helenkacan: (Default)
[personal profile] helenkacan
So, what's the what? Well, SuM, S and I just had a House Dinner & Movie Night. First, for dinner we had grilled Teriyaki chicken, green beans, roasted 'taters, sliced zucchini. Then we had my bourbon pecan tarts and Hypnotiq for dessert as we watched "Freeheld", based on a true story from last decade of a dying NJ cop who wanted to transfer her pension to her partner (with whom she had a Domestic Partnership). Naturally, the council (a bunch of dicks!) were very sad she was dying, but wouldn't transfer the pension (because they thought gay people were icky, dontchaknow), which would have meant the partner couldn't afford to keep their house (and its memories). Only the cop's work partner supported her; but, at the end, a whole bunch of cops showed up at the town council meeting where they reversed the decision. So, yeah, lots of being all choked up and crying. There's also a documentary, so we'll try to watch that in the next couple of days.

Now, why no pain? Because church-John came a-calling (texting me while I was in the shower ... and he was already parked outside without my knowledge!). After I got dressed, we took my new coat to the cleaners to get my sleeves shortened. When I got back home, I took two pain pills, swallowed down by Coke. Oh, feeling much better.

Anyway, much better than this morning, when I'd woken up at 4:11 a.m. (from the pain lancing through my fingers). So I decided to read and actually finished the book which ended up being horror/crime/mystery/child abuse/sociopathic siblings. Uh ... yeah. So not pleasant, even if it was gripping. After I finished, I returned to reading the engrossing God book by Sawyer. Much saner. I think I'll read a bit more before bed. Then keep my fingers crossed for better sleep, too.

Reading Wednesday

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:47 pm
chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)
[personal profile] chomiji

It seems like I must have read more than I am remembering ... .

Anyway, I finished The Brightest Fell, by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #11), which ends pretty much on a cliffhanger. The Magic McGuffin puts Toby (mostly) back together again, but two characters she cares about very much are seriously traumatized and a slippery opponent has disappeared. Thus it goes when you are the Knight of Lost Words. My sister has suggested that I introduce my 15-year-old niece to these, and I might as well. Certainly they've kept me going for a good long while now.

I'm about three-quarters of the way through Max Gladstone's The Ruin of Angels (his new Craft novel), and I'm enjoying it immensely, despite the fact that the editor seems to have fallen down on the job. Several times, I've had to re-read sentences two or three times to make sense out of them. It's not that Gladstone blew it in any of these cases, according to the rules of grammar, but he wasn't terribly clear, and given that this is a fast-paced thriller, really, the pacing went off. Also, at one point, a character introduced as Marian becomes Miriam for a sentence, and then returns to her original name. Finally, did you know that the past tense of "sweat" (as in, what you do on a hot day, especially if you run) is also "sweat"? I, in fact, did not know that. But Gladstone does, and there's a lot of sweating going on, so I kept tripping over this.

Despite my confusion on these mechanical points, this is an awesome read. There's an extended and thrilling caper involving a Very Cool Train (making me wonder whether Gladstone has been reading Stand Still Stay Silent: see Dalahästen), and about a third of the way in, it occurred to me that all the leads, all the POV characters, and the most significant antagonist are all female, and several of them are also queer.

And Kai and Izza are back, as is Tara Abernathy. \o/

If I remember what I read between Fell and Ruin, I'll let you know.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:04 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

Nothing because I am still in AAAA MUST WRITE BIG BANG mode. I expect this to persist.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Avengers #11, Doctor Strange #25, Generations Ms. Marvel And Ms. Marvel #1, Invincible Iron Man #11, Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #4, Spider-Men II #3, U.S.Avengers #10 )

What I'm Reading Next

Dunno.

9/20/2017 Diablo Foothills State Park

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:02 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
Went out with U, DW, and one other for the first time since early July, starting at 8:30 am. It was overcast with no wind so I went out in a t-shirt, a canvas shirt, and my trusty neckwarmer and was fine. No goddamned warblers nor any migrants save a Pacific-slope flycatcher or possibly two, and here it's the goddamned equinox. Very frustrating. A nice list of residents: )

Experiments in carrying bins )

Reading Wednesday

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:21 pm
brigdh: (Default)
[personal profile] brigdh
The Excursionist by J.D. Sumner. A novel about Jack, a man determined to visit 100 countries before his 35th birthday, all so he can join the Traveler’s Century Club.

Ugh, this book. It’s glaringly self-published, which I do not inherently object to – I'm all for self-publishing! But hire an editor, dude. It’s not typos or grammar mistakes that give it away (the book’s actually remarkably free of those)(which I suppose is damning with faint praise, but I am totally here to damn this book), but a constant stream of contradictions and just... well, odd choices. The one that leapt out to me most strikingly was when the narrator, in describing the Traveler’s Club, sticks the URL right in the middle of the text:
One down and two to go. Now all I had to do was to get to Kilrush and then to Fulgary and I could join the Travelers’ Century Club. See www.travelerscenturyclub.org for further details.

