i'm not saying you're not on my mind

Aug. 16th, 2017 02:02 pm
musesfool: darth vader saying "He said what about his sister? Gross." (he said what about his sister?)
[personal profile] musesfool
I don't generally play games on my phone - I have a sordid history with computer games going back to the days of Police Quest and the Indiana Jones game, where I would stay up all night playing and then be unable to get up for class. So I've made a conscious choice to just not go there again, though I have been known to waste some time playing solitaire or bubble spinner or Tetris of an evening.

And then I discovered 1010! Which is like Tetris but without the blocks dropping - instead you place them wherever you like/they'll fit to make complete rows etc. And I have spent the past few days enthralled and exhausted because I've stayed up way too late doing this. I even paid $1.99 so I could have it ad free!

And then last night when I looked up from my phone after many, many games, and it was 12:45 am, I deleted it, because I can't be having with that. I was seeing it behind my eyelids while awake, and dreaming about it when I was asleep. Ugh. It was so nice and soothing too. But since I can't control myself, I had to get rid of it. Sigh.

Anyway, Wednesday means books, so buckle up!

What I've just finished
Babylon's Ashes, the last currently available Expanse novel, which I liked a lot. Are these books perfect? No. There's still too much Holden, though I did like that spoilers ) Avasarala, Bobbie, Naomi, and Amos are still my faves, and Alex makes a good showing here, too. This and Nemesis Games are really one long arc, and should probably be read together.

Buried Heart by Kate Elliott, the conclusion of the Court of Fives trilogy. I enjoyed it, though I still think maybe Jessamy made some assumptions that she had no real basis for which turned out to be true (this happened in the first book too), which is a downside of first person POV, because I kept waiting for her to be wrong about some things and she wasn't (well, she was wrong about a bunch of things, but not some of the things I thought she might be wrong about). Anyway, I found it a satisfying if slightly pat conclusion, and as with the Cold Magic trilogy, I found the revolution a lot more interesting than the romance.

Bombshells vol 3: Uprising - after Recent Events, I decided to go back to this and finish it, and the titular uprising made me tear up on the subway. Also, MIRI MARVEL!!! I don't know if I knew about that? But I LOVE IT. ♥♥♥ I can't wait to pick up volume 4.

Star Wars: Kanan: The Last Padawan volumes 1 & 2. These were fine. I enjoyed them, but they were somewhat repetitive when read in trade - there was a lot of catching up in the narration, which is good for a monthly comic but less good when reading it all in one go. Also, every other page, he's like, "Don't call me kid!" which got a little old. Mostly interesting to me for sad Jedi details, like Caleb saying Styles was his first friend even though we seem him with Tai and Sammo - were they not friends? That's so depressing. Unless he meant first non-Jedi friend, which is better. I'm just going to pretend that's what he meant so I can be slightly less sad.

Also notable for explicitly referencing the "Jedi code" which I hear a lot about in fic but am not sure I'd ever seen in any currently canon material, and it was "emotion, yet peace; chaos, yet serenity; death, yet the Force" which is interesting to me because it makes so much more sense than the other formulation I see in fic a lot: "there is no chaos, there is serenity" etc. I mean, you know me and my "take what I like and ignore the rest" approach to canon, so it's nice to have it there as needed, but as always I find the way things get flattened in fanon so interesting.

Because I mean, yeah, the Jedi were certainly culpable in both Anakin's fall and their own demise, because they were hidebound and corrupt the way any millennia-old organization made of people would be, and they definitely had some blindspots about a variety of things (providing therapy to members who needed it, using a slave army, being co-opted by the Senate, etc.), but they didn't deserve what happened to them. Let's not ever actually grace Anakin's horrific dumbassery ("from my POV, the Jedi are evil!") with any validity. Like, sure, Yoda gave him some poor advice, and Mace Windu was critical sometimes, and they made some compromised decisions, but that doesn't justify slaughtering anyone.

Anyway, it was also nice to see Rae Sloane, despite her poor life choices.

I also read Star Wars #34 this morning, which is mostly a standalone issue featuring Sana Starros swindling everyone in the galaxy from pirates to Hutts to Imperials and back. I would watch a whole movie about her. She might be Han Solo's fake (ex?)wife, but she's also Aphra's ex-girlfriend, so that would be amazing to see on screen. You could cast Nicole Beharie as Sana and Arden Cho as Aphra, and let them go be con artists together and I would line up multiple times to give Disney my money. Especially if Hondo showed up, too.

What I'm reading now
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. But I'm only a few pages in and it's taking me a little while to get back up to speed, especially since my brain isn't working so well today because of my lack of sleep. *g*

What I'm reading next
The next Craft Sequence book comes out in a couple of weeks, but before that, I dunno.

***
umadoshi: (mermaid 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Over the course of the day [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I managed to get our wires throughly crossed twice regarding the same thing. It stressed me out horribly, and then I felt bad about that, because he was only involved at all because he was giving me and a friend a hand with something. ;_; But AAAAAHHHH, so stressful.

But that notwithstanding, we got some erranding done and had dinner and saw Atomic Blonde with lawyer!friend, who we hadn't seen in...a month or two? (I can't even with time.) So the day wasn't a wash, just frazzling. ("Just". -_-)

(I didn't know until the opening credits that Atomic Blonde is adapted from Antony Johnston's graphic novel The Coldest City, which I'm wholly unfamiliar with, so I have no idea how faithful to it the movie is.)

Three Amazon-related things, weirdly (and very tangentially, in the third case):

--Question: if you have a trial Amazon Prime account and preorder something that won't come out until the trial ends, and you don't opt to keep Prime, do you then pay for shipping when the item is released and ships to you? Or is it still the free/quick Prime shipping because of when you ordered it?


--I don't know if I'm more confused by Amazon's insistence on sending a separate email for every order represented in a package when they bundle items from multiple orders together, or by the fact that the emails don't all come at once. Did I really need four email notifications about one package? And why did it take over ten minutes for them all to arrive, start to finish? (Don't try to answer the "why they don't all come at once" part; I'm sure there's a technical reason, but that doesn't/won't change my feeling that it's silly for them to not arrive all at once.)


--And finally, Sarah Rees Brennan's In Other Lands (the polished/expanded novel version of The Turn of the Story, which she serialized online and which I love fiercely) is out today! It's a BOOK! A book I'll be able to hold in my hands! With mermaids on the cover! It's been fleshed out/revised and edited, and we'll get the ending from Elliot's perspective! (The Turn of the Story is from Elliot's POV, but its original ending was actually written before TotS and is a story in the Monstrous Affections anthology, and is from Luke's POV.)

...and for whatever reason, at least on Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca, the hard copy of the book is still slated to release on August 25. >.< I have a preorder of it via Kas' Prime account, as does Ginny. But the ebook version is already available for both Kindle and Kobo, and the book is officially out today in general...so I think I'm going to cave and buy an ebook copy too, so I can read it.

Here's Sarah's release-day post! The book has received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers’ Weekly, and Sarah says "Bullied due to his personality! Inability to keep his mouth shut! I love how the reviews so far have been like: the hero is a terrible pill, but we are willing to buy this pill and take him home."

And here is Small Beer Press' post about the book's release, which opens with "Five years ago Sarah Rees Brennan emailed Kelly her story, “Wings in the Morning,” for our anthology Monstrous Affections. It was long: 17,000+ words in that early draft — although Sarah told us the actual first draft had been 30,000 words".

