But Tennessee is talking about banning the stuff, which is something of which I really disapprove. I live in Kentucky, so the legislators in question don't really have any reason to listen to me, but I thought I should make these posts public so that they're google-able for Tennesseans doing research. Also, obviously, in hopes of dissuading Kentucky from following suit.
I've read a lot of stories of people who can't afford prescription drugs using kratom to manage depression, chronic pain, and exhaustion - that's why I decided to try it in the first place. And I've also seen stories, like this one on Reddit, of people addicted to dangerous opiates like prescription painkillers and heroin, using it to taper off their use, because it acts like an opiate and helps them with withdrawal symptoms. Its own withdrawal symptoms are comparatively really mild, too.
This is a really big deal, because kratom seems to be nearly impossible to overdose on - as anyone who reads my blog knows, I'm pretty paranoid about taking even over-the-counter meds, so I did a lot of research before ordering the stuff. I really haven't found any stories of anyone hurting themselves with it; the only thing close is a news article about a guy ending up in the ER because he was vomiting. And that doesn't sound like an overdose to me. The stuff's well-known to cause nausea in high volumes.
If kratom is really as safe as it appears to be, and it helps people with addictions to drugs that can actually kill them, banning it would be unbelievably stupid. Opiate addiction, particularly prescription painkillers, is a terrible problem in Appalachia; I've dealt with a lot of addicts through work, and I've seen how hard it is to get off that stuff. Keeping people who genuinely want to get clean from accessing an inexpensive tool to help them would be really irresponsible.
And frankly, barring the stuff without having any good evidence that it's dangerous doesn't make any sense. Louisiana chose to deal with kratom by requiring that it not be sold to people under eighteen; that makes sense to me. A ban doesn't.
Okay, there's enough of me blogging at legislators who aren't reading this. ( Under the cut I'm going to talk a little about my medical history and explain why I've been doing this, as context for people who haven't read my depressing locked posts. )
We also need volunteers! Clothing swap staff get first pick of the donations, and, if that's not enough incentive for you, perhaps the warm glow of bringing people together with the perfect outfit will do it. Volunteers are still needed for the mellower setup phase and during the Gathering itself. Of course, we'll spell you if you want to go get your hair braided or your cards read. Please send email to jinian@ to volunteer.
(For some California local definition of 'morning'!)
About 30 minutes ago one of our databases (sb-db03) locked up and stopped serving traffic. This was an active database, so the site quickly stopped when it could no longer serve requests. Alas.
I have failed us over to a backup database and now everything should be working again.
I'm not sure yet what happened to db03, but am currently investigating and will update this post if I come up with a root cause for the problem. Edit: It's back up and doesn't have any visible problems. Disks are fine, data's intact, etc. The graphs and logs show nothing. We'll have to keep an eye on it and see if it manifests further issues.
Sorry for the trouble, please let me know if you still see any problems!
Lilith's Brood, Octavia Butler
Where Angels Fear to Tread by Thomas E. Sniegoski
I switched from audiobook to ebook for this series because I wasn't loving the writing style enough to want it read to me. I found the beginning annoying. But I've only read a few pages so far.
The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by Sean B. Carroll (audiobook)
What did you recently finish reading?
Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry, #2 in the Inspector William Monk series, set in the mid-19th century. Audiobook well narrated by Davina Porter, one of my favorite narrators. Although it's called the Monk series, this book's main protagonist is Hester Latterly—she does the primary footwork for solving the mystery. I really liked it for its attention to class and women's issues, and for character development. I also think Perry does a good job with dialogue.
Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire, the fourth book in the October Daye series. Liked it a lot. McGuire does a great job of pacing and reveals and drawing out the story arc.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I'm going on a trip without much Internet access, so I downloaded several ebooks:
A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King (#3 in the Mary Russell series)
Larger Than Death by Lynne Murray (#1 in the Josephine Fuller series)
Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
The Vampire Files, Volume Two omnibus by P. N. Elrod (contains books 4–6 in the series: Art in the Blood, Fire in the Blood, and Blood on the Water)
Ventus by Karl Schroeder
A.) THAT IS ILLEGAL
B.) I TOLD HIM POINT BLANK THAT IF HE EVER ACTUALLY DOES THAT, I'M WALKING.
