[no title]
Language to use, to avoid when reporting on child sex abuse
6 days ago
My Long, Dark Night in Trumplandia | The New Republic
I had touched down in Manchester a few hours before, just as darkness began to fall together with snow. I entered the Verizon Wireless Arena, a 10,000-seat venue, to see a jumbotron projecting a photograph of Melania Trump in a bikini embracing a blow-up doll of Shamu. A hallucination? It was no longer possible to tell. The great crush around me seemed to be made up of two kinds of people: Trump supporters, and people there to goggle at Trump supporters. I flowed between both, listening. The second kind loved concession snacks. The first loved snacks and also hated Muslims.
6 weeks ago
We Didn’t Stand a Chance Against Opioids | The New Republic
This is really great writing, but I felt like it didn't fulfill its potential. I felt like it could have been a book. I felt like it is a book, but that book is hidden somewhere. Closed.
6 weeks ago
foolproof cacio e pepe – smitten kitchen
Here’s the magic of this technique: The recipe sticks to the 3-ingrdient-only premise, but it begins the sauce with cold water, forming the cheese and pepper into a thick, paste-like sauce, without any of the separated, gloppy cheese risk that can happen with pasta cooking water. No heat touches the sauce until it hits the piping hot pasta, so it melts only onto the noodles. At this point, you use spoonfuls of cooking water as needed to loosen it to a thick but lightly creamy consistency. And it works every time, which will I bet will a lot more often after today.
11 weeks ago
Six people are hit by a car each day in Toronto. We know how to fix it, so why don't we?
Humans aren’t designed for sudden impact. If you’re lucky, you walk away with a fractured arm or leg. If you’re not, the car shatters your femur, splits your pelvis or snaps your spine. Lungs collapse, cracked ribs puncture organs, shoes fly off. Sometimes, you’ll be thrown into a fire hydrant or some other immovable object and experience a cranial-cervical dislocation—your skull might pop clear off.

Jack was a big man—six foot two and 240 pounds. The force of the impact broke off a piece of the minivan’s passenger-side mirror and shot Jack straight into the air, snapping his neck. (Staff at Scarborough General later told Maria that he likely died in that instant.) As his body fell, he slid fast across the pavement, which shredded the flesh on his back down to the bone. When he hit the curb, he flipped over, landing face-down in the gutter.

The black minivan, a chariot of death, sped away.
12 weeks ago
A woman's greatest enemy? A lack of time to herself | Brigid Schulte | Opinion | The Guardian
If what it takes to create are long stretches of time alone, that’s something women have never had the luxury to expect
july 2019
Alix Ohlin: How to Write—and Not—About the Struggle to Have a Child | Literary Hub
Years ago, when I was trying to write my first novel, I was almost in a terrible car accident. As I was driving on a narrow, twisting road in the hills of Western Massachusetts, another car materialized and blazed toward me, right in my lane. Its driver was bent over, maybe adjusting the radio, oblivious to the imminent collision. At the last second, the car swerved and corrected, passed me, and disappeared around a bend. For a few days I couldn’t concentrate, rattled by what hadn’t happened but could have.

“Just write about it,” a friend suggested. “Put the car in the book and you’re back in track.”

Like a lot of writing advice I’ve received this seemed both perfectly sound and impossible to take. I wasn’t sure, I guess, how to write about something that didn’t come to pass, an event that existed only in the conditional, inside the what if possibilities of my brain.


The car accident came back to me later, when I was trying without success to have a child. The years of trying were ridden with almost events, with possibilities and the absence of them.

