rthstewart: (Default)
Saturday, November 12th, 2016 12:17 pm
I regret to say that my experience with the bigotry, misogyny, and homophobia of the last few years prepared me for the US election results.  I found despair and disillusionment, and experienced the power of those voices, several years ago and so expected this result though I so wished to be wrong.  The only good news in this is that  this has meant my shock is not as acute because I've already been there for a while and, in my privilege, am not at risk.  Still, there has been a lot of stress baking, Corgi petting, and avoidance for the better part of 6 months.  So, I am so sorry that I've not responded to you and thank you so much for reaching out to me.  It will take awhile to get through 200+ emails and reviews on this account, never mind the dozens of unread stories.  But going forward, please understand that I can be here for you if you need it. 

So, watch this space.  I did a long blather cross-posted here on why I do not believe that women and families will lose altogether access to Plan B, drug-based contraceptives, and the pills that induce medical abortions because the process to remove FDA-approved drugs from the market when the manufacturer doesn't want to remove the product is very difficult and long.  In other words, I think for the time being, you can cross off your list, "stockpile Plan B."  That comment was long and blathery and I am not familiar with the processes by which medical devices are removed from the market, like IUDs and some implants, so I'll update with something concise soon.

When I was trying to comfort someone at 3 AM on Wednesday morning, I told him how important it was that he continue his creative efforts to tell others about the works of fiction that he enjoyed and found hopeful.  We need that more than ever, I told him, and don't let despair stop you.

I recognize in this a call to create in our fiction the world we want to live in.  The reason I returned to fandom in 2009 was that I thought we were on the cusp of creating that world in RL.  Alas, this is not true.  A quote I used in TSG attributed to Gandhi was "Be the change you wish to see in the world."**    And so, for me, it will become "write the world you wish to see."     

(**BUT, lots of people aren't ready for that call and commitment and may never be.  No pressure, OK?  This HURTS and is scary.  Grieve as you must and take your own damned time about it.)

rthstewart: (Moose)
Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 06:57 pm
I am way, way, way too old to be pulling all-nighters for work.  My only consolation is that Mr. Spock is suffering even more than I am.  Oh, and we returned from a lovely holiday to a busted sprinkler system and 1 inch/2.5 cm of water in the basement and $$$ in ruined carpet and now we have blow dryers and dehumidifiers rented for even more $$$ blowing in the basement 24/7. 

So, I've been having to deal with Work Hell from home whilst making frantic calls to contractors and repairmen.

rthstewart: (Momentum)
Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 09:21 am
Gosh it's been awhile.


I had 2 remix assignments and got both in on time, woot. Gosh, WHO WRITES 10,000 WORD REMIXES? ME OF COURSE. I'm an idiot. But you knew that. I'd love to get a madness in, I have an idea, but it may not happen -- we're off to Nova Scotia soon. cannot WAIT. I was so sad when the deadline closed because it once again appeared that the person assigned to me had defaulted -- omg I've got rthstewart, run like the wind.
But, a couple days later, a story did pop up so I'm VERY happy that someone did not run like the wind.

Work has been slow and boring and so taking forever to do and in my distraction, I managed to scrape up my car on a parking pylon garage pillar that leaped out at me. Grrr. Also, we may have to replace the car altogether so I got distracted looking at new cars and then got pissed off at car salesman. What about "only contact me by email" was unclear? Also, my spawn ran off to wilderness camp for a week without water bottles and I've been fretting about it.

I've seen Mad Max twice, LOVED IT. OMG GO SEE IT. I did not see Jurassic World though, of course, I love dinosaurs, because ehh. And I need to see the new Pixar movie, though I'm sure I'll cry through the whole thing. I saw the Rebels premiere and did enjoy it. I've not watched Orphan Black yet. I'm just tired of grimdark -- the world is such an awful horrible place from where I sit I look for true escapism from my Twitter feed and daily news. Why yes, hello depression, I've not missed you AT ALL. There was a fun article about the awesomeness of crows in WaPo here.

rthstewart: MacPhryne (Miss Fisher)
Sunday, March 15th, 2015 09:11 pm
So, with lots of planning and second guessing and spending WAY too much money and time, nevertheless, the dinner party was a success.  Not enough roasted vegetables, too much rice, chicken and white bean dip, ovens acting up, and the chocolate fondue, garbanzo bean cookie brownie, and avocado/yogurt sauce all were very popular.  Not gluten for the evening, no eggs, no nuts, and optional cheese and chicken.  Everyone drank wine instead of all the beer and so I was very glad that they brought wine as hostess gifts.  Also, 2 extra people so we kinda ran out of seating.  Woops. 

