Open Thread: Honey

Hosted by honeycomb (sorta. Ish. Not really. Use your imagination.)

Have I done a honey-themed open thread before?  Let's pretend I actually checked, and let's pretend the answer was no, because I'm doing one now.  I am currently the proud owner of 10 lbs of wildflower honey; if all goes according to plan, in a few months I will be the proud owner of quite a few bottles of delicious spiced mead.  Wish me luck!

I love honey, and not just because I like bees.  I can go on at length as to why the light flavor of clover honey and the dark richness of wildflower are both infinitely superior to the bland, cloying, ubiquitous flavor of Florida's orange blossom honey.  (Blech.)  As a kid I used to buy those honey sticks and compare and contrast different varieties, trying to become a connoisseur.  And even now, desserts made with honey are among my very favorites.

Open thread!  Are you a honey fan?  Do you have a favorite variety?  Do you have any recipes you love to make with honey, or crafts you love to do with beeswax?  Have you ever had mead, and did you like it?  Have you ever made mead, and can I have your recipe? :D
 ~ Kristycat

Tuesday Reminder!  While I have fun coming up with pretty pictures and/or interesting “prompt” questions for open threads, you aren’t limited to those!  These threads are open - go wild, talk about whatever moves you!  (Just remember that this is still a safe space, please!)  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else! 

Narnia: Intent is Magic

[Narnia Content Note: Genocide, Religious Abuse, Chivalry, Racism, Slavery]
Content Note: Misogyny, Rape Culture]

Narnia Recap: In which Lucy goes into the Magician's tower to read a spell.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chapter 10: The Magician's Book

There's a lot of reasons why I prefer to deconstruct books in the order of publishing date as opposed to canonical order. My biggest reason is ultimately a personal one: it's more intuitive for me to navigate the words on the page as they appeared in (semi-) real-time, as opposed to how they were arranged later, with all the benefits and drawbacks of hindsight. Others, I know, approach literature in different (and equally valid) ways.

I mention this, however, because today's passage is an illustration of how words-on-the-page are often approached differently depending on what we've read before. If we were working through the books in canon-order, we would have already done The Horse and His Boy, given that it is set within the Golden Age of the Pevensies and therefore straddles the time gap between The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. (Indeed, technically speaking, THaHB occurs within a single chapter of LWW.)

And if we had already read THaHB, it would be firmly fixed in our minds that Queen Lucy the Valiant is not only a lovely vibrant young woman who has had every prince in the Narnia 'verse bucking for her merry hand in marriage (citation: LWW), but who is also a passionate warrior-queen who loves the thrill of battle for its own sake and is as brave as any man et cetera, et cetera. We might therefore be a touch confused at child!Lucy here who is frightened of her own shadow. 

Funny of the Day: Software Wizard

This amuses me to no end.

Open Thread: Writer Workshop

A couple of you have requested a special monthly open thread dedicated to talking about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). So here it is!

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Open thread writing workshop below!

Funny of the Day: Dr. Who Text Message

I'm not a Dr. Who fan, but I know enough to find this delightful.

Cute of the Day: Baby Skunks

Funny of the Day: LeBron James of Filibustering

Going back through my Twitter favorites today for cheering up and found this, lol.

Open Thread: Sunshine

Hosted by sunlight through the clouds


A Draught Of Sunshine

Hence Burgundy, Claret, and Port, 
Away with old Hock and madeira, 
Too earthly ye are for my sport; 
There's a beverage brighter and clearer. 
Instead of a piriful rummer, 
My wine overbrims a whole summer; 
My bowl is the sky, 
And I drink at my eye, 
Till I feel in the brain 
A Delphian pain - 
Then follow, my Caius! then follow: 
On the green of the hill 
We will drink our fill 
Of golden sunshine, 
Till our brains intertwine 
With the glory and grace of Apollo! 
God of the Meridian, 
And of the East and West, 
To thee my soul is flown, 
And my body is earthward press'd. - 
It is an awful mission, 
A terrible division; 
And leaves a gulph austere 
To be fill'd with worldly fear. 
Aye, when the soul is fled 
To high above our head, 
Affrighted do we gaze 
After its airy maze, 
As doth a mother wild, 
When her young infant child 
Is in an eagle's claws - 
And is not this the cause 
Of madness? - God of Song, 
Thou bearest me along 
Through sights I scarce can bear: 
O let me, let me share 
With the hot lyre and thee, 
The staid Philosophy. 
Temper my lonely hours, 
And let me see thy bowers 
More unalarm'd! 
- John Keats

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s coming up, give us something new to explore! 
  


