Thursday, July 27th, 2017 09:23 am
Happy birthday, [personal profile] fjm and [personal profile] wildroot!
Thursday, July 27th, 2017 08:47 am

Sandy wakes up to the aroma of coffee and the sounds of someone moving about the dressing-room. Hector comes out and says, they sent to Jerome at Raxdell House to send over some fresh clothes, and he confides that he himself is still quite able to shave and dress a gentleman. Sandy would protest that he is quite able to shave himself and then looks at the trembling of the coffee in the cup from the tremors in his hand. He asks Hector what time it is.

Nigh on ten of the morning, says Hector, consulting the watch that Clorinda gave him those many years ago in Surrey.

What! He has slept the clock round and more.

When he descends to the parlour, and finds Clorinda at her desk, he asks what was in that posset?

My dear, do you accuse me of drugging you? There was a little brandy, but 'twas mostly milk and spices, quite entirely sanitive. You were quite entire exhausted, my dear.

Euphemia comes to set a substantial breakfast before him: he does not think he can possibly eat, until he starts, and discovers himself quite ravenous.

When he has finished, he says, well, he has slept, he has eaten, now he should return to Raxdell House.

Indeed not, says Clorinda, I am in the very act of writing to the new Lord Raxdell to say that, after you had convey’d me home, 'twas quite apparent that you were in a state of extreme exhaustion and I am like to fear a brain-fever do you not rest. I am in considerable concern that I should send for a physician.

He snorts and says, 'tis very kind of you, dear sibyl, but you do not need to lie for me.

Alexander MacDonald! snaps Clorinda, sure there has been a certain amount of equivocation and masquerade over the years, but this is quite the entirest truth. Sure if you endeavour leave, I shall have Hector lock you up. I will not have you work yourself into illness, sure, how can you suppose that Milord would have wanted any such thing? He left you that fine independence entirely so you should not need to. I confide that 'twould be carrying out his wishes to prevent you.

My dear, she says in gentler tones, you appear incapable of manifesting your dour Calvinistickal glare, 'tis the surest of signs that you are not your wont’d self.

His chest starts heaving and he finds himself entirely overtaken by the physical manifestations of grief. And finds himself being held by Clorinda, and when thought begins to return, has fleeting considerations about the very comforting nature of female softness, and then comes to realise that Clorinda is weeping herself.

O, he cries, I am the most selfish of fellows! As if you too do not mourn a dear friend of many years.

Why, 'tis something that we may grieve together, for who else besides ourselves would know the inwardness of the matter? She hands him a large handkerchief, while dabbing at her own cheeks with a delicate lacy affair.

And after your other losses, he goes on, conscience-stricken, remembering walking across the lawns at Raxdell House with Josiah Ferraby, smoking cigars and talking of some matter going forth in Parliament, and the other man suddenly putting a hand to his chest with an expression of startlement and crumpling to the ground. And the agonizing long illness of Eliza Ferraby, Clorinda’s pretty house become a house of sickness for those many painful months, the finest physicians and surgeons in London called upon, crack nurses in attendance, nothing to be done but to try and keep her as comfortable as possible.

O my dear, says Clorinda with a tearful laugh, sure 'tis no matter upon which one may make mathematical calculations of degrees of infelicity. But sure I hope you will remain here at least for a little while.

He looks down at his hands. It would be quite infinitely more agreeable, or at least less painful, to be here rather than at Raxdell House.

But – he begins –

O, fie upon your buts!

It is entirely too kind –

Fiddlesticks! Have we not been the dearest of friends this long while? Unless there was some other course of action you preferred – travel, or return to your native soil, or to go stay with one of your philosopher friends – sure I am a thoughtless Clorinda –

No, no, indeed no, silly creature. He sees that Clorinda is trying, with less success than usually attends, to conceal tearfulness.

Sure I should ask before going contrive, she says, blowing her nose. But I saw that fellow, quite desiring bind you to his interests, the wretch, as if you were some automaton, and – but I daresay you had your own plans already, o, I confide that behind my back I am known as that Meddlesome Marchioness –

No, dearest Clorinda, had he had time I am sure Gervase would have instructed you to kidnap me before I was beguiled by some false sense of duty into remaining. 'Twould be exceeding agreeable to me to find refuge here, but will there not be gossip?

