recent reading

Apr. 28th, 2017 02:41 am
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Robert Hack.

Okay, so I was as surprised as anybody when Archie Comics reinvented themselves as well-written, groundbreaking, genuinely quality comics for the twenty-first century, and the whole thing still feels vaguely surreal and as though at any moment the comics will vanish back into some kind of reality warp, but this? Is a goddamn delight, if you like horror comics at all. I grew up watching the Melissa Joan Hart TV series of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which adds another layer of frisson and piss-take to this book as a reading experience, but I don't think you need that to enjoy this, and I don't think you need to have read any Sabrina comics either. Basically, this just takes the premise of Sabrina the Teenage Witch-- witches live among us, desperately trying to keep their magic secret, bound by their own laws and customs, caught between two worlds-- and, instead of playing it for comedy, smashes it into the mass of genuinely creepy witch-based folklore out there and goes for the gusto.

Not to say that there aren't funny moments. Zelda and Hilda, Sabrina's aunts, have changed from the kind of dotty aunt who appears in sitcoms to a more Arsenic and Old Lace kind of vibe, now that they're supplementing the family larder by scavenging the town's cemeteries. Sabrina does, at one point, wonder whether she should attend her own dark baptism and consecration to Satan in the autumnal forest, or whether she should go to the pep rally and the game with Harvey Kinkle. Sabrina's talking cat remains a source of endless entertainment (when asked how he got turned into a cat, he mutters "This is what happens when you try to enact the Book of Revelations," and does a quick fade).

But mostly this is straight-up horror, aiming both at the occasional gross-out and at impressive psychological creepiness, and it's extremely well-written, with three-dimensional characters, cohesive (and unnerving) worldbuilding, and carefully researched folk magic. The art is gorgeous and expressive, and things like the (correctly icky) redesign of the 1940s Archie villain Madame Satan are labors of love (and footnoted for you at the back of the book). Literally the only complaint I have about this series is that it comes out so slowly, because I want more right away. This is both some of the best comics and some of the best horror of any genre I've read in quite a while, and yes, it will never stop being weird to find myself saying that.


Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys.

I shouldn't say too much about this because I beta-read it and am therefore pretty darn biased, but it's neo-Lovecraftiana for people who aren't racist sexist homophobic Other-haters, and it's out now, and it's great, and you should totally read it, especially if you find the Deep Ones and/or the Yith at all interesting. I am also told it works if you haven't read Lovecraft.


Within the Sanctuary of Wings, Marie Brennan.

So this is the fifth of the Memoirs of Lady Trent, who is an alt-Victorian naturalist who studies dragons, and it's the last one. You shouldn't start here-- you should start with the first, or possibly the second, as IMO they get better as they go-- but I thought I should mention that this is a five-volume series which comes to a tidy, pre-planned, and well-foreshadowed end without dragging on forever in endless not-written-yet limbo, and I am... trying to remember the last time I saw that happen ever, actually. M. L. N. Hanover's Black Sun's Daughter, I guess, a few years back, though that's urban fantasy, where I think finished series are somewhat more likely. Anyhow, it's a rare and precious thing. Also, there are many species of dragons in these novels, and they are interestingly differentiated and beautifully illustrated (literally, these illos are very cool).

I could wish the plot were a little less predictable, on both a volume-by-volume and an overall level, but by the time we get to book five the predictability has settled down into the kind of thing where you know pretty much what has to happen, but not how, and not necessarily why, and the details turn out to be fascinating. These are not spectacular books, but they are pleasant and down-to-earth and charming and comforting and should be read by persons who also like the Amelia Peabody series.

Smutswap!

Apr. 27th, 2017 08:12 pm
lady_ganesh: Fire Emblem/Nathan and a flame (hot stuff)
[personal profile] lady_ganesh
I keep forgetting to talk about my Smutswap gifts, and I'd better do it before reveals, wouldn't you say?

Raven Cycle

Poison in those Fingertips of Yours (Adam/Ronan) is six thousand words of Ronan Lynch handkink, among other things, and it's delightful.

Yami no Matsuei

Broken Pieces is understated smoking hot Oriya/Hisoka with shibari and why are you still here, go read it.

They are both smokin' hot. And well written. And IC. And I'm very happy and very lucky. I mean, I got a treat! I (almost) never get treats. ♥

Also, if you're in the mood for original m/m. Or even if you aren't. Just. Just read this.

Spit Shine. It is amazing. AMAZING.

