musesfool: mal & zoe, out of gas (can't take the sky)
[personal profile] musesfool
Monday night, [personal profile] innie_darling and I met up to see the new Jake Gyllenhaal/Tatiana Maslany movie about the Boston Marathon bombing, Stronger. The acting was good, I thought. It was not the kind of movie I would have sought out on my own, but I was glad to have seen it.

While we were waiting for the movie to start, we were talking about fannish things as per usual, and about how I sometimes classify a pairing as "I don't not ship it" and in thinking about it more over the past couple of days, I came up with my own personal taxonomy of shipping:

- OTP OF OTPS (i.e., the all-time greats, ironclad, no matter what)
- OTP
- I ship it!
- I don't not ship it
- I could/might be convinced to ship it
- I don't care (i.e., if it shows up in a story that otherwise has things going for it, I'll keep reading, but I don't seek it out)
- meh, I don't ship it / it bores me so I don't read it
- I dislike it but whatever, other people can do what they like, I can scroll past
- NOTP (i.e., it's blocked so I don't have to sully my eyes with it)

Generally, when I talk about a pairing as as "I don't not ship it," I mean that they are people who are most definitely weird about each other, which is one of my personal flags for shipping, but in this particular classification, I don't care if they are having sex with each other or not (or with other people, depending), as long as they are somehow together – partners, brothers, whatever. I think (I hope!) it's implicit that I understand why people would ship them*, but I just...don't take that particular read on the relationship under most circumstances.

*as opposed to pairings where I don't.

And if they are having sex, I personally prefer it not to be framed romantically? Or, rather, in most cases, in terms of canon (rather than AU) settings, I don't find the usual shippy romantic tropes particularly interesting with these sorts of pairings. I mean, sure, 'there's only one bed' or fake dating are always on the table, but I don't feel like even those tropes should follow the regular narrative path. The clearest examples we came up with were Sam/Dean and Mal/Zoe, and I mean, I don't see either of those pairings as people who go on dates or have traditionally madcap rom com hijinks (which isn't to say that that couldn't be done with great results, but I don't think it could be played straight, as it were [I mean, Sam/Dean is incest, so it has its own challenges]). And she threw in Middleman/Wendy (which I do ship more traditionally), and I brought up Obi-Wan/Anakin, which is what I'm having complicated feelings about lately, and so it seems like a useful category to have. idk.

***
graculus: (coffee)
[personal profile] graculus
You'd be forgiven for thinking I didn't go on holiday this year, since I may have mentioned it in the run-up to actually going but then haven't posted anything about it over here - folks who follow me on Twitter will have seen some flailing about the trip, for reasons I'll detail in due course, but that's it.

A couple of years ago, I went to WorldCon in London (that's the World Science Fiction Convention, in case anyone reading this was unaware) and at the time there was a bid in to host a future WorldCon in Helsinki, Finland. In its lengthy history, the majority of WorldCons have been in the US and I was keen to support the idea of it being this side of the Atlantic again, so bought a supporting membership. The bid was successful and 2017 was therefore when it was due to happen - in 2014, it seemed like a long way away! Anyway, I felt I should support this plan in person and, if I was going to go to Finland, it seemed like a good idea to have other things to do...

Which is how I ended up with this year's holiday - first off, a week's hiking in a National Park near the Finnish-Russian before heading back to the Baltic, a few days in Turku (medieval capital of the country) and then back to Helsinki for the con and whatever else I felt like doing. That was also how I ended up getting up at 4am to drive to the airport to get a flight to Amsterdam, then to Helsinki and then another flight north, to Kuusamo. Or at least that was the plan, until Finnair overbooked my third flight and I got stuck in Helsinki for 18 hours.

I've travelled quite a bit and this is the first time that I've ever been caught by overbooking. I think I've been lucky in that I once got stuck in Paris on the way back from a trip to Canada, but that was because the flight in was delayed and I missed the connection, not the airline selling something it didn't actually have. What other business is allowed to work that way? The only positive thing I can say about Finnair was that as well as organising a hotel & meals, they gave me compensation there and then, while other airlines have a bad reputation for expecting you to claim later and then, oddly enough, taking forever to pay you back for what you've spent.

My main concern was that I was due to join a group and knew that they'd already left the Kuusamo area and travelled into the middle of nowhere, as well as being due to go bear-watching that afternoon and that was one of the main reasons why I'd chosen that particular trip! In the end, I spent the majority of my compensation on a very long taxi ride from the airport (200km, to be precise!) and arrived just in time to bolt down a cup of coffee, run to the loo and then go bear-watching. The bears were awesome and I'll post some pics at the weekend.