So you see, I've both already read and not read this book. I already adore it; I also, unsurprisingly, have a corner of my heart saying "but...but this means the story I already love is changed...?" and worrying a bit. But mostly I'm thrilled about it finally being a BOOK I can HOLD. And did I mention the mermaids? (I did.) Elliot, for all his brattiness and lack of enchantment with the magical place in which he goes to school, is appropriately entranced by and appreciative of mermaids.

Serene! Luke! ELLIOT! My heart...!

Home and home and home

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:46 pm
naye: the sky and mountains above lake geneva (mountain dawn)
[personal profile] naye
20170811_153625
Just a glimpse. More to come. This is Lake Geneva from a window in the Chateau de Chillion.

The week in Switzerland was, despite the in-law stressors, an amazing experience. Being near the mountains of my birth always recharges my soul in a way I can't put into words (but I have some pictures for later that might help). Seeing stars wheel over the jagged black alpine silhouettes against the soft summer sky and then waking to slanting light cut by mountains as it streams into a valley is home. Walking along the lake so wide it sometimes seems like a calm green sea as seagulls whirl overhead is home... and of course restful hours spent gazing out the window of clean and spacious trains that (mostly) run on time is also home (though not as home as the backseat of an old SAAB struggling up the hairpin curves with the smell of hot asphalt and fresh hay wafting through the cranked-down window).

And I got to visit the home of my heart; my mountain home. I was in my grandparents house (if not their exact flat) again, where they lived from the early fifties and until the end of their lives. I walked the corridors and lawns where I roamed as a child, and I saw lizards and friendly cats and swifts and sparrows and clouds coming to sweep the mountains in their soft embrace.

Plus I got to spend time with people I love and kids I adore and family whose lives I want to be a part of.

Leaving was hard (leaving home is hard and I missed my grandparents even though I've had years - years and years and years for some - to get used to them not being around and I missed childhood) and our flight was late and today was full of errands and dentists and an embarrassingly slow & halting 6k. There was Twin Peaks to make up for it - we rewatched last week's ep and new-watched Sunday's ep back to back with cherry pie - and that was pretty awesome.

And then tomorrow - 5am start ugh - I'm going to Sweden by myself to look at (and hopefully secure!) an apartment where we can make our next home. In our new home town. Where neither one of us has ever been. And if that flight is late... Well that's a disaster to deal with then. (I'm nervous. Of course.) Then Thursday I meet my new library and my new colleagues (gulp) and then I fly back in time to sleep and go to work on Friday in our current home.

It's... it's A Week, that's for sure. (And that's not even going into any of what's happened in the rest of the world this week!)

But when I'm back - really back, properly rested and recharged back - I have pictures that I want to share. Of my home. The mountainous one. ♥

salt water meets with the skies, dear

Aug. 15th, 2017 02:02 pm
musesfool: text icon: somewhere in this building is our talent (somewhere in this building is our talent)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I saw a t-shirt that read, "I don't trust atoms. They make up everything." and I grinned for the rest of my walk home. I love terrible puns.

Anyway. There's a meme going around somewhere? where you post the first lines of some of your works in progress? so I thought, why not? I sure have enough of them. So here are the first lines from a few of my wsip:

Half-Truths and Hyperbole (Star Wars; Obi-Wan/Satine Regency AU)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a planetary ruler being targeted by assassins must be in need of a Jedi bodyguard.

how strangely my life is curved (Star Wars, Ahsoka unfrozen in the TFA-era)
"There's a message from Lando," Leia says.

How Soon Is Now (Star Wars, sequel to Sing a New Song)
Time moves differently on Malachor.

nobody move, nobody get hurt (Star Wars, Anakin/lady!Obi-Wan au)
Obi-Wan learns two things in the immediate aftermath of the disaster that is the mission to Naboo: one, it's harder to be a master than she ever thought, and two, she cannot--will not--replace Anakin's mother, and the boy won't settle down and learn until he's assured of his mother's safety.

the movement and the spin (Star Wars, Anakin/lady!Obi-Wan au, companion piece to nobody move, nobody get hurt)
Maybe one day he'll look back on this and laugh, but right now, Anakin hates being fourteen.

The Bonds That We Save (Peggy Carter & Etta Candy crossover)
A secretary leads Peggy through a bewildering series of corridors that are clearly meant to confuse the unobservant; even she might have a difficult time finding her way back out.

Drive It Like You Stole It (Star Wars, Han/Leia)
Leia's back hits the mattress, Han's body a warm weight above her, and she thinks, I don't deserve this.

That seems like enough to be going on with.

***

Aloha!

Aug. 14th, 2017 11:04 pm
aome: (beaches purple)
[personal profile] aome
We're back! Actually, I've been back for about 40 hours now, but with laundry, errands, unpacking, jet lag and general life, I haven't had much time to sit down to the computer, and when I did, it was mostly mindlessly surfing the 'net. :-P

In general, it was a really good trip. On the Big Island we: saw Kilauea volcano, visited a black sand beach, had some regular beach trips, enjoyed the hotel pool/hot tub, went snorkling, took a glass-bottom boat trip, visited a seahorse farm and Place of Refuge, tried shave ice and had fun wandering through shops and farmer's markets/craft markets. On Oah'u we mostly spent our time at Aulani [luau, character breakfast, more snorkling, beach and pool (which included water slides and lazy river), took a couple of art-and-culture tours of the place], which was marvelous, but we did venture one day to Waikiki (which was largely disappointing, although we did get some inexpensive shirts and other souvenirs there, and enjoyed local ice cream). The whole trip went way too quickly and nobody but Two was ready to come home again.

But we did have some squabbling along the way, largely under circumstances where people tend to be tense - navigating unfamiliar roads, dealing with airports, people being hot and/or tired, or stressed over a new experience, plus some ordinary miscommunications. To me, it wasn't a huge deal (I mean, it was in the moment, because WHY ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING WHEN WE'RE IN HAWAII? but it didn't color my overall view of the trip) but Two remarked to me that one of the things he was taking away from our vacation was that, in his view, Will and I had fought more than usual. I felt kind of bad about that.

I'll try to find time for more detailed write-ups later, but I at least wanted to pop in here again. There is no way I can catch up on my flist from 2 weeks ago, so ... let me know if I've missed something important in your life?

In the meantime I finished re-reading Stormhaven and also finished reading The Dream Thieves, both on the flights back home.

Dream Thieves )

Anyway, overall I loved this book, and now I don't know what to read. I started Upside of Unrequited before we left for Hawaii, and would love to finish that. I want to read Cassie's Lord of Shadows, which I've also started (on Ch 3 or something like that). And I really want to dive into Blue Lily, Lily Blue to stay immersed in the Raven King universe. THERE AREN'T ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY!!!

Hǎo de, shǒuxiàng!

Aug. 14th, 2017 07:39 pm
gramarye1971: Jim Hacker about to receive some illegal alcohol in "The Moral Dimension" (YM: Diplomacy)
[personal profile] gramarye1971
As a small bright spot in an otherwise dismal weekend, I received a AO3 message requesting permission to translate Resource Allocation, the extremely silly Harry Potter/Yes, Minister crossover drabble I wrote ages ago, into Chinese. So with thanks to [archiveofourown.org profile] liangdeyu, 【翻译】Resource Allocation资源分配, is now available. I'm very pleased to see it.

