family

Conditional Holidays are Always Less Than What They Seem (2/4)


Part 1

Nonchalant and all that, I waited until the last moment to look up at the welcome interlopers.

Ibrander,” said a poised, throaty, laughing voice, “won’t you introduce me?”

They stopped in front of the bench, my third cousin Ibrander1 (who detests Loddi, making me instantly suspicious of his coming over) and a tall, glossy person who was all rich brown hair and expressive mouth and hand gestures. One hand was on Ibrander’s arm but she still managed to be gesturing with it. Her clothes were nothing less than dashing – a wide hat and a one-piece dress suit in cream, its tailored A-line skirt skewing physics by ending in a sway. This was one case where I didn’t have to worry about the polite game that people played of trying to guess-without-guessing whether someone was visiting in-holo only. She was most definitely in person. (more…)

Conditional Holidays are Always Less than What They Seem (1/4)


Loddi Frisket is a black hole of neuroses. His very existence centres on an unstable singularity, which sucks in anxieties, crises, and the most outlandishly negative possibilities. From prior experience I can attest that his event horizon fluctuates around a diameter of approximately 15 metres. Sometimes the emotional debris which gathers on his accretion disk is an accurate enough warning that I can reverse course, and get away before his attention fixes on me. Sometimes it is not enough.

To give you a sense of just what I am dealing with, Loddi once asked me if I would rather lose my heart (and dignity) to a psychopathic baker, or flee the civilized world, giving up everything from clean pillow shams to NutriPills, only to waste away in boondocks replete with SABs1 and smugglers.

In my humble opinion, the baker of Loddi’s bipolar love was not psychopathic (I still buy rolls there), but merely possessed of poor judgement, seeing as she countenanced his Gothic style of flirting in the first place. Furthermore, it is well known that the Carwallian smugglers (the only smugglers within 50 lightyears to whom Loddi could have possibly been referring) live very well in their off-planet colonies, though the latter are admittedly remote places. Politics may be laissez-faire over in the Esten Economic Zone but they still don’t want blatant crime polluting the fine views and real estate values of the elite.

(more…)

Family Gatherings


Sci-fi City Downtown by JadrienC

Sometimes you have to ‘enjoy’ company that you don’t, really. Lalantree knows this as well as anybody.

To give you a sense of just what I am dealing with, Loddi once asked me if I would rather lose my heart (and dignity) to a psychopathic baker, or flee the civilized world, giving up everything from clean pillow shams to NutriPills, only to waste away in boondocks replete with SABs1 and smugglers.

In my humble opinion, the baker of Loddi’s bipolar love was not psychopathic (I still buy rolls there), but merely possessed of poor judgement, seeing as she countenanced his Gothic style of flirting in the first place. Furthermore, it is well known that the Carwallian smugglers (the only smugglers within 50 lightyears to whom Loddi could have possibly been referring) live very well in their off-planet colonies, though the latter are admittedly remote places. Politics may be laissez-faire over in the Esten Economic Zone but they still don’t want blatant crime polluting the fine views and real estate values of the elite.

1Substance Abusers: a blanket term.

Read On.

~

Image from JadrienC.

What I Learned From Wrestling with Confidential MicroData in a Pseudo-Bunker


https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/AHHIY.gif

127 pages, dozens of hectic emails, millions of observations, 4 Censuses of Population and 1 National Household Survey (NHS) later, and still I could give you the findings of my paper in a few points. Consequently, I somewhat resent this culmination of my degree, which ran to more than twice its recommended length.

In 1986, 36.9% of Canadian women did not have a high school diploma.

By 2011 only 8.9% of Canadian women did not have a high school diploma.

At least there are some interesting insights into how some things in Canada have changed between 1986 and 2011. I examined the individual files of women from these censuses and the NHS, and on their files, the number of children in their census family.

  1. Among the total sample of women aged 25-50, higher education had a negative effect on the number of children present. This lessened over time.
  2. Among women aged 35-50, after 1986 higher education had a positive effect on the number of children.
  3. Lesser-educated women may have children earlier than well-educated women, but completed family sizes are turning out to be very similar.
  4. Women aged 35-50 show higher mean numbers of children, an indicator of how women are having children later in life. But this is not true of immigrants. Foreign-born women are probably having their children earlier.
  5. Women’s wages have a clear negative correlation with the number of children.
  6. If a woman is in a common law union, this has a large negative effect on the average number of children in the family.

From 1986 to 2011, the portion of women with college degrees rose from 27.5% to 38.7%.

I’m going to spend some time on voodoo rituals to gain the goodwill of my unknown grader, who will suddenly receive 127 pages (a good 77 more pages than he/she would have likely anticipated) of unfamiliar tosh which simply works toward articulating those 6 points. And although those points form my Conclusion, I found the little facts in italics to be more interesting than the meat and potatoes of my work. It’s the small things, right?

Between 1986 and 2011 the portion of women with degrees above the Bachelor’s level rose from 3.5% to 10.6%.

I hope this essay chokes on my dust as I fly to Japan.

Monsters


I had monsters made of string and mismatched things

He has them still, in broken bushes and stolen pages

Treasures he would imbue with heart of yew

With goblin blood and petty cruelty

I ridicule and remonstrate but still I watch him every day

All I have are bundled strings and working things

Kempt surfaces and cubbyholes

And I know that he fights monsters, but all that I observe

Is the snow left to shovel, the spills left to cover

With disposables and paint

I had monsters made of string and mismatched things

And they were wilder and brighter and stronger

Than words could fashion or he could imagine

Should anyone write, or should he try

He won’t think to try, and the streets haven’t dried

Of the cars and ice and time that are mine to fight

While he makes swords and fiery floors

Always, in the corner of my mind

 

Elizabeth Cook, 2014

*

My sister knew right away what this one was about – having the younger brother that we do, and having seen how he and I rarely get along.

Her Seventh Letter to Kate


>> Back to the Beginning

>> Back to her Sixth Letter to Kate

Dearest Kate,

My new address will be The Haverly, Kingstowne, under the care of Mrs. Brougham. If you have not done this already, tell Everett that he is very lucky and that he had better bend to your every whim.

I am afraid that, after embarrassing myself, I recklessly made my application to serve as a District Officer for the Crown, and even wrote my name as G. C. Walker. I know they are even more for equality there than here, but the instinct to make myself as formidable as possible on paper took free rein. The short of it is that a wire arrived two days ago to congratulate me, and another came yesterday to ask if I might hasten my arrival; thus I will be on the airship mere hours after writing this letter.

I am very close to tears knowing that my letters to you and to my father will not reach their destinations before I am set upon my journey. And the lilacs are only just beginning to bloom. (more…)

Her Sixth Letter to Kate


>> Back to the Beginning of the Series

>> Her Fifth Letter to Kate

Dear Kate,

I’ve been negligent in writing, and I realize my last letter was only about me. I should have asked about Everett, for now you have surprised me – engaged, Kate! I cannot believe you didn’t tell me that you’ve been so much in love with him and his tennis arm for all these years. A thousand reproaches, and a thousand hugs. I have a lovely tennis arm if I do say so myself, so would you come and marry me instead?

I don’t mean to make fun, it’s only that you are so firmly rooted in York. And I am going to miss you very much, so much so that I was about to make a harebrained proposition, and it should have been very awkward to have you refuse. (more…)