(no subject)

Oct. 20th, 2017 04:03 pm
mommy: Spiderman; Marvel Comics (Look! Naked Belgians!)
[personal profile] mommy
I'm experimenting with Dreamwidth's image hosting service now that Photobucket has become irrelevant to my fannish needs, and I've hit a stumbling block. I can't figure out how to group, tag, or sort my images. Surely there's an option somewhere that allows users to organize their images? The 500 mb of available storage would quickly become an unwieldy mess otherwise. Even the ability to just drop the images into a relevant folder would do.

Spam spam spammity-spam

Oct. 20th, 2017 07:39 pm
oursin: Painting of a pollock with text, overwritten Not wasting a cod on this (pollock)
[personal profile] oursin

Or, I have just been followed on Twitter by 3 people who are the same person, and I do not think there is anything holy about having 3 Twitter identities which are all touting your book/s.

I am also mildly beset by people who, having by some means or other found my website, and discovering something there moderately pertinent to their interests (sometimes, I swear, it is Just One Word in the middle of text), email me offering to 'contribute' or begging me to link to their pages, or add in their link collections, without actually considering what the various bits of my site are doing.

E.g. on my - not even this year's, several years back - listing of my Quotations of the Week, is one which alludes to [problem] - which I probably posted originally because it was neatly turned and complete in itself and not because I have an overwhelming interest in [problem]. This is really not an appropriate venue for a link to somebody's site which is All About [Problem]. Point Thahr Misst.

Indeed, more or less equivalent to, if I had the famous quote attrib Mrs Patrick Campbell re the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue, sending me their list of links to custom makers of high quality chaises longues.

And they do not give up: there is one person who has been positively badgering me, even though I have ignored their email except to mark it as junk, because, for extremely personal reasons, I have a link to a UK charity dealing with [condition], to add in their set of links relating to [condition] which seem entirely US-related, several of them dealing with issues around healthcare which are still - so far - irrelevant in the UK context.

My site is a small, personal, and carefully curated site dealing with various interests of my own and not exactly inundated with hits, except when some media outlet links to certain pages.

Y O Y?

OpenID and Livejournal

Oct. 20th, 2017 05:33 pm
[personal profile] fifty_fifty posting in [community profile] getting_started
Hi,

I have been using OpenID in order to comment on LJ communities as I don't want to have an LJ account for obvious reasons.

I used to be able to log in just fine and post comments and create posts etc. But I recently got a new computer and went to log in and comment and it told me I needed to validate my email address. So I clicked through to a link and then clicked the link that was in the email that LiveJournal sent to my email address.

When I click this link in the validation email, it takes me to a page titled:

"Please, verify that you are human"
When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.

Then there's a continue button to click on. I click the page and it looks like it's doing something, but it takes me back to the same page again and I remain unverified and now unable to comment or post on any communities.

Any ideas as to how I can get LJ to actually verify the email address for my OpenID account? Thanks!
rydra_wong: Angelica Lind stretches for a hold during a bouldering competition (climbing -- reach)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] disobey_gravity
The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

To enhance this week's glee: Matty Hong in Spain.
oursin: Drawing of hedgehog in a cave, writing in a book with a quill pen (Writing hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.

Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.

(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)

But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.

Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.

But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.

Text size in comment field

Oct. 19th, 2017 02:42 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [site community profile] dw_accessibility
I've noticed that while I have text size scaled up (zoomed in) for easy reading and typing, the "comment" field still gives me very small text. The "subject" field is also in small text. The main text entry field is larger, though, confusingly.

Is there any way to change this?

Thanks!

A heron scaring the ducks

Oct. 19th, 2017 01:20 pm
yourlibrarian: Penguin Baby (NAT-PenguinBaby-americangrl69)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian posting in [community profile] common_nature
We recently had a visit from a heron. It was strolling around our end of the lake.

Read more... )

My long-delayed trip

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:12 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Two years ago, I meant to go to Japan in November. And then I had the most horrible two years of my entire life, and the trip was shelved.

I'm going to Japan in November! I'll be there for two weeks, divided between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The last is a city further south than I've been before, with some very pretty day trips.

