Stepping up

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 08:32 pm
rolanni: (Default)

So, today Steve and I went up to Bangor to attend the ACLU's Active Bystander's Intervention training session.

It was an interesting workshop, and worth doing, if the ACLU in your area is participating.  I learned some de-escalation tricks that are probably more appropriate for a purple-haired woman of a Certain Age, and was reminded to be mindful of what I bring to any situation -- such as being a white woman of a Certain Age, and the fact that I often these days have my cellphone, with its camera, close at hand.

I also learned that remarkably little things can make a difference to someone who is being harassed.

One funny thing:  We were doing practice sessions in groups -- each group given a situation that had occurred in Maine, and we would discuss how best to handle the situation.  One of the two scenarios given to my group was this:

A person is in the bathroom washing their hands.  Another user yells at them, "Hey, dude! this is the woman's bathroom," and follows up with, "You don't belong in here!"

Now, because I was for most of my life "man-tall" (6 foot), and often wearing gender-free clothing, such as jeans and flannel shirt, and had short hair, I was -- and am -- very often mistaken for a man.  Especially in the ladies room.  And I have been yelled at any number of times for being in the wrong bathroom (yes, going back decades), and no one every intervened.  It didn't occur to me that anyone should. I would say something along the lines of, "This is the woman's bathroom, and I'm a woman," and try not to laugh when their chin hit the floor.

In fact, it was only recently -- I was in the ladies room in Lowe's in Augusta, and another user told me to use my own bathroom.  A woman who was washing her hands near us finished up, but stayed in the room.  I gave my stock reply, and my critic quickly left the scene.

The woman who had waited said, "I can't believe she said that.  Are you OK?"

I thanked her, said it happened all the time, and I was more or less used to it.  But it gave me a nice glow, just the same; knowing that someone had cared enough to wait what could have been A Scene out, and then to ask if I was OK.

So, that's how I spent my Saturday, mostly.  After the training session, Steve and I went to Tesoro's on Harlow Street in Bangor for a late lunch.  My lasagna was terrific, and Steve was very impressed with his veal.

On the way home, we stopped for ice cream at the Purple Cow, about which the less said, the better, and so eventually were received back into the care of cats, who wanted the windows opened NOW.

Tomorrow is a work day. . .and so it goes.

rolanni: (Ghost Ship)

So, yesterday, we goofed off, and went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2D).  I had a great time with it, though I didn't come away with ribs sore from laughing, as reported by some.  Excellent gosh-wow space opera -- Rocket, of course.  Recommended.

I believe this completes my list of must-see movies for this year.

Local folks!  Steve and I will be signing books and talking (try to stop us!) at Barnes and Noble, 9 Marketplace Drive, Augusta, Maine, on SATURDAY, May 13, from 1-3 pm (that's, like, the day after tomorrow!).  More information here.  (Yes, we know there's an error in the names, but the rest of the info's good.)

The B&N gig is our last pro appearance until we hit Pittsburgh for Confluence in August, which we're really looking forward to.  Here's your link to the Confluence website.

Those who have read The Gathering Edge -- please consider leaving a review on Amazon, BN, Goodreads, &c.  We are once again trying to get one hundred! reviews on Amazon.com, and we're already more than halfway there.  The more reviews a book has, the more attention Amazon pays to it in promotions and whatnot, so your help is really appreciated.

For those who have not heard the news, we have a new goal at Patreon, and! every other week (more or less), we're posting a patron-exclusive audio file of Steve or me reading a story.  Steve kicked it off with "A Night at the Opera," I read "Gift of Music," and upcoming -- this weekend! -- will be Steve again, reading "Charioteer."  Check it out, here.

. . .I think that catches us up. Thank you for all you do -- and hope to see those who can make the journey at Barnes and Noble, on Saturday.

To get you warmed up, here's a picture of Steve, assembling Photographic Evidence.

rolanni: (the kids)

There has lately been a demand for pictures of us that are professional, high-rez, and current, so yesterday, we met man-about-Waterville and professional photographer Patrick Groleau on Main Street at 9 o'clock in the morning, and spent the next two-and-a-half hours walking around the city, with occasional stops by brick walls, old Studebakers-turned-beer-cellars, weed-choked hitching posts, the obligatory park-cannon, and the Two Cent (or Two Penny) Bridge.  At one point, Patrick was taken with the notion that we should have a picture on the tracks, which would have been OK, except that we had to mention to him that. . .there was a train coming.

Which!  Was an opportunity to scramble up a bank, and pose by a half-eroded retaining wall so that a picture could be taken with the engine over our shoulders.

We then walked some more, stepping lightly past the camps of the brotherhood of people with no fixed address; were educated on the "safe" and "unsafe" sides of the river, and entertained with tales of hobo camps of days gone by, and the fine art of freight car hopping.

