When I took modern French one summer---all at once, the equivalent of a college year in ten weeks---there were three instructors. The lead instructor spoke Parisian French from her childhood and young adulthood (to be clear, she was lead because of seniority, not regionalism); the middle instructor spoke what she called West African French; the junior instructor spoke with an audible NorAm-anglophone accent but was, as a convert of sorts, the most correct about grammar. They expanded upon our textbook's attempt to acquaint us with Frenches beyond the Parisian inflection of our practice tapes; one day they played Manau's "Mais qui est la belette?" for us. It's a fusion take on a folksong---possibly two? I've forgotten---and has been stuck in my head for much of the week.
The Furthest Station
There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.
Enter PC Peter Grant, junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.
Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog, their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.
Amazon says June 30 but Goodreads says maybe June 30 or maybe September 21. *hands* Either way, I've pre-ordered.
Though the spouse and I agreed a couple years ago no presents at holidays or b-days for each other until we get the debt load below five figures (if that ever happens), he did agree to my breaking it just this once: I got a hummingbird feeder, which hangs outside the kitchen window. Pix to come.
Anyway, as I do every year, I ask anyone who has a free couple minutes to link something beautiful, or funny, or tell me about a wonderful moment in your life, or if you happen to have read one of my books and liked it, a line about that. I come back to this page all through the year whenever my spirits are low. (And let me tell you, last year's got such a workout I was able to predict each treasure before it scrolled up. Much as I loved them, I need a fresh batch!)
* My husband made short bread from scratch, and it was so delicious. Store bought shortbread is going to taste like cereal from now on.
* I cleaned out the guestroom closet and a friend took the debris away for her school's garage sale. Now you can walk into the closet and see all the stuff like sheets, coats, blankets, dining room table leaves, Xmas boxes, etc that needs to be in there. (One of the reasons we bought this old, comfortable, shitshow of a house is that it has closets in almost every room and they're huge. The downside of that is stuff gets put in them and you forget it's there and just put stuff in on top of it.)
* I also cleaned out and did some rearrangement of my office, mainly getting rid of the desk which wasn't being used since I don't have a desktop computer anymore. A lot of old publishing letters and paperwork went to my archive at Cushing Library, freeing up filing cabinet drawers for things to go into and I gave away some more stuff to the school garage sale. We're going to put a chair in there so people can actually go in, sit down, and read. (The process started with the realization that we didn't actually have to keep the door closed to keep the cats out since Jack and Tasha don't eat paper, plastic, and string like Harry did.)
* I love the new mattress. I'm actually having longer more detailed dreams, or at least remembering longer more detailed dreams, because I'm not constantly waking up trying to find a position that's not painful.
* I lucked into a half-price frame sale and got some prints we bought at Comicpalooza framed and hung up in the hallway.
* I've been gradually trying to get the choking vines out of the front flower bed, and it's sort of almost starting to look better.
* Doctor Who has been awesome. God, I love Bill as much as Donna. I want Donna to get her memory back and she and Bill have to find the Tardis and go off to rescue the Doctor.
Stuff I need to do today:
* Finish off the Raksura Patreon story (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=
* Pull more vines out of flower bed.
Stuff I need to do this week:
* Re-paint the trim in the stairwell.
* Make some serious progress on Murderbot 4.
* more vines
Things I have coming up:
* I'm doing a signing with Rachel Caine at Murder by the Book in Houston, TX, on Saturday July 15, at 4:30
If you can't come in person, you can order signed copies of The Harbors of the Sun and The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red and Rachel's Ash and Quill, the latest in her Great Library series, and Stillhouse Lake. Plus whichever of our other books the store can order.
1. Iced coffee. Turkey bacon. Challah french toast.
2. Cuddling with my kid yesterday and marathoning a bunch of Sword Art Online, which I enjoy as much as he does.
3. My kid is seven and a half today! On his suggestion, we're going to the grocery store later today to get cupcakes to share with friends later this afternoon.
4. Watching wee birds at my bird feeder, supping on seeds.
5. Friends. Including all of you.
In the evening I met rushthatspeaks for a sold-out showing of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) at the Brattle Theatre: I thought it was great. It's more overtly supernatural than the series overall—it's focused on the most overtly supernatural strand—but it's also decisively grounded by Sheryl Lee's performance, with Laura Palmer's very realistic anger, damage, and agency (it was not clear in the show that her final status was a choice rather than an inevitable consequence or a weird side effect of the manner of her death; the film offers her no good options, but she absolutely opts for the best of them, which makes it strangely difficult for me to classify the film as horror, even though content-wise I don't know what else it should be) interlocking across registers with the characters who live in the soapier layers of the plot. I was glad to see Harry Dean Stanton turn up in the supporting cast, because he feels existentially like someone who should inhabit a David Lynch universe. Now we just need to finish watching the remaining half of Season Two and figure out what to do about the third-season revival.
