Fire Sisters book has two “sides.” The first side – the front of the book – features Karen. The second side starts from the back of the book, where the pages are inverted. I wonder why Tsukihi’s side doesn’t have an inverted cover illustration on the back of the book.

Each ¥900 book was marked up to $13.99, but the discount brought each one down to $11.19. I also had to renew my annual membership ($25).

Today (Sunday) I drove into Portland for a couple of missions. The second mission was a stop at Powell’s to buy the newly released Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Volume 8. I was terribly disappointed when I saw in the manga section all the manga in the series from volume 1 through volume 7 – but no volume 8. Shoot. I assumed they sold the two copies since my check the day before. I wondered why they didn’t stock more.

I looked around for a couple of other titles but found nothing to my liking. Before I left, I had a thought… what if they (again) mis-shelved the new volumes? Volumes 1-7 were shelved in the “M”s. I checked the “N”s – for Nozaki-kun. And there were the two volumes. I took one for myself and reshelved the remaining copy with all the other volumes. Yay!

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Volume 8
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Volume 8
mab_browne: Scene from ep True Crime, text is 'this probably IS exactly what it looks like'. (TS.True Crime)
[personal profile] mab_browne
Because heaven knows my writing has been crap recently. But I've been reading some fun soul mark/soul name AUs in Blakes 7 and Pride and Prejudice fandoms, and I got to thinking how I could do that in TS. I don't know that I want to write a full length story about it, but a few snippety vignettes or missing scenes might be... interesting? Yes. Probably subversion but not absolutely, because I do have ~feelings about destiny in TS fic - but it doesn't get much more Destiny with a Capital D than the soul mate trope, now does it?

Time With Friends

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:24 pm
lovelyangel: Hina Satou from Tesagure! Bukatsumono 3 ED (Hina Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
I’m taking a moment to count my blessings… among which are a number of friends – who I don’t see often enough. I did OK in the last week and a half, though.

*****

Friday a week ago I drove to east Vancouver to meet Mike for dinner. I should know better than to check Google Maps, because the time estimate is always short for traversing Portland. Google Maps said 1:10. I planned 1:20. It took 1:35. And this was leaving Beaverton a little after 2 pm. I need to allow at least 90 minutes next year. I shudder at the thought that had I not changed jobs 3 1/2 years ago, this drive across the breadth of the metro area would be my daily commute.

Mike and I had an overdue catchup dinner at Five Guys; I hadn’t been before and wanted to give it a try. The burgers and fries matched what I’d been told – average burger and weak fries. I doubt I’ll ever go back. The important thing was catching up on news. Although we keep in touch by phone, dinner is important face-to-face time. Our fun dinner chat went from 4 pm to 7 pm. The good thing was that after rush hour, the drive east to west was only 45 minutes to my house. Huge difference.

*****

Friday two days ago I had lunch with an ex-co-worker who recently left Mike’s current (my former) company and started work at my current company. Small world. (Actually, there are quite a few people from my former company who moved within the last four years to my current company. Not surprisingly, it’s never – well, one exception – the other way around.) I haven’t seen Angie since 2014, and we had a lot to catch up on, although we had a scant hour to exchange news. I enjoy talking with Angie; she’s smart and filled with positive energy. We’ll definitely have lunch again in the near future.

*****

Saturday I made an impulsive decision to have lunch at Reedville Cafe… and I gave Debbie a scant 1-hour heads up, inviting her if she was available. She was. We met at 11:30 am and had a lively chat until 1 pm. She had a stack of things to do (including stops at the Portland Saturday Market and the Canterbury Renaissance Fair) prior to her departure on another adventure next week. So we kept a time cap on lunch. In some respects I was surprised at how much we had to talk about considering we spent two whole days together earlier this month.

I have always been a picker

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:09 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I used to pick at my scabs until they bled, and then pick at them again once they healed up. I used to pick at peeling paint - I've mostly stopped that habit. But what I really like to do, really really, is get the peeling bark on trees that exfoliate like that. I've been known to cross the street and then stop for five minutes at a time to get at the London Plane trees on my block.

If I think about it much, when I think about it, I generally would attribute this sort of thing to being autistic. I mean, I'm sure there are plenty of people who aren't autistic who do this too, but probably not many who go out of their way to do it for fun. I could be wrong here, of course.

Which is where this gets interesting. I went out to bring my mother her coffee, and before I went in I spent a few minutes with our crape myrtle. And my mother said I was just like her mother.

My mother has a very complicated relationship with me and autism. On the one hand, she swears she knew when I was a small infant. On the other hand, she is eager to downplay any signs of autism that I might ever bring up - especially if they're traits shared with anybody in the family other than her father, who really was undeniably autistic. Either she denies that the traits exist, or she denies that they're quite strong, or she denies that they have anything to do with autism whatsoever. (There are some things she can't do this to, like the topographical agnosia, but otherwise she gives it the good ol' college try!)

So for her to criticize what I'm pretty sure is an autistic trait, and attribute it to her mother instead of her father - well, I could've used this as a segue into my ongoing attempts to speak with her on the subject of the broader autistic phenotype, assortative mating, and our family. But given recent events, I decided instead to talk about exfoliating bark and how I'm sure the reduction of dead bark will decrease the risk of a forest fire in our backyard.

July 2017

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