She laughs somewhat immoderate, nigh unto hysterics, and says, my dear, we have been gossiped upon these many years, 'twill entirely be a matter of knowing tapping of noses. Sure scandalmonging tongues have had us abed together this long while.

Well, he says, was that tedious journey across France with the masquerade of marriage, and that time in Scarborough -

- The one room left in any hostelry that we would have cared to sleep in, sure I had not consider’d how popular a watering-place 'twas -

- awake half the night arguing about a device for some Gothick tale of yours!

They look at one another with affection.

I confide, says Clorinda, that Jerome would be the one to apply to about your trunks –

There are, he says, some matters of papers in the office that are to do with my own business –

Sure, says Clorinda, 'twould be a shocking thing was it discovered upon you that you were that savage critic, Deacon Brodie; and I daresay there is a philosophical treatise or so that you have never had the leisure to prepare for publication, that you might wish take in hand now –

Dearest Clorinda, you have ever read me like a book; so I will go to Raxdell House and pack them up myself, and make various commendations of the clerks to the new Viscount, and advance the interest of those that might suit as secretary –

Quite excellent ton!

So the next day he goes to Raxdell House, and the new Viscount displays excellent ton himself in saying that now he considers upon the matter and sees Mr MacDonald’s condition, indeed he realises that 'twould be an entire imposition to ask him to take on this task, but would be exceeding grateful of his advice. He also remarks upon the sanitive benefits of sea-voyages.

So Sandy says that Mr Cartwright has a very fine understanding of the general business of the Raxdell interests – His Lordship will surely know that for many years he himself acted very much in the capacity of a political advisor to the late Viscount, rather than having the day to day administration of affairs in his hands. Cartwright he confides would give entire satisfaction was he promoted to the entire oversight of the estates, the management of Raxdell House &C.

Why, says His Lordship, does not suppose he will follow in the late Viscount’s political footsteps – Sandy confides not, for just the mention of these makes the fellow look uneasy – although of course will take his seat in the Lords.

He then opens a drawer in his desk and says, sure these legal fellows take a deal of a time about settling all the matters of the will, but he and his dear lady have been looking into some of the personal matters themselves, and they confide that these are the items that the late Viscount wished Lady Bexbury to have.

There is the snuffbox – he knows that there was some private joke 'twixt Gervase and Clorinda about the snuffbox – and the various pieces of jewellery, including the famed pink diamond parure and several fine rings.

The Viscount clears his throat, and says that the Viscountess finds herself quite translated into this new and unanticipated sphere, has no connections in Town Society, is at somewhat of a loss as to how she should proceed. Has heard that there are certain ladies of fine breeding and understanding of ton that alas find themselves financially embarrassed and may be hired as advisors, but –

Sandy has not spent these many years as confidante to the exquisite Dowager Marchioness of Bexbury to misunderstand what the Viscount reaches at. He indicates that, does Lady Bexbury suppose she will be welcome, she will certainly call and her understanding of the usages of Society is everywhere most highly esteemed. (He cannot imagine that Clorinda will not relish the task.)

The Viscount looks exceeding relieved.

After they have taken civil leave of one another, he goes to the office to be about packing up his things. Cartwright comes in and says, there are a deal of letters marked for his personal attention have lately come. He frowns, spreads them out upon the desk, observes the franks and the seals and realizes that these are from members of their coterie and wider circles, and that though he is sure they have writ condolences in entire formal fashion to the new Viscount, they convey the messages of sympathy from long friendship to himself. Treacherous tears come to his eyes, even as he thinks that Clorinda would laugh and point out that he is not an antient mariner alone upon the waves with a dead seagull about his neck but has a deal of social connections.

He pushes the letters into a tidy pile, blinking as he does so, and manages to compose himself sufficiently to say, he will take them with him to Lady Bexbury’s where he may peruse them at leisure, and do any more come, should be sent there. But he dares say it gets about that he may be found at that direction.

