eight months

Jul. 24th, 2017 09:40 am
fox: cartoon drawing of oven with single bun in it (bun in the oven)
[personal profile] fox
Yesterday the prince was eight months old.

He is crawling everywhere and transitioning easily from crawling to sitting and back again. He pulls himself up to standing effortlessly when he's holding our hands (we're not pulling him - just providing passive resistance) and is working on it using various furniture items, but he's never confident they won't move or his feet won't skid, assuming he can get his feet oriented properly in the first place (50/50). And our coffee table has a lower shelf thing that he can grab and pull himself up most of the way but he usually senses that he's about to bump his head on the top of the table so he stops. (Yesterday he did fetch himself a clunk up there, poor kid. And the night before last he was sitting up and reaching forward for something and before I could see what happened he'd pitched right over and bonked his forehead on the floor. Both of these happened when he was getting tired and probably therefore pretty uncoordinated. Still not so fun for him.)

He babbles constantly and it's probably frustrating to him that we mostly don't understand what he's saying. I think I recall from my college and grad school days that by this age he understands language pretty well and as far as he's concerned that's what he's producing, but to us it sounds like "da da da da da AAAAAA" and that could mean anything from "I love Daddy" to "how many times do I have to tell you there is poop in my pants," so - there's progress to be made. :-)

We have mostly (knock wood) conquered nap time. His naps at home are often no more than about half an hour, but he does at least seem to understand that nap time is a thing, so the epic struggle is mostly behind us. Only took four months. Whew.

No teeth yet. Every couple of weeks he has a medium-strength meltdown that we can't explain so it's hard to solve, but so far it's generally been either an ear infection or an overload from working on a new skill (sitting, crawling, etc.). One of these times it's going to be teething, but it hasn't been so far. Drooling buckets, though. Buckets.

He likes to give us hugs and kisses, but he accomplishes this by grabbing onto whatever he can reach and pulling us toward his open mouth. So I took out my earrings, as I may have said before, because he'll grab a whole ear but his little fingers occasionally got hooked in the hoops and nobody wants that kind of tugging. He grabs eyebrows, so you have to close your eyes fast or get a slobbery thumb right in the eye socket. He noms my chin or my cheekbone (or my knee) as though he were nursing. Or teething. He strokes my hair when he's resting his head on my shoulder, which is sweet, but he grabs it and sucks on it whether it's in a ponytail or not, and I've had almost no success convincing him mommy's hair is not a snack. I may end up cutting it soon after all. (I'm trying to do less "no, no" and more affirmative redirection. "We play with the toys, not with the floor coverings" when he pulls up the corner of the interlocking mat and puts the interlocking bits in his mouth - or when he puts the fringes of a rug in his mouth that has been on one floor or another for 20 years. "Gentle hands" rather than "No no ow." And so on.)

His favorite foods are bananas and applesauce, and he also enjoys pears, mangoes, sweet potatoes, peaches, and peas and tolerates carrots and cantaloupe. We've got prunes in reserve in the basement for when we need them, but he doesn't eat those regularly. (He likes them fine when he does eat them, though.) Next experiment is chickpeas, with which I made a very pasty baby starter hummus yesterday (no garlic, no tahini, just chickpeas and water and a tiny bit of olive oil); if he hates them we'll make hummus out of them for the grown-ups, but I'm optimistic that he will like them fine. And then next: more complex proteins! I've got my eye on chicken.

Once in a blue moon I am monumentally frustrated by this kid when e.g. he bites me while nursing or he keeps squealing and I can't work out what will make him knock it off or he (rarely anymore) wakes up crying at night and can't easily get back to sleep. But mostly he is marvelous. The way he turns toward us when he falls asleep in our arms and tucks his little face into our shoulders is - well, it's what I've always wanted. From time to time I look at him playing with his dad and I could burst into fragments from how happy I am that I have this husband whom I love and who loves me and this kid whom I adore and they are also so nuts about each other. The pair of them are simply the best things that have ever happened to me. I always hold him (the baby, I mean) for a couple of minutes after he's finished nursing at bedtime and just look at him, but sometimes I think I could hold him all night. (NB the times I have considered that I might have to hold him all night have not been wonderful times.) The way he loves us is - literally, according to the actual definition of the word - awesome. When I'm completely exhausted it's sometimes helpful to remind myself that more of the time I'm overwhelmed with joy.

