[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

David Crisp, "Gianforte: Congress’ newest misdemeanor", Last Best News 6/25/2017:

In case you were wondering whether Greg Gianforte will ever live down his body slam of a reporter for the Guardian, here’s a clue.

The Associated Press reported last week that Gianforte drew boos from the Republican side of the aisle during his brief speech following his swearing in as Montana’s representative in the U.S. House. The murmurs apparently had nothing to do with misdemeanor assault but came in response to Gianforte’s call to “drain the swamp” and for a bill denying pay to members of Congress if they fail to balance the budget.

But what’s really interesting is the C-SPAN transcript of Gianforte’s swearing in. The transcripts, according to a FAQ at the C-SPAN website, are drawn from the closed captioning that scrolls on the screen during sessions of Congress. The transcripts are included on the website to help visitors find the video they want, not to provide an accurate record of the actual speeches.

But they can nevertheless be revealing. On the tape, House Speaker Paul Ryan swears in Gianforte, then says, “Congratulations, you are now a member of the 115th Congress.” On the transcript, Ryan says, “Congratulations, you are now misdemeanor of the 115th Congress.”

Here's the audio:

And here's a screenshot of the relevant segment of the captioning, which actually says "CONGRATULATIONS, ARE YOU NOW MISDEMEANOR OF THE 115TH CONGRESS":

 

Music meme and gaming

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:00 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
Day 9 of the (in my case very slow-running) music meme asks for a song that makes you happy. And I have quite a lot of those, making me happy is a big reason I have a music collection at all. I think I'm going to go for Complex person by The Pretenders. The lyrics are not all that cheerful in some ways, but I love the bouncy tune and I always hear this as a song about determination and not letting things get you down.

video embed, actually audio only )

Also I've had a good week for playing games: mostly list with short comments )

Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake

Jun. 26th, 2017 12:54 pm
[syndicated profile] gfshoestring_feed

Posted by Nicole Hunn

This flourless chocolate mug cake is rich and decadent enough for a single-serve dessert, and healthy enough to have for breakfast.

This flourless chocolate mug cake is rich and decadent enough for a single-serve dessert, and healthy enough to have for breakfast.

My flourless chocolate peanut butter muffins were the inspiration for this mug cake. I make batches of those all the time and freeze them for quick snacks and breakfasts (for myself and the kids). And I love love love that it’s flourless.

Originally, I took the recipe as written and just microwaved it. It worked, in a manner of speaking, but it wasn’t the moist and tender cake experience I was looking for. I knew there was potential—even though the recipe calls for eggs. And eggs are normally a no-no in microwave mug cakes.

This flourless chocolate mug cake is rich and decadent enough for a single-serve dessert, and healthy enough to have for breakfast.

Eggs in the microwave

Generally, when we’re talking about cooking anything at all in the microwave oven, I’m anti-egg. No eggs 🍳in the microwave! But lately, I’ve been making myself scrambled eggs in the microwave for breakfast from time to time and I have a technique that always keeps them from coming out rubbery.

To make anything with eggs in the microwave, all you have to do is cook for a short burst, mix with a fork, and then finish cooking. I’m sure there’s a nerdy 🤓 scientific explanation for exactly why that works (it keeps the protein from, I don’t know, tightening up too much?). But the important thing is that it works!

This flourless chocolate mug cake is rich and decadent enough for a single-serve dessert, and healthy enough to have for breakfast.

So if you’re tight on time and still want some scrambled eggs for breakfast, pop them in the microwave! Just be sure to use an oversized heat-safe container and spray it with cooking oil first.

Microwave for about 30 seconds on about 70% power, stir well, then finish. The remaining time will depend upon how many eggs, and how powerful your microwave oven.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Egg: Well, we’ve been talking about that quite a lot, but what if you can’t have eggs? Try using a chia egg (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon water, mix and allow to gel). It should work just fine. You can try adding another 2 tablespoons of smooth applesauce, but I’m not as optimistic about that substitution.

Dairy: Haha j/k this recipe is already dairy free!

