where whining happens

Jul. 30th, 2015 09:05 pm
roga: (dcu: tim *facepalm*)
[personal profile] roga
So today included:

a) a car accident - I'm unhurt, but was the front car in a four car pile up (caused by the last car, who collided with the car in front of him and pushed the other three cars into each other). After an hour in the (oh god HOT) sun talking to the other drivers and the police, I was of course late to work. My car's a little bruised and unfortunately I will be spending tomorrow at the shop, FUN.

b) a meeting with HR to discuss my future in the company - nothing is decided, I've basically asked them to let me know whenever a different position becomes available since so say I'm stagnating is an understatement. It wasn't a bad conversation, nor a good one, but coming in was stressful.

c) spending about 5% of my time on work and 95% helping the new guys and dealing with other people's tasks, because I'm not only the one with the most experience at the moment but nearly the only one with experience, now that a whole bunch of people are abroad.

d) therefore am still at the office now, at 9PM on a Thursday, so that's fun

e) in the outside world that is not me-centric, a man stabbed six people at the Pride Parade in Jerusalem, so my mood is even less improved

Bottom line: today was really, really not a good day.

GOOD THINGS ABOUT TODAY include:

a) I wore a dress to work and enjoyed it a lot
b) the day began with a hockey fic that I was really looking forward to being posted, and it did not disappoint
c) obviously, important to keep in mind, my health
d) also I had a good veggie-burger? My surprising discovery as of very recently is that a lot of veggie burgers are actually really good, esp with mushroom and onions toppings, who knew.

Tonight I will (at some point) get home, finish reading the SGA fic, and do some more London planning. Since last time it was accidentally under a cut, whoops, have yet another reminder that I'll be in London in three weeks and would love to see any of you there!

goodbye productivity

Jul. 30th, 2015 07:08 pm
marina: (stand alone)
[personal profile] marina
I have been swallowed up by a blog as though it was a novel. In a way I'm happy - I've been really stressed about original writing lately, and couldn't find a TV show or a fic to take my mind off, and here suddenly, 6 years worth of blog posts I simply can't put down.

The blog is What Now?: A Candid Account Of My Experience With Foster/Adopting A Teenager in Los Angeles. It's written by a woman who, along with her husband, decided to adopt an older teenager from the foster care system (so, basically a lot like The Fosters minus the lesbians). The blog starts when she first enters the system, in 2008, through meeting and adopting her son (and then adopting his brother), and was last updated this May. Her eldest son is now 21.

I... can't really explain why I love this blog so much - it's certainly well written, but I've been reading it with the urgency and addiction of really, really excellent fic - except that, you all know my weakness for narratives about psychology and troubled teenagers, and well. There's so, so, so much packed into this blog, it's so honest and so introspective. It's teenagers getting over substance abuse and trauma and PTSD and sexual abuse and complicated relationships with their biological relatives mediated by extreme poverty and drug addiction. It's the author, who, while she enters this with her eyes open and relatively well prepared, slowly undergoes a process of... if not relinquishing her privilege then slowly having her world view shifted as she understands realities middle class white women like her don't get to experience.

I'm currently up to the point where her eldest son is nearing 18 (yes, I've read every entry because I CANNOT QUIT READING THIS BLOG), and over the course of seeing her son's life disrupted over and over and over again, at extremely high cost (imagine putting a kid who's trying to kick drugs and has a host of mental disorders in an overcrowded jail for a week for no reason), largely due to systemic racism, her understanding of right and wrong, her faith of the overall justice and balance of the criminal system, slowly waivers. She says at one point that she and her husband have trouble reconciling their son's petty crime habit - theft, mostly - while they have no fundamental, moral qualms about his drinking or drug use - because they grew up seeing the issue as very clear cut. Over time her perception, her understanding of the appeal of petty crime to marginalized teenagers, changes.

It's also very clear, at the point where I'm at, that her son was headed for the school-to-prison pipeline, and if it hadn't been for his adoptive parents would have quickly ended up in jail. Despite living with his white, middle class parents for years, he's still arrested in an exaggerated, humiliating way, taken to prison, denied medication for days, sentenced to house arrest for a month and not provided with legal counsel, despite having clear-cut, irrefutable evidence, provided to the system within days of his arrest, that he couldn't have committed the crime he's charged with.

I found particularly striking the odd trajectory that emerges over the years - this boy becomes slowly ever more hopeful, optimistic, joyful, as every time the system or his demons knock him down, his parents are there to help him get up again. When terrible things befall him his parents are shocked to find him in much better spirits than they expect, where despair is replaced by hopefulness and cheer, because each time they come for him, and that signifies a fundamental improvement in his relationship with the universe.

The parents, on the other hand, go from optimistic, hopeful and trusting of the system (even after the hellish bureaucracy of Children's Services reveals itself) to ever more cynical and jaded. This is a journey down for them, on the scale of privilege. They're exposed first-hand (despite knowing all this in theory beforehand) to what being poor and Black means in their country/city, and the realizations take their toll. It's just sort of amazing to me, when you realize a few years, their son has become a kind of guide for them, who tells them to cheer up every time he ends up in custody or booted out of somewhere for purely racist reasons. He doesn't really understand why they're so upset by the simple facts of life.

It's impossible to summarize what I love about this blog - partially because I'm barely half done reading it - because there's just so much. I mean, I binge watched World's Strictest Parents, I think you get the picture. I think it's also interesting that when reading, I saw some of myself and a lot of the people I grew up with in the traumatized teenager, and I liked the author (or wouldn't have kept up with the blog), but the moment I had the strongest reaction to was probably when he has his first serious breakdown, a real, complete crisis, and the parents manage to call in an emergency team of psychiatrists to evaluate him/help resolve the situation.

spoilers )

Scanlations: Yasha ch. 33

Jul. 30th, 2015 09:28 am
torachan: sei and rin from yasha (yasha)
[personal profile] torachan


Title: Yasha
Author: Yoshida Akimi
Publisher: Flower Comics
Genre: Shoujo
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Molly
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Twelve-year-old Sei lives a normal, quiet life on a small island in Okinawa until one day a strange man who seems to know his mother shows up and tries to kidnap him. After that, nothing is normal or quiet in this sci-fi thriller from the author of Banana Fish.

Chapter Summary: Despite doing everything he can for the infected, Sei is at his wits' end. Nothing he tries seems to work, and they've already lost one patient. Then in a flash of inspiration, he comes up with a risky new idea...


Chapter 33

(no subject)

Jul. 30th, 2015 11:16 am
marthawells: (Default)
[personal profile] marthawells
Thanks for the great comments on the new book sale, everybody! (If you missed it, the publisher's announcement is here.)

More info that was on Twitter but not here:

* The first book, The Edge of Worlds: A Novel of the Raksura, will be out in hardcover in April 2016.

* It's already written and turned in.

* The cover is by Yukari Masuike, whose work you can see here. I've seen the art but can't show it yet, argh.

* It will also be out in ebook and hopefully audiobook. I'll post about that once I know for sure.

* The hardcover is already up for preorder on Amazon US, Powell's, Barnes and Noble, Chapters Indigo, Mysterious Galaxy, Books-a-Million, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon France, and all the other Amazons. (If you have trouble finding it, use the ISBN 9781597808439.) Order it locally in the US from an independent bookseller through Indiebound

I can haz jewelry

Jul. 30th, 2015 08:03 am
lunabee34: (thanks by ponders_life)
[personal profile] lunabee34
My friend Cindy made me a lovely necklace and bracelet set. It's so delicate and dainty, and it looks expeeeeeeensive. Thank you so much, sweetie. I'm blown away by your generosity.

Y'all should really check out her Etsy store. Lots of beautiful things there.

Daily Happiness

Jul. 30th, 2015 01:18 am
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I got everything done at work that I needed to do, so while I will go in tomorrow to see the people who are coming by who I need to see, I don't actually have any other work to do and can just go home as soon as that's done.

2. They changed the time of when these people are coming from "afternoon" to 10am, which...bleh. But at least it means I still get to sleep in, and I'm not going to rush to be there exactly at ten because chances are with traffic they're not going to be there until 10.30ish or later anyway, so...

