I found this interesting as additional background and research reading for my current novel WIP, DRAGON PEARL, although I am not choosing to base my space opera setting very closely on historical Korea, let alone Joseon. For example, Joseon Korea tended to become more patriarchal as time went on due to the influence of Neo-Confucianism, and I wanted to depict a society more egalitarian in its attitudes toward gender. Earlier periods of Korea were kinder to women, but not only is there less material on earlier periods to begin with, it is damn near impossible to find such material in English, and unfortunately I am not fluent in either Korean or Classical Chinese.
Also, I was fascinated by Seo Tae-Won's "The Military Life," which mostly amazes me in that I'm not sure how the Joseon military system was even able to function! For example, many commoner households owed military service to the government, but they were not paid or equipped or given uniforms, which was hard on their families, especially if they were needed at home for the farming...yikes.
Meanwhile, the most entertaining of the essays (if you want to judge them that way) are Jung Jin Young's "Did Fake Genealogies Exist?", which drily notes that it can't be possible that EVERY SINGLE KOREAN comes from a yangban lineage, and discusses some more complicating factors in Korean family lines, and the very last one, "The Outhouses of the Royal Palaces" by Hong Soon Min.
Here is the table of contents for the curious:
Part One: Economy
1. Farming in the Joseon Period
2. A Typical Day and Year in the Life of the Peasantry
3. The Tax Burden of the Peasantry
4. Currency and the Value of Money
5. The Merchants of Seoul
6. The Joys and Sorrows of the Itinerant Merchants
7. Foreign Trade and Interpreter Officials
8. Salt: White Gold
9. Seeking Work at Mines
10. When Did Joseon's Population Reach Ten Million?
Part Two: Society
11. Rural Society and Zhu Xi's Community Compact
12. Why Did Peasants Create the Dure?
13. Did Fake Genealogies Exist?
14. The Baekjeong Class
15. The Rebellion of Im Ggeokjeong
16. Did People Divorce in the Joseon Period?
17. The Educational System
18. Military Life
19. The Penal System
20. Eating Culture
21. Liquor and Taverns
22. Tea and Tobacco
23. The Outhouses of the Royal Palaces
Thank you to the generous benefactor who donated this book.
So, we just spent basically the entire day at the historic, picturesque train station of historic, picturesque Harpers Ferry because our historic, picturesque inn had an 11:00 a.m. checkout time and our train had a 5:16 p.m. departure and historic, picturesque train stations don’t have any place to check or stow your luggage.
We’d come prepared. We had things to read and our electronics and sufficient battery power to overcome any historically picturesque lack of outlets, and as long as one of us stayed put to watch our things it wasn’t hard to go up the hill into town in search of takeout lunch and drinks.
I’m glad that we did have so much time there, because when we’d reconnoitered the station I had completely missed that the tiny station had two platforms, one on the far side of the tracks inside a much smaller, slightly less picturesque historical shelter, with no obvious way of reaching it without (crossing the tracks.
Now, this historic, picturesque station has a historic, picturesque lack of signage indicating things like which platform is for which direction, or how the other platform is reached. I knew that trains follow the keep right rule in the U.S. (or at least, I *thought* they did, but that knowledge had never been important to me before), but I didn’t know which compass direction was which, or if the trains passing through on this stretch would be strictly going east-west at the moment.
So I searched online to see if there was any mention of the platforms. Amtrak’s website informed me that the stairs to the other platform were under the tracks and not wheelchair accessible (their official advice, enshrined in their website, is to board at another station.) So I knew what to look for, and I found a smaller shelter at the end of the main building with stairs leading down into the tunnel where Slenderman lives, which came out the other side in the small platform. I looked around for signage; there was none.
By sheer chance we were there when the Capitol Limited to D.C. went through on the near tracks, which was a pretty good clue that they were the eastbound lane. I’d been on the Twitter horn with @Amtrak, who confirmed that my train would be on the opposite side, and that they do follow the right hand driving rule in these parts.