FYI

Apr. 27th, 2017 08:10 pm
lady_ganesh: Kougaji from Saiyuki (the prince (Saiyuki))
[personal profile] lady_ganesh
This is my last cross-post to LJ. What sporadic posts I have will be on Dreamwidth from now on, and I'm still riceflavor for your Tumblrinas.

Coming up on Dreamwidth: LJ-TOS-violating Smutswap recs!
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
[personal profile] gramarye1971 said: For the 'It was a Decoy / Feint / Distraction' prompt: Sailor Moon, with one of the senshi remembering that Usagi has that Disguise Pen and actually using it for something?

Note: This is about the genesis of a feint rather than its execution, but eh, details. It's set in the Death Buster arc at an indeterminate point between Kaolinite and Eudial's deaths. I'm not entirely sure what version of canon has the most space for this detour, so call that aspect indeterminate as well. *shrug* (1,500 words)

[ETA: The ever-so-slightly tweaked AO3 version is now up!]

Camouflage the Question )

I have no idea why that fic took so long to write -- it was like my brain just jammed up every time I opened the file -- but it's done, it's cute, and I can move on to other projects. :)

(no subject)

Apr. 27th, 2017 11:30 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
I'm looking on Amazon Japan for pose books, and the Google machine translation is awesome.

From a book on kimono and poses with people in and partly out of it:
Making a manga artist Pose collection Delusional pose collection SPROUT

Suzuya called the strongest bang of this century. The second popular series that Mr. appointed Mr. as a model.
For this time, we will
raise your new delusions on the theme of kimono, such as Yukata and Hakama! Of course, the figure of bare duck is exposed as well!
The pictures are nice, but I have so little call to draw people (or ducks) in and out of kimono that I can't justify ¥2500 for it.

(no subject)

Apr. 27th, 2017 08:49 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gumbie_cat!
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

Yesterday, bound for a conference. Got the train okay.

About a third of the way into the journey, train stops.

Someone had collided with a train further up the line.

In due course we are informed that train will be terminating at a station not previously on the schedule, where we can change to a train going, presumably by some more circuitous route, to the next scheduled stop, but not, however, onwards to my destination.

When we arrive at designated point, it is chucking down rain. Fortunately the next train is in and we only need to cross the platform. It is, however, rather full, though I did manage to get a seat.

Another, local, and very crowded train at the next change.

My dearios may imagine that all this was by no means conducive to reading a serious academic study for review purposes.

Once at my destination, some 2 hours later than anticipated, there was supposed to be a taxi booked for me - I had been in touch with the conference admin person anent delays - what I had not been told was that it would be round the back rather than the main exit.

Not that it was there when I found the spot, and cameth not as I waited in an increasing state of fume - it would always have been tiresome but after the preceding misadventures this was particularly infuriating - and a chilly wind. Fortunately, what did turn up was the taxi for one of the other participants, so I went with her.

I do not mention the faff over my ticket - got details and booking ref latish previous afternoon.

Inadequate curtainage in hotel room meant undesirably early waking....

And now I have to present a paper, sigh.

(no subject)

Apr. 27th, 2017 06:34 am
thawrecka: (Default)
[personal profile] thawrecka
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is great. I see that some critics don't like it as much as the first, because nobody gets called a whore, and we all know that a lot of film critics love sexism and this is 10 billion times less so than the first film. And there are more female characters, and the visuals are stunning, and it was sufficiently space weird. I laughed until I cried and then I just plain cried.

UK general election stuff

Apr. 26th, 2017 06:15 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
If you're not registered to vote, or know people who aren't, or simply wish to spam your social media with this handy link to register:

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

You have to be registered by the 22nd May to vote in the election on the 8th June.

A lot of people, especially young people, seem to be registering. This is a good thing.
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Down the JA Jance Ali Reynolds rabbit hole: Fatal Error (2011), Left for Dead (2012), Deadly Stakes (2013). I did start the novella A Last Goodbye, but am now holding off until I get to the right place in series internal chronology.

Alexis Hall, How to Bang a Billionaire (2017). This is a book that one would think had a lot of my NQOSD things all over it - at first glance it was the m/m version of 50 Shades, but I looked at the preview just to see, and okay, it still has a lot of things that are not my usual things, like it is All About The Relationship, at least so far there are no other stakes in place (but there is a sequel forthcoming), and the billionaire thing means a lot of plain practical difficulties do not operate. The title is a bit misleading, on account of the billionaire character is what in a woman would be considered pretty much stone butch - does but will not be touched or done to - it's more 'banged by the billionaire'. The narrator is a somewhat hapless and gauche, though at least not completely naive, gay guy just on the cusp of graduating from Oxford. The billionaire is pretty much on the Violet Winspear romantic hero template:

I get my heroes so that they're lean and hard muscled and mocking and sardonic and tough and tigerish and single, of course. Oh and they've got to be rich and then I make it that they're only cynical and smooth on the surface. But underneath they're well, you know, sort of lost and lonely. In need of love but, when roused, capable of breathtaking passion and potency. Most of my heroes, well all of them really, are like that. They frighten but fascinate.
But, dr rdrz, I could hardly put it down.