3. Two nights ago Molly's right eye was swollen and leaky and I was worried she had an eye infection, but since it wasn't something urgent, rather than take her to the 24-hour animal hospital, we just decided Carla would walk her over to the vet down the street the next morning. Well, by the next morning her eye was way better, so we decided to just wait and see, and now it seems fine. So now I'm thinking maybe she just got something in her eye that irritated it, as that was the day she got up on the high bookshelf, which is very very dusty (it's too high for me to reach without a ladder, so it never gets dusted). Either way, I'm glad it ended up not being something serious and glad to not have anymore vet bills.
seperis: (Default)
[personal profile] seperis
Start Menu is back!!!!!

(I am not to customizing anything yet, so very quick warning report.)

The following problems I had that could occur (Windows 8.1 upgrade):
1.) Qualcomm drivers/wi-fi - you may need to reinstall them after if you lose wifi. No, no one seems to know why (well Alienware tech support didn't). If you're under warranty, get tech support to do it and save yourself some stress.
2.) Nvidia drivers might not work. I didn't have this problem, but I've seen it mentioned and upgraded min before install and then uninstalled and reinstalled them after when I had the below problem, just in case.
3.) In Windows 8/8.1, if you downloaded the program Aero Glass, which mimicked Windows 7 Aero Glass in Windows 8/8.1, UNINSTALL IT FIRST.

In case anyone is googling, entering here the symptoms: after upgrading to Windows 10, splash screen displays and starts to flash to grey every three seconds. It continues through trying to login and eventually the screen freezes but not the pointer or touchscreen. It's weird. UNINSTALL AERO GLASS. It solves everything.

If you are already having this issue, do the following:
1.) When you hit the splash, get to the login as fast as you can before the freeze (you have about 10 to 30 seconds).
2.) On the login page, the restart is on the bottom-right; click on shift and hit restart.
3.) You're at a new page. Select Advanced, and in the right column of options that I can't remember the name of is one that lets you get to a screen that has different options for restarting. Just click until you see one that lists a whole bunch of things including safe mode.
4.) Click restart.
5.) You'll get a list of options. Select safe mode with networking (mine was F5).
6.) Login screen displays, login.
7.) Right click on Windows icon at far left bottom corner.
8.) Select Programs and Features.
9.) Uninstall/Remove programs page displays.
10.) Uninstall Aero Glass.
11.) Restart normally.

By the way, these instructions will work for anything you need to uninstall after installing if you have problems.

Notes:
1.) this killed all my restore points. The second you're done and its' stable, start recreating your restore points. This may not be universal, but figured I'd toss that out there in case of emergency.
2.) More later while I stare blankly at it and try to decide my level of like, which is definitely higher than 8.1 but that's about it so far.

I'll probably spend my break tomorrow doing my customizations.

ETA:

Per [personal profile] blueraccoon in comments:
One sort of important thing to note: At this time, DO NOT run a clean install that wipes your drive. There's a bug. If you're just upgrading and not reformatting, you're fine, but DO NOT wipe your drive and start over. If you do the computer will not recognize that you have a valid copy of Win10.

They're working on it, and I think it should hopefully be fixed in the next few hours, but it's still a problem as of the last information I have.

Culture Consumed Thursday

Jul. 30th, 2015 02:40 pm
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
For the past three weeks.

Books

Started listening to Alexis Wright's Carpenteria on audiobook in the car. It started out lyrical, and got upsetting very quickly. Unsurprisingly so.

Still reading CJ Cherryh's Foreigner. The main character first appears on page 66. AFAIK none of the characters mentioned up until that page appear ever again. It got good fast once the protagonist actually appeared, though.

And then I looked at Cherryh's wikipedia page and found that it's the first of an unfinished series of which 16 books are already in print (the most recent one three months ago.) Why did I not check this before embarking? IDEK. I was stupid. And reckless. (I've read two other Cherryh novels before this: Cyteen, which I liked a lot, and The Pride of Chanur, which I didn't click with.)

I am having trouble with Malguri, in that it keeps making me think of Malgudi. Wrong genre!

Ilisidi is awesometerrifying. She has a murder pony named Babs. The murder pony is a macheita, which is a large, alien quadruped with sharp tusks. Babs is short for Babsidi, which means Lethal. Not that I don't like Bren, but I would prefer this book to be all about the adventures and political disappointments of Ilsidi and Babs the murder pony.

Fanworks

Reread Bas's R2D2/C3PO series droids need love too. Had forgotten it was written 15 YEARS AGO. I remember her posting it, and then arguing with LJV about whether "socket for hire" was about blowjobs or not.

TV and Movies

Watched Steven Universe episodes 1 and 2. Okay, yeah. I like this. Amethyst is my fave so far, but Garnet and Pearl and Steven are so great too that I could see myself changing faves from episode to episode. Purely by chance, I watched these cartoons on a Saturday morning.

Watched the first three episodes of Community. Yeah, I know, the very latest. I was a little disappointed, in that I fully expected the film theory teacher to die unexpectedly.

Obvs Abed is my favourite, but Troy and Annie and Shirley are great too. And Pierce is a pretty good example of his type. I think this show could be greatly improved by the immediate, permanent removal of Jeff and Britta.

Abed's father made me cry, in a good way. He got how Abed communicates. And how film helps with that. And how it's not "Abed has trouble communicating", it's that "other people find Abed hard to understand." He got it. He got there.

Games

Played through Long Live The Queen again. I lost the naval battle and swam back to shore, my father won a magical duel but nearly died in the process, and my musician-spy informed me that my aunt had been trying to assassinate me, so I executed her whole family.

Started another playthrough of Hatoful Boyfriend. I'm romancing Yuuya this time around, and trying my best (without cheating... yet) to figure out what's going on with the infirmary.

Crafts

Made a card and a little notebook for my father's birthday.

Garden

DAFFODILS. Two of them.
photographic evidence of daffodils )

Other

Went on a KMart shopping spree. Bought totally adult things like a USB car charger and a spare lightning cable in case I'm out of phone battery and need to call for help and my car battery still works but I can't drive. And a pack of blank cards and envelopes, because I am more likely to do the hand-making card shit if I don't try to find cardboard to salvage from Coke cartons or whatever when it's someone's birthday. So that's pretty adult. And... another dinosaur cushion (I had one already) and a ROBOT CUSHION. Okay, it's a statement piece. Like those sharks everyone's buying. ...And weird sand.

Okay, the weird sand was the main purpose of my visit. And it is AWESOME. Not least because it smells like the inside of an Ikea. I guess that is what polydimethylsiloxane smells like. I like that smell, and now I can have it without the stress of an Ikea visit. It feels like fine-grained sand if you stick your fingers in it, but if you pick it up and rub it between your fingers, it abruptly feels like not-sand. More like brown sugar after the moths got to it. But if you pick up a bigger bit of it and let it fall, it falls exactly like sand, only in slow motion. When you just let it lie there, it settles down into a texture like hard-packed (without moths) brown sugar. I bought the green colour, which is lighter than the box, somewhere between grass and lichen. The other options in stock were pink, purple, blue, and some metallic ones that were cool-looking but the same price for less sand.

Nummy books

Jul. 29th, 2015 07:37 pm
kass: Giles with a pile of books (Giles)
[personal profile] kass
Wow, The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber made me happy. A pastor in space! Aliens! Epistolary fic! It is awesome.

And so is Cinder, the first of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles books. It's a fabulous fairy tale retelling, and it also manages to be a lot of other fabulous things besides. I am downloading books 2 and 3 even now.

Aha! Talking dirty in French.

Jul. 30th, 2015 09:07 am
china_shop: Neal looking terribly pleased with himself (WC Neal looks like Aiden Quinn)
[personal profile] china_shop
So I was looking up how to talk dirty in French (for fic purposes, naturellement), and found this post, which ends with this comment:
Oh, and a Frenchie's take: there's nothing sexier than French spoken with a foreign accent. You don't really need a sophisticated vocabulary, foreign accent is a turn on anyways :-)
Which, aha, I'd never thought about that. To me, as an anglophone, French spoken in an obviously non-French accent just sounds gauche, but presumably to the French, it's like ESL people speaking English with delicious non-English-language accents.