(This does remind me that at some point I need to pick up a copy of Yes, Prime Manipulator, a book about the Chinese translation of YPM -- Hǎo de, shǒuxiàng -- written by the translator.)

i'm gonna drink that sun

Aug. 14th, 2017 02:22 pm
musesfool: sexy redheaded topless pinup with stripy stockings, captioned "victoria" (me)
[personal profile] musesfool
Miscellaneous Monday:

= thank you to everyone who commented on my post about the offer being accepted! I'm still working on replying, but your cautious yays are much appreciated. *g*

= One of my co-workers recently left for another job, and upon her departure, she gifted a number of us with tiny succulent plants in tiny plant pots. I dutifully looked up how to care for a succulent, because I have a black thumb and have never succeeded in keeping any plant alive (my mother was so good at plants, you guys! and I have always been terrible at them), so last week I watered it as directed, and this morning when I got to my cube, it looked like it had given up on life. It was all slumped and faded. Boss3 was out on vacation last week, so her little plant got no water, but lots of light. It had actually grown by a visible amount! So I just gave her mine to put on her windowsill. *hands* We'll see if it survives, or if my black thumb has claimed another hapless victim.

= I have been in contact with my new loan officer (the one referred by my broker), and she seems very on the ball. She sent me a list of required documents and I diligently attached all of them to my response. She also asked for two forms of ID, and since I have a valid in-state driver's license, according to the instructions, I could use my work ID as the second form. Alas, when I went to scan it, I discovered that my last name had been spelled incorrectly. I've had this ID card for 8 1/2 years, and never noticed that before. Not even last summer when I lost it and found it and had it replaced. (I knew my name was spelled wrong in ADP, but since it's right on my pay stubs, and my money gets deposited every two weeks, I don't really care. Of course, it's spelled wrong in a different way. idek.) So I couldn't use it. I thought I might have to wait until tomorrow, because my passport is at home, but they say they'll also take a utility bill, so I downloaded the latest one from ConEd and sent that along.

= My attorney received the new contract, so hopefully one day later this week I'll be able to sign it and get the ball rolling in earnest on this whole process. The contract lists a closing date of 'on or about' October 14, which would be amazing if it actually happened that quickly. I can be hopeful but I don't really expect it to happen like that. (Of course, after closing, I would still have to have some painting done and also the floors, but that shouldn't take too much time, right? *meep*)

= Last night, I was looking to watch something easy and comforting, and I remembered The Toast's recent take on The Hunt for Red October, and it's available streaming via Amazon Prime, so I put it on. I have a fondness for submarine movies in general, and this one in particular - my dad and I saw it together, as we did many other movies over the years. For a while in my teens and twenties, we had a standing Sunday movie date (in the 80s he was even okay with going to movies on opening weekend, and occasionally even on opening night - I'm pretty sure I saw ESB and ROTJ as well as Temple of Doom and Last Crusade with him the weekend they opened), and even in later years I could sometimes chivvy him out of his recliner to go to the movies - especially once reserved seating with in-theater recliners started being available. The last movie we saw together was CATWS, which seems right to me.

= And now, lunch.

***
isis: (squid etching)
[personal profile] isis
Three links make a post.

Hamilton (but with sharks) - Four pages of artwork for the musical, if the characters were sharks. This is freakin' adorable, and I want to see the rest!

Romance novel titles generated by a neural network trained on Harlequin books - These are hilarious, and I could not make it all the way through without laughing out loud. Christmas Pregnant Paradise! The Sheikh’s Marriage Sheriff! Virgin Viking! Some of these have been photoshopped into book-cover images, for extra fun.

What is Skyr? - This is a year old, but I found it following a link from a current WaPo article about Greek yogurt, which mentioned skyr (calling it 'Icelandic yogurt') and then added, with the link, that it is technically cheese. As I have Siggi's skyr with fruit and my homemade granola for breakfast most days, I found this fascinating. (Siggi's doesn't use rennet.)

And have a bonus Lucy, helping to make the bed (as cats do): under the cut )

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 02:38 pm
thawrecka: (Default)
[personal profile] thawrecka
I am home again and very tired. Real entry to come later.
umadoshi: (Newsflesh - check this out (kasmir))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

This link about Carrie Fisher and The Last Jedi was making the rounds on Twitter largely because of the story Oscar Isaac tells about her at the end of the article.

The Hugo nomination stats are out (along with other statistics), so naturally I checked the Best Series category, where I found Newsflesh in the list of top nominees, appearing on 85 ballots. (The category header indicates that there were 1393 votes for 291 nominees.) The Toby books, which did make it onto the final ballot, were on 129 nominating ballots.

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] sovay, look at Philip Odango's marvelous cosplay of Maui from Moana.

"Dean Winchester and Commander Shepard Walk Into A Bar: Why Fanon Matters". [Alasdair Stuart at Uncanny Magazine]


Social Justice

"Women Are Dying Because Doctors Treat Us Like Men: For years, physicians have referred to women's healthcare as 'bikini medicine' and assumed they can diagnose and treat both genders the same way. But it's costing women their lives". [Marie Claire]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] wendelah1, "41 Things You Should Know About Abortions And The Doctors Who Perform Them". [Buzzfeed]

"Ready to Ditch White Feminism? Here Are 6 Black Feminist Concepts You Need to Know".

"Battery Theory: For when the Spoon Theory is too confusing".

"Accessibility [of the web] according to actual people with disabilities".

"Are men talking too much?" is an online tool for tracking who's dominating a conversation. (Relevant info at this Facebook post.)

"A post for men about creepy men".

"The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility". [July 2016] (Uses Trump as an illustration, FYI.)


Miscellaneous

Via a post on [dreamwidth.org profile] wotd (Word of the Day), The Phrontistery dedicates itself to "obscure words and vocabulary resources". It includes lists of lost words, obscure words, word lists by topic, short words for Scrabble purposes...many things! I've barely scratched the surface.

"Finding Dory Writer and Hamilton Director to Tell the Story of the U.S. Military’s First Female Pilots". [The Mary Sue]

Via [locked], "Gratitude Lists Are B.S. — It Was an 'Ingratitude' List That Saved Me".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] jimhines, "Incredible Bonsai Trees Made Of 1000s Of Miniature Origami Cranes By Naoki Onogawa" and "10+ Badass Trees That Refuse To Die No Matter What".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] klgaffney, "The Lost City That’s Not Lost, Not a City, and Doesn’t Need to Be Discovered".
musesfool: head!Six (and they have a plan)
[personal profile] musesfool
Orphan Black: To Right the Wrongs of Many

spoilers )

The show often got lost in its own convoluted plotlines, but the story of the clones who became sisters for real was great and I'm sad there isn't going to be any more (though I would totally watch a half-hour sitcom spinoff of the sestras going about their 'normal' lives, with occasional visits from Krystal or one of the many clones we never got to meet). I hope Tatiana Maslany goes on to even greater things.

***

nothing else around me looks the same

Aug. 12th, 2017 04:26 pm
musesfool: !!!! from Middleman (!!!!)
[personal profile] musesfool
Last evening, I was minding my own business, answering Star Wars meme questions and talking with [personal profile] silveronthetree on tumblr, when I got a call from the realtor saying my offer on the apartment I'd seen on Tuesday was accepted!

!!!!

TBH, I had given up. I hadn't heard anything, so I just figured he didn't want to ruin my weekend, and that on Monday I'd get a call with a rejection and an email with new listings to look at. So you can imagine my shock. I notified my lawyer and then proceeded to text everyone I know with the news. I can think about accent wall colors and sofas! Dinette sets! I can look at my pinterest again without being depressed!

I mean, I still have to 1. get a mortgage approved and 2. get approved by the co-op board, but since this apartment costs a lot less than the other one did, my DTI ratio is where they want it to be, and the realtor referred me to a lender who hopefully handles mortgages of less than $100K, since that is what I'll be seeking, and the lady I worked with before doesn't handle them. I emailed the new lender this afternoon, to get that ball rolling, so we'll see what happens.

