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I liked it just as well the second time. More time to appreciate the design of all the objects and the composition of some of the beautiful shots (the giant spaceship over the planet, rey in the huge wreck, etc) I hope Maz comes back as a character. This time around I extra loved Rey's snarl in the psychic warfare and in the light saber battle.

My back is not doing too well, back on gabapentin at night. Both sides. I am overdue for those cortisone injections. I also smashed my foot (like a toe stub but last 2 toes) Something is swollen and wrong in there with very sharp pain. I dealt with it yesterday but today was harder. Then a guy at the movies kicked it and stepped on it so it is worse tonight (though I was right to wear the big signifying boot to keep it all still.... it needs to have steel toes!)

Tomorrow taking Dashboard the cat to the vet, then someone is coming over to change my car battery and haul off some junk. I will only be nominally at work. Low key going through some bugs.

Then go back at 4pm to the spca to do the adoption papers and pick up the spayed cat. I recognize all the signs of not doing too well with mobility but I am pretty sure I have to do the errand myself because I signed all the papers and stuff originally.

Ice on my foot and on my back.
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It was lovely yesterday to not work and barely even look (I did look once semi-accidentally, to a message from S. saying "If you are reading this, stop! you are on PTO!") What a stressful couple of months, especially the last 2 weeks of it.

Yesterday at my sister's I nipped out to hack some ingress portals and ended up going into all the consignment shops and little gift stores which were level entrance and within a couple of blocks. Whenever we visit I don't get to go in them (for years) because we are roaming around with a pack of children. So, I tried on ridiculous dresses, bought tank tops and a red plaid blazer with snaps that fulfills my wildest dreams, browsed boring packs of notecards, and then went for a bra fitting in zond7's co-worker's girl-friend's bra shop (which I didn't realize it was her until a moment of slightly shy recognition AFTER she was admiring the splendid encasement of my boobs).

Now aside from the nursing bra period 14-15 years ago I have not had particularly good bras or any bra at all, just the ones left over from when I was dancing in Austin and I threw them all out a while back and I haven't really needed a bra so I just wear tank tops under or a vest over if I don't want to be too slatternly/pointy looking. I have read many things about bra sizes and theory and how everyone thinks they are the wrong size. Apparently I am a 34E but since I am not used to that dogcollar feeling a 36DD works as well (I vaguely thought I was 38 C). This will not be a new era of bra wearing; just something for when i put on a fancy dress or want to look specially fantastic. If I had gotten the slightly padded kind, things would be ridiculous.

It was so nice to buzz around in the sunshine totally doing what I pleased. Then coming back to eat cookies in the sun with my sister and her friend and the kids playing with the chickens.

I'd like to bust out my drawing pens, write a bit today, something vaguely creative. From past experience it takes a few days to truly de-stress. By the weekend I should feel the cobwebs parting and some fresh feelings welling up. Hope so!!!!

Oh also I ran into a blog-friend on the street. Hi!!
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I got a cool postcard of the Georgia Agrirama! This looks like a place I would adore going to and I would want to look at every exhibit and would think of my great-aunt who worked in a tiny local museum where all the exhibit labels were typed out by hand on index cards.

I have the 2 cards I promised to send, both notecards not postcards as for some reason everywhere I go around here doesn't have something so mundane as a postcard. Or if they do they're so hipstery that they don't fit my requirements!

I will not spoiler it, but I loved Star Wars and I giggled with pleasure most of the way through, thought all the timing and narrative tricks/cliches were perfectly done. I felt like sitting on the floor to play with little action figures and space ships, in short imagination activated. At the end I cried a lot when A PERSON got MANY OF THE ICONIC THINGS. As if millions of wounds caused over lifetimes of stupid roles cried out, and were healed. Tears pouring down my face a bit embarrassingly.
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Bed still hard, work still worky, conference OK but exhausting. I enjoyed the dinner and fireworks last night. Really over the top. Today I didn't feel like I could get out of bed. I'm lying here working and trying to keep my cool about it all. Nothing is going super well, but it's still going.