A later interlude of placidly watching candymaking videos by Public Displays of Confection with spatch was interrupted by Autolycus violently throwing up all over a box of hardcover Le Guin and Tanith Lee, but fortunately the box had a lid on it, the books have been transplanted to a high shelf, and a very shaken small cat was comforted after we emergency-mopped the floor. (There was much anxious purring. We reassured him that we know he does not throw up maliciously. He never looks like he enjoys it.)
Unless it gets a National Theatre-style broadcast, I don't have a hope of seeing the Crucible's Julius Caesar on account of it being in Sheffield and me being on the other side of an ocean, but it's being done with a diverse, gender-equal cast and I wish I could see it, because Zoë Waites has a hell of a lean and hungry look:
We are talking about seeing Jacques Tati's Playtime (1967) tomorrow. I haven't seen the movie since 2010, when it was also on film at the Brattle and I loved it. I should get to bed.
2. My house is mostly clean, and the new vacuum cleaner works well.
3. The dog's medication is working, which means she no longer pees in her sleep. (Yes, really. Sigh.)
4. I had a lovely lunch (with gelato!) and a long walk in the redwoods with laurashapiro and shrift.
5. There are still 2 more days of the weekend, and I have no obligations whatsoever. This is kind of awesome.
I prefer things I can get as trade collections because there's pretty much zero chance I can afford to chase down individual comics. XD
(This has been brought to you by wasting time by reading Cyclops' TV Tropes page.)
Italics taken from the blurbs. Gothics have the best blurbs.
Castle Barebane, by Joan Aiken. A series of lurid murders... a roofless ruin with crumbling battlements... nephew and niece callously abandoned in a slum... a man of mysterious origins and enigmatic habits... dark emanations from London's underworld... Mungo, an old sailor...
The Five-Minute Marriage, by Joan Aiken. An imposter has claimed her inheritance... a counterfeit marriage to the principle heir, her cousin... family rivalries festering for generations... a shocking episode of Cartaret family history will be repeated.
The Weeping Ash, by Joan Aiken. Sixteen-year-old Fanny Paget, newly married to the odious Captain Paget... in northern India, Scylla and Calormen Paget, twin cousins of the hateful Captain, have begun a seemingly impossible flight for their lives, pursued by a vengeful maharaja... elephant, camel, horse, raft... The writer has used her own two-hundred-year-old house in Sussex, England for the setting.
Winterwood, by Dorothy Eden. The moldering elegance of a decaying Venetian palazzo... pursued by memories of the scandalous trial that rocked London society... their daughter, Flora, crippled by a tragic accident... Charlotte's evil scheming... a series of letters in the deceased Lady Tameson's hand
The Place of Sapphires, by Florence Engel Randall. A demon-haunted house... two beautiful young sisters... the pain of a recent tragedy... a sinister and hateful force from the past... by the author of Hedgerow.
Shadow of the Past, by Daoma Winston. An unseen presence... fled to Devil's Dunes... strange "accidents..." it seemed insane... the threads of the mysterious, menacing net cast over her life... What invisible hand threatened destruction?
Twelve-year-old Lucy returns to the small English village of Hagworthy, which she hasn’t visited since she was seven. There she stays with her aunt, reconnects with some childhood friends and finds that both she and they have changed, and looks on in growing alarm as the well-meaning but ignorant new vicar resurrects the ancient tradition of the Horn Dance, which is connected to the Wild Hunt.
The premise plus the opening sentences probably tell you everything you need to know about the book:
The train had stopped in a cutting, so steep that Lucy, staring through the window, could see the grassy slopes beyond captured in intense detail only a yard or two away: flowers, insects, patches of vivid red earth. She became intimate with this miniature landscape, alone with it in a sudden silence, and then the train jolted, oozed steam from somewhere beneath, and moved on between shoulders of Somerset hillside.
This is one of my favorite genres which sadly does not seem to exist any more, the subset of British children’s fantasy, usually set in small towns or villages, which focuses on atmosphere, beautiful prose, and capturing delicate moments in time. Character is secondary, plot is tertiary, and there may be very little action (though some have a lot); the magical aspects are often connected to folklore or ancient traditions, and may be subtle or questionable until the end.
