something like vaguebooking

May. 28th, 2017 12:35 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Sure is nice to have my third "normal" meal stay put instead of fleeing at the earliest opportunity, where normal has meant soft-cooked white rice with homemade chicken broth twice, and rolled oats once, cooked in water with a few raisins tossed in. Read more... )

When I took modern French one summer---all at once, the equivalent of a college year in ten weeks---there were three instructors. The lead instructor spoke Parisian French from her childhood and young adulthood (to be clear, she was lead because of seniority, not regionalism); the middle instructor spoke what she called West African French; the junior instructor spoke with an audible NorAm-anglophone accent but was, as a convert of sorts, the most correct about grammar. They expanded upon our textbook's attempt to acquaint us with Frenches beyond the Parisian inflection of our practice tapes; one day they played Manau's "Mais qui est la belette?" for us. It's a fusion take on a folksong---possibly two? I've forgotten---and has been stuck in my head for much of the week.

Definitely not with a whimper

May. 28th, 2017 11:40 am
monanotlisa: (explore - sga)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
As I've outlined in pictorial form in my Instagram, our last one was, as my wife called it, "a doozy of a day".

In the morning, we did the boat tour around the Na Pali Coast documented earlier -- not pictured is the actual snorkeling session in a reef far away and accessible only by boat because I was, after all, too worried for my smartphone (although I'd brought both a supposedly waterproof case and a supposedly waterproof bag for immersion). The reef was teeming with marine wildlife, including a school of yellow convict tang fish. WE SWAM WITH A SEA TURTLE, TOO, AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. Both the swimming with it, and the turtle itself. It had clearly seen LIFE, y'all: scratches across its shell, scaly skin deeply-lined, and those old old eyes...

In the afternoon, then, we'd booked a helicopter tour of the island. We flew with Captain John Song, who's actually mentioned in our guide book, and his flying was so soft and smooth that I actually didn't have to be hand-holding during the flight. ;) Way to make us feel safe up in the air, sweeping across the whole island of Kaua'i and into the ancient volcano crater of Mount Wai'ale'ale itself! Unforgettable, and a bit of a best-of tour: We'd travelled the whole island by the ten-day mark; hiking in the West, strolling through the gardens of the South, shopping in the East, and doing basically all of the above on our most-beloved North Shore.

I'd be back to Kaua'i any time. That said, and there's no way to not make this a humblebrag -- Kaua'i is the Haiwai'ian island for fit and physically daring folks. I'm not talking about size (we saw super-cute chubby girls hop up and down the hiking trails) or age (some of these elderly HIKER!111! ladies left me in. The. Dust) or having children (the family with three, yes, 3 kids age 1-6 that passed us twice on the Kalalau Trail: chapeau, y'all). I am talking about ability and confidence when it comes to steep heights, slippery slopes, rough seas, shallow reefs to carefully float across, and strong currents that pull at you...sometimes while rain is pelting down at you from above. I enjoyed all of these, greatly, but yeah, that's me and my kind.

OTW Guest Post: Euclase

May. 28th, 2017 01:00 pm
otw_staff: Sarah Loch OTW Communications Staffer (Sarah Loch OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
 Banner by caitie of an OTW-themed guest access lanyard

May's OTW guest Euclase talks fanart, the power of fandom & the importance of community https://goo.gl/Wt2BAJ
aethel: (spock kirk uhura)
[personal profile] aethel
... in 2002

Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture - Henry Jenkins

p18: Fans as rebels; reject bourgeois and elitist theories on "good taste" -- on the separation between canonical literature and mass media; anti-institutional, anti-authoritarian

"Fans seemingly blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, speaking of characters as if they had an existence apart from their textual manifestations..."

Fans are deliberately cast as deluded, crazy, and maladjusted so that their radical interpretations of the aesthetic/literary value of TV and other forms of "low" art can be dismissed

pp21-22: Fans internalize criticism; have difficulty justifying their enjoyment of something considered artistically worthless

p24: "[fans] are also acutely and painfully aware that those fictions do not belong to them and that someone else has the power to do things to those characters that are in direct contradiction to the fans' own cultural interests"

academy, canon, authorial intent --> the "correct" method of reading

p48: "the largely female composition of media fandom reflects a historical split within the science fiction fan community between the traditionally male-dominated literary fans and the newer, more feminine style of media fandom."