Done.  I am done in.  Also, next time, I'll skip Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Mom's Organic and go straight to Shopper Food Warehouse.  Our local SFW has an enormous ethnic foods department, huge selection of Kosher, Indian, Latin, and Asian product, the largest selection of Goya I've ever seen, and their prices are half of the other places.  Lots of vegetarian options, lots of gluten free options, and so much cheaper, and calmer than these lunatic high end places.  I don't even have to go into a parking garage and negotiate around giant SUVs with rhino guards.

Thanks to everyone for the excellent suggestions.   
rthstewart: (Default)
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 09:09 am
Welp, I'm ages behind on everything, and  have been writing up a storm on the things that pay the mortgage.  Also, getting older sucks and I've been struggling with a whole string of health-related things.  Nothing overly serious, at least not yet, but all requiring management.

I fell into binge watching The Librarians, I love Agent Carter, got caught up on Elementary, which has been so strong this season and now reruns of Master Chef have been on BBC America so I've been working out at night to that. 
Also, FESTIVIDS are live, awesome and I love them
And Half-A-Moon is live, 14 days celebrating women in fandom, so GO FORTH and at least share links and recs!  I've not done anything yet.  I usually do at least rec list of a few fics I've enjoyed that are fem-oriented.


Blather about TSG, committment to update, and such )

rthstewart: (Default)
Sunday, December 21st, 2014 08:54 pm

SO FAR BEHIND, but, let’s try and get caught up!


[personal profile] vialethe  wants me to talk about Lucy


Corellian_sugar asked about cooking successes and disasters (I’ve been waiting for this one)

Anon wants to know where I’d assign the Pevensies in Hogwarts houses



All about Lucy )


Cooking disasters


that time the sweet potato casserole blew up 3 times )




Pevensies get it sorted )



Phew.  Still behind but there’s 3 days worth!!!  Thanks so much!!

Also, Yuletide in.  I'd love to try and get a treat done.  We'll see.  I baked about 14 hours this weekend, managed to miss a Christmas party and my hands are covered in burns and cuts.  I have chocolate in my hair and under my fingernails.

rthstewart: (Default)
Saturday, August 16th, 2014 08:06 pm
I learned this week that a short story I submitted to Silence in the Library Publishing was accepted for publication in the planned anthology, Athena's Daughters, Volume II.   This anthology features science fiction, fantasy, and genre written by women, about women.   Athena's Daughters Volume 1 is already in publication and features works by many talented writers, including Janine Spendlove, Cleolinda Jones, Tricia Barr, Jean Rabe, Jennifer Brozek, and Gail Martin.  I'm so honored to be included in this anthology and in the company of so many wonderful women writers.

I hope you'll consider supporting Silence in the Library and their many wonderful works through Kickstarter. Their Heroes -- A Diverse Superhero Anthology, is still live on Kickstarter and features some great stories -- I heard Janine Spendlove read hers at Origins and loved it.  You'll also get works by Tim Zahn, Mike Stackpole, and the late, great, Aaron Allston. 

I'll post more about Athena's Daughters Vol. 2 as it becomes available. 

rthstewart: (Default)
Friday, February 28th, 2014 09:04 am
Most of the CJers already know, having learned the devastating news last night via Twitter or Facebook, or woke to it this morning. Aaron Allston, the wonderful friend and mentor, a terrific writer, punster and humorist, author of so many popular books in the Star Wars EU, died yesterday at VisionCon.

You can read tributes here at Club Jade, which is where I first met him in the 90s when he become an integral member of the Wild Karrdes
And here on theforce.net

If you are on facebook, you will see is an outpouring of grief and so many pictures of Aaron with so many SW fans.   My FB feed is full of them and if you start with Aaron's own Facebook wall that will connect you, too.  Aaron was a regular fixture on the Con circuit and Club Jade events.  He was a popular and frequent panelist, part of the Tim, Mike Aaron show, at SW EU panels over the years. 