So I'm cautiously optimistic this time rather than filled with rapturous glee, because now I understand just how easily it can evaporate. But even so. It was nice to get good news at 6:30 pm on a Friday night.

Then I had to run out the door to meet L., since we were going to see Girls Trip, which we both enjoyed and found hilarious. I for one will never look at a grapefruit the same way again.

***

Mishmash post before I do some work

Aug. 12th, 2017 02:27 pm
umadoshi: (Tori "freedom" (strangelittlex))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Revoltingly humid today--the kind of day where I'll be so glad to hit the shower, but am also kind of dreading it because getting out of the shower will feel so gross within seconds and the whole thing will feel pointless by the time I'm dressed. >.< (I'm really not good with sweat and stickiness. Why are bodies?)

This weekend I'm on once-a-day cat-feeding duty for friends who live maybe ten minutes away on foot, which is very convenient, but since it's evening feeding, it's too early for me to go and come back and be done for the day (and done being rained on, if that happens). *wry* I'm a procrastinator in many ways, but in terms of concrete things that have to be done on a given day, I usually lean towards getting them out of the way promptly, so a corner of my brain keeps perking up and thinking, "Oh! I could head over there now and be done--wait, no."

I need to post about K.B. Spangler's books/webcomic, and I even have some notes jotted down, but haven't managed to turn those notes into anything yet. (Technically her work all falls under the "A Girl and Her Fed universe" banner--AGAHF being the webcomic, which came first and I suspect is the best-known part?--but since I started with the novels, most of which are about Rachel Peng, who isn't even in the first act of AGAHF, I find myself defaulting to labeling it all as Rachel-related in my head.)

Anyway, I've read almost everything at this point, except that I haven't started the second act of the comic yet, and there are also some bonus comics or something available as pdfs in Spangler's online store, which I should pick up. So in theory, a proper post on it should happen any day now.

--For those who haven't heard, [dreamwidth.org profile] seanan_mcguire won the Best Novella Hugo for Every Heart a Doorway!

--There's a second track available from the upcoming Tori Amos album: "Up the Creek".

--My brain doesn't feel like it even has the memory of how to write fiction. Thanks, brain.

--I'm now three (3) whole episodes into Black Sails. I'm not remotely in love, but I gather very few people are at this point; that said, those three episodes haven't been as bad as I was afraid of. (That said, they've depicted several commonly-triggery things. But I went in expecting that, and am fortunate enough to not have any actual triggers myself.)

--This day is not conducive to staying awake, but Monday's deadline is fast approaching. And in the next month or so I'm hoping to get ahead on my freelance work, in case Casual Job starts up for the fall before September ends...and I just acquired some bonus prose proofreading work to do by the end of September, too. (Yay!)

still so easily ignored

Aug. 11th, 2017 12:30 pm
musesfool: anakin's lightsaber (this is your life)
[personal profile] musesfool
Hey hey, I actually wrote something yesterday!

On the Day Before (@ AO3)
Star Wars; Vader, Leia; AU; g; 905 words
Darth Vader eavesdrops on a very interesting conversation.

It's just a brief revelation scene, because that is the part that interests me, though one day maybe I'll follow through and write the actual story of Vader teaming up with his kids and overthrowing Palpatine. It's just a lot more plot than I generally find workable as a writer, though I love reading it.

I also realized that in December it will be TEN YEARS since I started the West Wing Title project. And I still have 65 unused episode titles. How even is that possible? I do have current wsip for two (or is it three?) of them, but even so. 151 episode titles is a lot (note: I used parts 1 and 2 of "Inauguration" for one story, hence the count being one off). (The original explanation is here, but I moved the index post to DW when I stopped posting to LJ.)

I also wrote a little bit on one of my other wsip and sketched out notes for a new idea, so I guess the focus to write isn't completely gone. I feel like it's been overwhelmed recently by everything else. *hands* But I still love my works in progress and want to see them done!

***

Today I completed my last two required workplace training modules, and the one on workplace violence was 1. terrifying to contemplate as an employee even though 2. it was not really applicable to my work situation (we do have clinics where this could be an issue but I work in the main office, where we don't see clients; much like the Medicare/Medicaid fraud training was inapplicable because I don't do any kind of billing); but also 3. the checklist of warning signs for violence in the workplace read like a summary of Anakin Skywalker's character, which proves that a. the Jedi probably should have seen it coming, and b. a fangirl's mind is never far from the object of her (unfortunate) affections. #the most problematic fave

***

Given my penchant for purses, I feel obligated to link you to this adorable dinosaur purse. It's Kate Spade, so it's ridiculously expensive (nobody needs 14K gold plated hardware on a pink dinosaur purse!), but if it weren't I might conceive a mighty need for it.

***

Two more hours of work until it's the weekend! I plan to sleep in! Whee!

***

(no subject)

Aug. 10th, 2017 08:27 pm
loup_noir: (Default)
[personal profile] loup_noir
I am learning things I didn't really want to know.  To wit: even a little bit of beer dribbled into a keyboard will fritz it.  Once the perfect keyboard dried out, it was certain that some key was depressed all the time.  We did have a real POS keyboard I could use, but it was really a POS.  Mostly used it to order a new ergonomic keyboard from Amazon. 

Second thing I didn't want to know was that my beloved robe had worn out.  How did I discover that?  By sticking my hand through the fabric.  Once I held the garment up to the light, I'm amazed that it was still in one piece.  Amazon to the rescue.

Third thing was discovering how many websites require that comments be turned on to load properly.  Look, do comics need a comment trail?  Really?  The news sites are toxic, with all the vitriol and stupidity that idjits feel compelled to add.  There is an add-on for Firefox that will hide all of those.  Yay.  Well, not so yay, because what the add-on thinks is a comment sometimes isn't, or the webmaster feels that one must be able to see all the BS.  Mostly, it's a good thing.

Fourth was the shooting pains in my hands after using the weed-eater and the hedge trimmer for too long.  My body wants to be a pampered princess, not a laborer.  Might be time to invest in some gel gloves to cut down the vibration, because there's just too much work that has to get done for me to play the poor me card.  Nope, get to work, you slacker. 

Which leads the thing the last, the hedges.  Who knew that it only takes two years for them to get so wide that I can't read the middle with what's basically a four-foot pole that eats branches?  

And thus ends the post of things I didn't really want to know.
musesfool: darth vader saying "He said what about his sister? Gross." (he said what about his sister?)
[personal profile] musesfool
I was starting to think I might never write again, but then this happened. Let's call it another variation on a familiar theme. *g*

On the Day Before
Star Wars; Vader, Leia; AU; g; 905 words
Darth Vader eavesdrops on a very interesting conversation.

Written for the West Wing Title project.

Read it at AO3.

On the Day Before )

~*~

Feedback is adored.

(no subject)

Aug. 10th, 2017 06:13 am
naye: ruby and sapphire from steven universe hugging (hug - su r&s)
[personal profile] naye
At in-laws. Kids are delightful. Adults are being very nice to us but the fact that my wife's brother-in-law got annoyed at Steven Universe while drinking beer elsewhere in the flat and now tells his kids (8 & 10) that it's stupid (!) and they're not allowed to watch it (!!) is upsetting. The kids even told us he thinks we've been a bad influence because we introduced them to the show when they were younger and now when they try to watch it he gets mad and turns it off.