The rest of the week was spent hiking 10-15km a day, with our luggage being taken to the next place we were staying, then sauna and a swim in the lake if you felt so inclined (which I did, in two different lakes, while others in the group younger than me chickened out). I also had a go at canoeing for the first time - I've kayaked before, but this whole thing with one paddle and switching hands is far too much work! The only downsides to the trip were the mosquitoes, which loved me greatly despite bug spray, and that it was too early in the season for cloudberries by about a week! They were everywhere in the bogs we were crossing and I only found one that was ripe the entire trip. :(

Then it was a flight back to Helsinki and a train to Turku for a couple of days. It's a nice, compact little city and I liked it very much, though one of the main attractions was being able to go kayaking in the Baltic for the day. The trains in Finland are significantly cheaper than in the UK (though this isn't difficult) and I definitely recommend them.

Once back in Helsinki, we had a complementary travel card for the bus and tram system as part of being a WorldCon member and this got used a lot - I was staying in the city centre, near the train station, and could either get a commuter train (10 mins) or a tram (25-30 mins), usually depending on whether I could be bothered to walk to and from the respective train stations, since the trams were also frequent. I only managed to get a bit lost once, waiting for a bus that never arrived and then deciding to walk (and walk and walk) before spotting my hotel from a distance and navigating towards it by guesswork. That was also partly caused by my not trusting my instincts, as partway through this journey I'd got on a tram that was actually going the right way then second-guessed myself and got off a couple of stops later.

I was also pleasantly surprised by how easy Finland was for me as a vegetarian, though I think being a vegan might be significantly more difficult. Helsinki in particular seems to have embraced soy as an alternative to meat - the local burger chain, Hesburger, was doing soy burgers and tortillas, for example - while I ate a lot of potatoes and vegetables, it wasn't anything like as one-dimensional as my trip to Newfoundland a few years back where I pretty much lived on grilled cheese sandwiches for most of my time there.

Anyway, back to WorldCon. I think my main criticism would be about the panels, but that's probably because I've been spoiled by other conventions, NineWorlds in particular. The panels were short, scheduled for an hour but really limited to 45 minutes to allow for people to get to the next panel, which then turns into 30 minutes plus time for questions. There was a problem on the first day about getting in to some of the panels as well, with the convention having to organise some additional panel rooms for subsequent days, which meant that even then people were leaving panels early - I don't really see the point of going in the first place if you're going to do that. As a result, most of the panels I went to felt a bit lightweight and at least one suffered from a lack of robust moderation, or a moderator who wouldn't shut up and let the panellists talk. It was ever thus, I guess!

I knew a few people at the con but felt the lack of people to chew stuff over with, which I've become used to. Anyway, the next European WorldCon is going to be Dublin in 2019, so I guess I'm going to Ireland again in 2 years time! Hopefully more folks I know will go and help keep me entertained.

In general though, I'm glad I went and Finland is a very beautiful but expensive country. I ate a lot of chocolate and licorice, although the salty licorice they love so much (salmiakki) is vile and I don't know how anyone can eat more than one piece. I wish I'd been there for cloudberry season and also that the mosquitoes didn't love me so much. And yes, I did sauna naked - it's traditional, you know! - but put on a swimming costume for the lake because we weren't the only people there. I highly recommend the sauna + lake combination if you ever visit...

Hail to the traveler!

20 September 2017 20:08

Leave it to the other girls to play

20 September 2017 11:05
musesfool: Jason Toddler shows off his new costume to Dick (everybody starts somewhere)
[personal profile] musesfool
Board meeting went well, even though it rained so the rooftop terrace at the venue went unused. Sigh. I went home afterwards and fell into bed at 8:30 pm after eating cookies and milk for dinner. I win at adulting!

Of course, the one night I go to bed without checking my flist, it turned out there was a question about my yuletide nominations. It is a spoiler for Crooked Kingdom but spoiler! ) As of this morning, he was approved without my having to say anything, but I did comment anyway to say what I said under the cut.

Now Gotham Academy has to be approved! I'm sure there'll be a question about Damian Wayne there too but he does show up more than once over the course of the comic. Which I guess is as good a lead-in as any to discuss Second Semester:

What I've just finished
Gotham Academy: Second Semester, which I enjoyed, though boy they do not shy away from making the kids selfish, thoughtless and highly teenagery. spoilers )

I did like that they have all really gelled into a team - I enjoyed Colton and Pomeline sniping at each other while they work together a lot. And any Maps+Damian team-up is A++ in my book. Best Team! For yuletide, I just want schoolgirl (and boy, though I care less about the boys) supernatural detective shenanigans, with occasional Robin.