If you are interested in knowing more about the events to come as his friends collectively do our grief work, I would expect that a lot of the information will be posted on Club Jade, so following that site and Dunc's Twitter would be a good place. 

Yub, yub Emperor. I have that button, still.

With credit to Dunc, I borrowed the pic from her post with expresses so well how much we will all miss this wonderful man (complete with Hawaiian shirt).

Source Club Jade

rthstewart: (Default)
Thursday, February 13th, 2014 08:08 am
Unlike previous years when we were socked with snow, ice and no power, the Wham NAM Storm (referring to the NAM model that persistently predicted MOAR SNOW) has delivered something like 10+ inches (25 CM give or take) and now a lovely coating of ice on top of that. For all you weather geeks I strongly recommend the Capitol Weather Gang which if you access it from Twitter or Facebook will usually let you in behind the paywall. For any of you swimming away in SE England, roasting in drought-parched CA or Australia, or dealing with the historic ice storm in SE US, UGH and I hope you stay safe and have sufficient distractions and power.


rthstewart: (Default)
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 09:48 am
I've been following this on and off since 2007 but did not realize until I saw a Salon article yesterday that the problem has persisted.  Almost 600 dogs and cats have died since 2007 after ingesting jerky treats most made in China.

As the US FDA states on its website:

Within hours of eating treats sold as jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit, some pets have exhibited decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption, and/or increased urination.

Severe cases have involved kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder. About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems.

The remaining cases reported various symptoms, such as collapse, convulsions or skin issues.

Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China. Manufacturers of pet foods are not required by U.S. law to state the country of origin for each ingredient in their products.

A number of jerky pet treat products were removed from the market in January 2013 after a New York State lab reported finding evidence of up to six drugs in certain jerky pet treats made in China. While the levels of these drugs were very low and it's unlikely that they caused the illnesses, FDA noted a decrease in reports of jerky-suspected illnesses after the products were removed from the market. FDA believes that the number of reports may have declined simply because fewer jerky treats were available.

Meanwhile, the agency urges pet owners to be cautious about providing jerky treats. If you do provide them and your pet becomes sick, stop the treats immediately, consider seeing your veterinarian, and save any remaining treats and the packaging for possible testing.

What is alarming is that they don't know what is causing these illnesses and a lot of testing hasn't revealed it, which indicates someone has put something in these intending to hide it and/or it's a little known toxin.  Previous instances include melamine in pet food to boost protein content  and oversulfated condroitin sulfate in heparin to cheaply mimic that drug's blood thinning properties and escape the test methods that were normally used at the time.   

I had not realized until just know that even dried sweet potato was associated with the problem -- though since 2007 I've only bought Made in US dog food and treats.  The supply chain is international and fact is, most of the active ingredients in your drugs come from overseas, particularly China and India.  I'm not someone to over-react to things but this is worrying and so I'll signal boost and probably return the sweet potato treats to the store this weekend. 
rthstewart: (Default)
Saturday, October 12th, 2013 07:51 am
The NFE Madness round posted here! AND TWO IMPORTANT THINGS! Someone wrote a lovely Susan story for me! World Enough

And someone else wrote a story set in TSG-related verse (set during Apostolic Way) involving Peter and the rabbit he showed to Morgan in the AUish Lost in Translation I wrote.  It's adorable and sad and lovely,  The Rabbit of the High King

There are some other really fun stories, too, so go check them out!

I should be posting a new H&M chapter this soon.  Here's a snippet.

It took Pierce less than a day to wish that his sister, whom he loved and respected very much, had not come home. Three years ago, Morgan had been tense, intense, awkward, unrelenting, and even obnoxious. Her changes had been slow and beautiful. He had seen his sister grow in confidence, holding all her acumen in place, but softening her harsh and unforgiving edges. She had become more balanced and flexible. The causes were many, he knew – some combination of Jina’s support and friendship, the regard the other Narnians had for her, and King Edmund’s – well, having experienced it now himself, Pierce called it love (he had no idea what Morgan and King Edmund would call it).

