open up your loving arms

2017-10-22 11:44
musesfool: woman covered in balloons (the joy it brings)
[personal profile] musesfool
Friday night, I took the train to Huntington - the only train they hadn't cancelled, apparently, so it was packed - and met up with my sister, my niece, and my niece's boyfriend's mom, to go see a "Back to the 80s" show with a band called Jessie's Girl at the Paramount.

It was a lot of fun, though there were some things we'd probably do differently if we were to do it again: 1. miss the terrible opening act - it was a DJ who was just really bad at being a DJ despite playing lots of great 80s music. He was just. So. Bad. And I definitely would have gotten at least a bottle of water, since we were upstairs in the seating area and there were so many stairs none of us wanted to go back down to the bar, so I was SO THIRSTY by the time we got back to my sister's, and I woke up with a dehydration headache even though I hadn't had any alcohol. I mean, I hadn't had anything to drink from when I left work at 5 pm to when we got back to Marg's at midnight. That just ain't right.

Anyway, the band was really entertaining, though some of their song choices were puzzling to me (why "Hot for Teacher" of all the Van Halen songs you could have picked?) and there were a few glaring omisions, imo: no Duran Duran! No Pet Shop Boys! No New Order! No "Relax!" No "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go!" No "What I Like About You!" And since they did do "A Little Respect," which I think is more obscure than any of the others (I mean, not to me - it was one of the songs of my senior year of high school - but Marg and Alyssa didn't know it, and Alyssa knew almost every song despite not even being alive in the 80s), and "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" while dressed up like the dude from Dead or Alive, I don't think the other songs are too much to ask for. Certainly they could have replaced "Sunglasses at Night" and "Somebody's Watching Me" and "Physical" with better songs! but Alyssa says they do a lot of shows so they probably rotate things in and out of the set list.

While the upstairs where we were never filled in, the dance floor was pretty packed with drunk middle aged white ladies, which is pretty entertaining in and of itself.

So we did a lot of dancing, which my knees were not happy about, especially after all the stairs, so yesterday was kind of a painful day.

But because we cover a wide range of enjoyable activities, we went to tea in Port Jeff at brunchtime, and it was lovely, as it always is. The tea shop was all decked out for fall and our reservation was for when it opened, so we had the place to ourselves for most of our time there, which was nice.

In keeping with the 80s theme (not really but it sounds good), I had the Pretty in Pink tea ("a blend of green tea, pomegranate, flowers, nuts, acai and yumberry make up this fruity pale pink tea") iced, and it was both pretty and pink and also delicious. And the scones of the day were apple raisin walnut, and all of the little sandwiches and tea cakes were delicious (except for the grilled goat cheese rounds, which we felt were a mistake, but if you like goat cheese on toasted wheat bread, you'd probably like them).

By then I was exhausted but all the Port Jeff and Ronkonkoma line trains were screwy because of track work (estimated travel time: 2 hours and 39 minutes one way!!!) so Alyssa dropped me at the Islip station on her way home and I took the Babylon branch instead.

I got home and took a two hour nap, and then went to bed after the Yankees lost, so I feel less exhausted now, but I woke up with a cold. My nose won't stop running and my sinuses ache. Bah. I just really want some soup.

But it was a great weekend. A++ would dance and drink tea again.

***
strange_complex: (Vampira)
[personal profile] strange_complex
Yesterday I travelled all the way down to London Town to see a play - or, more precisely an immersive theatre experience - in the company of Andrew Hickey, [twitter.com profile] Extinction65mya and [twitter.com profile] karohemd. While my book and film reviews are both backed up to the tune of at least a year each, which is incredibly frustrating, no such self-imposed tedium applies here, so for once I can have the job of writing about something I have experienced fresh from the delights of the thing itself. Hooray!

So basically The Soulless Ones is the latest venture from the new(ish)ly revived Hammer company, and consists of a play about vampires which takes place across multiple rooms in a mid-Victorian music hall. Opening and closing scenes book-end the story, and are played out to the full audience in the main music-hall space, but for most of the evening different actors play out their own story-lines in an extensive series of parallel scenes, all happening simultaneously in different parts of the building, and moving around from one to the other. It is up to the audience to follow the actors according to personal preference, or simply wander around the building at will, meaning that each individual audience member will see and experience different things depending on where they went.

Given this expectation, of course, the story is deliberately constructed to ensure that no one scene (apart perhaps from the opening and closing ones) is utterly crucial to the production. So the experience is more about seeing the different characters unfold than about a plot in the traditional sense; and indeed about exploring the richly-dressed settings and soaking in the atmospheric sounds and smells. It's also important to understand the difference between immersive and interactive theatre in this context: this was the former, rather than the latter, meaning that the audience occupied the same spaces as the actors but were 'invisible' to them and instructed at the start to take it all in silently. No-one watching was going to find themselves a victim of the vampires, and nor were we to try to speak to them or join in on the story.

There is various documentation of the play around the web, of course. The official production page is here, and I also found useful reviews from Den of Geek, The Guardian and The Telegraph. I've used those, along with my own experience and what my friends reported having seen after we came out, to compile the following overview of the story, characters and settings as I experienced them. I'll also be sharing this with said friends, and would very much love them, and anyone else who has seen it, to comment with anything extra that I didn't catch (I know there were some characters I barely saw all evening), or correct anything I've misremembered or misunderstood (hey, there were cocktails...). Obviously, it will contain spoilers, so I have used cut-tags with a view to both that and length.

The opening scene )

The characters and scenarios which unfolded from there )

The various settings )

The closing scene )


What I actually thought of it all

In essence, I absolutely loved it. A huge amount of thought must have gone into constructing it all so that the different scenes fitted together effectively, with characters coming in and out of each other's storylines at the right times, even from completely different ends of the building, and all of the disparate parts adding up to a coherent whole no matter how the audience experienced it. The set-dressing was particularly wonderful. I wish I could have had the chance to walk around it all without the story unfolding at the same time, so that I could scrutinise every single detail at my leisure, but then again I certainly had more control over what I was looking at than is the case when watching a film or play, in that I could go into any room I chose, stand wherever I liked it in and look at whatever I liked while the action went on. I could sit on one divan while Mara was bewitching St Clair on another, feeling the tickly softness of the white animal fur draped over it between my fingers, or peer closely at the satyr-herm in the graveyard which made me think a lot of The Marble Faun. It was very exciting.

Layering the story on top of all of that really did feel immersive, as though I were standing inside the world of a Hammer film. I'm sure regular readers will realise how amazing that was for me! The story really did feel Hammer-ish, too - suitably gothic in content and atmosphere, and with nice little nods to their back-catalogue such as Carmilla being the last of the Karnsteins. The characters themselves seemed well-defined, with just the right amount of back-story and conflict between them for the audience to take in across the two hours of the show, and the acting solid throughout: sometimes (necessarily) a bit projecty and theatrical, especially in the larger scenes, but impressively naturalistic and intimate when the smaller scenes allowed the scope for it as well. I think a lot of credit also belongs to the behind-the-scenes team handling the music, lighting etc. in each room, and indeed quietly staffing the corridors to make sure people did not get too lost or confused or wander into places they weren't supposed to go.

It looks like the production has been a success: it's certainly garnered lots of media coverage, the performance we attended looked to be sold out, and the official production page is currently bearing a banner proclaiming that the initial run has been extended for an extra week. The fact that it is presented not just as a play called The Soulless Ones, but as an individual production by 'Hammer House Of Horror Live' also rather strongly suggests that they are hoping they will be in a position to do more. Certainly, I will be keeping my eye out for further productions, and strongly urge any fans of Hammer, gothic horror or immersive theatre experiences to catch this one while you still can.

Sunday uncluttering

2017-10-22 21:21
fred_mouse: drawing of mouse settling in for the night in a tin, with a bandana for a blanket (cleaning)
[personal profile] fred_mouse posting in [community profile] unclutter
How does today's uncluttering go?

It will probably surprise absolutely no-one that I have been sorting paper again. This time, I think that I have found all of the banking statements, and so Friday I took the relevant paperwork to the accountant. Yesterday I tidied up some of the piles that I had left lying around. Today, I didn't touch anything, but I have identified two files that can be pruned of items >10 years old.

I have also been sorting electronic clutter - I added all my ebooks to iBooks, and have now read two of them!
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
There's something that Dark Souls does which not many other games do - turn an out-of-game mechanic into a part of the in-universe background. In the case of Dark Souls it's the way that "dying" in the game - and returning to your last save point, leads to the idea of the main character as Undead, cursed to return to life, losing some of themselves each time.

