([personal profile] fifty_fifty posting in [community profile] getting_started Oct. 20th, 2017 05:33 pm)
Hi,

I have been using OpenID in order to comment on LJ communities as I don't want to have an LJ account for obvious reasons.

I used to be able to log in just fine and post comments and create posts etc. But I recently got a new computer and went to log in and comment and it told me I needed to validate my email address. So I clicked through to a link and then clicked the link that was in the email that LiveJournal sent to my email address.

When I click this link in the validation email, it takes me to a page titled:

"Please, verify that you are human"
When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.

Then there's a continue button to click on. I click the page and it looks like it's doing something, but it takes me back to the same page again and I remain unverified and now unable to comment or post on any communities.

Any ideas as to how I can get LJ to actually verify the email address for my OpenID account? Thanks!
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
([personal profile] seekingferret Oct. 20th, 2017 10:11 am)
The 25 mile ride I did in Helsinki at Worldcon left me wanting to do more longer rides on my bike. I somehow rode ~25 miles in Helsinki in spite of the fact that I don't think I've ever ridden more than 10 miles in a trip here in the US- in retrospect the bravado of saying "Sure, I can do this, let me sign up" amazes me. Helsinki is flatter than Highland Park, though, especially along the coastline, and the bike I rented there had road tires that I think probably also helped reduce rolling resistance compared to the more treaded tires on the crummy mountain bike I've been riding since I was a teenager. 25 miles still feels out of reach at home, but I want to work toward it not feeling so crazy, since I know that in some parallel European universe it's possible.

About a month ago, I set off on a 14 mile ride. They converted an old industrial railroad track into a biking path in Metuchen. It's about 4 miles to the trail, the trail is 3 miles long, and so all told the round trip is 14 miles. I rode 3.5 miles and then wiped out catastrophically on a curb cut, damaging my bike and bruising my arm pretty badly. There's this tricky part of the trip out where there's no choice but to ride alongside Rt. 27 and there's no sidewalk, and I was overly anxious having cleared that passage to get back on the sidewalk as soon as it was there, and there was also a puddle to avoid, and the result was I hit the curb slightly wrong and went flying. So that was a bust.

But I got right back on the horse. Er, bicycle. As soon as my bike was fixed up, I went out on the same route. We had beautiful weather and I made it through the tricky part without trouble (beyond a racing heartbeat) and the actual bike trail was lovely, with an overgrown tree canopy isolating it from the rest of town. I had to cut the ride short because I was going to dinner in my sister's Sukkah that night, so I only did 10 miles total. But I easily could have done the 14, I had it in me. I'm waiting for the next free Sunday to do the whole trip.

I've also been pushing the limits on my shorter after-work rides, lately, though it's getting dark earlier and earlier, making it harder for me to get in those rides before the point in the sunset where I'm too nervous of getting hit by a car to ride.

My next goal is to do a ride on the D&R Canal trail... I've done, a few times, the ride to the entrance to the trail- it's roundtrip 8 miles from home. And then the actual trail segment is 29 miles, so I can sort of pace myself and work my way up to the whole trail. Of course, now it's late October, I'm going to be running out of good weather weekends soon. I keep saying I'm going to get a gym membership to try to do indoor stationary biking in the winter, but then I remember that I find stationary biking stultifying. So we'll see.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
([personal profile] melannen Oct. 18th, 2017 07:31 pm)
It seems like it's been ages that I've posted anything substantial and non-FMK here (which I knew was a risk; I have enough social media XP (extroversion points) to keep up with approx. 1 DW post a week, that is well-established). So here is a 5 things to break the monotony:

1. Pokemon Go will not let me install the latest update (It gives an error message that says "we hates your phone, precious" [paraphrase] and then won't install.) So instead I have been playing Magikarp Jump, which the app store always tries to tell me pokego players will enjoy. So far:

This is my fish. There are many like it, but this one is mine. )


2. Also I finally won the last boss level in Alphabear, so until I got my fish game, I was totally at loose ends for mindless phone games, and started looking for ports of the ones I played as a kid. HOW IS AN ANDROID PORT OF GODDAMP CATERPILLAR 11 megabytes? I coded that from scratch on my TI83 when I was a kid! In, like, about 100 lines of code! WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

(I also coded a text adventure with a gender-ambiguous protagonist on that calculator, actually...)