And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else! 
 ~ Kristycat

Let's Play: Long Live the Queen (Angel Ending)

[Content Note: Some references to forced marriage, assassination, oppressive government.] 

Ana's Note: I recorded this Let's Play before I found out that my house will be full of noisy guests over Christmas rather than the quiet peace I'd been expecting. If I have a chance to continue these, it'll probably be in January or later. 

So you might remember that we had a poll on Let's Plays and it was generally decided that my recording a Let's Play video of Long Live the Queen wouldn't entirely ruin all the things. I went ahead and recorded my first non-death playthrough (by which I mean I'd won the game once prior to the polling, and I saved off my choices at the end of the game, and then recreated all those choices for this playthrough).

I used LiteCamHD to grab the video and my voice, and I used Freemake Video Converter to merge the video files together (I'd stopped the video a couple of times to use the restroom, feed the cats, etc.). Since I'd had to get these back when I first started the transcript project, it was good to get more use out of them.

I also want to thank Hanako games who responded to my request for copyright permission to use this material (to avoid all those pesky Fair Use considerations) with "open permission for people to make let's plays of our videos and to use the standard youtube monetisation tools if they want". That's a cool policy and just makes me want to play more of their games so that I'll have more Let's Play material.

That's the good news. The bad news is that, since this is the first playthrough and there was a lot to explain and talk about, the run time for this video is a whopping 2 hours. (*hurk*) And Dragon Naturally Speaking continues to be worthless, by which I mean that the dictated transcription of this (even after copious "training" to my voice) is gibberish. I figured I could either spend two days transcribing this in full or put up the video with my apologies for not having the spoons to fully transcribe this.

What I do have, which will help other players and can facilitate discussion, is the full print out of all the game dialogue (without my commentary), which is something the game thoughtfully spits out for you at the end, and which is a very nice technical touch. So I'll add that here -- it won't give you any insight into what I think about the game, but it will be a starting place for conversations on the game contents.

YouTube video below the cut, plus game transcript. I also strongly recommend the LLtQ wiki for any questions / confusion about the characters; I tried to cover everyone as they came up but there might be gaps.

(Fun content! If you watch nothing else, check out the 2:02:00 mark where I start tearing up over the pink angel ending because I am a sucker for happy endings. Yes, I am the most emotional lady in the whole world, lol.)

Review: Longbourn

Longbourn
by Jo Baker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Longbourne / 978-0345806970

I've never been a huge fan of Pride & Prejudice, though I freely acknowledge Jane Austen's skill as a writer. But I've always been more interested in the lives of the serving girls than the lives of the women upstairs, with their balls and shoe-roses. (Seriously, Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace is one of my favorite novels specifically *because* of all the servanty bits.) So as soon as I heard of Longbourne on Sarah Wendell's review site (Smart B------, Trashy Books), I knew I would love it.

I sped through this book over the course of three days and bitterly resented every moment that I had to put it down! As other reviewers have mentioned, this book is more "around" Price & Prejudice than "about" it, and the format of the one novel serves as a perfect backdrop for the material in this one. Jo Baker's writing is superb and evocative, and fits well with the language I expect in a Regency without being turgid to slog through. Baker has wholly embraced the servant framing, and we receive all the world-building of that sort which you could possibly hope for, and she perfectly interweaves characterization through the daily grind of chores.

What I like most about this novel is how it focuses so well and so thoroughly on its entire cast of characters. Whereas this might be confusing or jarring in another novel, the multiple characters work well here and we care deeply about exploring the romantic relationship between Sarah and the men in her life, and the surrogate familial relationship between the servants in the household as they quarrel and love and comfort and scold and shelter each other. The result is realistic without being too harsh, touching without being saccharine.