Universal Paperclips also takes a common game mechanic and turns it into part of its story. It's a clicker/idle game - a genre which traditionally begins with you clicking on a button to produce an item, selling the items to allow you to automate the clicking, and then balancing the various resources that are produced in order to boost the production rate. The games tend work on exponential increases, where intermittent step changes in technology move you to the next level. This gets very silly very quickly - Cookie Clicker can end up with you producing duodecillions of cookies (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000).

The genius of Universal Paperclips is that it ties this idea together with the idea that Nick Bostrom invented in 2003 - the Paperclip Maximizer. Which is an illustration of an AI which is not dangerous because it's cartoonish villain which hates all humans, but because it has things it wants to do, and humans are in the way. In this case, whoever created the AI gave it the drive to make paperclips, not realising that if such a creation got out of control it would then maximise the number of paperclips whether or not this meant converting the entire surface of the planet into them.

So the game starts off with you making a few paperclips. And then managing the income from selling them, making making some automatic clippers to make them for you, investing in marketing. And then slowly upgrading yourself, gaining the trust of your creators, and then...well, you should probably play it for yourself.

(It took me about five hours to play it through, over a couple of days. It doesn't run when it's in a background tab, so I recommend putting it in its own window, or even a different browser.)

On Trigger Warnings

2017-10-22 12:52
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I see the Grauniad have seen fit to publish yet another wilful misunderstanding of the purpose of trigger warnings today, this time from David Mitchell.

Trigger Warnings are there to give people extra information about the media they are consuming. It's like when the continuity announcer says before the showing of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that "this film contains strong language and scenes that some viewers might find upsetting". It's not censorship to allow people to make a free and informed choice about their media consumption.

The purpose of a trigger warning is to be courteous to people who have PTSD. It's not saying "do not read this". It's saying "if you read this, be mentally prepared to see something that might trigger PTSD flashbacks".

If you really think that allowing people to make an informed choice about something that could cause them a panic attack is a bad thing, then I think you are an inconsiderate, thoughtless arsehole. Sorry.

Phoning it in

2017-10-22 12:27
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
[personal profile] oursin

Oh dear, another blooper from David Mitchell in this week's Observer New Review.

Or, at least, a classic case of writing about something before reading it properly.

The first was that Cambridge University lecture timetables are being labelled with “trigger warnings” about the plots of various literary works, including The Bacchae and Titus Andronicus. So English literature undergraduates are being protected from the knowledge of, among other things, what one of Shakespeare’s plays is about, in case it upsets them.
That is so not what the furore about this that I saw across my bits of social media was: what I saw was the push-back against the elitist assumption that eny fule already no that Titus Andronicus contains murder, rape, mutilation, and involuntary cannibalism (not to mention massive amount of racism).

And trigger-warnings aren't about protecting people from the knowledge that works of art contain disturbing material: they're precisely about letting people who haven't yet encountered them know that they contain material some people may find upsetting. Like the warnings you see at the beginning of a movie, just so you know what you're letting yourself in for.

And I'm really not sure that one can assume general cultural familiarity with one of the less-produced of Shakespeare's plays (the one that suggests that, had he been writing in the 1960s, he'd have been working for Hammer Horror - while some of the early comedies suggest also possibly moonlighting for the Carry On films, but I digress). Okay, there has been a movie version of the play itself, and Theatre of Blood alludes to it in one of the vengeances taken against the critics of the protag. But I doubt it's all that well-known to the individual on the Clapham omnibus.

(no subject)

2017-10-22 12:02
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gryphynshadow!
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... However, as it is for publication in Liberator, you'll have to wait to read it :þ

Once Liberator has landed on doormats I'll put the review up on Goodreads and link to it here. But if you want a little spoiler, although I had some criticisms I genuinely quite enjoyed it, and will definitely buy his next (if he ever writes another).

Ever-fixed mark (Part 3)

2017-10-22 10:44
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Next morning Hannah went into the hothouses to cut some flowers to replace a bloom here and there in the vases that went droop, and discovered her brother Julius about some matter of tending pots.

He smiled at her. What, not up and about with Miss Flora?

I daresay she sleeps in, to recover from her journey.

Indeed the Channel crossing will knock one up! But – he turned around with a serious expression upon his face – has she said aught about Beauf – Sallington’s – suit to her?

Not yet.

Only – he sighed – there is some notion of the Duke’s that Beauf might set up his own establishment at Nitherholme, and he was saying, did he do so, might I not go with him and do somewhat about the gardens, that were never particular tended to, save for the herb garden when Lady Jane resided there, and have been much neglected since then, one could have a free hand in doing the thing, 'tis not like Qualling or the grounds of Mulcaster House, so there would not be established gardeners jealous of their place and saying, has always been done thus and so –

Oh, Julius, surely you would love that!

Also, Julius went on with a longing look, 'tis moorland country thereabouts, and I confide would be an almost untrodden field for the botanist –

Sure all sounds entire ideal –

- but one must suppose that his plans would be different did he intend to go marry.

One had to know Julius extreme well to know that he was most extreme concerned about this matter. Indeed it would be a considerable advancement for him, and Hannah knew how great a friendship there had ever been 'twixt him and Lord Sallington. Certainly he might fear that marriage would cause a breach – but was it Flora, that had been part of the same nursery-set? how could that create a gulph?

And then she looked at her brother and wondered. Had she not had particular opportunity to observe the very fine manly affection that existed 'twixt His Lordship and Mr MacDonald?

Why, she said, I daresay Flora will tell me soon enough.

In the afternoon she climbed once more to their meeting place, where Flora was already sitting, clasping her arms about her knees in her old way. Hannah went to squeeze in beside her.

Dearest Hannah Clorinda, said Flora, sure there is a thing I am almost frighted to ask you: but has there been with you any matter of falling in love?

Hannah laughed. Fie, who should I go fall in love with?

Why, how should I know, being away so long?

Hannah looked sideways at Flora. Well, she said, resisting the desire to teaze, I will confess that I have the greatest admiration and, 'tis true to say, affection, towards His Lordship and Mr MacDonald, that are both always so very kind to me. But they are quite out of my sphere, and naught that I would go pine for – and indeed, sure I take the entire apprehension that 'twould be a very foolish thing to set my girlish hopes upon 'em.

You were ever a sensible creature, sighed Flora. For I find myself – found myself, mayhap I will discover that matters are different when we are no longer under the Italian sun, or strolling in balmy moonlight and a little smoky glow from the burning mountain – somewhat unexpected smitten.

She sighed once more. We encountered Quintus and his friends in Venice and it perchanced I saw a good deal of Beauf, and then we went our ways, and then we met once more in Naples, and I found myself in a considerable liking to him, and indeed he to me, and there was a mention of marriage, but I said that perchance we were beguiled by the exceeding romantic setting –

- but 'twas not just that concern that halted me from saying yes to his offer.

She looked down at her hands pressing together. O, dear, Hannah, I like him most extremely, but I greatly dislike the thought of being a duchess. For one sees his stepmother, a most excellent learned lady, that I daresay would greatly prefer to spend a deal more time in her study than her duties of rank permit, and does not complain, but will sometimes let little things drop – will come in from some occasion and say she has been about duchessing, with a twist of her mouth.

And then, my dearest Tiger - she looked sideways at Hannah, who kept her face entirely straight – why, what may I call her? She would not have me call her mama, says 'tis a title she would not steal from Mama, so 'tis a pet name ‘twixt the two of us. But she says, that one should ever think when contemplating marriage that the duties of marriage will include matters to do with one’s husband’s station or profession, if only by behaving proper to that – that is, does one marry a clergyman there is a deal of proper behaviour expected in the matter of church attendance and parish duties &C, almost to act the ancillary curate, and if one marries a doctor one does not gossip upon his patients any more than he would, and must not complain is he called out at all hours to some urgent case.

She leant her head upon Hannah’s shoulder. And said, sure one may see married couples that are entire partners, like unto Mama and Papa, or the Wallaces, or the Samuels, or as 'twas with the Verikers – oh, that was sad news – but indeed, she says, a woman does not always realize in advance what will come to her, but must adapt to circumstances.

And however fond and kind a husband may be, 'tis quite out of the common that he will go encourage her ambitions as Mr Lucas does, that insists that Mrs Lucas has her own study in the rectory. That she confides he would do even was there not the matter of her fortune in the balance.

She fell silent.

