February 2013

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Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 06:09 pm
I'm still not recovered from last week, although probably some part of that was my fault for trying to make use of that family history offer over the weekend, but there we go. I'll get there, I suppose.

In the meantime, here's a post.

What I've just finished reading

I have read the next two in the Kate Shackleton mystery series by Frances Brody. I still don't know quite what to make of them - I'm enjoying them, I can read them and yet... I don't know.

I also went to the library and got some Regencies to try and get me back reading again a little better, which worked until I was undone by the Thing last week. They were slight, but no Carolyns, at any rate. (Two more MC Beatons, but nothing that reached the ridiculous/sinister heights of the Mannerling idea.)

However, then I got Snowdrift, the reissued collection of Georgette Heyer's short story collection, Pistols For Two, with three rediscovered stories in it! I mean, her short stories aren't anything to her novels, but this was the most exciting thing reading-wise that has happened to me since I was ill, I think. They were slight, but it was very lovely to have new Heyer words for the first time in probably twenty years.

And then I randomly found on a charity book stall in my supermarket, a weird little teen book I used to have a fascination with back in the 90s, The Bewitching of Alison Allbright by Alan Davidson. It is still a very odd little book, not quite like anything else I can think of & enjoyable to have a revisit, even if not at anywhere near the same intensity as back then. It's not a fantasy - the 'bewitching' involves no magic, just the glamour of riches hiding some sinister/obsessive intentions.


What I'm Reading Now

Nothing, really; I need to get a bit better again. HMS Surprise needs more brain than I have, and I've a few other things started and abandoned, so mostly, nothing and occasionally re-reading some of the older stories in Snowdrift. (I like my new copy better than the old one, which is nice, because it's not always the case.)

I am still taking (family history-related) notes from London in the 19th Century by Jerry White.


What I'm Reading Next

Something, I hope. My TBR pile is far larger than my actual reading ability, but you've got to have optimism and hope and ambition, right?
Thursday, June 15th, 2017 07:50 pm
Here’s the thing about writing advice: you don’t have to take any of it. It’s all optional.

If you want to use adverbs like they’re (still) going out of style, use them. If you want to substitute epithets for every proper name or pronoun, do it. If you want to write everything in first person, go for it.

Sometimes your choices will cost you readers. But maybe you weren’t writing for the person who hates first person. Maybe you were writing for the person who loves it because it gives a sense of immediacy and intimacy.

People post writing advice for many reasons, and personal preference is often top of the list.

That’s not to say that if you really want to improve your writing, you should dismiss all the advice. Knowing that epithets throw a lot of people out of a story is useful. You can adjust for the effect that you want. Maybe you use a common phrase without thinking about what it actually means and see a rant about how people are using it incorrectly. Good! Now you get to decide if you agree and if you’re going to adjust in the future.

But don’t beat yourself up. Keep writing. Keep reading. Make the choices you want. If you want to improve, you will. If you don’t care and just want to share fun stories, do that. There’s room for everyone.

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Monday, June 19th, 2017 09:45 pm
A week or so ago I, like an adult, finally got my bike fixed and ready to ride. (I paid nice people to do it.) And I had taken it out for a couple of rides since and just… reveled in the feeling of riding a bike. It’s so much fun!

Ideally, I’d like to start riding my bike to work, but one of my rides was a test run, and I think I got halfway there before I realized that time-wise, it wasn’t going to work that day and also I need a lot more practice.

Today, however, I rode my bike just over a mile to the library. IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER THAN RIDING A BIKE TO THE LIBRARY AND COMING AWAY WITH A HEAVY BACKPACK OF BOOKS?

I THINK NOT.

Copied from my tumblr
Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 12:42 pm
So because I rode my bike yesterday I forgot to do literally everything else on my to-do list.

Oops.