On the go

The end is almost in view with the Inchbald biography!

I am on the edge of my seat in re The Course of Honour

Up next

Well, the thing for review I intend to read on the train.

And new Sara Paretsky VI Warshawski!!!

(no subject)

Apr. 26th, 2017 09:12 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] ookpik!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
About five days ago, some asshole used my legal name email address to sign up for a Spanish-language internet dating site. Since then, I have been getting at least 200 emails a day from that site, to the general effect of 'Legal-First-Name-Random-String-of-Numbers has received a new message' or 'Random-Name-Who-Is-Probably-a-Bot has done something in relation to your post/profile/message/what-the-hell-ever'. (I would be more specific except I do not speak Spanish and don't entirely trust Google's auto-translate function.)

I mean, Gmail knows they are spam and duly files them as such, but still!

I can't even unsubscribe from the damn thing, since that would require knowing what password the asshole created when they used my email to sign up. *headdesk*

The site, for those who may be curious, is Plentyoffish Media Inc. #142-757 West Hastings St., PMB 670, Vancouver, BC V6C1A1. Their web address is pof.com.mx. (Are they Canadian or Mexican? Who knows!)

I feel like I should write them an annoyed letter or something.

So, farewell then...

Apr. 25th, 2017 07:05 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

#mylivejournal #lj18 #happybirthday

Haven't yet actually deleted my lj - there are still - probably less than a handful? - people posting there whom I read who haven't made the switch to DW - though I rescinded auto-payments back when the server move happened.

What cheered me about this was when I tried whether it would work in DW and previewed the post the misspelling of 'received' that showed up at the LJ is 18 page had been corrected. I was going to say something about it, I R pedant, but it seems I don't need to.

It's been a long time and I've made many friends, I've done things I wouldn't have done if I hadn't been on LJ and made those friends, it's a pity it had to end like this, even if my life has been predominantly at Dreamwidth since 2009, which is, in fact, for somewhat longer.

rydra_wong: A dancer (Anie Hanauer) crouches in a performance by Candoco. She has a prosthetic arm. (body -- annie)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Because I was looking for dance things on YouTube the other day and was reminded of this -- here's the "Believe" dance from DV8 Physical Theatre's The Cost of Living:



The second piece in that clip doesn't (IMHO) work as well out of context, but it reminded me of the awesomeness of David Toole -- I went looking and found a whole short piece he did with the mighty CandoCo Dance Company. It is very '90s modern dance TV, and I say this with love (everyone wears shift dresses and big boots, etc.), but it will meet your queer disability-inclusive sexay tango needs:

CandoCo: Outside In

My official last LJ post*

Apr. 25th, 2017 08:44 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase




* until and unless something happens, of course.

(no subject)

Apr. 25th, 2017 09:38 pm
thawrecka: (Default)
[personal profile] thawrecka
I rewatched Star Trek: First Contact earlier and I love that movie, I do, but I am always so uncomfortable whenever Data + sexuality is a thing that happens. I don't know why I find it so gross. But I am deeply against it. Clearly, this is a sign that I am biased against robot sexuality and should be shunned.

Anyway, that bit at the end where the fancy Vulcans show up and Cochrane introduces them to hand shaking and rock and roll is great.

stuff done: Friday-Monday

Apr. 24th, 2017 08:56 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
1. Donated to the OTW's fundraising drive.

2. Arranged a phone call with Susan for Tuesday evening.

3. TOOK A NAP.

4. Transplanted a replacement squash when one of my initially transplanted seedlings died. (The replacement is not terribly happy either, alas.)

5. Called Vicky to catch up now that I'm not drowning in 50-60 hour work weeks and she is past a work glut of her own.

6. Attended church to hear Rev. Weis (our ministerial candidate) preach the first of two sermons she will be giving before we vote on whether to call her as our settled minister. I think the service went well, and (pending getting to talk with her in a small-group setting, when she meets with the Stewardship team on Thursday), I have high hopes that the whole thing will work out. *crosses fingers*

more items under the cut )

15. TOOK A NAP. And this after I slept eleven hours Sunday to Monday, yikes. I think I am catching up on three months of sleep debt, though I'm sure the start of allergy season is not helping.