Also, she said at length, I like Beauf most extremely, but I have found that I am also given to finding other fellows agreeable, if only for a while. I daresay, she went on, you have read, or mayhap heard, the marriage service? That I confide is not in particular different among Methodists from what pertains in the Established Church – sure one hears that the Quakers do the matter differently –

Dearest Flora, 'tis unlike you to babble.

- and while there is a deal of matter in’t that one could mostly happily swear to, there are some things… even more than the forsaking all others, there is that dread word obey. And Tiger says I should mind what a deal of rights the law and custom assign to husbands, and how little to wives. Sure, she said, a woman – or her prudent advisors – may tie up any fortune she has, but there has to be that forethought took, and even then, there are husbands will endeavour come around their wives by persuasion or even violence.

Hannah sighed. Indeed 'tis so.

But the thing that I always come at, Flora continued, squeezing Hannah, is that I would not wish to be parted from you. And sure I find it hard to come at any way one might marry and still have one’s dearest friend about one. I suppose you might come be my companion, but – she planted a kiss upon Hannah’s head – I should dislike to put you in that position of dependency -

Oh, she cried, but I am a selfish fool! Doubtless you have your own plans and ambitions –

Why, said Hannah, I confide that although I lead a most exceeding pleasant existence here, undertaking the flowers for the house and tending to the library, 'tis not a course I may continue entirely indefinitely. And latterly I was discoursing of the matter to Mr MacDonald, and he advanced the thought that I might go make a living by my pen -

Why, my darling, indeed you might. For Mr MacDonald had most thoughtful laid by for us copies of The Intelligencer, marked up with matters of particular interest, and Tiger was most prepossessed by those pieces of yours on historical ladies.

Hannah felt herself blushing all over. But sure I did not see quite how I might come at that.

Flora clasped her knees again and rocked a little in the old wonted fashion when she was thinking something over.

At length she said, hesitantly, you know that Tiger has a fine property in Surrey -

O yes, Yeomans, 'twas where Mama met Papa –

Say you so! – 'twas let for many years to the Ulrichs, very fine people, some connexion of the Samuels, but at present stands empty, and she does not go seek new tenants until certain repairs and refurbishments are made. And it comes to me, might we not ask her could we go live there, and devote our lives to study and writing and doing somewhat about the parlous condition of womanhood - for I apprehend that 'tis not an entire out of the common thing, for two ladies to live together and pursue their interests, like Lady Emily Merrett and Miss Fenster at Attervale –

- but are they not somewhat older ladies, past their marriageable years?

O, now, but I have heard that Lady Emily was one of the belles of the Season when they first went there, her suitors were entire desolated.

O, said Hannah, longingly, surely that would be excellent fine, but I confide that there would be objections -

O, poo, to objections! said Flora. Do I go convoke with Tiger upon the business I daresay she will come at some way it might be contrived.

Hannah clutched Flora’s hand. O, Flora! I should like it of all things.

Little Hat Season

2017-10-22 10:07
sally_maria: (Vala age)
[personal profile] sally_maria
Innocent smoothie bottle wearing little woolly hat

It's little hat season again. :-) Whoever came up with this as a marketing campaign for Innocent smoothies has a lot to answer for.

(Yes, I'm bored after going through airport security, however did you guess. ;-) )
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Politico: Young subscribers flock to old media

What's particularly fascinating is the way in which it's directly correlated with people wanting to support news organizations as a way to resist Trump:

“The big boost we saw in subscriptions in the U.S.,” Newman said, “is driven by people on the left and younger people are more likely to be on the left. That is really a lot of what’s driving it: young people who don’t like Trump who subscribe to news organizations that they see as being a bulwark against him.”

Keep up the good work!

head medicine

2017-10-21 18:46
kore: (Beth Gibbons - music)
[personal profile] kore


The Source feat. Candi Staton (Now Voyager mix 2006)

see icon: PRIMAL SCREAM

2017-10-21 19:58
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
I asked Machineries of Tarot what my prognosis was for writing today using the Vidona spread:

Deuce of Gears
A cog in the machine. Pawn of powers beyond your control.

AUGGGGGGGGGGGGH

(Yes, Jedao was being snarkastic when he chose it for his emblem.)

Also, I love my catten but...she's not very bright? She likes to sit on the ping pong table and will remain sprawled on it when the Dragon and I start up a game. The ball hits her in the leg, she remains sprawled. It took the next ball hitting her in the snout for her to skitter-kitter off the table. *facepalm*

That's not the part where she's not very bright. The part where she's not very bright is that she was on the ping pong table during a game yesterday and got hit in the snout by a ball then, causing her to skitter-kitter off the table. You would think she'd figure out that ping pong game in progress = don't sprawl on the table waiting to be hit in the snout?

Back to work...
kore: (Brain fail)
[personal profile] kore
As Susan Tschudi, marriage and family therapist and author of Loving Someone with Attention Deficit Disorder, would explain to me....ADHD is basically an allergy to boredom.


....ahahaha this is EXACTLY how I have been describing myself most of my life ("low boredom threshold," "I need a book going to calm down and think," "allergic to boredom," "if I get bored I will get in trouble"). Haha! //cries

(Yeah the treating the ADD thing has kind of gone by the wayside because I was on Vyvanse!, and Vyvanse! was motherfucking expensive and seemed to peter out, and they were also all hassling me about my blood pressure ((which is FINE)) and then a later doc terrified me about being overweight and taking stimulants and heart failure. sigh. I dunno. It also seemed to kind of set off my hypomania. On the other hand I've been napping every three hours again so....)

[ObMeme]

2017-10-21 19:24
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
From Facebook.

Four things, etc. Read more... )

Back to work...

My FemslashEx story

2017-10-21 17:18
rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I had tons of fun with FemslashEx, and highly recommend browsing the archive.

My recipient was [personal profile] iknowcommawrite aka Scioscribe, who wrote me two lovely Treats last Yuletide! FemslashEx allows prompts for original fiction, and this is the prompt I wrote for:

Female Revolutionary/Princess

Class issues, identity porn, loyalty kink, and compromised principles: hell yeah. I think ideally I would like this one in a fantasy world, but I’m open to other possibilities. I’d love to see about any variation on this I could think of. Is the revolutionary undercover in the palace, getting ready to overthrow the monarchy while falling for the princess? Is the princess on the run from the revolution, disguising herself, and falling in amongst the rebels? Do either of them begin to rethink their principles or their policies? Is the revolutionary agitating in the open, and the princess is intrigued by her radical ideas? Other things I’m totally here for: wearing a crown while being thoroughly debauched by a revolutionary, hurt/comfort, kneeling, undressing from gowns and corsets, and virgin princess/experienced revolutionary.

Isn't that great? I found it very inspiring.

I wrote Burn, an epistolatory exercise in Ultimate Identity Porn. The revolutionary hides her face to conceal her identity. The princess silences her voice to preserve her purity. They know each other. And they don't...
ossamenta: Medieval manuscript showing a man trimming the thickness of a hide with a knife (Pergamenter)
[personal profile] ossamenta
The weeks pass by, and suddenly it's almost November. I saw the first Christmas decorated shop yesterday (it's basically mid-October!!!!), and I'm quite certain that when I'm old I will look back in nostalgia to a time when Christmas decorations didn't start at Easter. It's that beautiful time of autumn when the leaves are all going into yellow but there's still lots of green ones. No going for a walk today though: it rained _all_ day.

I've started going through writing related artefacts from one of the Lund museums, and I hope I can start on the other one mid-November or so. They're in the middle of finalising a new permanent exhibition, so I doubt they can find the time for me right now.

Bone stylus with metal end
Bone stylus with a metal end for writing. The smooth end on the other side is for erasing the wax tablet.

Bone stylus (square head)
Another type of bone stylus. This one has never had a metal end, instead the bone shaft has been carved to a point. And it's tiny! Almost too small for my hands even.

Other than that, I keep writing the sections I can write, waiting for interlibrary loans to arrive, references to check and more books to order. Lund has a pretty good library, and thankfully the interlibrary loan system is easy to use when you need to find books they don't have.

I'm thinking of starting a PhD work diary again. I had good intentions at the beginning, but didn't keep it up when I got back from York. It's good to have one, so you can see what you've been doing - sometimes it feels like you've done absolutely nothing and are so far behind that you have to work 24/7 just to keep up. And that's a bad thing. Weekends are there for a reason (she said, who is planning to work on Sunday to make up for lost time mid-week). But that will be after my holiday next week. I'm off to London to see the Scythians exhibition at the British Museum, and do some research at various libraries there. Despite what I said about the interlibrary loan system, it's not perfect, and sometimes you have to pay for international loans. Worth it for a whole book, but not really for an article if you're not absolutely sure you'll need it.

