Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Parenting Win

 My kid quotes me on Twitter:

I'm so proud.

Monday, June 28, 2021

News from the Fort

We're having highs in the 80s all week here -- hot, but not unbearable. (It's 114 degrees in Vancouver! Where they don't have AC! At least we have air conditioning here.)

My tomato plants are filling up with tomatoes and (so far) the rabbits have stopped eating them. I think the new tomatoes are too high up in the plant?

The kid's new job is traumatic in the way that minimum wage jobs are traumatic, but he's sticking in there. 

My dog had a terrible case of hives, which I thought meant he might be allergic to insulin, but apparently not -- I gave him his shot an hour ago and he's still fine.

The dog park here is going to close down, so that the airport can expand. (The dog park is right next to the airport.) Everyone is outraged, but I, at least, am not surprised. The motto of this city is "where life is worth living!" except that every single decision made by the council is aimed at making live less worth living. You'd be hard put to find an uglier, less livable city than this one. 

My review is going well. My favorite part (no shock) is reading all the books. I'm supposed to include 8 to 10 books in the review, which means I'm reading about 30 and winnowing down. (These are free books! The publishers send me free books! It's wonderful.)

Only 12 more weeks of summer. Ugh.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Glamorous Life of A Science Fiction Writer

I took an hour to name a space ship in my new book today, which seems to have exhausted my creativity.

I'm also still getting ARCs in the mail for my guest review at Asimov's. So far the free books are my favorite part of this gig. 😏

The weather continues mild -- yesterday the high was in the 70s and today it will be in the 80s. Not only does this make my walks more enjoyable, it's helping out the AC as well. Fingers crossed that it might continue.

The kids are coming down the mountain for dinner on Friday -- one of the kid's roommates is having a birthday, so we're throwing a tiny party. 

Did I tell you the kid got a job? The kid got a job. Just a summer job, but he got it in about a minute and a half, and he says it's "bearable," so that's nice. 

Our new roof is complete. That's also nice. No more running around putting basins under drips when storms it.

We went for groceries this morning and I forgot to buy a watermelon. Either I make a special trip now (during which I will almost certainly buy more than just watermelon) or I do without until the next trip. I suppose I can live on cheese and toast for a while.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021



The lastest conservative scam continues. For those who need a cheat sheet, here is what CRT actually is (as oppposed to what the Far-Right is claiming it is). 

The problem, of course, is that Red States are passing laws -- unconstitutional laws, for the most part -- based not on what CRT actually is, but based on their own bigoted and silly notions of what CRT is.

See also this:

Sunday, June 20, 2021

My Ridiculous Cats


First Day of Summer

 Weather guy says tomorrow we'll have a high of 80.

OMG, pleease let this be true.

(It's been near a hundred here every day for the past week: hot, humid, and sunny. My least favorite weather.)

The kid sent me this, with the caption "u do this," and he is right, I do!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Latest Conservative Heap of Lies

Remember when Conservatives were in a screaming panic about Ebola? How Ebola was going to enter our country and destroy everything, all because Obama wouldn't man up and closed the borders? 

How you couldn't turn on Fox News or open a conservative blog without seeing raving fury and terror over Obama, who was going to let those Africans come over here and destroy everything? 

Lately, it's been trans people, and forcing people to use pronouns, which is going to destroy everything.

Before that it was immigrants. They were entering our country -- illegally! Illegals! -- and bringing disease and criminals non-White ideas, which was going to destroy everything.

Before that it was gay people, forcing people to bake cakes, and demanding to be allowed to marry, which was going to destroy everything.

Before that, black people. And Catholics. And Jews. And women, demanding rights, which would destroy everything. 

Atrocity stories play so well, at least to a certain sort of mind.

Right now, it's Critical Race Theory. I've been earnestly lectured, by more than one bot on FB, about how liberal Marxists who insist on teaching about racism and white privilege are just exactly like Stalin: how teaching kids (and apparently "kids" means anyone up to age 26) anything except that America is Great and Just and treats everyone exactly the same = Pol Pot. 

