Drabble: A mere manner of speaking

Mar. 24th, 2017 10:02 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan
Eliza Ferraby looks where she has just written: ‘Sure I have nigh fallen in love with Lady Jane’. 'Tis a mere manner of speaking about a lady one finds entire after one’s own heart, with her fine herb-garden and well-equipped stillroom, her remarkable skill in dairy matters. Simply means one is greatly prepossessed by her. And yet, when Lady Jane talks of the late Miss Billston, there seems, Eliza frowns, she knows not what, but more than the affection due a cousin. But now she writes to Clorinda, and recalls those laughing blue eyes; and feels a curious inward flutter.

(no subject)

Mar. 24th, 2017 01:22 am
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I just feel really discouraged with Tumblr this week.

Yes!!! I am aware that my viral post du jour does not adequately address the racial, class, and economic factors that make the concept inaccessible to other people!!! It also does not cite the geneaology of the concepts I used. I wrote it in half an hour before I collapsed with pain and fatigue. I don't actually find the concept accessible either; it's a vague sketch of "ideas I wish were not fundamentally poisoned for me." My apologies for failing to attain perfection in an endeavour that neither contributes to my livelihood nor furthers my career.

(no subject)

Mar. 23rd, 2017 11:44 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Just finished reading: Fair Play by Josh Lanyon

I read the first book in the series, Fair Game, not long after it came out in 2010. It's stuck in my head ever since then. The series is M/M romance and mystery thriller, and part of what amazed me is that the romance was written as intricately as the crime; I was amazed at how the entire tone of the novel shifted without anything being detectably different, and traced the shift back down to a single word in a sex scene that cause a cascading shift of perceptions of peoples' motives and reactions. It was impressive.

So this month Audible coughed up a recommendation for another Lanyon book and I checked it out, and behold! It was the further adventures of the two protagonists from Fair Game. Since romance novels almost always end just as the relationship gets truly underway, I was all up in that shit. After I finished Book 2, I immediately bought and began Book 3. I then took a break from Book 3 to make a cup of tea and play with my cat, and wanted to sit down and write this out while it was still fresh in my mind.

Fair Play is fascinating because it's all about CONFLICT in the relationship and it's glorious. (That is, there are a couple mystery plots, but while I'll read them I won't pretend they're important to me.) Elliot, the protagonist, left the FBI when he was injured in the line of duty; he now teaches university history. Tucker, his boyfriend, is still an active FBI agent. Elliot's an extremely logical guy doesn't understand his own emotions super well, who's used to the people in his life giving him a lot of autonomy and independence; Tucker's a former foster kid who's put a lot of work into understanding himself and is leaping aboard the emotional closeness train with alacrity, but he's very used to being either totally self-sufficient or taking care of other people--not to having a partner, much less someone who wants to take care of him. They love each other, but they start off not knowing very much about how to share their decision-making processes, how to argue productively, or how to show love and concern for each other without surrendering their autonomy or self-respect.

And you know what? They god-damn well figure it out. They love each other so much that rather than break up, they keep finding ways to introspect, express their feelings, advocate for their viewpoints, understand each other, and work it through. It's especially interesting to watch from Elliot's perspective. He's so very unlike me in a way that reminded me of my own special perspective and skills--when he's sitting there thinking, "Why am I angry? It doesn't make sense when you look at the logical situation" I'm screaming "ATTACHMENT THEORY!" but that's not how he operates. But at the same time, his emotional process was written in what felt like a very accurate and honest fashion--he does try, honestly and intelligently, and when he has an emotional breakthrough he faces it wholeheartedly and works it through with such dedication you can see why he tries not to have them too often.

There are occasional sour notes in the narration, especially around women or fat people, that make me a little uncomfortable because I can't quite tell whether it's Lanyon's opinion or just that Elliot is very like Dan Savage in that as a stoic fit white cis gay man from the Pacific Northwest, Elliot has internalized a set of prejudices he's never felt the need to question--he takes for granted that, for example, aging women who express alarm in response to others' misfortune and attempt to emotionally mother others are an alien, offputting, and unattractive species, from whom he would rather distance himself, and never thought more about the topic.