At the same time, Jack had the bright idea of opening Pokemon Go, which helpfully includes a compass. and let us find east and west. So we had triple confirmation.
Almost enough to quiet my anxiety, so I carefully noted that every train heading east was on the near track and every train heading west was on the far track, just in case they didn’t have some weird track switching thing going on or had harnessed the power of ghost trains that can go through each other,.
Remember, babies, we showed up in town a whole day early in order to make sure that everything went according to plan. My first train trip (Omaha to Chicago, Chicago to Memphis and then New Orleans) I did something similar, staying overnight in Chicago just to make sure I made my first connection on my first train trip.
When I’m anxious about something, I give myself plenty of time and I seek out information, from as many angles as possible. (This might be why I’m so relatively well-informed about politics these days.)
So we made the decision to mosey on over through the tunnel where Slenderman lives at about 4:30, which was well more time than we’d need but would ensure we could take it nice and slow with our bags up and down the steps and not feel like we were cutting it close.
Right around about 4, other people started showing up for the same train, including a gentleman with a bike who had apparently *also* scouted the location the day before. “Don’t worry, the train is on time as of now,” he told me.
I have phone alerts, so I’d known this, but we thanked him. He’d checked the day before and it had been delayed by more than an hour. We told him we were getting ready to go move over to the platform, and this is when he told us it was impossible to know which track it would be on.
“Amtrak doesn’t own the tracks, so they are at the mercy of the freight train companies.”
I tried to explain that this might be true, but the tracks are still directional so there was in effect only one track here, with two lanes, but he wasn’t interested. He’d talked to Amtrak and they’d told him that “The only way to know for sure is to look down the tunnel when you see the train coming, and see which side it’s on.”
I told him we’d also talked to Amtrak, but he wasn’t impressed.
So we took our luggage down the stairs and into the tunnel where Slenderman lives and we hauled them up the stairs and settled in for the 30-40 minute wait, while he stood with his bike on the other side looking smug and self-satisfied. Two other guys showed up while we waited, and the guy quizzed them about what side they thought the train would come on, and each time they assumed it would be the near side and he called across the track to tell us “This guy’s pretty sure it’s over here.”
“On what basis?” I asked the first time.
Didn’t really get an answer, but it seemed like all three guys thought this was hilarious. It kind of felt like the biggest reason they thought they were right was that we thought otherwise.
Being questioned usually doesn’t do much for my anxiety, but in this case it just hardened my resolve to know that this guy Had Been Told By Amtrak.
Babies, I have done enough customer service and customer service-adjacent work to know that the answer he got was the We Are Not Responsible answer. There are a lot of stations, a lot of stations with a lot of tracks, and a CSR on the phone cannot tell him in advance which track he’s got to be at because They Are Not Responsible for that.
Very possibly he expressed disbelief that they couldn’t tell him, at which point he would have been given the explanation that Amtrak doesn’t own the tracks or make the decisions. Very possibly he would have asked them what he’s supposed to do, and would have been told that he could watch the train as it approached. And very possibly, he filed away this hard-won knowledge as gospel writ, because he had prised it from the stubborn jaws of a lazy, no-nothing phone rep.
Of course the westbound train came on the far tracks, the northern side of the station, the side we were on. And of course the gentleman with the bike and the other two gentlemen (both apparently cis and white) who chuckled along with him at our stubborn foolishness made their own hurried treks through the tunnel where Slenderman lives to join us.
Sometimes, it’s nice to be right.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.
AV Club: Meme becomes reality as Netflix orders Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna’s con artist movie
Because we need it this morning.
Fuck terrorism, fuck Katie Hopkins and her vile cohorts, pre-emptively fuck Trump because presumably he's going to make some sort of statement about Manchester at some point and it's going to be awful (or at best the kind of vacuous blandness that means they've managed to make him stick to a script for a few moments), go awesome black women and making movies happen through the power of Twitter and delight.