I know I shouldn't be judging people on what TV they let their kids engage with but... seriously who bans Steven Universe of all shows?! (It's not cartoons in general or anything like that either. It's specifically this cartoon being "stupid".)

you're like all the rest, miss

Aug. 9th, 2017 03:16 pm
musesfool: Reboot Uhura (never tell me the odds)
[personal profile] musesfool
It's so cold in this office. My hands are like blocks of ice. Except for when I'm having a hot flash and sweating like a pig. Ugh.

Anyway, the apartment last night was quirky and cute but of course, as of this morning there are other offers, so I am waiting to hear if mine will be accepted. I am not hopeful. I am finding this whole thing so emotionally exhausting. I just want to stay in bed with the covers over my head.

But enough of that. It's Wednesday, so let's talk about books:

What I've just finished
Nemesis Games, the fifth(?) Expanse book. In which shit gets REALLY REAL. spoilers )

Anyway, I have to say that as much as I enjoyed the first two books and then found Abaddon's Gate a slog, everything since then has been an exciting and compelling read, with the stakes rising with every book. Be warned though, this one doesn't resolve everything neatly at the end, so you'll want to have the next book on hand when you're done.

What I'm reading now
Babylon's Ashes, which again, just keeps ratcheting up the tension. I've been trying to take it a little slower since the next book isn't out until December (and the show doesn't come back until next spring), but I'm almost at the end and I'm enjoying the ride so far.

I feel like I should have an Avasarala icon. Hmm...

What I'm reading next
As I mentioned last week, probably Buried Heart, the third Court of Fives book, and then The Stone Sky, the third Broken Earth book. Because everything's a fucking trilogy these days. I also picked up the first two trades of the Kanan comic, so that's also a possibility.

***

wednesday reads 'n things

Aug. 9th, 2017 01:06 pm
isis: winged Isis image (wings)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading: A number of online short stories and bits of fanfic.

Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong, which is f/f horror/fantasy, an interesting read but not to my taste.

Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar, which is f/f fairytale fantasy with an edge of grimdark. I really liked this one; it reminded me a little of Valente's Deathless but, you know, not overwritten and pretentious.

Lady of the Shard by gigi d.g. which is an online f/f webcomic (complete, not overly long) about an acolyte who falls in love with her goddess, and about humanity and divinity. The drawing style is usually simplistic but evocative, and there's a wonderful humor to the dialogue that reminded me a bit of Hyperbole and a Half or The Oatmeal. It does get a little grim in places.

These are all nominated for [community profile] femslashex, which I'm contemplating signing up for, which is why I read them. (I am doing two other fests and I don't want to overcommit, so I'm still dithering.)

Speaking of f/f, I also read and enjoyed the G-rated Diana/Etta Wonder Woman fic be yourself my ally by [archiveofourown.org profile] imperfectcircle, which [personal profile] petra had recced. I liked the movie but it didn't give me any real fannish feelings, but the pairing intrigued me, and the story is great. Etta unaware of her own strengths (or maybe just too modest to admit to them) makes a delightful narrator, and also, there are kittens.

I have also been reading on the m/m side as the Rare Male Slash Exchange opened a few days ago. I haven't yet read everything I intend to, but the Gentleman Bastards fic Wake Up and Smell the Black Alchemy (T-rated morning-after fic, Locke/Jean/Sanza brothers) is hot and hilarious, a pitch-perfect pastiche, and I should not be allowed to alliterate like that, should I. I was also impressed by the fic Shake Up the Country for the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) which managed to strike exactly the right obliquely menacing tone. (Unrated, but no sexual content other than a kiss, and no explicitly violent content but a lot that is implicit; it's a movie for adults, and so is this short fic.)

What I'm reading now: FRTDNEATJ I stepped away from the Expanse series for the time being, and instead started another one of my Instafreebie books, Terraforming Earth - Phase 1: The Plagues Era by Dean C. Moore, a future-world thriller in which Mysterious Wealthy Corporations have decided to kill off most people so they can remake the world as a paradise (for themselves). So far it seems to suffer from the usual self-published woes of cardboard characters and sloppy writing. I've temporarily abandoned it for now and may permanently abandon it, though I'm not very far in and so feel like I ought to give it more of a chance.

The reason I abandoned it is that one of my library holds came in, and because it's a downloadable ebook I had to grab it quickly. I originally noticed Will Save the Galaxy for Food by Yahtzee Croshaw because of the unusual name (and wondering if it was the fanfic writer - it's not), and then I put a hold on it because the combination of the flippant title and the unabashedly Golden Age of SF cover art brought Keith Laumer's Retief stories (which I loved) to mind. So far (about a third of the way in) it's great, a loving satire of the Have Spacesuit genre.

I also started listening to Kenneth Oppel'sAirborn (Steampunk Horatio Hornblower on an airship) but as I'm not currently running due to a possible injury, I'm not listening to audiobooks much, so I may just put that on hold and restart when I am likely to be able to listen to the whole thing over a couple of weeks.

What I'm reading next:

I was going to answer this with a reread of Beth Cato's The Clockwork Dagger so I could then read the sequel, The Clockwork Crown, because someone on my flist read a different Cato book and that reminded me of these, and I checked my library and they have both! But about an hour ago I got an email from Penguin/Random House telling me that because I positively reviewed The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, I am already approved to read the e-ARC of its sequel, The Girl in the Tower (coming out in December), hooray!

What I'm currently watching:

We are finally catching up with Game of Thrones. Er, we rewatched the last episode of last season, and I've mostly forgotten how they got to that point, but whatever. Then we watched the first episode of this season.

What I'm currently writing:

As I mentioned above, I'm doing two exchanges, [community profile] crossovering and [community profile] remixrevival. I've already started my story for the first, and have a good general idea of where it is going to go. For the second, I'm trying to choose between a couple of stories to remix.

Off to the in-laws

Aug. 8th, 2017 10:07 pm
naye: zoro cradling his sword with a smile, with the word "breathe" (one piece - breathe)
[personal profile] naye
Ways of staying sane: occasionally allow self to forget all about #45, including the really terrifying newsflashes.

In other news... Tomorrow we're off to what was originally planned to be a visit to my wife's niece and nephew, where we'd hoped for maximum kid time and minimum in-law interaction. However, a little while ago my parents in law decided to invite themselves to come at the same time. And I can't fault them (or, well - we keep inviting them to visit us here and in five years they've just... not), because it's rare to get their two kids and grandkids at once but. Well. It'll be different than originally planned.

But it's just for the week. It'll be fun seeing the kids and good - if not entirely thrilling - to fulfil family obligations. I will give my in-laws credit for being very sweet and completely accepting (to me - my wife gets low-key hassled by her mom) of our very gay relationship. Considering they grew up during the Cultural Revolution, this is probably not something they ever imagined dealing with, and they're showing admirable grace with the whole queer thing.

And my heart can't handle anymore

Aug. 8th, 2017 12:58 pm
musesfool: Stephanie Brown as Batgirl (can't hardly wait)
[personal profile] musesfool
I'm sorry this is all boring/depressing househunting nonsense all the time these days. But here's another anecdote that probably only I find hilarious and ridiculous:

Yesterday, the broker suggested seeing a place I had previously turned down, mostly because it's carpeted and I don't like carpeting - especially other people's carpeting ew gross - but he was like, that can be ripped up and this is a large apartment for a good price in a nice building. And the kitchen is cute and relatively updated, which is my #1 priority. So I said okay, and he said he'd confirm the appointment in the morning.

When I got home last night, every one of my saved listings on StreetEasy was delisted. Not just ones I knew had an accepted offer, where you might expect that, but even ones that were allegedly still on the market, including the one I had made an appointment to see. (It is still up on MLSLI, though.)