You can see all those elements in those two sentences I quoted; the entire subgenre consists of inviting the reader to become intimate with minature landscapes.
This is obviously subjective and debatable, but I think of Alan Garner, Susan Cooper (especially Greenwitch), and Robert Westall as writers with books in this subgenre, but not Diana Wynne Jones. The settings are the sort parodied in Cold Comfort Farm. Hagworthy is full of darkly muttering villagers who kept making me think, “Beware, Robert Poste’s child!”
In The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, Lucy’s parents are divorced, and her mother is now living in another country with a baby brother Lucy has never met. This is mentioned maybe two or three times, very briefly, which is interesting because so many books would make a much bigger deal of it. Lucy returns to Hagworthy for a vacation with her aunt, a botanist.
Of her childhood friends, the two girls have become horse-mad and have nothing in common with Lucy. The boy, Kester, is now a moody misfit teenager, and Lucy, who is also a bit of a moody misfit, becomes friends with him all over again. They wander around the countryside, fossil-hunting and stag-watching, periodically getting in fights over Kester’s refusal to discuss the thing hanging over the story, which is the new vicar’s revival of the Horn Dance to fundraise at a fete. This is very obviously going to awaken the Wild Hunt, and Kester has clearly been mystically targeted as its victim. Though there is a ton of dark muttering about what a bad idea this is, no one does anything about this until nearly the end, when Lucy finally makes first a misfired attempt to stop the Horn Dance, then a successful one to save Kester.
The atmosphere and prose is lovely, and if you like that sort of thing, you will like this book. Even for a book that isn’t really about the plot, the plot had problems. One was the total failure of any adult to even try to do anything sensible ever, for absolutely no reason, until Lucy finally manages to ask the right person the right question. This could have been explained as some magical thing preventing them from acting, but it wasn’t.
The other problem I had was that nothing unpredictable ever happens. Everyone is exactly what they seem: the blacksmith has mystical knowledge, the vicar is an innocent in over his head, the horse-mad girls have nothing in their heads but horses, and so forth. I kept expecting something to be slightly less obvious—for the vicar to know exactly what he’s doing and have a nefarious purpose, for the horse-mad girls to not be as dumb as they seem or to have their horsey skills play a role in saving Kester, for Lucy’s aunt to know more about magic than the blacksmith, etc—but no.
I looked up Penelope Lively. It looks like her famous book is Ghost of Thomas Kempe, which I think I also own.
There’s an album of music based on the book which you can listen to online. It’s by the Heartwood Institute, and is instrumental and atmospheric.
The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy
Also, two benadryl and I slept through the night! Progress!
In lieu of having anything interesting to say, here are a couple of links from tumblr that made me laugh out loud:
- Darth Vader is not your 'daddy'
- the scandalous backstory of the new Chargers logo
- this amazing new superhero duo
Mother Jones: The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal
And the Guardian have a helpful guide to the multiple different investigations going on:
The investigations swirling around Donald Trump – a short guide
NYT: At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls — from the 16th, which is practically decades ago in our new accelerated reality, but still fun:
Some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers fear leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn.
It’s been widely rumoured/speculated that the White House "significant person of interest" is Jared Kushner:
Vox: It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jared Kushner is part of Trump’s Russia problem
(Via robynbender, this: https://twitter.com/bornmiserable/
Raw Story: White House looking at ethics rule to weaken special investigation: sources
The two people this could potentially block investigation into are Kushner and Manafort.
This also suggests it’s Kushner:
NBC News: Jared Kushner Under Scrutiny in Russia Probe, Officials Say
And late on Friday, we enter holy shit territory once more:
WaPo: Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin
( Cut for length )
What I wanted was to take a week off. What I'm getting instead are two half-weeks off, Mon-Wed of this coming week and of the following week. BookExpo and BookCon are intervening, as is a big work project with deadlines that can't be moved. Such is life. It's still a vacation.
Things on my to-do list/wishlist with deadlines:
* Go to arm doctor May 30
* Prepare BookCon handout by June 1
* Read ILL book due back June 1
* Return book by June 1
* See visiting friend before he leaves on June 2
* Do BookCon panel and booth duty on June 3 (if you'll be there, come say hi!)