O HAI THAR, mon petit anglocentric blind-spot. *facepalm*

French speakers, are there accents that sound more or less sexy in French?
china_shop: New Zealand painting of flax (NZ flax)
[personal profile] china_shop
~2000 words, Jurassic World Barry/Owen, NC-17 sequel to Downtime. For the End of the World challenge on [community profile] fan_flashworks. Shameless PWP. No warnings. Thanks to [personal profile] mergatrude for beta. <3

Downtime Redux
 
wychwood: Ronon smiling (SGA - Ronon smiling)
[personal profile] wychwood
Tomorrow I am going to the cricket with [personal profile] shreena and [profile] quizcustodet! Today was clearly an exciting one, so I'm hoping tomorrow will be equally good but less damp.

Work continues. I had a screen-sharing session with someone from the supplier yesterday, where we looked at some reported issues and then found a whole series of exciting and catastrophic bugs that I had no idea were even possible. I'm not sure I would have believed in them if I hadn't produced them myself - but luckily the supplier was watching it happen in real-time, so he pretty much had to accept it. He was a bit broken by the end of the call, though. Things appeared and disappeared by themselves, attachments with real student content in them spontaneously created themselves, it was a wonderland of many things that can go wrong with Javascript and a dodgy database.

I also went to talk to one of our teams because they're unhappy with how long it's taking to handle their cases with the new system. I had them show me an example, in which they: send a message to a student, which thereby becomes part of the student's permanent record; add a note on another part of the permanent record summarising the message to the student; and finally paste the text of the message into the same note. I agreed that doing everything three times over would make it slower, and then tried to persuade them that they didn't need to include both the message and a summary of the message in the same note, while they looked at me in complete but polite incomprehension, trying to work out what on earth I was suggesting and why. Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Also I'd anticipated a 30 minute meeting, but scheduled an hour just in case; 90 minutes on, I staggered back out to catch the bus home...

On the other hand, a fairly senior manager sent a very nice email today saying how good Mr Pink and I were and what a great job we were doing and communicating so well and so supportive of colleagues etc. Which is of course a very pleasant thing to find in one's inbox anyway, but particularly since those of you who have been around for a while will know the whole soft skills side of things was never my strong point. I do think I've been doing OK lately, though. And I haven't made anyone cry that I know of in, ooh, at least a couple of weeks*.

* No, really. But it wasn't entirely my fault, and I did my best to sort it out. There's one particular colleague who is really struggling with all the changes; I'm pretty sympathetic even when she drives me mad, but at the moment it doesn't take very much to tip her over into tears.
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
[personal profile] marthawells
This is the new announcement I've been waiting to make!

storiesvolii250.jpg

Night Shade Books is thrilled to be able to announce the acquisition of World English rights to two new novels from Nebula Award-nominated author Martha Wells, set in the same Three Worlds universe as her popular Raksura books. The first book, The Edge of Worlds, will publish in April 2016, and is the start of a new standalone duology, making it a great entry point for new readers.

Martha is one of the most talented (and nicest) authors Night Shade has had the pleasure of working with, and over the course of the past few years we’ve published a Raksura trilogy (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, The Siren Depths) and a two-volume collection of novellas and short stories set in the same world (Stories of the Raksura Volumes One and Two). We could go on and on about how smart, excited, and emotionally powerful these books are, but don’t take our word for it: Foz Meadows has written an excellent, couldn’t-say-it-better-ourselves review for the recently-released Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two, highlighting so many of the different aspects of what makes these books special.

"Basically, I will die on a f***ng battlefield for these books, and I don’t care how unobjective that makes me sound: they are amazing, and you need to give them a try."

Wells had this to say about the new series: "I’ve enjoyed writing the Raksura books so much, and in a lot of ways they’re books that I’ve always wanted to write—it just took me writing a bunch of other books to figure that out. I hope this new duology can act as a starting point for people who haven’t tried the trilogy yet. Where the trilogy was about survival and rebuilding a home, the two new books take the Raksura’s story out of their colony in the Reaches and out into the wider Three Worlds, and also deal more with some of the mysteries and issues that were just touched on in the trilogy. I hope people enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them."

Acquiring editor Jeremy Lassen added: "The depth and brilliance of Martha Wells’ unique world building is amazing. I don’t think the wider fantasy-reading world realizes what a treasure they are missing. It’s like somebody fused the best parts of China Mieville and Robin Hobb, creating a hybrid (Dare I say shape-shifting? No. That is a metaphor too far.) narrative that grabs the readers attention and doesn’t let go. The Edge of Worlds is something special, and I’m looking forward to it cementing her reputation as one of the most exciting fantasists of the day."

Check out a description of the first book below, as well as a round-up of the great reviews Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two has received.

Martha Wells expands her world of the Raksura with the start of a brand new Three Worlds series.

An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court of the Raksura, shape-shifting creatures of flight that live in large family groups. The groundlings have found a sealed ancient city at the edge of the shallow seas, near the deeps of the impassable Ocean. They believe it to be the last home of their ancestors and ask for help getting inside. But the Raksura fear it was built by their own distant ancestors, the Forerunners, and the last sealed Forerunner city they encountered was a prison for an unstoppable evil.

Prior to the groundlings’ arrival, the Indigo Cloud court had been plagued by visions of a disaster that could destroy all the courts in the Reaches. Now, the court’s mentors believe the ancient city is connected to the foretold danger. A small group of warriors, including consort Moon, an orphan new to the colony and the Raksura’s idea of family, and sister queen Jade, agree to go with the groundling expedition to investigate. But the predatory Fell have found the city too, and in the race to keep the danger contained, the Raksura may be the ones who inadvertently release it.

The Edge of Worlds, from celebrated fantasy author Martha Wells, returns to the fascinating world of The Cloud Roads for the first book in a new series of strange lands of uncanny beings, dead cities and ancient danger.

Praise for Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two:

"Wells fleshes out her Books of the Raksura series in this strong short story collection. . . With a strong sense of adventure, horror, and mystery, this is an enjoyable read for fantasy fans seeking a new series to sample."
—Publishers Weekly

"Immensely pleasing. . . the shorter stories still encompass everything that makes the novels so satisfying, from the daily interactions between Raksura to the incredible creatures, mysteries and landscapes of the Three Worlds, and if Martha Wells were to never write anything other than Raksura stories from now on, as much as I love her other work, I can’t say I’d complain."
—Foz Meadows, A Dribble of Ink

"I wonderfully enjoyed these stories. . .I urge readers with any interest in secondary world fantasy who have not done so to pick up The Cloud Roads and begin there and work your way to this volume. And then, like me, you can hope and wait for future volumes set in Wells’ rich and endlessly entertaining world, peoples and characters."
—Paul Weimer, Skiffy and Fanty

"This short story collection deserves all the praise it gets, because there’s no fluff here, only quality fantasy from start to finish … it’s a perfect collection for fans of the Raksura."
—Rising Shadow

"All in all it’s a great collection of stories…all of them colorful, imaginative and fun… Must reads for fans of the series."
—Roqoo Depot, 5/5

Martha Wells is the author of more than a dozen science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Ile-Rien series (The Death of the Necromancer) and the Books of the Raksura (The Cloud Roads). Her work has been nominated for the Nebula and Compton Crook awards, and published in seven languages. Check out her website here and follow her on Twitter @marthawells1.
musesfool: luke/lorelai (almost like being in love)
[personal profile] musesfool
Late yesterday afternoon, just as I was packing up to leave work, I suddenly got the shakes, and felt all clammy and also like I might pass out. I don't know what it was, but ugh, what a terrible feeling. I got a bag of M&Ms from the vending machine and wolfed them down to feel steady enough to make the commute home, and by the time I got home I felt okay, but totally wiped out. So I had dinner and then managed to stay awake until 8:45, at which point I just went to bed. And I slept pretty well, too, straight through for about 6 hours and then fitfully after that.

***

Wednesday reading!

What I've just finished:
Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris, which is the fascinating account of five very famous Hollywood directors who joined up after Pearl Harbor (or a few months before, in John Ford's case) to help document the war and/or produce propaganda for it: William Wyler, John Ford, Frank Capra, John Huston, and George Stevens. It probably helps to have some familiarity with their oeuvres, though I certainly haven't seen a bunch of the films mentioned. (I do want to actually watch The Best Years of Our Lives now though - I've mostly avoided it previously because it looks depressing.)