Cartwright asks, with a trace of anxiety in his tone, whether Mr MacDonald does not intend remain in the service of the Viscount?

Sandy can tell from the change of Cartwright’s expression that his own has become dour and Calvinistickal. He blinks again and says, hoping that his features show more amiable, that he confides that the present Viscount does not have the same political interests, and in respect of all the quotidian matters of administration, Mr Cartwright is eminently fitted to carry them out; he has spoke to the Viscount already to that effect. Is there any matter of advice on particular questions required, he is quite entirely at their service.

But, he says, did His late Lordship trouble to leave me an independence, I think it shows respectful of his wishes to go enjoy it.

(Though the notion of enjoyment seems some wild fantastical opium dream, a phantasm.)

Hector’s fine strapping son Ben comes to say, the boxes are all stowed in the carriage, was there anything more needed put in?

Sandy says that he confides that Jerome has the matter of clothes well under hand and he has enough at present to serve, 'tis not as though he intends going about in Society. He picks up the letters, shakes Cartwright firmly by the hand saying he will do most excellently, and follows Ben out to the carriage. Ben goes sit beside Nick on the box after closing the door upon him, and they drive off.

Thursday, July 27th, 2017 03:02 pm
Title: Grandmothers For Peace
Fandom: Wonder Woman
Rating: G
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Diana & Etta
Warnings/Content: Future fic, protests
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: 1958, The Atomic Research Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston

Also at the Archive

Grandmothers For Peace )

Title: Wuthering Heights
Fandom: Riverdale
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Cheryl Blossom/Jughead Jones, Cheryl Blossom/Veronica Lodge, Jason Blossom
Warnings/Content: Canonically dead character
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Cheryl wished people would be more accepting of her brother.

Also at the Archive

Wuthering Heights )

Title: Under the Sycamore Tree
Fandom: Twin Peaks
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Dale Cooper/Audrey Horne
Warnings/Content: Post-S2, The Black Lodge
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: After the explosion, Audrey finds herself in an unfamiliar place.

Also at the Archive

Under the Sycamore Tree )

Title: For Services Rendered
Fandom: The Retired Angel of Death
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Brittany
Warnings/Content: Post-canon, future fic, alien world, seafood
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017. The Retired Angel of Death is a sci-fi short story by Jamie Lackey, about a retired assassin who takes up food blogging and travel. You can read it here: The Retired Angel of Death.

Summary: Brittany has no problems eating meat.

Also at the Archive

For Services Rendered )
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 04:35 pm
Tomorrow my husband has an appointment to see someone who isn't his doctor because his doctor is on vacation. He's feeling worse rather than better. Maybe he needs a different antibiotic. We'll see.

I'm tired and distracted. I'm thinking about defaulting on my kidlit exchange. I can't focus on writing.

~/~/~

Books I finished:

Jane's Warlord by Angela Knight. This is yet another time-travel romance. The time-travel plot is silly but when isn't it? The serial killer plot is even worse but that's not why you're reading this book. The romance is standard fare. Warrior Boy from the future travels back in time to save newspaper girl, they have the best sex like ever, and girl returns with boy to his own time (and planet--did I mention he's not from Earth?) and they live happily ever after. She gets to take her cat, too. Luckily, the universe doesn't break from the strain. If you like your heroes to be hyper-masculine, super-human sex machines and enjoy sex scenes featuring bondage without safe-words between total strangers, this might be just what you're looking for. How do I even rate something like this? One star because it was a quick read, especially since I skimmed the sex scenes.

Time and Again by Jack Finney. It's an illustrated novel from 1970. Spoilers ) I thought the premise of the book was intriguing enough to keep reading but the execution left something to be desired. I solved the big mystery at the center of the novel by the end of the paragraph in which it was introduced. The romance fell flat. The ending was a complete dud. The style was serviceable Two lukewarm stars.

Books I abandoned:

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. I checked this out because of the Amazon series, which I can't watch. A consolation prize? I know it's a classic but dammit, the book is boring. I didn't care about the characters. The plot seemed inconsequential, which given the premise, is pathetic. Maybe the series is better written. Anyway, after 67 pages, I'm done with it.

