zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Wikimedia Commons has a category for Damnatio ad bestias. It's probably disproportionate how much this amuses me.

If you don't read Dinosaur Comics you totally should and this is why. Seriously, I think it may even be awesomer than xkcd. Also, if you subscribe by RSS you get the title which for some reason seems not to show up on the individual pages. (Today's was "it has a certain jee nee says quey" but usually they're 5-10 times longer.) tl;dr - Awesome fun times!

My house is amazingly tidy! I'm getting rid of some stuff by Freecycle and I'm planning to acquire some actual insulation by taking advantage of a government subsidy, as soon as I find out why this place has quoted me for 92 square metres when someone else (who however feels less inclined to violate health and safety regulations to squeeze into my narrow subfloor) measured 104 and I get 102 +/-2. (Well, probably +/- more than that for various reasons, but definitely not +/-10% which seems on the high side as margins of error go.)

Did I mention how tidy my house is? I keep going into rooms and squeeing at how tidy they are. My clothes are put away! My mandarins(1) are repotted and possibly regaining some of their green! My dining table has a clean tablecloth and a vase filled from a rosebush I pruned! My stovetop reflects light! My cat wants scritches!

Oh, no, that one was always like that.

But still. Imagine how tidy my house could get if I didn't have to go back to work on Monday!

(1) I was eating a seedless(2) mandarin and, after I'd finished being annoyed that it wasn't as seedless as advertised, I wondered what would happen if I planted the seeds. It turned out that they grew into tiny mandarin plants! I've no idea if I'll ever get actual mandarins off them or if there's secret sabotagey genes waiting dormant to thwart my dreams of homegrown citrus, but they seem more likely to be fructiferous if the leaves are green than if they're yellow.

(2) I may be lying about this part. Honestly I can't actually remember if these particular seeds came from a seeded seedless mandarin, but I have been disappointed by seeded seedless mandarins in the past. Also by hard to peel easy-peel mandarins.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
I seem to be talking a lot lately. I'm sure I'll go back to silent mode soon enough.

Generally every four weeks I go to the library, return four books (mostly unread) and borrow four books (mostly not to be read). This time I grabbed a pile of mostly YA stuff in the hope that I'd read some of them.

So this weekend I've read:
  • Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case (a childhood favourite)
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (set in 13th century Korea, written well and researched well. The only thing that made me blink was the description of spicy kimchi; though various spices were used, hot pepper wasn't introduced for centuries. But the description of celadon-making was wonderful. Celadon is simply beautiful; when I was in Korea I hunted for months to find a piece to bring back home. Linda Sue Park has written more books set in Korea; I'd like to read them.)
  • The Five Ancestors: Tiger by Jeff Stone (formulaic crap about a group of five orphans schooled by secret monks in leet animal-style kung fu, apparently with super talking-to-animal powers thrown in)
I've also read pretty much everything from this list of posts about the cultural appropriation debate than inspired my earlier rant.

I've read a few stories from Expanded Horizons which aims to not be Whitey McWhite in Whiteland (and which rejected one of my stories belatedly but politely and now I see why it's not really their thing). I want to read more. Also read 'Poison', an award-winning sf story by a Henrietta Rose-Innes of South Africa.

I'm going to want to read everything linking to this idea of reclaiming one's own myths.

I've also finished reading 50-pages of a thread on a forum covering an epic 7-month long bait involving about 20 baiters making a 419-scammer's life a misery. I've taken up baiting because it combines fiction-writing, my (not-in-this-context-sexual) mindgames kink, and doing good in the world. Many 419 scammers are in Nigeria and nearby countries eg Burkina Faso. (Many others are in Thailand, Spain, Ireland, Norway, the UK, the USA, Australia... but Nigeria and Burkina Faso are really big ones.) It makes sense to me that if I'm doing this anyway, and if I want to research some part of Africa for the purposes of basing some story there, then that area would be a good one. Particularly since being ignorant about a place is just ignorance, but deliberately letting my mind be filled with only the negative things about a place is stupid.

--

In other news, it looked like rain this morning so I didn't do laundry. Then the sun came out with a vengeance so I did laundry. As soon as the laundry was ready it started raining. A while later I noticed it hadn't rained much and was now well past, so I put the laundry out anyway. As I was doing this it started raining again, and since I stubbornly left the clothes on the line it's now thundering.

In other news again, I have a bazillion of plums. And that's just the windfall. Aside from giving them away, I'm pondering whether I can do a quick-and-dirty preserving job by just cramming them whole into jars and pouring hot sugar syrup over.

(Wow, that's quite some impressive thunder.)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Done:
Washed hair;
Aired damp rooms while the day was less grey than usual;
Did laundry;
Ate food;
Dug up about four weeds and mulched with clippings from the pile of rotting lavender;
Made a shopping list;
Counted and measured spaces that need grills around the foundations;
Sent three items out to various slushpiles;
Edited another item until falling asleep.

To do: stop procrastinating on Chalice and send queries out to agents already. (Also, quite a lot of other things, including work out why "calendar" but "lavender".)

While I'm working on that, does anyone want to betaread a short story for me? 4700 words, horror-lite. (Like, you know how celery has so few calories that you burn more than you gain while digesting it? Lite like that.)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Really it's kind of ridiculous to hold down a full-time job, attempt a fledgeling writing career, look after a house, worship a cat, and still feel guilty about the idea of hiring someone else to mow one's lawns.

It's now possible to walk on my lawns. As opposed to, you know, wading through them. Also, I can see the paths again.

Boots is slightly disconcerted. She enjoyed being the mighty hunter stalking through the grasses (or, more often, snoozing in them), and the patch of grass she was particularly fond of nibbling at is now gone. She's taken to the section of the rose garden I haven't finished weeding yet; perhaps by the time I'm finished the lawn will have grown back.

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