madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-09-12 07:53 am

Heard Today

When I exercise (every other day, like broken clockwork) I listen to Storycorps podcasts. Today's was about "Philip", an Iraqi interpreter for the US Military who was able to emigrate to the US and, just before the election, bring his family here too.

He was asked, during a follow-up interview, what was the most important difference about living in the U.S. I paraphrase, because I'm too lazy to go get my phone and listen again, but... "Safety. When you feel safe you can build up."

I wish the Masters of the Universe would stop investing so heavily in making us all feel unsafe. Think of what we could build--and the real problems we could solve--if we weren't kept off balance with the sense of imminent doom.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-09-02 07:56 am

The Big Sick

Before this small, lovely film disappears, go see it. It's funny, it's well acted, it's based (as they say) on a true story. No big special effects: just a very funny stand-up comedian who happens to be Pakistani, who falls in love with an American girl. Complications ensue: cultural, familial, medical. It's lovely.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-08-22 07:49 am

It Figures

Becca has scarlet fever.

Who does that? The full power of modern medicine has gone to work, and though she is crimson, yet she has regained her sense of humor (we have discovered that a 103.4° fever replaces her sense of humor with an intractable sense of doom) and is eating Saltines. So there's that.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-08-14 10:00 am

I Know I've Been Out of Town...

And I know I don't post as often as I should. And I know that none of this should need to be said aloud in a sane society, but...

White supremacy, Naziism, hatred of the Other is wrong. Is vile. My heart wants to say that this isn't what America is, but sadly all through the history of our very young nation it has been: enslavement and abuse of the Other is as American as all those other things we think of as American. Maybe what my heart means is that this isn't what America should be, what I want it to be. And I guess the only way my heart is going to get what it wants is if I stand up and help move it in the other direction, toward respect and love and working together.

Being in very old places for a couple of weeks reminds me how damned young the US is as a country. We're babies--or at least adolescents--when it comes to being a society, and right now we are going through one of our not-infrequent "You're not the boss of me!" phases. Starting right at the top. I've read enough history to believe that the pendulum will swing the other way, and to hope with all my heart that the arc of history will curve toward justice and progress. I'm an optimist by nature, and I'd rather be hopeful than hate. It's a daily struggle not to go directly to rage, but hate, for me, paralyzes. And this is not the time to wait and watch.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-08-09 07:33 am

Adventures

We are back in Helsinki, after three days in Tallinn, which is an utterly delightful city. We were brilliantly located in the old town--about ten minutes walk from almost everything (including a couple of quite good restaurants and one that was just stellar). It rained off and on on the ferry over from Helsinki (the cloud formations are spectacular over the gulf of Finland, lemme tell you) and on our first afternoon in Tallinn; Eileen Gunn, cursed by the Gods of Travel, did not meet us in Helsinki, but wound up flying direct to Tallinn, where she joined us in the world's most adorable mitteleuropean apartment. Shawna McCarthy and Ellen Datlow were staying right across the street, so we dined with them; afterward Shawna and I wandered in the off-and-on rain, getting the lay of the land. Curiously, at about 1am there was a crowd of youngish club-goers under our window (like 30+ people) being instructed in something by a highly gesticulatory fellow who was exhorting them to who knows what (afterward they all filed back into the club). I will never know.

Sunday it poured buckets. We found a delightful cafe for breakfast (good enough that we went back the next morning) where the porridge was delicious and the coffee excellent. Fortified--and despite the rain-- we walked the walls and climbed towers, went to the Church of St. Nicholas to see the Danse Macabre there, wandered a little more, then Shawna and Ellen and I went off to dinner with Mem Mormon and her husband at Olde Hansa, a medieval restaurant where we ate boar sausage and elk cutlets and rosy pudding and were generally made merry.

Monday we loaded into a van driven by Our Guide Yvgeny (aka JJ) a lovely Masters candidate in business organization who was our guide on a drive to Narva (a city across the river from Russia on the eastern border) with scenic stops at a coastal fortress (Toolse), a Soviet ghost town, and a Russian tank. We didn't get back to Tallinn until about 8, but went to a restaurant called Farm, specializing in farm-to-table Estonian cuisine, which was amazing. The most high-profile was the spiced Baltic sprat ice cream on a stick--a starter we shared that was improbably delicious--but the baked goat cheese was amazing, and the game cutlets (red deer meatballs) were wonderful. Too full for dessert, we rolled back to the apartment... to learn that Viking had cancelled our ferry to Helsinki for the next morning.