Nut butter: I’ve only tested this recipe with a no-stir nut butter (the kind that doesn’t separate in the jar), and have had nothing but success with almond, peanut and cashew butters. If you want a pure chocolate taste, I recommend cashew butter since it has the most neutral flavor. But if you can’t have nuts at all, sunflower seed butter might work. Or try my ‘regular’ chocolate mug cake recipe, the one with flour. :)

Applesauce: The smooth applesauce can be replaced with an equal amount, by weight, of mashed bananas.

This flourless chocolate mug cake is rich and decadent enough for a single-serve dessert, and healthy enough to have for breakfast.

Want to see how easy it is? Click Play ▶️ On This How To Make Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake Video

This flourless chocolate mug cake is rich and decadent enough for a single-serve dessert, and healthy enough to have for breakfast.

The post Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake appeared first on Great gluten free recipes for every occasion..

[syndicated profile] tinycatpants_feed

Posted by Aunt B.

I’m at the stage in therapy where the problem is the world being a bag of dicks and not me. I certainly do not need to work on my communication skills. I communicate for a living!

Ha ha ha. I kind of love that my biggest defense mechanism is that the world is wrong.

I finished a very rough draft of my bombing piece and I do have a big hole to fill that’s just going to have to wait on me getting files. It’s also 15,000 words long at this point, so I’m going to have to figure out how to cut it and–sadly–I think that means losing my funny bits.

I also watched the Jason Statham remake of Death Race which I think is the quintessential Jason Statham movie, since it involves driving, fighting, glaring, brief nudity, shirtless pull-ups, glowering, prison, and a baby.

It’s a weird movie, too, though in that it feels like it’s ostensibly made for men. I mean, I think action movies are made mostly for men. And sometimes I can’t decide if I’m really seeing what I think I’m seeing in the movie or if it’s colored by the fact that I watch Jason Statham movies because I want to see him take his clothes off and beat the shit out of some people. But I feel like the movie really invites the viewer–who is ostensibly mostly male–to spend a lot of time looking at Statham and the skeevy guard is obviously enjoying looking at Statham, so the film is modeling that it’s fine to take pleasure in how fucking hot this motherfucker is.

Which is fine with me. I benefit from it. But we live in such a homophobic culture and yet the movies we make for men are often full of “look at this man.”


"The Real Threat of AI"

Jun. 26th, 2017 12:39 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

Kai-Fu Lee has an interesting opinion piece in yesterday's NYT: –"The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence":

What worries you about the coming world of artificial intelligence?

Too often the answer to this question resembles the plot of a sci-fi thriller. People worry that developments in A.I. will bring about the “singularity” — that point in history when A.I. surpasses human intelligence, leading to an unimaginable revolution in human affairs. Or they wonder whether instead of our controlling artificial intelligence, it will control us, turning us, in effect, into cyborgs.

These are interesting issues to contemplate, but they are not pressing. They concern situations that may not arise for hundreds of years, if ever. […]

This doesn’t mean we have nothing to worry about. On the contrary, the A.I. products that now exist are improving faster than most people realize and promise to radically transform our world, not always for the better. They are only tools, not a competing form of intelligence. But they will reshape what work means and how wealth is created, leading to unprecedented economic inequalities and even altering the global balance of power.

Read the whole thing — and then compare it to Norbert Wiener's expression of very similar concerns in 1950, discussed in "AI panics", 11/27/2016, and "Intellectual automation", 3/7/2011.

Wiener's warnings were certainly premature. Kai-Fu Lee has a more plausible case to make, though it's possible that the climb is going to be somewhat steeper and slower than he suggests it will be.

But as both Wiener and Lee explain, the eventual social and political consequences will be profound. Kai-Fu is conditionally optimistic, though his meta-Keynesian prescriptions may strike some as naive:

One way or another, we are going to have to start thinking about how to minimize the looming A.I.-fueled gap between the haves and the have-nots, both within and between nations. Or to put the matter more optimistically: A.I. is presenting us with an opportunity to rethink economic inequality on a global scale. These challenges are too far-ranging in their effects for any nation to isolate itself from the rest of the world.

It's not clear why the global 0.01% should be any more benevolent than it it now — Norbert Wiener put it this way:

Let us remember that the automatic machine, whatever we think of any feelings it may have or may not have, is the precise economic equivalent of slave labor. Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor. It is perfectly clear that this will produce an unemployment situation, in comparison with which the present recession and even the depression of the thirties will seem a pleasant joke. This depression will ruin many industries-possibly even the industries which have taken advantage of the new potentialities. However, there is nothing in the industrial tradition which forbids an industrialist to make a sure and quick profit, and to get out before the crash touches him personally.