Our last stop was Children's Book Cellar, for an Authors in Bookstore shot, after which we stopped by Framemakers to drop off the cover art for The Gathering Edge to be framed, thence to Gifford's for well-earned milkshakes (which Gifford's has now decided are "frappes" -- and we were corrected by the counterperson when we asked for "milkshakes") and out to Heartland Estates to view an open house at the "stand alone condominium" community.  It was a nice house, I guess; 'way too small for life as we live it (though it had radiant floors, which I confess to coveting), and 'way too rich for the blood of freelance writers.  We tried not to create too much consternation, but I'm not sure we succeeded.

Back into town we went, for to pick up groceries, and take-out, because it had suddenly become quite late.  Then, a nap, and when we woke, there were photographs in Steve's inbox, several of which we deployed to those awaiting them.

The photos are interesting -- for instance, they reveal that Steve lives in his face much more than I do -- and make Waterville look every inch an Urban Center.

We also learned, in the course of our walk about town that Toast Express, which had been a welcome addition to our breakfast choices, has closed.  We were last in a couple weeks ago, to find that the menu board had been removed (Oh, said the woman behind the counter, it's just being updated), and that the regulars were being pulled aside for whispered conversations, while the counter-boss assured another person -- Oh, no, I'm not leaving; I'm just going down to Kentucky for a couple weeks to watch my grandson...

We had hoped that the signs were not what we thought they were.  Silly us.

The theory I've heard is that things like Toast are too expensive for the area, which may well be true.  Prices of things, and food have gone up, but Waterville in specific, and Maine in general harbors an aging population of former blue collar workers, who have now slipped over the line from middle class to poor.

This weekend is a working weekend, with a small celebratory break on the morrow. We had thought that we might go to Toast Express for breakfast, but -- guess not.

Everybody have a great weekend!




Authors and Studebaker Patrick Groleau July 29 2016Authors and Studebaker
Patrick Groleau July 29 2016



Today's blog title is brought to you by Ringo Starr, "Photograph."  Here's your link.

rolanni: (Surprise!)

So, today, I took all of our titles on Smashwords off-sale.  They say it will take between one and three weeks for their various channels to catch up with this action.  In the meantime, all Lee-and-Miller, and Lee, self-pubbed titles remain available from BN and Amazon.

In the spirit of progress, I have converted three ebooks, so they'll be ready to go up into the sales channels through Draft2Digital when Time has Become.

Other than that, I went to the gym, and the grocery store, and was grumpy because outstanding checks have yet to arrive.  Yes, I know you're tired of hearing about outstanding checks not arriving.  I am, too.

Today, it was hot; tomorrow is going to be hot, too, which will be good for the beach, but perhaps not for the residents of the Cat Farm, who were rather melty today, even with the windows open and a nice breeze running through.  Tomorrow, we may have to condition the air.  *sigh*

And! Today's Off the Wall Question is:  Has anyone who reads here been to a performance by Hatsune Miku?  I'd like to hear about your experience and impressions.

Edited to Add:  I am remiss!  As of right now, Alliance of Equals has 98 reader reviews on Amazon!  Only 102 more to reach our goal of 200!  Thanks to everyone who has taken the time, and expended the energy!

. . .I fear that's all I have today.

Hope y'all are having positively brilliant days, wherever you are.


Belle and Trooper July 14 2016

Today's blog post is brought to you by Abney Park, "Breathe."  Here's your link.

rolanni: (Phoenix from Little Shinies)

So, yesterday was a dead loss, which I mostly spent huddled on the couch, regretting my birth.  Man, these are some fun meds.  The Crack Coon Cat Nursing Team sprang into action and, around about suppertime, I was feeling closer enough to the thing to actually finish my WorldCon survey, and edit the interview.

Lest you think they're slackers, the CCCNT also took the night shift; at one point, I woke up to find Sprite draped across my stomach, Belle curled on my shoulder, and Trooper stretched out along the length of me. It must have been cozy, because I went right back to sleep.

This morning, we appear to have reached an accord, whole-body-wise, and! the swelling and redness have definitely diminished.  We're not out of the woods yet (and still six days to go with the meds), but apparently we've found the path.

Obviously, there will be no pickleball for me, today.  I had held out some idea that I would go to the gym and putz about (gently) with the strength machines, but...I will err on the side of conservatism, stay home, catch up the work I should have done yesterday, and get on with today's business, most of which can be done from the Comfy Chair.

I do need to call my boss at the hospital, explain the situation, and figure out how we want to handle my Wednesday shift.

. . .and I think that's all the news from the Cat Farm for the near past.  Hope y'all have a good start to your week.




Hey! Whatcha doin?


Hey! Whatcha doin?


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