October 17th, 2017
marina: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marina at 11:13am on 17/10/2017
Before we get into this post, please know: I am not a Trek fan and have never been a Trek fan. I like maybe 2 characters (MAYBE) and a select few episodes from like, ALL OF STAR TREK CANON and furthermore: I've not seen most of the Star Trek canon. I also have a lot of not-necessarily-positive feelings about Star Trek FANDOM that I've been known to vent about so.

Please please ask yourself whether, knowing that, you really want to read the rest of this entry (which will contain mostly snark). Also know: if this entry isn't for you, I still love you and would never judge you (or anyone) for a single second for liking the things you like.

General thoughts on Star Trek )

Star Trek: Discovery 1x05 - Choose Your Pain )
havocthecat: amy pond of doctor who with a magnifying glass (dw amy pond investigates)
I usually ignore the salt measurements except when baking, and just salt to taste, but that's because I've been cooking since I've been old enough to drag a chair to the stove and push vegetables around on a skillet. This is potentially disastrous to people who don't know as much about cooking!

Sometimes your recipes call for a specific type of salt - and there could be an actual reason why. Not if it's trendy salt, usually, but if it's "sea salt," Diamond kosher salt, or Morton's kosher salt, there's a specific reason and you should actually pay attention. Who knew?

I mean, I've been cooking for multiple decades and I had no fucking clue before this morning, so if you didn't know, don't feel bad! Hell, Bon Appetit magazine didn't even know until 2013, and they're goddamn Bon Appetit gourmet magazine.

This is going to make a world of difference in my pickling, that's for sure. No wonder my pickled turnips always turn out too salty.

The Kosher Salt Question

Tagline: Prized for its purity and flaky texture, kosher salt has been a home-cooking standard for decades. But the two major brands, Diamond Crystal and Morton, are very different products. Your ruined meatballs can attest.
posted by [syndicated profile] velveteenrabbi_feed at 04:13am on 17/10/2017

Posted by rbarenblat@gmail.com (Velveteen Rabbi)

Rabbi-roundtable-1508161760The good folks at the the Forward have started up a new series they're calling Rabbi Roundtable. They chose 17 rabbis from across the denominational spectrum, and they're posing questions to us and sharing our answers. 

The first one of these has just gone live, and the question they chose to ask this week is, "What is the biggest threat facing the Jewish people today?" Here are our answers: Rabbi Roundtable / What's the Biggest Threat to the Jewish People? Deep thanks to the editors at the Forward for including me as a leading voice of Jewish Renewal.

October 16th, 2017
recessional: text: "I'm going to continue drinking my tea and pretend you didn't just say that." (personal; my evens are incapable)
posted by [syndicated profile] velveteenrabbi_feed at 08:07am on 16/10/2017

Posted by rbarenblat@gmail.com (Velveteen Rabbi)

IStock-485751996

...This is our time to rest, like bulbs cradled in the embrace of the earth. It’s time to slow our breathing, like the shavasana pose that ends many yoga classes. We’ve been pouring out our hearts: now it’s time to wait and see what flows in to replenish us. Like the trees, like the bulbs, our souls need to lie fallow....

 

That's from my latest essay for The Wisdom Daily.

Read the whole thing: Why the stillness after the wave of Jewish holidays is so important

October 15th, 2017
posted by [syndicated profile] velveteenrabbi_feed at 11:16am on 15/10/2017

Posted by rbarenblat@gmail.com (Velveteen Rabbi)

White-1One of the great joys of being an unofficial ambassador for Jewish Renewal is getting invited to share spiritual technologies that have deeply shaped my life and my rabbinate with new communities that may not yet have experienced them.

Over the weekend of November 3-5, Rabbi David Markus and I will be scholars-in-residence at Temple B'nai Chaim in Georgetown, Connecticut!

We'll be there over the weekend of parashat Vayera (the Torah portion is named after its first word, "And God appeared" or, more broadly "And God caused Abraham to see") so we've framed our introduction to Jewish Renewal through the lens of vision. 

We'll be co-leading a musical, poetic, uplifting Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday night; offering a Torah study on Shabbat morning; gathering with the community at 5pm for se'udat shlishit (the "third meal" of Shabbat, where we'll "dine" on poetry and song themed around yearning at that most poignant time of the week), havdalah, and some learning about angels in Jewish tradition. On Sunday morning we'll offer two short programs on "spirituality on the go" and on the mysticism of ordinary mitzvot.