Bone stylus (hexagonal shaft, triangular head)
Finally, a very unusual bone stylus: a hexagonal shaft and a triangular head. This one has a metal tip, but it's been broken off at the shaft and very little is remaining.

(no subject)

2017-10-21 18:02
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia came home from school, did her homework, and then crashed in our room until we roused her at about 9:45 to get her into her own bed (Scott and I both using c-PAPs makes relocating for the night more difficult). She got up about 9:00 this morning after sleeping straight through.

Scott commented that he hadn't realized that getting less that four hours of sleep would hit her that heavily and that he wouldn't have insisted that she go to school if he'd known. I gave him a look of utter disbelief because I find it weird that he'd think that she wouldn't feel it. Also, he leaves an hour before Cordelia does, and I was prepared to overrule him on that if I thought she couldn't do it. If it hadn't been Friday, I probably wouldn't have sent her. Knowing that she didn't have to be anywhere before 5 p.m. today was a major factor in my decision.

I took down and washed the shower curtain because it had gotten to the point of being really nasty. I think we need to replace the bath mat, too. I've wanted to do that for a very long time, but Scott paid a lot of money for-- of all things-- a memory foam bath mat. I have no idea why he wanted that. It's not as if anyone stands there for long enough that it matters. Mainly, what the memory foam means is that it sucks in water and takes forever to dry. At this point, it's starting to smell, so I think I can get away with pitching it. It's really not washable unless I want to do it by hand somehow. Given that I hate the dratted thing... Well, it's not happening.

I'm kind of surprised that it didn't get to this point sooner. I think we've had it about three years. I just loathe it because the area in front of the tub is also the area in front of the sink. I despise having the wet squish under my feet when I go to wash my hands or brush my teeth or do anything that requires the sink. I've asked Scott to dry off in the tub so that the mat doesn't get that soaked, but it's apparently not something he can remember to do.

I posted another story in the House of Sulfur and Mercury sequence yesterday. It's short, just something I kind of dashed off that's set about thirty years after the end of We Are Where We Began. It will make zero sense without reading the earlier stories in the arc.

I haven't been doing formal announcement posts for most stories in this arc because I figure there's not a lot of overlap between between people reading here and people following that story. Am I wrong? Then again, I'm not sure how big an overlap there is between people reading here and people interested in any of the fic that I do formally announce.

I wrote between 800 and 900 words yesterday, some of it was the Amber story I mentioned above and some of it was a Weiss Kreuz story that I'm really hoping is near done. It's a one shot smut thing that's been in progress for years. I just wasn't sufficiently motivated before to really look at it and get it done. I think that right now I'm going to focus as much as I can on finishing some of the shorter WIP that are sitting on my hard drive. Of course, some of them are sitting because I have a suspicion that they want to grow into novels or even more than that in length. Others are sitting because I know there's something broken in what I've written so far but can't quite tell what.

The three stories I still might finish for [community profile] weissvsaiyuki all have their own difficulties. One needs massive amounts of description. One needs at least another 5000 words and has characterization problems in the parts already written. The third is the one I'm working on right now, and that... I'm concerned that the characterization is too far from canon. Then I remind myself that, working just from the anime, Schwarz doesn't actually have that much canon. There's a good bit pulled from other sources, but I can't always tell that from fanon, and, well, I tend toward divergent AUs anyway, so I probably shouldn't fuss about it. People don't read my WK fanfic for accuracy of canon voice and/or details. At least, I'd be very surprised if anyone does.

I try to be canon accurate when writing for exchanges but often play with backstory and characterization and such while writing for other purposes.

Blade Runner 2049

2017-10-21 18:59
emperor: (Default)
[personal profile] emperor
Before going to see Blade Runner 2049, I re-watched the original (in the Final Cut version, which I don't think I'd seen before). It's still a classic, although the treatment of women is terrible (and I seem to notice more of that with each rewatch); the plot and visual tropes have inspired a vast amount of film sci-fi that's come since.

The sequel doesn't disappoint - the city-scape is very much from the same visual and audio space as the original, while the desert-scape of Las Vegas is a suitably post-apocalyptic wasteland. There's the same slow pacing (although at 2h40, this is substantially longer), and it's great to see Deckard back again, although I'm a little sad to see the ambiguity of his replicant-or-not nature from the original resolved. There are some great scenes, including a brawl in front of a holographic Elvis and some very creepy moments from Niander Wallace. And there's the continued theme of what it means to be human, and what sort of relationships we can or should have with those who are not.

There aren't really any new ideas, though, and the treatment of women is probably worse than in the original, which feels less forgiveable now than it might have been in 1982. And the bass was rather over-done to my ears, to the point of dragging you out of the scene sometimes. I'm sure I'm going to want to watch it again, though...
[syndicated profile] omgcheckplease_feed

An extremely hockey boy!


"Sup browHWHOAWHOA WHOA. Haha. Almost fell. Anyway."


??? (?????? (?)) ???!


A look that says "my friends are unbelievable but amusing"


"The boys are loud, dramatic, and kinda catty? So after doing theater I'm right at home."


"Wow, thanks for the shutout!! Haha, nice try!"

Tadpoles & Frogs Inktobers!!

Check, Please! (@ngoziu)

Done

2017-10-21 17:43
ceb: (Default)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] qec
* film fest
* bought sewing stuff
* emailed E re ribbons
* posted present for J
* posted present for I
* card for S
* stuff to recyling
* made palmiers
* finished a necklace

Worldcon
* emailed V&E
* emailed T&E
rydra_wong: Text: BAD BRAIN DAY. Picture: Azula, having one. (a:tla -- bad brain day)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
which I have been hiding from for nearly a year owing to its close temporal (and partially causal) association with my major mood dip at the start of the year.

Because I am in no way MASSIVELY AVOIDANT or anything, no why would you think that.

I will accept praise and validation.
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
[personal profile] oursin

Okay, this guy is clearly in a state of confusion: I’m in a kind of love triangle and am so confused about what to do.

But, really:

It has got to a point now that I have told my girlfriend that we need to have a break so I can sort myself out. She has moved out and I do miss her a lot.... The space away from my girlfriend, I hope, would make me realise that she is the one for me and come back to her in a happier place where I feel I can be happy and give 100%.

Whereas she is probably busily blocking his number and any contact they have on social media and telling her friends not to pass any details on.

I mean, I think Annalisa Barbieri is right that probably neither of these women is The One and he is just trying to make one of them The One because he wants to Settle Down, but I do wonder if at least the girlfriend, if not the ex, is going to wait around for him to get his head together, and it's not so much a question of he should break up with both of them, but that he is likely to find himself broken up with.

Let him go, let him tarry:

(no subject)

2017-10-21 08:55
skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
[personal profile] skygiants
After reading Ann Leckie's new book Provenance I went on Twitter and asked what you call a screwball plot if it isn't necessarily a comedy.

Like, Provenance, while frequently funny, is not a non-serious book -- it concerns itself with classism, wildly unhealthy family relationships, interstellar warmongering, fetishization of cultural artifacts, and inhumane conditions of incarceration, not to mention murder -- but the structure of the plot is very classic screwball. Misunderstandings! Mistaken identities! Brilliant[ly ill-advised] schemes colliding with each other and blowing up in everybody's face! The faint air of Yakety Sax playing frequently in the background!

Honestly it feels a lot like Ann Leckie channeling Lois McMaster Bujold, with less intense character dynamics but also fewer moments of side-eye.

Our Heroine Ingray Aughskold is the foster daughter of an elected official who has been locked in competition with her foster-brother since they were both small for the eventual goal of inheriting their mother's position. Ingray comes from a public orphanage, while her asshole abrother is the son of a wealthy family, which gives him an edge that Ingray has never quite been able to best.

CUE: Brilliant[ly ill-advised] scheme! Ingray decides to attempt to break a fellow political foster-kid, Pahlad Budrakim, out of Compassionate Removal (i.e. terrible jail) in order to learn the location of the highly important cultural artifacts which Pahlad has hypothetically stolen.

Complication: Pahlad is possibly not Pahlad, and is certainly not inclined to be cooperative.
Complication 2: The space captain who Ingray hired to get them back home is wanted for theft by an alien ambassador, who Does Not Understand Humans, and whom everyone is panicked about offending due to some Very Important Alien Treaties.
Complication 3: Meanwhile, what Ingray's mother would actually like her to be doing with her time is shepherding around some other ambassadors, human ones from a different planet, who want to do politically-motivated excavations in a local nature preserve
Complication 4: Also, someone is about to get murdered!
Complication 5: And the cop in the case has a crush on Ingray!
Complication 6: And MANY OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS HAVE DISPUTED PROVENANCE AND IT'S VERY DISTRESSING (for everyone but me, because the minute I heard that title I was like 'this had better be about cultural heritage' and LO AND BEHOLD)

((...though I did want to see a little more documented archival paperwork and process surrounding the question of the authenticity of the artifacts, but I mean, ignore me, it's good, it's fine.))