This would maybe even have been not so weird if it had come in the introduction, the first time the reader is told about this goal, or in the endnotes. But no, none of the above. This quote instead comes from the end of chapter ten, when the Traveler’s Club has been mentioned multiple times without needing an URL.

It’s minor, I know, but similar minor annoyances pop up constantly throughout the text. Jack only needs to visit three more countries, so he heads to the (fictional) islands of Placentia, Kilrush and Fulgary. The fact that these are separate countries is the entire point of the book. And yet the flights between them are repeatedly described as "domestic". In addition, it’s implied Placentia and Fulgaryy are still considered UK territories. Granted, other people probably aren’t as fascinated by the debate over what “counts” as a country as much as I happen to be (I blame this game, on which I spend way too much of my free time), but when it’s the central premise of your story, it needs at least a little consideration.

I could forgive all of the above if Jack was a character I enjoyed spending time with. Instead he’s a complete and total asshole. He condescends and mistreats service employees, he shallowly judges fellow tourists, he rates all women by their attractiveness and sulks when they don’t want to sleep with him. Every time he interacted with any other living creature I wanted to punch him.
For example, discussing his job as a stockbroker: Getting a job in the City is like getting a girl. The less interest and enthusiasm you show, the better chance you have.
Describing his ex-wife: I was still paying for my ex-wife’s house. She had taken me for a mug, then a Merc, then a million. I did quite well out of the divorce settlement; I kept most of the back garden and some of the roof tiles. I wouldn’t have minded if I hadn’t come home to find somebody else’s kippers under the grill. I should have twigged when he helped move her stuff out when she ‘just needed some space’. […] And if I said no to her demands, I would get a call saying my daughter was ill or had been invited to a toddler’s party on the day I was supposed to visit. Her other trick was to pretend I had got the dates or the times wrong. It was easier just to give up. People only change in books or in films, not in real life. I stopped seeing my daughter as regularly when my folks told me she had started to call Graham ‘Daddy’.*
Interacting with a flight attendant: ‘Could I please have one of those bottles of fizzy mineral water?’ I said.
‘I am sorry, sir, we are not allowed to give them out.’ She bent down so close to my face I was worried she was going to kiss me.
‘I don’t want to bother you all the time, asking you for water. Can you leave me the bottle; I don’t want to make a nuisance of myself.’
‘I am afraid we can’t do that, sir.’
‘Why?’ I asked.
‘It’s against regulations. I am sorry, sir.’
‘But your in-flight magazine says quite clearly on page twenty-eight, that passengers should make sure they remain hydrated.’
‘I know, sir. I am sorry but they are the regulations.’
‘I am only asking for a bottle of fizzy water. I have spent thousands of pounds flying Business Class with you. I’m thirsty,’ I said.
‘I am sorry, sir. It’s the rules.’
‘The rules… what airline has rules to prevent passengers from drinking water? Why advertise what a great service you provide, if you won’t give water to a thirsty passenger? What’s the point of pouring an eggcup-sized measure of water if I can jug down full glasses of wine? You do this because, as you know, the less weight you carry the less fuel you need, which means lower fuel costs and better profit.’ And with this, the hostess began to take away my empties.


I could have given you more egregious examples, but I chose these because they all occur before page 35. (And the text of the book doesn’t start until page 8!) Now you too have a sense of the density of Jack’s dickishness.

Though I've got to mention one more: at the end of the book, it’s revealed that Jack’s dead girlfriend who disappeared forever, possibly murdered, cheated on him shortly before her death. When Jack finds out this information, he explicitly decides not to go to the police with it, because, hey, it helped him get over her. Your hero, ladies and gentlemen!
I felt better about not being with her but I also wish I hadn’t wasted so much time thinking about her. I still didn’t know how Kay died but I suspect Naz may have had something to do with it. With forearms like Naz, it wouldn’t have been difficult to squeeze the life out of her. But I didn’t actually know what had happened to her. And for the first time, I wasn’t particularly bothered either. Should I go to the police? And tell them what exactly? I decided, rightly or wrongly, to move on.

Ughhhhh, this book, y’all. This book. I got it for free and that was still too much money.

* The daughter never gets a name, appears on screen, or is even mentioned beyond one more passing notice that she exists. I’m definitely convinced Jack is a worthwhile father.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.

Two tech questions

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:44 am
china_shop: Raja from Aladdin saying "What?" (Whut? Raja)
[personal profile] china_shop
1. Has anyone found an easy alternative to Gchat's Available/Busy/Inactive/Offline indicators? Those were my lifeline, and not having them is making me saaaaad.


