Camp NaNo

2017-03-30 09:24
tielan: (love)
[personal profile] tielan
Sedoretu is pretty much a bust. I can't get it moving the way I want to, Maria doesn't want to talk, Natasha doesn't know enough, Steve is being obstreperous, and Bucky's still finding his fee.

I'm struggling. I have for the entire month, and all the more because there's really nobody to talk Steve/Maria with anymore, and nobody who wants to. (It's never going to get anything more in canon, and I don't have anyone to bounce off regarding her character, which is most of what I want.)

I'm two days away from going into Camp NaNo, with the goal of writing 50K to Shadowkin: Seabirthed. Carlos is part-Hispanic, Australian, half-Shadowkin, and struggling with the changes to his life - his mother dead, his father remarried, his stepmother expecting, his grandparents hostile. He's solitary and bullied at school, and it's only when he stands up for someone else, and she reaches back out to him that things start getting better. (No, she's not the romantic interest; for starters, they're about 12 years old, and she's the protag of the next book.)

I've started his story at least five times, maybe as many as ten times.

But I feel like I have nothing to tell, that nobody would be interested in my stories, that even if I managed to finish a manuscript, I could never find anyone to buy any story I'd want to tell in any case.

(no subject)

2017-03-29 17:37
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
The nurse practitioner I saw yesterday referred me to PT. PT can’t get me in until the 12th. She also gave me some exercises which I have looked at and laughed at because many of them require putting weight on my hands and/or kneeling, neither of which I can do due to other problems or require pieces of furniture that we don’t own. All of our chairs but one are lightweight folding chairs, and I’m very unenthusiastic about using those as a base for exercise. I’m also worried that, if I get down on the floor, I won’t be able to get up again.

She also ordered x-rays and thought she saw something worrying in them. The report from the radiologist that came in today said everything looks as expected and, oh, by the way, those are cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) clips, so I’m assuming that those are what worried her. She was very concerned about the possibility that this is the beginning of something dire. She asked a lot of questions with a neurological/cognitive bent and wanted to know about my recent bowel movements.

Scott has decided that he has to call in tomorrow. He says that the combination of my back with Cordelia’s appointment and Expo means he really, really needs to be home. Him being home in the morning will make it more likely that I’ll be together enough to get him to move the things in the kitchen that I’ve been wanting him to. I can’t reach the lower shelves of the refrigerator, for example, and the shelves where we keep our canned goods are too low for me. I can get what’s right at the front of the top shelf but not anything else.

I’m finding lying flat on my back vastly tedious. I can’t easily type while in that position. Lying on my side doesn’t hurt, but after I do that for even a minute or two, I can’t sit up or stand without severe pain. If I’ve been flat on my back, I can do both with minor trouble.

I’m feeling so very, very tired, enough so that I’m wondering if I should default on Fandom5K. I don’t know if this will be better in two or three days or if it will take weeks. I’ve never defaulted on an exchange, and I quite like the idea I’m working on, but… I don’t know.

Reading Wednesday

2017-03-29 21:46
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
What I've read: poetry
The Question Ever by Wendy Videlock (though I feel the urge to note that 'glove' and 'of' do not rhyme in my accent)
Diss by Makaila Dean
Upon Receiving My Inheritance
by William Fargason


What I've read: short fiction
Nevertheless, She Persisted - a collection of 11 flash fiction pieces for International Women's Day
For me, the standouts were:
Heart Stitch by Jose Pablo Iriarte
The Redshirt's Daughter by Evan Dicken
Attending Your Own Funeral: An Etiquette Guide by Erica L. Satifka

Bride by Mistake
by Nicole Helm (novella-length romance)

Mira's Last Dance
by Lois McMaster Bujold (Penric & Desdemona 4).  This just happened to show up when I was checking Hugo-eligibility of the previous two Penric & Desdemona novellas.  While the first three had quite long gaps of time between them, this one follows almost straight on from the previous, and leaves more than one plot thread unresolved by the end.


What I've read: long fiction
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (reread)
Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch (reread)
The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
I had a couple of days where I really was too ill to do anything but doze or read, and inhaled these latest three.  The endings all struck me as particularly abrupt on this read through, the general destruction-level is getting ridiculous even with authorial lampshading, and there are really a lot of loose threads in play now.  (But I still enjoyed them all very much.)


Currently reading:

The Long List Anthology Volume 2 edited by David Steffen - I was surprised just how many of the short stories collected within I'd read - and surprised by a couple I'd not read but really should have.  Anyway, the quality level so far is excellent.

Hidden Figures
by Margot Lee Shetterly.  I am ... not enjoying this as much as I expected.  It is feeding my thirst for more information about Dorothy Vaughan (in particular) and the other women from the film and NACA/NASA more generally, but its style is both a bit too chatty and a bit too florid for my liking.  Or possibly having two bad colds in three weeks is making me bad-tempered and uncharitable.  Listening to the audiobook version doesn't seem to wind me up the same way, so I'm going to try listening the rest of the way through.


Acquisitions:
Bride by Mistake by Nicole Helm
Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Tony bought Digital Divide by K.B. Spangler, which has been on my radar for a while, so I may sneak a read of it.  (And/or go back to working through A Girl and Her Fed by same.)

I preordered Provenance by Ann Leckie (out in October) and The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch (out in September).

musesfool: Huntress being awesome (don't think cause i understand i care)
[personal profile] musesfool
- My long black wool coat, which I wore literally until it fell apart, fell apart this morning. Sigh. At least it is finally warming up? A little? The blue wool coat is too heavy for 40-50 degree days, which is where we are now, so my blue jacket will have to suffice. But I loved that coat. It fit well and was roomy enough to wear a fleecy and a big sweater under and also had inside pockets like men's coats do. I wonder if they still sell it. I mean, it's a long black wool single-breast coat. It shouldn't ever not be available right?

- So. My review went well, as these things go. They said a bunch of really nice things about me, so there's that. There are of course improvements to be made and also I at least now know who my direct supervisor is going to be going forward, and hopefully there will be some more transparent communication forthcoming in terms of stuff they want me to know about so I can do all the stuff they want me to do.

- I can't even discuss last night's Flash without an inappropriate amount of anger, which I know has more to do with timing and personal stuff than the show (though the choices made would have still made me angry prior to now, I probably would have shrugged it off a little bit more). spoilers )

- reading meme! It's been a few weeks, huh?