“It’s not that motherhood didn’t happen, it’s that it almost did and, in fact, still could,” Alexandra Kimball has written. “The difference between the grief of infertility and other reasons for mourning is in that promise of ‘just,’ in ‘almost,’ in ‘still could.’”
july 2019
The Murderer, the Writer, the Reckoning | by John J. Lennon | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
On February 10, 2002, in a New York State prison cell, the bestselling author and twice-convicted killer Jack Abbott hanged himself with an improvised noose. That same day, the body of the man I murdered washed ashore on a Brooklyn beach in a nylon laundry bag. My reason for connecting these two events is to try to account for my crime, to understand better why I did it, and to describe what Abbott’s legacy, as a prison writer of an earlier generation, has meant for me as a prison writer in this generation.
july 2019
London And Its Dead – BLDGBLOG
As Arnold points out, there is an otherwise inexplicable shift in direction in the Piccadilly line passing east out of South Kensington. “In fact,” she writes, “the tunnel curves between Knightsbridge and South Kensington stations because it was impossible to drill through the mass of skeletal remains buried in Hyde Park.” I will admit that I think she means “between Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner“—although there is apparently a “small plague pit dating from around 1664″ beneath Knightsbridge Green—but I will defer to Arnold’s research.

But to put that another way, the ground was so solidly packed with the interlocked skeletons of 17th-century victims of the Great Plague that the Tube’s 19th-century excavation teams couldn’t even hack their way through them all. The Tube thus had to swerve to the side along a subterranean detour in order to avoid this huge congested knot of skulls, ribs, legs, and arms tangled in the soil—an artificial geology made of people, caught in the throat of greater London.

London’s Tube thus sits atop, cuts around, and tunnels through a citywide charnel ground of corpses, its very routes and station locations haunted by this earlier presence in the ground below.
july 2019
The No. 1 Ladies’ Defrauding Agency
Sarah Howe’s early life is mostly a mystery. There are no surviving photographs or sketches of her, so it’s impossible to know what she looked like. She may, at one point, have been married, but by 1877 she was single and working as a fortune-teller in Boston. It was a time of boom and invention in the United States. The country was rebuilding after the Civil War, industrial development was starting to take off, and immigration and urbanization were both increasing steadily. Money was flowing freely (to white people anyway), and men and women alike were putting that money into the nation’s burgeoning banks. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, and in 1879 Thomas Edison created the lightbulb. In between those innovations, Sarah Howe opened the Ladies’ Deposit Company, a bank run by women, for women. 

The company’s mission was simple: help white women gain access to the booming world of banking. The bank only accepted deposits from so-called “unprotected females,” women who did not have a husband or guardian handling their money. These women were largely overlooked by banks who saw them — and their smaller pots of money — as a waste of time. In return for their investment, Howe promised incredible results: an 8 percent interest rate. Deposit $100 now, and she promised an additional $96 back by the end of the year. And to sweeten the deal, new depositors got their first three months interest in advance. When skeptics expressed doubts that Howe could really guarantee such high returns, she offered an explanation: The Ladies’ Deposit Company was no ordinary bank, but instead was a charity for women, bankrolled by Quaker philanthropists. 
july 2019
Rose's Eleven - leupagus - Schitt's Creek [Archive of Our Own]
“Mr. Rose, what do you think you would do if released?”

[Got a little confusing at times, but still a fun read.]
june 2019
Watching Through Windows - helvetica_upstart - Schitt's Creek [Archive of Our Own]
David gapes at the man calling himself David’s husband. “You think I’m falling for the married amnesiac trap? Yeah, no, my sister has been-there done-that and sent me the Embassy’s postcards.”

Or, David falls off a ladder and can’t remember Schitt’s Creek. Things fall apart and come back together.

[Genuinely, this was the best SC fic I've read in terms of characterization. Lots of SC lines popping up in there (from exactly the right moments in David's maturity journey), lots of care taken with his growth and how he begins to fit the life he's built for himself. I normally find amnesia fics kind of overdone, but this one was just perfect in its retread of the character.]
fandom:schitts.creek  pairing:david/patrick  content:amnesia 
june 2019
1001 - Hth - Schitt's Creek [Archive of Our Own]
Patrick is not a flexible, go-with-the-flow sort of person. He's aware, and he's working on being more tolerant of chaos, or at the very least working to mitigate its effects on his mood. Nobody's perfect; he certainly never claimed to be perfect.

