30 Day Music Meme day 14

May. 28th, 2017 07:54 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Rings)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

I'm not ruling out getting married again, but it's not something I'm ready to do right now. I seem to be good at picking spouses so it would probably go well if I did. I'm eager to not organise another wedding, though, and would rather go for 'turn up, say our vows, maybe go to the pub' than anything more formal or organised. This (pdf) is the current text of our vows, Colin and I didn't promise to forsake all others, but we had a lot of long conversations about what it would mean if we did. I think whether we left that line out or how it affected our life would be part of the discussions around how any new marriage would work.

Anyway, I'm not sure whether it means literally the actual wedding ceremony (in which case, we had I the Lord of Sea and Sky, Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him, Love Divine and Tell Out My Soul first time around) or for the reception (in which case, we had
The Nearness of You by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and I made sure I danced the whole song with Colin because I figured it would be about all I saw him all day. I figured we were looking at something secular, ideally, though, and I don't know that there would be space for that in the sort of ceremony I'm likely to agree to.

Putting reality aside for a moment, imagining the world in which I want a wedding with songs, I'd probably choose this waltz:

Reflecting Light by Sam Phillips
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
This had better be awesome. I'd forgotten how much work sautéing ground sausage is. Ow.

Originally from the Peace, Love and Low Carb blog. I have, as usual, changed it:

3lb ground Italian sausage (used Johnsonville)
2 + 2 Tbsp butter
2 + 1 Tbsp olive oil
2 C spinach, packed (baby, and all of a 5oz package)
1 C carrots, diced
1 leek, not so small, cleaned and sliced
1 box (6oz) minced onion and celery
~5 C chicken stock
1.5 C lentils (green)
1 C heavy cream
1/2 C Parmesian cheese, grated
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Original instructions: Heat slow cooker on low setting. Thoroughly rinse lentils, and add to slow cooker with chicken stock.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage in olive oil and butter.
Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pan, reserving drippings. Add the cooked sausage to the slow cooker.
Add spinach, carrots, onions, garlic, leek, celery and a little salt and black pepper to the pan. Sauté vegetables over medium heat until tender. About 10 minutes.
Add sauteed vegetables to the slow cooker and mix in.
Stir in heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. Cover and allow to cook on low 6-8 hours.

What I'm doing:
Brown sausage in olive oil and butter. Sauté veggies + salt & pepper in drippings. Package everything up and put in the fridge.
Do everything else tomorrow.

The original had one sautéing 1.5lb ground sausage in 2 Tbsp each of olive oil and butter. I wound up buying 3 1lb packs, and running low on oil in the pan about half way through and sloshed more olive oil in there. Then when sautéing the veggies (which were, like 2x the original) in the drippings, it looked too dry, so I added 2 more Tbsp of butter.

Right now I have the sausage browned and the veggies sautéd; I'm pretty much ready to combine everything when I wake up tomorrow so it can cook through the day.

5 good things

May. 27th, 2017 06:41 pm
cofax7: Olivia Dunham's ponytail (Fringe - Olivia - behind)
[personal profile] cofax7
1. Yesterday, a meeting I stressed over all week was cancelled, and instead I treated myself to a nice lunch and a long afternoon nap.

2. My house is mostly clean, and the new vacuum cleaner works well.

3. The dog's medication is working, which means she no longer pees in her sleep. (Yes, really. Sigh.)

4. I had a lovely lunch (with gelato!) and a long walk in the redwoods with [personal profile] laurashapiro and [personal profile] shrift.

5. There are still 2 more days of the weekend, and I have no obligations whatsoever. This is kind of awesome.

A good but tiring day

May. 27th, 2017 08:24 pm
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Even though I had a reasonably decent night's sleep last night.

Good meetings with people and good conversations, some tasty food, a panel that (I think) went fairly well even though it was in the room I hate, with the speakers on a platform and a spread-out audience, and cold. (One might also mention the single microphone that had to be handed back and forth among the panel.)

Also managed to get to a couple of other panels.

Was contemplating the Tiptree Auction but felt some recharge time alone was necessitated, May go to the parties for a little while, but am already feeling a bit that what a hedjog wants is a nice cup of Horlicks and a Nice Book to go with it.