I'm going to use AirBnb, which I also haven't used before, but it looks pretty great. I have two lovely apartments all to myself for cheaper than a hotel room would be, and one room in a house with a lady who cooks breakfast, has a friendly toy poodle named Piccolo, and says understatedly, "I am a former hotelier who worked in the five star hotel. I think I can assist you well during your stay."

Any of you done anything fun in Japan?

Our worst meal in Japan, 2015

Oct. 19th, 2017 05:33 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Posted by Stephanie from Glamorous in Retrospect | http://wp.me/p5ldry-7l
(Finishing up a few remaining posts before we start our next trip.)

On my first visit to Japan, with a friend, we had the best meal of the trip and the worst meal of the trip within 24 hours of each other. We'd gone to Koya-san, the temple complex, and stayed in a temple for two nights and




Categories: #Japantrip2014-2015

what a good dog

Oct. 19th, 2017 12:17 am
rushthatspeaks: (feferi: do something adorable)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
A dog who wouldn't leave his flock of goats came safe and sound through the California wildfires, having managed to keep safe all the goats and, because this was not already impressive enough, several baby deer.

a day of less argh :)

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:47 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
I triumphed over the never-ending stack of leases, after which it was a slow-ish day. I showed two apartments and I think some of the people who went on the tour will come in tomorrow to rent an apartment, so that's nice.

I also got a raise! Only a small one, but even so. And what's nicer is that it's retroactive to June 1 (because our owner is an organized human being, really, I swear...) so I have a paper check I get to cash tomorrow. Yay unexpected extra money!

In news from my other job, today I finished one of my two tax update courses, and have registered for three live in-person continuing education classes, one of which is tomorrow night. The other two are next week, and I need to ask Miss Cactus whether she's willing to swap my Tuesday shift for her shift on either Monday or Friday, since the courses all start at 6pm and I work until 7pm on Tuesdays. (Failing that, I will ask Mom Boss if I can leave early that day.)

Continuing education requirements for tax preparers are 18 credit hours per year, allocated as follows: 13 federal tax law, 2 ethics, and 3 tax updates. You can, of course, take more than the minimum. I have currently finished 2 credits of tax law and 2 credits of tax updates. The three live courses will knock off another 9 credits of tax law, I have the second 2 credit tax update course ready to do whenever (probably Friday or Saturday), and the ethics and another 2 credits of tax law won't be too hard to knock off.

Then, of course, there are the New York state requirements, but I will deal with those in November. :)

Texas Gothic...

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:01 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
...that liminal time that happens every Wednesday at 1PM when they test the
tornado sirens.

Wednesday says Happy Diwali

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:21 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Ingested two David Wishart Corvinus mysteries, Trade Secrets (2016) and Foreign Bodies (2016) - Severn House having finally decided, it seems, to come down at some point to a price for their ebooks that is more or less comparable with mass market paperbacks rather than hardcover. These were pretty much the mixture as usual - combination of what seems to me pretty solid knowledge of what Rome and its Empire was like at the period, with upper-crust Roman sleuth cracking wise and somewhat anachronistic as the bodies pile up. There is probably a rule with extended series like this that if you haven't given up somewhere along the line, you will as a matter of habit pick up succeeding episodes as they come along.

Tremontaine Series 3, Episode 1. Interested to see where this is going to go.

Discovered by entire chance that there is an ebook of short stories about Rosemary Edghill's Bast, Failure of Moonlight: The Collected Bast Shorter Works (2012), which I had not known about and gulped down. This led me to a binge re-read of the 3 Bast mysteries - set in the world of contemporary Wicca/Paganism of the 1990s - :Speak Daggers to Her (1995), Book of Moons (1995) and The Bowl of Night (1996). I thought these held up pretty well, though possibly more for their evocation of a particular time, place and subculture, and Bast's own moral ambivalence, than for the mystery plots. In an essay appended to the shorter works she wonders if these will be what she is remembered for, eventually: she's written quite a lot in various genres under various names. I see that when I reread the space-opera trilogy Butterfly and Hellflower, written as eluki bes shahar, I felt it had rather lost its shiny. There were also, I think, some rather generic fantasy works and collaborations with Mercedes Lackey which have pretty much faded from memory, and I'm not sure I ever read any of her romances.

On the go

Only Sexual Forensics which got a bit back-burnered lately.

