Anyway we had some very interesting discussions, including around the use of language. Some of the Muslim participants said they didn't like what I had thought of as an otherwise neutral older spelling, Moslem. They said they associate that spelling and pronunciation with people like Donald Trump, and I can see that people who haven't bothered to update their language might well be assumed to be hostile. I don't particularly need to change my own language choices since I have been using the modern spelling anyway, but it's useful to note.
Then of course the conversation turned to the Jewish side, and the somewhat fraught issue of what we should be called. ( is 'Jew' a slur? )
I still don't have a good way of making an offline archive of DW; the program LJArchive is timing out because, I think, my DW is just too huge, and it doesn't have a way of downloading one bit at a time. Does anyone have any recs?
It's also coming up to the end of my 7th year of working at Keele – I've finished teaching and only have exams to go through before this academic year is over. It's a pretty awesome job in lots of ways. Our senior people like to point out that there have been over a million consultations when patients have been treated by Keele-trained doctors in the ten year history of the medical school, and I've contributed to the education of quite a high proportion of those doctors.
And it's the 20th anniversary, give or take, of my leaving school. I have signed up to attend the reunion next month; I'm not entirely sure that was a good idea, but I am at least somewhat curious to see if I can pick up some gossip from anyone who isn't on Facebook. I don't think anyone is going to be surprised that I'm an academic, that's what everybody was predicting when I was going around convinced I was going into school teaching. But they might well be surprised that I'm married and poly.
Anyway, now I'm going to catch a train from the new exciting local to my house station.
Ways to Give:
rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They are frequently running out of money for gas to even do odd jobs for pay. You can read more and help out here.
Help For Free:
florentinequill linked to The PRIDE Study, the first large-scale, long-term health study of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or another sexual or gender minority. You can read more and sign up to participate here.
darlingarmadillo's third roommate is moving out and she's seeking a new roommate for a three-bedroom condo, bedroom unfurnished, two cats, in-unit laundry, workout room, near the Howard stop in Chicago; $750/mo. You can read more and get in touch at her craigslist posting here.
News To Know:
zorilleerrant linked to the upcoming Static Shock Appreciation Week, to celebrate the television show Static Shock and the comics and other media the character appeared in. Appreciation week starts on May 29th, and you can share fanart, fanfic, meta, and other commentary on the character, including themed daily posts. You can read more and spread the word here.
And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
I'm going to go with posting poems and linking back to the definitive source (if online) or to books by the author.
So, have a poem by R.S. Thomas. Here's a link to the wonderful glorious poetry archive, where R.S.Thomas reads this poem aloud and muses about assonance. Worth it just to learn how to pronounce Cwm Cowlyd
The Ancients of the World, by R.S.Thomas
The salmon lying in the depths of Llyn Llifon
Secretly as a thought in a dark mind,
Is not so old as the owl of Cwm Cowlyd
Who tells her sorrow nightly on the wind.
The ousel singing in the woods of Cilgwri,
Tirelessly as a stream over the mossed stones,
Is not so old as the toad of Cors Fochno
Who feels the cold skin sagging round his bones.
The toad and the ousel and the stag of Rhedynfre,
That has cropped each leaf from the tree of life,
Are not so old as the owl of Cwm Cowlyd,
That the proud eagle would have to wife.
And here's is a link to a short collection of his poems at wordery (which is not owned by Amazon). I like the Everyman poetry imprint, they're a good introduction and don't overwhelm.
I don’t normally buy boxed mixes for rice or beans and now I remember why – at work this week someone left out a couple of boxes of risotto with a “free to good home” sign, so I took a box of chive and butter. It’s not bad, exactly, it’s just that the box mixes tend to have way too much seasoning in them, and I always forget not to stir in the whole packet. It’s not bad eating exactly, it’s just that the seasoning kind of overwhelms. But the box said you could take leftover risotto, form it into patties, eggwash and breadcrumb it, and pan-fry it, and the pan was still hot from making a few turkey burgers with the leftover meatball mix that didn’t fit in the pressure cooker, so I figured might as well. Having run out of beef, the rest of National Hamburger Month will involve risotto burgers and turkey burgers.
Anyway, the macaroni’s cooking in the sauce I just cooked the meatballs in, so mac and meatballs are also on the menu, and later today I’ll make some hardboiled eggs.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2roIfjz
[Eta: Still tinkering]
No Ideas But in Things
The landlord’s son ranged this
Thicket of bonsai
Around my front door.
The kid had two concussions
In six months of hockey.
They had to pull him out.
Now he's taken up acting,
Played the Boy in Waiting for Godot.
The bonsai grow as they like.
One's a pine, long needles.
Don’t know the species.
Maybe it's spruce.
Nine inches high, gap-toothed
As an ancient goalie
Tiny shudder of percussion when it storms
Dots and dashes
Of needle and leaf
Mark out a path in negative space.
One day they'll clear it all away
Or I'll move, and I won't remember
He played hockey, the drums, or the Boy.
Not even important
To me, these
Awkward little figures
I trip over in the dark.
Wild roses and buttercups
Arise again in the park.
I crouch down to let him read the smells
On the stone, awkward monument
At knee height
Press my fingers hard
Against intaglio letters
Welting forms in reverse
DOOTS ECNO HCIHW NOPU
He expresses a pungent opinion
The field of blue camas nods, nods.