What I've just finished
DC Bombshells volumes 1 and 2, which I highly recommend if you like lady (adult) superheroes kicking Nazi ass up and down the European theater while lady (teenage) superheroes hold down the fort in Gotham (and elsewhere, but we only see the ones in Gotham). And why wouldn't you?! Do I think the Trump metaphor worked? Not all that well. Did I overall enjoy these two volumes a lot? HELL YES I DID. We've got Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Stargirl, Batwoman, a whole roster of Batgirls (and one Robin!), Catwoman, Zatanna, Mera, Huntress, Harley & Ivy (I feel like I might be missing someone? I'm still surprised Canary hasn't shown up yet), plus Amanda Waller. I even like the cheesecakey art, which is loving and fun, rather than gross and off-putting.

Technically I did not finish The Guineveres because it had to go back to the library and I guess I wasn't really feeling it, since it felt like a chore to open it up even on all the long trainrides I had this month.

What I'm reading now
I put aside Hidden Figures, which I own, in favor of library books, so now it's Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, which I am enjoying immensely. I plan to get back to Hidden Figures soon.

I'm also in the middle of volume 3 of DC Bombshells but they are clearly not collecting them fast enough for me.

What I'm reading next
I kind of went on a book-buying spree recently when there was a sale of ebooks for $2.99 and under, so I have even more stuff to choose from. And there's always the library, ready to spring something on me all unawares. So who knows?

***

reading wednesday

2017-03-29 14:08
watersword: An envelope with a lipstick kiss on it. (Stock: 14 Valentines)
[personal profile] watersword
The last days of magic / Mark Tompkins. Blechhhh, she explained. I suppose this could be worse but blechhhhh, I only made it like twenty pages in before I couldn't take it anymore, this is way overambitious and leaden and I duwanna. It reminds me of Grossman's The Magicians and Magician King, both of which I hated, so if you liked those, this may work for you?

The convenient marriage / Georgette Heyer. I'm very disappointed that the secretary didn't marry the remaining Winwood sister, and I wanted a lot more of the hero's sister and frankly a lot less of the heroine's brother. It's a nice change for a Heyer to be set so early -- I'm not sure of the exact date, but it's 1750's, i.e. George II, at the latest, I think.

Life after life / Kate Atkinson. A literary version of Jo Walton's Among Others, which I found much more interesting.

Textu / Fady Joudah. Had trouble connecting to this, and I'm not wholly sure I know what Joudah is trying to do.

Stoppard's theatre : finding order amid chaos / John Fleming. Although I adore Stoppard's work, I haven't read much of the academic criticism, and I'm literally aghast that this book quotes Stoppard extensively and apparently no one reads Arcadia's Gus as on the autism spectrum? Like, it didn't even come up? I'm so confused. Am I the only person who reads him like that?

The tombs of Atuan / Ursula K. Le Guin. This is pretty unrelentingly grim, and while LeGuin is always worth reading, I'm not planning on coming back to this one.

Reading Wednesday

2017-03-29 10:05
muccamukk: Lt Bush salutes ironically. (HH: Salute)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (Great Discoveries Series) by Barbara Goldsmith
This series seems to be short summaries of people's achievements, but even given that I really liked this book. It didn't have room to get very technical or go into great detail on any given era, but was well written, interesting and didn't idolise its subject.


The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah E. Harkness, narrated by Kate Reading
This is going to be one of those books that makes me annoyed at a lot of other books. I've read a fair bit about the scientific revolution, and this is all completely new to me to the extent that I'm now irritated at all the other books I've read for not including any of it.

It's a wonderful exploration of scientific culture in the late 16th-century, including pushes to increase mathematical literacy for national economic development, collecting-comparing-publishing findings from experiments, in fights over priority and credit, and government support of large-scale scientific projects, mostly focusing on how individual practitioners fit into all this. The idea that this was all going on, and that Francis Bacon (who the author dislikes!) was more or less whining because he didn't get to be in charge of it and gentlemen shouldn't get their hands dirty doing actual work, was frankly a little mind blowing.

Really good, very enjoyably read by Kate Reading, would recommend.


Desire Wears Diamonds (Jaded Gentleman #6) by Renee Bernard
So I haven't read anything else in this series, but clearly stumbled on the best one anyway. The author sets up the intro pretty well, and then I just spent the whole book drawing hearts around Michael and Grace, so who cares about the big arc plot (other than Michael is angst about it! Oh noes!) Michael just wants to atone by dying for his friends! But then he might have to die for his wife! And he can't do both at once! It's a challenge! Grace just wants a room of one's own.

I'm not sure if I'll back read, since idk if Michael will be in them enough, and I wasn't as invested in any of the others. Will keep an eye out for Bernard stuff though.


Four Wars of 1812 by D. Peter Macleod
I think this must have made a very fine museum exhibit, but in terms of trying to get a handle on the war, it just didn't have enough information in it. The art and pictures from the display were very interesting though, and I always appreciate an O'Brian reference.

(Speaking of [as the book also mentioned Forester], just watched Captain Horatio Hornblower, RN with Nenya, since I'd seen it ten years ago, and she hadn't at all. To conclude: "Ioan Gruffudd grew up to be Gregory Peck. Bush got less gay and slightly less hot. But it works amazingly well in continuity.")


Tropical Tiger Spy (Shifting Sands Resort #1) by Zoe Chant
Fun read. It was a bit slow to start, but once the action plot kicked off, I really enjoyed it. I liked how resourceful Amber was, though Tony's agency should seriously hire her, because she's way better at spy stuff. The action (and the "action") was very well written. Could have used a little more angst.

Tropical Wounded Wolf (Shifting Sands Resort #2) by Zoe Chant
Oh there we go. THAT one is angsty enough. Enjoyed it even more than the first one (because angst!), though the plot itself was a little slower. However, I appreciate trapped in peril plots, and both characters were very likeable. I'm curious what's going on with the resort though, so I hope Zoe writes more of these. Oh and the gazelle. Really great setting for a series.

(I was saying to Nenya, having just read Diamonds and Wounded Wolf back to back, is that the fantasy with heroes with massive self-esteem issues doesn't seem to be that you'll find someone who will tell you you're good, but that someone will tell you you're good, and you'll believe them.)


Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean by Adrian Tinniswood, narrated by Clive Chafer
Okay, look, I came into this researching English relations with pirates in the 1600s, which is what this book is about, and had the information I needed, and the Anglo-centrism STILL annoyed the crap out of me. I know that the author's area of study is England, but 100% of his sources are English, and he appears to have put zero effort into finding contemporary sources from any of the actual pirates or people who lived near them (unless they happened to be English), or anyone other than the odd note from the Venetian Ambassador to London , which leaves this book MASSIVELY one sided.

There's a lot of acknowledgement that okay, yeah, the English perspective is happening here, and that's not the whole story, and pointing out how the English were wrong about things, but very little quotes from primary sources from any other country. And we're talking Ottoman Empire here, so it's not like this stuff doesn't exist, they LOVED records.