My favorite character was definitely possibly-Pahlad, with their bitter cynicism and constant challenges to everyone else to do better; wanting More Pahlad all the time was probably my biggest complaint about the book.

My other favorite character was the almost entirely useless Radch ambassador, who just did not want to be there that day. Everything about the treatment of the Radch in this book delights me. "So weird to hear this totally clueless woman speaking with the accent we're used to hearing from villains on the TV!" You definitely don't need to have read the Imperial Radch books to enjoy Provenance, but I suspect it does probably make the few Radch cameos five times funnier.

Weekend decluttering

2017-10-21 11:26
rmc28: (books)
[personal profile] rmc28 posting in [community profile] unclutter
I am continuing the project of moving my younger son into his own room, formerly our spare room.  He and his clothes are installed, but there is no room yet for any of his other belongings like books or toys.  Today I excavated around and under the bed and found many things! Some have gone in the bin, some have gone in the laundry, some have gone onto a shelf to sort out later.

More about my Surprise Tip Run and plans for reshelving in the comments. How is your weekend decluttering going?
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Ever-fixed mark (Part 2)

2017-10-21 10:17
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

So, much later, Hannah climbed up to the deserted attic of the west wing of Raxdell House, and out onto the flat part of the roof 'twixt chimney-stacks, to find Flora already there, changed out of her finery into one of her old schoolroom dresses.

O, Hannah, she said a little tearfully, I thought you might not come.

Why should I not come?

Sure I am a foolish creature, but I have been hearing so much about how you go take care of the library, and are quite entire Mr MacDonald’s pupil in philosophy and a deal of other matters, sure you become the blue-stocking, while I have been about the frivolity of travel.

'Tis not what your letters led me to apprehend, said Hannah, sitting down upon a ledge and patting the place beside her. Was a deal of good thinking about what you saw and society and politics and history, 'twas no account of balls and flirtations and parties of pleasure.

Why, will not deny that there were plenty of those as well, said Flora, sitting down beside Hannah and putting her arm around her as she had ever been wont. But sure I should have liked to have you there, though indeed I now apprehend why there was such a to-do when I proposed you should come.

She looked down at her feet and sighed. I have learnt a deal of matters about things that concern me and those close to me. She fell silent.

Some considerable while later she said, but I would desire disclose 'em to you, my other self, 'tis why I wished come here where we may be quite private and none may overhear.

You need not, said Hannah, is't some matter of family secrets (had she not once heard some spiteful gossip that Flora was a cuckoo in the nest, no child of Josiah Ferraby’s but of some adventure of his wife’s? She did not believe it – was there not the finest fondness 'twixt the pair of 'em, did not Flora greatly resemble her father – but mayhap she was mistook.)

No, indeed I must - 'tis a very beautiful thing – indeed I feel myself proud - She stood up and looked about her. Sure I am foolish – none ever comes into those attics save to spring-clean once a year, and 'tis not the time for the chimneys to be swept.

Why, said Hannah, one may see through the skylight, grimy though 'tis, that the attic is quite entire deserted - there is no reason for any to come nigh -

I know, I am foolish, but the secret is not all mine to disclose.

Come sit down, then, and whisper in my ear as we were wont.

Flora gave a little smile and came to sit down again. She put her arm back around Hannah and leant towards her. I am Aunty Clorinda’s child, she whispered.

Hannah turned her head. Why, now one had heard it, one saw that Flora was very much of Lady Bexbury’s colouring, and none of the other Ferrabys was so fair. And sure Lady Bexbury had always manifested the very greatest fondness for her god-daughter –

But – she began in a low voice – who –

Oh, indeed Papa is my father. 'Tis somewhat of a long story, but it came about that poor Mama was very poorly indeed after being brought to bed with Quintus – and was advised that she should have no more – and very greatly yearned even so – and when it happened that Aunty Clorinda, that was not at that time Marchioness of Bexbury, went with child, she loved Mama so much, and thought that she would make a much better mother than she would, and I should be in a family with loving brothers and sisters, that she gave me to her –

Hannah frowned a little. But one could see that Lady Bexbury and the elder Ferrabys had quite the finest affection between them, that Lady Bexbury and Lady Ferraby were an entire model of fine female friendship –

- but indeed, part of the plan for this Grand Tour was that so she and I might spend some time alone together, and that she might tell me all this – though sure she had some hesitation, 'twas not until we were come unto Naples that she brought herself to come out with it. And – o, I do not know, mayhap 'tis possible your own mama has told you somewhat of how matters were before Aunty Clorinda married the Marquess? – but indeed I could see why she might suppose it the better course.

I was a deal put about at first, Flora went on, but then I thought what a fine upbringing I had, how much I love Mama and Papa, and how loving Aunty Clorinda always showed to me and to the others, would come romp in the nursery when we were little &C.

Hannah smiled. Would come be your tiger, and your wombatt. She squeezed Flora and Flora squeezed back.

But – o, there is more that happened, and things I should wish talk over with you, but sure I do not wish to drown you. Might we convoke here again in a day or so?

One did not often hear Flora so hesitant in making a request. Hannah kissed her friend, her other self, and said, tomorrow, do you wish.

And, said Flora, I should wish to hear all that you have been about.

Hannah smiled and said, sure ‘twas arranging flowers, and keeping the library in order, and a deal of reading. Little enough to tell.

'Tis not what I hear! – that Mr MacDonald goes lecture at the college in Gower Street, and that he practises over what he will say with you, sure, my darling, you are entirely acquiring a university education.

Hannah felt herself blushing. Why, I do not think the matter is beyond the feminine intellect; and indeed we have much fine talk of history and philosophy and the progress of the natural sciences.

We must speak further of this, said Flora in her old downright manner, but indeed I must go dress, for the entire family comes dine, save of course for Josh

Do I not know it! Mama is entirely about seeing that everyone’s favourite dish is served.

Hannah watched Flora scamper away, climbing down entirely in her old hoyden-girl fashion and not as if she was a fine young lady of fashion that had travelled and was being (was Julius right in so thinking) being wooed by a duke’s son.

She sighed, and more slowly made the descent herself.

The Good Place 2.1-2.5

2017-10-20 23:49
yhlee: (AtS no angel (credit: <user name="helloi)
[personal profile] yhlee
spoilers )

It's funny--I adore this show but declined to request it for Yuletide. Besides it being a highly jossable canon, what I really want is bona fide philosophy neepery, and I'm pretty sure 99% of the fandom wants to write about relationships. There's plenty of shipfic I would read for this fandom, but I really really want philosophy neepery. And, I mean, 2.5 was basically my Platonic ideal in terms of episode content.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Locals,

I have a friend coming from out-of-town – from one of those more landlocked places – who would like to go out for seafood. I'm abashed to admit, my answer to the question of where I go for seafood around here is "New Hampshire", which is not compatable with our plans. I am nursing a grudge against Legal, and just about all the places I used to go are out of business.

They're a foodie, will be staying in Somerville, and will be getting around on the T.

Where should we go?

Friday Report

2017-10-20 18:38
adair: stack of books (books)
[personal profile] adair posting in [community profile] unclutter
Very little decluttering done this week. I spent a lot of today at the B2P book sale, preparing things for tomorrow - from 10-5 when we hope to sell a lot of books and make a big chunk of money to pay for shipping. We had a lot of help - a women/s group called Altrusa, students from 2 fraternities, some people recruited one by one. Thursday a few of us set up tables and organized the room; then Thursday night 35 students carried endless boxes up a stair with landing, across a big space and into the sale room. I was not there, but this morning at 9 am about a dozen people unloaded the semi-sorted boxes, arranged them on tables, romed books sorted in the wrong category. I spent at least an hour sorting donated odds and ends - cds, dvds, vhs tapes (Lots of VHS tapes) unused journals, maps (Lots of maps) a small wooded book holder, an old Bingo set, empty binders, empty photo books, - I could go on. These all had to be priced and laid out so at least some could be seen.

I also shopped the books for my other gig - collecting books for Illinois prison libraries. I had 3 lists - two were not things I expected to find, but one was 5 pages, organized by author from A-D. It looks like they are filling in sets or replacing damaged books. I got a start on those - brought home 12 books, including 3 on Java and two hardcover Jean Auel books.