I am definitely homesick!

My plan is to poke at work a tiny bit more, maybe have a nap, and venture out in a little while to the pool. Not sure I can take the conference at all today. Tired of chat and trying to be socially present while work is kind of weighing on me; really physically tired all over; and especially tired of my neck hurting while I look up at people in a crowd!
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Bed still hard, but I slept more and feel way better today, food + sleep + hot tub, and i'm also working and chatting with people. The work conf is just about to start (tonight). Speaking of which I am going to send one last work email and then go hot tub.

Let the slightly awkward conversations with people I almost recognize continue! So far I am the only one prancing around in a bathing suit. The ice will break! the sun is out! etc.

In Orlando

Dec. 6th, 2015 11:47 am
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I'm in Orlando now at a giant hotel complex attached to disney. There is no escape from bad music and noise and the food is gross and bed is too hard. I spent the night tossing around in agony. There is no escape! I got the hotel people to bring me an extra "mattress pad" but that didn't help and then I got the quilt off the other bed and laid on it. let's just say I am not good at camping or any sort of survival that includes sleeping on a hard surface. this is also why hospitals are like extra torture. fuck! I feel very whiny. I also got in at 9:30 but only got to my hotel room at midnight and then the only room service was a gross sounding pizza or cold salad. which made me sad as i had only had some cheese on the airplane so needed real food. the 24 hour restaurant was super gross buffet tacos which I don't even understand how they could be so nasty. One of my least favorite "fun" things is spending time in the sorts of food courts that they have in museum basements. Everywhere to eat here so far has been like that.

I do notice everyone who works here being "extra nice" but it is like Mormons. I cannot cope.

On the other hand the view out my window is pretty. This morning I wandered around long walkways by a huge pond and played ingress in the sun. If only there weren't 3 different "classic rock" and xmas music songs playing at once over outdoor speakers. I found a "grocery store" on a "boardwalk" which was not a grocery store but i was able to buy apple juice, an apple, and some nilla wafers. I am now in the sun by a pool with fast wireless doing some work. Also almost pleasant. This all reminds me of living in Irvine but with much more noise and not very nice landscaping. Nothing is _actually_ nice but it has this facade of nice.

Basically it is my definition of hell. I can't believe people come here on purpose. People who are not even little children come here for their dying wish. Whattttt.

My head hurts, I think from airplane sinuses and bad sleep and the constant noise here. Half a tramadol and more coffee now, mai tai by the pool in a little bit. Maybe a massage. I do like being in the sun and warm weather. uuuuugh save me.
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About to read myself to sleep with Aurora. As we last left our intrepid heroes ....

Cut for very mild spoilers, nothing big

Read more... )
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60% of the way through. So for like 20 years no one else has bothered to make friends with the fabulous AI of the ship? Whyyyyyyy. Because they're thinking about sheep or microbes or having like 14 babies? Why not ALSO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE SHIP. Also arguing about anarchy and governance. You don't have that option! You live in the powerful Ship! It's the boss of you!

I'm sure it will finally come.
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Re-reading Lirael. It's even more hilarious and indulgent feeling than Sabriel. The first 10% of the book is all 14-year-old Lirael sulking and contemplating suicide because she hasn't gotten her special talent and doesn't fit in and no one understands her.

Then she gets to be an assistant librarian, creates a magic companion dog, and learns three shape-changing shapes: ice otter, russet bear, and barking owl.

Barking owl... bwahahah!

I love her adventures in the library.

I'm reminded of some other teenage librarian book but can't remember what it was.

Note that she also basically has selective mutism (because it is traumatic that she can't talk about the special skill that everyone else has that makes her not fit in)
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I got through all this running around on trains and cabs and staying out all day beautifully just on the one tramadol in the morning and some coffee. I did also have a beer with dinner. No vicodin necessary. Pleased! I am not destroyed. This is a good sign for my ankles.

