Exceeded Rate Limit BS
Books and Tea
by Christina
1y ago
I’m not the first one to make this observation, but the beginning of July 2023 feels like a watershed moment in the enshittification of the internet. I ran afoul of Twitter’s Rate Limit Exceeded bogeyman on Saturday, so I finally started posting on my Bluesky account that I set up in mid-June. It feels weird and frenetic there, like everyone’s trying to plant their little flags and put on their internet costumes as fast as possible. I don’t know if I like it there yet. Based on the vibe, I may stay with Mastodon, where it doesn’t feel de rigeur to coat your thoughts in a thick layer of snark ..read more
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Guest Appearance on the Productivity Alchemy Podcast
Books and Tea
by Christina
1y ago
Happy December, everyone! I’m starting off the month with some fun news: a few months ago I was interviewed by Kevin Sonney for his podcast Productivity Alchemy, and it went live yesterday. You can listen to it here! Kevin is married to Ursula Vernon, whose fiction I have greatly enjoyed for the past few years. I reviewed her kids book Harriet the Invincible a few years back, but she’s also well known for writing the Hugo-award-winning webcomic Digger (of which I have a first-edition omnibus copy!), and for writing various novels and short stories under the pen name T. Kingfisher. Being a gues ..read more
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Back from Can-Con 2022
Books and Tea
by Christina
1y ago
This year, Mr. BooksandTea and I went to Can-Con for the first time since before the pandemic. Like many things over the past few months since pandemic restrictions have dropped, doing this for real for the first time in a few years felt weird. This is not Can-Con’s fault. In fact, compared to many other in-person social and professional events that I’ve seen shared on social media, Can-Con had a fairly robust set of safety protocols: They offered both virtual and in-person sessions. The virtual panels were pre-recorded and available on YouTube; the live readings through Zoom. They capped the ..read more
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Summer Wanderings: Montreal
Books and Tea
by Christina
1y ago
This summer, I did what everyone else seems to be doing, and I went travelling. On multiple trips, even! And we didn’t catch Covid-19 or Monkeypox either time! The first one was to see my sister in Montreal for Canada Day. This was one of the first times she and brother-in-law have had guests over since moving to the city right when the pandemic started. Myself, I last visited Montreal over a decade ago, and, my memories of that trip having faded, I was struck with a sense of jealousy over its dedication to not making itself a sucky place to live. Multiple mixed-income neighbourhoods! An abund ..read more
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Growing Things and the Smell of Spring
Books and Tea
by Christina
2y ago
“That’s fresh air,” she said. “Lie on your back and draw in long breaths of it. That’s what Dickon does when he’s lying on the moor. He says he feels it in his veins and it makes him strong and he feels as if he could live forever and ever. Breathe it and breathe it.” She was only repeating what Dickon had told her, but she caught Colin’s fancy. “’Forever and ever’! Does it make him feel like that?” he said, and he did as she told him, drawing in long deep breaths over and over again until he felt that something quite new and delightful was happening to him. FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT, The Sec ..read more
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Steerswomen and Social Contracts
Books and Tea
by Christina
2y ago
Way back in 2016, I read The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein. I’d heard about it through word of mouth from a friend, and had no idea when I started that it was the first in a series of books. I also had no idea, musing over those first pages, that it would swiftly become one of the books I recommend most to my friends, along with The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. In my initial review, I was struck most by the book’s casual, unforced feminism, as well as its exploration of the value of knowledge: Some books pay lip service to the Bechdel Test. The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kir ..read more
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The Day After Pi Day
Books and Tea
by Christina
2y ago
Yesterday was Pi Day. In the Before Times, I celebrated it by bringing pies to the office for my coworkers to share. I’d send out emails to entire departments telling them that pies — pecan, apple, strawberry rhubarb, whatever I managed to find at the grocery store that morning or the night before — were free for the taking in the kitchen. This is the first time since the pandemic started where Pi Day wasn’t on a weekend, so the absence of that office ritual was particularly noticeable. Before, Pi Day was one of my weird, lovable quirks. Former coworkers used to message me on Facebook and say ..read more
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Living Under Physical Distancing
Books and Tea
by Christina
2y ago
It’s been about a month since my last post. Not a whole lot has changed about our situation since then. We’re still at home, and it looks like we’ll be staying that way for the conceivable future. Our saving grace right now is that I work for a company considered an essential service and that my job allows me to work from home. Job stability is a good thing! Plus, due to years of living with family and careful budgeting, I have a good emergency fund set up. Finally, since we don’t have any kids, we haven’t dealt with the burnout and mental gymnastics involved in trying to homeschool anyone. So ..read more
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What I’m Doing Right Now: COVID-19 Edition
Books and Tea
by Christina
2y ago
I had vacation days left over from work last year, so I decided in January that I was going to use them up over March Break. I had grand plans of doing my taxes, attending medical appointments, and even seeing Hamilton now that it’s touring in Toronto. Surprise! Almost none of that is happening. Instead, I’m staying home right now because of COVID-19, and will keep on working from home once my vacation is over. I’m not sick (yet, at least) but since the prudent thing to do is minimize contact with other people, here’s what I’ve been doing to keep myself busy. TV & Movies Mr. BooksandTea an ..read more
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My Favourite Reads of 2019
Books and Tea
by Christina
2y ago
2019 wasn’t the best year for me in terms of sheer number of books read. But that doesn’t mean that it sucked, reading-wise. I read stand-alones, books in a series, and even finished an entire series of door-stoppers. Among them all, here are the ones I look back on most fondly now. The Dagger and the Coin series by Daniel Abraham One day, when I have the energy, I will write a full post about this series and its point of view about power, war, and the dangers of fascism. For now, I’ll just sell it to you like this: Imagine a series as complex as A Song of Ice and Fire, with books of a similar ..read more
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