It was as if all that goodness had been erased and Morgan’s interpersonal timepiece had been turned backward.

In fact, she was far worse than before.

By the second morning, Morgan reduced the cooks to tears over the coffee. She and Father had argued into the noon bell, three days running, when he told her that he was not going to take away the old accounts of hers that he had given to their two new ADs, Chase and Wells. Morgan was to train, not steal, a distinction she didn’t grasp. In a moment of impatient and immature, though very profound, insight, Morgan stomped and shouted, “I don’t like to share my things!”

I owe comments and thanks to many people for generous reviews.  Thanks so much.  I've not responded as I've been trying to finish the above chapter and as you might have read in the paper, things have been very unsettled in the area I live in.  Your support has been a bright spot in a very, very dark time.  A brief bit on that below. 

And behind the cut a brief comment on the federal government shut down

Brief rant against those who think our President is a foreign-born Muslim and the anti-Christ )

rthstewart: (Default)
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 09:27 am
So amidst all the stress in our area, yesterday I came home early (fortunately) and discovered that one or both of our dogs (Corgi and Lab) had consumed a 30 count bottle of blood pressure medication my pharmacy had thoughtfully pushed through the mail slot.

What followed was a harrowing afternoon and evening, including frantic calls to the vet and the Pet Poison Prevention Helpline. There was a frantic speeding  violative drive to the pharmacy to buy more and unexpired hydrogen peroxide, then ramming tablespoons of it down their respective throats and then sifting through the resulting vomit looking for pills.   I ended up being concerned enough to drive them to a 24 ER care for monitoring where the Lab's blood pressure was fine but the Corgi's was low.  I am very glad I kept them at the ER because once I got home, I realized that in fact the dogs, and probably the much smaller Corgi (30 lb/14 kg) had eaten 90 pills, not 30, plus the plastic cap, thereby taking them out of the boderline range into the really serious area.

Fortunately, the drug is relatively low in toxicity and has a very short half-life in dogs, with no kidney or liver involvement. If you can keep their blood pressure up and their heart going, the drug will clear in about 8 hours. So, the waiting began, with them both receiving continuous IV fluids and the vets prepared to administer stimulant therapy if needed if severe hypotension occurred, which fortunately it did not.

At 1 AM, I was able to bring them both home. Yeah, really relieved, and so tired, and damn, that was scary.

rthstewart: (Default)
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 01:18 pm

The good news,

The C.S. Lewis Company has entered into an agreement with The Mark Gordon Company to jointly develop and produce The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, the fourth book published in C.S. Lewis' famed fantasy series. The announcement was made today by The C.S. Lewis Company. Coming soon.net has the information here!

At one time, on NFFR we cast Anderson Cooper as Puddleglum and Misha Collins as the Warden and Michael Bay to direct. BOOM  YES GIVE ME YOUR FRIVOLOUS CASTING SPOILERS

Also, the Fic Corner Exchange opened and I spotted 4 new Narnia stories, all lovely, and lots of other things.

The Narnia Fic Exchange is wrapping up and the madness round is starting.  There's been a big drop off in FB so I hope you'll go and check out the stories and give them some love!

Cute Overload is sponsoring Tocktober -- adorable pictures of cute animals' 'tocks -- that is, buttocks.

The Bad and the Ugly, the US federal government shut down.  Political rant:  About 30 Republicans in the US House of Representatives have decided to shut down the US government rather than allow poor, uninsured people the opportunity to buy health insurance in government-sponsored exchanges.  Because yes, it's better that poor people die of preventable disease than get to live and therefore potentially vote for a Democrat.  /rant

No, my family is not personally affected as neither of us is subject to the current US government appropriations process.  Many of our friends, colleagues, and family members are affected.  My deep sympathies to any of you affected.

rthstewart: (Default)
Friday, August 31st, 2012 09:56 pm
This evening we had a home intruder.  He fell into our front porch bushes, brought half of it into the house, and collapsed in a drunken stupor on the living room couch.  I call 911.   "We have a home intruder."  We go outside.  We wait.  I call 911 again thinking maybe I was not clear enough about the fact that we have a home intruder. I Tweet that we have a home intruder.  My spouse decides now is a good time to go inside and load the dishwasher.  I find out why it takes the police 20 minutes to respond.  They arrive on bicycles. They hustle drunk home intruder out of the house.    The dog doesn't wake up as home intruder bumbles into our home.  She goes crazy over the police officers.  It's probably the bike helments.  They are very scary.