16. Cleaned my bathroom, including scrubbing the shower ceiling for mildew which is a smelly pain in the neck but needs to be done a couple times a year.

17. Finished the rough draft of my last prompt meme ficlet. Now I am going back to add some emotional through-lines and sensory details so it's not just faceless mannequins exchanging toneless dialogue in front of a blank white screen. I have no idea why this ficlet has been such a pain to write. It's not like the premise was complicated, but getting words onto the page has been like pulling teeth. *hands* Some stories are like that, and I will never know why.

18. Attempted a bit of exercise, now that I am not in a constant state of overwork and sleep deprivation. I should probably try to work out some kind of routine for that, and also something to DO while I exercise because otherwise I break off out of boredom and never get anywhere.

Perhaps that is a use for podcasts...?

gardening update, Monday 4/24/17

Apr. 24th, 2017 08:12 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
withering white flower on a small green pepper plant



The Lazarus pepper continues to chug along. I don't think the current flower is going to produce fruit, but the plant itself seems to be gearing up to sprout some more leaves and flowers, so hey, we'll see what happens over the summer. :)


eighteen pepper seedlings, growing in peat cylinders in a black plastic container



The new pepper seedlings all continue to do well. (...I'm going to have to find pots for all of them, aren't I. Oh, bother.)


four squash photos under the cut )


Meanwhile, the squash are doing... not so well. Of the four I transplanted last week, only one (Meeny) seems to be thriving. One (Miny 1) already died and has been replaced by one of the previously un-transplanted seedlings. The replacement is now unhappy in turn. Another of the initial transplants (Eeny) is in the process of dying; I expect it to be withered by morning. And the fourth (Mo), like the replacement transplant, is... let's go with 'not happy' and leave it there, yeah?

The moral of this story is that I should A) not plant squash at all until mid-April and B) plant them directly in their final homes -- probably two or three seeds to a container, and then thin to whichever seedling seems healthiest after three weeks or so.

We learn by doing, I suppose, and I have plenty of squash seeds left. I will plant a couple of them in Eeny's container later this week, once I know whether I'll be replacing Miny 2 and Mo as well. (I have no seedlings left to transplant; the remaining three have all died.)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]

The agreeable and the weird

Apr. 24th, 2017 06:50 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Dept of Serendipity: discovered that I had already ironed in my last massive ironing session the two tops one or other of which I intend wearing for giving a paper later this week.

Also, in Dept of Things I Should Have Remembered: the existence of an article I did c. 20 years ago bits of which I can reasonably recycle for A Thing I have been asked to do in a couple of weeks. However, the other paper of a similar era that I am similarly cannibalising had, once upon a time, a very fine set of slides to go with it. Not all of those images are now readily available for insertion into my Powerpoint, maybe I should have done the 'convert my slides' thing when I had the relevant hard- and software.

Dept of, Still Got It: 'We have the reader’s reports back... and your essay was summed up as ‘an excellent contribution’'. Though it then occurs to me that the essay in question is but the latest iteration of a paper that goes back a fairly long way.

Dept of, Oddness of People: The former inhabitants of the lower flat moved quite some months ago (didn't leave us a forwarding address). We are still getting post addressed to them, though I think it must be just about within the period for which the Post Office would be undertaking routine redirection, if such had been requested. While a lot of it is junk mail and catalogues that people might not bother updating on new address, I have become a bit perturbed by, firstly, notifications from dentists and opticians concerning coming up of next appointment due dates, and secondly, even more so by a package that I took to be the next X months' supply of disposable contact lenses. WTF?

Things to watch: ACCA

Apr. 24th, 2017 12:20 pm
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
Now that the Winter anime season is completed, it's time to recommend things! My biggest winner from the past season is ACCA.

ACCA is, first of all, a single-season show, so the plotting is very tight and moves along briskly, and, most importantly, does not leave you hanging with ep 12 howling "what do you /mean/ I have to wait a year for the resolve?!".

It's also gratifyingly subtle. It starts out looking a little like a police procedural, but takes an immediate turn into complex mystery and politics. The setting is a country (or, more accurately, a federation) divided into twelve districts with country-type autonomy. The regulatory body that keeps an eye on government and trade in this situation, is ACCA, of which our protagonist is a member.

There's plenty of lovely world-building, and there are times you might wonder if the story is getting lost in an exploration of the twelve (very distinct) districts, but all of that exploration turns out to tie smoothly right back into the plot. Which is that there is a plot afoot! There is, we hear, a coup detat in the offing. Who is behind it, who is participating, and exactly what our protagonist's part in all this is, is revealed only slowly.