And he knew going into this that wanting David Rose in his life was opening the door to chaos in so many different ways. He had time – he had more than enough time, in the endless nine weeks since he found himself sleepless in bed in the minuscule hours of the morning with an uninvited voice in his head telling him straight men do not think about another man every hour of every day, you know this isn't normal, are you ever going to stop lying even for one minute? – more than enough time to do a thorough cost/benefit analysis.

The cost is that he'd have to stop lying, first to himself, then slowly but surely to everyone else. The cost is that he likes this job and he'll feel guilty forever if he tanks Rose Apothecary amidst a bunch of messy emotional drama. The cost is the potential for messy emotional drama. The cost is – the mess. The chaos. The loss of control over so many different aspects of his life that he had to start a separate list.

[I like to start with this one, then make my way back to the first, then jump ahead to the third. The characterizations don't totally flow, but this is good stuff.]
fandom:schitts.creek  pairing:david/patrick 
june 2019
Succulent-Smugglers Descend on California | The New Yorker
Succulents—drought-friendly, fireproof, angular, Zen—long ago attained the status of design cliché, a living version of the shag rug, Heath mug, Eames chair. But now a particular species, Dudleya farinosa (stage name: Powdery Liveforever), a wild roseate plant with silvery, pink-tipped leaves and a spectacular yellow-flowered stalk, which thrives on California’s coastal bluffs, has become the It Plant for succulent thieves. Last week, in Monterey County, two Dudleya poachers, a married couple, pleaded no contest to charges including felony grand theft and felony vandalism related to their removal of more than eighteen hundred plants from Garrapata State Park, in Big Sur. It was the fourth successful Dudleya prosecution in California in a little more than a year.
june 2019
Stenographers Need to Understand Black English - The Atlantic
The Black English gap, as one might call it, matters: It can affect people’s lives at crucial junctures. In 2007, a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dissent claimed that when a black woman said, in terror, “He finna shoot me,” she may have been referring to something in the past, when in fact “finna” refers to the immediate future. “Why don’t you just give me a lawyer, dog?” Warren Demesme asked the police when accused of sexual assault in 2017. The statements one makes to law enforcement after requesting a lawyer are inadmissible—but Demesme’s rights were ignored because, it was argued, he’d requested a “lawyer dog,” not an actual attorney.
june 2019
Thor and his magic patu: notes on a very Māori Marvel movie | The Spinoff
The elimination of ego through humour runs through all of Waititi’s films and follows a basic formula: The Joke Is Always On The Person Trying To Be Smart. In Ragnarok this means the lead character – the superhero, the guy the film is named after – is generally the butt of the joke as he tries to outsmart The Grandmaster, insists he is stronger than the Hulk, tries to act nonchalant in front of Dr. Strange and generally fumbles as he tries to gather the pieces of his ego from the floor. In contemporary Māori culture there are few burns that scald quite so deep as being called “a cool guy”: “Far, what a cool guy”, “Cool guy is it?” There is no sin so cardinal as attempting to claim power or status that doesn’t rightly belong to you. Very broadly, it’s seen as a misappropriation of mana.

The seam of irony that runs through Thor: Ragnarok couldn’t be more different than previous Marvel films which feature Robert Downey Jr as a billionaire smart-ass dropping glib one-liners. It also stands in opposition to the corny dramatics of Joss Whedon’s Avengers scripts, which Waititi seems to delight in gently mocking, as when Thor murmurs “the sun’s going down” a la Black Widow trying to calm the Hulk in Age of Ultron?