The House That BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan is a highly enjoyable sequel to Those Pricey Thakur Girls. The main romance is between Bonu and Samar, the next generation, but Eshu and Satish get a look-in as well, and of course, the family drama continues. I think the family drama is the most entertaining part, tbh, and while I enjoy the romance, I just mostly want to spend more time with the sisters and their various relations and hangers-on.

What I'm reading now/next:
I don't know? I just finished The House That BJ Built this morning, so I'll start something new at lunch. I have a bunch of stuff on my iPad, so it could be anything.

***

Oy, work is very busy today. Let me post before I get interrupted again.

***

Baahubali: The Beginning

Jul. 29th, 2015 09:15 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
In brief, AMAZING. If it’s playing anywhere near you, run and see it immediately. (It only has about two more days left in the USA.) If not, see it on DVD when it comes out.

This is a difficult movie to review because I don’t want to give too much away. It not only has several surprising plot twists, but also a lot of gorgeous imagery that’s wonderful to see for the first time, when you don’t know it’s coming. So I won’t say much about the plot.

Baahubali is an original historical fantasy that plays out like it was based on an ancient myth. Though it doesn’t have the complexity of character or moral ambiguity or intellectual heft of The Mahabharata or Ramayana, those epics and other the ancient tales of India clearly inspired its epic scope, archetypal themes, and magical imagery.

Classic tropes from Indian legend – the boon, the rivalry between princes with disastrous consequences, the humble but loving mother who adopts a son with a destiny, the mountain in the clouds, the war formation the enemy doesn’t expect, the woman wronged who demands bloody revenge – all make appearances here, and are given their proper, larger-than-life weight. The hero reminded me of Bhima in personality and physique, but a number of incidents were clearly inspired by the life of Krishna. For instance, the baby held above the waters echoes Vasudeva crossing the flooded Yamuna to hide away the infant Krishna.

The song I linked in the last post is a version of a hymn to Shiva, the Shiva Tandava Stotram, which is attributed to Ravana. I’ll quote some of it because even in translation (by P. R. Ramachander), you can feel its power and beauty and sensuality. (Remember how magnificent it sounded in Telegu.) That is the sort of ancient writing, still living today, which inspired this movie.

The celestial river agitatedly moving through his matted hair,
Which makes his head shine with those soft waves,
And his forehead shining like a brilliant fire
And the crescent of moon which is an ornament to his head,
Makes my mind love him each and every second.

He, with the shining lustrous gem on the hood
Of the serpent entwining his matted locks,
He, who is with his bride whose face is decorated
By the melting of red saffron kumkum,
And He who wears on his shoulder the hide
Of the elephant which was blind with ferociousness,
Makes my mind happy and contented.

A lot of the movie walks the fine line between magnificence and camp, but even when it’s ridiculous, it’s gloriously ridiculous. This is what you get when you put together an extremely talented director steeped in Indian myth, a brilliant cinematographer determined to tell the story visually so even people who don’t understand the dialogue will love it, and a totally committed cast, and have them all go for broke. Sometimes this results in "Did somebody order a LARGE HAM?” hamminess. More often, it captures the larger than life spirit of myth.

When a woman reveals her secret plan for revenge, a strong warrior staggers backward from the force of it. A desperate prayer to Shiva is answered with a boon that allows a dying woman to walk underwater. A man whose destiny is to climb the unclimbable mountain falls a thousand feet, only to rise to climb again. A sleeping warrior on a riverbank, her arm dangling in the water, is seduced by a prankster lover who swims through schools of bright fishes to paint a tattoo on her hand. If you ask why he was in the river and where he got a set of underwater paints, you’re missing the point.

A lot of the power of myth is in its lack of naturalism. Events occur and choices are made not because of the realistic motivations of ordinary humans, but because archetypal stories are playing out. If Baahubali had been more realistic and less theatrical, it wouldn’t be half as magical.

It was the most expensive movie ever made in India, and while the CGI is occasionally a little shaky, it uses its budget to the max. When CGI first came upon the scene, I thought it would be used to create fantastical worlds and creatures – sense of wonder brought to sight. And sometimes it is, but more often it’s used to create big, pointless, repetitive explosions. Baahubali uses CGI to create beauty and wonder. Just look at the waterfall and the city in the trailer. The entire movie is like that.

(Plus blood-splattering battle sequences and bull-wrestling. I’m glad they put the disclaimer that no animals were harmed and all animal falls are CGI at the start of the film rather than the end, because otherwise I’d have been concerned.)

Though I’ve emphasized huge! Epic! Grand! In my review, there’s also lots of nice little touches. Many of the characters have marks on their foreheads, like bindi, which helpfully identify them when you’re trying to distinguish Magnificent Warrior Dude # 1 from Magnificent Warrior Dude # 2. (This isn’t usually difficult. They all look quite different, and also have different Magnificent Moustaches. But given my general terrible facial recognition skills, I appreciated it.) The hero has a coiled cobra, the mark of Shiva. A pair of princes are marked with a sun and moon. There’s a complete throwaway bit, lasting maybe five seconds, where a pair of bull-masked dancers butt heads, that is SO COOL. I also enjoyed the funny-on-purpose moments.

My only real criticisms are political rather than artistic. There’s a song/dance number where the hero melts the warrior heroine's icy heart via stylized fighting and pulling off her clothes. It’s clearly meant to be about him breaking her emotional barriers with his sincerity, sensuality, and passion. But, well. Not to mention the unfortunate implications of what was actually intended, where she embraces her femininity and warmth… and then totally forgets how to fight so he can rescue her. And then there’s the attack of the dark-skinned barbarians, with its own set of unfortunate implications.

In a more enjoyable use of traditional gender roles (traditional in India), there is not one! Not two! But THREE awesome middle-aged moms! One is a loving mother raising a son she doesn’t quite understand. One is a total badass who rules a kingdom with cool authority after taking on a regency with a baby in one hand and a bloody dagger in the other. The third initially seems passive, turns out to be anything but, and has one of the best scenes in the entire movie. (For the benefit of my one reader who’s actually seen Baahubali: a handful of twigs.)

Be warned: Baahubali ends on a very dramatic TO BE CONTINUED!!! Well, it is subtitled “The Beginning.” But I ate up all three hours and would have happily sat through three more. The first hour, especially, is pure magic. I haven’t felt so transported in a movie theatre since the opening scenes of The Fellowship of the Rings.

Umrao Jaan (1981)

Jul. 29th, 2015 03:37 pm
marina: (check this shit out)
[personal profile] marina
I thought I'd make a writing-related post today (a new trick I've stumbled on) but I'm not really ready to put it into words yet, so, movie review!

I first heard about Umrao Jaan from [personal profile] stepquietly, when I was staying with her in Mumbai. I knew there was a remake that wasn't very popular, and one day we were in a video store (I've enjoyed a lot of Indian films and finding them online with English subtitles, especially older stuff, is always a hassle, so being in Mumbai I was really happy to buy some) and I bought a bunch of films, this one included.

I... tend not to like movies made before I was born, unless they were made in the country of my birth or somewhere adjacent to it. Look, everyone in film school had a sin, and this was mine, OK? It is EXTREMELY difficult to convince myself to watch old movies I didn't grow up with. So, despite the fact that I've enjoyed old movies before (my response to a lot of "classics' being screened at film school was 'well, that wasn't that bad!') I never have high expectations, and in this case thought the movie would be nice, I'd enjoy the anthropological value of Bollywood in the 70s/80s, and that's it.

It ended up liking this movie a lot, a lot, a lot more than I expected.

spoilers? )

Door diagnosis, at last!

Jul. 29th, 2015 12:34 am
azurelunatic: Stone relief of Enki creating rivers. "Wank me a RIVER" (Enki)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Purple did not in fact go skydiving as he'd thought he might over the weekend, because it was one of those "weather permitting" activities. The weather did not in fact permit.

By the time I got through the lines with my lunch, the little table that Purple and the guys were at outside was crammed with about 8 guys (it is a 4 person table). CTY memories aside, that didn't seem like it would be pleasant, so I opted for inside with Mr. Tux and his officemate.