The Long Night of Religions

May. 27th, 2017 11:20 pm
lethargic_man: (Default)
[personal profile] lethargic_man
Six years ago, I put on my list of things to do before I turned forty attending a service of another religion (other than Christianity); but it remained not done well into my forties, because I didn't have the contacts to achieve this. (Actually, I suppose if I'd really wanted, I could have used work colleagues as entry points, but didn't.)

Then last week [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m got me off my tochus (and overcame my fear of not understanding enough German*) to participate in the Long Night of Religions, in which different religions open the doors of their houses of worship up to the public.

This is such a good idea; I look forward to exploring other religions in subsequent years, but if I just say that I came back not just edified but very well fed, can you guess which religion's house of worship I ended up attending?

* I prepared for only understanding two-thirds of what I might hear by reading up on the religion I chose in advance. I'd guess my poorer German at the time is the reason why I didn't take advantage of this last year.

Requiescat in Pace

May. 27th, 2017 12:48 pm
onyxlynx: Some trees and a fountain at a cemetery (A Fine and Private Place)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
On Saturday, too.
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor to President Carter and father to Mika (TV reporter)
  • Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame pitcher (perfect game) and (*sigh*) conservative Senator from Kentucky
  • Gregg Allman, musician (Allman Brothers Band). Full story as it unravels.

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: 36


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
17 (48.6%)

Marry
12 (34.3%)

Kill
6 (17.1%)

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
21 (63.6%)

Marry
6 (18.2%)

Kill
6 (18.2%)

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
11 (30.6%)

Marry
13 (36.1%)

Kill
12 (33.3%)

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
18 (56.2%)

Marry
3 (9.4%)

Kill
11 (34.4%)

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
16 (48.5%)

Marry
7 (21.2%)

Kill
10 (30.3%)

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
10 (33.3%)

Marry
2 (6.7%)

Kill
18 (60.0%)

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

You look better already

May. 27th, 2017 04:05 pm
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

This song was written in 1975 for Hawkwing by the bass player of that band. He left the band later that year, and formed a new band, using the title of the song as a name for the band, who in 1977 recorded the song.

Motorhead by Motörhead

omgwtfbbq

May. 27th, 2017 08:03 am
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
content note: generally low-pain person complaining about pain, please skip if you like; bad brain; fatigue; anxiety; medical stuff

Read more... )

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2017 09:42 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] redroanchronicles!

Ceremony

May. 27th, 2017 01:11 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Got the details of my citizenship ceremony! It's on June 7, so... quicker than I was expecting!

I knew it'd be a weekday, I was told they usually are on Wednesdays, so figured I could arrange for whatever friends wanted to celebrate to go to the pub that evening, but it's Eve of Poll so I imagine even then a lot of you will be busy!

Me and the Brighouses are already talking about going to watch village cricket that weekend, to celebrate surviving the election/commiserate about whatever kind of Brexity government we've ended up with. With the picnic hamper and wine and I can make a cake. It would be nice to have something like that to look forward to.

I am finding the whole citizenship thing a bit anticlimactic, to be honest. Maybe just due to my brainweasels, maybe the job interview didn't help, or maybe it's just taken so long and been so expensive and draining that I can't summon the energy to care any more.

I hoped to be more happy about this, but I expected to at least be relieved.

Maybe I'll feel better after the ceremony, but at the moment I'm just trying not to dread it too much. I don't want to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of thing where I think I'll hate it and so I hate it, but damn, I've never liked this idea. And now it's not an idea, it's this letter with all the information printed so tiny I got Andrew to read it. It suggests practicing the Oath or Affirmation before you get there but "this isn't a memory test!" so cards with the text on will be provided. So I'm gonna have to print it off at about 20-pt font because I won't be able to read their damn cards. I'm torn between really not wanting Andrew (or anybody) there and wanting him there for accessibility reasons, like so I don't get lost finding the place.

I'm glad it will be over soon, anyway.

The Blood is the Life for 27-05-2017

May. 27th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

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.