I struggle with recommending this book without giving too much of the plot away, but I will touch briefly on the issue of Mr. Bennet. I will say that I have never much cared for Mr. Bennet--yes, he is the comic relief and gets the best lines, but he is also harsh to his family members and careless of his daughter's futures. Longbourne explores this side of his character further, pointing out (for example) how callous it is for him to receive Mr. Collins for a stay without alerting the household staff. The staff not only have to prepare at short notice for a guest, they also need to impress Mr. Collins deeply so that he will not dismiss them when he inherits the house. I thought this handling of the character of Mr. Bennet was realistic towards what was displayed in the original P&P novel; here he is not overtly villainized, but his casual self-indulgence does provide some of the conflict for the servants to overcome.

If I can find fault with this book, it is that at the 3/4 point there is an extended flash-back which is well-written but could not hold my interest as I was too anxious to find out what would happen in the future to take time out to hear about the past. This is important to the characterization in the novel, though, and I don't feel right complaining that the book hooked me so deeply that I couldn't wait to turn each page!

A couple more things I want to mention that gave me great pleasure: One, this is the first Regency book I've read which has a black man as both a major character *and* as a viable party in a love triangle. I felt like this was handled fairly well, and he is treated in the story with respect from most parties and like it would be no big deal for Sarah (who is white) to marry him. Even the characters who react to him in (relatively mild) racist ways do acknowledge that he's the handsomest man in town and certain to turn the girls' heads. I loved that.

Two, this is also the first Regency book I've read which has a gay man in it. And even better, the book strives to not treat him like a rare unicorn: one line which particularly pleased me was "The farmhands—at least, those of them that tended towards the liking of women—stopped and stared, mouths hanging open, as she went by in Mary’s pretty cast-offs." Of course, I haven't read a ton of Regency books, but it seems (in my experience) that a lot of authors tend towards entirely white casts and heteronormativity; I appreciated that Jo Baker didn't do that for her novel.

Probably the best compliment I can give Longbourne, though, is that it made me want to read Pride & Prejudice again (something I'd decided I'd had enough of for a lifetime) just so that I can relive the lives of Sarah and Mrs. Hill and James and Polly and Mr. Hill all over again in my imagination. I strongly recommend this book and consider it the best fiction I read in all of 2013. (And I most seriously hope that Jo Baker decides to tackle Sense & Sensibility next, if she sticks with Jane Austen as an inspiration.)

~ Ana Mardoll

Open Thread: No Holidays Thread

NOTE THAT THERE ARE THREE OPEN THREADS TODAY FOR DIFFERENT CONTENT.
beach by Anna Langova
The No Holidays thread is for people who would like to talk about stuff without being reminded of various holidays every other comment. ;) No holiday talk allowed in this holiday-free safe-space thread!

Open Thread: S.A.D. Holidays Thread

NOTE THAT THERE ARE THREE OPEN THREADS TODAY FOR DIFFERENT CONTENT.
sad child by George Hodan
The S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder, which I have) Holidays Thread is for people who need a safe space to talk about depression, loneliness, unhappiness, sadness, upsetedness, and other feelings as they relate to the holiday season, winter weather, dysfunctional family dynamics, etc. without having to deal with happy-happy-funtimes all over the thread when they're trying to share something that is widely shared but rarely openly acknowledged.

Open Thread: Happy Holidays Thread

NOTE THAT THERE ARE THREE OPEN THREADS TODAY FOR DIFFERENT CONTENT.
holiday ornaments by Larisa Koshkina
The Happy Holidays open thread is for all talk of holiday plans, holiday enjoyment, holiday preparation, holiday anticipation, holiday-holiday-hol-hol-holiday, etc. Enjoy yourselves, lovelies.

Metapost: Gone Fishing! (Thought Maybe Not In The Literal Sense)

fishing pier by alex grichenko

Folks, my usual preference is to provide regular content through the holidays on the assumption that at least a few of you would like to have something nice to read while it's cold outside (or not, as the case may be), BUT I have company coming over here for a full week plus this transcript work has consumed my every waking moment, so we're going to take a week off so that I can hopefully collect my thoughts.

We'll have some open threads on Monday (tomorrow) for everyone to play in, and there's always the possibility of posts here and there as the fancy takes us, but in general there won't be any mega-huge deconstructions for a week at least. Thank you!