The guy from the internal department responsible for my little database said he'd likely be able to have a .csv pack of my tables to me either Monday or Tuesday. Unfortunately, the host on which the new thing's VM is located, was the one that managed to die over the weekend.

The bbq station's thing was a roast half-chicken. I'd declined to try it, since chicken meat on the bone is not a thing I do (mainly texture aversion, with a side of fear of even slightly raw chicken). I was lucky in this case -- while the internals had slow-cooked very nicely, the skin had not rendered and Purple said it was revolting.

I caught the big door by my cube doing the thing where it locks open again. I called security so the latest guy could see it in action. He came over, and by that time it was no longer doing the thing. I indicated which one it was, and he called it in. As he was heading off, it started doing it again for no reason. I called him back. "It's doing it again!"

"Call Cesar," said the guy with the ladder from over where he was doing something unspecified to a fluorescent light fixture. Apparently this is the sign of a particular part in the door going bad, you could see right up there at the top where it was not doing something or other. I was very glad that I'd happened to say something about this in his presence, because otherwise we would have spent another six months going around on it.

I dropped some chocolate on the desk of the community manager type who had been namechecked so memorably in the comment thread referenced in Friday's all-hands. I reckoned he deserved it.

Purple's brain ran out of space early. I was amenable to wandering home early, so that's what I did as well. We stood in the parking lot a while, letting our cars cool off with doors open. Purple doesn't actually hate shoe shopping more than I do, it's just that it's hard for him to find shoes that actually fit comfortably.

Leaving early meant time and brain to do the potroast I'd got over the weekend (no particular feat for a regular cook, as it was Costco precooked, which meant microwave and leftovers, but that's the state of my brain vs. cooking these days) and to catch up on Friday's recap.

My calendar reminded me of the date, and I observed the last Tuesday in July quietly, telling [personal profile] silveradept the story.

I woke up before my alarm today (Tuesday), and meandered in happily. Today's bbq offering was pulled pork sandwiches, albeit somewhat more chopped than pulled. I mixed the peach and the firefighter-hot sauces, and got a very pleasing combination.

The problem with the host is the motherboard. I got the .csv files, though, so that's good.

My task now after the helldesk software meeting on Friday is to spread the good word that no, the team in charge of fixing the thing appears to hate the terrible front end more than I do. I shared this at my 1:1; that cheered my manager, especially when I explained the part where the fancy expert just dropped his pen and stared at us. Also, I am treating the need to express myself in the tickets about the thing without swearing as a writing exercise, with creative results. Also, I added cheerfully, it's amazing what you can slip under the radar with references to Sumerian gods. There are not many people who know what's in Sweet Enki's Pitcher...

It was good for both of us that my manager was not drinking anything at this juncture, as she would have sprayed both of us. Apparently she has at least some small familiarity with Sumerian mythology.

When I wandered past the cube of the Namechecked Community Manager, he was in. I introduced myself. He correctly identified me as the source of unexpected chocolate. I thanked him for his service in the Trenches of Upset Users. The worst part, we agreed, is when the users are upset for good reason and we can't just magically make their legitimate beefs better. We both have the Pebble, also. I never got used to a touchscreen, so I'm not feeling the lack, but he is.

Purple called time at a reasonable hour, so we wandered out to the parking lot as the sun was disappearing behind one of the buildings. A hawk-shaped something flew across the parking lot, and smaller birds scattered as it found a redwood to perch in. Purple recounted an interesting little comedy of manners involving a murder of crows and a line of redwoods: each tree was topped by a crow, with two somewhat disgruntled-looking crows flanking it lower in the tree.

A second hawk flew across the parking lot and landed in another tree. It started calling, its cries rising in pitch to what both of us thought was some sort of distress. The first hawk looked in its direction, but made no move to go any closer.

Purple has a weakness for good black cherry soda, but doesn't much care for orange, despite his love for orange juice.

Paging through some hawk sounds, it sounded rather like juvenile squeals #2: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-tailed-hawk

The multiple feminisms

Jul. 29th, 2015 01:51 am
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
[personal profile] wired
One of the things that I am understanding is that there is no unitary feminism, at least not as a community. There is a plurality of feminisms.

I laughed at a bunch of GamerGaters who invented a fake feminist convention that claimed to support the principals of NOW - National Organization for Women. I am not saying NOW doesn't do work in the world, but they are not at all who I look to for my ideals.

There's the amazing and inspirational women doing racial justice work. The women working for reproductive justice. Old nuns fighting against nuclear arms and tween girls fighting to be on the football team. These are not all the same feminism. Some of them don't even like each other.

And you know what? That's ok.

It's ok that I don't have any kind of desire to participate in what I think of as Lean-In style corporate womanism. It's ok that founders of feminist organizations have messy corporate breakups. It is, it MUST BE, ok for women to screw up, to fail, to not succeed in being some kind of ideal everywoman.

It is a toxic belief that we are letting down feminism if we aren't performing every kind of feminism. It is a toxic belief that we have to do it all, and it is a TERRIBLE TOXIC BELIEF that we are always going to get it right. If we believe that about our heroines, and about ourselves, we have no room for patience and understanding when something inevitably goes sideways.

I don't want to live in a binary world of women who are doing good work and those who have failed. I would not be judged well in that world, and neither would many of the people I admire. I don't want women who are working on improving the world to be looking over their shoulder for the specter of failure, or down at their feet to see if the clay is crumbling. I want them (us) to be looking ahead, for what we can change, how we can help.

The flip side of saying that I don't want everyone to be judged by a single failure is that I do want us to be able to point out when things are going wrong. I want us to say, "That thing you are doing is hurtful to me. Can we change it?". I'm sorry for all the people who are crushed by the loss of the Michigan Women's Festival, but I also really appreciate all the people who tirelessly advocated for the inclusion of all women. I wish there had been a way to broaden the scope of the festival, but failing that, I think it's really valuable that people decided which of their priorities mattered most and decided based on that.

The reason I'm kicking up such a fuss about The Ada Initiative is that I hope we are still in the window where loving, concerned input can change an organization's direction. I would would much rather reform this strong existing base than create a splinter movement. But that depends on the response I get, and so far, it's not encouraging.

In lightbulb jokes, it only takes one psychologist to change a lightbulb, but the lightbulb has to really want to change.

In theology, I'd rather reform the church than create a new one.

In open-source, I'd rather fix the bugs than fork the project.

But if it comes down to it, I'm willing to be one more feminism, that is slightly different than others. I want my feminism to do a lot of work with women, and extend imposter syndrome training to women who don't think of themselves as "being in technology". I want to do work with people to think about the worth of jobs that are not the technology pipeline. I want a midwestern kind of feminism, that doesn't focus so much of technology companies, but more on that iceberg of women who are doing technical work at places like Arctic Cat and healthcare companies and not-software. But that's me. I hope there is room for a plurality of voices, and I hope that I manage to listen to people who tell me when I'm screwing up.
azurelunatic: Warning sign: &quot;If there&#39;s a huge fuck-up call Todd&quot;; (huge fuck-up)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I read Tess of the d'Urbervilles on Sunday.

I offer the following content notes:

Animal harm, relationship coercion, acquaintance rape, coerced birth, era-typical child death, religious guilt (Christian), patriarchal fuckery, marital cruelty, attempted murder, abandonment, religious evangelism (Christian), religious coercion, rampant hypocrisy, familial coercion, coercion by means of family, actual murder, execution. Plus a side dish of substance abuse and attempted suicide.

Tess needs, in this order:
* A comprehensive and livable benefits and employment assistance program
* Gap insurance for horses
* Healthcare for her dad
* A taser
* Public transportation
* A working knowledge of what date rape is Read more... )
* Plan B and a rape kit
* Legal aid
* Benefits for her family
* Substance abuse care for her dad
* A boyfriend who understands that a dirty weekend with a sex worker is not the same as rape
* No-fault divorce
* A large shipping box with an angry swan (as f_fa recommends)
* A job with modern safety and care standards
* Societal acceptance of atheism, paganism, and agnosticism
* A restraining order against Cousin Daterape
* A lawyer who has successfully defended self-defense vs. Mr. What Do You Mean, Restraining Order? manslaughter cases
* A younger sister who looks nothing like her

Daily Happiness

Jul. 29th, 2015 12:15 am
torachan: black and grey kitten on the back of a chair (heidi on chair)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I got all my displays made today, so tomorrow I should actually be able to get out of there without any overtime.