Obviously we found a way around that, but perhaps that's a topic for another day?
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-08-04 07:00 pm

And Suddenly Northern-like

Finnair is, hands-down, the best airline I have ever flown on. Yes, their website needs some work. But this was a 10 hour flight and I was reasonably comfortable, with decent food and drink, and flight attendants who didn't look like they were down to their last nerve but actually enjoyed interacting with people. Not once did I get that ox-to-the-slaughter sensation that modern air travel so frequently inspires in me.

And we got to Finland and got through Customs and picked up our stuff and got on the train to the city and walked a bit and then took a tram and are now in our hotel, which is a converted jail (!), and the sky is blue and the light is distinctly different (and the sun doesn't set until 10 or so, so it will be light for a while after that). I'm definitely feeling like I'm Somewhere Else.

More adventures!
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-06-02 07:44 am

Wonder Woman

After the dreadful gray grim dark of the last two Superman films (and Suicide Squad was pretty grim itself) DC has finally made a film in which the final answer is not The World is an Awful, Terrible Place and the Only Way To Win is to be Awful and Terrible. I really really enjoyed it, and hope it does smashingly well.

I may even go see it again. Just to do my economic part.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-05-18 06:29 am

(no subject)

Of all the life goals I didn't know I had, one is apparently to have created a character that could be mentioned in the same breath as Harriet the Spy. But it has happened and I find myself utterly chuffed about it.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-04-28 07:42 am

Far-Flung Beagle

I may have mentioned that Becca, the daughter formerly known as Avocado, decided to take this semester off and go traveling, mostly because she felt like if she didn't scratch the Gotta Get Up and Go itch soon she'd explode and never finish her degree.

So Monday night she flew off for 3 1/2 months, after having worked since Christmas to get the money for this expotition. She has a 2-month Eurail Pass, a booking on the train from London to Paris in a week or so, a friend to crash with in Paris, and plans plans plans. Otherwise the trip is unstructured. She is, in fact, doing exactly what I did at her age--wandering in other countries. But I never got photographed for a website that celebrates "street fashion" (honest to God. Kid could make friends and influence people at the bottom of a well).

And through the miracle of cellular technology we are getting even more texts from her than when she was sitting upstairs in her bedroom.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-04-23 10:42 am

Reading Tonight

I am sure I forgot to mention that I'm reading at SF in SF tonight, along with Pat Murphy and Jewelle Gomez, and moderated by the lovely and talented Terry Bisson.

Doors open at 5:30. Program begins at 6:30. And because it's at the American Bookbinders Museum (355 Clementina Street, off 5th Street, in the South of Market district) there are lots of cool things to look at. Plus cool people to talk to.

If you're in the area and want to drop by, please do. It should be fun for all.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-04-16 12:34 pm

Alas, the Bunny

Happy Easter, for those for whom this is a Thing. I have celebrated by making cornmeal waffles for late breakfast. Most years, I have also made Easter Bunny Meatloaf (see icon). But this year, as Becca (the entity formerly known as Avocado) is vegetarian, Julie (formerly Sarcasm Girl) is living in Davis with her Beau Joe, and I'm damned if I'm going to make Bunny loaf for Danny and me and something else with equal festive punch for just Danny and me, we go Bunny-less.

Except in my heart, of course.

Happy day.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-04-08 11:24 pm

Celebratory

I'm in Pennsylvania at the retirement community where my in-laws--now my mother-in-law--have lived for almost two decades, where we had a memorial for my father in law, Emil Caccavo: sage, educator, flirt, raconteur, lefty-progressive, mensch. Emil died last November at 99 and a half--about five days after the election; one of the people who spoke today suggested that when he discovered that Trump had been elected he decided not to hang around lest he get the traditional "Happy 100" card from a president for whom he had no use.

The memorial was full of laughter and stories I'd never heard, our nephew Gabriel's lovely fiddling, a spirited rendition of "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" by my brother in law Steve, and two lovely poems by my mother in law Penny. We have met a bunch of Danny's relatives we'd never met before (including a couple Danny and his siblings had only heard about). The six grandchildren (ages 21-33) hung out together and there was much merriment. It was altogether splendid.

I'm a little over-peopled now and am falling over. Good night. Good night, Emil. Where ever you are, I'm betting you're enjoying yourself.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-04-04 11:20 pm

I appear to have relocated

I knew Live Journal was on its way out, but I didn't realize how... emergent the relocation effort would need to be--until this morning when I went in to see what was up and got gobsmacked with the new TOS. I have no problem with taking my business elsewhere, but I had meant to download all the entries I had on my LJ before I went. Now I either have to agree to the TOS to get my posts back, or kiss them--and a number of memories--g'bye.

That's a decision for tomorrow.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (citibit)
2017-03-19 01:02 pm

We Are Out of Coffee...