3. I finished cleaning my bathroom yesterday! It only took me about two weeks! It is so nice to go in there and have it be clean! clean ALL the things )


4. So last November I kind of went into power-save mode for awhile, quit using Habitica and also quit a bunch of the things I had been doing on a regular basis (tag wrangling, practicing piano, working on Spanish and Icelandic, writing on a regular basis, using Tumblr...) But my sister got me back onto using Habitica again, and now that all the cat-related tasks are gone (and I trimmed some other stuff) it's a much more reasonable list of dailies.

I had forgotten how very motivating it is to get to tick the thingy. Now I am debating whether to use my Orb of Rebirth and start over or not (And whether to try to get together an active party with more than just me and my sister and a bunch of inactive accounts.)

And I'm trying to get back to doing some of the other things I stopped, too. I gave Tag Wrangling an un-hiatus notice, so I'm committed to trying to be less fail at that, and I pulled out a piano book for the first time in months (I found a copy of the very first one I learned out of, The Joy Of First-Year Piano, to warm me back up) Og ég er að læra íslensku aftur. Þótt jurtabókin er erfitt. Það er of mikið um illt kaffi í bókinni. Y yo hablé español a una clienta hoy! Un poco español, pero un poco es más que nada.

The only thing I gave up that I haven't missed at all is Tumblr. *shrug emoji* (even that's not true, I have a secret backup tumblr to which are added a couple people who post mostly personal stuff and also a bunch of nature and solarpunk and library special collections photos, and no politics or fandom, and it's still fine.)

5. One of the things on my habitica dailies is to post an AO3 comment once a day. Another one is to do something with politics once a week. I got my wires crossed in there somewhere and realized that if I don't feel up to actually engaging with politics I can just send one of my (excellent) congresspeople an email that literally just says, "Hi staffer who reads these, you are fighting the good fight, keep holding the line, thank you", just like when I want to leave an AO3 comment but don't know what to say, and it STILL COUNTS.

Also, people are trying to get public outcry going toward Congress passing the nonpartisan bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) which would make it so the US President could not launch a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war. TBH I can't think of ANY reason why that should ever have been possible, but ESPECIALLY now. So write your congresspeople or spread the word to #PULL THE FOOTBALL

/me crosses off "do politics" for this week
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
([personal profile] melannen Oct. 17th, 2017 07:40 pm)
Last week's winners were not what I expected! But F goes to The Red Tent and K goes to The Magicians (which is WAY more hated than I had realized! For good reason apparently.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

This week's theme: I have no idea what this book is about, I'm pretty sure I only have it for the title.

Poll: Bail, Capote, Carey, Collins, Connors, Corliss, Ericson, Galloway, Gould, Morse, Shann, Shreve, Townsend, Wodehouse )
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seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
([personal profile] seekingferret Oct. 17th, 2017 01:41 pm)
I'm up to date on The Orville and one episode behind on Star Trek Discovery.

The Orville, from day one, has been pretty clear about what it is as a show, and it's not what we thought it was going to be or what the trailers promised. It's not a space sitcom full of Family Guy style jokes. It's not in the Galaxy Quest vein. It's a pretty straightforward episodic modern take on Star Trek, created with deep respect for Roddenberry's ideals. Its particular lens on the material is a focus on the mundane: What if life in Starfleet was like a typical modern office? Your boss's boss is generally a decent guy but he sometimes says sexist things and he's in the middle of getting over an ugly divorce that sometimes bleeds his personal life into his professional life. Some of your co-workers are so burnt out they couldn't give a shit as long as it doesn't affect them. Your manager is way too inexperienced and seems uncomfortable giving orders. The fart jokes from the trailers, it turns out, weren't pointless sitcom props- they're character beats about how Starfleet means you are living 24/7 among your co-workers, and that means figuring out how to share bathrooms with people who are not like you. It's surprisingly well done.

I've been enjoying it, for the most part, though its basic mundanity sometimes blends awkwardly with its Roddenberry idealism. The Very Special Episode about transgender issues didn't quite fit together for me- the jokiness clashed with the seriousness of the question, making the question sometimes seem more trivial than it is. But I loved some moments from the episode- I loved seeing the human crew initially confronting the question from a position of revulsion- of course we in the Federation don't decide the gender of an infant, we let the infant grow up and make their own choice! It's no more obviously the right position- the Federation still clearly is a culture where cultural programming about gender roles matters. Still, it's so striking in just the right Star Trek way to say "Let's posit a future where a liberal orthodoxy about transgender issues has been completely adopted as a cultural norm... how does that liberal orthodoxy react to people taking a different approach to gender issues?"



