Archive for the ‘Not Writing Related’ Category

What a Week!

Friday, June 26th, 2015

First SCOTUS was 6-3 in upholding Federal subsidies for health insurance. Then they were 5-4 in overturning bans on same-sex marriage.

The US changed today, for the better. There’s a long way to go yet but I’m enjoying these historic decisions.


March Jewel Madness

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Here at Jewel Central we play along with the NCAA March madness tournament, but in a way that doesn’t stop the fun. If we used a traditional method, we’d all be out in the first round.

Instead, we pick one round at a time for each of the tourneys (women’s and men). This way, every one has something at stake in every round. Feel free to play along. Last year we had a blast, along with snarky comments. Everyone welcome. You get bragging rights for every win!

Link to a printable Men’s bracket (PDF): 2015 Men’s Bracket

Link to a printable Women’s bracket (PDF) 2015 Women’s Bracket

Select your predicted winners for the Men’s games taking place on March 17 and 18. Report your choices in the comments.

You have until Thursday to make your picks for the first round of both.


Happy Frogs. Also Owls. 12 seconds of sound (as video)

Friday, December 19th, 2014

I went outside tonight and ended up taking a 12 second video of what it sounded like. You may need to turn up your audio. That’s frogs. And then owls hooting. The video is black because, well, it was dark out.

I love listening to the frogs and the owls and it’s been so long since the frogs were this loud.



Saturday, October 18th, 2014

This post is an author’s tale of how she confronted a reviewer who did not like her book, an article published in The Guardian, and so given legitimacy.

This post was written by a man who felt his ex should continue interacting with him even though she did not want to.

I see little difference between what’s behind these two articles. In one, an author can’t get past someone’s bad review. Despite all evidence that the reviewer did not wish to be known, this author tracked down the reviewer and made contact. On multiple occasions.

In the other, a woman no longer wished to see her ex, and he writes and publishes an article in which he details why he should get what he wants.

In both, we have the words of the person who pursued a relationship despite clear evidence the other person did not wish, want, or invite the contact.

Both people have written a long justification of actions that violated the peace and privacy of another person.

Both of the people who were contacted against their will, repeatedly, were women. I don’t think that’s an accident.

People like the authors of these articles terrify me.


Decisions, Decisions

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

I can’t decide if this is the funniest tweet in the history of the universe or the saddest.

Thank You For Giving Us A Choice

But, I like a world where women have choice. You know?


Who We Are

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

“The worsening situation in Ferguson is deeply troubling, and does not represent who we are as Missourians or as Americans.” Missouri Governor Nixon.

Except no. That’s the whole problem. What we must accept is that this DOES represent who we are.

Until those of us who look in the mirror and don’t see brown skin admit that, this will never change.

Ferguson happened because of who we are. Let’s change that.


FU GitHub

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Here’s an interesting juxtaposition:

I wrote this post a while back. April 2nd, I think. It’s about how, as I see my son heading to what looks like a tech career, I would be tempted to tell my daughter (if I had one) NOT to go into tech.

And then, not long after, I posted this — in the same month.

In light of the Julie Horvath mess, and in light of the juxtaposition of those two things, I stand by my trepidation.

As a woman in tech, and hell, just a woman in the USA, it’s obscene that any company could declare itself free of gender discrimination or harassers or any other of the endemic facts of gender bias.

“Hey, we asked around and all the guys said, Nope, we don’t do that and all the girls nodded. We tots rock.”

Here’s the truth:
1. 97% of the guys thought that was true.
2. 3% of the guys said it was true, knew it wasn’t, and believe woman get what’s coming to them.
3. 50% of the guys suspect it’s not true, but their female colleagues seem fine with the culture, so it must not be a problem!
4. 90% of the woman know there’s a problem and have learned the hard way that HR doesn’t do shit and if they want to keep their job or the hope of a good recommendation if they leave, they need not to say anything.
5. 10% of the women are too new to understand what’s happening and don’t know yet they’re underpaid by 20% because of their gender.

Fuck you, GitHub.


This Thing Continues to Bother Me

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Today, a male book blogger whose blog and opinion I respect retweeted an image of a single panel comic that depicted Kate Perry. She was on the ground, naked, decapitated, and disemboweled. There were puppies in this comic and one of them was in front of the her spread open legs. And yes. The comic was absolutely graphic.

I could not tell from the context what subtext there was for such a thing. Was there ironic comment? For the last few hours, I’ve kept flashing back to that, and how bothered I was that such a person, whose tweets are usually related to the business of books, would retweet something like that.