Some of these bots have earnestly explained to me that they had teachers whose parents or uncles or preacher came from Cuba or Portugal or wherever, and that person told them this is exactly what happened in their countries, and how it is going to destroy everything.

Most of these people couldn't explain what Critical Race Theory is with a gun to their heads. Or Marxism, for that matter. It's like when they were shrieking about socialism, a few months ago. "Socialism" meant "anything I don't like." By "Critical Race Theory," what these piles mean is "anything that talks about anything wrong that white people did."

It reminds me of when I was teaching in Idaho, about 25 years ago. My first job as a baby professor. Idaho was then -- I don't know if it still is -- a very religious, patriarchal community. The young men in the class saw themselves as having authority over me, because they were men, and I was just a girl. Not only did I not recognize this authority, I didn't even notice it.

So I taught the way I'd taught as a graduate student, asking questions, pointing out interesting subtexts, showing them how to use various critical lenses to interpret the texts. I taught them to examine sources for credibility, how to decide what was fact and what was opinion. The usual stuff. When they made a claim, I forced them to provide sources -- to back up what they asserted. (I still remember the young man who claimed that Indians were poor because they were lazy, dishonest drunks. (Racism against Indians is huge in Idaho.) I told him he had to provide evidence to support that claim if he was going to use it in his paper, and he got so mad.)

Some of the young men went to the dean to complain that I hated men, that I was "attacking" men in the classroom. When pressed, all they could say was that I was a feminist. (I was, and I said so in class.) That I didn't immediately agree when they asserted something. That I argued with their claims.

That's where we are with conservatives in this country at the moment. They have asserted that white men are responsible for civilization, that racism in the US does not exist, and has in fact never existed (oh, a few racist people, maybe, but not racism embedded in the de facto and de jure aspects of our laws and systems), and that anyone who says otherwise is just like Stalin and Pol Pot.

And not only are we not agreeing with their raving, we're for the most part ignoring it. 

I mean, why wouldn't we? It's obvious nonsense, and we have actual work to do.

So -- as with trans people -- the legislatures that they control are passing non-constitutional laws to forbid the teaching of certain subjects*, which even Trump's joke of a Supreme Court will overturn. But -- like my students who complained to my dean -- this makes them feel as if they have power.

And the illusion of power is all they really want. Illusions and lies being, after all, their entire world.

Anyway! If you want some facts about "Critical Race Theory," here's what the AAUP has to say.

ETA: While conservatives are waving this flag in front of us -- and their base -- this is what they're really doing.

Lonnie Hollis has been a member of the Troup County election board in West Georgia since 2013. A Democrat and one of two Black women on the board, she has advocated Sunday voting, helped voters on Election Days and pushed for a new precinct location at a Black church in a nearby town.

But this year, Ms. Hollis will be removed from the board, the result of a local election law signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican.

They're changing election laws to make it easier to keep the "wrong" people from voting, and easier for them to overturn any election result they do not approve of. This was inevitable once the Voting Rights Act was abolished by the courts, and is how an unpopular party -- the Republicans -- must act if they are going to gain and keep control of our country.

*Remember when conservatives were shrieking about "trigger warnings" and how those violated free speech and would destroy everything? Trigger warnings about rape and abuse and violence are extremely bad, apparently, but laws forbidding the teaching of certain historical events are the salvation of America.

Thursday, June 17, 2021


 The roofers are here to put a new roof on the house.

This is a good thing, since we've had leaks in one closet and by the back door. On the other hand, I was awakened by hammering at dawn.

I assume this is so they can get off the roof before the monster heat strikes around 1:00, so I heartily approve.

(My old landlord would have found some way to blame me for the leaky roof, yelled at me over the phone, sulked for two days, and THEN sent someone to fix the roof. So glad I have moved.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Summer Meals

 It's so hot here.

I've stopped cooking -- toast with peanut butter and tabouli and chunks of watermelon make up 90% of my diet at the moment. Also popsicles.

I've scored a guest review gig at Asimov's, so I'm also reading heaps of SF/F novels, some of them quite good. Reading is something that can be done in an air conditoned room with a giant insulated glass of water at my side, so it's the perfect summer sport.