Up Next

The next episode of Tremontaine Season 3. Maybe Ruthanne Emrys, Winter Tide, which I have heard good things about, and is at present very briefly a giveaway from Tor. Also, have received some more v srs books from An Academic Publisher for reviewing a proposal (when offered this, I specifically look for books which are hideously expensive destined for university library editions that I would not buy for myself).

wherein Liz has a day of argh

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:43 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
So my work day started with two tenants coming in to say they'd locked themselves out of their bathroom, continued through twenty million leases to process, and ended with another tenant coming in literally one minute before closing to say they thought they had to fill out a form, maybe...? which was actually three forms, one of which I had to generate specially and then highlight the relevant sections because nobody ever fills it out correctly otherwise. *headdesk*

I mean, at least I will get paid for the extra twenty minutes I stayed? But holy gods, argh argh and above all, argh.

(The bathroom, incidentally, was an easy fix. All it takes is a judiciously applied paperclip! But I had to go apply the fix in person because apparently tenants are bad at comprehending verbal explanations at 9am when they really need to pee. (To be fair, I probably would be as well.))

...

On the bright side, I got a two-hour tax continuing education course finished before Mom Boss dumped the never-ending leases on me, so that's something.

Cooking class in Kyoto, January 2015

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:01 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Posted by Toby from Glamorous in Retrospect | http://wp.me/p5ldry-6A

(Resurrecting a post that’s been sitting in the Drafts folder for almost 2 years now, and testing a new crossposting plugin at the same time.)


We are not social people. Well, okay, we’re selectively social. We have our groups of friends that we see now and then, but we don’t generally seek out new acquaintances. This will become important in a bit.


But we do like to cook. When looking for things to do on this trip, Stephanie found this cooking class that covers several Japanese dishes, and includes a main dish of actual Kobe beef. We figured, “Sounds cool!” and signed up.


Read more... )
oursin: Photograph of a statue of Hygeia, goddess of health (Hygeia)
[personal profile] oursin

Last week I had the pneumococcal vaccine, courtesy of what is still, mostly, a beneficient National Health Service.

Unlike the flu shot, it is a one-off and should, as they say, See Me Out.

However, while I tend not to have any repercussions from the flu shot, this one gave me a sore arm, like, really sore for 2-3 days and still quite tender after that, as well a day or two feeling Vaguely Crap, that well-known unspecific medical condition.

Thought this was All Over, but this morning, discovered I had a Sore Armpit. Don't know whether this is a final repercussion, a muscle I pulled and didn't realise, or, since partner had something yesterday that might have been a virus and involved various aches and pains, whether it is that, though on the whole I would say I feel a good deal less Vaguely Crap than a few days ago.

A general condition of Slob-Out was declared and has not yet quite terminated.

(no subject)

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:18 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] susanstinson!

Puerto Rico Pattern Vivillon

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:50 pm
soc_puppet: [Homestuck] God tier "Heart" themed Dreamsheep (Sheep of Heart)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
The Pokemon Vivillon with wings that resemble the Puerto Rico flag, lower wings with inverted red and blue

Puerto Rico Pattern Vivillon are complete! I decided to go with my second version, which I liked better anyway, but even moreso after coloring them both in. I also colored a version with all four wings like the flag instead of the bottom ones with colors switched, which you can click to here:

The Pokemon Vivillon with wings that resemble the Puerto Rico flag

And the lineart if you want to color your own can be found by clicking this pic:

Lineart of the Pokemon Vivillon with wings that resemble the Puerto Rico flag

I am 100% cool with these being used for general FLPR promotional stuff, if anyone is interested in doing so.
seichan: (cn)
[personal profile] seichan posting in [community profile] clampnews
Not too significant a mention, but hey, it's still a mention.


[Music] Megumi Ogata's Animeg. 25th

Oct. 16th, 2017 07:02 pm
seichan: (cn)
[personal profile] seichan posting in [community profile] clampnews


Megumi Ogata (seiyuu for CCS's Yukito/Yue and MKR's Eagle) recently celebrated her 25th voice actress debut anniversary with the release of Animeg. 25th, an album of anime cover songs. It was released Oct 11th.

In case you wondered what CCS's Platinum sounds like sung by Yukito, DL sample here (available for a short time only).

Another interesting fact was that she crowdfunded the album online. Read her AMA from a few months back here on Reddit. There are a couple short CCS questions answered.