2. Speaking of overtime, I do have to go in Thursday, but only for a few hours and not until the afternoon, so at least I get to sleep in.

3. I got some delicious gooey cinnamon rolls tonight at the grocery store.

4. I actually got a decent amount of translating done tonight (definitely more than I thought I would).

5. I finished reading The True Meaning of Smekday! I enjoyed it a lot, but I'm also just excited about the fact that I finished a book in just a few weeks and so soon after finishing another. It's nice to feel like I want to read again.

Trainwreck, and other things!

Jul. 29th, 2015 02:14 am
roga: coffee mug with chocolate cubes (Default)
[personal profile] roga
I've seen so many enjoyable movies I haven't written about recently - for values of recently that include, uh, the past few months - from Mad Max to Magic Mike XXL to most recently, Spy. But tonight I saw Trainwreck and loved it and am mentioning it because a) it will probably get a little less hype than a lot of internet-hype movies, but just so you know, it's a really fun movie, and b) specifically for sports fans/hockey RPF fans, I think there are a lot of parts you'll really enjoy, because... I sure did :D

Initially when I saw the trailer, I didn't want to see this movie. One, it didn't look that interesting, and two, for the first time ever, it looked like a romantic comedy that was about people I knew and recognized - no longer my teenaged impression of grown up New Yorkers with dream jobs (even though this is a movie about New Yorkers with, kind of, dream jobs), but -- a romantic comedy about someone who is actually my age, who acts like people I've worked with, who is so deeply familiar. And it's that familiarity that put me off - like, I've worked with this person, why would I want to see a movie about her?

But! I listened to this interview with Amy Schumer, and then I listened to the positive discussion about the movie on Pop Culture Happy Hour, and I saw via some youtube clips indications that Lebron James was not only in this movie but a really good actor, and all of those, combined with the fact that I've been having an exhausting, difficult week and could really use the distraction, made me want to see it.

And hey, I loved it! It's a story about a woman who is not at all, at this point in her life, into monogamy or commitment, and ens up falling for the subject of an article she's writing for the Men's Magazine she works at - a sports medicine doctor. Amy Schumer stars and wrote the script, Bill Hader plays the dude, and the film reserves a number of cameos and actual roles for athletes, playing either characters or themselves.

My two favorite appearances were, as mentioned, Lebron James, playing himself as Bill Hader's BFF. It's such an awesome part, and he plays it so well and so earnestly, with superb comic timing, just Lebron James playing a Really Good Guy; in a sense playing the part traditionally assigned to the female love interest's BFF, the one with the high emotional IQ and the Questioning of Intentions because they don't want to see their friend get hurt. Athlete cameos are so often stiff and embarrassing; having seen my fair share of hockey players doing commercials, I feel comfortable with my impression that 99.5 of them are terrible actors line-reciters, and Lebron's performance here is the complete opposite.

The other appearance was John Cena's, who's a professional wrestler, playing Amy's kind-of-boyfriend at the beginning of the movie. And the things I have to say about that are:
-he is hilarious (and apparently improvised a lot of his lines)
-his body is out of this world
-and by that I mean his naked body*. which really does feel... unreal. (*the only naked bodies in this movie - asses, or full back - are male.)
-and his best scene is a dirty-talk scene, which I will just go ahead and spoil under the cut: spoiler! )

...so there you have it! Movies, yay.

*

Not actually related, but weirdly enough, one of the reasons I was unsettled today, I think, is seeing this photo of Jonathan Toews running into a fan while traveling in Peru.

the logic is strange in this one )

*

In yet more unrelated news, after meeting [personal profile] minglingcrab yesterday, I have started reading an SGA fic. I haven't read SGA fic for... I want to say years, so let's just go with years, and it's so weird and nostalgic to see these characters again and revisit this universe. It's pretty hard for me to go back to old fandoms these days, actually, and if the entire point of this fic was just for John and Rodney to get together romcom style I'd probably lose interest fairly soon, but it's a fic with more carefully structured plot than that, and exploration of sexual identity, which is always fun. The fic, for the interested, is Straight as a Circle, which I had never read. It's a little outdated in a way that's really fun to discover - for example, where Ronon plays sudoku on a Palm Pilot someone gave him. One day I will go back and read fics from the late 90's/early 2000's just to remember what the world was like.

*

...and finally a reminder in case you missed it: I will be in London on Aug 21st and 22nd! Let me know if you want to and can meet up :D
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I will write a real review later, but in brief, this is a south Indian historical fantasy that plays like a myth transferred straight to the screen. It's absolutely gorgeous to look at, is full of moments straight out of legend, has a fantastic score and amazing action sequences, and also has a number of surprising plot twists.

It's only playing in the US for about two more days, and should be seen on the big screen. I haven't enjoyed a movie this much in literally years.

Trailer. (Not subtitled, but the movie has English subs.)

One of my favorite songs.
musesfool: coach & mrs. coach (marriage of true minds)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I almost had a wardrobe malfunction! I mean, I did have one - one of the layers on my tank top ripped free, but luckily it was covered by the top two layers, so I didn't flash boob at anybody on the commute home. (I was wearing a cardigan over it all day at work, and hadn't noticed.) Oh well. I liked that top, too.

When I got home, I heated up the oven and took the tiny roast (1.75 lbs) I'd bought on Sunday out of the fridge to come to room temperature before cooking it. I bought it before I knew I was meeting L. for dinner on Sunday, so I needed to use it quickly. I seasoned it and put it in the oven and set the timer for 35 minutes (20 minutes per pound at 375°F) but then I forgot to start the timer. Oops. So it was a lot of checking the internal temperature after the 30 minute mark. The roast ended up being more medium than medium rare when all was said and done, but it was quite delicious, and there's enough left to make another dinner, so it turned out all right. I just didn't get to eat until almost 8 pm, which is later than I prefer on a work night.

***

A few weeks ago, I asked [personal profile] serrico to talk about the difference between watching a show week to week vs. marathoning (the network vs. the Netflix model), and I've been thinking a lot about it myself. I wrote something in her comments that I'm expanding on here, because it came up again – both with my own marathon of Steven Universe last week, and a discussion with my brother and sister-in-law and their kids regarding their own marathoning of Friday Night Lights.

I do think having a show drop all at once makes it harder to grow and sustain a fandom, since unlike something that airs week to week, with hiatuses for people to catch up, everybody's at a different point in viewing so having conversations becomes difficult, especially when it comes to avoiding spoilers, and that has a negative impact on attempts to build community. (In microcosm, it was difficult to talk about FNL with my brother's family, because one of them was finished with it, one had dropped it after season one, one was in season 3, and my brother and his wife were just starting season 5.) Fandoms for these shows start to feel more like summer movie fandoms, or seasonal fandoms (i.e., shows that come on in spring or summer when many of the usual fannish suspects are not airing) - they show up and everybody talks about them, and then they fade away until the next batch of episodes is released.

I think Daredevil, with its connection to the MCU, its background as a comic, and the promise of three other shows interweaving with it, might be an exception to this? But I feel like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards had a big moment bursting on the scene, and then they fade out until the next time there's new canon. I guess we'll see what fandom does with Sense8, since it is so much more fandom-ready, I think, than most other shows (on network, cable, or any streaming service). Certainly I think the idea of a cluster of telepathically connected people will migrate out into many fandoms, much the way drift compatibility did from Pacific Rim.

Personally, I sometimes find it harder to hold onto a canon that I've marathoned, vs. one that I've watched week to week, in the sense that I can't always remember what happened in what order/in what episode, which makes writing fic more difficult than when you've got a week (or more) to absorb and rewatch each episode. And I do miss the frantic scramble to get a post-ep story posted before it got jossed by the next episode (of course, my main fandom is a movie fandom now, so it's a whole different model of canon).

