Where statues go to retire.
Is America finally ready for the bidet?
The Congressional Black Caucus is talking impeachment.
With all the weirdness, we might need some Help!
There is a lot of coverage of Trump's speech in Phoenix yesterday, ranging from "he's deranged" to "he made it all up" to "he plans to pardon that racist Joe Arpaio" and more. And there were 3000+ peaceful demonstrators outside -- at least, it appears, until police threw pepper bombs into the crowd. I do not have the oomph to chase all of this, but if you go to news.google.com, you'll find a ton of links. Sorry. I am having vision problems (eta: because the frame of my glasses is bent and one lens is closer than the other, and I have ordered new ones that aren't in yet) and need to take care of my eyes today, ok? Thanks for understanding.
Attn Parents: This post is not appropriate for young children. Or adults, really, but I won't tell if you won't.
Since I know you're curious about the behind-the-scenes workings here at Cake Wrecks, I thought I'd provide you with the actual dialogue between me and John while discussing a cake.
Me: [calling to other room] "Hey, you don't know any vibrator puns, do you?"
John: [crossing the distance in approximately .7 seconds] "What are you working on?"
Me: "Oh, it's this one. I've got the 'bad vibe' thing going for the title, but now I'm at a loss. What else do you call these things? Do you know any euphemisms?"
John: [staring] "What's it supposed to be?"
Me: "Beats me. It just looks like a giant pink finger."
[both of us pause]
Me: "Hey, I bet that's one."
John: [unable to speak due to laughter]
John: [getting his breath back] "You HAVE to write this down."
Annnnd that's about it. By the way, I feel this is an excellent time to mention that, yes indeedy, we actually get paid now to do this. Living' the dream, people. We're livin' the dream.
Oh, and neither Lis B. nor I have any idea what that cake is supposed to be. However, since it was in the "kids cakes" gallery on the bakery's website I'm guessing it's probably some perfectly innocent character from a cartoon or something. No doubt many of you are preparing to point this out in the comments, too, so that the rest of us look like pervy malcontents. So, you know, I've got that to look forward to.
Livin' the dream, man. Livin'. The. Dream.
Lots of Kris Ripper and Alexis Hall in this batch.
Breaking Down (Scientific Method Universe #4) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Ripper once again puts zir characters through the emotional ringer.
This time we get the aftermath of an offscreen sexual assault and a breakup that's painful for everyone involved. ( read more )
Roller Coasters (Scientific Method Universe #5) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book really centers Will's struggles and insecurities about his place in Hugh and Truman's relationship, which is a thing I'd wanted (and Ripper had been working up to) for several books. ( read more )
The Boyfriends Tie the Knot (Scientific Method Universe #6) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
So much going on in this book and it's all just fabulous. ( read more )
The Honeymoon (The Scientific Method Universe #7) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
And with that the main arc about Will and Hugh and Truman's relationship comes to a perfect close. ( read more )
For Real - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a fabulous BDSM romance between two characters with an 18-year age difference. I love that kind of thing, but if large age differences make you uncomfortable this book is not for you. ( read more )
The Art Of Three - Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese ★ ★ ★
A sweet, relatively low-drama poly romance. ( read more )
Spectred Isle (Green Men #1) - K.J. Charles ★ ★ ★ ★
An excellent beginning to a new series. While the romance is central and significant, this is above-all a well-built supernatural fantasy. ( read more )
Extremes (Scientific Method Universe #8) - Kris Ripper ★ ★ ★ ★
Short and incredibly intense. ( read more )
Silver Moon - Catherine Lundoff ★ ★ ★ ★
Menopausal werewolves! What's not to love? ( read more )
Glitterland (Glitterland #1) - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★
There was a lot I loved about this book and a few things that really didn't work for me. ( read more )
Gays Of Our Lives (Queers of La Vista #1) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★
A charming romance with a delightfully disgruntled disabled protagonist. ( read more )
Aftermath (Glitterland #1.5) - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★
A nice epilogue that ties up some dangling threads from the book, but I'm still just not in love with this couple.
Penric's Fox - Lois McMaster Bujold ★ ★ ★ ★
Probably my favourite of the Penric stories so far. Nominally a murder mystery, but there is only ever one obvious suspect. ( read more )
Sand and Ruin and Gold - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★
A disturbing and unsettling story about captivity and freedom and connection.
Romantic in its own way but decidedly not a romance.
In Vino - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★
Short story starring a secondary character from For Real, available for free for joining Hall's mailing list.
Fucked up, self-destructive asshole has fucked up, self-destructive and really ill-considered sex. It's like watching a train wreck. I really hot, decidedly kinky train wreck.
Fire Thief - Jordan Castillo Price ★ ★
Short story. Picked up as a first sample of a frequently-recced writer.