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 03:19 pm
mommy: Supergirl; Tiny Titans #34, DC Comics (Not sure if want.)
[personal profile] mommy
This is an actual start to a phone conversation I just had:

Me: [calls my grandmother]
Grandma: Hello?
Me: Hi!
Grandma: Hello?
Me: This is [my name].
Grandma: No, this is [grandmother's name].

Maybe I should call more often. Oops.

Pathetic fallacy in search of a story

Oct. 16th, 2017 03:55 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

There has been the most ominous-looking light over north London for several hours now - a sort of copper colour. The sky is covered by a greyish cloud with wisps of whiter cloud drifting across it.

No rain, a bit of a breeze wafting through the trees in the street, but so far, nothing stronger.

The effect is somewhat John Martin-esque, or possibly requiring figures to run through the pocket park behind the house crying 'Heathcliff!' 'Cathy!'. Or at least, the foreshadowingly brooding overture to such.

I assume this is something to do with Hurricane Ophelia, even if so far this part of England is not supposed to be affected. This morning when I went shopping it was sunny and unusually warm, but I put that down to the Little Summer of St Luke.

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 09:14 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] desayunoencama!

Autumn Experience (tm) risotto

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:06 am
highlyeccentric: Demon's Covenant - Kitchen!fail - I saw you put rice in the toaster (Demon's Covenant - kitchen!fail)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric posting in [community profile] omnomnom
I made this last night and it was an Experience.

Dietary and accessibility notes )

What you need and what you do with it )

Makes 3-4 servings

Lepidoptera

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:14 pm
soc_puppet: Words "Creative Process" in purple (Creative Process)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
Soooo I've maybe decided to scribble up a couple of Vivillon with wings based on the Puerto Rico flag to share/use as advertisement for my Buy It Now offer (and [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico in general). I've still got to scan them, but they're inked up, and I'm reasonably pleased with how they turned out. I'm planning to color at least one of each, just so I can make the "This is the Puerto Rico Vivillon!" part extra clear, but I'll also be providing uncolored versions for everyone to fill in themselves. I'm pretty pleased with how the designs turned out, though I think I like the second version better.

Between these, the Butterfree-and-Floette page, and my Pride Moth coloring pages, I'm developing a bit of a lepidopteran habit :P (Which reminds me, I need to get the enby antennae design finished up so I can share it, hopefully get everything scanned at once tomorrow.) I think I need to break out of that box a bit. Hopefully I'll get a taker or two on my offer who want something cool.

Question thread #57

Oct. 15th, 2017 11:24 pm
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.

Culinary

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:18 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

This week's bread: the Blake/Collister My Favourite Loaf, white spelt/wholemeal/einkorn flour, made up with the remains of the buttermilk.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft roll recipe, 4:1 white spelt/buckwheat flour, maple sugar, dried blueberries.

Today's lunch: New Zealand venison loin medallions, panfried in butter, served with sweet potato oven fries, cauliflower florets roasted in pumpkin seed oil with cumin seeds (I think these could have done either with being cooked a bit longer, or broken up into smaller pieces), fennel cut into thinnish strips, healthy-grilled in olive oil, and splashed with elderflower vinegar.

Beach dwellers

Oct. 15th, 2017 02:18 pm
yourlibrarian: Sunse Dolphins (NAT-SunsetDolphins-niki_vakita)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian posting in [community profile] common_nature
I just returned from a trip which included a brief stay at a beach. There were a number of residents there, including tiny clams that would appear and then vanish with each wave in and out. (We tried to take pictures but they were tough). On the other hand, these guys were everywhere:

edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
[personal profile] rosaxx50 said: I would love something for Karen & Foggy & Matt (or ot3!) + libel! Something about how vigilante/law/media deals with a case of libel in some way. (400 words exactly)

Note: Three months late, but look! I wrote a thing! :D Also, insofar as this has a canon setting, it's in a happy future sometime post-Defenders.

With Only Mild Complaining )

And now I will go eat lunch. :)
oursin: hedgehog carving from Amiens cathedral (Amiens hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Oh, David Mitchell, I normally like and approve of your columns, but this one?

Our forebears’ unquestioning belief in a higher power gave them a confidence that it’s hard not to envy.