Moomin's play was very amusing. They all looked great in kilts and knee socks. Moomin curses the kilt for being confusing to put on and take off with pins and the shoulder strap thing and some mysterious underneath part. (They all wore shorts). Brigadoon is very sexist and a bit stupid. There should be a Brigadoon 1,000,000 A.D. fanfic where the characters from the future present (while the Brigadoon people are 30-years-from-their-beginning) are intelligent giant rats and squid-roaches and Brigadoon is tropical and covered in active volcanoes and they instantly die from inhaling the pure methane atmosphere or something or if not, fall in love with the giant squids.
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Very bad ankle pain since Paris, not really getting better. But I am reasonably functional most days with the walking casts. By mid to late afternoon though I start crying and feel incapable and just waiting for when I can take ambien and sleep. At best that happens more like 7pm so I get through my work day. But, i am getting out of the house at least once every few days. Not painkillering up too much, at least, not every day. I am about to start putting a little painkiller ration into a weekly pill box so I will know how much I'm taking, if it's every day, etc. And a written record too.

Yesterday, both kids were here which was just lovely (and won't happen again until January, or maybe a Fakemas afternoon). I try to appreciate it when it happens even if they are just hanging out playing minecraft while I feed and clean up after them. Only 1.5 years more of Moomin living at home (!!!) I am starting to pray atheistically that he will go to Berkeley.

Anyway, we dug up the new dirt around the front yard tree with trowels, put in our tiny palisade edging, and planted things. It looks super nice. Satisfyingly!!! they were not complaining or lazy and were both kind of into it. Zond7 came out and dug for a bit too. I am aiming for everyone feeling somewhat invested in keeping the sidewalk looking nice. I have some evil plans to build another little bench on the north side of the tree with 2x4s and make it super nice!!!

So, then, despite my plans to chill out and then cab to berkeley to buy a mattress....complicated timing of everything.... we instead all four piled in a cab to my sister's. I took a tramadol in preparation for more car riding and going up her giant steps. Up the steps, lovely time with family, her 3 cats bopping around, everyone bustling or loafing as their temperaments require. My sister came with us to buy the bed, since she has had a great mattress for the last 10 years from this place!!! Zond7 and I decided pretty quickly and got a bed frame which i'm super excited about as it is especially pretty. The headboard is a section of a giant madrone log and has a sort of line where the young sapling must have been. Or maybe madrone tree vascular systems just look like that. It looks like a network diagram or some sort of electronics circuit and also made me think of the napoleon's march chart in the Tufte book. I think it will make me happy every time I look at it. The bed was $4000 total which is basically my quarter's bonus (yes.... raking it in) Every quarter I think I will save the bonus, and instead this year I went on 2 vacations and bought a mattress. WORTH IT. This time of my life I am living high. So!!!!! New bed, super comfy, I practically live in the bed so it better be good!

We then had to haul ass home (another 30 dollar cab ride) so Moomin could go off with his dad to be in the 2nd night of the school musical. I was crying in pain again, and drank half a beer and took 5mg vicodin and 100mg gabapentin. This helped quite a lot and I felt cheerful for the first night in weeks, and was even hobbling around without the boots a little. I fell asleep easily and stayed asleep until Dashboard the Foster Cat brought a mouse up into our bed at 6am. Oh cat. Please kill the mice. Food not toy.

Dreamt that I was in Paris suspected of blowing things up and could not explain since I can't speak French. At the same time I had a sort of cinematic view of a guy who was really blowing things up with a giant radio antenna he would stick out of his window. I was doing a lot of having to quickly pack my suitcase but it taking forever in the dream. Anxiety dream I guess.

Reading, I went through a book of Garth Nix short stories and really enjoyed them. Better writing than Sabriel. I went back to read Sabriel again anyway, and it's making me laugh super hard as it is so indulgent feeling of gothy teenagerness! I love that! Even though I don't really like Sabriel herself or any of the characters, and am not gothy. But it cracks me up. Really.... you are basically in handbell choir and have a demon cat and can sense death. OK. A bandolier of handbells. LOLLLLLLLL. I admire the setup of being condescendingly best at everything in boarding school and then just breezing off from school with everyone's total permission, then going back to be the hero of everything (and dramatically killing off some of your schoolmates and favorite teacher as you suck the magic out of them or whatever.) And, getting royalty and swords and sorcery PLUS a sort of romanticized bunch of ... happy and ready to die World War One soldiers. Plus a sentient glider plane. What. Also, the villain turns into two extra demon kittens that barf up more magic rings. What an excellent use of kittens. Can't remember if they ever turn up again in the sequels. Didn't her magic boyfriend or husband die at some point but they stay married and even have zombie magic babies? I am going to have to re-read the whole thing now. None of it really makes any sense and that doesn't matter at all.