So a lot of the information was interest, but the whole book was incredibly frustrating.


What I'm Reading Now
Audio: My Mother's Wars by Lillian Faderman about Faderman's mom living in NYC in the '20s to '40s. It's very engaging so far, though I just started it.

Library: Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812 by James Laxer, which I'm about 100 pages into and the war hasn't started yet. It's well written but also super depressing because genocide.


What I'm Reading Next
I have the next Selection book as a library e-book, so I'll probably buzz through that. I'm not sure for audio. Maybe that new romance novel about US Civil War spies.

Game of Thrones Camp 2018

2017-03-29 17:04
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
This year I organised my first every readthrough weekend (with [livejournal.com profile] the_alchemist) of the first two seasons of Game of Thrones. It seemed to go reasonably well, so next year we'll be doing seasons three and four.

First dibs on places will go to people who came to the first one, but there'll be at least one more space, and maybe more if some people decide they can't make it. If you think it might be your kind of thing, there's a poll about interest and dates here.
just_ann_now: (Reading: All the things!)
[personal profile] just_ann_now
What I Just Finished Reading

Two BIG Mount TBR projects done! The Seal of the Worm, the last (of 10!) of the Shadows of the Apt series, and what a GREAT finish it was, completely satisfying in every way. And now I kind of want to reread, but, my gosh, 10 massive books. And what a book hangover, omigod, it is the WORST.

bookfession11

No lie, there. And to make matters EVEN WORSE, a few hours later I finished my reread of Lonesome Dove. But it was a rainy morning, and good for crying *grin*. (I also found some excellent Shadows of the Apt fic, by the, ah, two other people in the fandom, both excellent writers. So that helped a lot.)

Mount TBR progress:

1. Rusalka
2-14 Whitehall
15. The Stars Change
16. Kindred
17. Silvertip
18. Hidden Figures
19. The Interior Life
20. The Drowning City
21. Europe in Winter
22. The Golden Compass
23. The Subtle Knife
24. The Amber Spyglass
25. Little Brother
26. So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction
27. The Honey Month
28. The Woman Warrior
29. Darkchild (Sunstone Scrolls #1)
30. Bluesong (Sunstone Scrolls #2)
31. Starsilk (Sunstone Scrolls #3)
32. Spin
33. The Man Who Spoke Snakish
34. Gardens of the Moon
35. The Air War
36. War Master's Gate
37. The Seal of the Worm
38. Lonesome Dove


What I Am Currently Reading

I probably should have just read fic or watched movies or something for the rest of the day, but no, instead I started Steal the Sky, from my WOGF2017 list, and The Native Star, from Mount TBR. I'm sure they're both perfectly good books, but hey, book hangover.

wrong

What I Am Reading Next

Sitting here next to me: City of Stairs, the first of a series which I've seen recommended a lot lately, and A Madness of Angels, recommended with great enthusiasm by [personal profile] avon7!

Question of the Day: Memorable book hangovers! What are yours?
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Josh Lanyon, Fair Game (2010) m/m romantic thriller (I guess), following a rec from someone somewhere. It was okay - though I'd fingered one character as at least dodgy and concealing something quite early on - but I'm not inspired particularly to continue reading the series.

Robin Stevens, First Class Murder (2015).

On the go

Simon Brett, The Killing in the Café (2015).

Charlie Fox, This Young Monster (2017): 'hallucinatory celebration of artists who raise hell, transform their bodies, anger their elders and show their audience dark, disturbing things'. I did that somewhat reprehensible thing where one sees something in an indie bookshop that one should be supporting, and then goes away and gets the ebook a) because it's cheaper and b) because Boox We Are Too Menny and I am trying to cut back, not with entire success, on introducing more actual books into the household, at least until I have undertaken the long deferred purge.

Up Next

Dunno: I am in that state of mind vis a vis reading in which I have a massive tbr pile that includes things that I definitely want to get to, and yet keep getting distracted by other people's recs, thing I picked up in the charity shop, etc.

Oh yes, and had a thought that one of the reasons I did not get on with that Patricia Craig book was that our tastes do not seem to mesh: she either did not read or disliked some of the canonical works of my childhood, and liked things about which I was meh (I never got on with Just William, one would like to think that I already detected the misogyny, but I think it was the style that turned me off in my youth).

(no subject)

2017-03-29 09:19
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] thatyourefuse!

More parser theory

2017-03-29 08:59
simont: (Default)
[personal profile] simont
I had a conversation recently about low-priority prefix operators in infix expression grammars, which left me mildly uncertain about what they ought to mean. So here's a quick straw poll.

Suppose I have an expression grammar in which the multiplication operator * and the addition operator + have their usual relative priority (namely, * binds more tightly, i.e. is evaluated first). Then suppose I – perhaps unwisely – introduce a prefix operator, which I'll call PFX for want of a better name, which has intermediate priority between the two, so that

  • PFX a + b behaves like (PFX a) + b, i.e. the PFX is evaluated first
  • PFX a * b behaves like PFX (a * b), i.e. the PFX is evaluated second.
That's simple enough (if unusual). But things get weirder when PFX appears on the right of another operator. Specifically, what would you imagine happens to this expression:
a * PFX b + c
in which you can't process the operators in priority order (* then PFX then +) because the PFX necessarily has to happen before the *.


Poll #18119 BODMASWTFBBQ
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9


In what order should the parser process those operators?

View Answers

PFX then * then + to give (a * (PFX b)) + c
5 (55.6%)

+ then PFX then * to give a * (PFX (b + c))
0 (0.0%)

PFX then + then * to give a * ((PFX b) + c)
0 (0.0%)

None! Report a parse error and demand some disambiguating parentheses.
3 (33.3%)

Low-priority prefix operators misparsed my grandparents, you insensitive clod
1 (11.1%)

megpie71: Animated "tea" icon popular after London bombing. (Default)
[personal profile] megpie71
Another day, another three things about "what went right" from my news feeds.

Gravity Discovery Centre observatory: a place to explore the wonders of the cosmos and origins of life by Emma Wynne (ABC Radio Perth, Western Australia)

A profile piece about the Gravity Discovery Centre observatory at Gingin, and its senior astronomer, Richard Tonello.

Hardy inland spangled perch make the most of heavy WA rains as desert creek beds turn to rivers by Rachel Day (ABC Goldfields, Western Australia)

A chance discovery of small fish flipping about on the side of a flooded road in the Goldfields reveals the spangled perch - a desert fish which is incredibly hardy and can survive a wide range of conditions.