Still. I've finished my cup of tea, so I'm gonna go back to Book 3.

Dietician update

Mar. 23rd, 2017 10:36 pm
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
I had a phone interview yesterday with a dietitian who specializes in people with disordered relationships with food. I like her, and think I can definitely work with her.

Meanwhile, cut for discussion of weight )
scaramouche: Anna from Supernatural in cartoon form (spn: anna cartoon)
[personal profile] scaramouche
During some link-hopping I discovered that, despite Disney tentatively doing a live-action film of their The Little Mermaid, and there being a film adaptation with Shirley MacLaine coming out this year, another indie film managed to leapfrog both for a 2016 release and became, officially, the first English-language live-action feature film adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid.

(It's true. Despite the book coming out in the 19th century, all the prior adaptations have been animated, live-action for television, or in languages other than English.)

Last night I watched this 2016 film, which stars Rosie Mac as the little mermaid, and can say quite reasonably that the only thing this film has going for it is that it that was made quickly enough to get that First English-Language Live-Action Film Adaptation moniker. Its worst fault isn't that it looks like it was made for $100 dollars (of which $90 dollars was spent on the gorgeous mermaid tail that seen for maybe 30 seconds), or that the story is a cynical modern-day adaptation with very little wonder, or that the acting leaves a lot to be desired. Its worst fault is that it's boring.

I can forgive a lot if there's a decent idea somewhere in the center of any story, and although there were a few flashes of maybe-brilliance in this adaptation, it's just a slog to watch, and with very little charm. I didn't care about or understand any of the characters, and I had very little idea of what the story was trying to say. Plus it had that sense of look-how-edgy-we-are in having the little mermaid and her (first) prince having a one night stand that ends badly, and then the little mermaid being curious about sex toys and then becoming a burlesque dancer. I have very little patience for edgelord adaptations that don't retain any sense of magic, and not to mention that this makes it the third recent cynical adaptation for The Little Mermaid specifically, the others being Little From the Fish Shop and Charlotte's Song (which is more inspired-by instead of a straight adaptation, but still).

Still, I think in theory that I could have enjoyed a modern-day adaptation that takes a cold, hard look at the culture clash of a mute mermaid having to navigate our world, if only it weren't so damn dull and cheerless.

Because it might help to know

Mar. 23rd, 2017 08:01 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
that it's NOT just awesome people dying lately:

The New York Times: Joseph Nicolosi, Advocate of Conversion Therapy for Gays, Dies at 70

From five years ago, here's an account of the sort of damage he did (content note for suicidal ideation):

Gabriel Arana: My So-Called Ex-Gay Life

A day that started far too early

Mar. 23rd, 2017 06:57 pm
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Meedja people wanted to film an interview with me in Former Place Of Work: this was supposed to happen next Monday, and ended up being today, this morning, before the facilities open to the public. (Greatly tempted to send The Famous Shirt on its own to do the job.) They did lay on a car to take me there. There was not a great deal of faffing about before we got to the, you know, actual interviewing.

This went fairly well, though I always suspect meedja luvvies to rave insincerely: this may be unfair.

I was fairly knackered after this, but yesterday I had an email from someone who wanted to discuss matters of mutual research interest, and was going to be visiting the Library today, so I said, could do coffee, or lunch, and we had a fairly intense and wide-ranging discussion of research over an extended lunch.

And when I got back to my desk, there was an enquiry from Another Meedja Person about a thing they're researching which is one that has (according to me) already been Done to Death, and they were very vague about what sort of angle they might be taking. But I thought I should at least get in a reply politely indicating that It's Been Done.

And then I came home, fully intending to rest for a bit and then go out again to the gym, but could not bring myself to leave the house again.

But at least I think I have done a fair amount of communicating Mi Learninz to people at various different levels today.

Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older

Mar. 23rd, 2017 01:38 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Shadowshaper Cover ArtI continue to snag books out of my son’s Scholastic book order forms. One of the latest was Shadowshaper [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound], by Daniel José Older. It’s an enjoyable, relatively quick read. Here’s the summary:

Sierra Santiago planned to have an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a mysterious fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for herself and generations to come.