Which made me think of pretty much all societies, 'throughout history', where just because there was a belief in a higher power didn't mean that there wasn't massive conflict over: who was the real higher power and how best to worship that higher power. And even when there was a generally accepted overall belief system, there are differences within between schools of thought and practice (cf persecution of Christians or Muslims who are not of the predominant category within a particular nation). Heretics get persecuted at least as much as infidels.

And you may like to think

I know in my heart that had I been brought up in such a setting – say, in Anglican Victorian England – I wouldn’t have quibbled with those answers and would’ve been comforted by them.

That would Anglican Victorian England which a) pretty much invented the concept of honest doubt and b) within the C of E, massive conflicts between High and Low Church, no? Not so cosy.

Paging Mr Blake and the Ever-Lasting Gospel. Written at the same time that a large number of actual clergymen had gone into that line of work because they were the third son and it was a living, and why would anyone trouble themselves over the 39 Articles? and it gave them plenty of time off for hunting.

(no subject)

Oct. 15th, 2017 12:19 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] akuchling, [personal profile] brithistorian and [personal profile] mamculuna!

A time to pull away the football

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:52 am
rydra_wong: Peanuts. Lucy has just pulled away the football and Charlie Brown has crashed onto his back. "And a time to pull away the football," she says. (football -- time)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So [personal profile] rachelmanija is trying to start a campaign to pull the nuclear football away from Trump's grip.

I Google, and found Charlie Brown's Greatest Misses: Every 'Peanuts' Football Gag Comic. Some of the panels seemed ... strangely apposite.

Free to take, use, modify, do what you will. Pull the football, save the world.

Dear Creator - Holidays!!! on Ice

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:43 am
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
Dear Creator for Holidays!!! on Ice,

Firstly thank you! I'm really looking forward to whatever you produce. If you want to know more about what I like you can see the sort of art I reblog here on tumblr or you can see my fic bookmarks here on ao3. I also made a longer list of likes and dislikes here.

Best Wishes
Qem


Read more... )

Duma Key, by Stephen King

Oct. 14th, 2017 11:39 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Of all the new-to-me books by Stephen King that I’ve read in the last year, this and the middle Dark Tower books are the ones I’ve re-read the most. I’ve re-read Duma Key three times in the last two years, and I can tell it’s a book I’ll keep coming back to. Here’s the first page:

How to draw a picture


Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.

How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I’ve come to believe.

Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon-line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through.

Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil ... hesitating ... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice. Pictures are magic, as you know.


On the one hand, this is my favorite prose passage in the book. On the other hand, the entire book has that same atmosphere and themes: the magic of art, the bleakness of loss, the terror of opening a door into darkness, human empathy and connections, and, always, how making a mark on paper is both simple and difficult, the dividing line between nothing and everything.

Unusually for Stephen King, Duma Key is set in on the Florida coast – an incredibly vivid and atmospheric Florida, which becomes enough of a character in its own right to make the book a very satisfying sea-soaked, sunset-lit Gothic.

I am pleased to say that this is one of the least gross King books I’ve read, bar a rotting ghost or two. It’s also one of the scariest, in a very classic “terrify by keeping the scary stuff mostly off-page” manner. The Big Bad is never quite seen directly, and is one of King’s creepiest and most mythically archetypal figures.

It’s also one of King’s most heartbreaking books. Almost all the characters are really likable, and if not likable, than still very human. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon opens with, The world had teeth and it could bite you with them any time it wanted. Duma Key is about the beauty and magic and redemption of the world, but also about the teeth.

It begins with a wealthy self-made man, Edgar Freemantle, getting into an absolutely horrific accident while visiting one of his job sites. He loses an arm and gets some brain damage; he’s barely out of the hospital before his marriage has ended, his life as he knew it has ended, and he’s on the brink of suicide.

After some talks with his psychiatrist, he ends up taking up art, which he’d enjoyed as a boy but never pursued, and moving to a cabin in the Florida Keys. There he meets a chatty guy, Wireman, who’s the caretaker for Elizabeth, an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s – both of whom have pasts which slowly, heartbreakingly unfold over the course of the book. Edgar finds that painting is his new passion and genuine talent… but his paintings are odd. Eerie. And they can change things…

The first half of the book follows Edgar as he recovers from his accidents, explores his new talent and gains critical and commercial success, and loses some old friends and gains some new ones. The emotional and physical recovery from the accident and its fallout (which doesn't mean he'll ever be the same as he was before) was incredibly well-done and vivid. I don't know if it was technically correct, but it felt very believable.

