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Meanwhile, in happier news, guess which household's preordered hardcopy of Starfinder RPG arrived today?! =D =D =D I'm not convinced by most of the class/character artwork (some of the gun designs are atrocious--why the fuck would you make a scope design that undulates?!) but the environment/matte painting is gorgeous. I oohed and ahhed over the illustrations for the different homeworlds in particular.
Prepare and teach a class on Judaism in period - I'm reading a book on the Khazars although this is not the class I planned. This may wind up being a second class and I'll still do the one I planned though.
Post 100 situations prompts to AO3 - Well I had some difficulty figuring out how to do it on AO3 so I'm putting it on ff.net.
30 entries to monthly diary day - yep posted this month.
30 new kiva loans - did that on the 15th, I made a loan to Zamiyya Natalia for education expenses in the Dominican Republic.
Read 3 books on the Kyivan Rus - there may not be 3 English language books on the Kyivan Rus. I'm searching. Though I'm currently reading a book on the Khazars which mentions them, and I'm counting.
Listen to 90 podcasts - I listened to one about whether we've historically had a right to privacy in this country. Spoiler alert: that's a no.
Read the entire bible - I've started 1 Kings
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Lindsey Way
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: traditional (markers)
Artist on DW/LJ: N/A
Artist Website/Gallery: ghostparachutes
Why this piece is awesome: There's a lot of delicious colorful art by ghostparachutes to love, but I picked this one because I have found so little high-quality art of Lynz. There are two pictures in the post I linked, but I especially like the portrait of Lynz playing her bass--the red bandana and matching bloody knees (and hands!), the guitar, the hair, and the dark cloudy background.
[Drabbles & Short Fiction]
- Untitled (Dawn, G, Despicable Me xover) by glitterangelem
- Just Another Afternoon (Buffy, T, Magnificent Seven xover) by beri_fanfic
- Road Trip North (Xander, T, The Sentinel xover) by indraleigh
- Gifted (Dawn/Gwen Raiden, T) by punch_kicker15
- Logic to Out Pace Any Fighting (Buffy, T, Star Trek xover) by hermione2be
- Coffee To Go (Faith, G, Criminal Minds xover) by 3am_moonlight
- The Vampire At The Door (Spike/Willow, E) by xspike4evax
- A Gift Over Wires (Willow/Kennedy, Giles, T) by katleept
- Letting Them Go (Willow/Kennedy, Giles, T) by katleept
- Mangled Spells and Manly Bits (Xander/Spike, T) by LitGal
- Because You Were Silent (Buffy/Spike, M) by Imhilien
- Mangled Spells and Girly Bits Ch. 1-4/? (Spike/Xander, M) by LitGal
- Forward Without Seeing Ch. 29 (Buffy/Spike, M) by queen_insane
- What It Means To Be a Family Ch. 6 (Spike, Xander, Angel, T) by
[Images, Audio & Video]
[Reviews & Recaps]
- Podcast: 617: Normal Again () by tinyfences
- Podcast: S03E04 - Pasty Marshmallow Boy - Beauty and the Beasts by popculturerolecall
Yeah. I said cheap and mass produced. These statues have neither artistic nor historical value. “Why did the statue go down so easy? Many “Lost Cause” era C monuments were mass-produced in the cheapest way possible for mass distribution. There wasn’t even a layer of the most basic mortar holding the pedestal to the base. Gravity was enough for granite. Cheap, tacky crap.”
Antonia Noori Farzan @ Phoenix New Times: Activist Turns Confederate Memorial At Arizona Capitol Into Participation Trophy
She immediately got to work crafting two banners that say "2nd Place Participant" and "You lost, get over it."
David Krugler @ the Daily Beast: America's Forgotten Mass Lynching: When 237 People Were Murdered In Arkansas
What made 1919 unique was the armed resistance that black Americans mounted against white mobs trying to keep them “in their place.”
Ken Schwencke @ ProPublica: Service Provider Boots Hate Site Off the Internet
“This is fucking serious. 8/12 changed everything,” tweeted Pax Dickinson, a lead technical voice for the far right, referencing the Charlottesville rally.
Nicholas Fandos, Russell Goldman, & Jess Bidgood @ NYT: Baltimore Mayor Had Statues Removed in ‘Best Interest of My City’
History could not and should not be erased, [Kaylyn Meyers, 29] said, but men like Taney did not belong on a pedestal in a nice public park, either.
siderea: [US] Fwd: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Address of May 19
Starts good, gets great: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's magnificent address of May 19 on the removal of the Confederate monuments from New Orleans. It's 22 minutes long, and, Americans, it's absolutely worth making the time. Beautiful, firey, and uplifting, it's worth hearing it delivered rather than reading a transcript.