AND THEN ONE OF THE ASSISTANT MANAGERS, WHO UP UNTIL NOW I ACTUALLY LIKED, TOLD ME THAT I HAD GOTTEN SPOILED HAVING SO MANY PEOPLE WORKING HERE, AND THAT IT IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE TO GET ALL THIS WORK DONE WITH ONLY ONE OR TWO PEOPLE, WHICH
A.) IF YOU ONLY NEED TWO COOKS, THEN WHY DID YOU HIRE ME IN THE FIRST PLACE WHEN YOU ALREADY HAD THREE COOKS AND BUSINESS WAS A LOT SLOWER THAN IT IS NOW
B.) FUCK YOU.
And right now we're doing the largest project we've ever done: a musical retelling of the history of the world according to Norse mythology, from the creation of the cosmos through its destruction at Ragnarok, based on the original sources in the Eddas. This retelling, Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok, is going to be an album, which we are in the process of recording. It's also going to be a play, which we will be performing live and in period costume as the musical guests of honor at Balticon 2013 this upcoming weekend. We've hired a video crew to film the Balticon performance and will be making that available on DVD so that people who can't make it to the convention can still see the full performance.
The music is entirely written, the play is in rehearsal, and we've got some tracks laid down. But the members of our group live in widely scattered locations around the country, and as a group which performs primarily at conventions we don't make any money from ticket sales. In addition, producing and distributing an album has associated costs, as do the filming, production, and distribution of the DVD.
Therefore, we've put up a Kickstarter, which will be running from now until June 16th. Click through for the video of our project proposal, plus embedded audio so you can hear what the music sounds like. Samples include a duet between Odin and Loki describing their friendship and the way it fell apart, multiple versions of the Norse alphabet song, and a preview of the finale song.
The full list of reward tiers is available at the site, but I should mention that various tiers do include the CD in digital form, physical form, or both, the performance DVD, and the libretto and sheet music of the Sundown project. At higher levels, we're offering associated artwork and even the chance for a private house concert.
And if we hit $10,000, Jo Walton, Hugo and Nebula-award winning author and friend of the group, will write an Odin-themed poem set in the world of Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok and post it for the world to see for free on her Livejournal. If we hit $14,000, Jo will write a Loki-themed followup to her Odin poem, which will be sent only to backers.
This is where I urge you to back our Kickstarter for the rather selfish reason that I want to read the poetry.
So, to reiterate: the Kickstarter is here! And it runs until June 16th.
Here's the group's main website.
And thank you for reading this.
I mean, it helps that Victor Hugo is an unfairly interesting person; also, unfairly hilarious. Not, I hasten to add, someone you would probably want to spend time with on a regular basis, despite the massive cult of contemporary worshippers who disagreed. Young Hugo, after all -- well, it's probably enough to just remind everyone that Marius Pontmercy was a self-insert.
(You know who has passionate nostrils, besides Marius Pontmercy? VICTOR HUGO DOES. You know who freaks out when his girlfriend has to lift her skirts a little in order to get through the mud? YEP, YOU GUESSED IT. Better muddy petticoats than immodest ankles, he advises her!)
And then there's Old Hugo, Chief Priest of the thriving Cult of Hugo, with an ego the size of the continent of Europe, who did his level best to seduce anything that moved and subsumed the lives of his entire family into the upkeep of the aforementioned Cult -- and, perhaps even more annoyingly, was the greatest mansplainer EVER TO LIVE, prone to interrupting people's conversations and announcing things like, "I have read neither Goethe nor Schiller, but I know them better than those who have learnt their works by heart!"
It's also important to note that over the course of his career, Hugo: passionately supported royalty; passionately supported Napoleon; passionately supported Republicanism; passionately led the Romantics; passionately supported the bourgeoisie; passionately charged against a barricade on the side of a repressive government; then, guilt-stricken, spent the next revolution after that wandering around behind the barricades hoping someone would let him pull an Enjolras and jump around being the leader and waving a flag.
(Sadly, by the time he got to the barricade, it was all over and they were just hauling the corpse of the ACTUAL leader away. OOPS.)