The Peppered Moth by Margaret Drabble. You should know that I have read and enjoyed a number of Drabble's books. This was not one of them. It was about genetics and the English class system. I didn't get through an entire chapter of this turkey. Books about unpleasant characters leading unpleasant lives need a hook and she didn't provide one.

Books in the pipeline:

The third and final book in the kid-lit series I'm reviewing for my kid-lit book exchange. Title withheld.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 08:34 pm
Hurray, the electrician came! And he worked really hard and charged less than his estimate! We like him, so so much more than the electrician our contractor had hired. We have already started another list of things for him to do -- in about a year or so. Tomorrow our contractor will be back and theoretically there's only a day or two at most for him to do and then we. Are. THROUGH.

I was up early to swim my laps and then mostly hung around with Webster while the electrician worked. I made peach cobbler and lentil-rice soup, did some laundry, read, and watched Master of Lies, about Bernie Madoff. That was such a creepy movie. I also listened to some early episodes of My Favorite Murder and it was interesting listening to Karen and Georgia figure out how to work the podcast.

Now I'm in bed and about to listen to the latest Magnus Archives episode. I need to write about that podcast. It is so beautifully written and performed, and I've grown to care so much about the characters, and am so curious and a little worried about what will happen next.

Webster discovered this beautifully written essay, The Geologic Origin of the Sonoran Desert. I'm about halfway through but will re-read it, I can tell. That's where we live now, by the way: in the Sonoran Desert. It's a hot, mean place, nothing like the loving green of home.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 10:40 pm
Firstly, it takes very little discussion of regulations for my eyes to glaze over. Secondly, and far less constructively, if someone proposes a system that relies on genres like science fiction and fantasy being distinct rather than overlapping sets, I will start thinking about the worthy works that live in the overlap.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 07:59 pm
• What are you reading?

Chimera, by John Barth. Last read in college, when I was studying computer science, and everything Barth said about alphabets and stories seemed to be a direct reflection of something Turing discovered about numbers and computing machines. "The key to the treasure is the treasure."

• What did you recently finish reading?

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. I had been putting this off, because my non-SF-reading friends were saying it was really good but my SF-reading friends were finding it disappointing, which usually means I'll find it disappointing. Turns out it's really good!

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson, for Tawanda book group.
Tags:
Thursday, July 27th, 2017 12:01 pm
Title: Subtraction
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Joss Carter/Zoe Morgan/Sameen Shaw
Warnings/Content: Canon character death, mourning, threesome
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Vengeance might feel good but it doesn't make things right.

Also at the Archive

Subtraction )

Title: Recovery
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Root/Shaw
Warnings/Content: Sickfic, Root lives, post-series
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Shaw says she has no bedside manner, even though she hasn't left Root's side since the shooting.

Also at the Archive

Recovery )

Title: Favours
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: John Reese/Kara Stanton
Warnings/Content: Pre-series, canon-level violence,
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Kara loves to show John just how much she cares.

Also at the Archive

Favours )
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 06:19 pm
Looking for a book that would have been published by 1957.

Involves a boy who goes through a small door in a wall in the back of a garden. He time-travelled back to the 19th century, and became somehow caught up in a conflict between two wizard or magicians or sorcerers, one good & one evil. That's what we got - help me Obi Wan.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 06:04 pm
But between massive high-level incompetence and irritating low-level incompetence I'm not sure I believe it.

So I ordered a thing online, and like many things it was made in India, and it was shipped by Express Mail--and due to shenanigans, if I wanted a tracking number, I had to order it sign-on-delivery.

So I got a message--not from the post office, but from the person I ordered from--that they attempted to deliver on Saturday, didn't get me, and I needed to phone up and figure out what to do next.

Well, I phoned up the USPS, spent something like forty-five minutes on their phone tree, and got a confirmation that they would hold it for delivery at the downtown post office.

... I actually get mail from the westside post office?