media fandom began with Star Trek

examines how texts are inevitably reinterpreted by readers; authors view this as disintegration, but the process makes the world of the text take on an independent reality

p60: academic practices of analyzing literature and TV --> objectivity, distance, detachment
popular viewing practices --> identification, emotional involvement
p61: "bourgeois" analytical theory = masculine
popular = feminine

p116: "Fan criticism is the institutionalization of feminine reading practices just as the dominant mode of academic criticism is the institutionalization of masculine reading practices"
-socially, not biologically determined; women's stories are devalued, so they learn to find their stories in the periphery of masculine narratives

p189 "Slash fiction represents a reaction against the construction of male sexuality on television and in pornography"

p190 "Slash breaks as well with the commodification of pornography, offering erotic images that originate in a social context of intimacy and sharing"

p191: considers only male/male slash --> first and more prevalent, although written by and for women 90%

p194: "In slash, both characters can be equally strong and equally vulnerable, equally dominant and equally submissivie, without either quality being permanently linked to their sexuality or their gender"

p205: slash is social commentary on popular constructions and restrictions on male sexuality; acts like Eve Sedgwick's Between Men, removing the barriers to same-sex desire and making explicit the idea of a continuum between friends and lovers

p214: slash explores and explodes "ways male sexuality gets bound to notions of competition, dominance, and violence"

fan fiction is a form of interpretation and analysis

p234: fan music videos
1. "memory palace, encapsulating a complex narrative within a smaller number of highly iconographic shots"
2. or they can function like essays or fan fic; take suggestive images out of context and edit them to make the subtext more obvious (an admitted relationship or denied one--i.e., Troi and Riker, or Data and Yar)
3. to tell a new story like fan fic

fandom = folk culture

qualities of fandom:
1. "particular mode of reception" - fans watch with undivided attention, are both emotionally invested in and critical of the show
2. interpretation and analysis methods: compare/contrast with real life, look at details for hidden meaning, extrapolate from subtext
3. lobbying the producers and networks for certain plot developments and to get cancelled shows back on the air
p278: "Fandom originates, at least in part, as a response to the relative powerlessness of the consumer in relation to powerful institutions of cultural production and circulation"
4. "cultural production": art, fan fic, music videos, filk
p279: "Once TV characters enter into a broader circulation, intrude into our living rooms, pervade the fabric of our society, they belong to their audience and not simply to the artist who originated them"
5. "alternative social community"

It's furious balancing

May. 28th, 2017 11:15 am
musesfool: tom mcrae lyrics icon (i was born in a summer storm)
[personal profile] musesfool
Hey y'all, did you know there's a Rivers of London novella coming out at the end of June? Or possibly September?
The Furthest Station

There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

Enter PC Peter Grant, junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.

Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog, their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.

Amazon says June 30 but Goodreads says maybe June 30 or maybe September 21. *hands* Either way, I've pre-ordered.

***

(no subject)

May. 28th, 2017 01:16 pm
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] ludy posting in [community profile] nuggan
Verily, pen-lids that look secure but secretly loosen themselves in your bag, bring about a plague of inkstains are an abomination unto Nuggan

So a while back, I made a vow

May. 28th, 2017 04:45 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
I would refuse to see Batman vs. Superman until I had tickets to see a Wonder Woman movie in my hot little hands.

And - guess what? I have those tickets.

So I hunkered down and watched Batman vs. Superman. It was exactly as joyless, miserable, boring, and generally intolerable as I expected - with, of course, the exception of the Wonder Woman bits.

But I did it - and now my appetite is whet for more Wonder Woman!!

Tweezed!

May. 28th, 2017 12:31 am
musyc: Ramses from "Ten Commandments" movie, looking annoyed, captioned "Oh, I am not pleased" (Other: Ramses unpleased)
[personal profile] musyc posting in [community profile] nuggan
A tiny little hair that is still one day away from being long enough to tweeze is an Abomination Unto Nuggan. And also painful.

FMK # 2: Gothics!

May. 27th, 2017 12:22 pm
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. Kill is actually "sudden death" - I read a couple paragraphs or pages, then decide to donate or reshelf (or read) based on that. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them. Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments.

Italics taken from the blurbs. Gothics have the best blurbs.

Poll #18418 FMK # 2: Houses Are Terrifying
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 43


Castle Barebane, by Joan Aiken. A series of lurid murders... a roofless ruin with crumbling battlements... nephew and niece callously abandoned in a slum... a man of mysterious origins and enigmatic habits... dark emanations from London's underworld... Mungo, an old sailor...