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Sunday, June 25th, 2017 02:40 pm
“Taking a nap was a good idea,” she defended herself. “It’s just that afterward I feel a little like someone crunched me into a vaguely spherical shape and used me for a frame or two of bowling.”

She gulped down more water. “I’ll be okay in another hour or two.”

Copied from my tumblr
Monday, June 26th, 2017 08:39 pm
There is always traffic on this road. Tonight there is no traffic on this road.

There is no one in line at Dollar Tree. There is no cashier. There is a bell. You ring the bell and nothing happens. You turn away to put down your basket and when you turn back there is a cashier and no bell.

You enter the grocery store. A woman passes you, frowning. A young girl who might belong to the woman sees you and decides to walk through you despite the fact that you are not in line with the doors. You dodge her at the last second.

A Tall Man passes by you with a grunt. There is something wrong with his face, but you can’t see it.

All of the bananas are green.

A store employee with a neat hipster beard passes you. He smiles and nods.

All of the naan is made from Ancient Grains.

A Tall Man passes you with a grunt. You can’t see his face but it looks fine.

None of the eggs in the first carton you pick are cracked.

A store employee with a neat hipster beard passes you. He smiles and nods.

You check out. The cashier frowns at you and tells you your chocolate won’t stop scanning.

A woman in the parking lot is in the process of wedging her cart onto the curb instead of taking it back. You stare at her, willing her to take it back, knowing it will be futile. She unwedges the cart and takes it back.

You pull out of the lot in front of the bus. It’s an express.

On the radio, Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” begins to play.

Copied from my tumblr
Monday, June 26th, 2017 09:23 pm
1. tried the new oreo Os last week. rather bleh, not the same without those little "cream" pieces that looked like marshmallow disks.

2. trying to find a new scent of deodorant with a half-stuffed nose is no fun. chose secret scent expressions coconut splash invisible solid.
considered boho berry; a kind of dusty berry scent. also considered chill ocean; kind of smells like the "fresh" or "powder" scents. the hawaii citrus smells like cheap vitamin c tablets. the classic coco butter kind of smells like some sort of hand lotion, but not quite.
hopefully it will work out, there is that troublesome thing called body chemistry after all.

3. there a guy here that complains every day about going outside to smoke. i'm like "dude, you knew there was a smoke-free place when you applied to be here."

4. i maybe be a much larger size in bras than i thought. it's going to be a major pain to find one that fits & that i like. the sides on the bigger once usually cut into my armpits. i swear whoever designs these thing never has to wear one.
i got these things from my mom, which she apologized for. on
on the other end of the scale was my dad's mother who once said that when she was young hers were like half lemons, but became fried eggs when she got older.

Monday, June 26th, 2017 08:48 am
[profile] wendelah has been a nurse for 32 years and knows her shit: Go here and see these links for helping to fight for the Affordable Care Act. Yes, it's flawed, but it's a far cry better than what they're looking to replace it with.

I have many strong, personal feelings on health care and the medical system right now and don't want to dump them on you, so I'm going to disable comments and make a more upbeat post soon. If you want to talk about the ACA or health care, or any of the other interesting political things that [profile] wendelah has linked to, please let the focus be on her post. :)
Saturday, June 24th, 2017 07:42 pm
(originally posted on 7-11-16)

since it will get hotter before it gets cooler, especially in the south & southwest, this is info people need.



HEAT EXHAUSTION 

feeling faint or dizzy

excessive sweating

cool, pale, clammy skin

nausea or vomiting

rapid, weak pulse

muscle cramps

treatment: get to a cool, air conditioned place. drink water if fully conscious. take a cool shower or use cool compresses. (i suggest using them around your neck or on the inside of your wrists, where the blood vessels or arteries are close to the surface.)