Open Thread: Solstice

There wasn't a Friday open thread.  Oops.  Here, have one:

 It is, I'm told, Winter Solstice in places where there is winter and this isn't the warmer time of year.  Something to do with axial tilt.  I drew you a picture.


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
-Robert Frost


Saturday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s coming up, give us something new to explore! 
   

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else! 

Dictionary of the Day: My Swype List

So I got a new phone a couple days ago and have been using it to twitter and comment in order to try it out. I just had reason to pop into my custom Swype dictionary (which is an on-screen keyboard with predictive text) and these are the VERY CRUCIAL WORDS that I've inputted into my dictionary after three days of use:

-- anamardoll
-- bitch
-- bullshit
-- crap
-- depizan
-- dung
-- fuck
-- fucked
-- hell
-- shit
-- TX [as in Texas] 

*dies laughing at self*

Deals: LiteCam HD on Steam Greenlight

For those of you who are Let's Play enthusiasts or are interested in the Wendy Davis filibuster capture, I used LiteCam HD to grab the video and audio. They appear to be giving away free licenses to Steam users who (a) vote for them on Greenlight and (b) email them a screen capture of a comment left behind. (They say "review", but I think they mean comment. Feel free to say you've seen my YouTube videos and loved them -- those were all captured with LiteCam HD.)

Email instructions sent to me:


Direction
 

1) Visit Steam Greenlight and Click ‘Yes’ and leave a positive comment.
 

liteCam HD: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=186787014
liteCam Game SDK: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=186332635
 

2) Send us at litecam@rsupport.com the screenshot of your review after logging in to the steam.
 

3) You will get the liteCam HD Single User license for free for the 1 vote.
 
* If you Click “YES” for both liteCam HD and liteCam Game SDK, you will get 2 user licenses.

Video of the Day: Ms. Male Character

OK, the latest in the Tropes vs. Women series has actually been out for awhile now, but I'm been slow on the uptake. Here's a chance to watch and discuss!

Elementary: Liss and Ana Catch Up On Episodes

So this happened last week: Liss and Ana Talk About Elementary.

I've love it if ya'll wanted to read it there and come back here to talk about it some more. (Or we can talk about it there, but I don't get email notifications for Shakesville comments like I do here, lol.) Probably my favorite part of the post is here:

Ana: And, hey, you know what? Watson being Sherlock's live-in pet isn't canon. (HAHA WATCH ME USE MY CANON-POWERS FOR GOOD.) Watson moves out really early on in the stories and has a wife and a life and just consults with Sherlock on a regular basis and for exceptional cases. So, HEY, there's actually good reasons (besides all the other ones) to establish Joan as a separate being who has a home and furniture and people and loved ones and things other than her owner Sherlock who takes her to the station for walkies because what the fuck this show I don't even.

Liss: LOL!

Ana: The second thing, uggggggggggggh the Broken Aesop in this episode. I mean, I agree that Sherlock should be nicer. But he should be nicer because people deserve a basic modicum of respect and kindness. (Also: Didn't we solve this in Season 1 when Joan taught him to listen in group? Apparently not, because we never, ever reference Season 1. Who needs continuity??) What I do NOT agree with is this ridiculous strawman that Sherlock Holmes is GOD ALMIGHTY and is responsible for the actions of everyone else on earth.

Open Thread: Chocolate Truffles

Hosted by chocolates
Have all my open threads lately been about the foods I'm making?  Yes, yes they have.  No regrets!

I have been learning how to make ganache, and turn it into truffles :D  They're nowhere near as pretty as the chocolates here, but they're tasty and fun, and they make good presents.

Open Thread!  Do you like to make candy?  Do you stick to things like chocolate and caramel, or are you brave enough to try hard candies?  What's your favorite candy - or other sweet treat, for that matter - to make?  Share recipes if you have 'em!  If you don't make candy, what's your favorite candy to eat?  Do any of your friends or family members make a candy or fudge or cookie or whatever that you just adore?  Tell us all about it!
 ~ Kristycat

Wednesday Reminder!  Open threads are meant to be fun, chatty places to discuss anything that doesn’t “fit” into a deconstruction or other regular thread.  This can be something totally off-the-wall and random, or it can be something interesting that a deconstruction prompted you to think of, but which would be derailing to get into in the deconstruction thread.  When in doubt, move it over here - that’s what it’s for!  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  

Wendy Wednesday: I Got To Meet Wendy Davis!

