Bridges: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

At last! Am able to do a post on a new Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week!

The prompt is BRIDGES.

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A Bridge in Dublin, 28 April 2019

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Another Bridge in Dublin: 28 April 2019

The last picture isn’t really a bridge: it’s a stop on the London Underground. Which means it IS a bridge of sorts!

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London Underground, Russell Square Station: 27 April 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Resistance in the Netherlands

Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944, pp. 20 – 21:

  • “A fugitive from the Germans, whether Jewish or Gentile, who disappeared was known as an onderduiker, or diver. Some areas were better than others in hiding Jews. For example, as many as half of Eindhoven’s 500 Jews were concealed as divers and saved.”
  • “Since armed resistance was almost impossible in a country lacking mountains and large forests, the Dutch underground concentrated on helping those in danger with fake identities and ration books . . . “

The Nazi leader in the Netherlands was “merciless.” He ordered “reprisals for acts of resistance.” And how different is that, really, for punishing sanctuary cities like San Francisco by withholding FEMA funds, by busing detained immigrants there?

When people would mention ‘fascists’ existing in self’s backyard, in San Francisco, she would laugh!

Now, reading this book, she’s learning a whole lot about fascists and yes, they do exist, even in places like San Francisco.

 

Bicycles, the Netherlands

Arnhem, the Battle for the Bridges, by Antony Beevor, p. 10

There had been 4 million bicycles in the Netherlands at the beginning of the war, half as many as the total population. The Wehrmacht had commandeered 50,000 at the beginning of July 1942, and now thousands more were headed for Germany, most of them loaded with soldiers’ equipment and booty as they pushed them along the roads. With no rubber for tyres, pedaling them on wooden wheels was heavy work. But their loss hit hard.

 

Sentence of the Day: Antony Beevor

From Arnhem: the Battle of the Bridges, 1944:

The German occupiers had seized food supplies, coal and other resources for themselves, and more than half a million Belgians had been shipped off for forced labour in German factories.

Out of curiosity, self decides to google the population of Belgium. Here it is:

11,551,442

According to this website.

Stay tuned.

Oh Hey There, Arya’s Left Eyebrow

Season 8, Episode 2: A Sort-of Review

Those nasty nasty showrunners knew from Season 2 that we would end up here. The minute Season 8 Gendry stuck his sword into that vat of whatever-sends-up-steam-like-a-veritable-fog-machine, it was Gendrya, all the way. This scene has happened before, only back then Arya was 11 or 12 and Gendry had never been with a woman. Now, Arya is 17 or 18, and post-Melisandre Gendry has apparently not been traumatized for life because he admitted to Lady Arya that he’s been with three women. THREE! (Self loves the moment when Arya oh-so-casually drops the “Was that the first time you’ve been with a woman” and Gendry’s astonished “What???!!!!” Gendry, and all the viewers who’d seen 12-year-old Arya making heart eyes at Gendry’s abs, were STUNNED! STUNNED! But surely we wouldn’t have wanted another unrequited love — like self’s other favorite ship, Brienne and Jaime! — for our Dear Little Murder Child!)

Looking forward to this Sunday. For these specific reasons:

  1. More of Arya’s raised eyebrows. When Arya’s eyebrow goes up, it means she’s ready for business.
  2. More of Gendry, in any shape or form, though preferably hot and sweaty in the forge, with exposed clavicles.
  3. Crypt turning into a foodfest for White Walkers — what can self say, she really likes The Walking Dead! Since no less than six different characters (Gendry, Jon, Dany, Sam, Gilly and Ser Jorah) were made to state out loud (in Episode 2) that the crypts were “the safest place,” the feeding frenzy will probably be worse than an American high school cafeteria at lunch!