The reveals are actually my favorite part of this show. Every time, there are red herrings that lead you to the wrong conclusion, but there are also clues provided just enough in advance for you to figure it out and have the pleasure of having guessed right when the truth comes out. In addition, each truth, while feeling solid and satisfying, only reveals another layer of the plotting.

My next favorite part is probably the romance. Because, while there's quite a bit of romance floating around, every single romantic relationship is either torpedoed by revealed genetic relationships or else explicitly identified as one-sided. You know the thing a lot of manga and anime do, where the epilogue is years later and shows you the romantic relationships neatly tied up in marriages? ACCA flips that. The last episode features several romantic pairs saying in so many words to one another "I know it's one sided, don't worry" or words to that effect. I grinned for a /week/ on the power of that alone.

By contrast, the most obvious slash pairing ends with significant hand contact, which did make my heart go pitter pat a bit, because really, you barely need your slash colored goggles with these two. My word, romantic pairings should /hope/ to see that kind of devotion.

And, of course, my thoroughgoing favorite thing is our protagonist, who is mild and unassuming and who you really, really do not want to make angry because he will, calmly and quietly and without collateral damage, raze your entire life's work, social standing, and political capital down to the ground. Such a delightful boy. One of the best twists of the whole story revolves around his nature, and it's his nature that makes the red herring so convincing. Wonderful writing.

This is definitely one I recommend watching, ideally on a weekend when you can marathon the whole series and delight in the unfolding of it all.

What I did this weekend

Apr. 24th, 2017 11:32 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Or Sunday, rather. We bought an upright planter thingy and Toby painted it with water sealant and then put it together for me yesterday. Then Sunday morning we hit the shops and bought a couple of extra tall pots, plus dirt, rocks for drainage, and seedlings, then I spent the day getting that all set up.

cut for pic )

Yessssss

Apr. 24th, 2017 08:31 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Last Friday, Hope Not Hate filed their libel claim against Nigel Farage.

If you have any spare money you can afford to donate, you can help:

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/page/contribute/nigel-farage-legal

Honestly, I can't imagine anything nicer than watching Farage suffer in court and thinking "yes, I helped make that happen."

To-Watch List

Apr. 23rd, 2017 11:24 pm
soc_puppet: [Homestuck] God tier "Heart" themed Dreamsheep (Sheep of Heart)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
Finally - finally - I have finished watching Wedding Peach. I forgot how much I'd enjoyed the manga, and the anime followed suit pretty well (in terms of enjoyment; I can't remember whether all of the plot points mirror, though I suspect they don't), though it got pretty intense towards the end. The OVAs were a nice refresher, though not without problems.

The important thing is, it's time for me to start watching a new anime! And boy do I have a lot to choose from.

The list, in no particular order )

I think that's it? I've. I've got a lot of watching to do. I need to figure out what I'm in the mood for.

(Way up high on the Definitely Gonna Watch This list is Tokyo Godfathers, since I checked it out from the library today. So at least that's one decided.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
succulent in a glass bowl, top view . succulent in a glass bowl, side view



My new succulent, in its glass bowl with its purple fake-rock base. I would kind of really like to take the plant OUT, or at least give it some actual soil, because this set-up worries me.

If anyone has any care tips for succulents (and/or a name for this particular species!), I am all ears, because my track record with keeping succulents happy is DIRE.

(I mean. Except for the jade plant. But jade plants are kind of unkillable, so I don't think that's a good measuring stick.)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]

Well that went to shit fast

Apr. 23rd, 2017 07:14 pm
handypolymath: (reboot)
[personal profile] handypolymath
In late February we moved into a new place and began sharing a house with my retired parents.  The good news is, they will neither starve nor be homeless.  Yay!  Then the leak started.  Within a week, the first floor of the house became a mold dank basement and the landlord was an ambitious contestant on America's New Top Slumlord.

So April has been taken up with evidence gathering, lawyers, rental-hunting, lease-breaking, pulling a second security deposit out of our ass, and moving a SECOND time since the end of February.  The good news is, we got the first security deposit back and are only out some cheap bookshelves and a lot of mental resources, but we'll get over it.

The new place has a better layout for kludging two households together, their ancient cat and our two young cats have a decent professional working relationship when Ancient Cat is not being a total catbag, and I can finally do fancy luxurious things like sit on my damned couch and write.

I think...