So ya'll know I have never stopped kicking myself since the filibuster in June and my not being able to get to Austen for it. I totally wanted to go, but my back and body are so garbage that I was sure that once I got there I would be worthless (in terms of activism ability) and wouldn't be any help tweeting, so instead I stayed here and tweeted from the computer. And I feel I did good work, but I would have just given anything to be there.

But! I'm on this wonderful Wendy Davis mailing list now and this last weekend they were opening a new campaign office for her in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, and I thought to myself, "Self, that's on a Saturday (i.e., no work to get out of) and you have a GPS, so pack up some food and gas up the car and go." AND I DID.

And while literally every cell in my body is now screaming at me after the fact (which, in a small weird way is a comfort, because it means I was right about being no good to drive to Austen in the middle of the work-week, and it wasn't just me being lazy or chicken or whatever*) I'm still so glad I went because it means I got to see Wendy and hear her speak and it was amazing. And then she went around the room and shook everyone's hand, and I didn't shake her hand because I was too shy (I knew I would be) but still I GOT TO SEE HER SHAKE HANDS and it was wonderful and I'm really excited about being able to vote for her in November.

* Which I would never think of someone else who didn't show up, and just goes to show I am so much harder on myself than I ever would be to anyone else and I really need to stop that, but.

And I got to drop off a copy of the filibuster transcript with her staff with the explanation that deaf people would like to read the filibuster, too, and they were really nice and happy and a little surprised. (Overall, I got the impression they weren't 100% geared up for disabled people, but they seem to be genuinely trying. After standing for two hours, and just dying on my feet, I mentioned to one of the campaign people that next time they should have chairs for disabled people--they were immediately profusely sorry and told me that they had chairs but had been waiting for people to ask, so that the chairs wouldn't be taken by able-bodied people. I laughed and said they needed to put out a "chairs on request for elderly and disabled supporters" sign because otherwise most of us will just assume there are no chairs and won't want to make a fuss. Good people, though.)

Something that struck me, when I was driving home in the late afternoon, was how every article I saw about Wendy Davis after the filibuster focused on how "petite" she supposedly is. It was all very male gazey, "the petite blonde senator from Texas" etc. Wendy Davis doesn't look petite to me. There's nothing about her that looks small or frail or fragile or tiny. She looks strong and amazing and powerful. She looks like a woman who raised a child by herself, a woman who got an education against the odds, a woman who carved out a safe place for herself when no one else would give it to her. She looks like a woman who has faced a lot of the same challenges that I face, that other women in my life face. She looks strong. And I love how strong she looks. 

Now I'm back at home after a long day, resting with a hot water bottle on my back and just hoping so so hard that something magical will happen this year and for once, just once, we might elect someone who doesn't view my body as a wallet, who doesn't think my hypothetical pregnancy should be compared to bald eagles, who doesn't define me and speak to me only through my function as it relates to men.

Wendy Davis for governor, ya'll. That's all I got.

Posted with permission from Melissa Tucker



--Voting Registration here. Remember that your voting name needs to match your driver's license. 
--Wendy Davis campaign site here.

Video of the Day: Amber Riley, Dancing

If you watch Dancing with the Stars, this is probably old news to you! But we don't watch DWTS in my house, so when this got sent to me it was all the blubs forever followed by sharing this with literally each and every person I know. Click to the 1:22 mark to watch a big beautiful woman dance better than anything ever.


True story: I have always wanted to be a dancer. But I always thought I couldn't because I'm disabled and fat. Now, thanks to Amber Riley, I know that at least half of that isn't true, and that means so much to me. And she is so amazingly brave to do something that I know, I know, people told her she didn't have the right body to do. Fuck them, this is gorgeous.

Animation: Frozen

So we went to see Frozen last weekend, because I'd heard it was great and passed Bechdel all over the place. And I seriously loved it, laughed and cried, and enjoyed (pretty much) every minute of it. (Husband also got several big laughs in, which is pretty rare with him.)