* Meet first work deadline by June 5 (ideally much earlier)
* Meet second work deadline by June 7 (see above)
* Write guest blog post by June 7
* Read ILL books due back June 8
* Return books by June 8
Things without deadlines (fun):
* Hang out with X, who also has this coming week off
* Watch the StevenBombs
* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender (I'm five episodes in; it makes great knitting TV)
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens on a day with nice weather
* Ditto Prospect Park
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read a book for fun? I hear people do this? ???
Things without deadlines (productive):
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Vacuum (or ask J to if my arms are sad)
* Change sheets (or ask J to if my arms are sad)
* Move clothes from valet to closet
* Catch up on laundry
* Promote Story Hospital
* Clean out inbox
* Watch Baby Signing Time and practice signing on my own and with the family
How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. (That could be a very long time.) Kill means I should donate it without attempting to read it. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them.
Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments. For this particular poll, I have never read anything by any of the authors (or if I did, I don't remember it) and except for Hoover and Lively, have never even heard of the authors other than that at some point I apparently thought their book sounded interesting enough to acquire.
The Spring on the Mountain, by Judy Allen. Three kids have magical, possibly Arthurian adventures on a week in the country.
The Lost Star, by H. M. Hoover. A girl who lives on another planet hears an underground cry for help (and finds chubby gray cat centaurs if the cover is accurate)
The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, by Penelope Lively. Lucy visits her aunt in Hagworthy and is embroiled in the ancient Horn Dance and Wild Hunt.
Carabas, by Sophie Masson. Looks like a medieval setting. A shapeshifting girl gets accused of being a witch and runs off with the miller's son.
Of Two Minds, by Carol Mates and Perry Nodelman. Princess Lenora can makes what she imagines real; Prince Coren can read minds, but everyone can read his mind. (Ouch!)
Here's a thought:
If you disapprove of politicians beating up journalists (or winking at other politicians' beating up journalists) and have some spare cash, one possible action would be to contribute to the Guardian -- whose journalist, Ben Jacobs, got beaten up.
There are various options for becoming a member and paying a regular subscription, but you can also make a one-off contribution.
Although they're a British newspaper, their coverage of US issues is very very strong.
They would like to note (in an e-mail sent out to members) that they recently ran pieces including GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies and Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana's 'white man's country' – video:
In that interview, the Guardian's west coast bureau chief, Paul Lewis, challenged Gianforte over his support of Trump's executive order that threatens more than two dozen national monuments in America, including the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.
1. gotten a letter from my employer verifying my employment and salary
2. lined up the recommendation letters from people who are not related to me
3. filled out as much of the purchasing application as I can at this moment (since it's been EIGHT YEARS, I had to google to see if any of my old bosses from Big Evol MegaCorp were still there and at least one is - he can direct them to HR to verify my employment if necessary)
4. freaked out a little about my previous landlord, as he is dead and therefore cannot be contacted! But the lawyer was like, there's nothing you can do about that, just put that he is deceased. I mean, I haven't lived there in 15 years so I don't know what the point is anyway, but it's required. *hands*
5. left a voicemail with my current management company asking for a letter verifying my tenancy - I'm afraid this is going to be like pulling teeth and will never happen and will spike all my plans, but dammit, they are professionals and should at least respond on Tuesday (I didn't expect to hear anything back today since it's the Friday before a 3 day weekend).
6. e-signed several documents which all have to be updated since there were typos in the address of the place I'm buying. (The typo was perpetrated by the seller's lawyer, which doesn't fill me with confidence, I must say.)
I'm sorry this is all househunt17! all the time! at the moment. It's basically all I am thinking about, except when I am thinking about how to get Lucy and Wyatt to have sex, and aside from like 3 of you, I doubt anyone is much more interested in that than this, though that might be a little more fun.
At least it is a 3 day weekend and summer Fridays start today! I'm meeting L for celebratory drinks later, and my sister is having a BBQ on Sunday (well, it might be an indoor party if the weather doesn't cooperate, but it'll be fun either way), and my oldest and youngest nieces will be celebrating their birthdays, so it's all good.
Drone shots of cherry blossom petals fallen into water. (via)
How a professional climate change denier turned into a climate change advocate, with a specialty of convincing other deniers. (via)
Subject quote from "An Hour of My Youth," Aleardo Aleardi, tr. William Dean Howells.
He appears to have "declined" a further interview requested by local law enforcement (which, much like "declining" a subpoena, is one of those things I didn't know you could do).
But he's apologized (or "apologized") for having "made a mistake".