I Googled a little to see if there was something that would make such a comic relevant social commentary and that would make be believe this man did not intend the apparent meaning of such a comic. I could not find anything that would recover my opinion of this man.

Another prominent male blogger and author commented on that same image with “Hahaha WTF?”

The first blogger’s twitter stream includes links to great commentary about eBooks at his blog. I follow him because I like what he has to say. I have commented at his blog. Why on earth would he retweet an image with no commentary about why he thought such a misogynistic, hateful image was something worth letting his followers see?

Did he really not stop to think about what message is really encoded in that? Maybe it’s partly, “ha ha, look how we can make fun of Katy Perry.” But it’s also the very chilling message “This is what happens to women we don’t like.”

I am devastated. I am appalled. I don’t want anything to do with him any more. Either of them actually.

I hope I’m wrong. I really do.


Manuscript Found!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Wow. Why didn’t I hear about this sooner? I LOVE the British Library Manuscripts blog.

Unicorn Cookbook


My Dog Is Neurotic

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Some years ago now, at a previous job, a colleague of mine who raised Chihuahuas on the side, brought a litter of puppies to work. (He was a clever, canny man.) They were quite young, far too small to leave their mother. I picked up and held a puppy who snuggled right up in my arms. He was timid and overly sensitive and all he wanted was to be held and protected from a world that was big and noisy and upsetting. I knew immediately that was was exactly the dog NOT to get. He would not socialize well. Six weeks later, he was mine, for $50 bucks a month until he was paid for.

I named him Fudge and he remains exactly like the puppy he was. Timid, overly sensitive, completely and embarrassingly neurotic. But he loves his people fiercely. He loves to snuggle. He also tends to fat. Alas. He is sneaky about stealing food from the other dogs. We have made some progress with his anxiety disorder and utter state of neurosis. He no longer pees in terror when he sees someone new, for example.


Bella is … oh dear. My son and I got her from the pound. She’s about two, and I think I know why she was surrendered. She’s is exuberant, high energy lovable dog who thinks EVERYONE LOVES HER and is easily distracted. Once distracted, she is unable to focus. She cannot be let outside at times of the day when wildlife is out and about because she gets distracted and thinks she’s going to catch a turkey or a rabbit or maybe, FINALLY!!!! the sheep will consent to play with her. Or the deer. RABBIT!!!!!! I can’t hear you calling me. MANURE TO ROLL IN!!!!!!! I can’t hear you….

We have also made some progress with Bella. BUT.

Fudge has a special spot on my bed when I am writing, and he isn’t sleeping on the chair behind my back. That special spot is on a fuzzy blue blanket. It is his nest. He is curled up on it right now. He’s snoring.

Bella has noticed this. And now there is a passive-aggressive battle going on for possession of the blue fuzzy blanket. The first time Fudge saw Bella sleeping on HIS blanket, he went into melt down. In fact, I have a picture of it:

pitiful dog


I thought it was funny the first time. Heh! Bella’s on Fudge’s blanket and he’s about to turn into a puddle of despair. That was in November. Now it’s January and well, it’s psychological warfare, people.

The Battle For the Fuzzy Blue Blanket.

I thought I was clever in digging up a SECOND fuzzy blue blanket. What could be better than both dogs having their very own fuzzy blue blanket? Everyone would be happy!

Apparently, I have completely misjudged what’s going on. I will illustrate this with a story from today.

Bella was asleep on my bed, having made a nest of BOTH fuzzy blue blankets in Fudge’s spot.

Fudge comes into my room expecting to curl up in his fuzzy blue blanket, only OH NOES!!! There is Bella.

So I take one of the blankets and I make a pile of it, thinking, in my naivete, that he will curl up there and start snoring.

No. No, he does not. He sits there staring at me, going into full blown neurotic melt down. My god. Then Bella lifts her head and sees that Fudges is (sort of) snuggled in the OTHER blue blanket. After about 20 minutes of neurotic staring and glaring all around Fudge leaves.

And Bella gets up and goes to sleep on the blue blanket Fudge was, very unhappily, not really sleeping on.

I am not equipped to handle this battle of doggie passive-aggression over a blanket. And really, Bella can’t be allowed to win. Fudge would never recover.

There’s a Cat Problem, too

My son’s cat, Tiger (a girl despite the name) has this bizarre love-affair going with Bella. Nobody quite understands it except theirs appears to be a deep and true love.

Fudge sleeps under the covers with me, in the same particular spot, which he can only get into after going through a certain ritual of getting onto the bed…

Tiger has once again begun her previous habit of stepping on the lump-in-the-bed that is Fudge until he squeaks, and I can’t help thinking Bella has put her put to it.

I’m doomed.