HEAT STROKE 

throbbing headache

no sweating

body temperature above 103 F (39.4 C)

red, hot, dry skin

nausea or vomiting

rapid, strong pulse

may lose consciousness

treatment: CALL 911 (or whatever equivalent is in your country) take immediate action to cool the person until help arrives. (i suggest providing shade, maybe getting them inside if they're on hot cement & use cool compresses on them)
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Friday, June 23rd, 2017 02:35 pm
I'm still tired from yesterday, but a head's up (via a genealogy news feed I follow) in case it's of any use to other people:

Find My Past (one of the big online genealogy sites for the UK) are allowing free access to their main UK collections till 26th June. (No strings attached for this one, not even fake-orders to get it; only registering if you haven't already.)

Some more details & instructions on the site's blog: https://blog.findmypast.com/free-british-irish-records-2445715211.html


*skuttles off to collapse somewhere again*
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 04:01 pm
It all started when a friend of mine happened to mention the language-learning site Duolingo (www.duolingo.com). I was immediately drawn to how addictive it was, how fun it was, and how free it was. Ironically, I first wanted to improve my Spanish, as that is the foreign language I had been using (trying to use) the most. But I also took French in high school, and soon I couldn't resist using Duolingo to find out how much French I remembered. I quickly discovered that I had lost a lot of it -- in fact, Duolingo's test took me right back to the beginning, "Basics 1" -- but I also discovered that it started to come back to me, and the more I progressed through Duolingo's lessons, the more lessons I was able to test out of. I am now two lessons away from completing all of Duolingo's French lessons, and I am at least as good at French as when I took it in high school, and possibly even better.

Besides Duolingo, I have been able to practice my French with lots of other free resources on the internet. In fact, it's amazing how many resources are out there if you go and look. Here are my favorites so far:

-- Watching episodes of a French anime series, "Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir" (The Adventures of Ladybug and Black Cat). I have [personal profile] primsong to thank for this; she recommended this show and it is both charming and addictive to watch. I watch in French with English subtitles, although I sometimes watch without the subtitles just to gauge how good I am at picking up the French without the translation. (Not too good yet, but improving.) The episodes can be found on youtube.

-- A site that has you watch French music videos and fill in pieces of the lyrics. Sometimes there are technological hiccups (asking for the word before the video played the word; not allowing you to type in apostrophes while requiring apostrophes for the correct answer), but it's so much fun, I have to list it here. Also, the site has introduced me to the French musical group "Carrousel," and I now love their music, especially the song "Le Manque De Place." Here's the site: http://www.bonjourdefrance.com/karaoke-fle/index.php/fr

-- Reading fanfic in French on AO3. So far, I have read several French Doctor Who fanfics and a few Marvelous Ladybug fanfics (i.e., Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir). I have also managed to comment on the fics in French, although you'll have to ask the authors how comprehensible I was. Anyway, it's another great way to strengthen my reading comprehension with material that I'm actually interested in reading.
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Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 09:33 pm
I am having rl this week; it is rubbish. (Or at least, it was hot and now there is a Thing I have to go to tomorrow; everything will be at least better once the Thing is over and I have recovered, or more or less; it's a multi-part Thing, as so often in life. Stupid Thing.)

And then just now I happened to look and Network are having a 45% sale again!. And guess who still has nearly all her b'day money? Oh, yes, I do. Now I just have to decide what to spend it on, so at least that will be some sort of an antidote.

If you are in R2 or can play R2 discs, you too can snag yourself obscure old British telly! (Mostly ITV, it tends to be other companies that release the BBC stuff.) I have been poking through to see what's on offer from my wishlist (lots! \o/) and can tell you that you can also get Press Gang, Enemy at the Door, Public Eye and Sapphire and Steel at bargainous prices! (Also Manhunt, The Power Game, The Sandbaggers and Mr Palfrey and Undermind and Zodiac). So you should go out and buy them and then write me all the fic, obv.

Anyway, I thought I'd give the heads up and enable my like-minded souls on my flist. ([personal profile] liadtbunny, I am shocked that you did not already tell me this! I rely on you for these things! ;-D)
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