Allegra Rivett Sloman's blog

Balian of Ibelin: You go to certain death. Hospitaller: All death is certain.
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Ancient of days

My youngest child is 26 today.  A good age to be having a first child, not too young and not too old.

I am a clueless white liberal, so I am about to rant on something, and it’s my blog, so I’m not polluting anybody else’s airspace if they don’t want to be looking this way.

Has it occurred to no-one else that Bill Cosby has arc’d out of the Republicanesque Favorable Narrative of Blackness, with his education and charm and commitment to excellence and family values, into the Vile Caricature of Hypersexualized Negritude, which scales fame to access young white women to drug and abuse? He’ll die broke.  I cheerfully predict it.  As soon as someone with a credible civil case and an appropriate legal venue appears – and the sharks, they circle even now – he’s going to go bankrupt defending himself, as he will be honor bound to do, since he is, of course, innocent.  As far as the courts are concerned, which means nothing in these parlous times.  In a way, it’s a shame for him that he didn’t go to court ten years ago.  The culture wars looked a little different back then, and he might have walked free with his fortune intact.



The Philae Bounce

TTTO The Jersey Bounce.  Extra credits if you can imagine Ella Fitzgerald singing it.


They call it that Philae bounce
Miscalculate by an ounce
The ESA tension mounts
Wherever they aimed, they really should feel no shame

It started in Darmstadt town
Decided to put it down
On Comet 67P
That’s quite a feat you will agree

Somehow, screws didn’t grab
Somehow, not like the lab
No grip, makes it bounce, real high

So if you are feeling blue
Go out to some space venue
And whether you’re hep or not
The Philae bounce’ll make you swing

How I love that Philae bounce
Oh come on replay that Philae bounce

Ounce by ounce
The Philae Bounce
Puts you right in the swing
That Philae Bounce
It’ll make you swing

Give me that Philae Bounce.



I stayed in bed most of the day.  I have no idea why I feel so etiolated.



Have Tux Will Travel

I read this book – which turns out to have been almost entirely ghostwritten – dozens of times as a kid growing up.  I can recite dozens of jokes from it.

I didn’t like the elder Hope, but the Bob Hope of the Road movies was a funny, funny guy.  Here’s an article about that.

Yay!  I got almost a decent night’s sleep.


The very edited version

So around 12:30 we went over to see Autumn.  I left Jeff to commune with her and cut Paul’s hair.

He approves; in a couple of days we’ll get custody so the young person living with her gets a proper goodbye.  This also gives us a chance to somewhat catproof the house, as we’ve been living with a cat that couldn’t jump onto a counter unless a JATO bottle was strapped to her ass, and I suspect from her build and the evidence of my own eyeballs that she is gonna be one impressive jumper, like top of the fridge with no apparent effort jumper.  We’ll keep her in for a couple of days and then, she’ll be an outdoor kitty again.

Then Jeff and I helped with their move (they were both there and heaving and what not, and I mostly did useful but not as move-y type things). Jeff worked like a navvy there for a couple of hours.

Then Keith and I picked up Katie’s shower gifts and had a very pleasant time there.  Nita and Mike were there, and it was lovely to see Nita. The GLD was in fine form, being passed from hand to sweaty hand without showing much signs of being bothered by it.  Ah, Alex.  His facial features are more defined and his eyes really look at you now.  He’s mothering strong.  I didn’t take pictures because it wasn’t really that kind of gathering; we were making real memories, not digital ones.  Really good to see the folks.

Then Keith drove me home.

and a thinky thought or two plus a review.


I never really expected to get this old. Even as a teenager I expected something like the singularity to happen; not that I would necessarily conquer death but that the essential part of my brain that apprehends and manipulates the world to make art would still remain.

A body is entirely necessary for this, I have learned. Nothing else is as efficient. I am stuck with it, as well or as poorly as it functions inside the haphazard collection of coincidences that any human body is. I am thinking along those lines because of a documentary I just watched.

Jeff and I’ve just watched the second episode of Your Inner Fish, which is so superior to most contemporary documentaries that it’s hard to pick the most excellent bits out for comparison.