Young WA farming family grows eco-house out of cereal crop by Lisa Morrison (ABC Great Southern, Western Australia)

The Maesepp-Potter family in Katanning live in an off-grid, straw-bale house they built from materials sourced on their working sheep and grain farm (the straw-bales were barley straw grown on the farm, the thermal walls are rock sourced from the northern end of their property). They're opening the doors of their home to the public as part of the Great Southern Sustainable Living festival.

So there's my three for the day. If you've seen any articles about what went right in your news feeds, why not share a link in the comments, and boost the signal?
auguris: A close-up of a white Xbox 360 controller. (vidya)
[personal profile] auguris
I like to go into games knowing very little about them, partly so that I only have my own personal bias and partly because I like being surprised. Dying Light is yet another zombie apocalypse game (I know, I know, but I'm a sucker for the genre) developed by the same team that created Dead Island. While some of the mechanics are similar -- first-person, various elemental effect weapon mods, melee combat in general -- they took a page from Mirror's Edge and made free-running the basis of the gameplay. They also enhanced the idea that noise attracts them -- while this was true in Dead Island, it wasn't much of a threat. Here, it could get you killed. The characters make a huge deal out of staying quiet.

The free-running is my favorite part of the game, and while it's not Mirror's Edge-level it's still quite good. The combat could be hit or miss -- things can get pretty intense with mobs, but bosses could be beat with the same strategy. Strike, strafe, strike, strafe... the game even cheaps out a couple of times and takes your inventory away to make the fight more difficult.

The main character, Kyle Crane, is a generic brown-haired white guy military type. (It's never stated what, exactly, his training is, but he's proficient with every weapon in the game, strategy, logistics, and makes a half-way decent attempt at subterfuge, so military is a pretty good guess.) The real star of the game is his voice-actor -- Crane sounds like a real person, reacting realistically to a horrible situation.

The story gave just enough motivation to run from point A to point B, but it honestly isn't anything to write home about. There are a few moments that stick with me -- Crane's friend dies and Crane is realistically upset, and there's a side-quest in which you get crayons for the kids in the Tower; they use said crayons to draw all over the floor they live on, which is rather charming -- but for the most part it's forgettable.

(There's also a point in which Crane has clearly Had Enough Of This Shit which had me laughing.)

The final boss was incredibly disappointing. There is a side-quest that allows you to pick up the main baddie's gun, and I was looking forward to killing him with it -- poetic justice and all -- but instead the final battle is a cinematic QUICK TIME EVENT. Not only are QTE's the cheapest gimmick in the industry, but it's the first and only time a QTE occurs, so you're not even prepared for it. The tension of the scene is instantly ruined when you have to start over because you missed tapping a button you weren't prepared to tap.

All in all, it was a fun game and worth a rent. If you enjoy shooting mans that happen to be flesh-eating zombies, I would recommend it.
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
GoT random musings with spoilers (at least for published books). Now I'm going to witter a bit so the spoilers don't go into the first few lines. So, pumpkins are really quite ridged and orange, aren't they?

Read more... )

(no subject)

2017-03-28 21:19
ruthi: an eye. (eye)
[personal profile] ruthi
Today I was awake and focused enough to take in culture.

I watched, via Netflix, the film Robot and Frank. It has an old man whose memory is failing, his dutiful son, and a robot-carer that the son provides.

more about Robot and Frank )
It was fun and I liked it, and it's also a bit sadder than I was expecting.

Also today a friend linked to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl/episodes/downloads Where there are episodes of In Our Time where Melvyn Bragg and guests talk about things

So I listened to The Fighting Temeraire , where they talked about Turner's painting, and about Temeraire the ship, the battle of Trafalgar, and mentioned things like Turner's cockney accent and the sun setting over the Thames. It was fun and interesting.

FMK #6: Beloved Authors

2017-03-28 15:15
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So last week's FMK loser was Ben Bova's The Multiple Man, and tbh my only qualm with dumping that one is that I will no longer have a nice big pile of books with MEN in their title. Well, and also feeling a little bit bad for Jamie Madrox.

The winner was The Female Man by Joanna Russ! (The Bester was surprisingly close for awhile, probably because the Russ was getting a lot of M votes. Predictably.) I will be putting up a response for that one when I have finished reading it.

This week's theme is "Authors who have at least one series on my 'definitely keep' shelf but I am kind of afraid to branch out to their other stuff in case I don't like it". This should be a fun one!

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)
Poll: Alexander, Anderson, Bujold, Hambly, Harrison, Leiber, McKillip, Piper, Pratchett, Rosenberg, Smith, Vinge, Wrightson, Yolen )

Dog on ice!

2017-03-28 13:43
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
https://twitter.com/CSNCapitals/status/846088479142531073

When you want to reward a dog, you have to find out what the dog thinks is rewarding. It might surprise you.

thanks to [personal profile] andrewducker
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
[personal profile] oursin

Yet another case in which a bloke who has committed significant violence against a woman, of which there is no possible doubt, walks free (well, suspended sentence) apparently on the basis that it would ruin a promising career if he went to jail. (Which it does turn out he was somewhat less than truthful about.)

And okay, I have been seeing these sorts of cases for a very long time now, and one might even have hoped that this sort of thing would have come to an end -

And we note that it is very, very rare for anyone in the legal system or even in the reporting, to express any concern over the damage done to the woman's potential through injuries, long-term effects of trauma, etc.

So, I was thinking about this, and what came to mind was a famous 'gotcha' argument popular among the anti-abortion forces c. 1970 or so, which was to posit a particular case of mother with several children, family straits, disease, and when anyone remarked that it seemed a clear case for termination would go 'aha! you have terminated Beethoven!' (there may have been other instances: that is the one I remember).

Because women's lives have no value except for the male offspring they bear... (though statistically, very few of those are going to be Beethoven*).

A thought which would have led me to hurl against the wall, except that they were library books, far too many works of sf/fantasy in which a woman underwent various adventures and travails and this was not to fit her for her own role as The Chosen One, it was to get her in place to bear The Chosen One.

*Given all the relative advantages in terms of education and parental investment, relatively few men have ever been Shakespeare/Newton/Beethoven/etc. I will also reiterate here my argument that Great Male Leaders were not necessarily able to outwrestle all the men they lead, it was not about simply physical superiority.

New-old games

2017-03-28 20:27
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
I took a couple of days off so I could have a four-day weekend, and didn't commit myself to excessively many social things, so I was able to spend lots of time gaming.

reviews )

i need you so much closer

2017-03-28 11:48
musesfool: River as Delirium (delirium)
[personal profile] musesfool
I had amazing cheesy garlic bread for dinner last night but it knocked me the fuck out. I eat carbs a lot more than a lot of people, so I don't usually get that crash afterwards, but I couldn't keep my eyes open! I was afraid I was going to fall asleep in the shower! So I went to bed instead of watching any TV.