Though have we ever gotten an explanation on why/how MacPherson knows Bruce Wayne is Batman?

This morning, I also read the Star Wars Annual #3 which is a nice Han/Leia story with some fun Indiana Jones references and Leia being her usual awesome self. I also liked how it explained Han sticking around with the Rebellion, neatly giving him an excuse he could live with to cover up the real reason.

What I'm reading now
Still A Ruin of Angels. I have to admit, I find "Trust me! / Don't you trust me? / I didn't tell you this hugely important secret because plot reasons it was too dangerous!" to be super irritating in a character so a lot of the plot machinations are making me say, "If Woody had gone to the police, this never would have happened!" "If Ley had just told Zeddig what was up, things might have played out differently!" Like, things still would have gone to hell in a handbasket, but I'd have a lot more sympathy for Ley when they did. Otoh, Izza and Kai and Tara! <333

And speaking of Crooked Kingdom above, yesterday I was thinking about how dropping the Crows kids into the Craft universe would work, since so much of the magic etc. in the latter is based on negotiation and deals, and the deal is the deal, right? Someone who isn't me should write that.

What I'm reading next
Two weeks until the new Magnus Chase comes out, so who knows? I do have a ton of stuff on the iPad, ready to go!

***

US politics

20 September 2017 09:33
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
Hope not Hate is coming to the US, to counter the rise of international hate groups. American friends, you can sign up here.

In which the Bittern is pissed

19 September 2017 14:16
twistedchick: (bittern OFQ)
[personal profile] twistedchick
This so-called article is a piece of crap. It purports to provide the results of a study and conflates the numbers in the study with society as a whole in ignorant ways.

For example, second paragraph:

Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”


A fifth of undergrads? No. A fifth of the 1500 undergrad students they surveyed. That's 300 or so.


Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges.


Nationwide? There are far more than 1,500 four-year colleges (for those of you not American, the word includes universities). How were the colleges chosen? How were the students chosen? How many were chosen at each university? How many overall were from the same discipline? There's no way to know. We don't even know if he chose accredited schools, or those pay-for-a-degree places. Did they ask at Ivy League schools, the majority of whose students come from well-off families? Did they ask at places like City College of New York, where the tuition is much lower and people who are there are from a variety of backgrounds, not wealthy? Ag and tech colleges, out in the countryside, or only urban colleges?

Further down it says the margin of error is 2-6 percent, "depending on the group." Oh, really? Which group is 2% and which is 6%? We aren't told. It appears we are to be grateful that a margin of error was even mentioned.

The whole thing is supposed to be about undergrads' understanding of First Amendment-protected free speech. Since we are not told the exact wording of the questions asked, it's impossible to know if the responses were appropriate to them, or if the questions were leading the students to a specific response.

And then there's this:

Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?

Astonishingly, half said that snuffing out upsetting speech — rather than, presumably, rebutting or even ignoring it — would be appropriate. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to find this response acceptable (62 percent to 39 percent), and men were more likely than women (57 percent to 47 percent). Even so, sizable shares of all groups agreed.

It gets even worse.

Respondents were also asked if it would be acceptable for a student group to use violence to prevent that same controversial speaker from talking. Here, 19 percent said yes....


Let's look more closely, ignoring the editorializing sentence for the moment. Half of who? Half of 1500 people is 750 people, scattered across the US. And then again -- 19% of who? Everyone? Women? Men? Democrats? Republicans? We aren't told.

Meanwhile, the entire other side of this survey is ignored. By stressing the minority and ignoring the majority, the minority's views are inflated and made more important. Let me turn this around for you: more than 80% of undergrads say that violence is not acceptable in dealing with an unwanted speaker. Try turning around all the other numbers, and the story falls apart. Instead of "students" substitute "students surveyed", and it also falls to pieces. Who cares what 1500 people out of 200 million think? If we don't know why those 1500 were specifically chosen, why should we care?

I have worked with surveys, written surveys, conducted and analyzed surveys. It is possible to have a statistically perfect survey with 1500 people surveyed, but only if the respondents are very carefully selected to avoid bias. There is no way to tell if that was done with the evidence given in this story. For all we know, those respondents could have been selected from the same departments or majors at all the colleges. The colleges could have been technical schools or enormous state universities or religion-affiliated schools. There is no way to know. Why does this matter? Liberal arts, political science and pre-law students are more likely to have read about the First Amendment than optics majors or engineers, for instance. I'm not saying the optics majors or engineers would be more conservative or liberal -- but they are less likely to have discussed free speech in a class. Improper choice of respondents can provide very slanted results -- for example, the survey that said Dewey would win over Truman was conducted by telephone, and the calls went to houses on the corners of two streets; this meant that people who were wealthier (because corner houses pay higher taxes, based on road frontage) were questioned, while their less wealthy neighbors (who voted for Truman) were ignored.