Apr. 23rd, 2017 09:18 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
...that we have baby woodpeckers because I spent several hours outside
today (pics in a bit) and Lord and Lady Downey kept trading off shifts. One
would fly off for a while, then come back and call, at which time the other
one would emerge from the hole and fly off. The first one would then go
down in the hole. I couldn't quite tell if the arriving one was carrying an
insect or not.

The internet tells me fledglings leave the nest in about a month, so we're
planning on taking off some of the dead limbs that look like they might
fall in the future at that time. Leaving the one with the nest hole, of
course.

Culinary

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:20 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

During the week, a loaf of Khorasan (kamut) flour.

Got in too late on Friday evening to make rolls for Saturday breakfast, so we had toast instead.

Today's lunch: fillets of lemon sole clear-simmered and served with a dipping sauce of soy sauce and ginger paste (these were a little bland and mushy. which may be because previously frozen, rather than fresh?); served with sticky rice with lime leaves, samphire steamed and tossed in butter, sugar snap peas roasted in pumpkin seed oil and splashed with bramble vinegar, and padron peppers (which Waitrose now stock, apparently).

Probably bread-baking during the week.

(no subject)

Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:25 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] damnmagpie!

(no subject)

Apr. 23rd, 2017 03:05 pm
thawrecka: (Star Trek)
[personal profile] thawrecka
• Spent much of Friday night at a birthday party for two friends, eating cheese, drinking wine, talking about bad Star Trek fic, and caressing her hand (but not his) because, after all, if I am going to kiss my friends at parties why not throw in some Vulcan kissing, too? When I kissed her hand as I left she joked that it was like Vulcan sex. Honestly, I feel like hand kissing is due for a revival.

• And in my continuing rewatch of random episodes of original flavour Star Trek I watched Turnabout Intruder yesterday, which was a mistake. A mistake, I tell you. The title has been totally ruined for me by Ace Attorney (I would like to put that episode on trial). Honestly, even the good things about that episode - Doohan's acting, everything Spock does, Majel Barrett's lovely brown wig - don't counteract the creepiness of the premise. Some of the creepiness is intentional, but I can fanwank it away as just Dr Lester was too batshit crazy to command a spaceship all I like, but I know Roddenberry intended to convey that all women are too batshit crazy for command. Which is gross. Also, Janice Lester wears the ugliest jumpsuit I have ever seen.

And it's a shame, because there's so much about original Trek I love (even lots of season three), and it's such a downer to end the original series on. I can only be thankful that the animated series came after, under D C Fontana's stewardship.

• I considered going out to see Lego Batman today but it turns out I couldn't be bothered going to the city, so I think I'll stay in and watch a DVD instead.

The Lost City of Z (2017)

Apr. 22nd, 2017 11:32 pm
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
Okay, so I haven't read the book. But B., who has, was with me, and one of the things he mentioned before we watched the film is that, in the book, at one point an Amazon tribe who had come forward and said that they killed Percy Fawcett in the late nineteen-twenties later came forward and said that a Brazilian minister had asked them to say they killed him in order to stop people from sending innumerable expeditions into the jungle in futile search of Percy Fawcett. This rather stuck with B., as it was an interesting way to handle the problem, and I found it pretty striking as an anecdote. Note that both the 'we killed him, that's what happened' claim and the 'here's why we said that' claim were made decades after Fawcett's disappearance.

I suppose I should not have been expecting anything sensible from Hollywood racial politics, but for fuck's sake, don't the film people know what it looks like they're saying when they have Fawcett being Insistently Anti-Racist Person Who Insists Amazonians Are People Too, in the face of openly racist opposition, yet, all over the movie-- which from what I gather is also rather inaccurate-- and then heavily imply that he was not only killed but also eaten by natives without including the refutation which was right there in the source material for them?

This is also a film which comes down pretty heavily on Percy Fawcett being Right About Things, and I'm not even sure it was intentional on the writer's part. It's just that when the issues somebody has are things like 'is heavily overinvested in cultural conceptions of masculinity', you have to be very blatant when you demonstrate that those are actual issues, because our culture is so approving of extreme behavior along those lines that disapproval needs to be obvious in-text just to bring us to neutral. Sure, Fawcett almost certainly got himself and his son killed, but the film goes to great (and, from what I hear, also a-historic) lengths to say that maybe they just went off to live with the natives, plus the whole thing very much has an air of It's How He Wanted To Go He Was Following His Noble Dreams. Also, even when we see Fawcett doing things that are demonstrably pig-headed, sexist, and aggravating, he winds up getting vindicated by the narrative over and over again. We never see anyone arguing against his expeditions from the level of logistics on which I am assured they were bad ideas; we see people arguing against them because they are Bad People, or because they are his family and they want him home, which we are assured is understandable and tragic but just How It Had To Be.