Spectacular sunset over the lake

May. 26th, 2017 08:18 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

One of the benefits of being on a higher floor of the hotel, even if this also means a lot of rather tedious waiting for lifts. I was going to take and post a photo, but I really don't think that my present state of tiredness is a good state in which to get to grips with DW photo posting. Also, on essaying to take a photo for later presentation, realised that the grimy marks on the window would be rather obtrusive.

Quite a full day, which started with waking up rather earlier than I had hoped, but not horribly so.

Socialising has taken place. There was going to be a walk, but then it started to rain (I wouldn;t say there was no chance of a walk that day, but not at that particular time).

Also have been on one panel, which I think suffered a little from ambiguity in framing its terms but nonetheless evoked some interesting discussion.

Observations of note: in the stuffed toy and knickknackery shop just around the corner in State Street, there is a stufft swan, right at the front of the window display: also an inflatable pool version. However, I should eschew props for my reading.

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%)

Review Catch Up Post 2

May. 26th, 2017 04:02 pm
slashmarks: (Leo)
[personal profile] slashmarks
Again, one paragraph per book, and I'm starting in mid-April so my memory may sometimes be faulty.

Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel – Wilda C Gafney. I liked this! It is so unbelievably refreshing to read scholarship by someone who doesn't just take it as given that the past was a uniformly patriarchal hellscape. Suffered slightly from a lack of nuanced discussion of dating of the Biblical passages it was discussing, but the background in terms of the author's familiarity with archaeology and general Near Eastern history was good enough that it didn't bother me too much because she backed up things with non-Biblical contemporary evidence whenever she could. A couple of her conclusions I'd like to see discussed by someone with a good knowledge of Biblical Hebrew, though, also suffers from imo deeply unnecessary “and this is how this applies to modern Christianity” in places. I will be following up on the stuff about female scribes.

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent – Marie Brennan. I have owned this for years and never got around to actually reading it. Protagonist is a Victorian lady who becomes a dragon naturalist; this is the first book in the series. Overall a fun book, I think anyone with a deep drive for scholarship will find the protagonist sympathetic and the plot problems fairly interesting. Some fairly major worldbuilding flaws that kept distracting me, though. It's set in an alternate history with primarily cultural divergence, and the culture is nowhere near diverged enough, it's basically renamed!England which is a really big problem because a) I got the feeling the author did this just so she didn't have to be totally accurate with all of the non-England countries and b) the cultural divergence is that supposedly Europe is Jewish instead of Christian and there is NO. FUCKING. WAY. That would precisely produce the exact social conditions and problems of Victorian England, I mean, WTF??? Like yes, there would be problems, but different ones. Also if usable iron was actually really scarce all of history post the Bronze Age Collapse would be deeply, wildly different and the chances of the colonial era happening as it did in our world are nil. But if those things will not make you want to pitch the book against the wall you'll probably enjoy it; I did despite the desire.

Man, that was a paragraph.

The Tree & Other Stories – Abdallah al-Nasser, translated by Dina Bosio and Christopher Tingley. Very short stories by a Saudi author. This is probably the first book I have ever felt totally unqualified to review, mostly because as far as I can tell every single one of these stories was set up to have a punchline and I got maybe two of them. I think this is the translators' faults; ideally, footnotes in translated literature are for explaining that sort of culturally-specific joke, not for unnecessarily explaining what terms for clothing in Arabic mean. So, uh, the prose was interesting, I did not find the plots compelling except for this one particular story, which is spoiled by the intro so I think I'm okay telling you the point is an ironic one about Western culture's disrespect of elders. I found it deeply, compellingly horrifying and accurate and I also hated it intensely so I don't know what to tell you.

Dead and Buried – Barbara Hambly. Another book in the Benjamin January series. I continue to love this series – I love the setting and cultural bits, I love the characters and their relationships, and – new in this one – I also love the plot, which seems to have captured exactly the right points of compelling-yet-hilariously-implausibility to capture me. I'm not sure if I appreciate action more now or if Hambly's gotten better; I suspect the latter. As per usual I recommend the series, which is a mystery series set in the free black community of pre-Civil-War New Orleans, and recommend you start in the earlier books so you know who everyone is, though the internal order isn't crucial. (In particular if you haven't spent at least a few books with Hannibal the reveal in this one will mean nothing to you.)