Here's the full schedule for our weekend, and here's a Facebook event where you can indicate if you're coming. If you're in or near Connecticut and are able to join us, we'd love to see you there!

marina: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marina at 02:43pm on 15/10/2017
I've been struggling a lot this week. Yesterday I went back to work after nearly a month away, due to holidays and travel, and that's definitely landed on me like a very heavy truck. But in general, settling back into my life after the madness that the last 6 months have been is... a little difficult and disorienting. I've had a lot of see-saw feelings of "everything is great!" and "everything is awful!" and I'm kind of constantly exhausted and my tolerance for deadline-related stress is close to zero, and well.

more details )
the_future_modernes: (Default)
by that lady who did the really trash "Eat Pray Love"? I did. I tried it because the cover was so bloody gorgeous, all that purple! And I have been reading creativity books for inspiration. And you know what? This was a good one. No really. Now, as per usual with white folks, she manages to find inspiration in an mostly white canon of creatives; and as per usual the greeks and the romans are invoked as the beginning of creative history (insert eyeroll. And there is a story about Bali priests at the end that reads to me like she is defending cultural appropriation (its the way she talks as if there isn't a valid reason for concern in the situation that eveolved, even if in that case, it didn't work out the way it usually does when poc have something white folks are interested in). And I really dont agree with her that art is essentially useless and not that important to our survival. (She basically thinks that physical stuff like doctors nurses etc are important to our survival, while art is something that we choose to do but can live without. I find that her dismissal of art's catering to our mind's needs to be really weird for someone who is deep into spirituality. For me, art is just as necessary as the physical stuff. Not just bread but roses too, ya'll or in this case not just bread but art.

But the rest of it? Spot on. She takes the myth of having to suffer to create art to the woodshed. She talks about making creative work a devotion in a way that really synced with me. She addresses the idea of genius, and success and how if you are lucky to have one of your ideas take off, how to deal with the fact that nothing else you make is likely to be be as successful as that one idea (the answer: face that, acknowlege it and work anyway. Try to stay away from the idea of working towards success and try to embrace the actual creative process itself. She talked about working to support your art and how that helps to not put so much pressure on you to perform. (Though I started thinking about the many ways in which capitalism emands that you work so much that many folkd can't even get a minute to practice art at all and that's why a dream of many folks is to be able to make art that sells, cause they'll have some goddamn time to do so! ) And she talks about the fact that whatever path you choose, there will be associated shit that you will have to deal with. So pick the path. if you can, that has jewels that shine so brightly for you that you will dig thru the shit to get at them.

Her writing was lovely, light and casual and inviting. I really do rec this book!
the_future_modernes: (Default)
cause iam gonna attempt nanowrimo this year!
lizbee: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] lizbee at 09:02am on 15/10/2017 under ,
The proper grown-up blog I share with [personal profile] yiduiqie has been linked from some amazing places in the last month, and I just want to document it for posterity and ego boosting:
  • The New Yorker linked to our 2015 post about the sinister subtext of Thomas the Tank Engine. Yes, that New Yorker. Ain't no thang. *hairflip*
  • (That article was then shared at BoingBoing, where the comments were filled with nerds taking our silly post very seriously indeed.)
  • BookRiot's crime fiction podcast discussed our post on why we're not supporting the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries film Kickstarter, and our earlier post (linked in our recent one) about the racism in the books and TV series, and how it's something that non-Australians seem to overlook.
  • The podcast included a wonderful bit where the hosts were like, "Well, these Australian ladies say the books are problematic, but we wanted to make up our own mind, so we read one each." But they chose the books at random, and had the misfortune to end up with Blood and Circuses, The One With The Infamous Clown Sex. (If you watched the series -- which I really love, when it's not being incredibly racist -- you should take a moment to appreciate the lack of clown sex. Really.) Anyway, they concluded that, yes, the books are very bad in terms of exotifying and othering people of non-Anglo backgrounds, but they're also just not well-written and ... bad. Which is fair. 
  • And The Monthly, an Australian publication whose essays and articles appeal to flat white-sipping inner-city lefties (so, me), linked to our first Discovery post in an article about angry, racist nerds complaining that Trek is "suddenly" appealing to an "SJW" agenda.
  • (I am extremely proud to get the word "feelpinions" into The Monthly, BUT I also wonder if my use isn't a bit defensive, ie, no one can accuse me of being emotional, irrational or otherwise a silly lady fan if I say it first. Am I putting myself at a disadvantage by emphasising that my posts are reactions, not reviews, and that my opinions derive from my emotions? On the other hand, what is television for but to elicit an emotional reaction?)
Finally, here is this week's Discovery post, which I almost didn't share because it wasn't wholly positive and ... IDK, I guess I've become protective of this ridiculous show, and don't want to play into the narrative of it being The Worst. On the other hand, it made some Bad Choices this week, along with some better ones. (And I note that the dude reviewers who have decried it as being The Worst really liked this episode, which only reassures me that I'm on the right track.)