Season 8, Episode 2 joins self’s favorite Game of Thrones episodes of all time:

the one where Brienne is about to get eaten by a bear, otherwise known as The Bear and the Maiden Fair

the one where the Kingslayer goes au naturel in a pool with Brienne and then very conveniently faints in Brienne’s arms (Unfortunately this episode marked the high point in their relationship, for Jaime subsequently returned to his sister’s loving arms, and self lost all respect for the character and wished he’d crawl off somewhere and die)

Self knows not why Season 7’s Gendry was so wimpy. In Season 8, he is decidedly NOT wimpy. He’s back at the forge, where he can be observed (by Arya. And the viewers) in the best possible light (steamy, with sparks of metal upon metal: self could go on).

Stay tuned.

 

Amanda Marcotte for Salon.com, 25 April 2019

Marcotte calls presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg “the Christian right’s Kryptonite” and at first I thought she was going to anoint him the second coming of Senator Lindsey Graham but thank God no!

While the image some may have of white evangelicals is along the lines of illiterate snake-handlers, anyone who has spent time in the community will immediately realize that Buttigieg is, in nearly every way, their ideal man. He’s intelligent and educated, but in a way that reads as traditional and conscientious, instead of challenging or cosmopolitan — he seems like he was more interested in Graham Greene than Michel Foucault in college. He’s artistic, but not in an edgy way, with musical skills more appropriate for a chapel pianist than a rock band. He’s worked as a naval officer and is a devoted church-goer. He’s married to a beloved junior high teacher who tweets about their dogs.

Buttigieg is what most white evangelical couples dream of in a son — except, of course, that he’s gay and married to a man. And because of this, Buttigieg is able, both in his rhetoric and identity, to expose on a daily basis how the evangelical talk about “family values” is simply cover for their mysogyny and homophobia, and how evangelical “sexual morality” is just a weapon to terrorize anyone who isn’t a straight man.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Books, Sunday Observer, 21 April 2019 (Easter Sunday)

Self is interested in reading the books on the list below:

  • Small Days and Nights, by Tishani Doshi (novel)
  • Don’t Touch My Hair, by Emma Dabiri (nonfiction)
  • The Road to Grantchester, by James Runcie (mystery)
  • Hey! Listen! by Steve McNeil (a journey through the golden age of video games)
  • The Price of Paradise: How the Suicide Bomber Shaped the Modern Age, by Iain Overton (history)
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton, by Sara Collins (debut novel)

Rising, p. 160 (in which #metoo meets #climatechange)

On p. 160 is — big surprise — not some genuinely hair-rising fact about how we’re all going to be wiped off the face of the planet by rapidly rising ocean levels, but an account of how Rush was sexually harassed by a senior colleague.

This is really brave of Rush. Because her whole message about climate change comes dangerously close to never seeing the light of day — not that the harasser was necessarily *that* powerful, but she was assailed with self-doubt (Did I invite his advances? Is this all my fault?)

Eventually I tell Samuel that I cannot continue our professional relationship and I tell him why. First he says, “Oh my god.” Then he says, “I had no idea.” Followed by, “I don’t remember.” And then, “I had no further intentions.” He says, “I love my family.” And, “let me know when you get over it.” The words spill out of him fast like floodwater.

Nice parallel, words with floodwater.

Samuel and the author are about to take a swim somewhere near Pensacola, Florida when he stops her by putting both hands on his shoulders, turns her around, and presses his lips to a tattoo on her back (The tattoo is a quote by e. e. cummings)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SIGNS: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

It’s been a few weeks, at least, since self was able to join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

Today, self is in London. She walked around her Bloomsbury neighborhood and took pictures, all with an eye to the current Fun Foto Challenge, SIGNS. Here are a few:

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Right outside the British Museum, which self visited yesterday.

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Directly across the street from the British Museum: This bubble tea place is always full.

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An Alley Off Bury Place

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

RISING, p. 50

It used to be that we thought earth’s climate and its underlying geology changed slowly and steadily over time, like the tortoise who beat the hare. But now we know the opposite to be mostly true. The earth’s geophysical make-up doesn’t tend to incrementally evolve; it jerks back and forth between different equilibriums. Ice age, then greenhouse. Glaciers covering the island of Manhattan in a thousand-foot-thick sheet of ice, then a city of eight million people in that same spot.

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