View Answers

Fling
21 (50.0%)

Marry
14 (33.3%)

Kill
7 (16.7%)

The Five-Minute Marriage, by Joan Aiken. An imposter has claimed her inheritance... a counterfeit marriage to the principle heir, her cousin... family rivalries festering for generations... a shocking episode of Cartaret family history will be repeated.

View Answers

Fling
24 (60.0%)

Marry
8 (20.0%)

Kill
8 (20.0%)

The Weeping Ash, by Joan Aiken. Sixteen-year-old Fanny Paget, newly married to the odious Captain Paget... in northern India, Scylla and Calormen Paget, twin cousins of the hateful Captain, have begun a seemingly impossible flight for their lives, pursued by a vengeful maharaja... elephant, camel, horse, raft... The writer has used her own two-hundred-year-old house in Sussex, England for the setting.

View Answers

Fling
15 (34.9%)

Marry
14 (32.6%)

Kill
14 (32.6%)

Winterwood, by Dorothy Eden. The moldering elegance of a decaying Venetian palazzo... pursued by memories of the scandalous trial that rocked London society... their daughter, Flora, crippled by a tragic accident... Charlotte's evil scheming... a series of letters in the deceased Lady Tameson's hand

View Answers

Fling
21 (55.3%)

Marry
3 (7.9%)

Kill
14 (36.8%)

The Place of Sapphires, by Florence Engel Randall. A demon-haunted house... two beautiful young sisters... the pain of a recent tragedy... a sinister and hateful force from the past... by the author of Hedgerow.

View Answers

Fling
19 (48.7%)

Marry
7 (17.9%)

Kill
13 (33.3%)

Shadow of the Past, by Daoma Winston. An unseen presence... fled to Devil's Dunes... strange "accidents..." it seemed insane... the threads of the mysterious, menacing net cast over her life... What invisible hand threatened destruction?

View Answers

Fling
13 (36.1%)

Marry
2 (5.6%)

Kill
21 (58.3%)

rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The winner of FMK # 1! Alas, I did not fall madly in love with it, but I did enjoy it. FMK is definitely off to a good start, because God knows how long that book has languished unread on my shelves. I'm pretty sure at least five years and possibly ten. But I'm very glad I finally got to it.

Twelve-year-old Lucy returns to the small English village of Hagworthy, which she hasn’t visited since she was seven. There she stays with her aunt, reconnects with some childhood friends and finds that both she and they have changed, and looks on in growing alarm as the well-meaning but ignorant new vicar resurrects the ancient tradition of the Horn Dance, which is connected to the Wild Hunt.

The premise plus the opening sentences probably tell you everything you need to know about the book:

The train had stopped in a cutting, so steep that Lucy, staring through the window, could see the grassy slopes beyond captured in intense detail only a yard or two away: flowers, insects, patches of vivid red earth. She became intimate with this miniature landscape, alone with it in a sudden silence, and then the train jolted, oozed steam from somewhere beneath, and moved on between shoulders of Somerset hillside.

This is one of my favorite genres which sadly does not seem to exist any more, the subset of British children’s fantasy, usually set in small towns or villages, which focuses on atmosphere, beautiful prose, and capturing delicate moments in time. Character is secondary, plot is tertiary, and there may be very little action (though some have a lot); the magical aspects are often connected to folklore or ancient traditions, and may be subtle or questionable until the end.

You can see all those elements in those two sentences I quoted; the entire subgenre consists of inviting the reader to become intimate with minature landscapes.

This is obviously subjective and debatable, but I think of Alan Garner, Susan Cooper (especially Greenwitch), and Robert Westall as writers with books in this subgenre, but not Diana Wynne Jones. The settings are the sort parodied in Cold Comfort Farm. Hagworthy is full of darkly muttering villagers who kept making me think, “Beware, Robert Poste’s child!”

In The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, Lucy’s parents are divorced, and her mother is now living in another country with a baby brother Lucy has never met. This is mentioned maybe two or three times, very briefly, which is interesting because so many books would make a much bigger deal of it. Lucy returns to Hagworthy for a vacation with her aunt, a botanist.