Thus the new industrial revolution is a two-edged sword. It may be used for the benefit of humanity, but only if humanity survives long enough to enter a period in which such a benefit is possible. It may also be used to destroy humanity, and if it is not used intelligently it can go very far in that direction.

And both current events and recent history suggest that large groups of motivated people with simple weapons are not easily overcome by superior technology. So whatever the ultimate outcome, we may get there after we relive years like 18111848, 1871, 1905, 1917, 1949, 1965, …

How to Consign Your Clothes

Jun. 26th, 2017 11:39 am
[syndicated profile] alreadypretty_feed

Posted by Sally

Purging your closet can feel marvelous. Jettisoning items that have gone unworn for months (or years) alleviates anxiety and guilt, gives you room to really see what you own, and allows you to focus on items that you truly adore. But if you’ve...

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[syndicated profile] cairogossip_feed

Posted by bcuser

Having originated in France in 1982 as a way to support the live music circuit, Fête de la Musique is now something of a global phenomenon. Bow celebrated in 120 countries across the world, the all-day music festival has even found a home in Egypt, where this year, an eclectic line-up brought together a range of both local and international acts to the stage for a unique night of live music at Al Azhar Park.

Gal Talk

Jun. 26th, 2017 12:30 am
[syndicated profile] dorothysnarker_feed

Posted by Dorothy Snarker

Here is just 4 minutes and 6 seconds of Gal Gadot being all kinds of adorable talking about herself. Not a bad way to start a week, if I do say so myself. One of the greatest feats of “Wonder Woman” – besides the whole proving a female superhero movie can be awesome and make a shitton of money and kick all those boring superhero dudes asses – was giving all the Amazons Israeli accents to match Gals’s accent. Hey, if you can’t beat them, join them.

p.s. This video also gave us this gif, for which I will be eternally grateful. And eternally in my bunk.


Is there a trend?

Jun. 25th, 2017 10:30 pm
[syndicated profile] feministphilosophers_feed

Posted by annejjacobson

I just noticed a second cover which has a woman with her back to the reader. It makes me uneasy, but I’m sure there are other interpretations that can leave one feeling part of the endeavor.  Mostly I thought it is an odd coincidence on which people might want to comment.  We could think of this post as allowing an odd interlude for free association.

Let me note that Edouard posted several versions of his cover, and I don’t know that he selected the one I am showing. Each has the female figure with her back showing.


[syndicated profile] feministphilosophers_feed

Posted by phrynefisher

Readers may be interested in a new prize for long-form philosophical essays written for a general public audience. Up for grabs are publication in Philosophers’ Imprint, Aeon, Salon, and The Point, and $4,500. Below are details from the announcement.

Essay
We invite submissions of unpublished essays (minimum 3,000 words, maximum 8,000) with significant philosophical content or method by authors with significant philosophical training addressed primarily to the general reader. There is no restriction to any area of philosophy. In particular, there is no restriction to practical philosophy. Everyone from graduate students to emeritus professors is encouraged to apply.

Prizes
The winner of the Marc Sanders Award for Public Philosophy will receive $4,500. The winning essay will be published in Philosophers’ Imprint, a free online journal specializing in major original contributions to philosophy. The second best essay will be published in Aeon, whose editorial staff will be available to help with the final draft. There will also be an opportunity for the winner(s) to present their work directly to a general audience.

Committee
The Award Committee is Chaired by Susan Wolf, Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at UNC Chapel Hill. The other committee members are Kenneth A. Taylor, Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University and co-host of Philosophy Talk; David Velleman, Professor of Philosophy and Bioethics at NYU and a founding co-Editor of Philosopher’s Imprint; Barry Maguire, Associate Professor at Stanford University; and Brigid Haines, Editorial Director at Aeon Magazine.

Deadline: 15 September, 2017
Please submit your entry to publicphilosophyaward@gmail.com by 15 September 2017. Please include the essay title in the Subject line. Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged by email. Refereeing will be blind; authors should omit all remarks and references that might disclose their identities. Unlike other Marc Sanders Prizes there is no restriction to junior candidates. Philosophers at any career stage are encouraged to submit. No more than one submission per person. Previously published essays will not be considered.