So I was like, who did I piss off? Am I under some sort of weird curse? What is happening.

But just now, the broker confirmed my appointment, so who the hell even knows? Will this just be one more disappointment, or will the seventh time be the charm? Tune in tomorrow for answers! Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

***
gramarye1971: Punie Tanaka from Dai Mahou Touge, looking satisfied in front of a burning Tokyo Tower (Dai Mahou Touge: Tora Tora Tora)
[personal profile] gramarye1971
I'm feeling a bit too disorganised to post much at the moment, but one fun thing I've been doing lately has been testing out an online Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game through roll20.net, a site that lets you use webcams and chatrooms to run tabletop campaigns in real time. The GM's a friend who's run a number of our campaigns before, but we're playing with several other different people in different time zones, so there's a new element to it as well.

Our game is set in a cyberpunk retrofuture 2020 Baltimore, with the following premises:
- Basically, there are cell phones but no real Internet, Taylor Swift is the current U.S. president, the Cold War turned hot in space about two decades ago, and the Inner Harbor and Johns Hopkins University are two of a handful of arcologies in a sea of shantytowns and otherwise crumbling infrastructure.
- Our characters are an A-Team-like group of hired guns and techies who operate out of a food truck that sells kimchi tacos.
- I'm essentially playing a character from the Gunslinger Girl anime: a cybernetically modified Ukrainian sniper/former child soldier who looks about 14 or 15 but is actually in her early 20s. She was "rescued" (more like kidnapped) by a U.S. charity that's involved in money laundering under the guise of helping war orphans, and she's young and blonde enough to be a public face for their child solider rehabilitation program. Unfortunately, she actually rather enjoyed wetwork operations, so she's working with the kimchi taco folks to save up money to go back to her home country and jump right back into the action.

Apart from some technical glitches, we managed our first mission well enough -- no one in our party died or caught on fire, and we got a busted-out sedan as a secondary vehicle to supplement the food truck. It's been a while since I've played such a morally bankrupt character type, but dumping all of my good stats into the weapons skills means that I don't feel too bad about treating her like a point-and-shoot glass cannon. Will see if the mechanics continue to work out.
musesfool: text icon: O swear not by the moon, th' inconstant moon (swear not by the moon)
[personal profile] musesfool
So last Monday, I saw a cute apartment (that I offered for and didn't get) and I was supposed to see a second one in the same building, but neither the seller nor their broker showed up. They rescheduled me to see it on Saturday. I said to my broker, would it be possible to bring the offer sheet with you so I can sign it and make the offer on the spot? And he said, how do you feel about making the offer now, since there is another offer already? So I did - $6K above purchase price, even, to be more attractive as a buyer - and then he calls me and says the other offer is more than mine, do I want to go a little higher? So I do, and I end up at $16K above purchase price before I've even seen the place in person. That's how stupid and ridiculous this process is here. The pictures are nice - the kitchen is higher end than the one I actually saw on Monday, and it wouldn't require any of the painting that the other one would have, and also it's the same layout so I did kind of know what it looked like.

So on Saturday I saw it and reconfirmed my offer as the highest I was willing to go (with some trepidation as going that much above the purchase price made me even warier of a low appraisal), and this morning I got the call that they went with the other buyer.

This relentless disappointment is so disheartening. I know I'm supposed to keep up an enthusiastic and optimistic attitude, but I find it really difficult to get excited about something after repeated disappointments. I'd rather just not.

Because the thing is, you need to really love and be enthusiastic about a place to want to spend this kind of money on it (and I am aware of how little money, in the grand NYC real estate scheme of things, I have to spend, but to me it's a lot, and I'm also aware of how lucky I am, for certain values of lucky, to even be able to do this now) and it's really hard for me to do that knowing that I'm just as likely to be disappointed.

I know it's just timing (and money) and not judgement on me as a person, but meh. I don't like it. No sirree, I don't like it at all.

Also, all of this makes me wish I could ask my dad for advice, which is fraught in a number of different ways, so that is making me sad, too. I miss my dad. and my mom. Sigh.

***

I don't have a lot to say about this week's Orphan Black. I feel like I'll be much more able to say something after next week's finale, but spoilers )

***

(no subject)

Aug. 6th, 2017 01:46 pm
thawrecka: (Noir)
[personal profile] thawrecka
Films watched this last week:

  • A United Kingdom, which I don't think did particularly well but that I was charmed by. Epic in scope, which meant that the courtship of the leads was danced over lightly, but that worked for me, because Oyelowo and Pike made me believe it. The scenes in Botswana were absolutely gorgeous. Spent most of the movie thinking, "Fuck the English," which is as it should be.


  • I went to see Atomic Blonde with a friend on Thursday and it was AWESOME. I must admit I can't rationally assess whether the movie is any good or not because it was so completely my shit that I loved it. A late Cold War neo-noir spy thriller set on both sides of Berlin, it stars Charlize Theron as a bisexual field agent who gets caught up in an absolute mess as she tries to find a list and the person who keeps it. The beginning of the film mentions that at this point in time the Berlin wall started to come down, but this is not that story - it's your first warning that all the spies in the film are having pointless fights over things with no real world meaning or effect on the world; if you go into it expecting that (and aware that it's a Cold War spy thriller) then nothing about the end is shocking or horrifying, and I do suspect that some people who watched it weren't expecting this to be exactly what it was.

    It is 100% my trash. Neon lights, excellent 80s synth pop, awesome late 80s clothes in minimalist neutrals almost all of which I wish were in my wardrobe (except for that hideous jumpsuit she wears at the end). To be fair, I already own a white trench-coat and several pairs of ankle boots. By the end of the film I, too, wished to have an ice bath in a marble tub and smoke a packet of cigarettes, neither of which I've ever wanted before.

    The film is beautifully stylised, especially in a scene where two characters fight behind a veil in an art cinema. Nonetheless, the fight scenes at the end are satisfyingly brutal and unglamorous, Theron's character and those she fights getting increasingly bruised and bloody, gasping for breath, grasping for any weapon they can use to fight their enemy. In the background history happens, as these agents pointlessly fight over nothing.

    It's mildly non-linear, but not to an extent I found confusing (though, YMMV), and sublime-ly flashy nonsense. Theron is great in her role as the stylish butt-kicking spy I enjoyed living vicariously through; Sofia Boutella is also delightful as her Bond girl-esque wide-eyed ingenue love interest. Don't go into it expecting depth.


  • I barely watched any of The Face of an Angel on DVD before I turned it off. I'm not sure why I put it on my quickflix queue - perhaps because I liked the poster? I certainly had no idea of the plot. Turns out it's a fictionalisation of the Meredith Kercher murder and Amanda Knox media circus, with all the names changed, and with the focus put on a random bloke screenwriter. What I saw seemed boring and pointless.


  • Watched Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark at a birthday last night. Turns out all I remembered of this film was Marion tending his wounds and the scene at the end where they have to close their eyes so the magic box won't melt them. Ah, the innocence of a time when you could make a film about punching Nazis in the face without edgy-ing things up by making your heroes the Nazis. I paid about enough attention to see the film was even more of a sausage fest than I remembered and that the special effects have not dated well.


  • Also watched Robin Hood Men in Tights which is not as funny as I remember it being, and has some jokes that have not aged well. I'm not as powerfully overwhelmed by what a dreamboat Cary Elwes was in that movie as I used to be, but it was still kind of fun. Turns out, I was the only person among my friends last night to have been old enough to get all the sex jokes the first time I saw this film.