May all the surviving kids at the concert be safe and reunited with their families soon and participating in the proud British tradition of recounting acts of terrorism in terms of the epic journeys that had to be taken because public transport was shut down (a la 7/7 -- Americans: "We weep for you!" British people: "I had to walk for FIVE HOURS").
ETA: Oh fuck they let him write at least part of it. Yes, of course Buttercup thinks the worst thing you can call someone is a "loser". Because winning is all that counts, and Buttercup is the winningest winner ever. Losing means you're wrong because winning is right.
Let me know before Friday night if you want any of these, because on Saturday they're going to Good Will.
For the Shakespeare, I am including publisher/edition for those who care; most of them are perfectly readable modern editions but I feel I should note that the "new hudson" editions were printed circa 1910 and while they have the same kinds of notes I tend to expect, they are visibly old. Merrills is 1910 as well, and Arden is good gracious, 1898.
Hardcover - $2
Skywalking: the life and films of George Lucas by Dale Pollock (1983, so no current or prequels)
Aliens from Analog (anthology, contents)
Reel Future (anthology, contents)
Pendragon Chronicles (anthology, contents)
Hal Leonard Guitar Method, books 1-3 (this is actually comb bound not hardcover, but it also includes CDs, so I'm tossing it in this list for pricing.)
America, the book, from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart
I Me Mine by George Harrison
Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles
Blackbird: The Life and Times of Paul McCartney by Geoffrey Giuliano
McCartney: The Definitive Biography by Chris Salewicz
The Baby Train and Other Lusty Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand
Trade Paperback (or larger) - $1.50
Save the cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting you'll ever need by Blake Snyder
How to Write for Television by Madeline DiMaggio
Writing Scripts Hollywood Will Love by Katherine Atwell Herbert
Science Fiction: a historical anthology (contents)
Henry the Fourth, Part I, Shakespeare, Norton
King Lear, Shakespeare, Kittredge
Hamlet, Shakespeare, St Martin's Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism
Classical Mythology by Mark Morford and Robert Lenardon
Completely MAD: A History of the Comic Book and Magazine
MAD about the Eighties: the best of the decade
MAD about the Seventies: the best of the decade
MAD about the Sixties: the best of the decade
MAD about the Movies
The Birth of the Beatles by Sam Leach
Brothel: Mustang Ranch and its Women by Alexa Albert
Dante, the Divine Comedy, Inferno, Italian, English translation by John Sinclair
Star Trek: Q's Guide to the Continuum
Cowboy Slang by Edgar R. "Frosty" Potter
All I really need to know I learned from watching Star Trek by Dave marinaccio
Quotable Star Trek by Jill Sherwin
Paperbacks - $1
Teach Yourself Film Studies by Warren Buckland
Twelfth Night, Shakespeare, signet
Othello, Shakespeare, folger
Tempest, Shakespeare, new hudson
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare, folger
Anthony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare, Kittredge
As You Like It, Shakespeare, new hudson
Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare, Arden
Julius Caesar, Shakespeare, Merrill's
Macbeth, Shakespeare, folger
Midsummer night's dream, Shakespeare, folger
Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare, folger
Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare, bantam
Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare, signet
Second Shepherd's play
The Fantastic Adventures of Robin Hood (anthology, contents)
Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy: Curses (anthology, contents)
Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy: Ghosts (anthology, contents)
50 Short Science Fiction Tales (anthology, and with nothing so tidy as a table of contents, here's the list of reprint permissions)
UFOs: A Manual for the Millennium by Phil Cousineau
Anne Frank's Tales From the Secret Annex
Dutchman and the Slave: Two Plays by LeRoi Jones
House of Desires in a new translation by Catherine Boyle
The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays
Life is a Dream, Calderon
Beowulf, trans Burton Raffel
I Owe Russian $1200 by Bob Hope (resisting urge to make political joke here)
Strange and Amazing Facts About Star Trek by Daniel Cohen
Separated at Birth? (Meme of a bygone era, this is a collection of photographs of celebrities that look like other celebrities)
Also: TPM: Trump Denies He Said ‘Israel’ When He Shared Israeli Intelligence With Russia
That's right: while in Israel, Buttercup spontaneously confirmed for the press that Israel was the source of the uber-classified intel he shared with the Russians without the Israelis' permission, but he thinks it's all fine because he didn't say the word "Israel" while in the room with the Russians (just, you know, now, on TV, in front of the entire world, in case the Russians had any remaining doubt about where the intel came from), so that's okay.