When I actually went to the downtown post office, they were also confused. I did convince the postal worker to check the confirmation number, and he confirmed that it was at the westside office... and had been scheduled for redelivery.

So THAT'S annoying. Especially because there's really no way to get over there before I have to be on campus tomorrow (I have to leave around 8:30 to be there in time for our lab prep, with the way the buses run, or I'd drive over first thing.) So I'll have to leave campus early to make it back in time to drive out before the office close, which is of course earlier than the downtown office. Irritating! Not vital, but annoying.

And now it's time to figure out how matrix algebra works, grade, and take a nice hot shower to work on the kink in my back.
Thursday, July 27th, 2017 10:19 am
Title: Aftershock
Fandom: Agents of SHIELD
Rating: G
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Leo Fitz/Framework!Grant
Warnings/Content: Angst, drinking, forgiveness
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Fitz can't leave Grant standing on the doorstep in the rain. (Set post S4 finale, but before that future scene in the diner.)


Also at the Archive

Aftershock )

Title: Date Night
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: G
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Steve Rogers/Sam Wilson
Warnings/Content: Flirting, Sam showing off, Steve's notebook of modern facts
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Sam knows he's being ogled.

Also at the Archive

Date Night )

Title: Air Show
Fandom: MCU
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Steve/Bucky/Sam/Natasha
Warnings/Content:
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: After they've found Bucky, they need some time to hide out and recover. (Set after Winter Soldier, on the road trip that should have been.)

Also at the Archive

Air Show )
Thursday, July 27th, 2017 11:05 am
Recently read
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. I've seen the series mentioned all over the place, so I went in expecting to enjoy it more than I did (it's not really my genre). Some pivotal plot developments happened offscreen in a way I found frustrating, and the unreliable narrator thing didn't work for me, but mostly I felt it (necessarily) didn't have strong enough relationships for me to care very much.

Every Day and Another Day by David Levithan. The first is about a 16yo person who jumps into a different 16yo body each day, spending midnight to midnight in their host's life before moving on to the next one. And then they fall in love, and it all gets complicated. I enjoyed this -- it felt tropey in an interesting way, and I liked how it dealt with gender. (Warning for unexpected fat-shaming, though.) The second is a remix -- the same story from the fallen-in-love-with girl's POV. It was fine? There's a lot of repetition between the two, and I wanted the ending of Another Day to give me more.

Reading next
Probably the new Natasha Pulley, The Bedlam Stacks. Plus mergatrude has been luring me with Combeferre/Enjolras/Grantaire Les Mis recs.

Recently watched Kdramas
Finished Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. The last six episodes were pure candyfloss and sparkles, and I enjoyed them tremendously (and hardly cried at all!). Almost nothing happened! (There was half an episode dedicated to the trauma of having a pimple on one's nose, and resulting shenanigans.) This show has leapt into my top 10 Kdramas.

Still watching Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, which is tonally ALL OVER THE PLACE, and rewatching Moonlight Drawn By Clouds. Just started Capital Scandal (2007), set in the 1930s during the Japanese occupation. So far it's very confusing, but first episodes are often like that.

Other TV
We're a few episodes into You Me Her, a Netflix show about a m/f married couple who mutually (and rather awkwardly) fall in love with a female escort. It's a little cringey in the way that's currently fashionable for TV light-dramas, but I'm enjoying it despite that. The guy is played by Amy Poehler's brother.

Films
The NZ film festival is about to start. I've bought tickets for:
- a Turkish documentary about the cats of Istanbul
- an Irish documentary about the Voyager spacecraft
- a South Korean drama set in France, called Claire's Camera (no relation to Claire's Hat, as far as I know)
- a South Korean drama set (I presume) in Korea, called Yourself and Yours
- a Thai drama about an architect and an elephant, called Pop Aye
- a French drama starring Catherine Deneuve, called The Midwife.

That should help boost my USA vs Other Countries film ratio! I may randomly try to go to other things during the day, depending on weather, availability and organisational oomph.

Also planning to see The Big Sick, Baby Driver, and possibly maybe Atomic Blonde and The Hitman's Bodyguard, if I decide I need some silly action in my life.