Then there's Star Trek Discovery. I have no idea what to say about it yet. I don't understand it as a show. The first two episodes don't feature the ship Discovery that the show is named after, or most of its main characters. They're decent television, and the special effects are spectacular and leave The Orville in the dust, but they don't seem to have much connection to what the show is in its next two episodes.

It seems to be wrestling with what does Starfleet look like at war, except that unlike some past versions of the same, it doesn't entirely seem to be working from the expected premise that Starfleet at war is a fundamentally irresolvable tension. The first two episodes revolve around a mutiny driven by a violation of the apparent principle that Starfleet never shoots first, then the subsequent two episodes seem to revolve around a captain who has been charged by Starfleet to do whatever it takes to win the war. What does this version of Starfleet stand for? I don't know. What does this version of the Klingon empire stand for? Other than speaking endlessly in subtitled Klingon, making ST:D practically a foreign film, I don't know. Thus far, there's been very few scenes in the show not on the Shenzhou, the Discovery, or a Klingon vessel. Almost nothing on alien worlds, very little about alien races besides the Klingons and Vulcans. There is so little of what we expect from Star Trek here.

Amidst this general confusion of purpose, I've enjoyed moments. Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham, the only character on the show who's been at all fleshed out, is intriguing and well-acted, the brilliant loner so convinced of her own competence that she thinks as long as she survives and gives it her best, she can take everyone else along with her. Jason Isaacs has made the most of his limited work so far, giving off an extremely Shatnerian vibe in spite of the very different material he's being given to deliver. Anthony Rapp has been fun as a hardass engineer, and Mary Wiseman has been really effective as a mood lightener as Cadet Tilly.

I'm going to keep watching both shows- it'll be interesting to see where they go.
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
([personal profile] liv Oct. 16th, 2017 08:16 pm)
Sexual violence against women and girls is endemic. There's an absolute mountain of evidence that this is the case, from the experiences of my friends to any number of posts on social media to rigorous studies. A big part of the reason I decided to identify as a feminist is because women are routinely denied bodily autonomy and feminism seems to be the only political movement that cares about this.

links and personal observations about sexual violence against women )

I absolutely believe everybody else's experiences, people I know and strangers writing brave, brave columns and blog posts. I am just a total outlier, and I really shouldn't be. So I'm signal boosting others' accounts, because I know that I needed to be made aware of the scale of the problem, and perhaps some other people reading this could also use the information.
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([personal profile] archersangel posting in [community profile] books Oct. 15th, 2017 09:02 pm)

This is one of those books that I went back-and-forth on even put to the list of books to rent from booklender.com, much less actually putting it in my "impending" books list at the site. I kind of regret it.

It feels like it's two different books. One is about a former teen pop star that got dropped from her label after wanting to sing her own, more serous, songs instead of the "bubblegum pop" stuff they wanted. Then her mom ran off to Argentina with her manager and all of her money. Followed by her finding her fiancee (in a boy band at the same label) cheating with the latest (20-something) pop sensation. Because she has no money she has to move in with her ex's brother (who's the black sheep of the family) & take a job as an assistant director at a college dorm.

The other is a murder mystery of the "cozy" kind. I prefer cozy mysteries (where they don't go into gory detail & are light on sex & violence) but this one was kind of "fluffy" except for a knock-down-drag-out fight at the end.
Also at times if felt like it was trying to be a third book about how being a size 12 is not fat & is the size of the average American woman, you know. And if you don't know, you should.

Over all I had a hard time getting though it & would've quit it, but I wanted to see who did it & why. Seriously doubt I will be reading the others in the series.
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
([personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_volunteers Oct. 15th, 2017 11:07 pm)
I'm playing with my new camera.

What have you all been up to?
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([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding Oct. 14th, 2017 06:54 pm)
Welcome to the sixty-sixth Crowdfunding Creative Jam! This session will run Saturday, October 14-Sunday, October 15. The theme is "Moving the Body."


Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Everyone is eligible to post prompts, which may be words or phrases, titles, images, etc. Prompters may request a specific creator, but everyone else may still use that prompt if they wish. Prompts may specify a particular character/world/etc. but creators may use the prompt for something else anyway and post the results. Prompters are still encouraged to post mostly prompts that anyone could use anywhere, as this maximizes the chance of having creators make something based on your prompt. Please title your comment "Prompt" or "Prompts" when providing inspiration so these are easy to find.