The “About the Author” section notes that Older lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, which is where the book takes place, and it shows. Sierra’s world feels real and fully developed, populated with interesting people and places. It’s a far cry from some of the generic pseudo-New York settings you sometimes get.

I love the concept of shadowshaping, the way the magic works as a collaboration between spirits and shadowshaper, and the possibilities of that power. One of my favorite scenes was watching Sierra discovering what she could do with a simple piece of chalk.

Sierra and the rest of the cast are great, all with their own personalities and flaws and conflicts. They feel like real people…it’s just that some of them can bring their artwork to life.

My only complaint is that the villain felt a bit flat and obvious. But the ideas behind that villain, the theme of the privileged cultural outsider barging in and making a mess of things, are totally valid and powerful. I wouldn’t want that to change; I just would have liked to see a little more depth to them.

And kudos for the awesome librarian.

I’ve seen a number of reviews praising the diversity in the book. On the one hand, I do think that’s worth recognizing, and I definitely appreciated it. On the other… I don’t know. I wish we could reach a point where we don’t have to praise authors for showing the world the way it is, and could instead just note when authors fail to portray a realistically diverse world. Does that make sense? I dunno…probably something that needs a longer blog post to unpack.

Anyway, to wrap this up, the ending was lovely and made me eager to read Shadowhouse Fall, which comes out in September of this year.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Birthday

Mar. 23rd, 2017 07:28 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Default)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
Happy birthday, [personal profile] jeriendhal!
spiralsheep: Woman blowing heart-shaped bubbles (Bubble Rainbow)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
My thoughts are with everyone around the world who have recently lost loved ones from any cause but especially the many unnecessary deaths that happen every day.

Latest news of the injured and dead from the terrorist attack in central London: twelve Britons, three French children, two Romanians, four South Koreans, two Greeks, and one person each from Germany, Poland, Ireland, China, Italy, and the United States. Three police officers were also hurt, two of them seriously.

London remains one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities, currently with a democratically elected English Muslim mayor, and that's why extremists who believe human beings should be segregated by religion, or "racial" appearance, or place of origin, hate London and target Londoners (whether they're residents or visitors). The same is true of Birmingham.

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

(no subject)

Mar. 23rd, 2017 10:57 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] robot_mel!
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Donald Trump Jr called 'a disgrace' for tweet goading London mayor Sadiq Khan

Yup, he decided to use the attack on Parliament as an excuse to insult (and misrepresent) the Mayor of London while the incident was still live.

Everyone at Westminster was still in lockdown and trapped in the chamber or their offices while he was Tweeting.

I can't think why he thought London's British-Pakistani Muslim mayor was an appropriate target at a time like this, except that that's a lie, I totally can, because it's really fucking obvious.

Also, the risk of terror attacks is an inevitable part of living in a big city (and I am more than old enough to remember when it was the IRA).

Red Sonja

Mar. 23rd, 2017 02:52 pm
scaramouche: Vocal Adrenaline glee club from Glee, with "Bring It" in text (glee bring it)
[personal profile] scaramouche
It's been literally months since I came back from my London trip, but my stack of new media sitting in the middle of the floor of my room has barely shrunk. In fact, it's grown a little, thanks to the bunch of stuff I've been buying lately post-Rogue One. I know I should just put everything away, but I really do want to consume the DVDs and music at least once before shelving them.

I tried to start up again by watching Red Sonja (the movie version, with Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold's Conan expy). I've wanted a decent DVD version for some time now, and had held off getting one back when DVDs were still exciting and getting decent extras, but it's been too long of a wait for a special edition of some sort so I caved and got a basic version if only so I have the movie at all.

I did a rewatch and MAN OH MAN I forgot how much this movie did for my younger self's id. It's so aggressively eighties, with its style and special effects and earnest dialogue and matte paintings, plus Sandahl Bergman (who plays Queen Gedren) had a particular vocal quality that had me flashing back to the English dubbing of various cartoons and European films that I grew up with. I don't know whether it's the way she speaks as Gedren, or how her voice was recorded or what, but it pings a very specific sensory memory, it was most disconcerting.