So! This is a thread about Frozen and passing Bechdel and being generally awesome and unusually un-Disney-like. Spoilers herein!

Open Thread: Peppers

Hosted by lots and lots of peppers
I have made a terrible mistake.

Remember when I said I was going to make hot pepper jam, but I was going to use the super-hot scotch bonnet peppers instead of things like jalapenos or habaneros?  Yeahhh...

My first indication that I had made a grave miscalculation was immediately after putting them in the food processor.  I opened it up to check the consistency and, foolishly, continued to breathe.  My sinuses informed me that that was a poor decision.

Once regular breathing resumed, however, and the tears ceased to flow, I decided to continue with the jam-making process, which includes boiling the peppers along with a lot of sugar and pectin (and in this case, nutmeg.)  This ended with me on the back porch, face red, informing SpouseMan and friend that I had perhaps just filled the kitchen with poisonous gas, and that they might like to stay outside a while longer.

However, the jam is made!  It is made and canned and it has jelled beautifully, it looks lovely, and I'm sure that people who appreciate spicy foods will adore it.  I'm also sure that the air in my house will be breathable again.  Some day.

Open thread!  Spicy foods - love 'em or hate 'em?  What's your favorite or least favorite pepper?  What's your favorite or least favorite spicy dish?  Anyone have any lighthearted, funny stories about something being far hotter than they originally thought?  (Or dark and unhappy stories about it, I suppose, if that's what you'd prefer - it is an open thread!)  Any stories about food experiments with unexpected side effects?

~ Kristycat

Wednesday Reminder!  Open threads are meant to be fun, chatty places to discuss anything that doesn’t “fit” into a deconstruction or other regular thread.  This can be something totally off-the-wall and random, or it can be something interesting that a deconstruction prompted you to think of, but which would be derailing to get into in the deconstruction thread.  When in doubt, move it over here - that’s what it’s for!  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  

Open Thread: Raindrops

Raindrops by George Hodan

Hosted by a raindrop! We got maybe four raindrops today before they packed up and left, which was a bit disappointing because I'd wanted them to wash away the snow and ice, if at all possible, and then I could maybe stop falling down, lol. What weather are you getting, or wanting, or needing, or scheduled to get lately?

Open threads are meant to be fun, chatty places to discuss anything that doesn’t “fit” into a deconstruction or other regular thread. This can be something totally off-the-wall and random, or it can be something interesting that a deconstruction prompted you to think of, but which would be derailing to get into in the deconstruction thread. When in doubt, move it over here - that’s what it’s for!

As always: Please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else! This keeps threads accessible to all readers and makes them easier to moderate. Thank you!

Feminism: Rape Insurance

by Silver Adept, practitioner of the Dark Library Arts and author of Sense, Nonsense, and Not-Sense.

[Content Note: Semi-Graphic References to Rape, Sexual Assault, Pregnancy, Miscarriage, Oppressive Legislative Actions]

The Michigan Legislature approved a petition that requires women to purchase abortion services as an additional rider to their current medical insurance coverage, whether individually purchased or employer-based. Furthermore, the coverage would have to be purchased in advance of an abortion to be effective, requiring women to be clairvoyant about potential sexual assaults, birth control misfires, and any one of a hundred reasons an unplanned pregnancy might happen.

The testimony of actual women about their rape, their miscarriage, and their procedures did not sway the Republican majority from their course.

Nor did the Legislature elect to let the petition go to the voters, but acted upon it, and bypassed the Governor's ability to veto it in the process. Mr. Snyder, to his credit, vetoed a similar measure last year.

The law now is slated to take place 90 days after the official end of the legislative session.

What Grapes by Natalie Dee and Sister Fruit to Erika's and Will's Whatnapple

Michigan's Republican Party hates women. They present the women of the state with a sadistic choice - either spend money you cannot afford to have insurance against your rape resulting in a pregnancy, your birth control failing, or your fetus not being viable, or gamble with your life and finances that your pregnancy will be healthy and wanted, and on your schedule. Rape victims and incest victims cannot purchase coverage after they are attacked. A pregnancy that has complications has to have bought the insurance before the pregnancy began.