Of her childhood friends, the two girls have become horse-mad and have nothing in common with Lucy. The boy, Kester, is now a moody misfit teenager, and Lucy, who is also a bit of a moody misfit, becomes friends with him all over again. They wander around the countryside, fossil-hunting and stag-watching, periodically getting in fights over Kester’s refusal to discuss the thing hanging over the story, which is the new vicar’s revival of the Horn Dance to fundraise at a fete. This is very obviously going to awaken the Wild Hunt, and Kester has clearly been mystically targeted as its victim. Though there is a ton of dark muttering about what a bad idea this is, no one does anything about this until nearly the end, when Lucy finally makes first a misfired attempt to stop the Horn Dance, then a successful one to save Kester.

The atmosphere and prose is lovely, and if you like that sort of thing, you will like this book. Even for a book that isn’t really about the plot, the plot had problems. One was the total failure of any adult to even try to do anything sensible ever, for absolutely no reason, until Lucy finally manages to ask the right person the right question. This could have been explained as some magical thing preventing them from acting, but it wasn’t.

The other problem I had was that nothing unpredictable ever happens. Everyone is exactly what they seem: the blacksmith has mystical knowledge, the vicar is an innocent in over his head, the horse-mad girls have nothing in their heads but horses, and so forth. I kept expecting something to be slightly less obvious—for the vicar to know exactly what he’s doing and have a nefarious purpose, for the horse-mad girls to not be as dumb as they seem or to have their horsey skills play a role in saving Kester, for Lucy’s aunt to know more about magic than the blacksmith, etc—but no.

I looked up Penelope Lively. It looks like her famous book is Ghost of Thomas Kempe, which I think I also own.

There’s an album of music based on the book which you can listen to online. It’s by the Heartwood Institute, and is instrumental and atmospheric.

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane posting in [community profile] wiscon
Per today's Momentary Taste of WisCon newsletter - "WisCon is proud to offer live-captioning services — available all weekend long, at request, for (almost) any panel....would you like to have CART for a panel you’re going to attend? Our CART providers will be hanging out in the Green Room (2nd floor) all weekend long. Check with a Green Room volunteer to see if the CART provider is available. Or you can email access@wiscon.net!"

i'll be there in a hurry

May. 27th, 2017 12:15 pm
musesfool: darth vader saying "He said what about his sister? Gross." (he said what about his sister?)
[personal profile] musesfool
This morning I got rid of two shopping bags full of DVDs and CDs that have done nothing but gather dust for years, and also got rid of all the shoes I no longer wear, so that was another trashbag full of stuff that is no longer taking up space. It's small but it's a start, right?

Also, two benadryl and I slept through the night! Progress!

In lieu of having anything interesting to say, here are a couple of links from tumblr that made me laugh out loud:

- Darth Vader is not your 'daddy'

- the scandalous backstory of the new Chargers logo

- this amazing new superhero duo

***

More popcorn

May. 27th, 2017 11:22 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
First, Mother Jones have put together a handy timeline, which they promise to keep updating:

Mother Jones: The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal

And the Guardian have a helpful guide to the multiple different investigations going on:

The investigations swirling around Donald Trump – a short guide

***********

So, lately:

NYT: At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls — from the 16th, which is practically decades ago in our new accelerated reality, but still fun:

Some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers fear leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn.

It’s been widely rumoured/speculated that the White House "significant person of interest" is Jared Kushner:

Vox: It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jared Kushner is part of Trump’s Russia problem

(Via [personal profile] robynbender, this: https://twitter.com/bornmiserable/status/865695064722251776 Once this has been pointed out, it's hard to stop noticing it.)

Raw Story: White House looking at ethics rule to weaken special investigation: sources

The two people this could potentially block investigation into are Kushner and Manafort.

This also suggests it’s Kushner:

NBC News: Jared Kushner Under Scrutiny in Russia Probe, Officials Say

And late on Friday, we enter holy shit territory once more:

WaPo: Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

Cut for length )

Vid: 1985 (Tomorrowland)

May. 27th, 2017 01:11 pm
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
[personal profile] starlady
source: Tomorrowland
audio: Passion Pit, "Lifted Up (1985)"
length: 4:24
stream: on Vimeo
download: 258MB on Dropbox
summary: I won't lie, I knew you'd belong here.

My [community profile] wiscon_vidparty premiere!

Password: tomorrow

1985 from starlady on Vimeo.

I don't watch movies on planes; I'm the creeper who eyeballs your movie while you're watching a movie on planes. I caught enough of this one in flight at one point, though, that I actually watched the rest of it when I couldn't sleep on another flight.

