Con prep. Con prep con prep con prep.

Con-prep.

Also? Con-prep.

I miss the days when con-prep consisted of loading the print-box, matting the last coupla pieces, packing a suitcase and handing my upstairs neighbor the keys. Now I have to hire a petsitter, clean the house, ship the con-kit to a very kind man who is taking delivery of it out there, and back-up my entire world onto a portable hard drive, in addition to loading the print box, matting the last pieces, packing the suitcase and wondering if the new clean-up crew in my fishtank* is going to survive until my return.

Into this whirl of activity, I got the script for Batbreath, which needs editing, which I am determined to finish before we fly out on Thursday for the con.

Once more, into the batcave…!

*More about this at some point. I finally replaced Crab-Bob, one of the Snail-Bobs, and added a new Shrimp-Bob, because the pest anemones were running wild. Daily water changes for nearly two weeks got the resulting water-quality crash under control, and I caught two of the coral-eating starfish that finished off the last of my zoos. Still a gnarly digitate hydroid problem. Not sure what to do about that…

Ape-Leaders

So I have been known to read Regency romances, starting with my buddy Deb’s–aka Sabrina Jeffries–and leading on to various others like Liz Carlyle, Amanda Quick, and Georgette Heyer.

The slang vernacular in Georgette Heyer’s work is epic and breathtaking and eventually you get used to it and work out the context and can navigate large passages involving bluestockings giving Corinthians the cut direct, who then plant facers on Pinks of the Ton wearing mathematicals who drive neck or nothing in their high-perch phaetons with their cattle and tigers,* and it all makes sense, but one term I finally had to go and dig up because it was so weird.

The term was "ape-leader" and from context it was a mild derogatory referred to an older unmarried woman. (One who was "on the shelf")  Right, got that, but seriously, "ape-leader"? Where’s THAT from?

So I went to the internet, and discovered it was, in fact, a contraction of "ape leader in hell" (good god, this just gets better and better!) and refers to an old maid, who, for having failed to be fruitful and multiply in life, will be sentenced in hell to lead apes.

Um. ‘Kay.

Leaving aside all of what this says about views of spinsters in Regency England, it raises a great many more questions.

Sources are unclear as to where she leads the apes, or what she leads them in–revolt? A rousing chorus of the Irish Washerwoman? The conga?–a question that I was rather interested in, since I’ve failed and will continue to fail, Ganesh willing, to be fruitful and multiply myself and would like to know what I can expect in the afterlife as a result. Is this like being a dog-walker? Do demons favor pet gibbons and siamangs, which I will be kept on staff to exercise? Can you lead an ape to water and make him drink?

Will this be a salaried position?

*To translate roughly–an educated intellectual woman is a bluestocking (term occasionally somewhat derogatory), Corinthians were noblemen obsessed with sports, to give the cut direct is to pretend not to know/acknowledge an acquaintence, to plant a facer is to punch someone in the face, a Pink of the Ton is a dandy or fop (the Ton was high society) the mathematical was a way of tying one’s neckcloth, some of which were apparently epic and terrifying and involved the wearer not being able to move their chin, driving neck or nothing was very fast, a high-perch phaeton was the Regency equivalent of a sports car, cattle were horses and your tiger was the groom who rode on a small seat behind you. Whew. That was kind of exhausting.

In other news, I took my outrage and painted the back wall in the kitchen blaze orange with it.* (It’s…um…an accent wall. Yeah. That’s what you call it to not make people go "SWEET JESUS BLAZE ORANGE A WHOLE WALL ARE YOU COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR MIND, WOMAN?" right?)

It has truly lousy coverage, being in the red family, so I had to go buy another can. Third coat and it’s looking pretty good. Most of the art on that wall is blue or purple, so it should pop nicely.

*Well, with it and a paint roller. And the paint, of course.

Stuff I Should Not Do In The Morning: Read articles about how men’s rights groups are getting pissed because women’s rights groups are going to Haiti to offer aid to vulnerable women.

Ah, lovely. I’m seeing red and it’s not even noon yet.

Leaving aside that apparently the notion of "aiding women" has been conflated in these people’s minds as "lesbian paratroopers with pink machine guns will be kicking away the hands of dying men while women are showered with maxi-pads, chocolate, and aromatherapy candles," leaving aside various and sundry studies by various humanitarian organizations that you tend to get the biggest economic bang for your buck by giving money to mothers and wives rather than using the "head of the household" model, leaving aside that pregnant women need highly specific care in the aftermath of disasters or that apparently some of these gentlemen who are so enraged do not realize that when women’s organizations say that they are providing "hygiene supplies" they do not mean wet-wipes…*

I just have one teeny tiny point to make.

Rape was made a criminal act in Haiti in 2005.

Apparently other people–by which I mean Kevin–knew this already. Apparently I was oblivious as I frequently am, or blotted it out in sheer dismay. 200…5. God’s balls, world.

And they wonder why I don’t believe in an omnipotent benevolent god.