In conclusion, I'm definitely going to read the book, because the film, despite a reasonable central performance by Charlie Hunnam (perhaps a bit too restrained) and a very fine side performance by Robert Pattinson (unrecognizable beneath layers of fuzz), some pretty cinematography, and occasional attempts at symbolism, comes off as racist, insultingly simplistic, and just not overall what you want Hollywood to do with a good source text.

Sigh.
oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
[personal profile] oursin

And I was already out of charity with charity shops after the preceding one I'd been in had completely run out of change and kept me hanging around while, I suspect, they nipped next door to see if anyone could change a tenner.

And then I went into another one and found two books I was prepared to take a punt on at that sort of price, and moseyed up to the cashdesk with the exact money in hand, and found myself stuck behind that situation which is someone who is apparently in the process of paying for something - i.e. there is a something on the counter and the volunteer behind it is looking noticeably patient, while the person whom we presume to be making the purchase is making a great production of finding their purse.

And when this is finally brought to light, they spot something else on a counter display that they think they might like -

And really, I would have fumed a whole lot more, had it not been that this extended delay in making my own purchase gave me ample opportunity to admire the elaborate and beautiful henna patterns on the volunteer's hands and forearms - quite spectacular.

(no subject)

Apr. 22nd, 2017 11:37 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] mme_hardy and [personal profile] polyamorous!

Hit the ground running

Apr. 22nd, 2017 11:32 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So yeah, I don't imagine we are headed for anything except a Tory victory (yes, we could theoretically get another freaky none-of-the-polls-predicted-this result, but that would be too damn nice of the universe).

But anything we can do to limit their power and make it hard for them to claim an absolute mandate will help limit the damage. And we can also try to stomp on UKIP's attempts to creep in around the margins.

Google Docs: How To Vote To Stop The Tories (see the FAQ for notes explaining how and why particular choices were made)

Note: Wikipedia gives details of past election results in your constituency, so you can verify and also look at exact details.

Local elections are on May 4, and are important in themselves as well as an indicator of which ways the political winds are blowing. And fewer people vote in them.

Hope Not Hate have a fresh new website and an election fund to fight far-right candidates in any constituency they might have a chance of winning. They are really good at this and have pissed off UKIP no end.

Vote. Make your friends vote. Make everyone you know vote. If nothing else, it's good practice. One day it may matter.
oursin: Picture of Fotherington-Tomas skipping, with words subversive male added (Subversive male)
[personal profile] oursin

To George Henry Lewes, born 18 April 1817.

Best known, I guess, for being a rare male instance of supportive helpmeet to a woman (to Mary Ann Evans, better known as George Eliot).

Even to the extent that it's possible that his own achievements get overlooked because of the shadow he was in. We also note that he pursued what has sometimes been a more feminine trajectory of doing a Lot of Different Things, from experiments in relationships to dramatic criticism to philosophy to biography to physiology, rather than pursuing a single course.

How are the dogs doing?

Apr. 21st, 2017 08:18 pm
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
[personal profile] qem_chibati
Qem ♞🐯
8:04 PM
Qem's husband: I don't understand how there is so much dog hair on our bed.
8:04
Qem: because they've slept on it, obviously. =/
8:05
Qem's husband: Well if (old dog) she must be the sneakiest thing ever, because (young dog) was in the loundroom all day.
8:05
Qem's husband: wait.
8:06
Qem's husband: I went out to do some shopping earlier...
8:06
Qem: and did you remember to close the bedroom door when you left
8:06
Qem's husband: no, no I did not.
Qem ♞🐯
8:06 PM
Qem: There you go then.
8:07
Dogs gonna dog. And they know it's gonna take some time for us to get out of the car and stuff
8:08
/has caught the dogs by parking on the opposite side of the road, and then using the front door like a barbarian. :P
8:08
/always tries to shut bedroom door as a result.

