Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Quote of the Day

“Wilson writes about how Black women — herself included — feel the pressure to make their bodies, their appearance, their actions conform to what whiteness demands in order to protect themselves, and how this daily negotiation of their existence extends to “performing” health. The bitter irony being that the Black women will still have bodies perceived through society’s lens as unhealthy and less acceptable. To add further insult, not feeling free to be themselves without repercussions, instead endeavoring to be “strong” and “resilient” at all costs, can cost them their physical and mental health. It also mirrors the long, sordid history of Black women not having autonomy over their own bodies.”

From a review (link) of “It’s Always Been Ours: Rewriting the Story of Black Women’s Bodies” by Jessica Wilson.

via Living ~400lbs

Friday, 17 February 2023

A few things

Voting matters. Even if you’ve been in prison, you should be able to get the right to vote restored.

If you, like me, are waiting on Philips to send you a non-recalled CPAP, check your spam/junk folder. Despite my sleep doctor’s office having sent them my prescription, Philips insists it needs … my prescription. OR, according to recent email, I could get a new CPAP set to “Auto”. I actually prefer the “Auto” setting if I can get it. “Auto” means it auto-senses how much pressure I need and adjusts pressure as needed – very handy if there’s new pollen in the air or I haven’t dusted recently.

(As it happens, I technically have a new CPAP already. My recalled CPAP was old enough that I qualified for a new one under my insurance anyway, so my doctor prescribed it via a medical supply house and I’m using it. However the Philips CPAP under recall is one I bought out of pocket, it has a manufacturer’s defect, and I see no reason not to get a replacement. Especially since when CPAPs die on me it tends to be unexpected.)

I’ve recently discovered author V.M. Burns and her Mystery Bookshop Mysteries. Samantha opens her bookshop in the first book, The Plot is Murder. We also meet her grandmother, Nana Jo, and some of Jo’s friends. The stories feature a mix of characters of different ages and sizes working to find out – for example – who really killed the dead jerk in the bookshop’s courtyard.

via Living ~400lbs

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Books I’ve been reading

Lost in the Moment and Found by award-winning author Seanan McGuire, the latest entry in her Wayward Children series. This book focuses on Antsy, who we first saw in Where The Drowned Girls Go. It is a challenging book that includes parental death and a manipulative stepparent, but also victorious as Antsy runs and learns to saves herself.

A Man Lay Dead, Enter a Murderer, The Nursing Home Murder, Death in Ecstasy are all Inspector Alleyn mysteries by New Zealand writer Ngaio Marsh. As an adult Ngaio Marsh divided her time between Britain and New Zealand and was considered one the “big four” British Golden Age mystery writers, along with Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Margery Allingham. These first four books read as a mix of police procedural from a newspaper reporter’s viewpoint. I’m currently reading Vintage Murder, which opens with Alleyn on a train on the North Island of New Zealand.

The Case of the Missing Marquess and The Case of the Left-Handed Lady. These are young adult mysteries by Nancy Springer that inspired the Enola Holmes movies on Netflix. The books are not the movies and that is fine. The scale is sometimes smaller (no bombs or martial arts studios) but Enola is solving cases on her own and finding her feet. Springer has done research and it shows.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. This book is both a contemporary whodunit and a period whodunit. We have an introductory chapter from Susan Ryeland, a book editor at a small publishing house, introducing their new best-seller-to-be from Allan Conway. We get the first 6 chapters of Allan’s manuscript, set in 1955 in a small English village. And then we get Susan’s reaction to the not having the final chapter of Allan’s book and to the news that Allan died over the weekend in what is presumed to be an accidental death. Thus begins the contemporary mystery as Susan tries to find the rest of the manuscript and begins to wonder if the accident was possibly murder. We do get the last chapter of Allan’s book. BritBox and PBS created a six-episode adaptation which is quite good (but structured differently.)

The Devil’s Chew Toy by Rob Osler is a cozy mystery. Seattle teacher Hayden McCall wakes up in a new friend’s bed. Where is the friend? Why’d he leave his dog? Why are the police knocking on the door? Naturally, Hayden takes in the dog, starts searching, and eventually finds the answers to these (and other) questions. Fun, humor and diverse characters.

Dashing Through the Snowbirds was this year’s Donna Andrews Christmas mystery, as usual featuring Meg Langslow and her family, pets, and visitors – this year included Canadians on a business trip. This is the 32nd book in the series, and Donna has allowed characters to change and grow over time (sort of). Meg was introduced in the first book as single blacksmith who did the craft show circuit around Virginia. Since then she’s gotten married and bought a house. The teenager she used to ask to help with computer stuff leads a team at a local software company. Meg had twins that are now teenagers. That said, pets and grandparents continue to thrive. Absolutely jump in now if you want, but if you’d like to back up a bit, Murder With Peacocks is the first book.

(Full disclosure: I purchased Dashing Through the Snowbirds and Lost in the Moment and Found. The other books I accessed as ebooks via my county library system.)

via Living ~400lbs

Monday, 6 February 2023

Three Things

From an article on improving treatment of prisoners and staff in prisons to improve rehabilitation:

Unlike in the United States, almost all incarcerated people in Norway are ultimately released, Roer said, which got officers thinking more about how to rehabilitate those who will rejoin society.
“And we started to say, ‘What kind of neighbor do we want to have?’” Roer said. “And that’s the idea, we have to be safe when they’re inside and we have to create an environment [so] that the inmates can have some skills they can use outside.”

“Can Washington prisons change the culture of corrections?”

From a different corner, did you know that J.S. Bach also wrote choral music about coffee? (Well, and other secular topics.) But yes, he has a piece for 3 voices (father, daughter and a narrator) that is often called the “Coffee Contata”. Experienced listeners will know he heard performances in a coffee house when you hear the first line, “Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht” – “be quiet, chatter not”. The father is unhappy his daughter is so unladylike as to drink coffee. “The closing trio tells us that her mother and grandmother are coffee drinkers, and young women can no more give up coffee than cats can give up mice.” Read more about it here.

I also liked this piece on how Oregon and Washington are regulating crypto miners by charging higher rates and monitoring discarded water purity and temp. (Disposing hot water that had been used to cool servers in a stream or lake can affect the health of everything else in the stream or lake.)

via Living ~400lbs