Also, by not including any context relative to current events, there is no way to know if the small percentage who thought violence was acceptable was the same as during the Vietnam War, for instance, or Desert Storm. I guarantee you, it was not the same percentage as during the Revolutionary War, when those who spoke against any prevailing view to an audience who disagreed would have been lucky to have been ridden out of town on a rail, if not tarred and feathered. (Feel free to do the research if you wish; be sure you have a strong stomach for the details of what happens when boiling tar is applied to skin.)

What it all comes down to is this: this story is written poorly by someone who does not understand how statistics should be used, and was not properly edited. It was published in order to scare people, although the publisher may not have realized its propaganda value. By not including the whole story, and by allowing editorializing in the middle of it, it slants the results.

This would not have been published during the time when Kay Graham was publisher. Editor Ben Bradlee would not have let this story pass. He would have told the reporter to rewrite it, clean it up, and get more depth into it.

And the reason I am writing this is that this is not the only paper that misleads with statistics, and you need to be aware of this, and of what to look for when someone is quoting a study, badly, misleadingly, in a way that bids fair to be used for propaganda. Be cautious and critical when you see numbers and statistics, and look for whether the writing is made personal/editorialized. It matters.

they wanna make me their queen

19 September 2017 13:55
musesfool: Batwoman (your name in the title)
[personal profile] musesfool
ZOMG this day! Board meeting imminent!

I just wanted to let people know, in case they didn't and were interested, that Alice Hoffman has written a prequel to Practical Magic about the Aunts, and it's coming out in October: The Rules of Magic! I only found out the other day!

I love both the book and the movie, though they are very different, and I'm excited to read the Aunts' story! #please don't suck!

***

but some things may stay the same

18 September 2017 16:56
musesfool: text icon: somewhere in this building is our talent (somewhere in this building is our talent)
[personal profile] musesfool
dear universe,

I have some complaints:

- as per this xkcd (hat tip to [personal profile] twistedchick), & should be used for friendship and / should be used for romance. Please stop getting my hopes up that there is new pairing fic to read in my rare pair when it is not, in fact, pairing fic.

- it's bad enough that I'm following a bunch of works in progress now, but what is up with people getting to the penultimate chapter of a work (and I'm not talking anything short here, I'm talking well over 100K words) and then just...never posting the last chapter? I would plaintively cry, "who does that?" except I am now in possession of such knowledge and it's more than one person! (And I know this because it'll be listed as 53/54 or whatever.)

- this is less a complaint and more a bit of bafflement, but I never know what to say to people who leave feedback along the lines of "I hope you keep writing!" or "I hope you've written more!" Like, click on my name in the by line? There'll be 700+ stories there? I mean, thank you! But yeah.

- why is writing such a garbage hobby? when I have the words, I don't have the time. when I have the time, I don't have the energy. when I have the energy, I don't have the words. Bah.

- subset of the above: I actually opened a story to work on last night, wrote one (1) sentence in two (2) hours, and gave up when I realized it would need to be all porn from there on out. Bah.

no love,

me

***

August Books & September Fun

17 September 2017 22:39
morganmuffle: (tea)
[personal profile] morganmuffle
I am finding September challenging in many ways. The whole back into termtime activities coupled with work continuing to be crazy busy with the prospect of it only really getting MORE busy steadily over the next... well I was going to say few months but probably the better part of a year.

But that's not a very good excuse for posting my August books on the 17th September. (Though my September list is going to be VERY short so maybe I should put them together!)

What else have I been doing? Open House London on Saturday involved some very beautiful sniffer dogs and Custom House. On Friday I saw God's Own Country in the cinema and you really should all go and see it and support it as an indie LGBT love story (and oh it really is every bit as hopeful as they say, Brokeback is a stupid thing to compare it to)

I saw Lady Day a couple of week's ago! Which was amazing too, Audra McDonald really disappeared into the role which was incredible to see. It's a slightly strange show in that really it's just a very long impression but it's so spectacularly well done and Billie had such an interesting life that it's hard to quibble with.