  • Age of Adaline is an okay-ish science fiction romance, as long as you adjust your standards down to Lifetime movie standards. Everyone in the film is very nice, which doesn't make the plot-relevant bit in the middle where Adaline realised she'd boned her new boyfriend's father 50 years before any less awkward. Harrison Ford is pretty good in his role, though that doesn't make the whole thing more comfortable to watch. The only thing I'd seen Blake Lively in before is the only episode of Gossip Girl I've ever watched, where I thought she had enough charisma to light up the screen; she's pretty good in this, too. Pleasant enough time-waster, but seriously, what an awkward plot development.


***

I feel like for a time the typefaces on almost everything were those long, thin, sans-serif bold caps. I was honestly getting really sick of seeing Bebas Neue on everything. But even Lana Del Rey isn't using that kind of font on her new album releases any more, when she'd consistently done that for branding on the previous releases all the way back to Born to Die.

Anyway, I bought Lust for Life and I've been listening to it at work pretty much non-stop. If I just listen to it on my stereo at home I feel like it goes on a little long, but while I'm working I think it's a great length and I'm happy to listen to it multiple times through. It's the same sort of stuff she's been putting out for years, so don't expect to be surprised by the album, obviously, but I love this stuff so I'm not complaining. For me, the highlights are (1) 'Lust for Life', her collab with The Weekend, which is so damn catchy (my dream is that one day they do a concept album together, but until that fantasy comes true that can keep guesting on each other's albums); (2) 'Love', which isn't quite as fun when not watching its fascinatingly trippy space fantasy video, but still lovely; and (3) 'When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing', as much froth as anything she's ever done, and certainly not a political screed, but still about the zenith of her theme of the glamorous ruin of a nostalgic imagined America, now heightened by the horror of the Trump era. When she sings, "is this the end of America," it can't help but sound provocative.

I also got Haim's newest, which is also a deliberately nostalgic audio throwback, but I'll hold off on opinion on that one yet. It took a while for their previous album to grow on me but it became one of my favourites, so we'll see what I think of Something to Tell You in a few months time.
umadoshi: (tomatoes 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
gardening update, with a focus on tomatoes--one of which I ate! )

I have an uncomfortable number of tabs open with tomato recipes in them, mainly from The Kitchn. I think we're finally far enough along in the season that I don't feel like I'm jinxing things by asking if you guys have favorite tomato-related recipes and consumption methods you feel like sharing. ([dreamwidth.org profile] misbegotten, I've already saved a couple of things you posted/linked to recently--very promising!)

Also on the cooking front (which is a bitterly hilarious thing to say, since I don't even really bake anymore, never mind cook), I keep hearing such good things about Instant Pots lately. [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I didn't pounce on the recent Prime Day sales--just as well, since the model I'd been eying was 8-quart, and when [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose measured some things he concluded that that'd be way too big for us--but we may wind up acquiring one. (Newest reference: a Toronto friend mentioning on Facebook that he made one of his tried-and-true recipes in an Instant Pot and it took one hour [including prep] rather than its usual four to eight hours of cooking time alone.)

I'm mainly looking at this 6-in-1 6-quart model, but there's also this 7-in-1 6-quart version (about $20 more, and the additional function seems to be yogurt-making?). [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose'll need to be the one to assess the other differences and decide, since a) he's the more technical of us and b) he's the one who actually, you know, cooks.

--Rather than tossing this into linkspam, here: [twitter.com profile] UrsulaV just watched The Winter Soldier for the first time, and live-tweeted the experience.

--Neither [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose nor I fully realized until yesterday (in my case, when he got home from work and told me) that this is a three-day weekend. Given that it's already late Saturday night and we've made no plans beyond our usual daily things, I doubt we're going to do much with it other than being glad [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose has a day off, but it's still pretty great. ^_^

(no subject)

Aug. 6th, 2017 12:00 am
thawrecka: (Coffee!)
[personal profile] thawrecka
I got a great taxi driver tonight. He asked if I was studying and I said, yes, still studying part-time, and he asked what I study and I said film, so we talked about films. He talked about how when he was in India he loved Hollywood films and now he lives here and watches almost nothing. We talked about how action movies today go on too long, and he said he can't stand those Avengers films. And he asked my top five favourite films and had only heard of one of them.

So I asked if he was studying - yes, double major in marketing and finance. Said, "I fucking hate it, though. At least film you can talk about at the pub. Marketing and finance is so boring."

I said, "Very sensible degree. I'm also minoring in creative writing, the ultimate useless degree."

He said, "Now you're just showing off."

if you want me i'll be in the bar

Aug. 4th, 2017 01:23 pm
musesfool: Peggy Carter in sunglasses (the only empire i will ever build)
[personal profile] musesfool
Hayley Atwell and Ewan McGregor are playing a married couple in the movie about Christopher Robin (Milne). I don't mean to be an Eeyore (though I habitually am), but the movie itself sounds like it could be awful, or a rehash of Hook, or I don't even know what*, so they should just be filmed making out for two hours and I'd probably splurge to see it in IMAX. I am just saying.

*I mean, I will take Winnie the Pooh over almost any other childhood classic - I had the sheets and a dish and bowl set - still extant and in my eldest niece's possession afaik - and a variety of other merchandise that was available in the early 70s when I was the target age for it, but even I don't think we need a live action Winnie the Pooh movie.

***

what you see is not what you get!

Aug. 4th, 2017 11:07 am
isis: (craptastic squid by scarah)
[personal profile] isis
Two very cool optical illusion links from Facebook this morning:

First, via Nicholas J. Johnson, who is a stage magician and science communicator who gives school presentations about the science behind illusions (his website is The Bad Science Show).

Below the cut is an image; how many circles do you see? )

Second, at Boredpanda: Mimi Choi's optical illusion makeup. Warning for somewhat disturbing images. This is super impressive! A lot of the effects depend on viewing at a particular angle or against a particular background, so alas you can't walk around with those faces, but there are a few that would totally work as costume.

And on the subject of spectacular makeup (and since things are supposed to come in threes), the Washington Post has a stunning slideshow of images from the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria.
umadoshi: (pretty things & clever words (iconriot))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I've started vaguely feeling as if I should watch the Yona of the Dawn anime. I feel as if I've seen it mentioned relatively often lately, given how small a percentage of my online friends are anime-watchers these days. I haven't really seen any anime since I watched Yuri on Ice, unless I'm forgetting something, and I do have this shiny Crunchyroll subscription that I maintain basically on principle (the principle[s] being that it's very affordable, I like supporting my sister industry, and heaven knows I watched enough fansubs in bygone days that paying for anime now feels like a good thing to do even if I'm not actually watching it very much).

I'm inherently skeptical of anime based on manga (sometimes it's amazing, but how often, really?), though, and I love the Yona manga so much. (I'm adapting vol. 10 this week!) It also seems like it might be extra weird to watch an anime based on something I adapt; I can't literally say I've never done it, because I know I saw at least a couple episodes of My Love Story!! (which was wonderful to see!), but I essentially haven't done it.

Not that there are a ton of manga I've adapted that have anime versions, but there're certainly a few: Sgt. Frog, My Love Story!!, Yona of the Dawn, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, and The Ancient Magus' Bride, at least. (Maybe that's all. Dunno.)

--However many weeks after the big announcement and kerfuffle, Photobucket finally sent me an email about using their services for third-party hosting. I'm pretty sure the only things I really have there are my mood themes for Dreamwidth and LiveJournal, so I'm largely planning to sit back and see how long it takes for them to actually kill my mood theme here, and then I guess I'll upload it elsewhere and try to remember how to make it go.