The Stars Change – Mary Anne Mohanraj. I wanted to like this book, because I liked the short stories I've read by the author and I also read her blog, but alas, I was unable to. There are brief points of brilliance – exasperated closeted lesbian asks her husband what he thought would happen when he cheated on her, relieved to have an excuse to walk out the door; many pieces of the worldbuilding, which is obviously Mohanraj's actual strength and interest; the moment when the community comes together to deal with a mortal threat and immediately begins to cook as step one. However, the prose is wildly uneven, I found many of the characters unlikable, the sex scenes were deeply unnecessary and uncompellingly to wincingly badly-written, and the plot makes no sense. It reads like a series of one shots of varying quality badly stitched together. In particular the ending failed to convince me; there was no reason for all of those people to be there to get killed, and the fact that they could have been needed is not sufficient in a novel where the author decided to put them there for no purpose. I thought it was a first novel until I checked the author's bibliography, at which point I was just confused.

Ran Away – Same series as above. I found this one particularly interesting because of the very long flashback section in which we meet Ayasha directly, Benjamin's deceased wife. I loved her instantly, and I think that view made Benjamin's renewed grief at being reminded of her freshly all the more compelling – it's really impressive, honestly, I knew she was dead from the first chapter of book one and yet I was still hit by it all over again in this one. That said, the portrayal of Islam here is... eeeeh. On the one hand, the Ottomans in particular were so screwed up I am not sure any of it was really wrong for that place and time; on the other hand it would have been nice to be clearer about the parts that were the special, Ottoman interpretation of Islam, particularly since Ayasha is from North Africa and would know. There were ways in which Turkish Islam was both better and worse than European Christianity for women in this period and it would have been nice to see the parts that were better. I think I would have liked it better if Ayasha was still actively Muslim, I don't think it would be a legal barrier to marrying Benjamin in France in this period if she hadn't converted, and if it was her conversion could at least have been in name only.

The Burning City – Alaya Dawn Johnson. The sequel to Racing the Dark, but new readers should know the series is on indefinite/permanent hiatus after this one. I enjoyed this one, and I think it improves on the first in plot complexity and worldbuilding, as well as in prose. The plot increases in complexity and got a lot more interesting to me and the intermixing of mythology with magic and life also becomes more nuanced here. I continue to really love Lana, the relationship with her father was painfully awkward, I really loved the bisexual threesome in the Black Book's plot thread and I think the book does an overall better job with disability representation than the first one, which was decidedly mixed. That said, I also wish the megalomaniac dictator was not violent because, essentially, he hears voices; like, given the worldbuilding I'm absolutely sure it's not psychosis, it's literally a spirit appearing to him masquerading as his dead sister, but it would be nice if it did not come off as psychosis to all of the characters? I am very curious about how Johnson would have tied up the increasingly complicated plot threads, and disappointed I probably won't find out. Also, just, points for high fantasy set in the Pacific Islands and all of the stuff you don't often see in high fantasy, like, government that isn't a misunderstood version of feudalism, civil war fought in a city, etc.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Continuing the Hugo due diligence reading.

Um, not sure what I think about this book. Well-written, definitely. Captivating? I'd say "morbidly fascinating", I want to know more about the world, but I am not sure I want to now about the world. It's... well... in this case a sign of brilliant writing.

Fanfiction

May. 26th, 2017 04:30 pm
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
I want to write Harry Potter and the Sleepover of Plausible Deniability, but what seems to e happening is that I am turning into Pierre Menard, author of chapter four of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Read more... )
But how much of the original can I quote verbatim and still have it be an story that I wrote?

I am realising I can use the words of the chapter to build the story - to get the structure in place - and then once it is built, once it is all story-shaped, change it enough that it is more mine. But grmbl. why is writing hard.

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 09:41 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] aedifica and [personal profile] the_rck!