Going even further back I got to try out Mail Rail and the newly refurbished Postal Museum (teeny tiny underground trains that used to transport letters around London) and that was pretty cool and will make a great unusual day out when they iron out some of the engineering kinks. I also went with some work people to Banqueting House to try out their Lost Palace Audio Guide around the site of Whitehall Palace which was very clever and a lot of fun though I'm rather afraid that the group I was with slightly collapsed in giggles at the Cock Fighting section (there was a movement censor in the wooden audio unit we had and earlier it had been a sword but when they asked us to imagine it was a Cock and grasp it firmly with both hands and then shake it... well I made the mistake of meeting the eye of my bosses boss and and that was it)

So I've not been doing nothing! Just in between those things quietly freaking out about life in general. So nothing out of the usual.

Anyway. Books!

  • Orlando - Virginia Woolf
  • Screwtape Proposes a Toast and other pieces - C.S.Lewis
  • The Sun, The Moon & The Stars - Steven Brust
  • The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  • Giants at the End of the World - Johanna Sinisalo & Toni Jerrman (eds)
  • Shylock Is My Name - Howard Jacobson
  • The Gap of Time - Jeanette Winterson
  • Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Avonlea - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of the Island - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Windy Poplars - L.M. Montgomery

  • Anne's House of Dreams - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Ingleside - L.M. Montgomery
  • Rainbow Valley - L.M. Montgomery
  • Rilla of Ingleside - L.M. Montgomery


August reviews )
musesfool: baze and chirrut (i don't need luck i have you)
[personal profile] musesfool
Last night, L and I went to the premiere of this English language musical version of The Romance of the Western Chamber (Xi Xiang Ji in Chinese?).

It is not, in fact, Romeo and Juliet, or it kind of is in terms of love at first sight and climbing up balconies and exchanging poetry in letters, but without the tragic ending. Which I was glad for.

It's very charming, though the male lead's voice was not up to the singing, imo. The ladies were all fantastic, especially Mari Uchida as Hong-niang, the matchmaking maid. The women's costumes were lovely; the men's were...well, they started out all right, but Mr. Chang's wedding outfit was made of what looked like baby blue lamé, which is not a look I personally endorse.

Afterwards - and it was not a short play! - we attempted to go here, because it was a beautiful night for a rooftop bar, but apparently my randomly picking a place in the vicinity of the theater because it looked cool meant I'd actually picked someplace popular and happening? There was a large line outside the door anyway, so we were like, we are too old to wait on lines for bars - even rooftop bars! - so we hopped in a cab and had dinner at the bar around the corner, and then stopped off at Insomnia Cookies for cookies. Which I didn't eat last night, but which will be my breakfast this morning.

All in all, it was a lovely evening, and I got to wear my star-print sun dress from eShakti, which is such a pretty dress, guys. I love it a lot.

I also have been catching up on Gotham Academy so I can make my yuletide request, and when Amy showed up in Second Semester, I at first thought, ugh, did they try to shove Harper in here as well? but I sincerely doubt Harper would ever do the nasty things Amy does, so it's not her undercover. Whew. I'll probably have more to say on Wednesday!

***
alyse: (snowflake)
[personal profile] alyse
Made my Yuletide noms:

Blade (Movie Series)

Abigail Whistler
Hannibal King
Zoe Sommerfield
Karen Jenson

(Hands up if you're at all surprised by that.)

Open Range (2003)

Boss Spearman
Charley Waite
Button (Open Range)
Sue Barlow

(I really want Boss and Button fic, with that whole found family, paternal relationship thing.)

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)

Javier Suarez
Katey Miller

(I had lots of fun when I wrote this pairing for Chocolate Box this year.)

Kind of hoping that someone nominates From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series, but since I suspect it will be more popular than the ones I did nominate, I figured I'd go rare :D
musesfool: Princess Leia (so what level up)
[personal profile] musesfool
I left work slightly early yesterday and today has been calmer, thankfully. I'm still dragging and my brain is on a bit of a time delay - why is sleeping so hard? even when I'm so tired? - but it's Friday and it's almost over.

Today, while I've been collating etc., I've been thinking about how in Leia, Princess of Alderaan, spoilers )

I really want to read that story without having to write it. You should get on that, stat.

***

Yuletide noms!

14 September 2017 18:24
astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)
[personal profile] astolat
They close tomorrow so hurry and get your nominations in!

Mine are:

Witcher: Geralt, Emhyr, Ciri, Dandelion (duh)

Dragonriders of Pern: Menolly, Robinton (I totally want Menolly/Robinton NOT SORRY)

Dune (the book): Paul, Jessica, Stilgar, Feyd -- I don't know exactly what I want here, I think I want some outsider POV on Paul maybe?

