Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 03:35 pm
MARKED - Oops, hiatus. :(

So I’m on vacation and totally forgot to actually get my twitter contact info while I was gone so I can’t… do the polls.
Argh.
Sorry about the hiatus! We’ll be back with the poll next Monday (the 3rd) and pick up the updates again on the following Thursday.


read on...
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 10:34 am

Posted by Michael Popek


Photograph, no date or writing.

Found in "The Velvet Doublet" by James Street. Published by Doubleday, 1953.

-Click to enlarge photos-
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 05:14 pm
Hi! I'm having a bit of a problem here. I wanted to edit a layout I made for a friend to use on her community. It has a fixed navigation at the bottom of the page which I don't know if could be causing this problem, but the sidebar looks right on recent entries page but it looks wonky everywhere else.

I have it testing here so you can look through the css. If you could help me out a bit D: I would be very grateful.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 11:13 am
HHS is accepting public comments on the AHCA/Better Care Reconciliation Act. All you have to do is either sign your name to a canned comment, or write your own:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/trumpcare_public_comments?t=5&akid=23825.12952682.neY85u
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 10:04 am
For P.H.
Prompt: "ghost consciousness."

The house had lain ruined for decades upon decades, quiescent at the edge of the town. Once, it was said, a fine family had dwelled there, wealthy at first, much given to parties and entertainments. The oldest people in the town still remembered the parties: the music of string quartets, and cakes decorated with spun-sugar ornaments, and couples dancing gaily through the night. But now none of the windows had glass in them anymore, save for a few sharded teeth, and the wind blew freely through the rooms where people had once gathered to gossip.

Nevertheless, the house was not entirely uninhabited. A ghost remained attached to the house, and it murmured to itself during the long winter nights, singing tuneless ghost-songs of the shapes that shadows make in the dark, and the sounds that mirrors make when no one is around to hear them, and footsteps in the distant wood. The ghost did not remember the name of the person it had been, once upon a time, but neither did this make it unhappy.

In time a pregnant cat moved into the house for the shelter it offered. The ghost did not remember much about cats, except that they liked cream, and it had no such thing to give the cat. But it had other things to offer. It encouraged the old closets to throw their doors open and disgorge their rotted linens so that the cat would have something to nest in, and it offered all house's hiding places, as well as the lullaby of the crooning wind.

For her part, the cat was a pragmatist. She did not share human prejudices against ghosts, and a ruined house was as good as any other place for her to raise kittens. She merely made sure that there were no raccoons or the like already occupying the place, and then she set to building her nest in earnest.

Cats are not the most talkative of folk, but this cat was friendlier than most. She asked the ghost why it lingered in the house, instead of going to its rest the way humans usually did. While she didn't always put credence in human stories, she had heard that ghosts usually stayed in the realm of the living because they had left some task unfinished.

The ghost said to the cat, "The only task is the task of the house itself. It was my home when I lived, and it remains my home in death."

"Then I am sorry I cannot help you," the cat said, dismayed in spite of the very pressing matter of the kittens she expected to arrive in a matter of days. "A human could help you restore the house, but I am a cat. I may have clever paws and whiskers, but they are no good for building."

The ghost's laughter gusted through the house, although it tried to keep the worst of the cold from the cat. "What do I care about restoration?" it said. "Perhaps once, when I had flesh, it would have mattered to me. But now I am a creature of shadows and dust and ash, and this house suits what I am now. I can keep it safe for you and your kittens. They can play in the house's halls and grow to adulthood without fear of being chased out by human owners; is that not enough?"

"If that is the case," the cat replied, "I shall gratefully accept your hospitality, and my kittens and I will keep your house free of mice."

"It is a very old bargain," the ghost said, "and if it suits you, it suits me."

Two days later, the kittens were born without fuss, or more fuss than the usual, anyway, and in the years to come, generations of cats made their home in the house. They probably live there still. As for the ghost, it has been busy adding the songs of cats to its repertoire. The result is noisy, but none of them mind.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 10:15 am
My family's going to Denmark in a couple of months. For the first time, I'm included in the group. So I'll be going to Denmark in the first weekend of September.

It'd be easy to extend the trip for a few days, fly back to the US from Paris or London, see people I've never hugged or only met face-to-face once before. Or fly back to somewhere else! See someone in Canada, maybe, or Iowa or California, get a chance to...

But I don't think I could manage. I've got classes, for one, and dropping a full semester of them would push completion even further away and I don't want to be stuck in it longer than I need to be. My job's flexible enough I can take a good chunk of time off if I let them know months ahead of time and still be able to return without much disruption to my place there. So there's both of those things. One or the other could maybe be pushed aside for a little while. But not both.