1. I swung by the cobbler's on my lunch break in hopes he might do leather repair other than shoes (the stitching attaching the shoulder strap on my beloved black handbag unexpectedly gave way yesterday). He initially said no, then changed his mind to yes when I showed it to him, and he did a gorgeous restitching job in time for me to pick it up on my way home.
2. The leftover carrot-zucchini cake I made for the friend who runs my D&D group (in honor of his birthday, and last night being the last D&D session of our current arc) was enthuastically devoured by my coworkers.
3. I had chicken dumpling ZOMG-so-much-spinach soup for lunch, and it was good. (I finally made the damn soup Monday night, after two weeks of stressful waffling on when exactly I'd get to it, so to have that done, and to move on to the simple pleasure of enjoying it, is very good indeed).
I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to get everything I have to get done at work this week before I leave early Friday for a few days of vacation, but I've already managed more than I'd thought I might when pulling a 12hr work day Friday wasn't enough to whittle it down to a reasonable amount.
One day at a time is enough, betimes.
So far I've thrown money at the SPLC.
As so many other people have been saying: if you've ever wondered what you would have done in 1936, when the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei was seizing control of the German government, or in 1965, as Dr. King was marching on Selma, now you know. It's what you're doing now.
And then I discovered 1010! Which is like Tetris but without the blocks dropping - instead you place them wherever you like/they'll fit to make complete rows etc. And I have spent the past few days enthralled and exhausted because I've stayed up way too late doing this. I even paid $1.99 so I could have it ad free!
And then last night when I looked up from my phone after many, many games, and it was 12:45 am, I deleted it, because I can't be having with that. I was seeing it behind my eyelids while awake, and dreaming about it when I was asleep. Ugh. It was so nice and soothing too. But since I can't control myself, I had to get rid of it. Sigh.
Anyway, Wednesday means books, so buckle up!
What I've just finished
Babylon's Ashes, the last currently available Expanse novel, which I liked a lot. Are these books perfect? No. There's still too much Holden, though I did like that ( spoilers ) Avasarala, Bobbie, Naomi, and Amos are still my faves, and Alex makes a good showing here, too. This and Nemesis Games are really one long arc, and should probably be read together.
Buried Heart by Kate Elliott, the conclusion of the Court of Fives trilogy. I enjoyed it, though I still think maybe Jessamy made some assumptions that she had no real basis for which turned out to be true (this happened in the first book too), which is a downside of first person POV, because I kept waiting for her to be wrong about some things and she wasn't (well, she was wrong about a bunch of things, but not some of the things I thought she might be wrong about). Anyway, I found it a satisfying if slightly pat conclusion, and as with the Cold Magic trilogy, I found the revolution a lot more interesting than the romance.
Bombshells vol 3: Uprising - after Recent Events, I decided to go back to this and finish it, and the titular uprising made me tear up on the subway. Also, MIRI MARVEL!!! I don't know if I knew about that? But I LOVE IT. ♥♥♥ I can't wait to pick up volume 4.
Star Wars: Kanan: The Last Padawan volumes 1 & 2. These were fine. I enjoyed them, but they were somewhat repetitive when read in trade - there was a lot of catching up in the narration, which is good for a monthly comic but less good when reading it all in one go. Also, every other page, he's like, "Don't call me kid!" which got a little old. Mostly interesting to me for sad Jedi details, like Caleb saying Styles was his first friend even though we see him with Tai and Sammo - were they not friends? That's so depressing. Unless he meant first non-Jedi friend, which is better. I'm just going to pretend that's what he meant so I can be slightly less sad.
Also notable for explicitly referencing the "Jedi code" which I hear a lot about in fic but am not sure I'd ever seen in any currently canon material, and it was "emotion, yet peace; chaos, yet serenity; death, yet the Force" which is interesting to me because it makes so much more sense than the other formulation I see in fic a lot: "there is no chaos, there is serenity" etc. I mean, you know me and my "take what I like and ignore the rest" approach to canon, so it's nice to have it there as needed, but as always I find the way things get flattened in fanon so interesting.
Because I mean, yeah, the Jedi were certainly culpable in both Anakin's fall and their own demise, because they were hidebound and corrupt the way any millennia-old organization made of people would be, and they definitely had some blindspots about a variety of things (providing therapy to members who needed it, using a slave army, being co-opted by the Senate, etc.), but they didn't deserve what happened to them. Let's not ever actually grace Anakin's horrific dumbassery ("from my POV, the Jedi are evil!") with any validity. Like, sure, Yoda gave him some poor advice, and Mace Windu was critical sometimes, and they made some compromised decisions, but that doesn't justify slaughtering anyone.
Anyway, it was also nice to see Rae Sloane, despite her poor life choices.