location: BUT THE NEW YORKER, THOUGH!
Mood:: 'nerdy' nerdy
October 14th, 2017
recessional: "Okay, so ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking." (personal; even zaphod knows ur dumb)
coffeeandink: (Default)
These are very gossipy shallow reactions, but maybe I will get back into the swing of posting, who knows.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S03E01 )

Jane the Virgin S04E01 )
the_future_modernes: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] the_future_modernes at 01:18am on 14/10/2017
October 13th, 2017
the_future_modernes: (Default)
yesterday and I am whining inwardly because I can't buy it. It has no arms you see and stops mid back. I also dont trust its comfort level for the truly ridiculous level of time I spend sitting. But I wants it so bad. *sighs* I am trying to find a desk chair that is gorgeously colorful, comfortable, has a tall back so I can lean my head on it and has arms. Apparently this set of specifications is next to impossible to fulfill. The makers of desk chairs seem to feel that most of them should be black or white or brown. Or if they are colorful they should be midback and have no arms. Or be the UGLIEST shade of that color that they can find. I am very confused as to their choices. Maybe I should learn to draw so I can learn to design so I can design my own goddamn chair and somehow get it made?
recessional: an image of a typewriter keyboard with the words "so many monkeys, so little shakespeare" over top (personal; should be 5 new plays by now!)
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)
marina: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marina at 09:28pm on 13/10/2017 under
I've been more or less offline for about 3 weeks. A lot of things have happened. I spent 2 of those weeks traipsing through Ukraine, visiting two big cities, one small town and one tiny, itty bitty place where I stayed for 3 days and where I got to put a stone on the grave of my great-great-grandfather.

I came back sick as a dog, of course. (Got sick on the day-before-last of the trip, got REALLY sick on the very last day - the flight home was an actual hell dimension.) 3 days after I landed I was scheduled to give a brand new lecture at a con. 11 days after I landed I was scheduled to submit the thesis I've been working on for 2 years. (This last one is still in progress.)

So, it's been super hectic and busy (I look forward to November when I will have NO MORE URGENT COMMITMENTS and only... 5 straight months at work... with no vacation days... x_x)

But! I've been watching a lot of things, between small towns with no nightlife and being sick and bedridden.

So, some very brief thoughts.

* Person of Interest - I finally finished the last season! It was mostly blah with occasional bouts of "oh right, I remember why this show was so unique, in its own way". I'm still here for the special-ops-doctor-who-isn't-capable-of-feelings and tech-genius-who-spent-years-playing-by-her-own-rules femmeslash ship. Here for it LIKE BURNING.

* Straight Outta Compton - finally watched this! It wasn't the best movie, and the fact that they completely glossed over the IRL violence against women is... yeah. But it was cool to see a "documentary" about the period of hip-hop history that directly preceeded my introduction to hip-hop. Like Snoop showed up, and Tupac, and I was like - OH RIGHT! Dr Dre made both of them happen! And it was fun for like... getting a fuller context for the music I remember loving in middle school.

* The Good Place - I enjoyed this a lot (am enjoying this a lot?) but if I hadn't been spoiled for the twist at the end of S1 I... would have probably hated this show/been blah about it for a good long while. IDK how they're going to sustain the level of commentary they had in S1 - I don't really care that much about the characters? - but I will say I'm on the Eleanor/Tahani train for now.