Prompt responses may also be treated as prompts and used for further inspiration. For example, a prompt may lead to a sketch which leads to a story, and so on. This kind of cascading inspiration is one of the most fun things about a collective jam session.

Everyone is eligible to use prompts, and everyone who wants to use a given prompt may do so, for maximum flexibility of creator choice in inspiration. You do not have to post a "Claim" reply when you decide to use a prompt, but this does help indicate what is going on so that other prompters can spread out their choice of prompts if they wish.

Creators are encouraged, but not required, to post at least one item free. Likewise, sharing a private copy of material with the prompter is encouraged but not required. Creative material resulting from prompts should be indicated in a reply to the prompt, with a link to the full content elsewhere on the creator's site (if desired); a brief excerpt and/or description of the material may be included in the reply (if desired). It helps to title your comment "Prompt Filled" or something like that so these are easy to identify. There is no time limit on responding to prompts. However, creators are encouraged to post replies sooner rather than later, as the attention of prompters will be highest during and shortly after the session.

Some items created from prompts may become available for sponsorship. Some creators may offer perks for donations, linkbacks, or other activity relating to this project. Check creator comments and links for their respective offerings.

Prompters, creators, and bystanders are expected to behave in a responsible and civil manner. If the moderators have to drag someone out of the sandbox for improper behavior, we will not be amused. Please respect other people's territory and intellectual property rights, and only play with someone else's characters/setting/etc. if you have permission. (Fanfic/fanart freebies are okay.) If you want to invite folks to play with something of yours, title the comment something like "Open Playground" so it's easy to spot. This can be a good way to attract new people to a shared world or open-source project, or just have some good non-canon fun.

Boost the signal! The more people who participate, the more fun this will be. Hopefully we'll see activity from a lot of folks who regularly mention their projects in this community, but new people are always welcome. You can link to this session post or to individual items created from prompts, whatever you think is awesome enough to recommend to your friends.
noiproksa: (Default)
([personal profile] noiproksa posting in [community profile] vidding Oct. 14th, 2017 10:01 am)
A few Arrested Development vids:

Gob/Tony: Origin of Love
Genre: slash, friendship, romance
Summary: All of his life all Gob has ever wanted was to be loved. But even though Gob does everything for his family’s approval, he won’t ever be good enough for them. Along comes Tony Wonder and for the first time Gob doesn’t have to be ashamed of who he is…

On AO3: Origin of Love


Gob&Michael: Everything I Do
Genre: gen, brotherly love, family
Summary: A vid about Gob and Michael's relationship from season 1-4, including lots of hugs, brotherly love and also a bit of roughhousing because that's just who they are.

On AO3: Everything I Do


Ensemble vid: 9 to 5
Genre: ensemble, gen, humor, family
Summary: A normal day at work for the Bluth family. - Humor vid featuring the Arrested Development gang and their work ethic.

On AO3: 9 to 5
yinetime: (Default)
([personal profile] yinetime posting in [community profile] vidding Oct. 13th, 2017 01:33 pm)
Fandom: Chuck (TV)
Pairing: Charah (Chuck/Sarah)
Song: Rivers and Roads by the Head and the Heart
Summary: Chuck premiered over 10 years ago. It still has my heart.
Program: PowerDirector 15

Youtube



mizkit: (Default)
([personal profile] mizkit Oct. 12th, 2017 07:15 pm)
"So what is apple butter anyway," you ask suspiciously, because frankly that sounds pretty weird.

It's not actually all that weird. It's really a kind of apple jam. It's a baked reduction and you can flavour it in a bunch of different ways and I'm getting better at it and it's getting better as I do. I believe it's called 'butter' because it's lovely and smooth with maybe just a hint of apple graininess in the texture, not because there's any actual butter involved. It preserves FOREVER--the stuff stays good, and stays good some more, and stays good after that--and although it's *time* consuming, it's also very easy to make. Most of the time is spent prepping the apples to cook down; everything else is really just putting it in the oven and remembering to stir it a few times while it does its thing.

We finally broke out the nifty apple corer/slicer/peeler that Ted's mom sent us and we put it to work on a bag of freshly collected apples. It worked BRILLIANTLY, reducing the time it takes to prepare enough apples for apple butter from over an hour down to about half an hour, and that included figuring out the ideal settings for it. If you have more than a few dozen apples to deal with, Iiiii would get one of these, 'cause wow.