Well, as so often happens in life and in game design, our attempts to make things simpler created a few complications. The inn in Harper’s Ferry has a great view of the train station, but the direct route from point A to point B would involve many steep stairs, so we’re going to have to take our luggage the long way around a dog leg. Speaking of steps, the inn (housed in buildings that predate the Civil War) has staircases that were not built with modern luggage in mind.
We’ve decided we definitely would like to stay here in the future for an overnight or weekend getaway, but whatever difficulty lining up a ride to the train station would be will still be easier than our solution here. And of course as I type this up it occurs to me that for the money we’re spending on a night here plus the added meals, I could have hired a car.
Still, it’s not like the money is wasted, because the night in Harper’s Ferry and the meals are experiences that wouldn’t have come with the car ride. Also, even if this was more of a ~*learning experience*~ than I was looking for, “live and learn” is preferable to either of the alternatives.
There are things that are going our way. The weather is perfect for a day of unnecessary exertions: cool and cloudy, but not humid or rainy. Our inn room is very nice. The inn itself is very nice. And of course the town is nice.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.
So far I have the following ideas:
- Kel military rank structure and culture (why I decided to go with army ranks). (Highly relevant to the plot of RS.)
- Statting out characters for my continuity bible.
- The Shuos, bureaucracy, and that summer job I used to have working for the Cornell Engineering Registrar.
- Ridiculous fuck-ups (uh, except worded more nicely) and how I like using them in fiction, or, why Seth Dickinson and I are antiparticles--cf. Seth's Tweet:
one of my rules for baruworld is that nobody (even extras) can be conveniently bad at their skill. prisons hold, archers shoot straight, etc
By the way, he's not wrong, it's just a different philosophical/aesthetic approach to world/plot. :p
Any other ideas?! I have to...come up with...more of these...maybe something on game design and the Shuos?!
bthylafh Ars Tribunus Angusticlavius
MAY 21, 2017 12:15 PMVoyna i Mor wrote:JPan wrote:
In the German Heer ( army ) we said that reconnaissance is overrated: If you see an aircraft shoot it down. Nobody likes the Luftwaffe anyway.
Doesn't the US have a similar policy, except that the operating principle of the US Army is broader, i.e., if you're not sure what it is, shoot it?
You can identify an unknown force by firing one shot and judging the response. If the unknowns respond with precise, regimented rifle fire, they are British. If they respond with heavy machine gun fire, they are German. If they hunker down and in fifteen minutes you are killed by artillery or an airstrike, they are American.
(I may have a grimdark sense of humor.)
Man, I wish I'd kept around my M.A.X. Chosen icon...
There’s a lot of advice swirling around out there on “How to talk to your partner” – a thousand techniques to chip past their defensiveness, speak loudly enough to be heard, be nice enough to encourage niceness.
And it all falls short if your partner sucks.
Truth is, there’s basically two types of partners: The ones that care about how you’re feeling, and the ones who don’t. And sometimes the partners who care about how you’re feeling do need to be approached in the right way to maximize their compassion, but…
There’s a lot of deluded people who have partners who legitimately do not give a shit. And those people are endlessly convinced that their partner is a bank vault, just packed with love if only they can find the right tutorial to pick the locks, and they are endlessly blaming themselves because they somehow didn’t unlatch the great wellspring of tenderness that lies within them.
