Oops, it's been a month since my last weekly update.Books
Read T. Kingfisher's Ironheart
. This is the story Ursula Vernon's been talking about writing for years on KUEC, the romance where the hero's a sword. It's a lot more romance genre than she usually writes, and I like how she did that. The hero has been in his sword for hundreds of years, and comes from a culture with cattle-raiding and fights over honour and so forth. The narrative makes the point clearly (without beating it to death) that his culture isn't more
prone to toxic masculinity or sexism than the heroine's culture, but toxic masculinity and sexism do operate differently in their two cultures. I particularly enjoyed the scenes in which the heroine, Halla (a widow whose lifelong survival mechanism is appearing sillier and more scatterbrained than she really is) and the Rat priest Zale (non-binary clerical lawyer) design experiment after experiment to figure out exactly how it works that the hero, Sarkis, is trapped in a sword. When he eats food, where does it go? If he had a full bladder before he reenters his sword, is it empty or full when he emerges?
Read N.K. Jemisin's The Obelisk Gate
and started The Stone Sky
. Her worldbuilding makes all the other fantasy worlds I'm reading at the same time look like cardboard cut-outs by comparison. It's not just the details of how orogeny works, or the long, detailed postapocalyptic history. It's how living in a world constantly either in a state of major, widespread natural disaster or under threat of the same affects that society, all of them, on a political geography and structure level to how the smallest communities function, to the effects on family units, on what the mainstream is like, on marginalised people; but most of all, the ground-in knowledge that everyone in this entire world is a victim of generational trauma
, and it shows
in their parenting, their relationships, their cosmology, their science, their instincts during emergencies, their daily habits, everything
. I need to clarify: I don't mean look at these poor sad broken people. What I mean is, these are normal people responding in an adaptive way to a constantly life-threatening situation on an entire societal level over centuries, and it shows. (Situation might be the wrong word there. It sounds like something circumscribed, temporary. This is their reality, how their world works. The sky is up and rains poisonous gases and ash down on you, the ground is down and shakes and spews up lava.) Not one person in this whole series thinks of the world as a safe place. Because it's not. One of the most telling things is how not one person in this whole series subscribes to the Just World Hypothesis, because they've all
had too much direct experience of random, senseless tragedy for that to make sense to them. Some of them scapegoat other people as evil and causing everyone else's bad luck, but not even one of them thinks they can be immune to that bad luck by being virtuous or well-prepared enough or a positive thinker. It's so deeply, clearly thought through, and she conveys it in so much depth.Music
Bought and listened to Marina and the Diamonds' Electra Heart
(having known about Marina for years in a vague "people I know like her music" but not followed up yet) and listened to it on the strength of a track ('Starring Role') linked to in a fanfic I was reading. The music I mostly really like. The lyrics... She's consciously and deliberately writing about dysfunctional relationships, so it'd be missing the point for me to complain about the unhealthiness of the attitudes to love expressed therein. They're supposed to be! But a lot of them... are not the particular sort of unhealthy that resonates with me when I feel like wallowing in fucked up. They are not fucked up in ways I find easy to relate to. Except for the ones that are... for a few lines, and I'm thinking "yes, like that," and then it'll take a left turn and lose me again. So that's frustrating, but the music's still good.
Heard Big Daddy's cover (sort of) of 'Music of the Night'
and need to share it here as well as on Tumblr because it fills me with joy.TV and Movies
Watched Hannah Gadsby's Nanette
, in which she says some very pointed things about comedy and trauma. My timing was good: I got around to watching it right before she announced her return to comedy.
Watched this YouTube how-to video on gilding a turd
. Okay, actually it's on repairing squishy toys. The turd comes in at 13:24, and is very, very gilded. (cn rapid cutting that might be painful to look at if you're me)Garden
My cherry tomato plant has been producing some tiny (some of them the size of a pea) but incredibly delicious tomatoes. So far no zucchinis at all, just some beautiful zucchini flowers.Food
Tried making icypoles (popsicles if you're American) using the chocolate coconut recipe from Men's Fitness (2 scoops chocolate protein powder, 1 can full-fat coconut milk, blend and freeze in moulds) on the grounds that if I'm going through a stage where I want to live on icypoles (it's February in Australia, 'nuff said) then I might as well try for a bit more nutrition with that. I added a little vanilla essence. The Lifehacker article where I saw the recipe did warn me it'd depend heavily on the flavour of your protein powder. Mine... was not great. Not terrible, but not great either. The flavour was less offensive than room temperature, but definitely no choc mint Paddle Pop. The texture was outright bad, though. Next time I'm gonna try bringing the coconut to a boil and dissolving a teaspoon and a half of powdered gelatine in it first.