Well that's an obnoxious form of SEO

May. 26th, 2017 03:23 pm
[personal profile] swaldman
It looks as though the creator of this site has trawled through the source for MATLAB's built-in functions and created an empty forum topic for each error message, so as to snare people who search for the error....

A Catalog of My Vids

May. 26th, 2017 09:13 am
seekingferret: A computer rendering of a system I designed at work. (gfhc)
[personal profile] seekingferret
Multifandom


Batman (1966)/Gotham

This Be The Verse


_____



Single Fandom


Arrested Development

A Fiddler on the Bluth


Batman (1966)

Holy Dance Vid, Batman


Battlestar Galactica

Joker


Blazing Saddles

Two Against One


Fringe

Blonde Redhead

Joy to the City

A New Day in New York Town


Iron Man

Cassavetes


Hurtigruten Minutt for Minutt

You Suffer


Moses und Aron

Getting Ready to Get Down


Noah

Ocean of Noise

They Might Be Nephilim

Brings the Flood


Pacific Rim

The General


Star Wars

Science Fiction Double Feature

Feasting and Dancing


Storylords

Ex Libris!


Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Luddite Spy

Skynet: Life in the Balance

Her Cold Metal Hands

John the Messiah


The Voynich Manuscript

Game On!


West Wing

Circles (Ma'Agalim)
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Cuddly Cthulhu)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... the Manchester thing hit me pretty hard, and then yesterday I had a migraine to the extent where I could just about manage twitter on night mode in a darkened room but not much else.

So if I missed anything important, I'm sorry xx

Citizen

May. 26th, 2017 12:15 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I didn't really get a chance to catch my breath about the citizenship, because of the job interview appearing so quickly on its heels. Now that I've got the inevitable rejection out of the way, I'm starting to think a little more about it again.

I've been forgetting about it, or I've been at best excited that I have my passports back. I really underestimated how much I would hate being without them (plural because the expired one has my proof of Indefinite Leave to Remain in it, which is my proof I can work here and hopefully what keeps the border guards at Manchester Airport from being completely awful to me whenever I come back, so the expired passport is still an integral part of the deal).

Working on my book (I owe Kickstarter an update too). I am so stressed about it at this point, but Andrew's looking at what I have today and assures me it's not as bad as I feared and it's not as far from being done as I feared either.

And [personal profile] po8crg and [personal profile] haggis are taking me out for dinner tonight to celebrate my UK citizenship, so that should help make it seem a bit more real!

Interesting Links for 26-05-2017

May. 26th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Cooking diary

May. 26th, 2017 08:42 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
Monday: Spaghetti aglio e olio with rocket & prawn.
https://flic.kr/p/UYXcWQ
DSC_0007
https://flic.kr/p/UYW78Y
DSC_0006
Tuesday: Mee hoon kueh (hand-torn noodles soup with pork mince, shiitake, cabbage, crispy ikan bilis & shallots)
https://flic.kr/p/UQ3YVs
DSC_0009
https://flic.kr/p/TMX8eW
DSC_0008

Wednesday: Mushroom & lemon risotto #vegetarian
https://flic.kr/p/V7mxsK
DSC_0002
https://flic.kr/p/V3P8cS
DSC_0001

Thursday: Grilled chicken breast, mash potato, on a bed of sauteed cabbage.
https://flic.kr/p/UWu3TR
DSC_0005
https://flic.kr/p/UTEqt3
DSC_0004

30 Day Music Meme day 12

May. 26th, 2017 09:26 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

When I was 12, Everything I do (I do it for you) was number one for 16 weeks. Everyone was talking about Bryan Adams. So I listened to everything he'd released at that point, and that's why even though I was wee at the time it was released, it's going into the pre-teen slot. Imagine a lonely, depressed 12 year old in a 3 bed semi in a small town. Then I heard this, and it was like all the hope in the world wrapped up in one small Canadian.

The Best Was Yet To Come by Bryan Adams.

