Friday, April 28, 2017

Links!


One week until the end of the semester. Well, two if we count finals. Two and a half if we count finals and graduation. But then I will have, for the first time in forever, a moderately long break, since I'm not teaching until Summer II.

I'ma spend the entire seven weeks writing and sleeping. Sleeping so hard.

Meanwhile, I've been working hard with my grammar class on Reed-Kellogg diagramming. If you never learned RKD, you might not enjoy this post as much as I did: Antoine Dodson Saves My Class.


Here, Libby Anne talks about how committing to parenting without punishment creates better families. The comment section is especially good here.


Over on Alas, a Blog, a Discussion Page about trans issues, called The Mint Garden. One thing I've noticed in several places around the blogosphere is people spewing forth their opinions about trans people when they know almost nothing about trans issues. Learn before you speak. Dunning-Kruger ain't a handgun, people.


This, published in the NYTimes, is a piece on how writing workshops privilege the experience of the middle-class white American male.

See also this, linked over at Historiann: What "Snowflakes' Get Right About Free Speech'  -- I've seen far too many bloggers, especially leftist bloggers who ought to know better, dismissing the protesters in simplistic terms. This is an interesting and difficult question. We should treat it that way.


Here's a tweet from the day New Orleans was taking down its Confederate monuments. Frequently when I'm teaching Douglass' Narrative of the Life, or anything else about the American South, here in the Fort I have students who have been taught revisionist bullshit about how the Civil War was not fought about slavery, but about "States Rights," or over tariffs, or something other self-serving propaganda. And when I give them the truth, they're wide-eyed with rage. "But my high school history teacher said..."




I point them to the original documents, the secession documents. Go look at what those said, I tell them. What they say is what this monument says -- we're doing this because we want to keep slaves, we're doing this because we believe in white supremacy, we're doing this because we'll tear this country apart and commit treason before we give up those things.

Finally!

Watch this video. Eight minutes long, but well worth it. You know we leftists love to slag on capitalism, but here's a capitalist doing good with his wealth:











Thursday, April 27, 2017

Soda Bread


Here's what you can do when you get enough sleep:




It's delicious!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SLEEP


OMFG, I slept twelve hours last night.

Apparently what I need is a solid thunderstorm followed by driving rain. Then I will sleep so hard.

The cats did not appreciate this sleep fest. Jasper especially kept smacking me in the ear. "Hey. Hey! Why you still asleep? Are you dead there? Hey!"


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday Links for You


I slept again -- six hours! -- but I'm still worn out. Soon the semester will be done, and I'll be able to sleep late if I want to (and if I can).

Meanwhile, have some links!


This one, the Language of Doggos, hits both my language innovation buttons and my doggo buttons. Non-stop squee!

More on language innovation -- the Language Log posts on Singular They

Monday, April 24, 2017

What I'm Reading


I slept last night, which was pleasant. Not eight entire hours, mind you -- but six and a half. Better than the past five nights! Tonight I'm going for seven.

Meanwhile, what with averaging three and four hours a night (going to bed at five or six in the morning and waking up at ten or so) I've been doing a ton of reading.

Reading all night is a pleasure I had forgotten. It's different from the usual reading I do, which is a couple hours here or there, between prepping for class, or while I'm waiting to pick the kid up from school, or while I'm eating. Reading all night is seven or eight hours of sustained non-stop reading, broken only by forays into the kitchen for more tea or another sliced-up apple, Then it's back to my big comfy chair under the lamp by the open window, where Jasper cat is waiting grumpily to climb back into my lap. (She does not approve of these interruptions to her sleep.) The Fort, at least my part of it, is very quiet at night, not even any noise from the interstate; and the nights have been cool. These long hours of reading have been blissful -- almost worth the exhaustion the next day.

What I've been reading:


Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

This is an amazing book. I hardly know how to describe it. The plot is simple -- a young scientist comes of age and builds her career. (The book is based directly on Jahren's own life, to the extent that it's almost more memoir than novel.) The power of the novel lies in the writing and in Jahren's insights about not just trees and plants, but about the humans in her life.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Insomnia


I'm having one of my periodic bouts of insomnia.