... and even so I have cleaned myself and the bathroom and kitchen. But I'm flagging. I may need to go acquire beans. The problem with being the only coffee drinker in the house is that I cannot twist someone else's arm to go out and get coffee for me. Life is hard.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (citibit)
2017-03-10 07:02 am

Fogcon

I always seem to remember to post these things at the last minute (which is today) but:

I'll be at Fogcon this weekend, a lovely small lit-focussed convention held in the Bay Area (and accessible by BART, which I intend to prove this afternoon). Excellent people (this year's Guest of Honor is Delia Sherman)  If you happen to be in the neighborhood, I'll be doing a two panels and a reading, as follows:

Friday, 8pm: Writing Between Genres
Are you writing a book that is both science fiction and fantasy? Do you have a an idea for a story which is both a romance and a crime thriller? What happens if your book is not easily categorizable, neither fish nor fowl? Can it get published, or is it doomed to fall through the cracks? This panel will discuss how to succeed cross-genre, and how to market the interstitial nature of your work as a selling point, not a problem needing solving.

Friday, 9pm: Reading with Laura Blackwell, Garrett Calcaterra, Nancy Jane Moore, and me. I will read my new collaboration with my daughter Becca. What could go wrong?


Saturday, 8pm: Between the Pixie and the Crone, with Emily Jiang, JK, Ellen Klages, and. All about middle aged women--"the invisible infrastructure" in SF. Really looking forward to this one.

If you're there, come say Hi. If you're not... well, come some time. It really is a nice con.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (citibit)
2017-03-05 10:43 am

Holy Whatever

It's like someone up there is trying to prove a point about, like, climate irascibility: already today before noon: bright sunshine, brief downpour, sunshine, sprinkle, sunshine, and, then, just now: Hail.

I'm not even going to ask WTF. I know we've needed the rain, but no where is it written that we need the hail.

madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (citibit)
2017-02-10 08:31 am

Asking for a Friend

I now have more than 10 years of LJ entries. Does anyone know if there is a way to download them, short of cutting/copying each bloody one?
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (citibit)
2017-02-07 07:41 am

How Quickly the Worm Turns

A year ago we were not flushing the toilets until the need was dire, and under-washing the dishes, and never mind watering the yard (which we're really good at; I can never-mind-the-yard like nobody's business). We were grateful for any drop of water falling from the sky. Emily had forgotten that this was a thing (well, she's a dog; the amount of memory she expends on rain is minimal at best).

Today it is pouring down buckets, as it has been doing, intermittently, since November. I will get out my rain boots and go forth to work. But I gotta say that even the California mantra "But we need the rain" is, by this time, to this non-Californian, ringing a touch hollow.
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (citibit)
2017-01-22 09:53 pm

A One Woman Riot

Yes, I did the San Francisco Women's March yesterday. It was great: pouring rain most of the time, initially so crowded that we could not move (if Danny had been there he'd have been subvocalizing "moooooo"), but so charged with good will, kindness, and the will to work to make the nation its best self. I did not have a pussy hat; I didn't have a sign (I'd come straight from work), but it didn't matter.

Here, have a song, and the story behind it.
https://www.buzzfeed.com/adolfoflores/people-are-calling-this-song-the-anthem-of-the-womens-march?utm_term=.csL5gpaxb#.trJWdYARD
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
2017-01-11 07:27 pm

Rumors of...

... everyone over at LJ seems to be planning to move to Dreamwidth wholesale on account of Russia. I'm always the last to know (to be fair, I've been so up to my ears in Life™ that I wouldn't have noticed if a giant foot had come down and mashed LiveJournal flat, a la Monty Python). It's been long enough that my old posts use my "my kids are under 21" nicknames.

So I'm attempting to jumpstart my DW posts. What's new?

Um... Julie had an exploding appendix and was saved by 1) her boyfriend Joe, who got her to the hospital despite her "nah, it's just... OW... it's just..." demurs; 2) a good surgeon who got her 'gnarly appendix" out and cleaned up the mess it was attempting to leave behind and 3) the Affordable Care Act, so that she is likely not to be drowned in debt while she's looking for a job.

After Julie was back on her feet again, Joe proposed. So there's that.

Becca is taking a semester off from college to 1) earn money to 2) go to Europe for a couple of months. Until she gets some traveling in she will not be able to hunker down and do the last two years of her undergraduate degree, so it seemed sensible. In the meantime, she's living with us, which is, predictably, both heaven and hell.

I am Operations Manager at a small museum in San Francisco with all the predictable joys and woes of a small non-profit organization. From day to day it's a roller-coaster ride.

Emily is still a dog. Creakier than she used to be, but still a dog.

What's up with you?