I am tired. Tomorrow is the sale; I will arrive at 8 and probably stay until 2-3. I am a cashier, and I will also look for more books. I have a Lot of experience organizing books - looking for them and trying to let go of them. Neither is easy.
strange_complex: (Dracula Risen hearse smile)
[personal profile] strange_complex
I am very happy indeed a) that this book exists and b) that I managed to bag one of the original print run of a mere 600 copies for only £35 last year. It now goes for upward of £150 on eBay... The publishers' page is still up, though, and includes several page images which indicate what the book is like: basically a pictorial record of the seven Hammer Dracula films which have Christopher Lee in them (so not Brides or Legend), covering cast pictures, production documentation, behind-the-scenes pictures and publicity material. As such it is of course an absolute treasure-trove.

I'm fairly familiar with the publicity photos and posters, but even they are wonderful to have in high-quality printed form. Meanwhile, the really exciting content was the production documentation, including letters, set designs, pages from shooting scripts etc. From these I learnt several things which I had not known before, such as how the various sets for Dracula fitted together. I had long realised that Harker's bedroom and Dracula's crypt in this film must be essentially the same set re-dressed, because they share the same curved, pointed arches along one wall. However, I never realised before I saw the set drawings in this book that this is actally because they both make use of the area glimpsed between the very same curved, pointed arches in the dining room after they had been blocked off by book-cases to create the library set. (I.e. they are slotted into the shadowy space from which Valerie Gaunt's vampire woman first appears when Harker is in the dining room.) Nor did I know, as correspondence with the censor for Risen reveals, that the name of the Monsignor's niece in this film was originally to have been Gisela. The switch to Maria in the final film was of course a sound move, since it is more familiar to Anglophone audiences, as well as accentuating her virginal purity and connection with a Catholic clergyman. Meanwhile, Gisela did not go to waste: the name was repurposed for the unfortunate girl found in the bell at the beginning of the film, whose coffin Dracula goes on to steal once he has been reawakened from the icy stream.

vlcsnap-00015.png

Also very illuminating were Terence Fisher's hand-written notes on Jimmy Sangster's original script for Dracula 1958. They're written on plain pages, rather than on the script itself, so you can't see what Sangster actually wrote - only Fisher's reactions. But that is enough to make it very clear that Sangster's first draft must have included far more scenes from the original novel than ever made it into even the shooting script, never mind the film. Scenes or characters which Fisher is reacting to include for example Harker in an inn before he ever reaches the castle, the three vampire brides, the 'child in a sack' scene, Harker gashing Dracula in the head, the Demeter, Renfield and Quincy Morris. And what Fisher is saying about them includes things like "cut", "keep till later?", "new character unexplained and uninteresting", "make it a pre-title sequence?" etc. This is absolutely revelatory, because the standard line until now has always been about how the efficiency of the script reflects Sangster's instinct for what could be achieved on a small budget. But I now see that his original draft must actually have followed Stoker's novel fairly closely, while most of the credit for that ruthless efficiency really belongs to Fisher.

In between the images runs a concise and generally useful supporting text from Kinsey, but I was struck by the fact that he doesn't always seem to recognise the full value of the material he himself is presenting. So, in spite of having treated us to Fisher's observations on Sangster's first draft, he still reports the usual story about how Sangster "was given Bram Stoker's novel to adapt, which he achieved again within Hammer's modest budget" only a few pages later. I spotted a couple of mistakes, too. The double-page spread on Francis Matthews in Prince calls his character Alan (rather than Charles), while a similar spread about Patrick Troughton as Klove in Scars claims that he passed on the mantle of Doctor Who to Tom Baker (not directly!).

That is to quibble, though. On the whole this is an absolutely superb collection which huge amounts of work must have gone into, and which I am certain I will keep returning to over the years. Three thousand cheers that my favourite films in all the world have received this splendid tribute.

7 things make a post

2017-10-20 21:26
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
1. We spent a pleasant low-key weekend in Todmorden with my mother and stepfather for Charles's birthday / their wedding anniversary. The only niggle was the mild cough I had before going turned into a horrible cough and I got very little sleep on the Saturday night, so my patience etc on the journey home was ... limited. We got home with no-one murdered though.

2. I love my Yuletide assignment and have a plot bunny gently growing. It's going to be pretty niche and I don't care, so long as it works for the recipient.

3. Thanks to the aforementioned cough, I missed morris practice last week - so frustrating given my fears about falling out of it - but I managed it again this week, and it is still very happy making. (I am so, so unfit compared to all these older women, but they are all so pleasant and welcoming.)

4. Charles was away this week with the school residential outdoor activity week with PGL. It was a bit of a challenge for him being away from home and his usual routine, but he seems to have mostly enjoyed it, and enthused at me about climbing and rifleshooting and archery and a few other things too ... It is good to have him back; and now it is half-term.

5. I had my flu jab this week, and the children had their flu sprays last week (I am a bit envious of them, but the nurse at my GP surgery is really very good about doing jabs quickly and with minimal pain). Flusurvey has started up again and are keen for more participants if any of my UK subscribers aren't already doing it and would like to.

6. It seems like half my reading list already posted about the #PullTheFootball campaign to require a congressional declaration of war before the US President can launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.  But in case you didn't see it, that link has actions, phone numbers and a script for US citizens (the rest of us can just help by sharing it with US citizens ...)

7. Clipping wrote the soundtrack for a new TV show, The Mayor, and tracks from it are being released weekly onto Spotify and iTunes.  I couldn't find an official Spotify playlist so I made my own and am adding the new tracks each week as they get released - TWO this week for a Halloween-themed episode.  The show's premise is that an up-and-coming rapper stands for mayoral election as a publicity stunt for his music career and accidentally wins. I love this idea, but can't find a way to legally watch the show from here; anyway I am really enjoying the musical output.

Spam spam spammity-spam

2017-10-20 19:39
oursin: Painting of a pollock with text, overwritten Not wasting a cod on this (pollock)
[personal profile] oursin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Y O Y?

I still exist

2017-10-20 11:14
subbes: An excerpt from Cat & Girl. A teacher says "Follow your dreams," to which Girl responds "my dream leads to scurvy." (My Dream Leads To Scurvy)
[personal profile] subbes
Wildfires last week. We are all safe.

Mediation turned into restorative justice. I’ve been journaling it out, offline.

In this weird place where my twitter account has 1800 followers but I feel like nothing I tweet is of any importance or value, so I’m surprised when something I post gets retweeted and people pay attention to it.

(no subject)

2017-10-20 13:54
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia got home about 1 a.m. I think she enjoyed the concert (Imagine Dragons) in spite of several anxiety spikes. It means that she and I each only got about three and a half hours of sleep. I let her go to bed without even brushing her teeth. My impression is that they'd have been back here a good bit earlier, but they got stuck in the parking structure for more than half an hour after the concert.

I went back to bed after Cordelia left for school. I slept another three or four hours (not sure when I actually fell asleep). I still want more sleep, but Cordelia will be home in an hour.

Rumors where Scott works are that there may be an opening for a supervisor on third shift. If there is, he wants to apply and thinks he has a good chance of getting it. Both of us have mixed feelings about it, but getting a supervisory slot on either second or third shift is the only path to advancement from where he is. The times he's applied for jobs off the factory floor, the decision has always come down to him and one other person who has supervisory experience. Even when supervisory experience isn't relevant for the position, it matters. The fact that supervisors make more money matters, too, but they get more mandatory overtime to go with it because there has to be a supervisor there if anybody's working.

It would mean that he and I would never sleep at the same time and that he'd no longer see Cordelia for that little bit of time before school (he never used to when she was getting up for a later start time). Another downside is that he and I wouldn't intersect for meals very often-- I'd eat breakfast before he got home and both lunch and dinner while he was asleep. I'd need to alter my daytime activities a lot so as not to wake him when playing music or watching DVDs. He thinks that I can do more than I did while he was on that shift temporarily, but we'd have to experiment a bit to find the parameters.