--I'm having ~feelings~ about the novels I'm reading (K.B. Spangler's Rachel Peng books; there are four [so far?], and I finished the second tonight), but haven't managed to pin it further down than that, so...no comment yet? I can say that Rachel is very up my alley as a protagonist, and also that the...world? Franchise? I honestly don't know what the noun is in this particular case!...is complicated, and I haven't explored its other corners at all. At some point I imagine I'll come up with some kind of words and slap a post together.


--I continue to use Instagram primarily for following adorable kitty accounts, which is not helping with my intermittent desire to foster kittens. Not that we can right now; we'd be using Ginny's Room, and have at least one more house guest coming this summer, and also, in theory we may yet get a window installed in our main bathroom this year, and when that's going on we plan to keep Claudia and Jinksy in that room. But. KITTENS.
isis: (yay!)
[personal profile] isis
If you read and enjoyed 17776 (maybe on my rec) you will also enjoy 17776: Questions and answers.

I was delighted to see, for example, that Jon Bois cited Calvin and Hobbes as one of his inspirations, for didn't I compare this to Calvinball? (Not that this aspect in particular is what he mentioned, but rather, "the struggle to find happiness and hold on to it within a world that is often cold, and dominated by rules and expectations, and arbitrarily populated with cruelty.")

Another gem: "I see a really clear parallel between America and football: both are beautiful, and both destroy people....I can only appreciate either if I retreat into fantasy, filter out what I hate about them, and present a distillation of what i love about them."

Also, he says: "To be honest, I wanted to be able to establish at least one human character as non-binary, but I felt it important to do so completely matter-of-factly. I wanted to normalize that. For example, I didn’t ever bother spending a second explaining why half the best football players are women. Like, of course, why wouldn’t they be?" ♥

He also says he'd really like to "expand on the story in the future" and already has some ideas. Yay sequel!

Anyway, strongly recommended if you enjoyed 17776.

Catchup & Regina Spektor

Aug. 3rd, 2017 08:56 pm
naye: (the great elsewhere)
[personal profile] naye
So lovely that it's a bit overwhelming to catch up with Dreamwidth after a week because so many people are posting stuff. ♥ Yay posting!

I... haven't been posting because of a really annoying cold that's been knocking me out, and then I get stuck in the MetaFilter megaposts on politics. (Really this WH literally cannot go 24 hours without a new scandal. I've worn out all my terror and am now just exhaustedly frustrated and angry, finding brief respite in schadenfreude whenever they do a Mooch and another true believer/giant suck-up gets their faces eaten by the leopards.) My deepest sympathies to all of you living in the US - I can't even begin to imagine the anxiety.

Also: still in limbo re: various things needed to set The Move in motion (visa, apartment). Getting closer though. The ad for my job is out! Feels weird to see it posted like that. And looking at it, I'd definitely apply. (But I'm glad I'm moving on. It's definitely time.)

In less dreary news, we went to see Regina Spektor on Monday! She played the local venue, which is always a treat - no leaving before the encore to make the last train home, no mad dash through the station to avoid getting stranded - and it was lovely. We ran into a colleague and some of her friends (it's a small town!), chatted a bit, and then took our seats and giggled with glee at the Mooch newsflash until Regina came in and started the show.

There's a pretty good review here and a setlist here. She did loads of songs (24?!), and was super sweet and personable with her rambling chats between the numbers. Among other things she recommended the movie Pride (the audience provided the title when she described it as being about miners and gay rights activists), delighted in having been caught in a sudden rainshower the day before the show, and fantasized about getting really good at something so she could be a professor in a "cool place". ♥

The only issue was that all the seats in the venue were on the mezzanine level, and the light designer clearly had envisaged a floor-level room only, because the super bright lights kept shining right in our eyes and it felt like they were burning my retinas through my eyelids.

But it was a really fun show, and I'm so glad to have gotten this chance to see her live!

Some concert pics, because why not )
musesfool: Inara (i know where beauty lives)
[personal profile] musesfool
So I was reading this post on tumblr about how so much media features schlubby guys winning over hot women and the OP was advocating for the reverse - plain or even schlubby women winning over hot men - and I was nodding along and agreeing and then I hit the example they used of a movie doing that well - and I want to reiterate to make it very clear that they were talking about having a really hot dude into a plain lady - and I had that proverbial record scratch moment, because the movie they chose as an example of that was Thor.

I can't imagine what world that person lives in where NATALIE PORTMAN is considered PLAIN (she's not even Hollywood fake plain, i.e., wearing glasses and frumpy clothes), let alone the female equivalent of, like, a character played by Seth Rogen or Kevin James. I MEAN WHAT.

As I said to [personal profile] snacky, if Natalie Portman is plain, the rest of us should just start wearing bags over our heads, because WHAT. (That doesn't even go into how she is A BRILLIANT ASTROPHYSICIST in Thor. Not a stoner or a mall cop or whatever the career signifier for 'schlubby' is for men in movies these days.) She is easily in Chris Hemsworth's league (at least!) no matter how you dress her.

Anyway. I just had to get that off my chest, because I read the post a couple of days ago and I'm still like, "!?!?!" every time I think about it.

***

wednesday reads

Aug. 2nd, 2017 06:49 pm
isis: (squid etching)
[personal profile] isis
Contrary to what I said in my last post, I did not, after all, for reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, go backpacking. So hey, media Wednesday. Though there isn't much.

What I've recently finished reading: Cibola Burn, the fourth Expanse book, and hey, I like this series again. Cut for general but no specific spoilers )

Also, this morning while riding on my stationary bicycle I read the prequel novella "The Churn", which is Amos Burton's origin story. It's pretty good, not just in that it reveals his history, but also in its worldbuilding of this future Earth.

What I'm reading now: I have not yet started another book, either text or audio. Maybe tonight.

What I'm reading next: Probably Nemesis Games, the next Expanse book. I have loaded up two audiobooks on my mp3 player, The Dorito Effect by by Mark Schatzker, which is nonfiction about the growing disconnect between nutrition and flavor in our food, and Airborn by Kenneth Opel, which appears to be steampunk Horatio Hornblower. We shall see which one I end up listening to!
musesfool: mal & zoe, out of gas (can't take the sky)
[personal profile] musesfool
I didn't post about it because I'm trying to not get my hopes up again*, but I saw a cute apartment on Monday night and put in an offer, but it was not accepted as the seller had already accepted someone else's offer. (Of course, they made me jump through a bunch of paperwork hoops before that decision was made, and did you know that some lenders won't do mortgage loans under $100,000? I didn't know that either, but now I do. It seems dumb but so much about this process does.) I got the official word just now. Sigh. Back to the old drawing board.

I'm sure once I've found a place that will have me and I'm all moved in, it will be great, but as of right now, as a process, I don't recommend it. Mostly it just makes me sad.

*(me: I saw a really cute apartment!
L: Do you love it? Don't settle!
me: I could love it, but I don't want to start in case I get rejected again.
L: Fair enough.)

In other news, it's reading Wednesday, so let's talk about what I've been reading!

What I've just finished
Huh, it seems like I hadn't quite finished Abaddon's Gate when last we spoke of it, but I did shortly after that post, and it was fine? I didn't love it. It was kind of a slog in parts.

Cibola Burn, which I stayed up late on Sunday night to finish, was much better. Very fun reading.

What I'm reading now
Nemesis Games, in which shit that was already pretty real just got SUPER REAL.

spoilers )

What I'm reading next
Probably the next (and currently last, though the next one apparently comes out in December) book in this series: Babylon's Ashes. After that, I've got the final book in the Court of Fives trilogy and I feel like the next Broken Earth book comes out this month too.

***

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