Let us start with the script. Lively, engaging, colloquial without any sacrifice of accuracy, it moves along at a goodly clip and only recapitulates at key points. From there we proceed through the outstanding use of three dimensional modeling to render the evolution of various features common to everything that’s come along since fish. The soundtrack is pedestrian without being annoying, which is all I truly ask of a documentary. The closeups of the various fossils are mindblowing. There were critters I had no idea existed; some have been found with so much detail that you’d be forgiven for thinking they were recently deposited. Some of them are tiny, no more than the size of a paper clip, and yet that tiny critter – with a brain half again as large as anything else then alive of that size – or something very like it, was the ancestor of every human being you have ever loved or hated.

Your Inner Fish showed science as tedious and glorious, backbreaking and cerebral, fun and scary, but mostly it showed science as the kind of thing a passionate and intelligent human being can throw every aspect of the self into; as you peer into the research of each scientist you see what it is about what they are doing that makes it good work, and get a sense for how the research is connected.

You travel from New Jersey to the Arctic, and from Nova Scotia to South Africa, which is where the best bones from the transitional periods between fish and amphibians, and amphibians and reptiles can be found, so it’s a bit of a travelogue as well.

I am really looking forward to seeing the conclusion.



The Other

I have a little other
I keep him safe with me
I cannot let him out to play
on that we can agree
He is a he and I am she
He’s grey and I am pink
All day lies he’s telling me
to say aloud and think
I’d like to think I’m smarter
I can keep him in his cage
perhaps instead to barter
his freedom for my rage
When I am whole and thinking straight
He cannot make me speak
when I’m frightened or upset
out the harsh words leap
The racial slurs, the horrid words
we use on young and old
“It’s just the way that I was taught
and how the tale is told”
My little other likes to laugh
at other folks’ expense
and wastes his brain in throwing shade
and vilest arguments
And with him I must abide
and I can never still him
He will always live inside
and I must never kill him
For if I do I will not know
that I am moving forward
I have to chase him as he goes
like naughty children doorward
He is my care long as I live
I wish I’d never met him
But he is not the boss of me
No, if I don’t let him.



I have now invested large chunks of many days in a row in Paul and Keith’s move, and I’m finding it rather a trial.  For me a move is something other people get to show up at for one day.  That means you pack everything, etc.

Too much on my plate today – Church, then moving, then cat acquisition, then Katie’s baby shower.  It’s the story of my life, nothing for months and then everything piles up in one day. I have met the cat (her name is Autumn) and she is stunningly gorgeous, exceedingly athletic, and very clever.  Margot’s gonna wonder what hit her if Autumn meets with Jeff’s approval.  She needs to leave where she is because she is one cat surplus to the landpeer’s okay and she really is an outdoor cat, which she can be here, as Miss Margot is an outdoor cat.  She shouldn’t be – you know it and I know it – but she is.

I was hoping to get out for a nice dinner tonight but I will probably curl up in a fetal ball and collapse instead.

My hot water bottle perished and voided itself on me this morning.  I managed not to get any water on my computer or me, by a special mercy of providence.

The nerve of that guy! Jeff won’t take me to breakfast unless I change out of my pjs.  Thank you Jeff for yummy noms.



Feeling dubious

I don’t think they’ll get it right.


My response to an fb post about Paul Elam

Who is a noted MEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST. Who doesn’t want women to work outside the home at all.

No matter how much work of what type women do, they are going to get told that it isn’t real work, because real work is what men do. I hear what he’s feeling – he feels useless, he feels like his role has changed and nobody told him, he feels like that uselessness has to be somebody’s fault, the fault is society allowing women to work outside the home.  What his emotions are doing to him is pretty ghastly. Too bad all the crap about women working that bothers him so much is a consequence and outgrowth of where feminism met the needs of the permanent war economy and of capitalism, and he’d rather hack his feet off and eat them than critique that.  He’s not rational, and nobody in their right ****ing mind should even think about trying to refute him, because he’s too emotional.  It’s a free country and he can say whatever he likes, but don’t waste a calorie on thinking about him; he’s the ineffectual and drunken uncle at the family reunion who wants attention for his divorce story and surrounds himself with the guys who don’t question him, and I’d rather party with the cool shiny haired dyke and her new wife, the guy who’s training to be a doula, and the spectrum kid who’s helping me learn to crochet, all of whom are better exemplars of humanity.  Murmur ‘sh*tplatter’ and pass on.  And yes, Jim, I totally agree that men need their own space.  Men who don’t get the support and socialization of other sympatico men suffer, and many are too stoic to complain.


this is me

Right here.