It used to be I had all the possible time on my hands, but nobody to see and no way to visit them. Now I have people to see and the capacity to travel, but no time to see them. Seems fitting to my life, really.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 02:00 pm

Posted by Amanda

In this HaBO, we’re trying to track down the first romance Reader Esti ever picked up:

I was talking to Bea at the Ripped Bodice about the first romance novel I ever read, and she suggested I contact you because I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the book (to be fair, I was only ten. Someone messed up and put it in the kids section at a book sale and I bought it. It definitely gave me an education, lol.)

Anyway, the story was about a divorced couple whose son was kidnapped around Christmas time. Of course they fall back in love while searching for their son. I believe the kidnapper was the hero’s partner, who wanted the heroine for himself.

I’m pretty sure the cover was blue (I know, how cliche) and that it was they type of books that come out every month, like the Silhouette romances.

Blue cover alert!

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 01:47 pm

Posted by Elyse

Elyse Watches The Bachelorette with Kraken Rum and Coke with a big rose at the bottomIt’s Monday night, the night when I get drunk on Kraken rum and watch The Bachelorette for your entertainment.

This week we have a two-hour episode on Monday, and a two-hour episode on Tuesday.

Pray for my liver.

Is anyone out there a doctor? Because I’m really going to need a note for work on Wednesday.

Boss: “Elyse, why are you in pajama bottoms and is that a tortilla chip in your hair?”

Me:

A little girl shakes her head and holds up her hands like IDK

Anyway, last week a bunch of guys were jerks, everyone fought with each other, and Rachel broke down crying because of the shittiness of the group. Iggy tattled on everyone. Lee revealed himself to be the missing Malfoy child. Kenny was accused by Lee of being aggressive.

Dean and Peter stood out by not engaging in the bullshit.

We also need to take a moment to talk about Lee’s hair. There’s no justification for his bouffant or the amount of gel that he needs to achieve it. My working theory is that he’s smuggling exotic birds up there.

Lee and his stupid hair.

Anyway, on with the show!

We’re back on Hilton Head Island, SC. Kenny has approached Lee to confront him because Lee told Rachel that Kenny was aggressive toward him.

Now let’s take a moment to call that statement out for what it is: coded racism.

Last week pretty much all of the men were shouting at each other during an epic blow up. No one got physical and there was no indication that anyone would. Multiple people shouted at Lee because Lee is a raging asshole.

Lee only accuses Kenny of being aggressive.

Coincidentally Kenny is a large Black man.

Rewatching clips from last week, it’s apparent that Kenny was never going to get physical with Lee. He was feet away from Lee when they argued, and while voices were raised, both had relaxed body posture.

By accusing Kenny of being aggressive, Lee puts Kenny in an untenable position. If he gets mad at Lee for being a shitbag, he’s an aggressive, potentially dangerous Black man. Same if he vociferously defends himself. Now all Kenny can do is keep his cool while Lee attacks him like the cowardly little rectal pustule he is.

Very calmly, Kenny says to Lee, “You are a disingenuous snake.”

That’s pretty fucking unfair to snakes. Snakes are just eating rodents and keeping their ecosystems sound. Snakes aren’t using all the hair gel.

It’s obvious that Lee is trying to provoke an angry, potentially even violent reaction from Kenny, who refuses to engage.

I expect Rachel will immediately see through all of this

After all that nonsense, Rachel shows up and gives Bryan the group-date rose , which is interesting because I actually forgot that Bryan existed. Which one is he again?

A still shot of Brian looking off to one side.
This is Bryan. Apparently.

The next day Rachel goes on a one-on-one date with Jack, who looks a lot like Bryan, which is confusing me. They take a carriage ride and then shuck and eat fresh oysters. They go dancing and Jack flirts, and it’s painful because there’s no chemistry between them. Rachel is clearly aware of it and doesn’t want to kiss him because she’s “sick.”

Cut back to the hotel. Some of the other dudes tell Lee what a shitty, racist thing calling Kenny aggressive is, and Lee gets suitably butt-hurt because Kenny “played the race card.”

He acts like he has no idea what the connotations of his comments are.

Marcia from the Brady Bunch says Sure Jan with all visible eyerolling sarcasm.

Then we go back to Rachel and Jack having dinner. Jack is trying sooooo hard to impress Rachel and she has this kind of vacant stare going on. He’s talking about how they really connected and Rachel looks like she’s thinking about The Black Panther teaser trailer. Or shampooing her carpet. Or cuddling with her dog, Copper.  Or anything other than spending time with Jack, really.

He is super oblivious to the fact that this woman has totally checked out.

Rachel comments, “Jack says ‘I just want to take you back to Dallas and just lay in bed and talk.’ That didn’t sound…great to me.”

She tells Jack that she doesn’t feel a romantic connection to him and that he won’t be getting a rose.

Jack, who was busy naming their future children, is stunned. I felt a little bad for him but also, pick up on signals dude. She didn’t want to kiss you! By this point in filming the “sick” thing is nonsense. Everyone has the same cold.