I'm sure it's grief more than anything, since I feel like I was starting to emerge from my usual late-winter funk before anything happened, but gosh it's hard to get out of bed in the morning. I have a bad case of the Don't Wannas and nothing seems to help. I spent the weekend feeling like I was supposed to be somewhere else (i.e., the hospital) and it was a jolt remembering each time that no, that's over now.

And I know there are other big changes coming (hopefully good ones, but then again, I have my performance review tomorrow, so who knows?), and I just can't seem to get myself in gear to prepare for them. But I guess not everything can be lip balm and glitter. Sigh.

Adulting is hard. I don't like it.

*

(no subject)

2017-03-28 08:30
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
UHS offered me two options: 2:15 which conflicts with Cordelia’s 2:30 PT appointment and 4:00 which is just barely possible if Scott actually gets off work on time. PT ends at 3:30, and it’s a ten to fifteen minute drive to UHS from the PT place at that time of day. I texted Scott, and he said he’s pretty sure he can get out of work on time. I worry because that hasn’t always been a reliable thing, but he’s more assertive about necessity for such things when it’s for me or Cordelia, so I’m giving it about a 90% chance. It’s about twenty miles for him to get back from work, so 3:30 is a likely arrival time if he leaves at 3:00.

Okay, I’m going to drink a lot of water and then lie down and listen to audiobooks for a while.

(no subject)

2017-03-28 07:56
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
The timing on this back thing is really pretty terrible. I’ve found three things that help at all: lying flat on my back, alcohol, and a heating pad applied to exactly the right place. All three of those remedies are very temporary, and all have drawbacks. The heating pad is unpleasant given my general state of being overheated (I’ve been applying cold packs to other parts of my body, and I’ve got the ceiling fan going). Alcohol also makes me feel overheated, like the temperature in here has gone up at least fifteen degrees. Lying flat means about all I can do is listen to audiobooks. I’ve got a lot of those on my laptop, but I want to do other things.

I suspect that sitting in the living room might be better for me than sitting or reclining in bed, but of all things, the access to electrical outlets is the deciding factor. I can only plug in the heating pad out there if I unplug something else, and the powerstrip is on the floor, so swapping plugs is agony even when I’m feeling my current best.

In a little bit, I’ll call UHS to see if they can get me in today. I need approximately an hour to get there by cab (most of that is wiggle room for the cab to arrive. The actual drive is under ten minutes), and I need to be home by 2:00, so timing is difficult. I kind of suspect that there won’t be much that anyone can do, medication wise, but there might be some stretches or something else PT-ish.

I’ve put myself on hiatus in Habitica until my back is better. I just can’t manage everything right now. I thought about simply deactivating the dailies that are currently physically impossible, but that would remove a lot of them.

Feedly updated again last night and still doesn’t work. I’m more than a little ticked about that given that I’ll be out of the house some today. Reading those blog posts fills some time.

I wrote about 2600 words last night, and about a third of that was my thing with a deadline. I still don’t have the character voice the way I want it, but whatever. Get the words down then edit and edit and edit.
tielan: (oops)
[personal profile] tielan
Social media - including blogs and journalling services like DW and LJ - are kind of creepy sometimes. I mean, where else could you have 100 or 800 or a 1000 people following you around, not saying anything to you...just watching...

I know, I've been online in journalling services like this for, oh, 16+ years, and I only just thought of it like that.
[personal profile] swaldman
Not for a while has an article had me shouting YES THIS as much as this one. It posits that a significant factor in the Leave vote was that the UK, and England specifically, hasn't come to terms with its reduced place in the world. I don't agree with everything it says by any means, and I think it would be foolish to attribute all leave votes to this, but I'm convinced that it's true for a good number.

It's struck me for a long time that a lot of the weird British exceptionalism that we see relates to the nation, or at least its leaders, not being prepared to admit that we're not a superpower any more. I said a number of times before and after the referendum that many of my parents' generation - people who grew up being taught about the Empire in school and looking at the pink areas of the map - saw leaving the EU not as a leap into the unknown, but as returning to how things were. They were wrong, of course, because the world has moved on, but they're in their 70s or older and it's an understandable thought.

And now we hear of civil servants and, allegedly, ministers, using the phrase "Empire 2.0" for what they want to see in the future, and so while the phrase is probably being used satirically by some, I bet that some parts of the establishment - possibly the public-school-educated parts in particular - still think that Britain's natural place in the world is to be in charge. Not to simply be one more country that gets along with the others.

(no subject)

2017-03-28 15:03
tielan: (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
I feel like I wrote my [community profile] worldbuildingex fic around the wrong worldbuilding aspect.

GRARGH.

(no subject)

2017-03-27 19:53
subbes: an antifa symbol. (antifa)
[personal profile] subbes
i'm rubbish at social interactions

this is making finding a local affinity group quite difficult

*sigh*

The Guns of Navarone

2017-03-27 18:36
nenya_kanadka: text: "Reality has a homoerotic bias" (@ homoerotic bias)
[personal profile] nenya_kanadka
Mucca's on a Gregory Peck kick this week (one of which I fully approve), and has been showing me the woobie cut of various films. Today's was the slashy cut of The Guns of Navarone (1961).

Two points:

a) James Darren was Tiny Greek Private, omg. He was about twelve. Ahaha omg. <3 (I realize he was trying to get Serious Acting jobs at the time, instead of Teen Heartthrob ones, but since I first became aware of him as Vic Fontaine, my expectations were...not Tiny Earnest Murderstabby Kid. LOL.)

b) It was HELLA slashy. I mean, like. Starts out with two major m/m ships, and by the end of it Gregory Peck has reconciled with his estranged boyfriend from the original ship, and had chemistry with both members of the other ship (one of whom is David Niven: they shout at each other a lot, it's great).

There are lines like, "How long have you two been together?" and (woman, after asking Gregory Peck's Cretan boyfriend his salient details, then turning to Peck) "You're a lucky man." ("I know.") The canon het is very understated and not at all annoying, but it's really awfully slashy.

Oh, and c) Peck has a deeper voice than I remembered, and is almost as good at shouting at people as Paul McGann as William Bush is. :D

Hopefully get to watch The Scarlet & The Black later in the week. I remember really liking that one. (Yelling at Christopher Plummer in the Colloseum at night! Yess.)
megpie71: Simplified Bishie Sephiroth says "Neat!" (Enthuse)
[personal profile] megpie71
My best wishes for anyone in Northern Queensland reading this - here's hoping Cyclone Debbie turns out to be a bit less ferocious than expected. In the meantime, here's the three things from my newsfeeds about what went right.