Qem ♞🐯
8:10 PM
on that note... can hear dog 2 eating something
Qem ♞🐯
8:10 PM
and he doesn't know I'm home right now
A:
8:10 PM
Go and surprise dog 2 xD
Qem ♞🐯
8:11 PM
whelp
8:11
He stole some jatz biscuits off the kitchen counter
8:11
It was literally 3 minutes from when husband left front door.
8:12
(I'd come in through front door and then went straight to bedroom to nap, so he'd not realised I was home)
8:12
so moral of the story is dogs know when they do something you won't like
8:12
but they care more about whether they think they'll get caught or not at that point in time

(no subject)

Apr. 21st, 2017 09:12 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] ankaret and [personal profile] lexin!

stuff done: Monday-Thursday

Apr. 20th, 2017 10:46 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
1. Survived tax season! \o/ My last day at Not the IRS was Monday, which I worked 9am-9pm. I finished the season with five returns still 'on hold,' only one of which was somebody I actually expected to come in to finish up. (The others either weren't required to file or made clear that they didn't intend to file through us for various reasons.) I think that's a pretty good record, all in all.

2. Photographed my plants and posted the pictures online.

3. Took my kitchen compost to the communal bin, and the communal bin to the curb for pickup. (It has not, in fact, been picked up. I am not wheeling the blasted thing back across the yard while it is still full and heavy, so it can just sit there until the compost company get their act together.)

4. Watered my houseplants.

5. Called my parents with some information that is relevant to planning their visit in a couple weeks.

6. Prepped for a graduate student housing fair thingy on Friday, which Miss Cactus and I are responsible for since Mom Boss and Aunt Boss (tentative nicknames) are both on vacation this week.

7. Went to the end-of-season dinner my Not the IRS office throws for ourselves every year, which was a lot of fun. We commandeer two tables at a local restaurant, order a bunch of appetizers to share around, and drink several pitchers of classic margaritas. :)

I also accidentally acquired a succulent, which I will attempt not to kill. See, it's tradition to buy a small nice gift for the manager and the receptionists, I doubled up as a tax preparer and a receptionist again this year, and one of the other receptionists didn't make it to the dinner... so I wound up with her gift (the plant) as well as my own (a pre-paid debit card). The plant itself is housed in a glass bowl with purple fake-amethysts for its 'ground,' and since amethyst is my birthstone, I am choosing to consider this a Sign of Favor from the universe at large. *wry*

8. Not really a 'thing done,' but I have ants in my kitchen again. *sigh* I have been squishing them when they get up onto the counters, but the ones on the wall and the baseboard I am mostly leaving alone for the poison in the little plastic traps (I always have four to eight ant traps on my counters and walls, because this happens every year) to kill slowly. I will have to buy some new traps on my next grocery run, though, because the poison does eventually get used up.

Department of No Shit Department

Apr. 20th, 2017 12:17 pm
rachelmanija: (Princess Bride: Let me sum up)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The opening paragraphs of the introduction by a psychologist with an alphabet soup of credentials, for Survivors.

This is a book about survivors, that is to say, those who continue to live when others have died. Looked at from one point of view this is very positive, in the sense that anyone who has a brush with death is lucky to survive. However, looked at from another point of view it is profoundly negative, in that one need not have had a brush with tragedy anyway.

It reminds me of the immortal Suicide by Cop: Committing Suicide by Provoking Police to Shoot You.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
This morning, I woke up to a series of ff.net comments on Tides (a Naruto canon-divergence AU fic I wrote back in 2005), which I cannot read as anything other than performance art.

I suspect this is even how the commenter intended them, although what they thought they were performing was threatening and dismissive anger with the aim of producing hurt, fear, and a sense of inferiority, rather than the utter hilarity I actually experienced, because baby's first flame attempts are impossible to take seriously. *wry*

Content warning for misogyny, ableism, homophobia, and death threats/suicide baiting, I guess.

---------------

nine anonymous comments on 'Tides' )

---------------

...

I find these hilarious both for their general misreading of the manga (apparently the intended message is that Naruto is god and can do no wrong, while both Sakura and Sasuke -- you know, the people Naruto loves and would die to save -- are horrible and need to die in agony (thus making Naruto's choice of friends... wrong? impossible! pay no attention to the contradiction behind the curtain!)), and for the amount of effort expended in performative outrage when every browser comes equipped with a perfectly functional back-button. The attitudes embodied in the commenter's choice of insults are more sad than anything else, but also contribute to my inability to take anything this person says seriously.

This gift of hilarity has also reminded me that I should probably go stick a note in front of all my Naruto fics saying that they're based on manga canon only (for the very simple reason that I have never watched the anime). I mean, people like today's commenter never read author's notes anyway -- they are looking for things at which they can perform frothing outrage, not nuance -- but it would give me an additional thing to laugh about later on when they act like anime-only events should be a trump card when discussing a manga-based story. *wry* And for people who aren't performative outrage artists, such a note would be a quick and easy way to set proper expectations going in.

...I'll get to that some other day, when I am feeling up to a couple hours of internet housekeeping.

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opusculus

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