There’s not an approach that’ll help there.
And these people will point to their partner’s sporadic kindnesses as though these isolated incidents are a treasure map leading to the great stockpile of sympathy. But the truth is, almost everybody’s nice occasionally, if only by coincidence. Sometimes these unreachable partners want to make love when you do, but that’s not proof that they’re good to you, it’s proof that occasionally disparate agendas can line up like an optical illusion of kindness.
So the first part of establishing any real communication is ensuring that your partner actually gives a shit about you personally. Do they react with concern or exasperation the first time you raise an issue? Do they look for ways to write you off as a nut because it’s more convenient to them? Do they have a history of dropping partners whenever they prove troublesome?
Because yeah, you can – and should – work on presenting your problems in a kind, nonconfrontational way. But chefs work on great food presentation, and even they realize it won’t make a full man hungry.
First rule: Make sure they care about you.
Everything you do after they fail the first rule is, unfortunately, doomed to fail as well.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
Ways to Give:
rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They are frequently running out of money for gas to even do odd jobs for pay. You can read more and help out here.
Help For Free:
florentinequill linked to The PRIDE Study, the first large-scale, long-term health study of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or another sexual or gender minority. You can read more and sign up to participate here.
darlingarmadillo's third roommate is moving out and she's seeking a new roommate for a three-bedroom condo, bedroom unfurnished, two cats, in-unit laundry, workout room, near the Howard stop in Chicago; $750/mo. You can read more and get in touch at her craigslist posting here.
News To Know:
zorilleerrant linked to the upcoming Static Shock Appreciation Week, to celebrate the television show Static Shock and the comics and other media the character appeared in. Appreciation week starts on May 29th, and you can share fanart, fanfic, meta, and other commentary on the character, including themed daily posts. You can read more and spread the word here.
And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
The Refrigerator Monologues will be published and released into the wild on June 6 – just over two weeks from now! To celebrate, Pandemonium Books & Games in Cambridge, MA (just across the Charles River from Boston) is throwing a launch party that Tuesday. Cat will be there to celebrate right alongside you, and admission is free! The event will be in the store’s downstairs space.
Here’s what Pandemonium has to say:
“Catherynne M. Valente’s new collection of connected novellas, The Refrigerator Monologues, with illustrations by Annie Wu, is releasing on June 6! Join the Hell Hath Club, a group of ‘fridged’ (killed off to further the storylines of male superheroes) superheroines, supervillainesses, and superhero girlfriends. Six of them share stories of their deaths, their lives, and their relationships with the male superheroes for whom they were killed.
You don’t have to be a comic book fan to enjoy this book, but comic book fans will pick up on fantastic Easter Eggs as well as connect the characters that Valente has created with their DC and Marvel counterparts.
Join us and help us launch The Refrigerator Monologues into the world! Event is free and open to the public and will be located in our downstairs space.”
If you live around Boston (or are within acceptable driving distance), put The Refrigerator Monologues Launch Party on your calendar! Come on out to Pandemonium Books & Games at 7 PM to meet Cat in person and get your book autographed. She can’t wait to share this book’s release with friends and fans!
Pandemonium has set up a Facebook event page for the launch, where you can indicate your interest and rest assured Facebook will keep you reminded of the date.
So, next weekend is WisCon. WisCon as a con officially begins Friday afternoon of Memorial Day Weekend, though there are some programming items the night before.
We’ve gotten in the habit of heading to Madison on Wednesday ever since the fateful year when I booked the airline tickets for the wrong day. We realized this literally the day before, and even with the desperate scramble to get there and get lodging we found the experience more relaxing than normal, with extra decompression/rest time between the stress of travel and the excitement of the con.
This year, we’re trying to avoid flying as much as possible, and Sarah’s got some work stuff that would stop her from traveling on Wednesday, so Jack and I (who have more flexible schedules) are taking the train. This means leaving earlier, since that’s an overnight thing, which pushes our departure till Tuesday.