Enjoyable enough, but the way the love interest's disability was concealed and then revealed as if it were somehow shocking left me cold.
Shatterproof - Xen Sanders ★ ★ ★
I found this book frustrating. I liked it, but I really wanted to love it and I could just never get there. ( read more )
Daughter of Mystery (Alpennia #1) - Heather Rose Jones ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I LOVED this book and I'm definitely looking forward to the next two books in the series.
Complicated, smart and constantly-surprising fantasy with a great lesbian romance. ( read more )
Heart of the Steal - Avon Gale & Roan Parrish ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Well, that was completely delightful.
Philanthropist who dabbles in art theft meets cute guy at a party and decides to impress him with a gift of illicitly acquired art. Cute guy turns out to be an FBI Agent. Art Crimes divisions. Eh heh heh, oops? ( read more )
Prosperity (Prosperity #1) - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I keep expecting the Prosperity series to be light and airy and vaguely fluffy. Airships! Skytowns! A street urchin named Piccadilly and a crime-lord named Milord! It sounds like the fluffiest of fluff. But it's so much more. It's also complex and tangled and so fucking honest about the complexity of love and emotion and connection. ( read more )
It did so for the physical world with two of the supporting characters.
One was a detective working the case of the robot that'd killed.
The other programmed that kind of robot.
( Their conversation turned to development. )
The commitment is modest - we're looking for someone to do 2 interviews a month over the phone. You would be responsible for contacting the fans, collecting the permission forms and scheduling a time to be interviewed. The interviews are 1-2 hrs long.
If interested, please email me at morgandawn @ gmail.com
Read more about the project here: http://fanlore.org/wiki/
Please feel free to forward this info to anyone who is interested or link to this post.
We're also looking for fans willing to transcribe the summer interviews.
The design was meant to be patriotic and comforting -- a kitten looking out from under a draped American flag. I can't fault the idea, though it's not to my taste.
However-- on a shirt? The kitten is all head and it's huge -- the size of a small leopard. And with the shading, it appears to be emerging from the wearer's chest, confidently searching for more food...
Not for the win. ewwww.
The Statue Beneath the Sea
Once upon an ocean, a statue dwelled beneath the waves. In days past the statue had been brightly painted and crowned with gilt, with jewels for eyes and jewels set in its magnificent wings. It remembered dancers crowding its plaza and lovers exchanging promise-poems beneath its benevolent gaze, parades of helmeted youths and prophetesses giving speeches in the sinuous language of time unwound.
It had never met the general whose victories it was meant to commemorate, although it knew that some statues had that privilege. But it had their smooth face and their smile, and even though the jewels of its eyes had long ago been stolen by treasure-scavengers, it had something of the general's vision. It knew the stories of the general and their honored lover the lady scholar, and how they had built the old city to a precipice of grandeur.
Those days had passed long ago, however, and the wars of weather-mages had sunk the city below the sea. No one now living remembered the city's name the way it had been spoken by its inhabitants, although it lingered in distorted whispers and siren-songs that wound through the tides. The statue remembered its people and yearned for whatever scraps of myth it could gather from the gossip of gulls and sailors.
The fish and the anemones, mindful of the statue's melancholy, spoke with it little. In truth it would have welcomed their chatter. But when it asked them for stories of war (in honor of its general), they could only share tales of cannonades and blood staining the foam, so different from the swift chariots and dust-clouds it knew of, and its melancholy only deepened.
At last an entourage of dragons, distant cousins of the Dragon King Under the Sea, visited the sunken city. One of the dragons, hardly more than an eggling as dragons reckon time, especially liked to explore vanished civilizations. She was particularly taken by the statue's eroded marble surfaces, seeing in them the litany of years gone and years to come.
The statue told the dragon of its vanished city, and its general's victories--more fable than truth by this point, not that there was anyone to correct it--and the dragon listened eagerly. She began telling the statue's stories to the sharks and the seahorses, the terns and the turtles. Soon the creatures of the sea came to listen to the statue as well, and to honor it with their tribute.
It wasn't long before the statue's old plaza was surrounded by nets woven of pirates' beards, and strands of coins marked around the rim with praises to octopus gods, and bits and pieces of filigree armor snatched from soldiers fallen overboard. The creatures of the sea, not to mention the dragons, began frequenting the statue's plaza, and carrying out their own ceremonies there.
While the statue knew that the people it had once known would never return, and that the old city was dead in truth, it found some comfort in seeing a new one arise where the old had been.
Gone for Soldiers: Claire and Jessica at a certain memorial service post show. In which two backstories the series left out are addressed. Excellent Claire and Jessica voices.
Above, but undermined: neat missing scene between Matt and Jessica.
The sun that's setting in the east: what Rachel did next.