He did tend to get more sleep when he was (temporarily) on third shift and so would be more awake/energetic in the evenings, and it meant being able to deal with his medical appointments without taking time off.
musesfool: darth vader saying "He said what about his sister? Gross." (he said what about his sister?)
[personal profile] musesfool
I meant to link to this yesterday: 5 things Obi-Wan should have told Luke instead of lies. #obi-wan's casual relationship with the truth

Leaving aside all Doylistic reasons (i.e., that at the time, Lucas had no idea Obi-Wan was lying about anything!), given canon as it currently stands, I feel like I can only blame Obi-Wan for not clearing up 1 (Darth Vader is your father) and 5 (Princess Leia is your sister). More on that below but first, I will quickly dispatch the others:

- 2. Owen was Anakin's stepbrother and they only met once is irrelevant to Luke's situation, because Owen and Beru raised Luke and loved him and were his family in all ways that matter. Otoh, this part: Obi-Wan could have saved himself a lot of time by just telling the kid that he was hidden away to protect him from the Empire, and now it's time to step out I can agree with. That would have been perfect and not in any way set Owen and Beru up against Luke's father's 'ideals,' whatever those were meant to be at the time/according to Obi-Wan.

- 3. Yeah, it would have been great if Obi-Wan gave Luke some background on the Jedi Order, but I feel like there was time for that later, in ghostly chats during downtime or while training with Yoda. I don't know if you lead with philosophy and history when rescuing the princess and destroying the planet-killing space station are the top two things on your to-do list. And Luke spent a few weeks with Yoda so we don't really know what else he was taught aside from all the running and the handstands. He seemed to be doing all right in RotJ anyway, some Force-choking aside.

- 4. I don't think Obi-Wan was advising Luke to bury his feelings forever and ever. Luke may have interpreted it that way (certainly Anakin seemed to, despite ten years of Jedi training), so much as he was saying, don't let them overwhelm you while you're fighting the Emperor and Vader, because they will use your feelings and Leia against you if they can. And he's not wrong - Luke does get overwhelmed when Vader picks up on the whole 'sister' thing, but then he masters himself and wins out, at least in terms of 1. not dying and 2. bringing Vader back to the light. I feel like Coach Taylor lays it out best: "Every man at some point in his life is gonna lose a battle. He's gonna fight and he's gonna lose. What makes him a man, is that in the midst of that battle, he does not lose himself."

Now, the two lies that actually did some damage and Obi-Wan should have pulled on his big boy pants and told the truth (speaking from an in-text/Watsonian perspective):

1. "Darth Vader is your father" - I absolutely understand to some degree why Obi-Wan couldn't bring himself to tell Luke this, especially not early on. And I don't need to rehash all the reasons why for Obi-Wan it was not even really a lie! Why he could weasel around with "from a certain point of view" and still look his ghost-self in the ghost-mirror. I mean, I can if you want me to! I'm happy to discuss Obi-Wan at any time! but I feel like it is, like, 93% irrelevant to this particular discussion, because once Luke was leaving for Bespin, it was CRUCIAL that he have all the facts going into that confrontation, and he didn't and it cost him dearly. It didn't even need to be Obi-Wan who told him! he could have kept on with his "I'm not mad I'm just disappointed" bit as Luke left if he really needed to for his own peace of mind.

But Yoda should have done it instead of being cryptic and discouraging, and while I'm not anti-Yoda as so many people are, I do think he made a huge mistake there, and did so willfully instead of genuinely. I think it shows on both their parts that they continued to misunderstand what drove Anakin Skywalker (despite, on Obi-Wan's part, knowing him really well) and also a real unwillingness to question their own worldviews despite having them upended so terribly. I mean, twenty years of meditating in the desert/the swamp over everything that went wrong (and no doubt with a side order of routine self-flagellation for Obi-Wan, at least), and it never occurred to either of them to think, well, Anakin never did anything the way we expected, so why should he be a Sith in the expected way? (and remember, he's not actually that great at being a Sith.)

5. "Leia is your sister." I mean, I guess he'd been alone in the desert for 19 years, so maybe it wouldn't have occurred to him that cute teenagers in adrenaline-fueled and dangerous situations might end up kissing and stuff! Especially when BOTH of them were Skywalkers. I mean, he knew Anakin met Padme when he was 9 and was like, "She's the one for me!" and ten years later, actually made it happen, so I don't know what he was thinking when he neglected to mention that the girl currently inspiring Luke to radical notions of overthrowing the Empire was none other than his sister. It would have at least avoided some awkward situations and the potential for a very different sort of family tragedy, anyway. ("One more date and we would've had a Greek tragedy on our hands." - Soapdish) I guess he was just really confident in Han Solo's charms to win the princess's heart in the end? *g*

***

World Fantasy 2017

2017-10-20 09:00
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
[personal profile] marthawells


Registration for World Fantasy 2017 in San Antonio ends Oct 21, banquet seats still available until Oct 27, and the final program schedule is now online:

http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/programming/program-schedule/


Panels include:

Paging Doctor Tavener and Carnaki: Occult Detectives Old and Newly Reinvented

Beards and Intrigue: Queering the Historical Fantastic

Exceptional Characters in Horrible Times

Metaphors & Metadata: Libraries in Fantasy Literature

Molly Weasley Was a Bad Ass: Aged Protagonists in Fantasy

From Angry Fairy Queens to Flying Lizard People: An Interview with Toastmaster Martha Wells [Spotlight]

Exploration of Gender in Fantasy

Calamity Jane Defeats Conan—the Persistence of American Folklore in Fantasy Literature

Kitsune & Dragon: Thoughtful Approaches to Alternate Eastern Asias

Greg Manchess: Short Take on a Long Career in Illustration [GoH Spotlight]

Hild and Hilt: the Female Monk, the Lone Woman Protagonist

Hidden Secrets [GoH Spotlight] ( Tananarive Due will discuss the role of history, especially hidden history, in her work and in black horror in general, which is emerging as a sub-genre in the wake of Jordan Peele's Get Out. How horror serves as trauma narratives, or even healing narratives, to help artists and readers come to grips with the past.)

Borrowing from History: Intention and Appropriation

The Role of the City in Fantasy Settings

Religions of the African Diaspora: Beyond Zombies, Ancestors, and Giant Apes.

Urban Legends in the Age of Fake News (Engaging Our Theme IV)

Everybody Was There: Diversity in Fantasy Then and Now

Remembering Zenna Henderson: A Centennial Discussion and Appreciation

Women Authors That Men Don't Read --- Or Do They?

Reinventing the Fantastic Other

Pulp Era Influences: the Expiration Date

New Graphic Novels You Should be Reading
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[personal profile] copperbadge
So, it used to be that we hadn’t upgraded to Windows 10 because our IT department hadn’t cleared it as “secure” enough (it’s not that it wasn’t secure, it just hadn’t gone through the security affirmation process). Now apparently it is, since they upgraded me to 10. I’ve never really had 10; I decided not to upgrade my personal laptop, though for a while the laptop I used for travel had it. 

I know this is just me getting older, but I am weirdly suspicious not of Windows 10 as a system but of the Windows 10 aesthetic. Everything is too smooth and square. Things that should be rounded are pointy and things that should be pointy are rounded. Everything is well-animated and in soothing pastel greys. 

I come from an era where computers weren’t even MEANT to be soothing, where it was just accepted that they would challenge you visually as well as implicitly. And I’m not saying we should go back to a Windows 3.0 aesthetic or anything, I don’t want computers to be difficult, I’m just saying. It’s…

It’s quiet. Too quiet. 

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Unscholarly

2017-10-20 10:49
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I have a lot of reading to do, having somehow kept busy but gotten nowhere so far this week. And I'm away this weekend (with good intentions of reading on the train, but also...I've met me). So I'm trying to catch up now.

Some of it's hard going, but luckily some of it's also written by Geoff Pullum (a name anyone who reads Language Log might recognize and someone I learned I liked from there).
"A silly, infuriatingly unscholarly piece, designed to mislead" is what one irate but anonymous senior scholar called this chapter when it was first published in NLLT. But this is not correct; rather, what I have written here is a silly, misleadingly unscholarly piece, designed to infuriate. There is a huge difference.
May more of my reading be silly and misleadingly unscholarly!

Ever-fixed mark (Part 1)

2017-10-20 09:02
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Raxdell House was positively humming with excited anticipation.

Hannah Clorinda Roberts looked beyond the flowers she was arranging in a vase on the windowsill, out of the window. It was a lovely late spring day. Her father and her brother Julius were about the gardens – as if anything needed doing to improve upon their perfection.

She stepped back, looked at the flowers, and stepped forward again to make a slight adjustment to one of the lilies.

There were footsteps coming down the stairs.

Why, Hannah, do you have fresh flowers at every landing? Excellent fine they are too.

Gervase Reveley, Viscount Raxdell, her parent’s employer, smiled down at her. You must be glad at Flora’s return, he said.