Cooking diary

May. 26th, 2017 08:19 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
Monday: Beetroot salad with feta & seared beef
https://flic.kr/p/UPwgez
DSC_0470
https://flic.kr/p/TzUQZr
DSC_0469
Tuesday: Bobotie with herbed couscous
https://flic.kr/p/UDRiZc
DSC_0473
https://flic.kr/p/UgjhXA
DSC_0472
Wednesday: Fried rice with chicken & Chinese sausage, with sauteed cabbage.
https://flic.kr/p/UicHiw
DSC_0475
https://flic.kr/p/UCQYc3
DSC_0474
Thursday: Panfried salmon with couscous & slaw of cabbage & onion.
https://flic.kr/p/UjWx9m
DSC_0479
https://flic.kr/p/URkYNs
DSC_0478

May 25 may be Star Wars Day...

May. 26th, 2017 08:05 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
...(no not May the 4th), as May 25 was the date of the first screening of Star Wars. But not in New Zealand.

It wasn't until Christmas Eve 1977 Aucklanders got the chance to see Star Wars. In this age of (near) simultaneous worldwide release of movies, it's easy to forget that there was a time when you had to wait months to see a movie after its initial release in America.

(It was worse for TV. Babylon 5 showed on NZ TV up to two years after US showing. It was nigh impossible to avoid spoilers online.)

GOTG

May. 25th, 2017 10:33 pm
cofax7: Aeryn: Completely off the rails (FS - Aeryn off the Rails -- Saava)
[personal profile] cofax7
So I saw Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 tonight, and spoilers still use a Walkman )

***

In other news, I would really like to go a year or two without a family medical emergency, y'all. But with luck I'll be able to make Lance Armstrong jokes with P. for the rest of our lives...

(no subject)

May. 25th, 2017 11:15 pm
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
[personal profile] sorcyress
Wayyyy back in 2000, I played in my first LARP.

I mean, okay, I was a prop and a game baby in multiple LARPs in the '89-92ish range, and I remember being at Oscars '96 and Arabian Nights '99 (the latter of which dad scrawled me a little handmade unofficial badge about halfway through the weekend because I kept participating and stuff). But Oscars 2000 was my Very First LARP in terms of being given a character ahead of time and playing the whole weekend and being old enough to actually for realsies participate.

I played actress Mallory Tyrone, who was your standard bratty coming-of-age child actress. Somewhere I have all my notes and everything --I'm pretty sure I never got rid of them. My character packet for the weekend included a list of contacts and some out-of-game mechanics stuff, and a list of goals --things to strive for! I achieved very nearly all of them, because I'm a perfectionist damnit (and also because I was eleven and my daddy was one of the game masters and I probably wasn't given anything too arduous to achieve.)

One of those goals was to get signed with an agent! Now, I-as-person already had an agent (my mom's friend Butler is the agent to all three of us kids, as declared at Oscars '96). But Mallory Tyrone had no such thing! With all the brashness and confidence I could muster, I set forth to finding such a beast! I met a very nice woman (who in real life had a couple of kids within a few years age of me and my sibs) and she agreed to represent me, and by the end of the weekend, we had hashed out a contract and everything.

In my contract, I specified a very important stipulation: While on set, I was to have pasta every night for dinner. By which I pretty much meant "some kind of pasta, possibly filled, with tomato sauce, and ideally shake-cheese on top." The dreams of eleven year olds, amIrite? Forget important things like how much money I'd make or whether I have to do topless scenes, I just wanted to make sure I had access to my favourite dinner every night.

I am now 28 years old. I have very little Mallory Tyrone left in me1. But you know what? I've eaten chicken tortellini with tomato sauce for lunch every day this week. I am not sick of it. I do not feel like I'm missing out. There's a very good chance I'll make another batch for lunches next week.

I've long since lost track of that agent, but you know what? That's okay. Katarina Whimsy can make their own dreams come true.

And it's awesome.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Although I still collect autographs whenever remotely possible or reasonable. And I'm still willing to be the one to ask people out --one of the goals was to have a date to the Oscars event on Saturday night, and by god if I didn't find the only boy remotely my age and stumble through the most delightfully awkward eleven year old "SO THIS IS TOTALLY JUST IN GAME, BUT WANNA BE MY DATE IN GAME?!" My brain wants to say he gave me a flower, or a kiss on the cheek, or something equally twee when we met up, but that may just be the storyteller in me.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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