My runners-up were:

Rome: Pullo, Vorenus, maybe Octavian -- man, I would love a story that undid what the show did to Octavian in S2 so much

Gladiator: Maximus, Commodus

Brimstone: Ezekiel, The Devil

Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon: Eric, Hank, Sheila, Venger

Battle of the Planets: Mark, Jason

and my perennial hope-springs-eternal Dracula: the Series: Lucard (hope doesn't really spring very far lol)

I am totally not mentioning these here in hopes that someone has a spare nom they wouldn't mind using on one of these. ;)
musesfool: Artemis from animated Young Justice, drawing her bow (a woman's got ambition)
[personal profile] musesfool
I missed reading Wednesday in all the madness, but things are slightly calmer at the moment (though the MTA didn't help this morning with the 1, 2, and 3 being suspended. I had to walk through that long tunnel to the A, C, E at 42nd Street, which is at least slightly less rank than it used to be but also this morning it was full of a ton of extra people unhappy about being there), so books:

What I've just finished
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, which I loved after I got over my slight disappointment about it being an origin story. I liked that Diana got to save the world with a couple of teenage girls and recontextualize Helen of Troy a little while she was at it. Also, it reinforced the notion that spoiler ).

Star Wars #36, which I'll talk about by itself, since it is pretty self-contained. This is the issue where Artoo finally gets to the Devastator(? I think?) to rescue Threepio, and it's very cleverly done imo, with the narration telling us all sorts of typical instruction manual specs about the R2 astromech line, and Artoo being his usual badass self, thanks in part to some programming upgrades, some very skilled teachers, and of course, a complete lack of memory wipes. Everyone knows he's the real hero of the rebellion. (Sadly, he doesn't ever get to give Vader the tongue-lashing he deserves but I will just go on including that in every story I write, because it pleases me to do so. *g*)

What I'm reading now
A Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone, which is the sixth Craft sequence book - featuring Kai Pohala and her previously unmet sister, with a cameo (so far - could end up being more?) by Tara Abernathy. I'm enjoying it so far, but as usual, the random references to our world always make me blink - is this a super alternate universe? a far-flung future? Like, I guess I could accept a coffeehouse employee being a barista, even though there is no Italy in this world, but then it makes a Rent or a Casablanca reference, and I'm like, that is very specific to our world! I dunno. It's kind of a weird thing to get hung up on, but it strikes me every time.

What I'm reading next
*hands* One of the things I did last weekend, in addition to getting rid of more books and dvds, was to start sorting through all the books I've downloaded and adding them to iBooks or Calibre (though I can no longer dedrm kindle books via Calibre, which sucks), so I have a lot more books than I realized and they're mostly sitting around on my iPad waiting to be read.

Lastly, here's a link: Ranking the Robin Hood Adaptations — Which Tales Fly Truest?

It gets it right, I think, though there's a sad lack of appreciation of Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham, which is the only reason to watch the Kevin Costner version, and Robin and the Seven Hoods doesn't even get a mention! But I think the one-two punch of Errol Flynn and that Disney fox is the correct answer.

(I feel like there is also a sad lack of Jason Todd references in this post - after all, he was Robin and now he's a Hood - but I'm too frazzled to come up with good ones. Take it as read that Robins as in Batfam are never far from my thoughts.)

***
musesfool: jason todd is not all right (always all right)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I ate my breakfast at 12:30 and then just didn't eat lunch. I could rant about what I think is poor time management and poor organization, which given the fact that I have never in my life not procrastinated on a thing to the last possible moment, would be really saying something, but I won't. It's pointless. I'm just here to redo all my edits because someone kept editing a(n old version of a) document after they sent it to me for updating. Whatever.

Monday night, I was here late and then L and I met up on the spur of the moment and I had three pints of beer, which I haven't done in years and which I should never ever do on a weeknight again. Ugh. I am officially too old for this shit.

Last night, I got home by 7 and just sat on the couch refreshing Tumblr and playing 1010 until it was time to go to bed. Yes, I know I said I deleted it off my phone, and I did, but that didn't remove it from my iPad, so I still have it (and I re-downloaded it to my phone the other day when I was waiting for a train) but I also found it online so I can just play on my laptop now. *hands*

In better news, I heard from the loan officer that my loan commitment letter is preliminarily approved but they needed me to send a bunch of documents I've already sent them twice, plus one new thing that just proves what a dumb racket the whole credit thing is because I have excellent credit, but since I've tried to purchase a home, my credit has been checked three times since April, which is concerning to them. The fact that it's all been in service of trying to get a mortgage, and that no additional lines of credit have yet been opened, doesn't seem to matter. It's like if you have too many accounts, they tell you it has a negative impact, but if you close an account to have fewer, that is also a negative. You carry a balance, which means you have debt! but if you pay it off every month, then that's a negative because you have no outstanding loans! No matter what you do you can't win, which is a clear indication that the whole thing is rigged against you.