It was a huge problem when the government was WORKING. The statistics come in the sort of numbers that rapidly become so absurd that they no longer mean anything, because I think a lot of us cannot even begin to comprehend a system failing that badly.

If anybody on earth doesn’t think that setting up women’s shelters to provide a place where women aren’t going to be at risk of violence–and let’s not be euphemistic, by "violence" I pretty much mean "gang-raped"–in a country that had a bigass serious violence-against-women problem BEFORE it was a disaster zone–is a humanitarian no-brainer…

Well, those people exist and are on the internet, god knows. But anyway.

Since outrage is well and good but action is better, I just donated money. Congratulations, angry male rights bloggers–you made me give more money to women in an effort to counteract your pure stupidity.

ETA: Link to V-Day, where I donated (also has links to Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health)
        Highly recommended: Charity Navigator (includes links to various highly rated relief organizations and their specific focus–there are a number of organizations working with Haitian women. I picked one more or less at random that already had a battered women’s shelter on the ground, since they say you should try to donate to groups that already have a history in the area, as they’re much better at getting the aid out.)

(Also, if anybody says "but men can be raped too!" in that tone that indicates you think it is somehow a trump card in this discussion, and then sits there like a wide-eyed entitled puppy expecting to be petted, I will…well, I will sigh heavily and carefully not scream "OH MY GOD HOW DO THESE PEOPLE NOT REALIZE HOW THEY SOUND?!" and then choke that thought off and snarl at the ceiling. And instead I will say, very gently, that this is not about you right now, and yes, men getting raped is a horrible problem, and so is AIDS and global warming and the bloody white blindness in bunnies, but maybe you should think about what you just said and why women, who are getting raped in numbers so much vaster than men and furthermore expecting it to happen as just part of the way the world works, would maybe make us just a tad edgy.  So maybe we could dispense with that bit, since you now know how it will all go down, and it’ll save time and energy for everybody.

And I will even go so far as to say that if you can find a reputable charity setting up shelters where men can go to avoid being gang-raped, I will cheerfully match my donation to the Haitian women’s shelter to it.) 

*The outrage of a gentlemen at "Men’s News Daily" that apparently men and boys didn’t deserve "hygiene supplies" gave me one of the only laughs in this whole business. Oh, honey….If you really really want to distribute tampons to the poor tampon-less men of Haiti, I will buy you a case out of my own pocket.

Longtime readers–by which I mean anybody here since Monday–may remember that I cleaned the closet in order to move out the clothes in order to put the rack in the other closet in order to make space for a reading chair because GODDAMNIT I DESERVE A READING CHAIR.

Today, I went out looking for a reading chair.
Cut for obscenity and furniture

Print Order Delay–end of January

Hi, gang!

Just a note to let you know that I will be out of town for a convention next week, which isn’t that big a deal except that my printer will ALSO be out of town with me! Which means that I have to ship it in advance and everything, and ship it back, with the end result that any prints ordered in the next week and a half will have a delay in being shipped out. I’m hoping to have everything back up and running by the end of the month, and this shouldn’t be that significant a disruption, just wanted to letcha know.

Any prints ordered before the 15th will be going out on schedule, everything from the 15th on is gonna be delayed.

Originals should still go out just fine.

Thanks!

Art art art…

Some new art! A couple little pieces for FC, and the as-promised trio of petroglyphs with silverware. Plus spork! (Which I’m just gonna put up for auction. I think the petroglyphs are mostly out of my system now. I did a couple more for FC, which I haven’t scanned yet, but I seem to have recovered nicely.

Now, the urge to paint pastel coyotes…)

Lucky Armadillo
The Rabbit in Red
Utensilglyph Trio
Sporkbringer

Auctions: 
Utensilglyph Trio
Sporkbringer

State of the Cat

Well. It’s been a few months, and I wanted to let you all know that Ben’s made it nearly four months without a flare-up of his mouth problems!

Back in October, I honestly didn’t expect he’d pull it off, and I’d, after much misery, decided that if he had another flare-up in six weeks, the way he was doing, I’d bite the bullet and have him put to sleep. He was spending too much time in agony, the steroids were starting to do bad things, and it just wasn’t worth it.

I suspect that because I made that decision, and lost sleep, and was horribly depressed by it–y’all may remember the blog post–Ben, being a perverse bastard, decided to be healthy for awhile.

So, four months. That was my cut-off point–if he makes it to the end of January, then it’s been long enough between flare-ups that if he gets another one, I’ll get him the steroid shot again. (He should be getting one at most every two YEARS, but this is at least an indicator that he’s going a lot longer between attacks.)

He’s not out of the woods yet, his mouth could start hurting him tomorrow (although since the usual indicator is swollen throat glands, which Kevin checks religiously every day, he’s probably in the clear for awhile yet.) but so far, signs are promising that it may be subsiding into more manageable levels.

Ben himself, largely unconcerned by all this, is asleep on the bed in a puddle of sun, with his toes spread out and every claw extended, looking menacingly relaxed.