Kimberley abattoir resumes production after big wet season by Matt Brann (ABC Rural, Western Australia)

The only abbatoir in the north-west of Australia, at Yeeda Station between Broome and Derby, has re-opened after the wet season.

'Energy-harvesting' clear glass created by Perth team by Briana Shepherd (ABC Western Australia)

The Electron Science Research Institute at Edith Cowan University, and local firm ClearVue technologies have worked together to create a commercially viable, clear, solar glass. The glass contains special nanoparticles, with solar cells around its borders, and can block the UV and infra-red components of sunlight transferring those energies to the solar cells to create energy, while passing the visible light through to provide illumination.

World's biggest dinosaur footprints found in north-western Australia by Ben Collins (ABC Kimberley, Western Australia)

Footprints of sauropod dinosaurs, measuring at up to 1.7m in length, have been documented in the north-west of Western Australia, on the coastline north of Broome. They're one of up to 21 different types of dinosaurs represented in the area.

So there's my three for the day. If you've spotted a story about "what went right" in your news feeds, why not share it in the comments, and boost the signal.

online privacy

2017-03-28 08:21
tielan: (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
This seems relevant to all my readers:
The US House is scheduled to vote on Resolution 86 (regarding the protection of online privacy and the sale of data by ISPs without a user's permission) tomorrow, Tuesday March 28. so if you're going to call or fax, there's not a lot of time. It's already passed in the Senate.

Here's a script (from the ACLU except that the House resolution number has been put in directly):

I’m calling to demand Congress protect my online privacy and keep FCC broadband rules intact. Do not pass House Resolution 86. I do not want internet service providers to sell my data without first getting my permission.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation aka EFF has more information on H.J. Res. 86.

Awakenings

2017-03-27 21:25
raven: (misc - inside the box)
[personal profile] raven
I am rereading Awakenings, the Oliver Sacks book about encephalitis lethargica and L-DOPA. I first came across the story as a teenager and predictably found it completely fascinating. But I bounced off the book a bit the first time, probably because I was too young for it and also it has a lot of quite boring prefaces. But this time I found it entirely compelling, prefaces and all, and have been talking about it quite a bit, so here we are.

The story in brief, for those who don't know it (and also to give me an excuse to tell it again): after the First World War, there was a worldwide outbreak of Spanish flu, which killed more people than the war did, but has mostly been forgotten. And following that - and yet more forgotten - was an epidemic of an illness later called encephalitis lethargica, also called sleepy-sickness. It was prevalent between about 1918 and 1928, and has never really been seen since (beyond isolated cases). People who got it tended to fall asleep - for weeks or months. And then, when they woke up, they were changed in some deep, indefinable way: neither asleep nor awake, but something in between. They sat motionless in chairs and stared into space. They could be "posed", their arms outstretched, like living statues. They couldn't be woken, and some of them didn't appear even to age - so forty years later some had been frozen in place for decades, still looking largely as they had in the late 1920s when initially struck down by the disease.

In 1969, the neurologist Oliver Sacks - who was one of the few clinicians with responsibility for a large number of post-encephalitic patients, about forty of them, in a hospital in New York - hit upon the idea of giving them L-DOPA, which at the time was a brand-new drug. (It's a chemical precursor to dopamine that can pass through the blood-brain barrier.) So without a great deal of knowledge of what would happen, but that something would, he started giving L-DOPA to these patients who had been out of the world for four decades.

And they woke up. This is the amazing part of the story, and Sacks writes about it like a dream: this glorious New York summer, in which these people not only woke up, and spoke, and moved, but became the people they had been. Sacks mentions one patient who had been a flapper, and the nurses going to the NYPL to look up the people and places she spoke about. He mentions another who had been a young Jewish emigrée from Vienna in the 1920s, and startled the staff because they had never known it until she spoke with an Austrian accent, and asked for a rabbi. It's just incredible to read about. And heartbreaking too, because L-DOPA turns out not to be quite the miracle that it promises. There's a honeymoon period, where Sacks and his colleagues are convinced it's just teething problems and they'll figure it out - and then the realisation that they can't stop the effect of the drug wearing off with time, or giving the patients side-effects that are too much to bear. So while some of the patients stay "awakened", others slip back into their pre-L-DOPA state, or into a coma this time. It's tragic and has an awful inevitable feel but it doesn't take on the feel of a Greek tragedy - you never lose sight of these people as real, individual human beings, not archetypes or fairy tales. I am not always convinced by Sacks' theoretical approaches, which draw a lot more from straight philosophy than I'm accustomed to seeing in a book that also purports to examine the scientific method. And it's also a book of its time and place, and a medicalised book - it doesn't always shine in a good light when considered through the lens of disability activism and theory - but Sacks is always interesting, always humane, and always interested in individuals and their stories.

The coda to this is that I hadn't really gathered, the first time I read this book, that Sacks was queer (although I was reminded of his lifelong friendship with WH Auden, which is the kind of historical congruence I love). And then [personal profile] happydork linked me to this beautiful article: My Life With Oliver Sacks, by Bill Hayes, who was Sacks' partner at the time of his death. It's one of the loveliest things I've read in ages - a snapshot of queer work, a queer life, as well as a love letter and obituary. I adore it. i've been rereading a lot of formative things just recently - all the best-beloveds of teenage crazies, so The Bell Jar and Prozac Nation - but also Slaughterhouse Five, Gender Outlaws, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, and Wild Dreams of a New Beginning. (The last of which because I read a poem: Lawrence Ferlinghetti Is Still Alive.)

I feel like there ought to be some sort of conclusion to this thought, something about my foundering mental health, but actually I think it's just, there are always books, and that precious kinship of inquiring queers.
oursin: Photograph of Stella Gibbons, overwritten IM IN UR WOODSHED SEEING SOMETHIN NASTY (woodshed)
[personal profile] oursin

Mixed martial arts is the fastest-growing sport on Earth.... what does this bloody spectacle say about the world we live in?

I don't know what, if anything, it says about the world we live in, but that article suggests to me someone who does not know a great deal about the history of sport/popular entertainment - I am like, o tempora, o mores, what are these days when somebody can write an article on fighting as spectacle and not name-check gladiators in the Coliseum? Infamy, infamy, etc.

I am totally given to wonder what a person knows about the history of sport if they can write this:

Victorian rules of football and rugby codified an attitude towards team play that made sense in the factory and on the battlefield.
Victorian rules were the imposition of a disciplinary structure (where is Michel Foucault when you need him?) on the rather more freeform sports constituting various kinds of football: which pretty much combined the football and the hooliganism in one package.