* Keanu - another movie I've had on my to-watch list for a long while. I watched it in fits and starts while traveling - it was very cute and occasionally funny, and I did enjoy the commentary and the cute kitten. I could very easily see how it sort of "led" to Jordan Peel's Get Out, since I felt like in Keanu they were sort of figuring out how far they could take it in a mainstream comedy, and Get Out was like the progression of that.

* Top of the Lake - watched S2 in a single evening in Ukraine. It was less good than S1, while doing essentially the same thing. I can't speak to the racism and whether it was worse than in S1 (like, it seemed to me that it was? But I don't know enough about Australia) but the rape culture stuff was... more of the same, except done less well. Also, all of the parenting choices on that show were like 100% culture shock to me, which is a reaction I apparently often have with Australian shows lol.

* Outlander = I'm watching S3 and OMG. This show's perfect blend of "fanfic tropes come to life" and "boring content I'm fast-forwarding through" is baaaaaaack. I'm obsessed with it and simultaneously uninterested in like 50% of what happens on screen.

* Star Trek: Discovery - I've only watched 3 episodes so far (there are 4 out) but... sweet lord. Look, I was never a Star Trek fan, so I didn't expect much from this show, but it definitely has that Stargate feel of "if only someone with half a brain was writing this I'd really love it? As it is, I'll see you on AO3". Like the characters are SO GREAT, Michael Burnham is literally ALL MY DREAMS COME TRUE, but the writing is just so mediocre and blah. Perfect fanfic fandom I guess? I honestly ship everyone on that show with everyone. I shipped Michael with her first captain, I ship her with Jason Isaacs. I ship the science dude with his "warmongering" captain. Give me any pairing.

(Also, I wish this show didn't take Trek into a war direction? As if I didn't have enough to nitpick and be annoyed by, we're in straight up stargate territory now where they're all essentially soldiers? UGH.)

* Atlanta - OH MY GOD. I've watched 8 episodes of S1, and THIS FUCKING SHOW. THIS AMAZING FUCKING SHOW EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH. IT'S SO FUCKING BRILLIANT AND GREAT AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I know everyone's been on this train for like a year, but HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I've missed TV that was this sharp, this clever, this stylish, this full of humor and also things to say. God a show with THINGS TO SAY that's light as a feather and heavy like an ocean at the same time. With a show this good, even when it fails it does it in interesting ways. There's no real way of describing this, it's just... you need to watch it.

(In a way, I've realized Atlanta is the universe making it up to me for Master of None. Same concept of a 20 minute comedy show made by an alum of a popular mainstream comedy show, touching on deeply personal topics and personal stories, dealing with success in the entertainment industry. Same experimentation with format, visual style, characters. But Master of None was so deeply Not My Thing, while Atlanta is just... EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. God that show is STUNNING.)
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
posted by [personal profile] starlady at 12:34pm on 13/10/2017
Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. Passing those bills may literally save the world.

𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

𝐈'𝐯𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐬𝐚𝐲?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Sen. Walter Jones is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

𝐒𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐒𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐭:
Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. I believe Senator Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.

Thanks to [personal profile] rachelmanija for creating this campaign!
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)
coffeeandink: (Default)
The Good Place is such a delight I don't even know how to talk about it. All I want to do is burble.

If you're not watching it, it's a half-hour afterlife comedy about a slacker (Kristen Bell) who has been accidentally misassigned to the "Good Place" (Heaven) after her death, and has to keep the mistake secret from the powers that be (Ted Danson), while trying to figure out how to be a good person -- or at least a good enough person not to stick out. Fortunately for her, she's assigned a soulmate (William Harper Jackson) who was an ethics professor in life.

I don't know how to convince you to watch this. The show is so much stranger, more surreal, and sillier than the setup portends. It is hilarious and moving; it burns through plot like a brushfire (avoid spoilers, I mean it); and the cast is so good, I mean, they are so amazing, not just Bell and Danson, but newcomers like Jackson and D'Arcy Carden as an omniscient database and Jameela Jamil as a socialite philanthropist and Manny Jacinto as a surprising sweetheart. The first season is streaming on Netflix and the second season is airing now.

Spoiler note: the numbering for this season is confusing, since some sources consider the first hour, aired together in a single night, as a single episode. I don't. The latest episode I discuss below the spoiler cut aired 10/12/17.

Spoilers have a thirteen-point scale where eight is the highest score )

January

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
        1 2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31