Podcasts
Still working our way through NPR's Invisibilia and enjoying it very much. Still keeping up with Fansplaining.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 06:30 pm
If you want to understand what is going on in DC, you have to think of it as a layer cake, one of those many-layer tortes, or maybe as layers of rock in geological strata, from sedimentary stuff at the bottom of a lake and igneous and metamorphic rock shoving up and transforming because of heat and pressure, with magma at the bottom of it all, or at the center, depending on the diagram you learned from.

What am I talking about? Stuff where Trump opens his mouth and sick toads fall out and sit on the sidewalk, blinking and vomiting. Ugly sick bloated toads, like the speech to the Boy Scouts and the outrageous dismissal of all transgender military personnel.

(My apologies to all truly healthy toads throughout the country, living their lives peaceably, eating flies and mosquitos and staying far from politics.)

I know these things are serious. I know. The president is trampling on people's value, on people's lives, in every direction, cynically and carelessly. But you cannot take them as the only thing that is happening. Horrible as they are, they are only the poisoned icing on the cake, the noxious smoke from the volcano, the peeling top layer of slate. They are *meant* to get you mad. They are *designed* to keep you upset.

Why? So you won't pay attention to what's going on behind the scenes, down there in the strata. Down there, the separation of church and state is being eroded. Women's right to have a say about how their own bodies are treated is being chipped away. The little tiny things we do not see that have huge effects, things that pile up, like permission to get past environmental checks before running oil and gas pipelines near drinking water. The elimination of much of the Congressional Budget Office staff because they vetoed Trumpnocare. I could go on and on. Often I do, and you see it here; sometimes I don't even put it here because it gets me that upset.

I am not saying not to be upset. It is upsetting. Transpeople should be able to serve in the military without comment. To say otherwise is a violation of equal rights under the law. Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts and other young people's groups) should not have to listen to insane political harangues, should not be put into that arena. National monuments, parks and seashores should stay untouched by developers, drillers, exploiters.

But yelling at Trump, writing to him, even if it feels good to you, won't make a difference. He does not give a flying fuck about any of us -- why would he care about how any subset of us is affected? He thinks health care costs $12 a month. He probably thinks someone who is transgender changes their clothes on a train, or in transit. There is no limit to his lack of understanding and his lack of caring about anything he doesn't understand.

Keep your eyes on the small stuff, the bits and pieces that aren't on page one. Look for what's on page six or the back of a section, with a smaller headline (or in places like The Hill or Politico or other politically based newsletters. Pick one or two areas that interest you, and follow what is going on with them.

And then write your Senators and Congresspeople about them -- on their own email system. (yes, here is that contact list again.) They cannot ignore mail from their own constituents for long. If the time is short, phone and ask to talk to a staff person, instead of leaving a message. Tell them what you think, what you want, briefly and to the point. Tell them you're outraged, when you are. Tell them what you think of what Trump is doing, and (if your rep or Senator is Republican) how can any thinking person possibly agree or support this, because (up to three good reasons). And then, "Thank you for hearing me as a constituent", and give them your name as it is on the voter rolls so they can look it up. Once a week. Pick one thing a week. The staffers should start recognizing your name, your voice.

And keep an eye on the vulnerable Republican seats, House and Senate, the ones that can be overturned in the next election. Support the people running in the primaries to oppose the heartless idiots in office.

Do not be taken in by the sparkly floor show with the mouthy MC. Keep your eyes on what's happening behind the curtain, up in the lighting gallery, over in the wings. That's where things are being done. Look for possible trades and swaps -- Reps and Senators voting for things they should not vote for -- and ask them why they are making such poor, harmful choices? Who benefits from these choices? Follow the money, but also follow the influence. Who's being bought and sold here?

I trust you, all of you. I don't know you that well, but I trust you to do the right thing insofar as you know what it is, and to ask good questions when it isn't obvious. Go find the molten lava under the rock and raise hell. Go and comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, because every one of us matters.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 04:48 pm
I know some people have weird squicks about RPF. Before I get into it, I just want to say that I listened to the podcasts I described below for months while having NO IDEA there was fic. Then [twitter.com profile] aileenwithan_a told me there was fic at WisCon, and I screamed at The Bar.