Fresh-faced Brigitte Nielsen was also a delight, with her awkwardness working as a plus in selling the character to me as a child, though perhaps it comes off differently if I'd watched the movie for the first time as an adult. I'd also forgotten how non-subtextual Gedren's interest in Sonja was -- somehow I'd convinced myself that it was something I made up but, nope! Gedren really does want Sonja, just as it sounds. Tremendous.

Reading Wednesday: 22 March 2017

Mar. 22nd, 2017 10:41 pm
likeadeuce: (genius)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
What are you currently reading?

Getting back in the reading groove a little --

Finishing up Underground Airlines by Ben Winters on audiobook. It's sort of a noir/mystery set in an alternate history where the US Civil War never happened and slavery continues to exist in a few Southern states. The world-building is interesting, and the author seems to have a strong understanding of politics and history that makes me think, "OK, sure, that could have happened." It's tightly plotted with lots of twists, and while I wish the character work were a little stronger, the narrative voice is very good. Also, if anybody's read this, spoilery question )

I've read a little bit of Version Control by Dexter Palmer, a near future novel which I understand has an interesting sci fi premise but that I won't figure out what it is until later in the book. I like it so far, lots of possibilities.

And I was attempting to do a 'quick' re-read/re-skim of Sister Citizen, by Melissa V. Harris-Perry, which I recommended for my social justice book club based on having read it a couple years ago. But it's both so absorbing and so well-argued that it's not especially skimmable; hopefully I'll get through most of it before Saturday.

What did you recently finish reading?

I somehow missed Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game when I was a kid, noticed my library had it on audiobook. I enjoyed this. . .it's fun and a bit silly, with a large and potentially cartoonish cast of characters, but there turns out to be a lot more subtlety to the character portraits and relationships than it seems at first. Turtle Wexler for president.

What do you think you’ll read next?

If I ever finish what I'm working on, I need to get back to All the Birds in the Sky. From there I guess I'll see.

An Ancient Peace, by Tanya Huff

Mar. 22nd, 2017 09:41 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
Sixth in the Confederation series. Not bad! Less Craig content than the last book, which automatically gives it a step up in my opinion. Craig is a lot more palatable when he's just one of the team and sort of background emotional support for Torin, instead of being an integral part of the plot.

Read more... )

Concern For Accordion Players

Mar. 22nd, 2017 04:10 pm
nenya_kanadka: "Intarwebz = serius bizness" (@ Intarwebz srs bsns)
[personal profile] nenya_kanadka
Goddammit, earwormed by failmeme again:

(to the tune of Turkey In The Straw or perhaps Battle Hymn of the Republic; and in response to the Serious Question posed in the first line)

Do you ever trap your nipple in the fold-out bit?
Do you play in nippy weather and then agonize your tit?
Do you briskly pump your bellows in the midst of all your fellows
Just to find you've trapped your nipple in the fold-out bit?


I think it's the "briskly" that does me in every time. 😂

(no subject)

Mar. 22nd, 2017 05:01 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I recently had a brainstorm and reserved the Tumblr URL [tumblr.com profile] saltine-canadian. A little while later I decided I didn't want it after all. Are there any other salty Canadians out there who might want it?

(I also later realized that properly "salty" would be saline-Canadian; on the other hand the definition of "saltine" is "a thin salted cracker" and that is... not wholly inaccurate)

Permanent Residents, refugees, expatriates, and long-term residents also welcome to apply.
emceeaich: A woman in glasses with grey hair, from the eyes up, wearing a hairband with 'insect antenna' deelie-boppers (bugmaster)
[personal profile] emceeaich

I wanted to draw your attention to a lovely, new feature in BMO which went out with this week's push: auto-linking to GitHub issues.

Now, in a Bugzilla bug's comments, if you reference a GitHub issue, such as mozilla-bteam/bmo#26, Bugzilla converts that to a link to the issue on GitHub.

References to GitHub Issues now become links

This will save you some typing in the future, and if you used this format in earlier comments, they'll be linkified as well.

Thanks to Sebastin Santy for his patch, and Xidorn Quan for the suggestion and code review.

If you come across a false positive, please file a bug against bugzilla.mozilla.org::General.