2. Recently my Dreamwidth pages have stopped defaulting to https, which means sometimes I get a log-in screen instead of the post, and if I get the post, I'm not logged in. I have HTTPS Everywhere for FireFox, and the Dreamwidth HTTPS beta option turned on. What is happening?

It may have started when FireFox updated last, or it might be part of my general computer woes, idk.

Media update

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:36 am
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
Reading
Over the weekend I read Sarah Gailey's novella River of Teeth, an alt-US-history Western with hippos, which I've seen mentioned around the place. It spent a lot of time on character introductions, and the ending felt rather TBC, and I'm not sure I'll read the next one. I think I would have preferred a stand-alone novel to what felt like the first instalment in a longer story, or perhaps I'm just not in the mood for Americana (though it reminded me enough of Richard Brautigan's The Hawkline Monster that I dug that out and may read it sometime soon).

In the meantime, I've started Moon Over Soho, the second Rivers of London book. I read the first some years ago (when I bought my Kindle and went back to occasionally consuming things other than fanfic) and found it too gruesome for my fluffy-fanfic-reading palette, but I've been encouraged to persevere. Not gripped yet, but it's early days.

Kdramas
I just finished Another Oh Hae Young, like, in the last half hour.

Huh. It started promisingly. I liked the convoluted set-up and was intrigued to see how they were going to get Do Kyung out of the enormous hole he'd dug himself into, but in the end... they didn't really bother. Rambling. Spoilers. ) Also, overall, this might be the drama I've watched with the highest alcohol consumption and the worst communication (and that's really saying something, on both counts!). Not one I'll be rewatching or would particularly recommend.

I haven't planned what I'll solo-watch next, but I think it'll be something very different.

Pru and I finished Moonlight Drawn by Clouds yesterday, and next week we're starting Mystery Queen, a Sherlock Holmes AU where Sherlock is a housewife.

J and I have one more week (three episodes) of Goblin to go, and then I suspect it's a Hong sisters drama, either My Girl (which I haven't seen) or Master's Sun (which I have).

My teacher and I are still in the middle of Chief Kim.

Other TV
Parks & Recreation season 5.

Films
We watched Rogue One over the weekend. I think I enjoyed it more this time, having read some fanfic.

Writing
Not a word.

Computer
*weeps*

Politics
Election this weekend. My sister and I nearly went and advance voted yesterday lunchtime, but during the trudge up Featherston St to the polling place, I talked myself out of it on the grounds that if I vote on Saturday, if the outcome initially seems close or unfavourable, I can tell myself they haven't counted my vote yet and it will make all the difference. /dork

Also, I was supposed to go sign-waving this morning (and got up early specially), but the other person cancelled and then the forecasted rain arrived, so I finished Another Oh Hae Young instead.

I am trying SO HARD not to get unhealthily invested in the election outcome; I can't afford to get sick over this. *crosses all my fingers and toes, while still trying to maintain emotional detachment, ha*

Today's Mail, on the Other Hand...

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:38 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
...was Capitol One trying to sell me a credit card. And the Collin Street Bakery trying to sell me a fruitcake, and a men's clothing catalog for my brother.

Wow.

(Not that I have anything against Collin Street Bakery, who do in fact make the world's best fruitcake. But I order my stuff from them online.)

Brash and reckless by aketan (SFW)

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:40 pm
juniperphoenix: Lapis Lazuli (SU: Lapis)
[personal profile] juniperphoenix posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Steven Universe
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Sugilite
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: aketan on DeviantArt

Why this piece is awesome: I love everything about this: the bold colors, the flamelike hair, and the huge attitude. :)

Link: Brash and reckless

Bah, Amazon. Bah, I say.

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:14 pm
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
I love my Kindle Fire. It's really old, like second or third generation, and even though it can sort of surf the web and play videos and such, at heart it's still an e-reader with a color screen, and that's the way I like it.

But as I said, it's really old, and the battery life isn't what it once was, and sometimes it balks at connecting to the internet. So I went to see what might replace it.

While I wasn't paying much attention, Amazon decided the Kindle Fire ought to become the Fire Tablet. At $50, I'm sure it's probably pretty crappy as a tablet, but still fine as an e-reader, I just don't want all the extra crap. I certainly don't want Alexa. And apparently if I want a case with pretty colors, as opposed to black, I have to get their advertising-enabled version.

The e-reader only Kindles have black and white screens, making them useless for comic books. Also, I prefer color for book covers, because when they have good art I want to LOOK at them, damn it.

All of which means I will probably opt to stick with my very old Fire until it finally dies. But I'm going to be bitter about it.
ellenmillion: (Default)
[personal profile] ellenmillion
I have a new toy! I mean tool. I have a new tool!