Any inquiries should be sent to Barry Maguire at barrymaguire@gmail.com.


"One big Donald Trump AIDS"

Jun. 25th, 2017 02:34 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

As I've observed several times over the years, automatic speech recognition is getting better and better, to the point where some experts can plausibly advance claims of "achieving human parity". It's not hard to create material where humans still win, but in a lot of ordinary-life recordings, the machines do an excellent job.

Just like human listeners, computer ASR algorithms combine "bottom-up" information about the audio with "top-down" information about the context — both the local word-sequence context and various layers of broader context. In general, the machines are more dependent than humans are on the top-down information, in the sense that their performance on (even carefully-pronounced) jabberwocky or word salad is generally rather poor.

But recently I've been noting some cases where an ASR system unexpectedly fails to take account of what seem like some obvious local word-sequence likelihoods. To check my impression that such events are fairly common, I picked a random youtube video from YouTube's welcome page — Bill Maher's 6/23/2017 monologue — and fetched the "auto-generated" closed captions.


Here's an example that combines impressive overall performance with one weird mistake:

5:07 Mitch McConnell says he wants a vote
5:10 before the 4th of July when Trump voters
5:13 traditionally blow their hands off
5:19 oh the fourth of July hey summers here
5:24 boy it was real Beach weather in Phoenix
5:26 the other day did you see that it was
5:28 122 122 plains could not take off hey
5:34 climate deniers
5:36 if melting IceCaps and rising oceans and
5:40 pandemics aren't enough to scare you not
5:42 being able to leave Phoenix that should
5:50 work

I'll give the machine a pass on "summers" instead of "summer's", and we can ignore the issue of "oh" vs. "ah", and forgive the hallucinated "work" at the end — but "plains could not take off"? In Psalm 114:4 the mountains skipped like rams, but not even then did the plains take off.

A bit later:

6:32 but speaking of solar Donald Trump broke
6:36 some news at the rally that the wall you
6:39 know the wall between us and Mexico it's
6:41 going to have solar panels on he said it
6:43 was his idea solar battles okay so the
6:47 wall which is never going to be built
6:49 which Mexico is never going to be paying
6:52 for which now has imaginary so propels
6:56 on because if it's one big Donald Trump
6:59 AIDS it's fake news

So the system got "solar panels" right the first time, but then heard "solar battles" and "so propels". In fairness, Maher kind of garbles the last one into something like "solar pels":

But still, I don't think anyone in the audience heard "so propels".

And then at the end, "if it's one thing Donald Trump hates it's fake news" get turned into "if it's one big Donald Trump AIDS it's fake news":

In that case, I don't hear any acoustic phonetic excuses. And surely "one thing Donald Trump hates" is a priori a more probable word string than "one big Donald Trump AIDS"…

I don't know which generation of ASR Google is using to generate YouTube captions. But it's possible that this sort of thing is an example of the sometimes-peculiar behavior of RNN language models.

Weekly Links

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] polviolence_feed

Posted by politicalviolenceataglance

By Patrick Pierson. 

Paul Guigou, “Washerwomen on the Banks of the Durance,” 1866. Photo via National Gallery of Art

On Monday, a man carrying guns and explosives rammed his car into a police convoy on Paris’ historic Champs-Elysees Avenue. A search of the man’s home revealed a large stash of additional weapons and bomb-making materials. A suspect was shot and killed in Brussels after a failed bomb attack at the city’s main train station. In the north of London, a man drove a rented van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers at Finsbury Park. In an ongoing rift between Germany and Turkey, Germany has confirmed that it will withdraw nearly 300 troops from Turkey’s Incirlik air base. A NATO fighter jet buzzed a plane carrying the Russian defense minister in international airspace over the Baltics on Wednesday.