See also, boxing before Queensbury: not that boxing in its present form doesn't have significant risks, even if they're long term ones about brain damage rather than blood on the floor.

I suspect that there is a significant history of sports starting as something close to a brawl and gradually developing rules, rather than the rules coming first.

On a somewhat less extreme level, beach volleyball has that pattern of informality to codification.

I am also, why is he not, if not doing historical analogies, linking this woezery to a loooong tradition of dystopian fiction? - because the concept was not a new one in The Hunger Games.

musesfool: text icon: somewhere in this building is our talent (somewhere in this building is our talent)
[personal profile] musesfool
Writing meme? Writing meme:

my stories:

1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What's your favorite line of narration?
4: What's your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn't listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?

Hit me up.

*

(no subject)

2017-03-27 08:21
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

A NOTE TO ALL before we begin -- I will be traveling next Monday, and I'm not sure of how much access I will have or when I will have it. Radio Free Monday next week miiiiight be postponed to Tuesday. Thanks everyone!

Ways to Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for [livejournal.com profile] delaese, who is in the process of divorcing, moving, and setting up a new business, and needs funds to help with all three, as well as care for her animals. You can read more and help out here (and also look at fluffy pictures of baby chicks!).

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Con Or Bust, a nonprofit which helps fans of color get to conventions. They're starting up their annual auction fundraiser and would love to have people offer items to donate; you can read more about donating here. Deadline is April 23 so there's still lots of time!

[tumblr.com profile] liviconnor linked to Charity: Water, a charity which helps internatioanl communities get clean water, and one of their fundraising methods is to ask people to get donations for their birthdays instead of presents. The birthday person then gets a thank-you gift of pictures from the community their money went to. You can read more and help out here, and you can also donate to them through CharityMiles, which donates money for every mile you run.

Anon is fundraising for Families For Freedom, a human-rights organization by and for families and their loved ones who are facing deportation. They run a national hotline for those imprisoned in immigrant detention centers, and provide emotional and social support to families going through deportation proceedings, as well as raising community awareness of rights and abuses. You can read more and support FFF here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They literally have no money left until their next worker's comp check comes, which means no gas money for their car, so they can't get anywhere to do odd jobs for bill money. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

Since I managed to both put it in the wrong place and lose the link last week like a loser, a repost: [tumblr.com profile] kitrona is in her last semester of college before graduation, and for her capstone is researching the hypothesis that social support can ease mental health issues that trans* and nonbinary people face. She has a survey up and would appreciate trans* and nonbinary people participating; the survey doesn't collect any identifying information and she is happy to share the resulting paper with people if they're interested. She's planning to specialize in trans* issues, so this is not simply a class project but a foundation for future work in the field. You can take the survey here and please feel free to pass it on to people who could help contribute!

News to Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has updated its guide to protecting your private data when entering the United States, in response to recent events. You can read more and download the full guide here.

Housing:

[tumblr.com profile] tzikeh is looking for a new roommate to share a 2br/2ba condo in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, available May 1. You can read more and reblog here or check out the Craigslist post here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

(no subject)

2017-03-27 08:45
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia stopped using crutches entirely over the weekend. Today, she’s trying school in a light knee brace. She carried all of her things to school and didn’t want me along.

That last was just as well because my back spasmed last night and is still giving me huge problems when I move. I can sit as long as I sit still. I can lie down as long as I don’t change position much. It’s going to make the various household chores I want to get done today problematic. Right now, I’m applying heat to see if that will loosen things enough for me to do anything. It’s the muscles in my lower back, the ones just at and above my pelvis. When I stand up from sitting or lying down, when I sit down, when I turn over in bed, when I bend at all, that area hurts at about a 7 on the pain scale.

Last night, while I was showering, my right hand got so painful that I couldn’t move it at all. I’d call it an 8 or a 9 on the pain scale. It was better if I didn’t so much as wiggle my fingers. That made the process of drying off… interesting. I thought I was going to have to yell for Scott to come help me. My left hand hurt more than usual then, too. I couldn’t even put lotion on my leg without agony. I thought I should be able to because I could just use my fingers and not my thumb and because I had my heavy braces on.

The combination of the hands and the back has me wondering if I did something full body stupid. I can’t think what apart from, you know, taking Tamoxifen.

Feedly, one of the apps I use most on my phone, updated last night and now no longer works at all. Well, I can see that there are articles waiting for me to read them and what the titles and sites involved are. I just can’t open them at all no matter what avenues I try, including forcing the app to quit and restarting it.

We got bubble tea yesterday after our library trip. That was a nice treat. I miss having it weekly, but it is expensive. I’m pretty sure the price has gone up since we were last in there.

I wrote almost 1300 words last night. Sadly, none of them were for the thing with a deadline (though I just now added a sentence to that). I’m having trouble finding the character voice for that because I’m trying to write a character I don’t sympathize with at all. There’s just not much beyond cardboard cutout for the character in canon. I suppose that adding depth to the character that isn’t in canon isn’t a terrible thing. I just worry that it may not be what my recipient wants.

Organisation fail

2017-03-27 12:10
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I realised yesterday that it was the last of Nicholas's swimming lessons for the term and we hadn't been given a re-enrolment form at any point.  On further checking, we've completely missed his re-enrolment window, and the class he was in is completely full now.   These lessons are always oversubscribed, and the idea is that once you're in the system you get priority to stay in and progress up the classes, but that doesn't help if no-one (me) checks when the deadlines are. 

So I think by default I have to make a note to check for enrolment day at the end of next term, in hopes of getting him back into classes in the autumn term.  That seems ages away.  I suppose I can also look at the holiday "crash courses": four or five daily 30 minute lessons on weekday mornings.  Great for learning but a bit of a logistical challenge for us.

(no subject)

2017-03-26 21:44
skygiants: Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle with Calcifer hovering over her hands (a life less ordinary)
[personal profile] skygiants
So I tried an experiment to see if it was possible to make a Howl's Moving Castle book vid using Howl's Moving Castle movie footage. Results: ???

(Results mostly that I need to get better at figuring out how to change targeted colors in Adobe Premiere, let's just pretend it's fine.)

Title: In Which Sophie Expresses Her Feelings In The Absence Of Weedkiller
Music: "You're A Cad," The Bird and the Bee



Download link

(no subject)

2017-03-26 20:59
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
Last Saturday I went to see taming of the shrew at the globe and I felt faint half-way through.
I sat down so as not to fall down, and a kind usher directed me outside to a bench. I sat for a while bt energy to get back up did not appear. Then I was taken to the first-aid room, where I had some water and a lie-down with feet up. So I had a nap, and some more water. I missed the rest of the play. Part of me was curious as to how they had done it and part of me was glad I'd missed the part after the wedding where it gets more abusive. I don't know why they still do this play.