Except Lee. Lee has bird flu but only because an African Ringneck Parakeet that I’ve named Mr. Tweeters is living in his hair.

The next night (or same night? It’s all a little fuzzy here) Rachel puts on a black dress that is held together by sequined clips and makes her look like a goddamned goddess. She decides to omit the cocktail party and go straight to The Dreaded Rose Ceremony.

Cut back to the house where Peter, who is actually aware of human beings other than himself, is telling Iggy how the mens’ awful, childish behavior hurt Rachel.

I feel like right now is a good time to admit that I really want Peter to win.

  1. He doesn’t engage in petty bullshit. Every time Lee is starting some shit or Eric is screaming “MY NAME IS IN YOUR MOUTH” Peter is off on his own, presumably working out the blueprints of the dream house he will build Rachel with his goddamn hands.
  2. Rachel’s dog, Copper, loves Peter. Copper spent their whole flight to Palm Springs with his head in Peter’s lap, gazing adoringly at him. Dogs know. They always know.

Also when the WTFery is high, Peter adopts the Jim Halpert “is this real life” look.

Case in point:

Peter stares into the camera like WTF is even going on here

Then it’s time for The Dreaded Rose Ceremony–the ceremony when Chris Harrison gets to drink the blood of fallen Bachelorette contenders, thereby freeing him to walk in daylight.

In a cutaway Adam (the one who had the puppet) says, “I feel like she hasn’t seen the full Adam yet. She’s had a glimpse. She’s had a snack. I want to give her the full kitchen.”

Is The Full Kitchen a sex move I don’t know about? Is it having sex while scouring the sink?

Kenny gets a rose. Peter gets a rose. Adam gets a rose.

Then we’re down to one flower.

Chris Harrison shows up to tell us we’re down to the final rose. THANKS CHRIS!

Clearly at the behest of the producers, Rachel gives the rose to Lee.

I might have thrown up in my mouth a little, but this drinking isn’t great for my GERD.

Iggy is left out. He looks physically ill. The Tickle Monster doesn’t get a rose.

“I gotta get back out there, and look for a girl who appreciates a good set of tickling,” he says.

I don’t know what that means, but it upsets me. It sounds like something that would be scrawled in blood at a crime scene, baffling detectives.

Next they all jet off to Oslo, Norway! They immediately start off with a one-on-one date with Bryan (who I forgot existed again).

Rachel and Bryan repel down a ski jumpThey repel down a 187 foot ski jump. Because that sounds …fun.

Bryan tries to kiss her in midair. I would have been so absolutely panic-stricken at this point that I would have reflexively punched him in the face. Like a full on KO. Don’t fucking touch me when I’m dangling 187 feet in midair.

Over dinner Bryan and Rachel discuss being insecure in high school and college. Bryan tells her that previously he was afraid of commitment in relationships, but he’s matured since then. Which totally explains why he’s looking for marriage on reality TV. Because maturity.

Then he says the words, “I’m falling in love with you.”

EVERYONE TAKE A SHOT.

Despite her “cold” Rachel totally makes out with Bryan. She also gives him a rose.

Back at the hotel Lee is busy drinking the tears of children when the date card arrives.

It’s a group date with…IDK a bunch of the dudes. I’m drunk.

Regardless, Kenny and Lee aren’t in the group date which means they have a two-on-one date later.

Mr. Tweeters makes a brief appearance from Lee’s hair and gingerly accepts a pistachio from Chris Harrison.

For the group date, the dudes and Rachel learn how to play handball. Rachel describes it as a combination of football, basketball and water polo. Minus the water, I guess. It’s not the handball I played in high school gym class which involved hitting a ball with your hand and bouncing it off a wall. It makes about as much sense though and is equally appealing.

This is why I could never be The Bachelorette. You have to do all this physical stuff. My idea of a good group date is everyone read silently in the same room. With snacks. And booze.
Anthony, Josiah, and Will get ready for handball.

Also for reasons that boggle the mind, Dean wears his jock strap OVER his uniform.

We cut back to the hotel where Kenny Facetimes his daughter and my heart melts.

Meanwhile Lee lifts weights, polishes his cowboy boots and puts on his most douchey pair of distressed jeans. They show him reading a book about Oslo and I 100% guarantee a producer had to flip the book right-side up for him.

The two-on-one date card comes for Kenny and Lee, and includes a poem from Chris Harrison. I am not making this up:

Two men,

One rose,

One stays,

One goes.

Yes. That actually happened. I totally believe that Chris wrote it himself too. While cackling. The poem is about murder, but no one has figured it out yet. Chris prays to the Rose God.

Back to the group date. Rachel and Peter have dashed off to the hot tub where they’re gone for “three and a half hours” according to one of the dudes. I’m thinking they may actually have had sex. Just the parts that were filmed looked like they were about seconds from penetration.