The EU announced plans to spend 85 million euros to help with refugee relief programs in Uganda. Kenya is battling a recent cholera outbreak. Though often overlooked, the crisis in Burundi continues to generate significant refugee flows, especially to neighboring Tanzania. An attack on a resort in Mali killed five this week – a coalition of fighters linked to al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack. Cameroon has detained dozens of soldiers accused of leaving their posts amidst protests “over pay and working conditions.” A pair of Angolan journalists have been charged with insulting the state. Internet cuts in Congo-Brazzaville have observers concerned. Is the IMF propping up authoritarianism in Zambia? Zimbabwe has appealed for financial assistance to care for Mozambican refugees.

UAE forces are accused of human rights abuses amidst their involvement in the ongoing conflict in Yemen. US forces in Syria have shot down the second Iranian-made drone in as many weeks. Saudi Arabia and Iran offer differing accounts of a recent naval confrontation. Fifteen Indian men have been jailed for allegedly cheering for the Pakistani cricket team on Sunday. Four foreign inmates conducted a daring escape from a Bali prison this week. A new law in Indonesia provides for the detaining of returning militant fighters. The siege in the southern city of Marawi in the Philippines is now threatening hundreds of locals with starvation.

Honduras announced the creation of a new government post specifically tasked with protecting human rights. The monthly murder rate in Mexico has reached its highest level in 20 years. Mexican authorities have been accused of using spyware designed for crime prevention to target political opponents and critics of the government – President Pena Nieto denies the charges. A pair of Dutch journalists were kidnapped in Colombia this week. Brazil has announced that it will no longer sell tear gas to Venezuela.

Renewal of the race / nation

Jun. 25th, 2017 02:53 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

Jamil Anderlini in the Financial Times (6/21/17), "The dark side of China’s national renewal", writes:

To an English-speaking ear, rejuvenation has positive connotations and all nations have the right to rejuvenate themselves through peaceful efforts.

But the official translation of this crucial slogan is deeply misleading. In Chinese it is “Zhonghua minzu weida fuxing” and the important part of the phrase is “Zhonghua minzu” — the “Chinese nation” according to party propaganda. A more accurate, although not perfect, translation would be the “Chinese race”.

That is certainly how it is interpreted in China. The concept technically includes all 56 official ethnicities, including Tibetans, Muslim Uighurs and ethnic Koreans, but is almost universally understood to mean the majority Han ethnic group, who make up more than 90 per cent of the population.

The most interesting thing about Zhonghua minzu is that it very deliberately and specifically incorporates anyone with Chinese blood anywhere in the world, no matter how long ago their ancestors left the Chinese mainland.

“The Chinese race is a big family and feelings of love for the motherland, passion for the homeland, are infused in the blood of every single person with Chinese ancestry,” asserted Chinese premier Li Keqiang in a recent speech.

This is a highly perceptive, and troubling, article that merits reading in its entirety.

In this post, I will focus on some key terms.

First of all, front and center, what is this mínzú 民族?  It can mean lots of things:  nation, nationality, people, ethnic group, race, volk.  This is not the first time that mínzú 民族 has erupted on the international stage.  One of the most notable instances was four years ago, emanating right here from the University of Pennsylvania.  The incident is well recounted by R.L.G. in "Johnson" at The Economist (5/21/13), "Of nations, peoples, countries and mínzú:  Differing terms for ethnicity, citizenship and group belonging ruffle feathers":

DID Joe Biden insult China?  The American vice-president has a habit of sticking his foot into his mouth, and in this case, the recent graduation speech he gave at the University of Pennsylvania inspired a viral rant by a "disappointed" Chinese student at Penn, Zhang Tianpu. What was Mr Biden's sin? Was it Mr Biden's suggestion that creative thought is stifled in China?

You cannot think different in a nation where you cannot breathe free. You cannot think different in a nation where you aren't able to challenge orthodoxy, because change only comes from challenging orthodoxy.

No, that wasn't it.

The source of the insult is a surprising one: Mr Biden called China a "great nation", and a "nation" repeatedly after that. Victor Mair, the resident sinologist at the Language Log blog, translates Mr Zhang's complaint.

In this sentence, "You CANNOT think different in a nation where you aren't able to challenge orthodoxy", he used the word "nation". This is what really infuriated me, because in English "nation" indicates "race, ethnicity", which is different from "country, state". "Country, state" perhaps places more emphasis on the notion of the entirety of the country, even to the point of referring to the idea of government.