And then the dog barfed.
rthstewart: (Default)
Sunday, August 19th, 2012 10:31 am
I've been on holiday the last two weeks and the time has included long hours with some other suburban mothers in my vicinity, women who are predominately not now working outside the home as they have children and heavy activity schedules to juggle and their spouses work very long, hard hours.  Something very like the following the occurred when it was revealed that they had all read 50 Shades of Grey in their book club or while standing in the kids' section of Barnes and Noble while their offspring played on the Thomas the Tank Engine train table.

"What I don't understand is how Christian Grey had all that time!" Jane says as she slathers 50 SPF sunblock on her Lands End-clad tankini body.  "Honey!  No throwing sand!  Do you need Monkey Butt for the chafing?" she shouts at her children.

"It's ridiculous," Mary agrees.  "Hey, kids, stop eating all the Trader Joes Pirate Booty popcorn; we're  having lunch soon.  And, dude, you need to finish another 50 pages of your summer assigned reading or no XBox when we get  home!"  (The last is directed to her tween.)  Mary pauses to adjust the Sunbrella.  "If Christian Grey was such a self-made, young billionaire businessman, there is no way he'd have the time or energy for all those assignations.  'Sure, I'll meet you at 4 PM for sexy times!'"

All the women snort and roll their eyes, recalling all the missed soccer practices, parent-teacher conferences, and playdate pickups.  

"It's totally unrealistic."

"She's not seeing him until 10 PM and he's exhausted and checking his iPhone all night." 

rthstewart: (Default)
Monday, May 21st, 2012 09:13 am
I used to do this and the Skechers thing is one that bugged me the first time I saw the ads. So,

If you bought Skechers Shape Up and toning shoes, you may be entitled to a refund since the data that supported the claims wasn't adequate, supported, or reliable. 

FDA issues a warning about an unproven treatment for MS that could kill you.

The Advisory Committee on Antiviral Drugs recommended with certain caveats that the FDA approve the drug Truvada for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection.  The vote to approve recommended it for all populations, including men who have sex with men and women -- empowering a woman to prevent HIV-1 infection herself being especially important if she is in a situation where she cannot insist her partner use a condom.

Weight loss products based upon the idea that they (but actually may not) contain HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) don't work.  (This is another one that really infuriates me).

And, last but not least, Senator Leahy is demanding that FDA finalize 30 year old proposed regulations regarding sunscreens (Because FDA has been trying to update the sunscreen standards for longer than a lot of you have been alive. Really.) 
rthstewart: (Default)
Thursday, May 17th, 2012 02:59 pm
This whole week has been an exercise in frustration.  I spent hours of work in the yard last week only to find that I still have mildew on my monarda (bee balm) in the butterfly garden.  Over the last day, I've spent hours researching what was a wonderful, brilliant and awesome idea at work that has now completely crashed and burned.  Sigh.  So frustrating.

Fic has not been rewarding as I slowly, ever so slowly, work on the next chapter of H&M (current word count 9,100).  It tells you something about my lack of enthusiasm and my degree of burn out that I've been working out on the treadmill rather than trying to write.  I wrote an additional 6,000 words that I ended up deleting or removing for possible later use elsewhere.  I have an additional 22,000 words of stuff for this part of the story in various states of good, bad, and ugly.   I feel badly that it's been so long since an update from me so maybe this weekend?  I hope?  So here, have a sneak peek:

You don't offer flowers and chocolates to entice a Crow )
Edit: Goodness I'm cranky.  So, something happy.  Our bullfrogs are back in the pond and croaking up a storm and so far have not been eaten by passing herons.  The cardinals, goldfinches, black-capped chickadees, woodpeckers and nuthatches are mobbing our feeders and managing to hold their own against the marauding crows and starlings.   I've planted a new red salvia and I'm waiting for the red hibiscus in my butterfly garden because then we will get the hummingbirds (and no, I've never heard them swear).