Thursday, October 15, 2009

Karma points

If you haven't been over to the Expat's blog lately to see her store's playfully elegant card sets, now is the hour. And should you be interested in burnishing your karma a bit, really bringing out that old dharmic sheen, you can go to Tomato Nation and check out today's entry. Long story short: The Expat and I have a vested interest in kicking cancer in the nards, and getting kids into biology and chemistry is an investment in the longer-term vision of said antineoplastic pummeling. If you donate to one of three Donors Choose projects aimed at giving kids more resources with which to science (shut up, it's totally a verb), you can enter to win one of the card sets.

The benefits of participating are important enough to render in bullet form:
  • Help kids!
  • Get a tax write-off!
  • Feel that altruistic glow!
  • Get thank-you letters from students! (I got one last year that said, I swear, "Thank you for the paper and pencils. Now we can have homework every night." Hee-larious.)
  • Be entered to win swag!
  • Maybe win the swag, which will be delivered by yours truly! (Possible FedEx codicil goes here.)
  • ...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Still not dead

Y'all, I have not been having a good few weeks, so please forgive the paucity of postings. But big hugs to everyone and hey! I am working on fixing the problems! This requires locking Warren Ellis in a keg full of ferrets and a fuse wire; this also offers possibilities for solving the world's energy problems.

To make up for it, a return to Desultory Reviews: The Midwife edition.

I picked up Jennifer Lee's Worth's (nee Lee) book about her experiences as a lay midwife working with a religious order in London's East End after the war on a whim. Turns out, it is not the kind of book that should be taken lightly. It should be used to whack, with great force, the heads and shoulders of people who say that women's history hasn't been hidden, because the book is chockful of social history in an area that's traditionally been considered, let's use the technical term, icky. Because girl parts! And while the book is autobiographical rather than designed to help the reader deliver a baby, the details—how rooms were prepped, what prenatal care involved (boiling urine! Mm!), and how preemies were cared for—are still engaging. Doubly so her description of her fellow midwives. Sister Monica Joan, who proves that half-senile monastics can out-Hybrid the best of BSG, steals the show. Big thumbs up.

There were two complaints worth airing: First, it's not clear that this was intended to be one of a trilogy, so the author's hints about her Forbeeden Luv get a bit wearing, especially when you realize on the final chapter that she's not going to tell you what the story was. And second, the extensive glossary on Cockney pronounciation and slang feels like Worth's hobbyhorse, something an editor should have gently pried out of the book. Less rhyming slang; more Sister Monica Joan!