The process for all apple butters is as follows; basically the only difference is how you decide to flavour it when you reach the "put sweetener in" stage.
the apple cutter in motion! the apple cutter in motion!

sproingy apple! sproingy apple!

Whrr! All done super fast. That was awesome. Into the pot!

then just slice once & put into the pot... then just slice once & put into the pot...

I didn't take any picture of pureeing the cooked down apples, but basically: put 1.5 cups of apple juice in with the apples, turn the heat on, stir a couple times as it boils to mush, then puree. I used my food mill this time, which is...honestly, about equal in pain-in-the-assery as putting hot apple glop into a blender. And then you've got applesauce to pour into a deepish flatish enamal cooking dish.

applesauce, pureed and tart as hell! applesauce, pureed and tart as hell!

Put in a slow oven (around 325F) and cook for about an hour, stirring once or twice, until reduced by half:

the 'waterline' there on the far side is proof in the pudding (er, applesauce) that it's cooked down by halfish. the 'waterline' there on the far side is proof in the pudding (er, applesauce) that it's cooked down by halfish.

Add honey, white sugar, and a teaspoon of salt. I used about a cup of honey this time, because that's what I had available, and about 3 cups of sugar. (Our apples are VERY sour. YMMV; taste after putting the honey in & see what you think.) Adding the sugar & honey will refill the pot to about the previous full mark.

reliquifided with added honey & sugar! reliquifided with added honey & sugar!

Return to the oven, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until reduced by half again, probably around 90 minutes.

such red! very color! such red! very color!

It turns an amazing shade as the sugar caramelizes. My favourite thing about making apple butter is the different colors they all turn, depending on what you've put in it. The honey is super red and lovely.

If you wish, stir in a teaspoon of cinnamon after you remove it from the oven.

Jar as you would anything else.

a bit of leftover honey apple butter that wouldn't fit in a jar :) a bit of leftover honey apple butter that wouldn't fit in a jar :)

Eat leftovers straight from the spoon.

om nom nom straight from the spoon om nom nom straight from the spoon


Miz Kit’s Honey Apple Butter
4lbs prepared (peeled, cored, sliced) tart apples
1.5 c apple juice/sweet cider
8 oz honey
3 c white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Put apples and apple juice into a large pot, cover, and boil until the apples are soft (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick and puree the mix in a blender/food processor/whatever until smooth. Turn into a deep, flat enamal-lined pan & put into a pre-heated oven at 325°F (150°C, 130°C fan assisted) and roast, stirring very occasionally, for an hour or until the puree has reduced by half.

Remove from oven. Stir in honey, sugar and salt. Return to oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring slightly more frequently. Jar as you normally would, or refrigerate and be prepared to eat a great deal of apple butter over the coming weeks. Makes around 48oz/6 8oz jars.
Asterix le Gaulois/Asterix the Gaul by Goscinny and Uderzo )

Truckers by Terry Pratchett )

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch )


So halfway in, here are our stats:

Read more... )

Okay, enough of that, now onto the yuletide letter polishing.... My yuletide match this year did not require any extra canon review? WHAT AM I GOING TO READ FOR THE NEXT MONTH? Oh right, those 7 fmk up there.
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liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
([personal profile] liv Oct. 12th, 2017 02:40 pm)
Another song category I disagree with: A song by a band you wish were still together. A band breaking up is like any relationship coming to an end: if the people involved don't want to be together any more, who am I to wish they stayed in a situation no longer good for them?

It's also partly another example where I don't have the relationship with music that the meme seems to assume. I don't really have any bands that I follow in the manner of eagerly anticipating a new release, therefore none that make me sad if they split up and there won't be any new material coming. The existing songs that I like are still there for me to listen to. I do occasionally go to live gigs performed by ageing rockers, and that's cool, but it's not something I wish for more of in my life.

So I'm going to pick Joy Division. I wish at least that Curtis had lived for the band to split up due to creative differences, rather than coming to an end with his death. He'd be 60 now, and it's hard to imagine what Joy Division might have done if he'd had even one more decade with them let alone four. A lot of other bands from that sort of era, if they have carried on, have tended to get more bleepy and less raw noise, and New Order certainly went in that direction, but Joy Division were something else, and I imagine that they might have continued to innovate musically, maybe not all the way through to the 2010s but through the 80s and 90s at least.