I'm hoping this extreme heat does not mean we're in for another summer of temperatures over 100 degrees. Is it too late to move to Alaska?

Friday, June 11, 2021

Tomatoes for Bunnies

My tomato plants are blooming and fruiting abundantly, but so far the bunnies are eating the tomatoes before I can get to them -- well before they're ripe.

The newer ones are all higher up on the plants. (These plants are six feet tall so far.) I'm hoping the bunnies won't reach them.

We have three adult bunnies and at least two little ones. So I guess they need a lot to eat. I can always buy tomatoes, I guess.

They also ate most of the oregano, but they're leaving the basil and rosemary alone.

Thursday, June 10, 2021


 This is what I get for marveling at our abnormally cool spring:

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

New Computer 2021

 We've finally reached summerly temps here in the Fort  -- 90 degrees today, but extremely humid. I had many, many errands to run, and walking about was like moving through damp flannel.

Also the bunnies have taken to digging scrapes among my tomato plants and lying belly-down in the cool earth.

One of today's appointments was picking up my new laptop from the university -- the hinge broke on the lid of old one, and since I was due for a new one anyway, they just replaced it. This new one is just bigger than a hardback novel, and less than a quarter of an inch thick. 

The keyboard is much smaller, so I'm having to adjust to that. All the keys are in the wrong place. But it's very light (maybe a pound?) and very fast. Good sound too!

Laptops are much easier to set up than they used to be. It took me about an hour to transfer everything over and set up all my links and sites. I guess we're living in the future.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Learning Languages

 I've been teaching myself French on Duolingo for almost two years now, and have gotten to the point where I can read the untranslated bits in English novels. Go me!

After watching the Beforeigners, I've started teaching myself Norwegian. 

What I like best about learning these languages is the grammar -- it's very cool to see how other languages work. For instance, in Norwegian, if you want to use an indefinite article (a spider, a horse), you put the word en or et in front of the word -- en edderkopp, en hest. Contriwise, if you want a definite article (the spider, the horse), then you move the en or et to the back of the word -- edderkoppen, hesten. 

So "a child" is "et barn," and "the child" is "barnet."

French grammar is very close to English grammar, unsurprisingly, so the interesting part of that is seeing how the French wordstock has influenced English (and v.v.) over the centuries.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Flora and Fauna

 We're having fewer rabbits this year, but I do see the foxes (two of them live down the street in a vacant lot) quite often. I suspect these two things are connected.

Also my Japanese apple-or-maybe-cherry tree has fruited this year. I am keeping an eye on how the fruit develop!

All this rain is giving us a lot of very green grass, but for some reason less vetch in the riverside park. Does vetch require less rain?

Last year the vetch was so thick and the flowers so abundant that they crowded out all the other flowers. Now it's growing in clumps, and the marsh marigold is crowding it out.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

How It's Going

 More rain.

It's also a little warmer than May -- days are in the high seventies and low eighties. This is still cooler than June usually is, so I'm not complaining. But we are running the AC, especially at night.

I talk to my father a couple times a week now. He tells me every time how lonely he is, and how much he misses my mother. He also asks me where he is. "I think we own this condo?" he asked me this last time. "Or are we renting it? I think we own it."

He's living in assisted care, of course. I said gently that I thought they were renting it, but that [my brothers] would know for sure.

"I'll ask them," he said, and paused, and added, "I used to know more than both of them put together. Now I can't...I can't..."

"You're having memory problems," I supplied.

"Yes! I can't remember things!" He paused again, and said, "It's the worst thing. I just can't...but it's no use trying to go backwards. Go forward! Try new things. Maybe it sounds funny, I'm 83 years old, and I'm saying do new things, learn more. It's the only way, though."

"It is," I agreed.

"And exercise! Exercise helps a lot. Well, it's got to."

He always asks after the kid. And he always remembers the kid's pronouns, and his name -- not his deadname, the one he's using now. Honest to God, if a 83 year old with Alzheimers can do it, all the whining bigots can fuck right off and then go down the hall and fuck off some more.