I mean, I actually think all these inherent contradictions are awesome, and so does Robb; without them, Les Miserables, among others, would be a much more didactic and less inherently fascinating book. But one can imagine it made being a Victor Hugo fan sort of confusing at the time.
There are dozens of LolHugo stories worth relating, but I think my favorite is the year that Hugo spent really, really into Spiritualism. During this period of time, Hugo received supernatural visits from such luminaries as Cain, Moses, Jesus, Mozart, Sir Walter Scott, The Spirit of the Ocean, and The Shadow of the Tomb. Mostly they were coming to tell Hugo that they'd read his books and thought they were AWESOME. A standard night in the Hugo household over that year might look something ( like this )
OH VICTOR HUGO.
It's interesting that while the overall plots and details of the two series have very few points of similarity - the kinship is more one of tone and atmosphere - both have heroes who are avatars of the destructive aspect of a God.
Beyond that, all I can say without spoilers is that this series just gets better and better as it goes along. Book five was particularly packed with holy shit! moments.
Marie, if you're reading this, you would appreciate that the only characters who do stupid things based on sexual desire are reckless, desperate teenagers. The adults generally manage to sensibly resist doing stupid things out of sexual desire, despite extreme temptation. (Homosexuality is banned in large parts of this world.)
( Read more... )
The Holy Road (The Rifter)
Broken Fortress (The Rifter)
1) Give me a
2) Give me an AU setting.
3) I will write you a three-sentence fic.
You can also give me a non-AU setting or scenario!
I pretty much just write genfic, which is why I changed the wording of this. You can still give me a pairing if you really want, but be warned that what you’re likely to get is UST, domesticity, and/or maaaybe a kiss.
You guys know my fandoms, I think, but I'll tell you if I don't think I can manage something.
Shoyeido Daily - Kinkaku/Golden Pavilion: The benzoin/cinnamon combination here reminds me a little of my favorite incense, Triloka's Aphrodisia, but it's also got that dry, cool, powdery feeling that most Japanese sandalwoods do. And the patchouli scent is the very "dirty" BO-ish kind, and very strong, which I think doesn't work well with the other elements. I mean, it's not as bad as when you get a crappy artificial jasmine accord with so much indole it ends up smelling like poop, but it's just not quite right.
I haven't seen this mentioned in other reviews of the stuff, so maybe I got a bad roll, or I'm oversensitive? I do like it overall, but it's definitely weird.
Shoyeido Daily - Nokiba/Moss Garden: If you just looked at the "ingredient" list - "sandalwood, benzoin, patchouli, and spices" - you might expect it to smell a lot like the Kinkaku, but they don't have much in common. This is smoother and more harmonious, if it's appropriate to use that word in when discussing smells. Very sweet, dry, and the scent doesn't linger long. It's not bad, but also not all that interesting! I think I like the Kinkaku better.
Nippon Kodo Sagano Patchouli: I didn't actually realize this had patchouli in it for a long time. I can recognize it now that I know it's there, but the impression I get from it a very dry green sandalwood with some very dry spicy/floral oil mixed in. Super-dry, basically. It smells brittle, if brittle can be a smell, which it can because I say so.
Nippon Kodo Yume-no-Yume - Maple Leaf: Wow, this stuff is sweet. I mean, I like it, but it's extremely sweet. That seems to be a thing that all the Yume-no-Yume incenses have in common. This one's an ambergris/vanilla-y scent, but I'd say it's more cool than warm. That's Japanese incense for you, folks - a scent format that can make vanilla smell prissy and inedible.
Title: And Yet Are Orphans
Fandom: Les Miserables
Characters: Azelma, Gavroche, and a couple of Ami cameos
Summary: For lack of anything better to do, Azelma pays a visit to her brother.
Notes: The standard set of Thenardier family warnings apply -- implied child abuse, canon character death, you know the drill. Up at the AO3 over here. Thanks to genarti for the beta!