Mr Mair explains:

The weakness in Zhang's reasoning lies mainly in his confusion over the multiple meanings of the word mínzú 民族…. [M]ínzú 民族 can mean "ethnic group; race; nationality; people; nation".  Coming from the English side, we must keep in mind that "nation" can be translated into Chinese as guó 国 ("country"), guójiā 国家 ("country"), guódù 国度 ("country; state"), bāng 邦 ("state"), and, yes, mínzú 民族 ("ethnic group; race; nationality; people; nation").

It is clear that, when Biden said "China is a great nation", he was respectfully referring to the country as a whole.  Yet the sensitivity to questions of ethnicity in China, especially with regard to the shǎoshù mínzú 少数民族 ("ethnic / national minorities"), e.g., Uyghurs, Tibetans, and scores of others, caused Zhang to take umbrage over something that the Vice President never intended.

In a later post about smartphone zombies, Cant. dai1tau4 zuk6 / MSM dītóu zú 低頭族 (“head-down tribe”), "Tribes" (3/10/15), I wrote:

The first word I think of when I see 族 as a suffix is Mandarin mínzú, Japanese minzoku 民族 (“nation; nationality; people”), which is formed from 民 (“people; subjects; civilians”) + 族 (“family clan; ethnic group; tribe”).  The term is a neologism coined in the late 19th century by Japanese thinkers to match the Western (especially German) concept of “nation”.

… I have assembled a large amount of material concerning the absence of mínzú / minzoku 民族 as a lexical item corresponding to “nation” in China before it was introduced from Meiji [1868-1912] Japan.

When we prefix mínzú 民族 with shǎoshù 少数 ("few; small number; minority"), we have shǎoshù mínzú 少数民族 ("minority; national minority; ethnic minority").  Here it gets really tricky, because, as Anderlini points out in his article, there are officially 56 ethnic groups (mínzú 民族) in China, of which 55 are shǎoshù mínzú 少数民族 ("minorities; national minorities; ethnic minorities; ethnic groups"), with the 56th being the dominant, majority (over 90%) Hàn mínzú 汉民族 ("Han nationality; Han ethnic group").  Consequently, when Chinese politicians talk about the blood of the Chinese race, it's important to know whether they are are referring to Hàn mínzú 汉民族 ("Han nationality; Han ethnic group"), Zhōnghuá mínzú 中华民族 ("Chinese nation / people", where Zhōnghuá 中华 is understood as "Central cultural florescence"), or something else.  In each case, we need to judge carefully whether they meant to include all the ethnicities within the sovereign territory of the PRC or in the whole world, or whether they were referring specifically to individuals of Han ethnicity within the sovereign territory of the PRC or in the whole world.  Often, for politicians, as for poets, ambiguity is desirable, or at least convenient.

There are no less than half a dozen other words for "(the) people" that are in common use in Mandarin.  I won't go into all of them here, but will mention only one:  rénmín 人民, as in rénmínbì 人民币 ("RMB; people's currency") and Rénmín rìbào 人民日报 ("People's Daily").  This term, rénmín 人民, does not get involved with race, ethnicity, nation, and so on, but emphasizes the population as a whole.

As for "Zhongguo / China", that too is a huge can of worms, for which see this incisive paper by Arif Dirlik:

"Born in Translation: 'China' in the Making of 'Zhongguo'"

[h.t. John Rohsenow, Bill Bishop]

Quick update

Jun. 24th, 2017 10:50 am
serene: mailbox (Default)
[personal profile] serene
My sister died yesterday, a few minutes after Munchkin The Elder left to pick up his father from the doctor. She died while being given CPR, which strikes me as a violent kind of way to go, but she had been unconscious for hours at the time, so I doubt she felt anything.

Today, James and I will go to the hospital to fetch her belongings. Monday, the social worker will contact me about arrangements for her disposition.

The kids are fine. James and I are fine. My mom is alternately fine and wrecked, which will probably be the way of things for a while.

We lost her a long, long time ago. There's some finality in the past day's events, but not much has changed.

Munchkin the Younger came up yesterday to check in, to tell me that I am her real mother, and to get comfort in talking to someone who understands not having any emotion left for the person we lost all those years ago.

I'm sorry there was no way for us to reach her. I'm sorry her life was sad and hard, and that she caused so much damage in our family.

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