I was reminded while re-reading this (as there is a minor character named Horayse) that it took me till I was like 35 to realize that Horace (greek) = Horus (egyptian god). Mind blown! Doesn't it seem amazing and weird that thousands of years later, in the US halfway around the world, people still get named after Horus?

Today I went out to get cat litter and some groceries, happily blew up ingress portals, and then laid in bed recharging all my portal keys. I am not too far away from finally leveling up to level 12. I think in December or early January. It's absurd how much I still enjoy this game.

Ada and I placed more bricks from my sister's house and she helped me bring up laundry and groceries. Then I rested some more (this blogging counts as resting) with my feet up.

Now, for a bath, compression socks, walking casts, and we Caltrain down to Moomin's school to see the play. we are meeting my parents and sister there. I plan on another tramadol and then when I get home a vicodin and ice.

Work pissed me off on friday afternoon as someone emailed a giant public list with a thing that on one level is a reasonable question, but didn't need to go to everyone and the not-very-subtext of it was that what i do all day in my job is useless and a bother to everyone. Uh yeah fuck off. So cue a bunch of dudes abstractly batting around that my entire team's work is pointless. Oh, I'm pissed! But, I am trying to keep level headed and take from it whatever turns up that may be useful, in expressing the frustrations of developers who want a faster release process, which on the whole I agree with. and what we do is somewhat more intuitive than otherwise and a bit scrambly because our test automation has not kept up with actual development. (no one's fault really). And I think what I do is quite helpful. I'm just annoyed because I have felt this position has got me more respect and now that is undermined in a stupid way. I also thought this particular guy and I had a fine working relationship. NOt sure if it is worth explaining anything to him now. Maybe after a couple more days. He sees a good bit of his part of the process but not the scary overview my team sees.
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About my trip to Paris but now feel diffident about posting it.

I want to keep the foster cat. It sits on me all day and is sweet tempered and it caught a mouse!

Feeling very achey physically, ankles suck, spent a week in the walking casts, still using them to go down the stairs. Not that I want to do that much.

Yesterday I went downtown for a work "diversity training" sort of thing. It wasn't too bad. Funny how they are always a bit depressing.

Finished Elena Ferrante quartet. Oh, so good! Do read them!!! Very intense and great.

I have some spoilery analysis. Spoilers below! Warning!

Below the cut! Do not read if you haven't finished book 4 (The Story of the Lost Child).

Read more... )
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A note to say I am on book 2 of the series starting with My Brilliant Friend. And really enjoying it. While in Paris I re-read all of Dance to the Music of Time. Still great. I wrote all my thoughts in emails to zond7 instead of blogging.

Still somewhat jet lagged even a week after getting home.

Foster cat is lovely. Though, in heat.
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I will be in the 9th arrondisment (9me) right near the Mozilla office. My sister is coming with me! I will have to work all week and at least 2 nights have an activity (dinner at local colleague's house, boat ride on seine with team + their families + my sister). It will be cold and likely rainy. Just north of that area there is the former red light/gay district that is now full of hipsters and boutiques. Sounds good to me.

Any advice or tips for things I should do in Paris, modest or ambitious?

My hopes are to hit at least one art museum, and maybe this feminist space: I would also like to try riding a bus somewhere.

I will play a lot of Ingress and probably enjoy very minor things like going into shops to buy cookies and candy that I haven't seen before. I like snacks. I may also bring my folding tote bag that I can check on the plane in case the shopping virus seizes me and I need to bring back a lot of junk. What is nice to buy in Paris, that I would like?