Ever since I can remember, and I'm talking since I was tiny, I've had what I have since learned is called delayed sleep phase disorder -- my body has a dysregulation of its biological clock, basically, such that I'm out of phase with the circadian rhythm of the planet. I need a thirty hour day, and here I am on this 24 hour planet.

I can remember being three years old, back when we were still living in the trailer, wandering around in the deep of night while everyone slept around me. I was too little to read then, and I mostly just climbed on the furniture and looked through the windows, out at the other trailers, ghosty in the moonlight.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Links for Your Thursday


I finished a draft of my novel, and have been filled with torpor ever since -- I slept until almost noon yesterday, and then also went to bed early. In between I did almost nothing but read, though I did mow the lawn in the evening. That's twice so far this summer. Usually we are in mid-July before I have managed to get around to mowing the lawn twice, so go me!

Links!


A lovely alternative parenting history

An utter pile of Right-Wing Bullshit. I hate this nostalgic everything was better in the old days crap anyway, but Sweet Jesus, this one is talking about 1954. Up your game, losers. That's within living memory of some of the people still around.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can This Be Spring?


Usually in Arkansas, we go straight from winter to summer.

I hates me some summer, especially an Arkansas summer, which is blistering hot and thick with humidity, not to mention the bugs, OMF the bugs.

But this year we appear to be having a spring. Cool nights, days that often reach no more that the mid-70s, and even rain.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up -- could this mean a mild summer? Is that possible, in this era of global warming?

We can still hope.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday Night Linkage!


What a week.

In my personal life, it's all been lovely. A nice week at home, with the kid receiving her award money and getting ever closer to being done with high school; and a good week at the university. Friday we had the Undergraduate Research Day, always a good time, since we cancel classes and spend a day listening to student presentations of what they've been doing. This year was especially good. The kids are all right, y'all.

Sadly, the adults are not. But the less said about Trump the better. Have some links instead:


Math problems for English Majors: This starts with the riddle we all know, but keep reading!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Destroying Your Credibility


Some time ago, when I was a young pup of a blogger, I read a post by another blogger, AWB, about how important it was to protect your brand. (I might not have the phrasing exactly right here; I can't find that post now. Lost in the mists of the blogosphere.)

The basic thesis: mind what you say, the arguments you make, what you publish, the words you put out in public. These will become your brand. They will become what you are known by. It will be hard to escape that brand.

This was one of those watershed moments for me (thanks, AWB!). Maybe it's hard to believe, but that was something I'd never thought of before. I'd been functioning, up to that moment, as though my life were something like a white board*. I could say things one day, and then erase them, and write something new the next. Who would remember? Certainly not me!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why, What's This?


Yesterday, my copies of the May/June 2017 F&SF arrived in the mail. Gotta tell you, it was sweet!




All y'all can pick up your copies starting May 1st. Check your local bookstore!  Also, I'll post a link, never fear!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Links for You


Sunday Link Post!

My Name is Cow.

Why Trump's supporters don't mind his lies: Blue Lies.

Gender bias riddles

On the topic of stuff you can do very little about, debt is bad for your health.

A first person account of surviving a sarin gas attack.

Flying squirrels and how they fly (very cool)

How to be a writer (for all my writers)

Superbabies don't cry (long read, but excellent)

What Bathroom Bills Do (the comment section on this one is worth reading, especially the comments by Grace)


Friday, April 07, 2017

My Kid's Art


It's true that Trump is wagging the dog, and America is falling for it like the boot-lickers they are.

But! Look what my kid made for me in her craft class:





Is she not the best kid ever?

Saturday, April 01, 2017

What I'm Reading


As always, since the election of the Great Circus Peanut, I am reading enormously, even obsessively. Literature is the opiate of me.

What am I reading? A lot of science fiction, and a dash of older literature, plus a few other works.


Robin Shortt, Wellside

This one won't be released until June -- I read an advanced copy -- but it's leading the list here because it's one of the best SF/F novels I've read in some time. Do you know that feeling you get, five or six or ten pages into a novel, bone-deep, chilling, and wonderful, when you realize that once again, lucky you, you have a truly wonderful book? It's only happened to me twenty or thirty times in my life, but it's a great feeling when it happens. It happened with this book.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Kid Wins an Art Contest


Or, you know, another art contest.




This one earned her money, too. My talented child.