I might just be exhausted and ranting. I don't even know. Anyway. Once I get the loan commitment letter, I have to send in the board application package and hope they call me for an interview. Of course this is happening at the same time I'm prepping for my actual board meeting (see above re: work), so the timing is terrible.

I did have a very cool dream where I visited [personal profile] destina and she fed me very fancy pasta and then we went to a murder mystery reenactment.

Lastly, I did my yuletide nominations while I had a free moment, because I didn't want to forget, so this is what they are right now:

Six of Crows
Inej Ghafa
Kaz Brekker
Nina Zenik
Nikolai Lantsov

The Middleman
Wendy Watson
The Middleman
Ida
Noser

Gotham Academy
Olive Silverlock
Mia "Maps" Mizoguchi
Pomeline Fritch
Damian Wayne

I guess I'll let you know if I change my mind.

***

Five things repeatedly

12 September 2017 20:57
graculus: (edna)
[personal profile] graculus
I was tagged by [personal profile] xochiquetzl...

5 things you’ll find in my bag: pens (always lots of pens!), ibuprofen, mobile phone, wallet, hand sanitiser
5 things you’ll find in my bedroom: books, hot water bottle, a silk wall hanging from Uzbekistan with hoopooes on it, pairs of shoes I should put away, a bag of fencing gear
5 things I’ve always wanted to do: go to the Galapagos islands, sea kayaking in Scotland, try cycling on an indoor track, become a better/stronger swimmer, sand-yachting
5 things that make me happy: students who do their homework, whenever I can get off my arse and go to the gym, the perfect parry-riposte, pizza, finding a parking space at the supermarket straight away
5 things I’m currently into: fencing, books, passing my course without dying of boredom, prevarication about lots of things, not being able to think about a fifth thing for this list
5 things on my to-do list: get more organised in terms of meals, buy a new carpet for my hallway, buy a new pair of walking shoes (since my last ones fell apart under warranty), paint my bathroom ceiling, get all my paperwork done for work

I'm actually hoping to get one of my 'always wanted to do' ticked off next summer - I need to look at the dates for something else I want to do in Scotland in July or August, as well as Nine Worlds, and then it's either kayaking or sand-yachting too, depending on how it all falls together.

I'm not so into the whole tagging thing, so anyone who's interested...

On memorials

11 September 2017 16:49
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
No, I don't think Sept. 11 should be a national holiday. National holidays are designed to be cultural celebrations, times when people gather to celebrate something good or notable or remember a good event.

9/11 doesn't do any of these.

9/11 is like Dec. 7, 1941, the day when Japanese kamakazi flyers attacked Pearl Harbor. It's not a day to celebrate. Neither is the start -- or the date when the US joined the allies to fight -- in World War I. Neither is the anniversary of the Spanish-American War, the Mexican War, the War of 1812, the Korean War or the Vietnam War.

July 4 does not celebrate a war. It celebrates the official date on which the United States was declared to be a separate country. The war came afterward, mostly (yes, yes, Boston was first), but that's not what is celebrated on July 4.

9/11 is a day like Armistice Day, when we can pause and remember what happened, and then get back to work, or play, or whatever we were doing. It is not sacred, sanctified, official or anything else that deserves a national holiday.

Moreover, such a holiday would be used now to stir up and reinforce hatred against Muslim people in the US and elsewhere. I remember being a child in the 1950s and -60s, when hatred for anyone Japanese still burned in so many WWII veterans. I don't remember anyone ever calling anyone Japanese among the older relatives; it was always "The Japs", often with some choice curse words in the middle of the phrase. Uncle Louie was awarded a Bronze Star for standing on a South Pacific beach and throwing live grenades into a Jap machine gun emplacement in the rocks above; he was always the pitcher on the neighborhood baseball team when he was a kid. Uncle Sam's photos of Japan, when he was stationed there during the Occupation, didn't include anyone who was Japanese; they included bombed-out buildings with him and his buddies in front of them, or similar touristy things. Nothing about the culture, or the people.

And, to bring this into focus: this kind of hatred, disdain and rejection of the worth of an entire people, was the reason that Bruce Lee could not get hired to play a role created for him on television, that was filled by a white actor, because "Americans don't want to see Asian actors; it's too close to WWII". He could be a second banana, playing Kato for the Green Hornet, but not a lead. This is the reason that George Takei was the first Japanese actor on a major television show in a named role. That's how strong the hate was, and the prejudice, that many years later.