Our nearest train station is in historic Harpers Ferry, which is also a national park. We’ve never traveled from this station before, and we both kind of get stressed out about new experiences, so in order to minimize the rush/stress on day of travel and avoid having to get our luggage from the parking lot of the visitor’s center to the downtown on the same day, we’re arriving the day before and spending the night in a historic inn right across from the train station, which pushes our departure to Monday, for a con that officially starts Friday.
Our train takes us to Chicago. I’ve trained through Chicago about four or five times, so I sort of know the score there, but we’re transferring to a bus that contracts with Amtrak to get us the rest of the way. It’ll only last 3-4 hours, but
So the next few days are going to be a mix of relaxing/fun stuff and stressful/anxiety-ridden stuff. I’m pretty sure the good will outweigh the bad. My plan is to update this blog every day during at least the trip part of the trip, since I’ll have time at each step, and since a good way to get back in the habit of blogging regularly is to do it under even irregular circumstances.
I have been heavily boosting WisCon this year on Twitter since last WisCon, and I have heard from several people who are coming for the first time, a few who are even coming in part because I encouraged them. Yay. Accordingly, tomorrow I’ll be posting my official WisCon event schedule (it’s light this year, in no small part because one of them is a *big* event), and some tips for finding/interacting with me.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.
The next time you are annoying to write, I'm going to hurl you into the world of Warhammer 40,000, and then you'll realize I'm a nice author. I mean, the very least of the Sisters of Battle would eat you for breakfast. So behave, m'kay?
If you're attending, this post is to provide you with useful information about Jess At WisCon. If you're not, I suppose you could read it anyway. I mean. It's really up to you. (Many -- most? -- of you know me pretty well already, and indeed have spent time with me at WisCons prior. If that's the case, the info here is useful to you if you want to meet up at some point during the con.)
This is a revised edition previous years' posts, since this is my... omg twelfth WisCon?! If there is something you are wondering about or would like to ask me that I don't cover here, please ask in comments and I'll do my best to answer.
This is long let's have some cut tags.
( ..about me.. )
( ..seeing or hanging out with me at WisCon.. )
Are you attending WisCon? Will I see you there? Is this not the best con? COMMENT BELOW! \o/
* I pretty much stole my title from this Mr. Show sketch: "The Return of the Curse of the Creature's Ghost". This is actually a really good example of the kind of stuff I carry around in my brain all the time and occasionally reference without cause -- comedy sketches from a decade ago (or more - heck, the Associative Brain Quote & Reference File goes all the way back to SNL of the 70s). Fair warning. And yeah this is only a slight modification of last year's post title - I'm not clever enough today, and it remains illustrative. ;P
Solarians are mystical melee combatants who harness stars and black holes to create weapons and armor from energy, and can manipulate these balanced, fundamentally opposing forces of energy.
HOUSEHOLD REACTION: AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA SO OVERPOWERED
(household includes a gravitational astrophysicist)
ME: How are stars and black holes "fundamentally opposing forces of energy"?
HOUSEHOLD GRAVITATIONAL ASTROPHYSICIST: The statement actually makes no sense whatsoever.
ME: Just checking. How come I don't get to sling around stars and black holes?
DRAGON: Because you spent your point on Perfect Pitch, Mom.
ME: *starts to cry*
CAT: *walks across keyboard*
Weeks ago he acquired the essential cornmeal.
Yesterday, he did it.
. . . . At my suggestion he baked it in the miraculous Bayou cast iron deep skillet. O my, what a perfect crust all around and bottom it made. The slices came off the cast iron with barely a crumb left behind.
After the recommended baking time he did the toothpick in the middle test, and then cut out a teeny chunk. He thought it was quite done enough in the middle. I said just put the skillet back in the now shut off oven.
I thought the middle was baked sufficiently already, but he wanted more, and he was the baker.
It was perfect by his reckoning when he pulled it out again some minutes later.