And gods help you if you're a minor. Your parents have to have purchased this insurance coverage beforehand, which means awkward conversations about the possibility that you're sexually active. That is, assuming you had the option to wait until your parents were able to talk about it. When you have eight year-old boys raping their classmates in school, it's always possible that such coverage would be needed well before anyone thought of it. If your parents are staunchly conservative, then, dear child, you're screwed, since you can't afford the insurance for yourself and your parents aren't buying it.

But even then, insurance companies send notices when their services are used. So if you aren't willing to camp the mailbox and intercept insurance company mail in service of the secret, then there will be conversations. Congratulations, now you have to tell your parents that your boyfriend raped you. Or that apparently innocent party actually ended up in you being dragged, barely coherently, from party to party and repeatedly raped. Or that you fooled around just the one time and got pregnant from it because nobody bothered to tell you about birth control and you believed him when he said he didn't need a condom. And then you tell hem what happened with the pregnancy. Best-case scenario, everyone is supportive and understanding, and the secrecy was for nothing.

Worst-case, well, homelessness or being forced to marry your rapist are just the tip of the iceberg.

There's only one thing to say about this, apart from applauding the immediate efforts to get this law repealed.
F-Bomb ASCII art by Silver Adept

Fanfic of the Day: Susan's Fabulous Adventures

Literally everyone in the universe has sent me this wonderful post on Susan Pevensie at ink-splotch tumblr, so if you haven't read it yet, I cannot recommend enough that you do so, because it is just lovely.

This is the part where I lost it to the blubs:

Susan grows older and grows up. Sometimes she hears Lucy’s horrified voice in her head, “Nylons? Lipstick, Susan? Who wants to grow up?” and Susan thinks, “Well you never did, Luce.” Susan finishes her degree, stays in America (England looks too much like Narnia, too much like her siblings, and too little, all at once). She starts writing for the local paper under the pseudonym Frank Tumnus, because she wants to write about politics and social policy and be listened to, because the name would have made Edmund laugh.

She writes as Susan Pevensie, too, about nylons and lipstick, how to give a winning smiles and throw parties, because she knows there is a kind of power there and she respects it. She won wars with war sometimes, in Narnia, but sometimes she stopped them before they began.

Peter had always looked disapprovingly on the care with which Susan applied her makeup back home in England, called it vanity. And even then, Susan would smile at him, say “I use what weapons I have at hand,” and not explain any more than that. The boy ruled at her side for more than a decade. He should know better.

Feminism: Transcript Chart (12/13/2013)

So it hit me today that I could probably convey these updates more clearly to ya'll WITH PICTURES. (Why did I not think of this months ago I swear I have dust where my neurons should be.) So here is a picture!



Record
Splice
Transcribe
Proof (Vol.)
Proof (Prof.)
ePubify
ePublish
Paper Layout*
Paper Publish*
SB5 Video
complete
complete
complete
complete
complete
not started
not started
not started
not started
HB2 Video
complete
complete
working
working
not started
not started
not started
not started
not started
SB1 Video
complete
complete
working
working
not started
not started
not started
not started
not started
Citizen (1)
complete
working
working
not started
not started
not started
not started
not started
not started
Citizen (2)
complete
working
not started
not started
not started
not started
not started
not started
not started
 
This is also a good time to announce that my editor (who is an angel, a literal angel from heaven to listen to 15+ hours of this over her December holidays) has finished the proofing for SB5, which is a major milestone for this project. Like, I am so happy that I'm pretty much on the verge of bawling happy tears all over my keyboard.

If you just said to yourself, "Self, I would like to help Ana with this... but how?", then today is your lucky day because we are still very much in need of transcribers and proofers. So drop me an email and I will hook you up with work to do and I will also send you copious amounts of thankyouverymuchIcannotthankyouenough love. Because it's true. :)

Also, I realize that looking at that image, it doesn't look like a lot, but believe me it is HUGE. We are so far along, it's not even funny. Ya'll are amazing to have got us this far. Thank you. Thank you.

* Paper Publishing is very much a "stretch" goal and will probably not be feasible, but it definitely won't happen until after literally every other column is green. Maybe we'll do a Kickstarter or something.

Previous posts on the Wendy Davis filibuster project can be found here: Texas tag.