Tell me some useful French phrases I should learn!
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Things are quiet over here. I will impart all my boring domestic news.

I finally cleaned out my clogged up worm bin on the patio & there were still worms, stunted but lively, despite nearly a year of neglect. Scattered extra worm dirt over some of the side yard and potted plants. Composting container inside is one of those easy seal oxo food containers (which I'd like more of as they're very easy on my hands).

The last few weekends I've done extra hiring of people to clean out the garage, sweep under the front stairs, and haul trash away. It is finally coming together. I can find things in the garage again. All the stuff is in small size see-through plastic bins with rubber seals so that I can move the bins. The large ones I had before were too heavy and clumsy to move. All the tools and some art things and soldering stuff and my large sewing box and the sewing machine are on shelves. Next step is to hang up my walker and zond7's bike from big hooks on one wall and put a small workbench by the power cord. (this would be very handy for our friend ReVolt as well)

Then we can slowly go through the small bins getting rid of stuff. Ah ambition!

I am on level 9, I think, of Botanicula.

My clothes are somewhat different lately as I move a little away from constant tech-event or company tshirts or like saucy tshirts with daleks on them and so on. I still am doing that but since I haven't lost weight really (or not much) from the shingles & steroids bout, I had to go buy new pants anyway and have been experimenting with my reversible skirts. I got 2 new pairs of jeans (one cheap from old navy and one 90 buck one called Jag from fancy shop on 24th) and some black dickies work pants (cheap also).

This morning I got out a suitcase and tried pre-packing for my trip. I have 2 silk tank tops and 2 silk/cotton button down shirts to go under my smartwool sweaters. Radical plan of wearing silk + wool leggings and my amazing jeans-and-wild-print reversible skirt on the plane so as to be more comfortable on the 11-hour flight. (And of course the world's most fabulous black vest with 26 different pockets).

In the less domestic news!

I went to 2 talks on north korean politics because zond7 was speaking at one of them and the other one was close by and sounded good. I read Yeonmi Park's book and also read some of the "controversy" and criticism of her. Then read Mr. Kang's book, Aquariums of Pyongyang. I have read other defector stories and prison camp stories (other than Nothing to Envy, but i can't remember titles) These basically fit right in. I liked going to Langton Labs and then the next night, Stanford. The stanford students were super adorable and earnest. Notably, the event was not sponsored or anything by faculty, just by the student association and so while I thought the dinner afterward would be one of those faculty/visiting speaker things or like a fancy reception, instead it was some take out food in cartons and pizza in a small room in the nearby student union. Ahaha! Also adorable. I am surprised that it wasn't better sponsored by Stanford. There were many many fascinating things to analyze in both talks and the people who came to the events.

I read God of Small Things, and a wad of other books I can't remember, must go blog about books read on composite.....maybe tomorrow. Work is intense and will be more so in the next 7-8 weeks.
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Couple of weeks ago I was sick with some sort of stomach virus, throwing up and with a mild fever. By the end of the week i eating more or less normally but my stomach still hurt and then over this last weekend that became serious reflux. Now I'm realizing I'm feeling dizzy and exhausted and am not eating normally. Sitting up after I eat or drink anything, but that doesn't stop that it hurts like hell!

Complaining about health, food, behind cut
Read more... )
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Still at high levels of activity and ability over here. Today I grocery shopped, did dishes, made applesauce, and then for around half an hour did some intense physical work in the garage. I moved boxes and re-stacked them, sorted some things to get rid of, and swept the garage floor and the sidewalk. Crucial to do this before the rainy season starts so that the drain won't clog! I had the glowing feeling of physical exercise.

That was a lot of stuff to do. There are times when I can't manage to stand up long enough to brush my teeth. I had a nap and am still lying down hours later after doing the sweeping. I ache all over especially ankles, knees, hands.

I am challenging myself lately not to take painkiller. I'm not sure if this is important or not. What it feels like is just that my pain levels are ok enough that I'm able to do it.