The comedy of deflation, the definitive directorial touch that makes Thor: Ragnarok so fun, has been a constant presence in Taika’s work from his first Oscar-nominated short to Hunt for the Wilderpeople. It’s not uniquely Māori, but it is distinctly Māori in tone, in rhythm and as a kind of philosophical outlook.
may 2019
new tricks - etben - Schitt's Creek [Archive of Our Own]
“—I also like fucking,” David says. “I mean. If we’re talking about things that I like.”
may 2019
What Do You Do When the Internet Hates You?
A friend recently posted this on Instagram: I'd rather be someone's shot of whiskey than everyone's cup of tea. I spent a whole lot of energy trying to be everybody's cup of tea and a) it wasn't fun, and b) it didn't work. I'd wager that we all do this at some point—contort ourselves into people-pleasing pretzels—and I'd also wager that the roots of this often can be found somewhere in our early lives. Who was it that first made us believe something was wrong with us, that something needed fixing?
may 2019
Competition - astolat - Game of Thrones (TV) [Archive of Our Own]
Almost the instant Brienne was out of earshot, Bronn turned to Podrick, jerked his head towards Jaime and asked, “Has he fucked her yet?”
may 2019
Strange Horizons - Truth Plus By Jamie Wahls
“Nah. We are one hundred percent shit-outta-luck,” she said, voice high and brittle as she leaned back from the computer. She gave a tight little laugh as she gestured at different possible trajectories, the different deflections achievable with nukes or booster rockets or heroic space missions. The wall of screens in front of us showed projected death tolls and ecological changes, with a lot of graphs that dropped sharply right at the end. “Earth is, uh … not to be melodramatic about it, but, absolutely doomed.”
may 2019
i'm alright with a slow burn - goingmywaydoll - Schitt's Creek [Archive of Our Own]
But Alexis has gone quiet, still looking down as she walks with him. “Besides,” she says, and he can hear her inhale deeply. “You’re friends with Patrick, so like, I don’t get what the big deal is or whatever.”

“I’m not friends with Patrick.” The words come out before he can stop them, more instinct than anything. He’s feeling defensive suddenly, like if he doesn’t say anything Alexis is going to figure out that sometimes David looks at Patrick a little too long or sometimes he lets himself be a little more tactile in the way he offers help.

Alexis is looking at him weird. “What do you mean, yes you are.”

“But it’s not like you and Ted.”

“Ugh, there is no ‘me and Ted,’ David,” she says, flicking her wrist.

“Mom and Dad literally took you aside and told you to stop favoring him,” David says because this is safe, making fun of Alexis is safe because if he’s making fun of Alexis, they’re not talking about Patrick.

“Okay, but you totally favor Patrick.”

Apparently not.

“I do not.”

“Oh my god, David, yes, you do! You think I didn’t notice how you always take the leftovers of his bakes instead of anyone else’s?”

“He’s a good baker!” David hates that his voice hitches.

“‘He’s a good baker’?” Alexis repeats. “You can just say that you’re friends, the world won’t explode if you make a friend other than Stevie.”
fandom:schitt's.creek  pairing:david/patrick  genre:au  au:gbbo 
may 2019
The Americans is on one of the best runs of episodes in TV drama history - Vox
The five acts consist of the following:

Act 1: Something happens to spark the story into motion, and the characters begin making choices that will set everything else spinning along.
Act 2: The characters still have a chance to escape their fates, but something in their psyches keeps driving them forward.
Act 3: Featuring the "climax," this is where everything shifts. Something happens to flip everything on its ear, and the story reaches a point where the characters cannot escape what's coming.
Act 4: The characters, trapped by fate but not yet cognizant of it, are sucked toward the endgame. In a tragedy, this is often when the body count begins to mount (or the audience can see this coming).
Act 5: Everything ends, often in blood and horror. There is some quiet musing on what it all means. A few characters escape with their lives, but even they will likely have long years of therapy ahead of them.
may 2019
The biggest problem with modern blockbusters, explained by Independence Day: Resurgence - Vox
Without that second act, there’s no time for the story to build momentum, for the characters to actually define themselves as individuals, for conflicts to develop. Instead, a bunch of stuff just sort of happens, and that’s that. If the three-act structure is "Send your characters up a tree. Throw rocks at them. See if they climb down," then eliminating the second act destroys any chances of seeing how your characters react to new obstacles — and, thus, fails to reveal what makes them who they are.
may 2019
“Fixer Upper” Is Over, But Waco’s Transformation Is Just Beginning
To consider development in terms of God’s plan can mean inoculating oneself from its consequences. What’s the response when someone can’t afford their property tax? When they’re frustrated that people call their family home a dump? When they feel like their whole life has been a string of white people deciding whether what they own is valuable, based solely on how much they want it? When it’s all God’s plan, that couldn’t be the result of a failure to collaborate with the community, or create policies that protect current residents. It’s no one’s fault.