I've had more luck just freezing chunks of fruit and gnawing on them without thawing them first. Banana works well that way, as I already knew, as do grapes in grape season, and so does fresh pineapple if you are in a place where you can cope with cutting up a pineapple and putting the pieces in the freezer and then cleaning up afterwards. So I tried tinned pineapple chunks. The texture isn't as good (a little too hard even if I put it in a big ziplock bag and spread it out and leave air pockets here and there) but it's still pretty good.Politics
Called Labor MP to ask for continued support on the medevac bill. This passed today, and it looks like shit is getting real.
And real baffling. This
is the hill ScoMo wants to die on? When he's so into pretending to be a prime minister that he hasn't called an election but doesn't want to actually govern, he's prepared to risk becoming Gough Whitlam's evil mirror universe double over denying refugees access to health care they need because of the way we've mistreated them
? (I mean yes, clearly, he's one of the people insisting on keeping the refugees in actual concentration camps in contravention of international law and any human compassion at all. I just... the fact that it's consistent with his character as shown to date doesn't make it any less baffling.)Other
Went to a zine fair that was part of the Festival of the Photocopier, an annual fest run by the Sticky Institute, a volunteer-run zine culture resource. It was at the Trades Hall, which is currently being renovated. Most of the stalls were at tables in the car park. It was my first time at FOTP, but not my first time at an event like this. I realised that the thing about traders' halls at conventions is that while it's a great place to see unique art and meet interesting people, it's also a guilt gauntlet for me. All these people sharing their personal, intimate artworks, and now they're sitting there watching a stream of strangers walk past them and glance at said art then keep walking. If I don't at least say "hey, how's it going?" then I'm going to be one of hundreds of people doing that, and for some of them each one of those interactions will hurt. But saying hi to literally hundreds of people as I walk past their stalls is going to add to my overwhelm by a lot
, and this is a crowded place with lots of accidental touching and noise and... yeah. Also I know some of the stall-holders will be like me or even more so, and maybe every time I say "hi" and they have to say hi back, I'm drawing on their limited budget of words, and I can't necessarily tell who's who. So I can't win with the guilt.
OTOH, it was nice seeing lots of people making their own art and doing their own writing etc. I bought ten zines, three buttons, and three stickers. Biggest regret: buying three political zines from the "by donation" tables, which I realised too late were probably one of the socialist groups just printing out someone else's stuff (hopefully with permission but who knows) and using it to raise money. (This is not me bagging on socialism itself. This is me bagging on certain socialist groups in Melbourne who operate like cults and whose main activities are fundraising and recruiting but who never seem to do any other activist work beyond showing up to other groups' protests to pass the bucket for their own cause.)
Took my car to a touchless automated car wash for the first time. I'm a bad car owner and hardly ever wash my car myself (with a bucket and a sponge and a squeegee) but had been too proud to pay someone else to do it or take it to an automatic place. Well, I decided to take it to an automatic place. I paid $13 and drove up with the doors closed and the windows rolled up, and watched the jets of water and soap and wax wash all over the outside of my car. It only took a few minutes, took no effort at all from me (beyond getting there and having the cash, and they took cards too as it turned out) and did a better job than I could myself, and was very entertaining. The only downside is that a spider I didn't know was living on the roof of my car unfortunately drowned. There was also a vacuum station at which you could pay a dollar for three and a half minutes of vacuuming and another dollar if you wanted your car scented (oh god no.) I vacuumed, but I need to declutter and tidy in there for it to be effective. Anyway, would recommend an automated car wash if you can afford $13 now and again and never thought of trying it before and lack the spoons to wash your own car but want your car to be clean for once.Edited to add: Tech
The sed thing
, for anyone who was wondering: long story as short as I can manage, I rooted my phone, located the Firefox for Android profile folder, found browser.db inside it and copied that to my desktop, then extracted the table I wanted into a text file, replaced every space with a newline, then removed every line that wasn't a URL, for a value of "URL" here meaning "line starting with 'h'". So there were a few tab titles that started with 'h', but not enough to make it annoying. (I could have just said 'http' instead of 'h', but I was overtaken with a sed-like impulse to use as few characters as possible.)ckd
's answer worked perfectly, and was aesthetically more pleasing than what I tried between posting that and getting the comment ("sed first operation input.txt > intermediate.txt" "sed second operation intermediate.txt > output.txt" and if you ever find yourself naming an output file "intermediate.txt" and it's not
because you need to examine the contents before running the next command, you have forgotten about pipe again.) I got my history as well as my open tabs. Shout-out also to wohali
, who provided multiple additional solutions.
The result is, I can finally close all the tabs on my phone, secure in the knowledge that now I have them in a text list I can go through in time. (No, I do not want to use Mozilla's profile sync. I want a text list, not a bunch of open tabs on a different device. This is a sorting and decluttering thing, not a backup thing. And NO, I don't want Pocket.)