But it's all to say, you can enjoy the podcasts and most of this post on their own merits, and only seek out the fic if you choose to do so.
I've linked to fic under a locked post. That's also my plan going forward. I've seen the Glee cast have to put up with so much weird shit from tinhatter fans, :(

ANYWAY.
For months now, I've been listening to Pod Save America on a regular basis. During the 2016 election campaign season, it was a video semi-regular thing where Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, and Jon Lovett - former Obama White House staffers all - shot the shit about the campaign. They were very adamant that Hillary Clinton would win and that anyone who said otherwise were "bedwetters."

They were as shocked as the rest of us when Trump actually fucking won.
They stopped using The Ringer's resources and decided to create their own media empire. In honor of Trump, they named it Crooked Media. They now do ads on their shows and are trying to make money. (They also critique the ad copy WHILE READING IT ON THE AIR because Favreau/Lovett are both writers and cannot help themselves. Endlessly hilarious.)
You may have seen "Friend of the Pod" or "Repeal and go f$%& yourself" t-shirts - those originated with these guys.
Every Monday, Pod Save America releases an episode with Tommy, Favreau, and Lovett talking about politics and usually having a guest in the second half. Recently, they had Al Franken on. Every Thursday, Pod Save America releases a second episode of the week, with Favreau shooting the shit with Dan Pfeiffer, also a former Obama staffer/political strategist who's a few years older than these young bucks.

Tommy started his own weekly show called Pod Save the World. As Obama's former National Security Council spokesperson, Tommy will interview people like diplomats and other experts on international issues, usually trying to make it topical to things like North Korea, etc. He did invite Glenn Greenwald on his show after getting into it with him on Twitter, and it was actually one of the best episodes Tommy's done so far. I also really enjoyed his episode with Senator Tim Kaine about presidential war powers.

[twitter.com profile] deray got his own show, Pod Save the People, after appearing as a guest and having a great rapport with the trio. (I like listening to this but it's SO LONG I have only made it to the end of one of these shows ONCE lol.
Ana Marie Cox also got her own show called, "With Friends Like These," which is meant to address like, the red/blue cultural differences, basically. She's passionately liberal; members of her family are not. How do we as society function/etc.?

And finally, Lovett got his own weekly show called Lovett or Leave It, on which he basically does political standup with a rotating panel of guests made with a lot of his celebrity contacts in Hollywood. (Last week's included Sarah Silverman.) He has some semi-regular segments, such as his own Rant Wheel, because this man can literally rant on any topic.

I think the ratings for Pod Save America especially must be pretty high because they've been getting a lot of blockbuster guests lately - Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Chris Murphy, Susan Rice, and some others. Occasionally they'll do a live show in Los Angeles or elsewhere.

They do a lot of work with Ben Winkler to coordinator with Indivisble, and encourage activism on the part of their listeners. A lot of structure for people doing calls/resistance recesses/other stuff stems in part from them.

Some people have compared it to like conservative talk radio, but I think they're a little more objective than that (although I also could be biased). For example on Monday's show they basically ripped apart the Democrats' newly-unveiled "policy plan" that has jackshit holding it together.

Anyway, between this and twitter [where I do admittedly follow a metric fuck-ton of journalists], this is almost exclusively how I consume news lately.
It makes me laugh, every single episode, which is something we all need lately IMO.



I have long been interested in Jon Favreau because I find him incredibly attractive and because he had what was basically my dream job. Obama's campaign came at a weird time for me. The campus Obama campaign leader my age was a kid who'd gone to some smart kids week-long thing in Washington, D.C. the summer after we graduated high school [my friend Chad came too]. We were told by the real-life Joshua Lyman (under W) to get involved with a campaign, any campaign.
I took this literally and was an unpaid intern for Mark Green, first in his U.S. district office and then as a gubernatorial candidate. After that, when I graduated, no Democrats would hire me. The woman running the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) at the time ran into a friend of mine [fellow page] on the street and told her it was because of my Republican experience. I couldn't even become an unpaid intern for a STATE SENATOR who was a Democrat because of it. (I became bitter and took a job on campus and am now at my second job on campus WHICH I LOVE but sometimes feel really bitter about what might have been.)
ANYWAY. This other KID was had Obama THANK HIM BY NAME and CLAP HIM ON THE SHOULDER when he did a campaign event at the Kohl Center on campus. I was so jealous. My jealousy of Jon Favreau and his youth was like 80x that.