I also think some shows are more suited to marathon watching than others – personally, I know if I cue up AtLA's "The Library," for example, I'm not stopping until the end of the season (though I might skip "The Serpent's Pass" or "The Drill" or both, if pressed for time). Steven Universe episodes, at 10 minutes apiece, make for perfect mini-marathons – you can watch 6 in an hour and still have time to watch a full slate of primetime shows or that night's baseball game! Otoh, I can't take more than one or two episodes of something like Friday Night Lights, because it's emotionally draining. My sister-in-law said she's gone to bed sad every night after watching two FNL episodes every evening for the past couple of weeks. (I commiserated, because I cried at nearly every episode of that show as well.)

She also mentioned the melancholy that sets in when you're done mainlining something that has 60 or 100 episodes (and even more so if it's a closed canon and there's no promise of a new season coming at some point down the line). You spend an hour or two (or three) with these characters every night for a few weeks, and then it's over. It's like the same letdown on returning to reality after finishing a great book. What am I gonna do without this show every night? I felt it after Sense8 and I'm feeling it right now with Steven Universe, and I think it's one reason I've rewatched AtLA so often (often enough that I do know what happens in what episode pretty easily). It's not necessarily the same sadness as when a show you've watched for years ends – sometimes we drift away from a show, sometimes we rage-quit, sometimes we still watch but without the passionate intensity we had for earlier seasons, and sometimes a show is canceled too soon and all we have is 12 episodes and a table-read (and some supplementary comics) to get us through.

Doling a show out two episodes a night for a few weeks is still a slower pace than watching it all in one weekend, so you do get some chance to linger and live in a particular universe, without the agita that comes from having to wait a week in between (and then months of mid-season and summer hiatuses), and also without the "wait, did that happen in the second or fifth hour I watched in the middle of the night last weekend?" feeling.

I mean, I am a total marathon reader/watcher. It's one reason I hate reading works in progress, even if the author swears the story is done – I want to read it at my own pace and my own pace is going to be a lot faster than is probably wise. So I'll just wait until it's done. (it's also why I am more of a trade-waiter with comics – I can't remember what happened in 15 pages a month ago, and I'm often disappointed by how little the story moves in one issue. [And by how much it costs for those little slices of story that are over so quickly.])

I don't know what model of television is going to win out in the long run, but I really do like the option of being able to watch shows all at once, even if I might relate differently to them than I do shows I've watched over time.

***

Cursed day

Jul. 28th, 2015 11:33 am
marina: (stand alone)
[personal profile] marina
My roommate got a job (she's been unemployed for a while), which she's apparently going to quit after 3 days, but the adjustment in routine has meant me waking up 1.5 hours before my alarm every day >_< especially this morning, when her alarm started ringing while she was showering, and her door was open, and I mistook her alarm for mine, and got up and aughhhhhh.

I know partially this is my own fault for going to sleep late, which in turn keeps happening because I'm too stressed, which keeps happening because I am indeed Doing Cool Things. Doing cool things is great, but it's slowly winding me up to where my anxiety is off the charts and I need to figure out how to deal with that.

In addition tonight I'm going to see a ballet (cool things!), which is great except that it means less time to exercise (good for anxiety) and going to sleep late again and ughhhhh.

In other news, I watched Spy. I liked it a lot.

spoilers? )

All knowledge is contained etc

Jul. 28th, 2015 09:52 pm
vass: Hothead Paisan says "FEH MUH NIST". (Hothead)
[personal profile] vass
Could someone please hook me up with a link to a decent 101-level explanation of women-only/minority-only spaces? I'd like to try my father on it.

On the weekend he told me that he didn't see any difference between a club whose membership is restricted to men, and a club whose membership is restricted to women. And the same about clubs that exclude white people. (I didn't get into LGBT spaces, that part of the conversation ended before then. It concluded with his saying "I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree, then," and my saying "No, you're wrong.")

Oddly he did think it was okay to have a club only for Jews or only for Muslims. Religion is different?

My mother (who wasn't there for the conversation) thinks he was just winding me up, but I'd like to assume good faith, and it didn't sound like a wind-up to me.

(Please don't just post an explanation here. I am not linking my father to my online journal, and I don't want to explain it to him again myself, I want to direct him to a written authority that is not his offspring.)

Game time with Guide Dog Aunt

Jul. 28th, 2015 01:46 am
azurelunatic: Parental Advisory: I Say [animated changing curse word] A Lot (fuck)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Guide Dog Aunt threw a game night on Saturday. It took me a little longer to get ready than I'd hoped, but I did get over there. There was a Cards Against Humanity game in progress, and I was dealt in.

My aunt is all about the house rules that say that the purpose of the game is to have fun, so there were a few un-fun cards quietly put in with the used cards. Another common house rule is that if you don't know what it is (or don't admit to knowing what it is) you don't have to play it. Some people chose to ask things like "Who's Michael Bay? What's 'queefing'?" and many people were enlightened. "I didn't know there was a word for that!"

"What's Harry Potter erotica?"
"Well, when someone loves the Harry Potter books a lot, and writes little stories..."
"Oh! ... How do you know these things?"

One of the people who was new to the game was enticed in to play just one round, for the second go. By the second time we had got around the table, she was gleefully choosing a slightly weaker card, out of kindness to the current czar.

I won one hand by pairing "In this world there is nothing certain but death and ____" with "Soup that is too hot." Guide Dog Aunt agreed mightily.


It came time to cease partying, and everybody went home. I stuck around to help clean up all the fun, and with three people working at it, it was fairly quick. I caught up with my aunt, and then went home and went to bed.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
It was slightly less fuck o'clock in the morning when I shambled in to work on Friday. I was contemplating dropping the heaviest of my things at my desk before going to the departmental all-hands in the auditorium of the executive building, but then I saw Purple shambling forth. "Yo!" I called, and he waited for me to catch up with him, scowling in the not yet burning light of midmorning.

All-hands. )

Helldesk software meeting. )

Eventually I did get a good look at the time and I needed to rush back to my proper end of campus.

Rainbow tables beer bash & dinner. )

Daily Happiness

Jul. 27th, 2015 11:30 pm
torachan: palmon smiling (palmon)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I didn't get one of the things I'd planned to do today done (putting up a new blind in the bedroom to replace the one that broke), but I feel pretty good about today! I did some translation, posted some manga, and did some housework.

2. We got our new fan today and it's pretty nice! (Just in time for another heatwave, too, ugh.)

3. I finally caught up on Attack on Titan. Argh, it's so good! Seems like the next chapter should be out pretty soon?

single perfect tear

Jul. 27th, 2015 10:40 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
I know, I know, you wonder what FFA is even for, but I am here to tell you: for the Great Woobie-Off.

And best of all: [personal profile] skygiants informs us that the winner, the Woobiest of all the Woobies, is, of course:

Vanyel Ashkevron. Search your feelings: you know it to be true.

On a similar note, would you like to have your heart broken, and then fixed better than it was before with gay porn? Damn, son, [personal profile] cesperanza has still got it: "All the Angels and the Saints", Captain America/Bucky Barnes. Yeah, I know this is like a year old; this isn't even my fandom, I haven't been reading in it, I ran into this randomly, and whoa.

No Fiasco?

Jul. 27th, 2015 07:50 pm
jetpack_monkey: (Batman - Model of Mental Health)
[personal profile] jetpack_monkey
I'm not making any hard and fast Fiasco plans for Vividcon this year, since I have no idea how busy I'm going to be or how drained I'll end up.

I will bring the Fiasco "kit", so to speak, and I may throw together something impromptu should the opportunity arise in conjunction with appropriate amounts of energy.

good things

Jul. 27th, 2015 08:51 pm
heresluck: (eggplant)
[personal profile] heresluck
1. I just swapped out my old (well, okay, not THAT old) SSD boot drive on the vidding computer for a higher-capacity drive and it was without doubt the least stressful, most hassle-free computer upgrade I have EVER done. Cloning and installation took less than 45 minutes. Good job, Samsung.

2. Doing the swap involved opening up the case for the first time in a while, and wow, I have NEVER opened a computer case to find so little cat hair. I freely admit that I do not keep an especially clean house and the dust buffalos of cat fur roam freely across the hardwood floors, but this case is remarkably fur-proof. Also, I've had it for almost three years and I am still not over how freaking quiet it is. Not cheap, but worth every penny (and a pleasure to build in, as well.) Good job, Antec.