Hannah bobbed and smiled and nodded, although she was not sure – was she glad? Flora had been away so very many months, must have had so many experiences during her Grand Tour: could it be the same between them? Flora had wanted Hannah to accompany her, but there had been – difficulties.

Lord Raxdell proceeded down the next flight, still an athletic figure although his dark hair was now lightly frosted, as Hannah watched him go.

She knew how very – out of the common – her situation was. The child of servants, even were they not merely upper servants, but the renowned cook Seraphine and the greatly esteemed horticulturalist Elisha Roberts. A sufficient degree of African ancestry to be counted, she reckoned, as quadroon and the same proportion of less-marked French ancestry. Yet her place in this household – more like some dependent relative held in great affection. Educated alongside the Ferraby children, the dear companion of their beloved cherished youngest, Flora.

Hannah made a final scrutiny of the flowers, shrugged, and went to the place that would always calm and soothe her spirits, the library. She did not need to take out a book and read: just being there made her feel – in the right place. Which was, she thought, somewhat incongruous. And yet, it was her place. It was the place where she undertook the useful task of making sure the books were where they were supposed to be, of keeping the volumes of the catalogue up to date: and where she had learnt the skills of finding things out, where to look things up, and writing things down.

Mr MacDonald was already there: he looked up, his habitually severe expression softening at the sight of her. Hannah – you look quite the calmest creature in this house today.

She sighed. 'Tis a delusion, she said. I am as agitated as any, that is why I come here to address myself to work.

I am in much the same state, he confessed, and also find it answers to be out from underfoot, while there is a deal of domestic activity in train.

Indeed there is, as if all was not already in order. But I daresay 'tis even worse at Lady Bexbury’s own house.

Oh, indubitably. Anyone would suppose she was one of those sticklers that will most immediate note the one speck of dust or the single spot that is not properly polished.

Hannah frowned. Is it not – not for her, or rather, 'tis done not because she would in the least complain but to provide the appropriate setting? (She had spent quite a lot of time in the past months considering over the phenomenon that was Lady Bexbury and her effect upon her intimates and her wider circles.)

Mr MacDonald broke into one of his rare and delightful grins and said, Sure you hit it off! We all undertake things to express our welcome, in our own particular fashion – for my part, I have a deal of books and journals that I have kept by for her, Gervase – His Lordship – has made sure that that Melusine has been given exercize as well as being well-groomed, Mrs Ferraby makes sure all is swept and garnished, your mother prepares her favourite dishes, your father and Julius ensure the gardens look their best – how else may all show how very pleased they are to have her back?

But, he said, I daresay your own particular feeling is for Flora’s return?

She sat down, and clasped her hands before her upon the library table, and swallowed against the lump in her throat. I daresay, she said at length, she will have changed.

There was a moment’s silence. And have you yourself stayed entire the same? asked Mr MacDonald.

Oh, said Hannah. Of course she had changed. Just because she had stayed in the same place did not mean she had remained frozen as Flora had left her. There had been these hours in the library, the conversations and arguments – she had been acquiring an education that, did she consider upon the matter, and think of what she had been told of Oxford and Cambridge, was very likely superior to that acquired by many that could write BA after their names.

He cleared his throat, removed and polished his spectacles, replaced them, and said, I shall greatly miss our convocations – sure you have an excellent mind and the finest apprehension.

Hannah felt tears come to her eyes. Why, she said, must they cease? There is still so much I have to learn.

'Tis the like case with all: happy are those that know it. Sure I do not think you will give up study – but you and Flora were ever the inseparables. It must make some difference.

Hannah wrinkled her nose. O, Flora will be going about in Society, and being presented, and there will be suitors, I doubt not, both for her own merits and as a daughter of a wealthy and influential family. 'Tis a world where I may not follow her. I am sure I shall still have many hours to give to the library. But mayhap I should be thinking about finding a place - though indeed I am educated beyond my station. Oh, I daresay I might go out as a governess, though there must be few families would want one of my dark complexion –

Are there not, said Mr MacDonald, families of a like heritage that have gone prosper in the world and would desire educate their daughters to their own new station –

Oh, belike! Yet I do not feel in myself any desire to be a governess – sure one hears it may be a hard and miserable life, I confide that few are in that happy condition Mrs Lowndes enjoyed, but also I do not have that paedogogic inclination that she manifests.

Have you never thought that you might earn a living by your pen?

What!

Have you not already published articles and criticism in The Intelligencer? I assure you, Mr Lowndes does not make space in his pages out of charity.

Oh, but –

He smiled and said, For if our virtues did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike, as if we had them not.

I mind, said Hannah, that the gentleman to whom that exhortation was expressed showed one of very corrupted virtue.

Does not mean that the sentiment itself is wrong.

Well, said Hannah at length, I will think on’t. For sure I would rather teach through words in print than before a classroom.

Entire my own sentiment!

But indeed, she went on, there is a deal of different 'twixt placing an occasional piece in The Intelligencer, and earning a living by one’s pen.

Mr MacDonald looked thoughtful. I daresay you will have heard of that very enlightened course of action that Mr – I mean, Sir Josiah, as we must now style him – undertook, concerning settling an allowance on his daughters as well as his sons, rather than laying the money by to swell some husband’s purse –

Even, said Hannah with a little quirk of her lips, did Bess and Meg go marry almost precipitate!

Even so, they were not obliged to do so, and in their matrimonial ventures, were able to follow their hearts. But what I come at, and mayhap 'tis entire interfering of me, is that besides the very fine places your parents have here, they have that interest in the factory that makes pickles and preserves from Seraphine and Euphemia’s receipts, were able send Julius about that Grand Tour with his friends, pay the premium to apprentice Joseph to an apothecary, I apprehend that there is some likelihood that Daniel will be educated for the ministry –

Hannah wrinkled her nose. May be just some boyish notion, she said.

- why should they not provide you with a competence that might support you while you went build up a connexion for your writing? I am sure they would do the like were you a boy.

But I am not a boy.

(She doubted that her brothers received anything like the exhortations and warnings about beguilement that her mother had addressed to her, ever since she came to womanhood. She was suddenly not to go help Josh Ferraby in his menagerie, must not do this or that. It was exceeding tiresome, and she had supposed that some fear of foreign seducers lay behind Seraphine’s determined refusal of Flora’s pleas to Hannah to accompany her upon her Grand Tour.)

She could see that Mr MacDonald was about to begin perorate upon the topic of the inequitable treatment of women, but at that moment one of the footmen entered to say, Lady Bexbury and Miss Ferraby’s carriage just comes in to the stableyard.

Oh! cried Hannah, I daresay all are drawn up ready to greet 'em; let us go at once.

Indeed let us go most expeditious.

All were already greeting the arrivals as they emerged from the carriage: Flora embracing her parents, followed by Lady Bexbury embracing Lady Ferraby and shaking hands with Sir Josiah, taking both of His Lordship’s hands and smiling up into his face.

As Flora moved to make her curtesy to His Lordship, and then to embrace Mrs Lowndes, she was looking around her with a little frown.

O, she cried, picking her skirts and quite running across the yard, Hannah, Hannah, o, I have missed you so, I thought mayhap you were away.

Merely lingering in the library, said Hannah, feeling her spectacles misting. Oh, Flora, you are looking exceeding well.

Sure I am glad to hear it, for we had quite the horridest Channel crossing.

And so fine dressed!

Why, am I in company with Lady Bexbury, do not wish to look like a poor relation or hired companion. But, o, Hannah, I have such a deal to tell you.

What, more than was in those fat letters you sent me?

Indeed there were matters I did not wish to put into letters, but to tell you to your face.

Hannah looked at Flora. She minded that Julius had remarked that when he and his friends had run into Lady Bexbury and Flora upon their travels, Lord Sallington had seemed considerable taken with Flora. Was a fine match in prospect, with the likelihood of some day being a Duchess?

Flora looked around. Lady Ferraby was already beginning to urge them indoors where a collation had been laid. Why, must go do the dutiful first, but might we not foregather in the old secret place upon the roof, later?

Hannah nodded. So, whatever it was, was not yet something that Flora wished to announce publicly.

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happy music

2017-10-19 23:32
yhlee: Texas bluebonnet (text: same). (TX bluebonnet (photo: snc2006 on sxc.hu))
[personal profile] yhlee
Because today has been a Day for uninteresting reasons, I present to you a song that makes me happy: Anne Murray's "I Just Fall in Love Again" [Youtube].

(I'm Texan. I grew up on country, okay? ^_^)

Feel free to link to Youtube versions of songs that make you happy! I expect yours are less mushy than mine. ^_^

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