There's no point beating around the bush: Tomorrowland is a compelling movie with bad pacing and execrable politics, but it's also a movie where two girls save the world, one of whom is a robot. (George Clooney helps.) I wanted to make a vid about that part of the movie, less about Brad Bird's weird elitism and despair. The song choice seemed almost too obvious, but on the other hand, I like it.

Weirdly, this is the second vid I've made for Wiscon with a Disney connection, the first being Just a Dream Away. Making this vid also helped me to realize that the movie has already been influential at the level of visuals: Yorktown in Star Trek Beyond, last seen in my [community profile] equinox_exchange vid We Are Who We Are, is almost a carbon copy of the city in this movie, right down to some of the camera angles. I had originally hoped to make this as a Festivids treat, and then November happened. At least I can now go watch the Festivid that did get made for the movie.

One of the things I like about vidding is that it's changed the way I watch movies and it changes the way I think about the sources I vid. Towards the end of making this one I started thinking that they should have cast Casey as not white, which cemented my ambivalence about the entire film. (It wouldn't work, of course, because Brad Bird not so secretly fears the postmodern present, which is why his vision of Tomorrowland is anchored in the late 19thC and the high water mark of the modern, the 1964 World's Fair.) In conclusion, Star Trek does it better. Onward.

Welcome to Books: FMK

May. 26th, 2017 01:08 pm
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
[personal profile] melannen has been culling her bookshelves by playing "Fuck Marry Kill" via poll. In the interests of doing the same, and also getting back to posting more book reviews, I have decided to join her. (I am doing "fling" rather than "fuck" just because my posts get transferred to Goodreads and I don't want EVERY post of mine on there littered with fucks.)

How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. (That could be a very long time.) Kill means I should donate it without attempting to read it. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them.

Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments. For this particular poll, I have never read anything by any of the authors (or if I did, I don't remember it) and except for Hoover and Lively, have never even heard of the authors other than that at some point I apparently thought their book sounded interesting enough to acquire.

Poll #18415 FMK: Vintage YA/children's SFF
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 50


The Spring on the Mountain, by Judy Allen. Three kids have magical, possibly Arthurian adventures on a week in the country.

View Answers

Fling
19 (48.7%)

Marry
10 (25.6%)

Kill
10 (25.6%)

The Lost Star, by H. M. Hoover. A girl who lives on another planet hears an underground cry for help (and finds chubby gray cat centaurs if the cover is accurate)

View Answers

Fling
22 (53.7%)

Marry
13 (31.7%)

Kill
6 (14.6%)

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, by Penelope Lively. Lucy visits her aunt in Hagworthy and is embroiled in the ancient Horn Dance and Wild Hunt.

View Answers

Fling
27 (61.4%)

Marry
6 (13.6%)

Kill
11 (25.0%)

Carabas, by Sophie Masson. Looks like a medieval setting. A shapeshifting girl gets accused of being a witch and runs off with the miller's son.

View Answers

Fling
19 (46.3%)

Marry
12 (29.3%)

Kill
10 (24.4%)

Of Two Minds, by Carol Mates and Perry Nodelman. Princess Lenora can makes what she imagines real; Prince Coren can read minds, but everyone can read his mind. (Ouch!)

View Answers

Fling
22 (52.4%)

Marry
11 (26.2%)

Kill
9 (21.4%)

"You with the Guardian?"

May. 26th, 2017 08:13 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
Here's a thought:

If you disapprove of politicians beating up journalists (or winking at other politicians' beating up journalists) and have some spare cash, one possible action would be to contribute to the Guardian -- whose journalist, Ben Jacobs, got beaten up.

There are various options for becoming a member and paying a regular subscription, but you can also make a one-off contribution.

Although they're a British newspaper, their coverage of US issues is very very strong.

They would like to note (in an e-mail sent out to members) that they recently ran pieces including GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies and Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana's 'white man's country' – video:

In that interview, the Guardian's west coast bureau chief, Paul Lewis, challenged Gianforte over his support of Trump's executive order that threatens more than two dozen national monuments in America, including the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.

"You with the Guardian?"

May. 26th, 2017 08:10 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(X-posting to [community profile] thisfinecrew.)

Here's a thought:

If you disapprove of politicians beating up journalists (or winking at other politicians' beating up journalists) and have some spare cash, one possible action would be to contribute to the Guardian -- whose journalist, Ben Jacobs, got beaten up.