I also read Star Wars #34 this morning, which is mostly a standalone issue featuring Sana Starros swindling everyone in the galaxy from pirates to Hutts to Imperials and back. I would watch a whole movie about her. She might be Han Solo's fake (ex?)wife, but she's also Aphra's ex-girlfriend, so that would be amazing to see on screen. You could cast Nicole Beharie as Sana and Arden Cho as Aphra, and let them go be con artists together and I would line up multiple times to give Disney my money. Especially if Hondo showed up, too.
What I'm reading now
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. But I'm only a few pages in and it's taking me a little while to get back up to speed, especially since my brain isn't working so well today because of my lack of sleep. *g*
What I'm reading next
The next Craft Sequence book comes out in a couple of weeks, but before that, I dunno.
Also, um. How does one go about updating Ubuntu? I'm not quite sure which edition I'm on but it's definitely a few years old. (When did I take Microbiology? At least that long ago.)
Note: this headline is an understatement. The morning briefing headline does not pull its punches:
Wednesday briefing: Trump's words of comfort for Nazis
Mic.com: 5 takeaways from Trump's off-the-rails presser on Charlottesville violence
la-belle-laide points out a hell of a tell:
ALSO? The moment after he asks to define “alt-right” and is told that John McCain said that alt-right were the Neo-Nazis involved, he said: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?“
The alt-right Neo Nazis is “US” to him.
I mean, we knew. I don't think anyone who's been paying attention is surprised that Trump thinks this. What terrifies me is that a) he's out-of-control enough to say this shit in public, and b) the Republicans might let him get away with it.
The Hill: WH sends GOP talking points saying Trump ‘entirely correct’ on Charlottesville
Anyone you see tomorrow saying that, well, you’ll know they’re ‘just following orders,’ and that they always will.
Also, fuck the Republicans who will oh-so-bravely-and-controversially Tweet that neo-Nazis are evil, but not criticize Trump by name.
In fact, fuck the Republicans who will daringly tut and shake their heads sadly at Trump by name over this, but do nothing to stop him or remove him from power.
I want to write him a summary of the Soviet Army officer's career path, what service branches are available, etc., but nothing I can find tells me the basic stuff. It's all focused on generals and stuff. (Looked on Wiki, looked on Google, neither helped. I found a monograph on dtic.mil that was from 1975 and provided *some* detail, but expected me the reader to know more than I do to make sense of stuff.)
To quote his draft summary: "(1) Early life. Born in 1959, he follows a similar course to Putin (joining the military instead, but attached as an "adviser" to one of the Soviet Bloc countries after a tour in Afghanistan which gave him a scar on his upper right arm from a Taliban attack). He resigned with a TBD officer's rank in the middle of the 1991 coup attempt (a la Putin; he's simply younger) rather than join in the attempt (which he percieved as doomed)."
He's trying to figure it out in more detail than that, but the problem is that he (the player) and I (the GM, one of two, responsible for helping him draw up his character - he does the important work of figuring out policies and stuff, the meat of gameplay, himself) can't find anything much about anything re the company-grade and field-grade officers of the Soviet Army and how they were trained, or how their careers progressed, or anything.
1. As the character was born in 1959, presume he enters officer training from civilian life sometime around 1977. How long is his officer training, and how is it decided whether he goes, say, infantry or airborne troops?
2. What's the career path like from initial officer training (including "what rank does he enter service at?" - the materials I can find state "Lieutenant", but the Soviet Army has 3 Lieutenant ranks!) to, say, battalion command?
3. What additional school-type training would he undergo during that career path, and at what times during his career? (I can help the player figure out good tour-of-duty mixes once I have that information.)
4. What service arms existed in the Soviet Army? I often hear of officers referred to as a "Colonel of Infantry", "Colonel of Air Defense", "Colonel of Strategic Rocket Forces" - but what are the possible options for the "of x" formula?
5. Were ordinary officers even assigned as "advisors" to Warsaw Pact forces, or only Political Officers?
I know these are really detailed questions in some regard. I'm trying to keep them general, but even the general stuff is hard to figure out. My objectives for this are:
B. Figure out what his career would have looked like - where would he have served, at what levels, doing what? (Especially key to figure out when he would have served in Afghanistan.)
C. Figure out if the early life posited is *plausible*.
I thus don't need to know deep details (at least not until a player requests a detailed bio of their Russian adversary from their intel people, at which point I may be back...), but only be able to work out a summary. I can do the hard part of the work myself and with the player, but I need help figuring out the foundational stuff before I begin that.
(Edited to add: Link to something Google *did* dredge up for me, and my note that what I was sent was a draft summary of the character, not a full bio. We'll be working on the full bio once we have the summary agreed to.)