The original bug: 1309112 - Detect and linkify GitHub issue in comment

Wednesday Reading Meme

Mar. 22nd, 2017 10:02 pm
oneiriad: (Default)
[personal profile] oneiriad
So, apart from reading stuff, I'm still watching Legends of Tomorrow, and Leonard Snart is finally back (sort of - past!Len - close enough), and I badly want somebody to hit all the legends. Anyway.

And I'm about 1/3 into the second season of Prison Break (I thought I ought to watch at least some of the show before the new season starts, because Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller.) And I just noticed that Netflix has gotten a show called Samurai Gourmet, which my Shinya Shokudo loving self is thinking sounds relevant to my interests, though we'll see.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a reading meme post.

What I've recently finished reading

Joshua Williamson: Ghosted: Ghost Town
Well, that's apparently done. I must admit, this series never really hooked me. The idea of a thief stealing ghosts was definitely a good idea, it just - I never actually liked any of the characters?

Byzantium and the Viking World

Kieron Gillen: The Wicked + the Divine: Fandemonium
I'm really enjoying this comic book series. I mean, the mythology is all over the place and makes no sense, but it's gorgeous and the idea of a group of gods (from all manner of mythologies) reincarnating/manifesting in a bunch of teenagers every 90 years, inspiring fandoms and scholarship and then inevitably dying within two years? I actually like the setting.

Robert Venditti: The Flash: Out of Time

Christopher Golden & Mike Mignola: Baltimore: The Plague Ships

Gail Carriger: Manners and Mutiny
I must admit, I mostly read this one to complete this subseries. I think I've had enough of this author. Her Parasol Protectorate was fun, sort of Austen-lite with a steampunk-urban fantasy fusion, and this is the same world, just - it's gotten too ridiculous? And from what I can find, the next series don't sound like they'll be less ridiculous?

Kurt Busiek: Astro City: Lovers Quarrel

Zander Cannon: Kaijumax Season 1.
You now, I really do like the idea of this comic - a prison island for all the gigantic Kaiju monsters terrorizing the world. It just never quite - maybe it's because the art style wasn't quite my thing? Or because the plot, if you ignore the giant monsters part, was actually - kinda cliché?

Maria Turtschaninoff: Maresi
I'm sort of divided about this book. On one hand, I quite liked the worldbuilding - the red abbey, the daily lives of the sisters and novices as the year goes round, even the secret magics that they just barely make use of, and the whispers of the Witch, the death aspect of the mother goddess. On the other hand, the main plot - as far as there is plot and not just quiet following-the-life - the plot where one girl from a extremely patriarchal country seeks refuge and her evil dad follows with a crew of pirate men eager for pillage and rape? It didn't feel - well, it was way too predictable, I suppose. And honestly? I think I'm well and truly tired of that type of plots.

What I'm reading now

Kim Harrison's The Witch With No Name, which is - I must confess - another last-book-in-a-series, where I rather liked the series early on, but at this point, it's my inner completist that drives the work, and then I've just started reading Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination. (I'm imagining Dominic Purcell playing Gully Foyle, though that might just be because of the cover picture.)

What I'm reading next

Well, I don't know right now. Honestly? My choice of which book is next often has a considerably correlation with whichever book the library has finally decided I can't renew anymore... (Possibly Anaché by Maria Turtschaninoff, though I worry it will turn out to be the same sort of world played straigth as Maresi).

Total number of books and comics read this year: 59
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Our master bathroom always contains three bathtowels, one on the top of the double rail and two on the bottom. Whenever I change the towels, I hang three; so does my husband. This weekend we found out that each of us thought the other needed two towels, and occasionally wondered why. As far as we can determine, the third towel got used only as an emergency handtowel.

Or maybe it was for the prophet Elijah, who knows.

Mutiny Part 4

Mar. 22nd, 2017 10:45 am
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
With the departure of Chris, one of the key unifying factors among the crew (viz. hatred of Chris) has vanished. This is a dangerous time for Ant. With no-one else to blame, will they turn on him? Things are made tenser, at least according to Philip Glenister, because they are, for the fourth time in the series, approaching "the most dangerous stage of their voyage."