There are various options for becoming a member and paying a regular subscription, but you can also make a one-off contribution.

Although they're a British newspaper, their coverage of US issues is very very strong.

They would like to note (in an e-mail sent out to members) that they recently ran pieces including GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies and Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana's 'white man's country' – video:

In that interview, the Guardian's west coast bureau chief, Paul Lewis, challenged Gianforte over his support of Trump's executive order that threatens more than two dozen national monuments in America, including the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.

who does it better than we do?

May. 26th, 2017 02:30 pm
musesfool: Robin and Starfire (Teen Titans animated) (a star between our hands)
[personal profile] musesfool
Generally speaking, I either am totally overprepared for something because I'm freaking out about every little detail, or I completely leave it to the last minute/do it by the seat of my pants, with very little in between, so since I am bound and determined to not fuck up this co-op application process, today I have:

1. gotten a letter from my employer verifying my employment and salary
2. lined up the recommendation letters from people who are not related to me
3. filled out as much of the purchasing application as I can at this moment (since it's been EIGHT YEARS, I had to google to see if any of my old bosses from Big Evol MegaCorp were still there and at least one is - he can direct them to HR to verify my employment if necessary)
4. freaked out a little about my previous landlord, as he is dead and therefore cannot be contacted! But the lawyer was like, there's nothing you can do about that, just put that he is deceased. I mean, I haven't lived there in 15 years so I don't know what the point is anyway, but it's required. *hands*
5. left a voicemail with my current management company asking for a letter verifying my tenancy - I'm afraid this is going to be like pulling teeth and will never happen and will spike all my plans, but dammit, they are professionals and should at least respond on Tuesday (I didn't expect to hear anything back today since it's the Friday before a 3 day weekend).
6. e-signed several documents which all have to be updated since there were typos in the address of the place I'm buying. (The typo was perpetrated by the seller's lawyer, which doesn't fill me with confidence, I must say.)

I'm sorry this is all househunt17! all the time! at the moment. It's basically all I am thinking about, except when I am thinking about how to get Lucy and Wyatt to have sex, and aside from like 3 of you, I doubt anyone is much more interested in that than this, though that might be a little more fun.

At least it is a 3 day weekend and summer Fridays start today! I'm meeting L for celebratory drinks later, and my sister is having a BBQ on Sunday (well, it might be an indoor party if the weather doesn't cooperate, but it'll be fun either way), and my oldest and youngest nieces will be celebrating their birthdays, so it's all good.

***

Out of curiosity

May. 26th, 2017 01:08 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
What happens if the new Republican rep for Montana is now convicted of assault?

He appears to have "declined" a further interview requested by local law enforcement (which, much like "declining" a subpoena, is one of those things I didn't know you could do).

But he's apologized (or "apologized") for having "made a mistake".

(A "mistake" that allegedly involved grabbing someone by the neck with both hands, body-slamming them to the floor, then repeatedly punching them.)

Paul Ryan (displaying all the guts and principle we have come to expect from him) took the bold stand of saying Gianforte should apologize. Other Republicans seem to feel that Ben Jacobs should apologize for having wickedly provoked Gianforte to attack him by being a liberal journalist in public.

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 07:38 am
colorblue: (Default)
[personal profile] colorblue
Someone who physically assaulted a reporter for asking uncomfortable questions about policy just got elected to Congress by a margin of 6 points.

05/24/17 PHD comic: 'The trick'

May. 26th, 2017 02:28 am
[syndicated profile] phd_comics_feed
Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
www.phdcomics.com
Click on the title below to read the comic
title: "The trick" - originally published 5/24/2017

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Migration!

May. 26th, 2017 12:55 am
finch: (Default)
[personal profile] finch posting in [community profile] bujo
I like to change books at month-end when I know I'm not going to get through the next month in my current book. I pretty reliably can fit three months in a pocket Leuchtturm.

Since I'm thinking about migration, I'm curious if other people have a process for it, and how you decide what to bring over?

Part of my process is the "closing up" of the old book by typing up anything that's left to need moved to Evernote, like story or poem notes, blog post ideas, that kind of thing. I gather up all of my outstanding to-dos for the first Master List in the new journal, and then move over the current month's bill calendar. If I have any ongoing projects, I might copy over relevant information, but very little actually moves.