Despite that, Will gets the rose. This confuses Peter because THREE AND A HALF HOURS. That’s stamina. He worked hard, okay? He didn’t carb up for that. That was all grit.

The next day it’s the two-on-one date. Lee, Kenny and Rachel take a helicopter ride out to the wilderness. They have drinks by a river. Mr Tweeters calls out to the wild birds of Norway.

Kenny and Rachel go to talk privately. Kenny tells Rachel that he loves spending time with her, but also that he feels like she’d be a great role model for his daughter. For the most part he skirts the bullshit with Lee, and focuses on the relationship he wants with Rachel.

Rachel isn’t at all blind to Kenny’s maturity and sincerity.

Then Kenny and Lee sit awkwardly alone while Rachel is (presumably) filming her cut always. A bird chirps really loudly onscreen and I yell, “Mr. Tweeters!”

My husband looks up from his book. “What?!”

Oh, lord, I’m drunk.

Then Lee and Rachel go talk alone. I’d like to point out that Lee has major There’s Something About Mary hair going on. Lee tells Rachel that Kenny had tried to “violently” pull him out of a van and that it appalled the other contestants, which is a blatant lie. Then he tells Rachel that Kenny gets violent when he drinks. Again, there is no evidence of this.

“I’m never gonna lie to you,” Lee says while lying to Rachel.

Somewhere Darth Vader is thinking that Lee is the son he wished he had.

I’d call Lee a worthless sack of shit, but shit can be used as fertilizer. He’s an oxygen thief. A waste of perfectly good hair gel.

I felt so genuinely bad for Kenny at this point. He’s being attacked, lied about, and there’s so little he can do to defend himself other than hope Rachel sees through Lee’s bullshit.

Lee is sitting down, holding a drink and sneering while Kenny stands in front of him pointing.
Lee and Kenny by the river. Not pictured: Mr. Tweeters

Then we get TO BE CONTINUED with clips implying that Kenny and Lee come to blows. I doubt it — the show has a vested interest in keeping anyone from getting hurt, and it’s bullshit to imply it’s going to lead to violence.

If anything, Mr. Tweeters might finally lose his shit and peck Lee to death, which I’m okay with.

Are you still watching? Who do you think should get the final rose?

 

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 10:12 am
 As the Brexit express hurtles towards the abyss I though I'd ask a question that's been bothering me for a while.  I'd it as a poll but I can't so please comment.  Leaving aside strictly legal definitions (I understand the technical difference between the status of the Isle of Man and Ascension Island) who is "British".  Below is a list of territories and what I want you to consider is for which of these should the inhabitants be considered British:
  • The Channel Islands
  • The Isle of Man
  • Northern Ireland
  • The Falkland Islands
  • Ascension Island
  • South Georgia
  • St. Helena
  • The Pitcairn Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Malta
  • Hong Kong
  • Victoria BC
Go on.  I'm curious.

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 02:06 pm

Posted by ukdramafan

Just wondering if anyone has any of her stories? I'm after Morning Meeting, and: After the Morning Meeting, but the links lead to her livejournal account which is deleted.
I'm at mcpcr@bigpond.com
Many thanks in advance
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 08:53 am
Last week I posted under lock about a mysterious bump on my thyroid and sore throat that I'd gone to the doc for. Had the scan on Wednesday, got the results on Friday: just a cyst. Yay. Doc says we'll rescan in a year unless it changes dramatically.

Mom came up this weekend to go to one of the local art museums, which has an exhibition of paintings from a collection that focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including a lot of Impressionists. Alas, I am just not an Impressionist type of person. The painting I liked best was Alfred Sisley's Snow at Louveciennes, and that was because it reminded me of tramping through the snow in Arashiyama, Kyoto--the small hilly village, the snow, the feeling of cold in the air.

I pretty much spent the time Mom wasn't here playing Skyrim, and have come up with an actual motivation for Murderface 2.0! That shall wait for a real post. Let's just say it's petty and completely disproportionate to his actions.

I have discovered a brand of lactose-free yogurt and have been eating yogurt pretty steadily over the past few days thanks to antibiotic side effects, the less said about which the better. But plain yogurt with maple syrup is rather addictive.

And to end it all with, I now have another sore throat, which is much more obviously a respiratory-related thing than last week's was, and I am expecting to come down with a cold Any Moment Now, given my general run-down feeling right now. Alas. (I may be continuing to play Skyrim, in that case...)
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 09:00 am

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Tell me. When do you think the worst possible time for my hand to cramp up would be? In the middle of the show? Right at the beginning of the acoustic segment with me and Ziggy? Right in the middle of “Candlelight?” The fact that it happened the in the five minutes before we went on proves that things could have been worse. Right?

Read the rest of this entry » )