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon reminds us that the 2017-18 school year is coming, and [tumblr.com profile] positivelypt has a post up with links to wishlists for underserved classrooms. You can check out the list, give, and reblog here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.


Help For Free:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] globalsextrendsproject, who are working on an independent research projected aimed at establishing whether there are global trends in stimuli for sexual arousal and the content of sexual fantasies. You can read more and reblog here or fill out the form here. I took a quick breeze through the form and it's primarily short-answer rather than multiple choice, once you get past the demographic stuff.


Activism:

[tumblr.com profile] stabulous has a post up about Welcome Blanket, a project initiated by the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago and anti-Trump craftivists. They are asking people to send handmade blankets to be exhibited at the Smart and afterwards distributed to refugees and immigrants arriving in the US. The hope is to create 3200 blankets to equal the length of the wall Trump wants to build across the US-Mexico border. You can read more at the link above, and find out how to participate at the official site, which includes activism resources whether you want to actually send in a blanket or not.


News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Creative Commons, which is offering grants of up to USD$1000 for small projects ("Salons, campaigns, translations, e-books, printing, collaborations, and more") which grow the global commons. They want help increasing discovery, collaboration, and advocacy towards their mission. You can read more and apply for a grant here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara's new comic available on ComixOlogy, [Super]Natural Attraction! Kara is well-known to me as a groovy artist who does cool stuff so while I haven't read this yet I wholeheartedly recommend her work. She has a rebloggable post about it here and you can buy and read it 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.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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[personal profile] copperbadge
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] sleepyheathen needs to make next month's rent and is selling items, offering commissions, accepting donations, and has an Amazon wishlist up. You can read more, purchase, or reblog here, or donate via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] tony-in-distress is trying to escape an abusive situation and hoping to take her siblings with her. She needs to raise enough money for a deposit on a safe house for her and her siblings to live in. You can read more and help out here.

Anon is raising funds to help a friend cover debt and pay for legal bills after her abusive husband took custody of their youngest son. You can read more and give here; unfortunately due to Australian law apparently they can't provide much information.

Sarah Sadat had to leave her job recently due to stress and is facing mounting medical bills for a failing kidney and previous hospitalization; she has surgery scheduled for next month, and is fundraising to help cover medical and other bills. You can read more and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] ohstephyy was let go from a job three months ago and hasn't been able to get another one; there are also other costs coming up to cover. You can read more and reblog here; a paypal address is available at the post.

[personal profile] laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for [personal profile] kuwdora, a talented vidder who is trying to become a professional editor. She has an opportunity for professional coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but can't afford the expenses on her own. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] tiarasnteakettles who is looking for work as a harpist, including attempting to purchase a harp that would be a massive upgrade from her current instrument and allow her more freedom in performance. You can read more about her situation and reblog here, including links to her Patreon and online store and Paypal donation address.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] wanderlust-anthology, an upcoming anthology of reimagined myths, legends, and folklore based on the theme Quests and Journeys. They are looking for creators for this anthology, which will be a full-color printed book with stories, comics, and artwork. You can read more at their tumblr or at the FAQ here; sign-ups close July 30th.

Housing:

Riel is looking for a roommate in Austin, TX to share a townhouse; she and the other roommate (male) are both grad students, and they do have a cat. Riel is very fandom-friendly. Lease starts in August. You can check out the townhouse here and get in touch at ariellayendler at gmail.com.

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.

This week in writing, 7/16

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:39 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Still not great, but better than last week! 

WIPs currently active: 5

Words written this week: 3,259

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 104, still inching along. I probably just need to hit a scene break soon, but then I’m going to have to figure out what happens next, so…?

Born in the Blood: 821, and it is distinctly possible that every one of them is terrible, but I haven’t figured out how to make them less terrible so for now I’m just going with it.

Dragon!Bucky/tribute!Steve and Learning to Be a Good Citizen: 490, including realizing that I needed to insert an entire chapter before where I initially started writing. 

All Eternals Deck #2: 598, possibly all getting deleted when I redo the beginning because i figured out that I was doing it wrong…

Slavefic #6: 1,246, DIRELY in need of a POV change. Soon. Yes. 

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[personal profile] copperbadge
A mango mixed jelly freeze from Chinatown is the best decision I have made all week.

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