Getting through the Great Barrier Reef )



*And given what Ant finally fell out with Chris over, I was unimpressed by him standing in the prow wearing his harness like a lei AGAIN, during a gybe in a biggish swell very close to the reef. Getting him back if he fell in wouldn't be any picnic.

Reading Wednesday

Mar. 22nd, 2017 08:41 am
muccamukk: text 'Writers expressed themselves with cymbals' with a picture of a set of cymbals (Books: Writing)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr., narrated by Ron Butler
Coming from the standpoint of knowing basically zero about any of this, I thought this book was a really good place to start. It laid out the social and political background, how the movement formed and why, the main players and their backgrounds and what happened from there.

It was a little bit repetitive, and the timeline zigzagged a bit, but mostly it read very well.

I would like to read some individual stories by Panthers, as this book was meant to be more academic, and I feel like there's a lot of voice and emotion left out.


Watership Down by Richard Adams
Third time I've read this, but first in a few years, but I remember so much of it so vividly from when Dad read it to use when we were young. It is very difficult to talk about a book as deeply foundational as this one. I noticed more character details this time, how the stories built on each other, how the chapter quotes tied in. Still in love with it, still get teary at the end.


The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
Hard one to rate. One one hand, was it good? No. The world building is meant for people who thought the Hunger Games was too deeply considered and realistic, the obvious love triangle is obvious and all plot twists were predictable from page one.

However, I've gotta say that I needed to buzz through a book like this for pure soap to reset my brain, and it does exactly what it says on the tin entirely competently. I'll probably read the next two, while I'm at it.


The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher
So this is pretty much a creepy Nordic mythology retelling of Snow Queen except with lesbians. I was a fan. It was also really funny, and the characters felt well built and real. I loved all the talking creatures.


A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World by Robert Bringhurst
Absolutely fascinating and probably better read more slowly or more times than I did. As the traditions are so absolutely different than literature I'm familiar with, I had a hard time getting a lot of them as clearly as Bringhurst wanted me to, I think. What I did get was slightly dizzying in scope, and I feel like I'll need to go back to it.

Bringhurst was also selling his point hard that he was talking about proper art, which was more or less preaching to the choir, but I suppose it did someone good. I should like to hear it spoken, as pronunciation guides elude me.


The Lost Child of Lychford (Lychford #2) by Paul Cornell
Very enjoyable, more so even than the first one. I liked tying in the bedevilment of Christmas rush for the vicar with actual bedevilment, and how the women are starting to work together as a team. It could have been a little too direct, but let each woman have their own beliefs and ways of thinking about and using magic. I'd be happy to read more of tor.com wants to publish them.


What I'm Reading Now
From the library: Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie by Barbara Goldsmith, which I just started, but is interesting so far. I'm curious how much it will include that I hadn't hit on the Curie research binge I did for that LoT fic.
Audio: The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah E. Harkness, which I'm almost done, and was absolutely fascinating.


What I'm Reading Next
Probably finish up a few audiobooks I left hanging, then work through the library stack (in order of dueness):
Hot pterodactyl boyfriend by Alan Cumyn
Four wars of 1812 by D. Peter MacLeod with the Canadian War Museum 1812 team
Tecumseh & Brock: the War of 1812 by James Laxer
The theatre of the world: alchemy, astrology and magic in Renaissance Prague by Peter Marshall.
A two-spirit journey: the autobiography of a lesbian Ojibwa-Cree elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby with Mary Louisa Plummer

Check my math

Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:24 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Behind a cut, because student suicide is an upsetting topic for some people.

Read more... )
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished JA Jance, Cruel Intent, and am sufficiently prepossessed by the Ali Reynolds series to download the boxsets of the next three and a couple of novellas.

However, decided that perhaps I should take a little break and read something else, so I read Simon Brett, The Strangling on the Stage (2014), one of the Fethering mysteries, though I'm not sure one reads these for the actual, you know, mystery plot. This one had amdram luvvies.

Patricia Craig, Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading (2015) - charity shop find, about which I found myself a bit meh - it didn't seem to me to quite mesh the various elements, but that may have been me - even before the William Mayne apologism. I wanted perhaps more about the books themselves?