Here's something a bit more gentle and thinky than their big hits like Love will tear us apart: Passover, by Joy Division.

video embed (audio only) )
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marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
([personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] books Oct. 12th, 2017 12:12 am)
The Water Dragon's Bride, Vol. 3 by Rei Tōma

Spoilers ahead for the earlier ones. . . .

Read more... )
yinetime: (Default)
([personal profile] yinetime posting in [community profile] vidding Oct. 11th, 2017 05:29 pm)
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Pairing: Belle & Beast
Song: Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers feat. Coldplay
Summary: A fairy tale vidded to a song about not needing a fairytale life
Program: PowerDirector 15

Youtube

yinetime: (Default)
([personal profile] yinetime posting in [community profile] vidding Oct. 11th, 2017 05:24 pm)
Fandom: La La Land
Pairing: Mia/Sebastian
Song: Someone by Kelly Clarkson
Summary: What if your someone is a something?
Program: PowerDirector 15

Youtube
yinetime: (Default)
([personal profile] yinetime posting in [community profile] vidding Oct. 11th, 2017 05:19 pm)
Fandom: HP
Song: Renegades by the X Ambassadors
Summary: Harry is not alone. He is joined by Ron, Hermione, the Order of the Phoenix, and Dumbledore's Army to take down Voldemort.
Program: PowerDirector 15
Notes: I actually submitted this for the Challenge theme "Resistance" at vividcon. I didn't actually attend vividcon, so I don't know if it was shown, but I realized I never shared it here, so here!

Youtube

liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
([personal profile] liv Oct. 11th, 2017 05:15 pm)
Things that are not helpful to a [personal profile] liv recovering from an asthma attack: Cab drivers who smoke in their cars. I took a taxi to work yesterday because I wasn't sure I was up to cycling, and the cab smelled of smoke and air freshener, which maybe makes the smell less bad but also makes my breathing even worse than just stale smoke.

Things that are even further unhelpful: colleagues who observe that I am coughing a little bit (due to the smoke exposure), and passive-aggressively tell me that I ought not to be at work while I'm sick. I mean, I agree with the general principle that people shouldn't come into work with colds and infect and annoy everybody else. But nobody realistically expects anyone to actually stay off work for the several weeks it can take for a cold to completely clear from one's chest, once past the stage of being actively infectious and unable to think clearly. And I'm annoyed at not being believed when I said that my asthma was making me sound sicker than I really am.

To be fair, I'm annoyed at busybody colleagues due to factors which are not entirely their fault. Not their fault that I'm sensitive about being told off (even gently) for having asthma, due to a miserable year when I was 9 and my class teacher was convinced I was faking not being able to breathe for attention. (I certainly didn't want the kind of attention that involved an adult in a position of authority standing over me and yelling my face and never letting me be absolutely certain she wouldn't hit me, though she never quite got to the point of physical violence.) Not their fault that work has an annoying policy where being allowed to work from home is reserved for people more senior than me. But the upshot is that I've been given special permission to work from home today, and I resent being made to look like a slacker, but there you go.

So I have a moment to catch up with the meme that I've entirely abandoned for a month and a half while in the middle of moving jobs. And I find that I'd stopped just before the section where I have philosophical objections to the questions. A song you think everybody should listen to: there's no such song, because everybody has different tastes in music! And I don't believe in a moral obligation to listen to music, because it might be very good, but people get to decide what to do with their own listening time.

But let me try and post something anyway, cos I am completionist even when I'm very slow. I have sometimes wanted to sit people down and make them listen to The house of Orange by Stan Rogers. It's a very good song, with a message I think is important. But by no means everybody should listen to it, only people who have managed to pick up the foolish notion that sectarian violence is romantic. And, well, people who appreciate well-written but hard hitting songs might get something positive out of it, but I wouldn't go as far as to say should.

I think if I have to pick one song that if not everybody, then at least lots of people who are generally in political and musical sympathy with me might appreciate, I'm going to go for Tam Lyn retold by The Imagined Village and Benjamin Zephaniah. Because Zephaniah is an amazing poet, and The Imagined Village is an exceptionally interesting and innovative folk project. And because it's a really brilliant reworking and interpretation of the Tam Lin story, which itself one of those core folk pieces. I recommend it even if you don't generally like folk music; it's not in the musical style associated with folk at all. And because it's musically great, it's nearly ten minutes long and I usually have to repeat it several times every time it comes up on my playlist. And finally because I agree with its pro-refugee and pro-migrant message, so if I'm going to impose one song on everybody, this is my pick.

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