I wanted also to be clear about how much pain, vs. painkillers, exhausts me mentally and physically.

Right now having some clarity that pain is telling me to just lie here calmly a while longer.

But I want to get up... do more things... do the laundry...

Read the lastest issue of make/shift and now maybe i'll look at my slides for next week's talk.
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I have a complaint about the series I'm reading (another glenda larke angst festival). It is a desert continent, or region or something, and there are people with specific water magic. They can be rainlords (controlling water fairly well) or stormlords. Stormlords can actually get water from the ocean, which is the only body of water anyone knows about, separate it from the salty parts (CRUCIAL) and evaporate it into clouds and then direct the clouds to where they should go (over the stormlord owned cisterns) to rain. Combat skills of stormlords and rainlords, besides threatening everyone with no more water ever, include pulling the water directly out of people's bodies. Eyeball dessicating is the most convenient battle tactic!

OK so onward. There are only 3 kinds of animal, I think 2 kinds of "pedes" ie giant bugs you ride on or use for pack animals, and then "ziggers" which are deadly little bugs you keep in a cage or deploy via zigtube, which when they are released immediately go burrow into someone's brain to feast on it. (They know your perfume, so they don't attack you or your cohort, who wear.. the same perfume.) I'm ok with this more or less BUT I am now absolutely fed up with the ONE KIND OF FOOD AND PLANT EVER. Bab bread. Bab flour. Bab bread with bab filling. Bab paste and mash for the 'pedes. Bab matting. Every other page there is a new fabric, furniture, craft project, market tchatchka, or food that is their ONE CROP EVER.

Holy shit, people. Eat some sand or something. Get an ecology!

Book 2 is obviously working itself up for the main angsty Last Stormlord on the run who tragically can't separate out water from salt water, to realize that those distant white mountains are SNOW which is WATER and so he will finally be able to do his full stormlord thing except he probably shouldn't, because ffs go live somewhere that has real foods in it.

the only saving grace of this ecological system is that its one tree is mercifully not named "twat".

P.S. The people all name themselves after rocks and minerals because having too many people named "Bab" would be confusing and there is no other substance to name yourself after.

p.p.s. fuck bab.
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I have thought of the perfect bad invention. This my best one yet. The Vulva Clip-On Tie! Its labial folds cascade gracefully and the clitoral knot handily fastens to your collar. You can actually stick your hand or at least a finger into its depths. There has to be a pouch hidden away behind the labia for sure. It should come in various shades and configurations!

Someone get on this please and post me the etsy link or just sell it directly to me

I will make ONE MILLION DOLLARS from this idea, exactly never.

World! I love you! Have this free idea!!!!!!!


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I just finished a super, super fucked up & intense trilogy by Glenda Larke, Isles of Glory. If you like really a lot of torture and rape scenes (and I do not) and a lot of people dying then go for it. Cripes it was violent. I nearly didn't last. OK so basically, everyone lives on this archipelago. People are either normals, sylvs with healing and illusion sylvmagic, dunmagickers who have evil horrible bad corrupt magic, or Aware. The Aware can see the sylv and dun magic (glowing blue & red) and are immune to its effects. Dunmagic people can corrupt the sylvs. They have powerful mind control. Once you're infected by their dun powers you WANT not to be healed (mostly, except for that faint horror that lurks in your eyes sometimes). There are also Keepers (who are sylvs with mad wealth and political power; the Patriarchy of the Menod (god worshippers); and a hereditary island lord aristocracy. It's a complicated political situation. And there is a badass orphan outcast swordswoman cutting through it with her giant sword. Huzzah!?

A hundred years ago there was a very evil dun magic master who sank a whole stretch of islands, the Dustels, and turned its inhabitants into birds. Birds with their human intelligence intact. They develop bird language. Their descendents are also birds. One of them is madly in love with another major character in the book,

And now I can't say more because spoilers beyond the cut. (Spoilers, and perturbing deaths and all the trigger warnings about rape and other horrible violence) SPOILERS .... But not all the spoilers. Just one that was so much fun I have to talk about it. "Fun"...

Read more... )

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