Tatiana Maslany about Orphan Black interview: in which she looks back on the show, sees P.T. Westmoreland as the perfect analogue for a current head of state (hint: mediocre man in his early 70s with his power based on lies, obsessed with himself, no regard for anything not him) and thus a good final villain, and reveals which Clone was the most fun for her to play.
I'm just not meant to shave, y'all. Most of my leg scars (in spite of several knee surgeries and a few IV port leftovers from hospitals), are from cutting myself up trying to get hair off that belongs there in the first place.
In other health news, I found the world's tiniest malpractice problem! So, here was the success of the above-mentioned fifty minutes of swimming without aggravating my Problem Incision, the rightmost one, which ( of course includes some details, but not gory ones after all )
"Tatiana Maslany Says Goodbye to 'Orphan Black'". [series finale spoilers]
Sarah Rees Brennan wrote "Our Winged Brains: The Appeal of Winged Creatures in Genre Fiction" for Tor.com.
seananmcguire wrote a fantastic Twitter thread about the awesomeness of In Other Lands.
"'Atomic Blonde' Doesn’t Pretend Women Fight Like Men, And The Result Is Awesome".
Via recessional, a Tumblr post about Atomic Blonde...which is really hard to describe without spoilers. It has to do with a plot point that many people have warned others about in advance of their seeing the film (a warning for which a lot of people have been grateful, whether or not it dissuaded them from seeing the film themselves), and offers a take on why the "this horrible thing happens [so the movie failed us/is bad/perpetuates the same bad things that always happen]!" warning is misleading and the event is in fact genre appropriate.
"Doorways to Fantasy: Rovina Cai Illustrates Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children". [Tor.com]
"You're screwing this up: An open letter to Hollywood from your mortal enemy (the female comic fan)".
"N. K. Jemisin’s New Contemporary Fantasy Trilogy Will “Mess with the Lovecraft Legacy”". [Tor.com]
"Library of America Recognizes Ursula K. Le Guin (and Science Fiction)". [Book Riot]
"Robin McKinley: A Pioneer in YA Fiction". [Book Riot]
"The masseuse who pulled my arm out". [BBC] "Life with a disability can sometimes give rise to unspoken questions and sensitivities, but amid the awkwardness there can be humour. The following is an edited version of a sketch by Angela Clarke who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, delivered for the BBC at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival."
"Confessions of a Costume Curator: As a fashion historian, my job is to learn from other people’s clothes—a task that is challenging, messy, and often spooky".
I think I may've linked this before--it's from last year--but I came across it again and still really like it: "24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear".
"Swan, Late: The unexpected joys of adult beginner ballet". [Note: the writer frequently uses the term "oriental dance" when talking about bellydance; I'm not sure if that's a standard term in those circles? It pings me uncomfortably, so I figured I'd note it.]
"‘Kids are gross’: on feminists and agency". "What I’ve come to suspect is that many feminists’ failure to recognise the autonomy of children is, at least in part, symptomatic of the way children have for many feminists become symbols of oppression. But when we are unable to separate the systematic discrimination that makes mothering a ridiculously difficult and often oppressive role from the fact that children are sentient, autonomous human beings who deserve dignity and respect, we are in danger of allowing glaring hypocrisies to creep into the way we construct and use feminist principles and ideas."
"INFOGRAPHIC: A world of languages - and how many speak them".
"N.K. Jemisin’s #AntiFascistSFF and Gail Simone’s #ComicsHateNazis Are the Inspiration You Need on This Monstrous Day". [The Mary Sue] (From earlier this month.)
"Eisner Nominee Renae De Liz Shares Short Guide for Artists on How to De-Objectify Female Characters". 
"A Sweet Valley High Movie is Coming (from the Writer of Legally Blonde!)" [Book Riot]
"How to Keep a Roomba Vacuum Cleaner From Collecting Data About Your Home".
"A New Canon: In Pop Music, Women Belong At The Center Of The Story" and "The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women". [NPR] (Tori's Little Earthquakes is #27.)
I have no problem with the Confederate monuments at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park. They mark the locations where people stood or died when stuff happened; they are largely markers saying this unit was here, sometimes with names, sometimes not. They assist with understanding what happened in the battle. I don't recall offhand that there was anything glorifying the South there, in the way that there is elsewhere; but it's been a few years since I walked the entire battlefield, tracking troop movements.
Unfortunately, Leonie would not be able to be there in 1745 -- and her next appearance is in 'Devil's Cub', which I think dates to something like 1775 or 1780. By that time Jamie and Claire are in the Colonies, and I don't think they visit Paris together again for a while, though Jamie is there before that with his print shop. So the dates don't line up for a confrontation between Dominic, Leonie and Justin's son, and Bree, Claire and Jamie's tall, outspoken, red-haired daughter who wears breeches (Leonie would like that, though.)