There's enough hatred in America already. There's enough anti-Muslim bigotry. I do not want a holiday to enshrine more of it. We don't need it.

On Sept. 12, 2001, every country in the world sent its sincere condolences. We lost that goodwill within the year, with Bush's insistence on whipping up a war over supposed uranium stashes that didn't exist. We have lost more of it ever since, with every Republican in the presidency.

I've had enough of hatred and bigotry and prejudice against people who aren't pale. I've had enough of ignorance and stupidity and mistreatment of people who have come to the US within my lifetime, by people whose parents came here a generation ago, or two or three. We are all immigrants here. The only people who aren't immigrants to the US or to the Colonies that preceded it are those whose ancestors came to this continent more than 10,000 years ago.

So no. I don't want a holiday on Sept. 11, or on Dec. 7, or on VE day or VJ day or the day of the fall of Saigon. I want Americans to remember what happened -- all of it, not just the comfortable parts -- and then get on with their lives. Isn't that what the people in the towers would have wanted, anyway?

and you say how appropriate

11 September 2017 16:52
musesfool: jar of flower petals, spilling (but there is this)
[personal profile] musesfool
this day is always weird and solemn, and for the past 15 years, I would call my dad and we'd be thankful he'd survived a terrorist attack (2 actually, since he was there in '93 too), but now he's gone.

The six-month anniversary of his death is Thursday, and then the fourth anniversary of my mother's death is a week from Saturday, so this is a rough stretch to get through, I guess.

On the other hand, work has been so ridiculously hectic that this is the first moment I've had to breathe since I walked in the door, so it kept my mind occupied, which is good. I might just crawl into bed when I get home. I feel like I could sleep forever, but the rest of this work week is going to be busy too, since we're gearing up for a board meeting next week. Boss1 bought me flowers to brighten me up.

***
musesfool: lester bangs on rock'n'roll (music)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I had that awful achy skin feverish feeling and got nothing done. I just wanted soft, comforting things, so I went to finish my AtLA rewatch and discovered that it was no longer free as part of Amazon Prime! WTF?! I didn't feel like digging out my dvds (hush), so I ended up watching the back half of The West Wing season 2, and then this morning I watched "Two Cathedrals" and those final six minutes set to "Brothers in Arms" might be the best use of music on a tv show ever.

Which started me thinking about other iconic musical cues from TV shows, and this is a very short, very incomplete list:

- "Renegade" in the SPN episode "Nightshifter"
- "Don't Fear the Reaper" in the SPN episode "Faith"
- "Bad Moon Rising" in the SPN episode "Devil's Trap"

I could probably fill this list with ONLY SPN moments, so here are some others:

- "Full of Grace" aka, "the song at the end of Becoming II"
- "Devil Town" in the opening and closing episodes of s1 of Friday Night Lights
- "Come Back" in the FNL episode "Wind Sprints"
- "Eli's Coming" in the Sports Night episode of the same name
- "There She Goes" in the pilot of Gilmore Girls
- "Momentary Thing" over Veronica and Logan's kiss in VMars
- "In Your Wildest Dreams" in the HLotS episode "Full Moon"

I'm sure there are many others - what am I missing? I know "Life" used music excellently but I'm blanking on any specific moments right now.

*let's take any moment that uses "Hallelujah" out of the running for now. I still haven't recovered from its overuse in the late 90s.

***

The drama begins...

10 September 2017 18:59
graculus: (oh shit)
[personal profile] graculus
Jesus, critters, you've only been in my house a little over 24 hours!

Yes, we've just had the first weasel-related drama for these particular goobers, currently still unnamed. I'd put them in the carrier I've been using for about 10 years while I sorted out their hutch only to come back after a few minutes and discover that one of them had stuck its head right through the solid mesh that made up the carrier's door and was now, naturally, completely stuck. The holes in the door are 2.5cm x 3.5cm, in case you're wondering.

Fortunately, I had a pair of wire-cutters in the house and was able to cut through and then bend the wire in question to get the little fathead out no worse for wear. If not, I'd probably be at the local fire station right about now.

Guess I'm in the market for a new pet carrier...

(no subject)

10 September 2017 21:19
cordys_charisma: snapesex (Default)
[personal profile] cordys_charisma posting in [community profile] lifein1973
Just wanted to say I'm glad to find this comm again on dream width
I don't know how to work this stuff anymore ( I can't be.ieve the dates when I wrote this stuff) but I have Sam/ gene at https://cordys-charisma.livejournal.com/28426.html mods feel free to delete I wrote this in 2009

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