(A "mistake" that allegedly involved grabbing someone by the neck with both hands, body-slamming them to the floor, then repeatedly punching them.)
Paul Ryan (displaying all the guts and principle we have come to expect from him) took the bold stand of saying Gianforte should apologize. Other Republicans seem to feel that Ben Jacobs should apologize for having wickedly provoked Gianforte to attack him by being a liberal journalist in public.
1. I am very glad to read that the revised travel ban continues to be ruled unconstitutional.
2. This is a very sweetly drawn comic about bisexuality.
3. Courtesy of gaudior: an appreciation of the Mahler's 6th mallet. I feel someone should point Hurra Torpedo at this symphony.
In conclusion: borscht.
We overnighted the documents to the seller's attorney, so hopefully sometime next week the listing will show as "in contract" rather than "active" (if it continues to appear at all online).
Now I am going to eat my face off, since I haven't eaten since 10 am, and then maybe try to sleep. I remembered that I had an icepack in the freezer last night, so during my now-usual 3 am - 5 am sojourn, I strapped that onto my calf where two of the bug bites are, and it helped immensely with the itching. Eventually they'll go away and I'll be able to sleep again. Just have to stand the itching until then. Sigh.
The only ring-bearer who manages to get off with relatively little damage is Bilbo, but he never had much ambition, nor did he set out to destroy the ring and so come closer to its center of power.
Another important point: Elrond once said that the company was meant to fall in together, and Gandalf said in that initial conversation that Bilbo was meant to find the ring. But not by its maker. This is about as near as I can find to JRRT revealing his own moral (and religious) compass—these small hints are scattered all throughout the story.
On to the last chapters of this book—in both senses: the last of book four, and the last of The Two Towers.
“D’you mean you’ve been through this hole?” said Sam. “Phew! But perhaps you don’t mind bad smells.”
Gollum’s eyes glinted. “He doesn’t know what we minds, does he, precious? No, he doesn’t. But Smeagol can bear things. Yes. He’s been through, O yes, right through. It’s the only way.”
“And what makes the smell, I wonder,” said Sam. “It’s like—well, I wouldn’t like to say. Some beastly hole of the orcs, I’ll warrant, with a hundred years of their filth in it.”
Gollum has made his decision, and it bodes no good for Sam or Frodo—he’s talking to the precious again.
Soon Gollum slips away, leaving them to Shelob, who is hunting them. They can feel it, then they hear it. Who hasn’t been skin-crawled by that bubbling hiss?
Sam remembers Galadriel’s phial, which Frodo brandishes, and light sparkles with white fire, vanquishing the thick darkness—and a voice speaks through Frodo, “Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!”
And She that walked in the darkness had heard the elves cry that cry far back in the deeps of time, and she had not heeded it, and it did not daunt her now.
Shelob comes on, Frodo aware of her malice. But when he cries “Galadriel,” a hint of doubt halts her for a moment. Then Frodo, who has never been a warrior, pulls Sting and advances on Shelob’s millions of eyes, which shutter into darkness as she retreats.
The hobbits run into cobwebs, cut free, and take off—and then the narrative voice fills us in on Shelob’s history. This is one of those places that make the world so very much larger than it seems, and older.
Little she knew of or cared for towers, or rings, or anything devised by mind or hand, who only desired death for all others, mind and body, and for herself a glut of life, alone, swollen till the mountains could no longer hold her up and the darkness could not contain her.
Sauron knows she’s there, and likes that she guards that way into his citadel, “hungry, but unabated in malice,” and calls her his cat.
Shelob stalks Frodo with her “soft squelching body” and Sam tries to warn him, but gets jumped by Gollum. But Gollum, gloating ahead of winning, spoils his attack from behind and Sam beats him off, breaking his staff.
But Frodo is taken.
Then it’s Sam’s turn for heroism beyond measure: he leaps between her legs and stabs Shelob from below with Sting. And when she tries to crush him with her huge body, Sam holds Sting upright so she drives herself onto the blade.
When she retreats for a last spring, it’s Sam’s turn to wield the phial and to cry out in Elvish, words he did not know. Is it Galadriel, guiding them on the mental plane, or is it that briefly referenced power beyond the world that helped Frodo and Sam in this dire moment?
Shelob scuttles off to her lair, and whether she lay long in her lair, nursing ner maline and her misery, and in slow years of darkness healed herself from within, rebuilding her clustered eyes, until with hunger like death she spun once more her dreadful snares in the glends of the Mountains of Shadow, this tale does not tell.