It wasn’t much

I packed two boxes, unpacked one, helped get cloth underneath the bookshelves, hung an ornament, talked to Paul and drank a beer.  I was more productive yesterday.  Keith seems to be dodging a fair amount of it, as I likely would have done at his age if I hadn’t been forced into different circumstances.


There’s a tempest going on in SF.  A woman writer of color turns out to be … well I’m white so I don’t get to comment too much about that.  Not nice.  Anyway she’s been outed as a troll of the first order.  This was my comment in reaction to an article on the subject linked to on facebook.  I’m only copying it over because there’s a piece of invective in there that I quite like.  Benjanun Sriduangkaew is the writer’s name.


Is this the death of consequence free trolling? No, this is her set up for the biggest assault yet. In the end, I cheerfully predict that she will say, “As long as I was in the persona of a pleasant newbie, and you could pat yourself on the back for liking a woman fantasist of color, everything was fine. The second I turn out to be an opinionated and scathing woman who takes no prisoners, you hate me. THUS DO I PROVE THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM!” TADA and dismount.

My intersectionality includes trans*folk, so she can decorticate herself with a grapefruit spoon for all of me.

I still haven’t spoken to somebody I know in SF fandom who’s ever clapped eyes on her (although I’m not assuming at this point that she doesn’t really exist or is some kind of weird long term thought experiment, as I did up until today).

People can be crazy jerks; the loathing of others can percolate through our own skins and behaviours in ways no human can count. Benjanun has a lot of feels inside; maybe she can get help for how those feelings make a scary, repellent mess for the community she is wishing to re-cut in her own image. She is living and will continue to live with the consequences of her actions.

Until she unreservedly apologizes for her ghastly verbal assaults on trans*folk I won’t read a word she says or put a dime in her pocket.


More packing

Yesterday Paul and I moved some furniture upstairs.  Katie was asked if she wanted the apartment Keith and Paul are vacating and she didn’t call the landpeers, so nothing happened.  We shall see what transpires. Perhaps it was for the best. The upstairs apartment is much nicer and much bigger. It’s more of course but Keith has essentially been sleeping in a cubbyhole for the last few years and it’s time he got more room.  Lucky duck gets the ensuite, too.

The baby shower is this weekend.  I feel very conflicted about it.  Paul is not going. I don’t know who else from the family is going.

Philae landed, and the world can be an awesome place if I just let it.



Quiet day yesterday

I helped Paul pack and clean up yesterday… yes, he and Keith are moving Planet Bachelor into the third of the four apartments in the building they are in.  They will very much enjoy having more space and a spare room.

Today I meet a former coworker for coffee and once again attempt to assemble the second section.

Philae lands today. I am quietly thrilled, and here’s something to watch about it.


I’ve got a timer set for how long Ima suffer those fools.

  1. Turn your passion into a career. Work on planes & become an AME with hands-on training at the best facility in Canada

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  3. There will definitely be job openings as the baby boomers retire en masse, but it’s still a pig’s life – with ghastly hours.

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Church & Happiness

Church was very, very good this morning. The homily was on how rationality is not anywhere close to being the most important thing about a person, and how presenting a reasoned argument is no way to win one.    I had a lovely long chat with a newcomer, and did a shop afterward, learning that Halloween candy is GASP 75 percent off.  And Downton Abbey is back so I’m all happy.  I’m happy to hear that Hell on Wheels is getting another season, but they are splitting the air dates out to 2016.  Boo, hiss.  See how frequently my mood swings? My mood swings, let me elucidate their prolix fluency.

The rest of the day included a roast beast dinner and Margot making weird noises and asking prettily for her treat.

I vacuumed the kitchen and washed the rugs, heaven knows they needed it.

No writing today, but much musical noodling.

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