Ask anyone in town, from anywhere in town: Waco is a better place to live than it was 10 years ago. That’s not the question. The question is who will be able to live in that town in the years to come — and participate in it as homeowners, as entrepreneurs, as authorities on and within their own communities.
april 2019
Amnesiac - Speranza - Stargate Atlantis [Archive of Our Own]
But he can't, and when he hears the Canadian say, "Are you okay? What's wrong with you?" he opens his eyes and takes the cup of coffee out of the Canadian's hand before he kisses him. So far he's been right about everything, and he's right about this, too, because the Canadian snakes a warm arm around his neck, and pulls him in, and opens his mouth. The kiss is long and sweet and hot enough that he's hard by the end of it, and he's just about to suggest a before-dinner quickie when the Canadian pulls away and squints up at him, and says, a little breathlessly, "You hit your head, didn't you?"
author:speranza  fandom:sga  pairing:mckay/sheppard 
april 2019
I Know What You Think of Me - The New York Times
Years ago a friend of mine had a dream about a strange invention; a staircase you could descend deep underground, in which you heard recordings of all the things anyone had ever said about you, both good and bad. The catch was, you had to pass through all the worst things people had said before you could get to the highest compliments at the very bottom. There is no way I would ever make it more than two and a half steps down such a staircase, but I understand its terrible logic: if we want the rewards of being loved we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.
april 2019
Cochinita Pibil Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com
3-4 pounds pork shoulder
1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed if possible
1/2 cup lime juice, juice of 4-5 limes
1 teaspoons salt
3 ounces of red (rojo) achiote paste, available in Latin markets
Pickled red onions (optional), for garnish
Dry Mexican cheese (queso seco), for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

[needs sour oranges]
march 2019
Why Newsrooms Are Unionizing Now - Nieman Reports
In January 2015, The Washington Post’s labor reporter at the time, Lydia DePillis, wrote a story called “Why Internet journalists don’t organize.” DePillis observed that many writers were individualistic and had “built personal brands” and therefore apparently had scant interest in unions and collective action. One employee she interviewed said digital media workers were “half-looking to jump elsewhere,” so why fight to have a union if you’re not going to stick around? An editor told DePillis that despite the industry’s low salaries and instability, digital journalists were “SO unprepared for anything like union organizing…They all went to good schools, and very few of them seem to have any experience with labor in the real workforce.”
Two months later, Hamilton Nolan, a senior writer at Gawker, was talking with an organizer from the Writers Guild of America, East, a union largely of film and television writers, when the organizer told him that workers at one news website she hoped to unionize seemed scared of retaliation if they pushed for a union.
march 2019
My 14-Hour Search for the End of TGI Friday's Endless Appetizers
11:34 a.m. My first plate arrives. The mozzarella sticks are golden, dense, and huge. Each one is greater than the width of two of my index fingers. As a frequent and enthusiastic consumer of mozzarella sticks, I estimate that these are about twice the standard size. They are softly cuboid, not cylindrical, for reasons I assume are obscure and related to the maximally efficient, foolproof method by which they are packaged, shipped, and cooked. They arrive in herds of six, lightly dusted with shavings of "Parmesan" and "Romano" and flakes of parsley. (Over the course of several orders, this coating will become increasingly patchy, as TGI Friday's and I stop standing on formality.) An order normally costs $7.50, which means I will have to eat at least two in order for TGI Friday's Endless Apps to qualify as a "good deal." Each plate of six contains 1,100 calories.

They taste like goddamn garbage.
food  humor  gawker  caity.weaver 
march 2019
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