Anyway, that was my hook into following Favreau on twitter and then jumping into these podcasts.

Jon Lovett is gay; Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor are ostensibly straight [Favreau just got married]. However, Lovett frequently complains about having to appear on tv with the two of them because of how hot they are. He has also referred to them as "bromosexuals."
On Chelsea Handler's show last week, they were talking about how much time the three of them spend together. "Sounds super gay," Chelsea says.
"Super gay," Favs agrees.
"NOT NEARLY GAY ENOUGH!" says Lovett.
Because of comments like these, and their chemistry and obvious affection for one another, we have ended up with: a fandom.

Jon Favreau and his wife Emily have a dog named Leo.
Jon Lovett owns a dog named Pundit (because that's how he feels about pundits) who is Leo's sibling.

Also bonus: Lovett and Tommy lived together when they lived in DC while working at the White House.

Here's a link to an actual transcript of part of an ad they did on Pod Save America's Monday episode this week for Sonos, a speaker company. [Link goes to tumblr, no images in post.] And here is the followup in the form of Facebook comments, where Lovett upholds Pundit's honor and accuses Leo of being a werewolf.

Here's a link to a tumblr post that has an embedded image of an Instagram post, plus screencapped comments from it. Tommy Vietor and Jon Favreau sitting side-by-side looking at their laptops, doing a Q&A. This was when they campaigned about health care in DC right after Favreau's wedding. In the comments, someone cheekily says they look like a before/after advertisement for self-tanner, and Tommy (the very pale one) says, "That is...so accurate." (They are all very self-deprecating.)

This is a gifset on tumblr of Lovett introducing Tommy Vietor on his Lovett or Leave It podcast. [It's a podcast but they do it in front of a live audience bc it's comedy.] It's hilarious because it's a perfect example of how Lovett talks, and because Tommy can't stop laughing even though Lovett is roasting him.
"Honestly, Tommy looks like a boat shoe became a person."
"He's the WASPiest thing I've ever seen. They based...they based many of the characters of the Sound of Music on his face."

Here's a tumblr gifset mostly of Tommy and Lovett interacting with one another.

Lovett is almost always angry/ranting but occasionally he gets really serious and is very eloquent when he does so. Almost like...underneath his bluster, he's an idealistic kid who writes really well and worked for Obama :*) Example!

SO YEAH. Anyway.....me, the person who never writes fic, have my first 5.3k fic in this fandom out with like 5 ppl [IF ANYONE ELSE WANTS TO BETA PLS LMK I NEED FEEDBACK.]
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 04:58 pm
Ugh, y'all, I am having one of those days where just keeping my eyes open and witnessing the awfulness of my nation's government is making me feel bleak and wrung-out and helpless. And I keep opening FB and Twitter in adjacent tabs, and then after reading for a while realizing that reading them is not actually helping anyone or anything (me included) and closing them, and then a few minutes later opening them again without even thinking about it, which says something about my social media habits that I do not like. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

I miss having a sense of active involvement in fandom. I have a few hours ahead of me with no kid to mind, and I obviously need to stop poking at social media (it's the emotional-intellectual equivalent of just eating endless bags of potato chips -- hours go by and then I feel sick to my stomach), and I know that once upon a time I would have seized on this time as an opportunity to make something for y'all, and I miss that. But I'm not embedded in any particular universes right now, and I feel tapped-out and devoid of ideas.

Read any good books lately, especially fiction or nonfiction that left you feeling lifted-up instead of dragged-down?

For those of you who are actively fannish, what are the things that are bringing you joy?