I get the impression from youtube that this is a fairly basic process compared to how some people handle it. ;) What are your thoughts?
musesfool: girl with flowers (the sweetest thing)
[personal profile] musesfool
So after a committee meeting first thing this morning at work, I schlepped out to the island to meet with the mortgage broker and the lawyer and sign a bunch of documents (so many documents) and write a shockingly large check (and yet not the largest, if this thing is a go). Then he went through the basic steps of the process with me so that I know what's coming (and what's coming is a lot more of the same re: signing documents, also collecting documents and making copies of them, and then after that, writing more checks, but that's not until I have the actual loan commitment, which will hopefully be soon or at least within the time allotted) and then if they approve that, the dreaded board interview. None of which I am particularly looking forward to, but hopefully I sail through with flying colors instead of getting somehow derailed by picayune bullshit, which I've also heard can happen.

We overnighted the documents to the seller's attorney, so hopefully sometime next week the listing will show as "in contract" rather than "active" (if it continues to appear at all online).

Now I am going to eat my face off, since I haven't eaten since 10 am, and then maybe try to sleep. I remembered that I had an icepack in the freezer last night, so during my now-usual 3 am - 5 am sojourn, I strapped that onto my calf where two of the bug bites are, and it helped immensely with the itching. Eventually they'll go away and I'll be able to sleep again. Just have to stand the itching until then. Sigh.

***
executrix: (vote)
[personal profile] executrix posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
Indivisible Guide is holding a Facebook Live event tonight at 8:30 pm (eastern), covering the CBO score and other TrumpCare issues, Russia, and "how you can hold your members of Congress accountable this recess." The message also has info. about the June 3 March for Truth in over 100 cities--the cutline is "for transparency, for democracy, for truth."

https://www.facebook.com/indivisibleguide/photos/a.198948293902381.1073741828.197760674021143/268390363624840/?type=3

ETA: This just in--en banc 4th Circuit voted 10-3 to affirm the nationwide preliminary injunction against the Muslim ban. The decision describes the ban as using "vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination."

Safe Haven

May. 25th, 2017 11:55 am
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

Over the past few months I worked my way through the five seasons of the TV show Haven. In its core structure, it’s basically Yet Another Procedural: each week there’s a mystery, the heroes investigate, the mystery is solved by the end of the episode. But the premise of this one is speculative — an FBI agent discovers weird things going on in a small Maine town — and spec-fic shows usually pair their procedural-ness with at least some degree of metaplot, which I find myself really craving these days. So I figured I would give it a shot.

And for the most part, the structure is indeed conventional. Weird Thing Happens. Audrey Parker (the FBI agent) and Nathan Wuornos (the local cop) investigate. The problem is inevitably being caused by the Troubles, a set of supernatural afflictions that plague many residents of Haven. Our heroes find the Troubled person responsible —

— and then they help that person.

I mean, every so often they do have to arrest somebody or it even ends in death. But overwhelmingly, the focus is on solving the Troubles, not punishing them. In many cases, the person responsible doesn’t realize they’re the source of that week’s weird thing; when they do know, they’re often terrified and unable to stop their Trouble from hurting people. These supernatural abilities trigger because of emotional stimuli, so week after week, you watch Audrey untangle the threads of someone’s psychology until she figures out that they need to accept the fact that a loved one is gone or reconcile with an estranged friend or admit the secret that’s eating away at them, and when they do, their Trouble lets go.

It is amazingly refreshing, after all the procedural shows I’ve seen that involve people with guns using those guns to solve their problems. (There’s a key moment late in the series when the entire Haven PD gets sent out to manage a big outburst of Troubles, and they literally get a speech from the police chief about how the people causing problems aren’t the enemy and need to be helped, not beaten down.) In fact, it’s so refreshing that I was willing to forgive the show’s other flaws. The scripts are often no better than okay, and for the first four seasons the characters are remarkably incurious about the metaplot: they accept that the Troubles show up every twenty-seven years, Audrey is somehow connected to them, etc, but it takes them forever to get around to asking why, much less making a serious effort to find the answers. (In the fifth season the show dives headfirst into the metaplot, and the results are less than satisfying.) Furthermore, if you’re looking for characters of color, you basically won’t find them here. Haven does a pretty poor job in general with secondary characters, often getting rid of them after one season; I can only think of two people who get added to the cast after the first episode that stick around instead of getting booted out of the plot.