( “My other sister's prettier,” remarked Gavroche. “This one would be a red-faced bourgeois if she could.” )
2. Related, while i don't have the hate for LJ that others do these days (Give me time?) I wish more of the "LJ is dead/sucks, I'm moving" people had moved to DW instead of tumblr. Mind you, I like tumblr for what it is (as long as tumblr savior is working, which largely depends on people actually using a tag like "kpop" or "teen wolf" or supernatural" along with all their personal tags) though I sometimes find it overwhelming and have to stop for a while, but I will never truly love it until it works out a decent comment/interaction system, and allows me to have scads and scads of userpics like LJ and DW. Or at least several options.
3. Thanks to this article, I am now anti-interested in the upcoming Dracula series. I mean, I was never really interested, a it takes a lot to get me interested in vampires and I'm apparently one of the few people out there who doesn't find Jonathan Rhys Meyers appealing on any level, but this sounds like even Oz the Great and Powerful paid more attention to the source. (To clarify: I have no issues with adaptations taking liberties with their source materials. For one thing, few things will work the exact same way in multiple entertainment mediums, and for another, even if I don't agree with the interpretations, I've always thought one of the main points of adaptations was for different interpretations of a work. I do, however, expect even liberal adaptations to make me think they have a clue about what the source actually is, as opposed to 4th generation derivatives based on pop culture that may or may not have even skimmed the source.) Like, the upcoming Sleepy Hollow is certainly a liberal adaptation, but like Elementary, it sounds like an INTERESTING spin meant to update the source and possibly address some of the issues within the source.
4. Along the same vein, CW's upcoming series, Reign, about Mary Queen of Scots when she lived in France, sounds like it makes all the ahistorical period dramas of recent years sound like perfect depictions of actual history. I may or may not check it out, though, as CW does good with entertainingly cheesy/angst, at least for a while, depending on what else is around when it pops up.
5. But what I really want is a good epic fantasy show that has lots of women and doesn't just go the medieval(Europe)-lite route and isn't about a dude's destiny. Probably never going to get it, though.
6. Has anyone seen Blancanieves, the Spanish film that a B&W silent movie adaptation of Snow White with matadors? I need to know if it's worth making sure I see it before WisCon in case it can be used for my fairy tale retellings panel.
ETA: I forgot that Phryne Fisher is the kind of woman who keeps a nude portrait of herself in the parlour.
HQ had an absolutely fantastic birthday, at an arcade full of old school games, with most of his favorite people, including his godfather/waterbro who he hasn't seen in a whiiiile.
Said godfather/waterbro is one of my absolute all time favorite people in the goddamn universe and I am so excited to have him back in our lives and he seems, although still not well, happy.
He's coming over this evening to sit on the dock and catch up about the huge life changes we have both gone through the last couple years.
One of my favorite young people has her membership meeting to live here tonight. It is slightly less than awesome that I am skipping her meeting, but I will be at the next house meeting where it is actually decided, and there was DRAMA at the last membership meeting for someone I am friends with, so it is for the best to skip it.
I am always convinced I don’t really care for ghost stories, but then: ‘Ooo, ghosts involved in the world wars’; ‘Ghosts in the Arctic!’; ‘Vampires turned into ghosts – now that is just cool’. I seem to be lying to myself, although I’ve absolutely no idea why. At least my lies don’t seem to be getting between me and a good story as I’ve just finished another interesting book about people affected by ghosts; ‘Cold Earth’ by Sarah Moss.
Last year I read ‘Dark Matter’ by Michelle Paver a novel about a scientific expedition to the Arctic that is plagued by misfortune and ghosts. ‘Dark Matter’ was a hit around the blogging world and I may have liked it a teeny bit (Jack and Gus <3 *mopes*). Readers looking for something similar might want to try picking up ‘Cold Earth’ as it revolves around a contemporary scientific expedition that becomes stranded in an area of Greenland which is possibly plagued by ghosts. Six students journey to Greenland on an archaeological visit to excavate a Norse site. Just as they arrive at their camp, a new virus has begun to claim a few lives in their home countries but concern is not yet high enough to prevent them travelling. This added SF twist later (predictably) provides a means for the book to further isolate its characters and knock up its plots tension so even if ghosts aren’t your thing, as it appears they so clearly are mine, perhaps the introduction of an SF conceit into a fantasy novel about scientific methods will pique your SFFnal curiosity.
( Spoilers about ghosts and death )