As the play was about to end I got enough energy to stand up and go back to my friends and be active.
I realised I had failed at sleep - I stayed awake all night and fell asleep at seven in the morning, I had not eaten or drank anything before I left the house, and while I had meant to do the 'food as a substitute for sleep' thing, all I had actually eaten was about three bites of cheese at Neil's Yard Dairy in Borough Market on the way to the Globe.
I did have some fruit juice, but it was not enough.

So that was half a play. I liked the actors and I liked the blinged-up moblity scooter the old suitor was using.


After, I walked with friends across millennium bridge - it was v. windy and gulls were riding the wind, and pigeons were flap-flap-flapping about and not coping with the wind well. Friend G told how he had got a pigeon to the face earlier, delivered by that wind.

I went with friends to a pub, had a couple of soft drinks, sat down a bit, and then went home.

On the way home I bought a small bunch of narcissus flowers, and they smelled lovely, and they have lasted a full week. They are wilting now.

*

On wednesday and thursday and friday I celebrated my birthday. A robot reminded some friends it was my birthday, and they sent me greetings.

The beloved brought me a bouquet. I did not have a vase of a fitting size, so I put them in a Kwak glass instead.

Family sent greetings from afar (which is where I like to keep family).

I went out for an evening meal with the beloved and had delicious food, with chips. The chips were not as good as the best chips I have ever had, so I felt a little sorry for them.

I was brought delicious doughnuts from Crosstown Doughnuts,
descriptions from their website )
because I'd mis-ordered myself cake for next week by mistake.

Also friend D has bought us tickets for a cinema screening of the NT production of Angels in America - Millennium Approaches, which we both want to see, and it is a present and it is in the future.
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra says "Heee!" (Hee)
[personal profile] megpie71
Bit rushed today, but still able to fit in three things which went right from my newsfeeds.

Earthquake rattles Darwin after striking 600km away in Banda Sea by Xavier La Canna (ABC Radio Darwin, Northern Territory)

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake in the Banda Sea rattled Darwin at about 4.44am (ACST), but isn't likely to have caused much damage.

Is Australia on the brink of becoming a completely cashless society? by Michael Edwards (ABC AM, Australia)

It's rumoured Australia could become a cashless society as early as 2020, with the Reserve Bank's roll-out of the NPP (New Payment Platform) happening today looking to be a big step in the process.

Study shows fibre supplements could be used as asthma treatment by Justine Kearney (ABC Australia)

A small preliminary study (with a sample group of 17 asthmatics) has had encouraging results with the use of soluble fibre supplements as a way of treating or controlling asthma. The researchers involved are now looking to broaden their study to a much wider sample group.

So there's my three for the day. If you've found an article in your news feed about what went right, why not share it in the comments to boost the signal?

I made this

2017-03-26 23:00
ceb: (I made this)
[personal profile] ceb
This weekend I have made a thing! Which is neither for Worldcon nor the BSFA, unlike everything else I've been doing in the past 6 months.

moon box
musesfool: Ahsoka Tano (my power's turned on)
[personal profile] musesfool
At dinner last night (the chicken tenders were AMAZING), I drank three firefly and cranberry cocktails, and they were so good. If you have a place near you that sells Firefly sweet tea vodka, I highly recommend mixing it with cranberry juice and topping it with a slice of lime.

On TV this afternoon, Keith Hernandez called the Atlanta pitcher "a human rain delay." Which I thought was hilarious. I'm so excited for baseball being back soon!

Before that, I caught up on some of the stuff on my DVR.

Steven Universe: Rocknaldo, Tiger Philanthropist, Room for Ruby
spoilers for all three )

I also watched the season finale of Star Wars Rebels: Zero Hour, though I had to hunt the first half hour down online since for some reason my DVR only recorded the second half. (Was the first half not listed as "new"? I honestly don't understand how this works sometimes, but it's infuriating.)

spoilers )

So it didn't reach the emotional highs the s2 finale did, at least for me, but I don't think it could have?

***
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books

Published: March 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Series: Strange the Dreamer #1
Genres: Epic fantasy, YA romance
Source: NetGalley
Available: Publisher (print) ~ Abbey’s ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia ~ Dymocks ~ Kobo

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Strange the Dreamer is another of the gorgeously mythic fantasy romances that Laini Taylor excels at. However, while I enjoyed it thoroughly, it had a few flaws.

Lazlo Strange is a wonderful character likely to appeal to bookworms. He’s not your usual stunningly-attractive hero. Instead, he’s a bit rough around the edges and had his nose broken when a book of fairytales landed on his face–which tells you everything you need to know about Lazlo. He was a highly imaginative boy with a thirst for stories who grew into a librarian with his nose stuck in a book. Before he went adventuring, of course. He works hard and is the sort of person to offer help to his rival simply because it’s needed.

The book takes us all the way from Lazlo’s humble beginnings to his deeds in Weep. This allows readers to get to know Lazlo well, but makes for a slow-paced story. I usually don’t mind this approach, but even I felt it was starting to drag.

It’s a story full of whimsy and the mythic that Taylor does so well. She is brilliant at creating a mood and making the impossibly epic seem plausible. The descriptions were lovely with some gorgeous turns of phrase. However, a little goes a long way–another reason the pace dragged in places.

Despite its sense of whimsy, it is quite a dark story. Readers triggered by rape and forced pregnancy may want to tread cautiously. These incidents never happen onscreen, but their impact resonates throughout the book. It’s a story that deals with cycles of violence and the seeming impossibility of breaking them.

Strange the Dreamer felt like it trod a lot of the same ground as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Some of it was the structure: the slow set-up, the gradual uncovering of the past and the late explosion into action. There were also some thematic elements that cropped up, such as the preoccupation with angels and demons (here flavoured with some Hindu-inspired elements such as the appearance and titles of the gods). The trajectory of Lazlo’s relationship with Sarai also felt very familiar and may be a bit too insta-love for some readers.

I was somewhat disappointed with the relationship between the female characters of this book. It’s a story that barely passes the Bechdel-Wallis test, with the female characters either isolated, preoccupied with the men in their life or at odds with each other.

It may sound as if I didn’t enjoy Strange the Dreamer when it actually swept me away (once it warmed up). I enjoyed the dark whimsy of it and the later stages of the book do a fantastic job of building tension. I’ll definitely be watching for the next book. However, this is definitely not going to be the book for everyone.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

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Rachel Coleman

March 2017

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