Robin Stevens, Jolly Foul Play (2016) from local indie bookshop sale shelf - I'm still not entirely sold on Hazel Wong - I feel there's a place somewhere between 'perpetuating Orientalist stereotypes' and having her be a standard 1930s boarding school girl who happens to be Chinese - but this did, I think, introduce some complexity in relationships and I think I shall be reading others in the series.

On the go

I am still very much enjoying the ongoing serial by Avoliot, The Course of Honour.

Still intermittently plugging on with the Inchbald bio - still not up to Wollstonecraft interactions.

The Dorothy Wrench bio is still very much backburnered - somehow I just slip off it whenever I pick it up.

Up next

No idea, find myself between books.

Nixon and what it was like

Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:35 am
rydra_wong: Doonesbury: Mark announcing into a microphone, "That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!" (during the Watergate scandal) (guilty)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Lately, I've been chatting to friends and family who watched Watergate go down live about what it was like and how it compares to the current situation; it's interesting in itself, but IMHO also potentially useful as one of the many possible sources to raid for info on how to live in scary and chaotic times.

(And sometimes it just produces random bits of information like "We knew someone who slept with Bernstein!" As another friend commented, didn't everyone?)

[personal profile] robynbender wrote me a long and fascinating e-mail which she's given me permission to post below:

************

I agree that Trump is uniquely terrifying, due to his highly-impaired state, and due to the presence of Bannon and others working behind him. And there's unique threat in climate change, and how close we are to points of no return, which we didn't know in the 1970s.

At the time we didn't realize how addled Nixon was, but we knew he was very mean, vengeful, and righteously at war with his enemies. And he felt very dangerous because he was so much more competent and smart and ambitious than Trump, and eager to be a major player on the world stage, and had gathered very competent people around him eager to do bad things. The organized serial killer, in [Friend]'s terms, and a very energetic one who had Big Ideas.

He actually had come in, and gotten re-elected, with a strong victory against very fragmented opponents. (The greatest irony of the break in being, he had a lock on the election by the time it happened.) He had the support of the middle-american and southern-strategy "Silent Majority" (viz, nearly all my family and extended kin, for sure) who firmly believed any protesters or dissidents were dirty, long-haired, drug-addled, sex-crazed, godless hippies (sometimes in league with scary Negroes, Black Panthers, etc.) So he felt to me like a juggernaut, having mown down morally-solid but too-left-wing candidates RFK, McCarthy, and McGovern over two elections. The resistance was generally quite young, and mobilized by the generational threat of the military Draft as much as by any other issue. He was a power center for a lot of hate, and he cast my friends and me as wrong, degenerate, and a danger to the Republic just for be-ing. LBJ had built up social helps with the War on Poverty, Medicare, etc.; domestically, Nixon started the process of sending federal services "back to the states" and putting money into "drug enforcement" and other "law and order" priorities.

Cut for length )

If you were there, I'd love to hear your perspectives too.

Sometimes I’m all like “no no I

Mar. 22nd, 2017 04:41 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Sometimes I’m all like “no no I really never wrote terrible stuff happening on-page before I started writing terrible things happening to Bucky Barnes” and then I remember that literally the first explicit story I wrote in a fandom where I was interacting directly with other fans was… 

Relax, a Due South story featuring Non-Con Hypnotism, Dub-Con Hypnotism, and a dude who could give Steve Rogers a run for his money in moral rectitude deliberately inducing amnesia in the guy he’s in love with. More than once. Andthentheyhavesextheend. 

So! Always in character as myself, I guess. Whoever is writing me is really doing a good job at that. 

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(no subject)

Mar. 21st, 2017 09:54 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Okay, this is bizarre.

So yoga has been going so well (not just the practice itself, but the routine of getting equipment together and getting to a class on time) that I've recently moved on up to Aquafit which is a really gentle form of exercise done standing chest-deep in a swimming pool. There are usual Aquafit classes, which are basically aerobics in water, but I do Water Works, which is for people with injuries or impairments and has no cardio element. It's the kind of class where I am visibly 20 years younger than anyone else (and usually it's more like 40-60), and when I pay my entrance fee the pool staff double-check that I know it's not a workout class. But it's what works for me.