Yesterday, I took it out on the town with me and I managed to go to the gym*, write 1200 words on my not-a-book, colorize a portrait, answer emails, go shopping*, and cook a roast.*

(*These items may or may not have been facilitated by the new toy tool.)

I flamed out badly on digital painting once before, but this is a whole new level of comfort and portability (my biggest prior complaint was that the separate tablet took a lot of setup and a big work surface, plus I was tethered to my computer...).

I am on a mission! I want to make my Apple Pencil viable, and I need some practice with it. I also want to whittle down my Portrait Adoption gallery a bit. SO! I am offering the DEAL OF A LIFETIME. I will color anything in my gallery - at NO EXTRA COST. That means, you could get a portrait colored to be your character for as little as $5. I'll even make minor tweaks at that time. (Very minor!) Use the site to 'request customization.'

 
$0 / $99.00 0% done!

In other news, we had a windy night, and now it looks like impending winter. Eep.

I will leave you with a list.

~Add a Torn World character
~Answer 10 emails
~Post something at Torn World
~Pizza dough.
~vacuum
~Clean off livingroom table
~2 loads of water - 1 down
~cook sausage
~500 words
~Finish Patreon physical rewards (oh man, they are awesome! And there's still barely time to get them!)
~Coloring book bulk order

Looking Back

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:16 pm
yourlibrarian: Age of Sail on the AO3 (OTH-AO3AgeofSail-stultiloquentia)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) I loved this article in the latest issue of TWC. It seems to me it's right on the money of how this particular approach to fanworks has been both overlooked and what it means that there's been no focus on it.

It also has made me want to re-read my own doctoral thesis for the first time since it was finished. Read more... )

2) Speaking of the TWC article, I hadn't seen this news story quoted before but it was an interesting read. I particularly loved the conclusion that these older fans obsessed with the future were pretty unconnected to the actual future of their fandoms.

2) Thanks to Paula for sending me a tip on this documentary about the NY Public Library system. Hopefully it will come to Netflix or someplace I can see it.

3) Thanks to the free Starz week through Comcast, I watched all of the White Princess. I don't have much to say about it as I think it was a watered down version of the White Queen, which seemed to do more with costuming and production values, as well as writing, than this one. Two things are particularly odd Read more... )

4) I was also able to finish off Black Sails. I think it ended at the right time. Read more... )

Honestly, I'm pretty surprised that this series hasn't gotten way more attention or credit.

5) Speaking of Black Sails, a friend has gotten as enthusiastic (perhaps even more so) about it as I have, and I thought of some pirate-style necklaces I could make for her. Here are some, along with a few others I put together recently. Read more... )
beatrice_otter: Sha're in a blue veil (Shau'ri)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
For those of you who don't know, the Barna research group is a group that focuses on researching religious trends in America.  Although they are very DEFINITELY Christian and doing this for a Christian audience, they are also quite firm in their belief that in order to make good choices people need good, reliable information to base it on.  So they're pretty good about being as fair and accurate as they can in their research practices.

Their newest finding?  That in the last year, public opinion in America has swung quite dramatically in favor of immigration, diversity, and refugees, with most population segments adding at least 10% to their approval.  And practicing Christians who believe the US should welcome refugees more than doubled between 2016 and 2017, which is why there are currently more religious leaders across the board speaking to refugee and immigration issues.  (Evangelicals are the lone holdouts, surprise, surprise.)  For example, the Christian community is pretty much united in opposition to ending or limiting the DREAM program.  Even the Evangelicals agree there.

Unfortunately, the shift doesn't seem to be from racists, nationalists, and other right-wingers changing their minds.  Where the shift seems to be coming from is the people who were undecided a year ago moving towards open-mindedness, tolerance, and compassion.  So it's not that the whole country is moving towards tolerance, it's that the people in the middle are moving leftward on this issue.  Which is good, don't get me wrong!  It just means we've got our work cut out for us to reach out to the Evangelicals and the FOX newsers and all and help them see things in a different light.

(Obviously I'm not talking to people who aren't safe or wouldn't be safe if they tried to reach out, whether psychologically or physically.

The aforementioned medley

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:17 pm
hagar_972: Woman looking away from the camera, smiling (Me)
[personal profile] hagar_972
Under here. )

And trust me when I say that unless something is seriously biochemically wrong or you try real hard, you're probably going to smile.

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:48 am
silveraspen: silver trees against a blue sky background (Default)
[personal profile] silveraspen
Went with [profile] wickedtrue​ and [personal profile] vivien to watch the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural game, which happened to be against the Colorado Avalanche.

Looks like the Golden Knights are going to have a solid team. And it also looks like the Avalanche still have a lot of work to do if they ever want to get back to the glory days of 1995-2001.

[Crossposted to Tumblr.]
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