3. Good harvest today: a bowl of sugar snap peas and two kinds of beans for snacking, plus three kinds of eggplant -- including a Rosa Bianca, which I ate for dinner: sauteed in olive oil with parsley and garlic scapes (also from the garden) and tossed with pasta, with toasted pine nuts on top. Growing my own eggplant means never having to salt them! BLISS.

4. The vinho verde I had with dinner was awesome (and even better at $5.50 a bottle).

5. For dessert: goat cheese ice cream with roasted cherries. [personal profile] renenet laughed and laughed at me when I told her I was planning it, but I am very happy with my highfalutin' fancy ice cream. SO THERE.

6. VividCon is coming! I want a Spock llama t-shirt! And possibly also a mug!

Scanlations: Gunjo ch. 15b

Jul. 27th, 2015 06:50 pm
torachan: two women embracing (gunjo)
[personal profile] torachan
Sorry for the long wait, but here's the next part of chapter 15! I'm hoping to have the final part done next month, but we'll see. (If nothing else, it's already scanned, so that should make it go a lot faster.)



Title: Gunjo
Original Title: 群青 (Gunjou)
Author: Nakamura Ching
Publisher: Ikki Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 3 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + HotCakes
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Out of desperation, a woman asks an old high school friend to kill her abusive husband for her. The friend, having long been in love with this woman, does it, and now they are on the run from the law.

Chapter Summary: Despair won't solve anything.



Chapter 15b

Scanlations: Himegoto ch. 43-44

Jul. 27th, 2015 02:50 pm
torachan: yoshiki from himegoto (himegoto)
[personal profile] torachan


Title: Himegoto
Original Title: ヒメゴト~十九歳の制服~ (Himegoto~Juukyuu Sai no Seifuku~)
Author: Minenami Ryou
Publisher: Big Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Audrey + Krim
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: This is the story of three college freshmen with secrets: Yuki, aka Yoshiki, a boyish girl who gets off on wearing her old high school uniform skirt; Mikako, who acts innocent around her classmates, but at night pretends to be a 15-year-old and has sex for money; and finally there's Kaito, who's obsessed with Mikako to the point of dressing up like her.

Chapter Summary: Mikako and Yoshiki are a couple now, but nobody is entirely happy with the situation, including Mikako and Yoshiki themselves.



Chapter 43: Vexing
Chapter 44: Day and Night

Vividcon!

Jul. 27th, 2015 03:16 pm
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Is very soon!!

As I said before, I'm renting a car, and I'm not afraid to use it. I'm generally available to those who need me to help them with errands, but also - is there anyone who'd be up for dinner Thursday night? I'm renting basically the smallest vehicle the agency has available (if they have any motorized chairs, that would be great) so I can't take more than 2 or 3 passengers, but if you're interested in a Thursday night trip into the city, drop an email and let me know. If you have restaurant suggestions (steakhouse might seem appropriate?) also put those forward - maybe I can make reservations.

In the interests of full disclosure, as I've mentioned before, I'm a really terrible and somewhat novice driver. You have been warned.
the_shoshanna: Bert and Ernice, with text "Baby's first gay couple" (baby's first gay couple)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
One year ago, almost exactly, I officiated at the wedding of Geoff's brother and his boyfriend. Having gotten married, they decided to go on to the next step and have kids!

(I teased them about rushing into kids in the first year of marriage; maybe they should take some time as a couple first? They've been together for twenty-seven years.)

They mixed sperm and hired a surrogate mother through a clinic in Mexico. The first pregnancy, earlier this year, sadly failed; but they just sent us video of the ultrasound of the current one -- TRIPLETS! Two are boys, and the doctor thinks the third is a girl but can't be sure.

They're due late this fall, but of course they're virtually certain to be premature; the dads are expecting to spend a couple months with them in Mexico before they're able to come home. Anybody know any good resources for a couple of almost-fifty first-time parents about to be outnumbered by their newborns?
musesfool: Zuko & the dragon (lucky to be born)
[personal profile] musesfool
A brief pictorial account of my weekend.

Not pictured: last night, L. and I tried out the new bar that replaced the tapas place that replaced our favorite neighborhood bar. It was okay? I didn't love it. We ended up going somewhere else to eat, after a couple happy hour beers. But at least we tried it? We never bothered with the tapas place (and neither did anyone else, I guess, since it closed so quickly).

[personal profile] mousapelli sent me an extended version of the Steven Universe theme song (it contains some spoilers, if you're not caught up on the show), and I can't get it out of my head. It seems like tv shows are where all my earworms come from now - first it was the theme song to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, then it was "What's Up" from Sense8, and now it's the SU theme song.

I haven't written a word since I posted the crossover for my birthday, though I have several wsip I'd like to finish, and even the occasional new idea (Ronan teaches Blue to fight; hilarity ensues), but meh. There's always something less frustrating to do than write.

***

impatient to pack up

Jul. 27th, 2015 12:53 pm
cimorene: (Default)
[personal profile] cimorene
We can't do anything to move more quickly aside from checking listings and making inquiries, so in the meantime Wax has made lists of our belongings and hypothetical budgets and read blog posts with advice for how to move, and I've been going through blog posts with titles like "20 Things to Throw Away Right Now" and "How to Get Rid of Tons of Stuff". I've already done this to more or less all our belongings twice in the last few years, and to every shelf in every closet in the last few months; but I still devoured these posts for an hour or so last night and made a list of things to attempt to throw away today.

If we're going to rent the moving boxes (we are), we can't even do much in the way of advance packing until we have a moving date.

Daily Happiness

Jul. 27th, 2015 12:39 am
torachan: anime-style me ver. 2.0 (Default)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Day off tomorrow! I'm hoping it will be both relaxing and productive.

2. The kittens are so cute tonight. We have several of those toys with a stick and something hanging from one end that you tease them with, and one of them was on the shelf above my desk. Tonight Molly jumped up on the shelf and got the toy down and now they're playing with it.



3. Our new fan should arrive tomorrow! (Not only did the fan in the computer room completely die, but the one in the bedroom is on its last legs, too, so we had to get a second new fan.)

But you are the one who is gone

Jul. 26th, 2015 10:19 pm
gwyn: (bucky confusedface)
[personal profile] gwyn
I know I owe a lot of people responses or comments, about my previous posts and the recent fic, and I'm sorry I haven't done that. I'm just having a really hard time right now. I keep seeing Ollie's broken little body, how mangled she was and how brutally and terribly she died, and nothing really means anything right now. I found a little sleeping kitty statue to put over her grave, and some plants to plant around it, but Blues keeps going over to the spot where I put her body when I was trying to find something to wrap her in, and lying down there. And he wouldn't sit in the perch all week, maybe because she wasn't around for him to chase out of it, and he doesn't seem to really know what to do with himself. We're a pair, because I don't either.

And of course now the horrible heat wave has broken but it's too late, she's gone, but hey, don't have to open the doors to get some air in the house anymore, whatever. I'm slated to leave for Vividcon on the 4th, but I wish I wasn't going. Even though I'm traveling with my beloved killabeez, and we're going in early to Chicago and staying at a posh hotel and sightseeing, I just don't care about much of anything right now and the idea of socializing fills me with dread, plus no one's going to want to socialize with me because I'm not exactly good company right now. I couldn't ask for a better person to travel with though, and I'm sure we'll find fun things to do (plus I get to meet up with my dear devilpiglet, as well).

I'm even going to be cosplaying Rachel Duncan from Orphan Black for the dance party, along with other clone sestras, but I just…all I feel is massive depression. I have gauze and a pencil, am waiting for pajamas to arrive that I pray are going to fit, but all I could find was short-sleeve, plus I wish my hair was still blond, I'm not really going to look anything like Rachel. Still, wearing pajamas for Club Vivid will be easy.

I just miss my girl so much. I don't want to wash my sheets because all the fur where she slept will be gone. I don't want to put her little confiscated dog bed away (every foster dog that tried to reclaim the dog bed for the canine set was met with a swift paw to the snout). Putting away her food dish and her milk dish was the hardest thing I've done in a long time. And I can't explain to Blues what's wrong, and he's really upset most of the time.

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thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
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