In classic Gothic fashion, there’s creepy stuff going on simultaneously, but it’s comparatively subtle. I found this part of the book hugely enjoyable even though tons of scenes are just Edgar painting or eating sandwiches and shooting the breeze with Wireman. On the one hand, it probably could have been shorter. On the other hand, I could have happily gone on reading just that part forever.

And then the creepy stuff gets less subtle. A lot less subtle.

This has an unusual story arc. I’m putting that and other huge spoilers behind a cut, but I’ll also mention that even for King, the book has some very tragic aspects— ones which he’s explored before, but there’s one I’ll rot13.com (feed into the site to reveal) because it’s a specific thing that people may want to avoid. Gur cebgntbavfg’f qnhtugre vf xvyyrq. Fur’f na nqhyg ohg n lbhat bar (n pbyyrtr fghqrag) naq irel yvxnoyr, naq vg’f gur ovttrfg bs frireny thg-chapurf va gur fgbel. Nyfb, n qbt vf uvg ol n pne naq qvrf.

If that’s not a dealbreaker, I suggest not reading the rest of the spoilers because even though if I’d sat down and tried to figure out where the story was going, I probably could have, the experience of reading it feels unpredictable; you can guess the outlines but a lot of the details are unexpected.

Read more... )

Oh, I think it goes back before that

Oct. 14th, 2017 03:32 pm
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
[personal profile] oursin

Article in today's Guardian Weekend by a bloke whose wife earns a lot more than he does in a high-powered job, and he is stay at home dad. And it's not egregiously annoying, but I was taken aback by this line, which is a quote from something else:

The post-industrial economy is indifferent to men’s size and strength

The guy in question was a journalist and his friends do not sound as though they were pursuing careers as stevedores, miners, steelworkers, etc etc, before the economy took a downturn. They had office/creative-type jobs.

And surely it's been true for quite a long time that, just as the majority of men have not been called upon to defend their country in arms, the majority of men have not been working in fields where size and brute strength were necessarily particularly relevant.

This is a point I tend to think of when I see some man sounding off about women can't [X] or there has been no female [Y], and I think, you know what, mate, I don't suppose you're all that fit for doing [X], and on the basis of your Facebook post/tweet, I don't think you're the new [Y]. They take the credit to themselves for any achievement by a man that demonstrates, they suppose, the ultimate superiority of their gender, rather than having a component of chance and opportunity (cf V Woolf on J Shakespeare).

Which I don't think is so much the case with women? if we cite e.g. Ada Lovelace, or Serena Williams, it is more to say, well, actually, women can.

(no subject)

Oct. 14th, 2017 07:37 pm
thawrecka: (Scotty/Uhura)
[personal profile] thawrecka
• I have now watched until episode four of Babylon 5. My continuing deep thoughts are thus: I like Delenn's whole aesthetic because the colours of her clothes and lipstick are pretty; at the moment I possibly want Delenn and Sinclair to make out, but maybe I just want Sinclair to pash almost everybody, because he's dreamy; I find Garibaldi kind of annoying.

• Trying to research something for a story, and it's surprisingly hard to find information on what people in different military ranks actually do. It would probably be easier if I were looking for information on the US military branches, but I've been looking up stuff about the ADF. It seems easier to find info about the army and joint combat operations than the RAN or RAAF, so far. Probably the problem is that I just don't know where to look to find this. Maybe I need to find a children's book about this? I couldn't find anything I wanted in my local library because it didn't seem to be under military history, and thus far my google searches haven't thrown up much. It's one thing to talk about military ranks like we all know what they mean, but what does an Air Marshall actually do? I don't even want to find interesting stuff, just stuff like, how much paperwork does each rank land you with each week, & etc.

• The City Library seems to have moved everything around in non-fiction so things are still under Dewey Decimal Numbers, but the 300s are mysteriously right next to the 900s, and they're not in numerical order in general, and, sigh, hard for me to navigate. I feel like 'Don't make me think' should be the rule of information navigation design in general, mostly because I don't like change!!!

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