But the character dynamics are pretty engaging, some of the episodes have a pretty clever premise . . . and it’s a show about helping people. About resolving problems through addressing their underlying causes. About how, if somebody has a Trouble but they’ve figured out ways to manage it without hurting anybody, you clap them on the back and move on to someone who’s having more difficulty. There’s a good-hearted quality to the show’s basic concept that kept me interested even when I could have been watching something with better dialogue but less compassion.

More compassion, please. We need it.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Insomniac City

May. 25th, 2017 04:48 pm
raven: subway sign in black and white, text: "Times Square / 42 Street station" (stock - times square)
[personal profile] raven
I'm reading Insomniac City, the Bill Hayes memoir about life in New York with his partner, the neurologist Oliver Sacks. After I reread Awakenings a while ago, [personal profile] happydork directed me to this lovely excerpt in the Observer, and then [personal profile] soupytwist gave me the book with the note that "it's like you would write, only if you were a gay man in New York".

I am not a gay man in New York but I see the resemblance:

"Worse, really, was the L, which I'd take home from Oliver's on the West Side. Not the train itself, which was fast and frequent, but what it represented. In that direction, the L is packed with people on their way to Brooklyn, whether going home or out partying. They always seemed hip and gay (in the original sense of the word) and young, whereas I felt like an old man being taken away from where he really wanted to be.

I feel guilty now that I projected my unhappiness on the subways. The L, and the 4/5? They did right by me, getting me home and to work on time and safely, and each brought its share of discoveries."


Hayes loves cities, the anomie and connection of them, and also the way they hold their own microcosm in mass transit. (He says, mass transit, and I think: golden age SF, that magic gilded modernity. When people say public transport I think of quiet country stations and Yes, I remember Adlestrop. Different, but the same human topology.) And it's a beautiful, beautiful book. Textured by grief, but full of defiance, a willingness to see beautiful things. I think I see queerness in that, the theoretical version? The notion that queerness is some vanguard avant-garde, so we approach it through anti-capitalism and rejecting the sexual status quo, but it advances beyond us, so we are never truly queer. I'm not sure if I could uncritically subscribe to queer theory, or even critically understand it - my mind and/or education never feel like they're up to it - but this I like: that it is queer to reject the mainstream pessimism of the left. You queer the text by daring to find some reason not to give up and die.

And then of course it's a straightforwardly queer book, too. A queer writer, a queer life, a queer city, set out in bitesize vignettes and photography. Everything in it is something Hayes has noticed, something he's chosen to notice, about Sacks and about New York: a smokestack, a fisherman on the subway, a conversation with a stranger waiting for a moving truck, an army of skateboarders on Fourth Avenue. I have been unmedicated for two weeks now and settled to a scratchy, dimmed, distractible baseline. Everyone - GP and therapist and friends - says, one day at a time, rather than rage against the light; which for me doesn't come easily. But I happen to be reading this book as London shifts to summer, which isn't right, because London isn't New York. You don't buy air conditioners in London, or wait until next time for the favourite outfit. I always think it's like a kid playing dress up - look at us, constitutionally raincoated, looking for the window keys, in the dresses we never wear, with the little self-conscious bottles of water on the Tube. It's twenty-six degrees today but it might not be ever again. Some of my colleagues have dug out salwar kameez; a girl I know wore a paisley hijab and tried to put her face in a frappuccino. Meds withdrawal has dialled my hypersensitivity up to eleven but there's something in noticing every small sensory thing: passing perfume, a girl humming, with two different decorated Converse and a Wonder Woman t-shirt; the scent of rotting rubbish (which - I'm sorry - takes me to New York again, the Lower East Side when I lived upstate, and last summer - Hamilton, Pride, and gelato). You may as well notice these things whether or not the world is burning. You might as well live. Also from Insomniac City:

"I once said to someone that one doesn't come to New York for beauty.

I said that's what Paris, or Iceland, is for.

I said one comes to New York to live in New York, with all its noise and trash and rats in the subway and taxicabs stuck in crosstown traffic jams.

I didn't know what the hell I was talking about.

If there could be a chip implemented to track one's vocabulary, as miles logged are counted with those fitness bands people go around wearing, I'm sure
beautiful would be in my top-ten most-used words. I am always saying that that's beautiful or this is beautiful. The thing is, beauty comes in unbeautiful ways here."

Last week in post next week; also, an intake appointment for psychiatric care; and my departmental privilege day. Not sure if I can write on it, or at all. But we shall see.

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