I read that so many times as a young reader, but it never struck me until recently the glimmer of grim humor in this long recitation . . . with a “well we don’t really know” at the end of it.
So Sam finds Frodo cold and apparently dead. He is left with two horrible choices, and after agonizing, decides he has to carry the quest through to its end. So he takes the ring, and goes on.
But he hears orcs, who find and carry off Frodo. Sam changes his mind—his place is with Frodo, though he knows this is the bitter end. He chases the orcs, who have a rallying cry, “Ya hoi! Ya harri hoi!” It’s rhythmic, making me wonder if the orcs, among themselves have song.
And here we get a long conversation between Gorbag and Shagrat, in which Sam—and the reader—learn a lot. The orcs have their own slang, and their own attitude toward their commanders, which reminds me of the skepticism of foot soldiers in more frank memoirs.
”Yes,” said Gorbag. “But don’t count on it. I’m not easy in my mind. As I said, the Big Bosses, ay,” his voice sank almost to a whisper, “ay, even the Biggest, can make mistakes. Something nearly slipped, you say. I say, something has slipped.
So orcs can think for themselves. Then comes their view of their enemies as he goes on: “Always the poor Uruks to put slips right, and small thanks. But don’t forget: the enemies don’t love us any more than they love Him, and if they get topsides on Him, we’re done too.”
Sam learns something about Shelob—and that Gollum is known, and called her Sneak—then the orcs decides that Sam is a huge warrior who abandoned the “little fellow” in a regular elvish trick.
That stopped me. Have the orcs been told that? How do they know it? They don’t abandon their own? But he said regular elvish trick, and I so want to know what lies beneath that accusation.
Sam reels when he discovers that Frodo is only poisoned, but alive—but the orcs have him. And he is shut outside the gate.
The Guardian: Republican candidate charged with assault after 'body-slamming' Guardian reporter
The day before the Montana special election (which is today).
And it was caught on audiotape and witnessed by a Fox News team also present who wrote this about (avid Trump supporter) Gianforte's alleged attack on Ben Jacobs:
Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.
At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, "I'm sick and tired of this!"
Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. Jacobs then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.
To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.
Fox News: Key Montana newspapers pull Gianforte endorsement after incident
Here's colorblue's post on the Montana election:
Action: Montana Special Election
If you are a US citizen, you can still donate to the last-minute get-out-the-vote effort for Gianforte's opponent, Rob Quist, and he currently has 5X matching:
ActBlue page for Rob Quist (thanks to loligo)
A tiny little drabble thing for the glorious 25th of may, which I celebrate as discworld day ;)
Drabble: All Things Strive. (100 words) by Lanna Michaels
Fandom: Discworld - Terry Pratchett, Thud! - Terry Pratchett
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Tak (Discworld)
Additional Tags: Drabble, Death of the Author
"W— They think the world was written, sir." -- Carrot Ironfoundersson, Thud! Or, these are the things that Tak wrote.
My mother showed me a one-panel comic with one of those hot dog carts on a sidewalk and two passers-by looking on. The cart's umbrella advertises it as "Vlad's Treats"; the menu is "Borscht—Caviar—Unchecked Power." One of the passers-by is saying to the other, "It's an acquired taste." It is very obviously a Putin reference, but it still rang off-key for me. I don't want to move back into an era where we have ideological purity food wars. It was embarrassing enough when French fries were briefly and xenophobically renamed in 2003. No one in my family has been Russian for more than a century (and Russia might have disputed whether they counted in the first place, being Jews), but my grandmother made borscht. I don't make it with anything like the frequency I make chicken soup with kneydlekh, but that's partly because kneydlekh will not make your kitchen look like you axe-murdered somebody in it. I order it every chance I get. For my mother's seventieth birthday, my father took her to a Russian restaurant especially for the caviar. It can't be much of an acquired taste if as a toddler I had to be stopped from happily eating the entire can my grandparents had been sent as a present.
And let's face it, if I get this twitchy (and vaguely sad that at four-thirty in the morning there's nowhere I can get borscht in Boston), I assume the dogwhistles are much louder for people for whom Russia is closer than their great-grandparents. Can we not do McCarthyism 2.0? Especially since we sort of have been for some years now and it's, see above, not so much working out?
(Me to spatch: "This is ridiculous. If I can read cuneiform, I should be able to read Chinese. I feel incredibly stupid." Rob to me: "You can't call yourself stupid if you're teaching yourself Chinese!")