One thread that was common to both books was the emphasis on how radical Paul’s teachings were. He often gets characterised as a fuddy duddy conservative, misogynist and homophobic, corrupting Jesus’ message and making it more acceptable to the traditionalists at the time, but actually, in the context of the hierarchical worlds of the Roman Empire and the Jewish religious authorities, his proclamation in Galatians that “There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor freeman, there can be neither male nor female -- for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” would have been ground-breaking. Similarly, in Corinthians, where he says “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does”, this was just common wisdom at the time, but to follow it as he does with “and in the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” would have been shockingly egalitarian. The whole letter to Philemon, in which he exhorts his friend to take his disgraced runaway slave back into his household, but as an equal, was turning the established order of things on its head. The question of how we square this with some other verses where he seems more sexist or pro-slavery is a difficult one, and Williams notes but doesn’t address it. Armstrong makes an argument that some of the other verses were later additions by another writer, and I don’t have sufficient knowledge to assess its robustness.
Both books are short and engagingly written, and both were improved by reading the other at a similar time.
My officemate and I grew tired of waiting for ours to appear and have thus created our own.
[Blue and white door label reading “Mr [Redacted] & Dr [Redacted]: Purveyors of splendid magnetometer data”]
We’re trying to decide how long it will be before anyone notices.
Someone will notice our door label
in a few days
in a few weeks
in a few months
if/when you ever move office & it has to be replaced
straightaway, but no one will say anything - see “You work in the Physics Department”
2. I received a quotation for the wheelchair repairs currently ongoing; they're somewhere under half of what I was bracing myself for, which is a great relief.
3. Excellent lunch with a good friend in a small friendly deli in South London. I was particularly intrigued by (but alas did not sample) the tiny gluten-free strawberry-and-elderflower cheesecake.
4. The trip to and from same: a beautiful cherry-blossom mural on a building's front wall; a garden riotous with poppies somewhere between bud and full bloom; irises and weird little fuzzy orange things and colours everywhere.
5. Physio, on the train to and from, and reading books with it: still working on Hope In The Dark, but I'm about halfway through now and then I'll move on to Hugo reading.
6. I dyed A's hair again last night, and am pleased with the result. (It is all-over red, because red seems to wash out of his hair more quickly than blue, in the interests of i. checking whether the new red is actually a red and ii. getting it to a state where I can actually try putting a rainbow in it with minimal rebleaching of previously-bleached hair. In fact, because this means I put a lot of red on over blue, he's got what is in essence a red-into-deep-purple ombre going on, with a darker red layer on top and a lighter red layer underneath.)
7. I am delighted by the conversation that's going on in comments over at the enchilada recipe. Thank you, folk, I keep cackling with delight. <3
8. ( Academia. )
9. I am continuing to sincerely enjoy Pokemon Go.
10. Chelsea Manning.
The morning of, they called A to confirm the booking -- and, he tells me, followed up with "... and there's a note about a wheelchair in the booking...?" So, naturally, he braced, and was very pleasantly surprised when what they actually wanted to say was "... we've got a folding ramp and we can get it out for you."
We arrived. "Just one moment," said front-of-house, and went to get the ramp. They did not try to grab me as I was going up it. "Through this way," they said, and showed us to a table for two that was easy for me to get to, adjacent a wall neatly out of the way of everyone's path, with the sensible chair already removed for me to just slot in.
This is much better than even fancy restaurants normally manage; I was -- we were! -- impressed.
Also, they fed us really very well.
( Read more... )
... and then, after a little extra faff involving buying one of the cookbooks, they got the ramp back out and held the doors open and cheerfully let me back out into the outside world, with some commiseration about the part where it had started drizzling gently. However, as I said to A, while it might not have been the best kind of rain it was definitely in my top five, so I was absolutely fine with that.
I had a lovely evening and was delighted; A has, as mentioned, been before and been a fan, so I rather suspect more visits are (however sporadically!) in our future.
Unrelated (except insofar as it's about food, and specifically pistachio cake): someone I know tweaked last month's Smitten Kitchen pistachio loaf cake recipe to include blackberries and lemon.
( we crammed a bunch of stuff into two days )
I only have one more day of teaching before the summer. May is always intense, so I'll hope to be a bit more present on DW from next week.
He ate all of his. Humuhumu found them too peppery.
Here are Keiki and Humuhumu eating ice creams. Humuhumu is dressed as a pirate princess (outfit concept all hers). Keiki is dressed in one of the two shirts that don't cause him to start screaming as soon as you put it on him, holey black trousers and a single croc.
And here is Telstar defeating a stick whilst lounging in the porch of the tent in our garden.
I am sympathetic to their stress and the torment of waiting for months without a passport for a response that may or may not bring relief. But there is another, less magnanimous, part of me that is thinking, “Welcome to the world the rest of us immigrants have been experiencing for years.” The stack of paper I submitted to the UK Border Agency from 2004 to 2013 probably fills an entire filing cabinet drawer, not to mention the ~£6000 they received from me for the pleasure of applying for visas, visa renewals, permanent residency, and naturalisation. Yes, those latter two are separate and have gigantic fees attached. Did you know you have to wait a year after submitting your permanent residency application before you can again have the pleasure of submitting your naturalisation application, which isn’t any shorter and is also even more expensive? Doesn’t that sound like fun?
I suggest*, therefore, the UKBA replace all of this absurd bureaucracy with some simple, realistic questions and a thirty-minute interview with a border agent. And so I give you:
Immigration Tests, The Microlit Version
Refugee/asylum seeker: "Have you suffered enough for us to let you in?"
Entrepreneur/investor: “Are you rich enough for us to let you in?”
Highly-skilled worker: "Has someone else paid for your education so that we can reap the benefits?"
Low-skilled worker: “Sorry, no.”
Spouse: "Can you and/or your partner afford to pay for your love to exist?"
Aged family member of immigrant: “Can you or your children afford to support you? Actually, even if you/they can, the answer’s still no.”
* with a heavy dose of sarcasm