So I went to Aquafit today, and... had a good time. I felt energized and rejuvenated by the experience, my mood didn’t bottom out, I felt motivated and engaged the entire way through, afterwards I felt good about socializing with people in the hot tub, my pain wasn’t any worse when I left the pool, and tonight my muscles ache faintly from exertion but my other types of pain are actually reduced.

WHAT THE FUCK

This never happens to me. Like, I’m waiting on tenterhooks for a massive flare-up tomorrow because exercise never feels this good.

This points to my overall problem always having been “pushing myself too hard and trying too much”. I have always experienced normal exercise as painful, gruelling, and disheartening. Meanwhile, since I became disabled, all of my physical gains have come from doing the least amount of exercise possible and stopping the moment the pain gets worse. It's been a real process unlearning "push through the pain".

So can I just say, FUCK the physical education establishment for telling me that I’m lazy and any failure to achieve physically is because I’m not trying hard enough, and teaching me that a combative relationship with my body is normal and desirable.

Sacred and profane speech

Mar. 21st, 2017 07:12 pm
radiantfracture: (Obstacles)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
The things I do when I can do little else include doodling pictures on my phone; lately, pictures of monsters uttering wordless speech. They seem to belong.

Cut for vaguely disturbing rectangular images )

Misc

Mar. 21st, 2017 11:49 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
[personal profile] schneefink
Today is world poetry day, and in some cafés in Vienna you could pay for a coffee with a poem. I met with my mom and my cousin at a café after work and wrote three poems featuring coffee in five minutes each. The ability to relatively easily write silly poems and rewrite song lyrics is among my favourite things I inherited from my dad, who occasionally rewrites the lyrics of entire musicals for anniversary birthdays.
I also wanted to post a poem but I'm too lazy to pick one out, but I will post at least one sometime in the next month.

DD and I are rewatching NiF two episodes a week, which we decided on because we needed a fixed number to stop ourselves from speeding through it in time we don't have. On the one hand it's something I now look forward to every week and it's great to rewatch it together, but on the other hand there's fic I want to edit or write for which I need to rewatch later episodes and I don't want to skip ahead. Ah well, better late than never. In the meantime I have so many feelings about all the NiF characters that I seem to be able to only express nonverbally, especially about Jingyan and Liyang who are so good and deserve so much better and just *flails*

Not that I have too much drive to write right now anyway. Hopefully next week? I try to at least keep up with commenting on fic I read during the day in the evenings, because it feels too awkward to visit the Archive at work and typing on my phone is annoying.

My head is full of random stuff. Eh, could be worse, at least most of it is not negative random stuff. Stuff like plans to finally try out the "Lord of the Rings" boardgame I got for cheap over a year ago this weekend, or museums, or calendar confusion, or the surprisingly annoying decision what to wear each morning. Not that the company has a strict dress code but still. I think I want to have more necklaces. It's on my list of things to buy with my paychecks, somewhere after "new headphones" because my current ones only work intermittently, and somewhere before "new laptop" because I know me and it'll take me ages to finally decide on a new model. My current one lasted almost eight years even though I didn't treat it very well, I'm attached (and lazy.)

Doonesbury Watergate icons

Mar. 21st, 2017 09:08 pm
rydra_wong: Doonesbury: Mark announcing into a microphone, "That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!" (during the Watergate scandal) (guilty)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Take 'em if you want 'em! (But if you feel like letting me know which ones you're snagging, that will give me positive reinforcement.)

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Table generated using angelamaria's Icon Table Generator.


(Alice is an obsessive Watergate-watcher. I relate.)

(Yes, I made two John Dean icons. I like his angry Tweeting at Buttercup and his "(incorrectly)". Definitely my favourite conspirator.)

Looking for a reliable news source?

Mar. 21st, 2017 12:49 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
I've been reading The Skimm for about a month now. It's a nice "first look" at the day's news, and it catches some things that I don't get in my Early Bird updates. If that's something that looks interesting to you, give it a try.

http://www.theskimm.com/?r=eea78a80

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