Then Andrew woke me up to tell me it was late and gary'd probably want to be let outside, so I went downstairs and he didn't need a wee but he curled up on my lap under a blanket and was so warm and furry and sweet and I was so happy he's there.
And then facebook told me it'd been a year since he came to live with us. We didn't know then he'd be here for good; it might just have been for a couple of months. And I posted these pictures that day.
Happy year-with-us, Gary the Wonder Dog.
“It should not be in those waters,” he told the BBC. “We see fin whales occasionally on the southern coast or more the west coast of the UK, so Ireland, right up to Scotland. But you never get them in the North Sea, so what it was doing there, we have no idea at the moment.”
Not the first instance this year of whales beaching themselves along the East Anglian Coast, but at least sperm whales are not unusual visitors. (I note there is actually a UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP)).
I do notice, when googling fin whales East Anglia, that it's not the first fin whale to come ashore in those parts, there was an incident in 2012: The body of a juvenile whale remained on a Suffolk beach yesterday as officials decided on the best way to dispose of the large mammal; and there have been infrequent sightings going back to 1842
So perhaps not A Sign?
And also in Dept of This is Not Unique and Unprecedented, I see that I am not the only person to have gone, actually Sir Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1913, was a songwriter (though not exclusively so - poems, novels, essays, etc).
The current season of ENO opened with a new production of Don Giovanni, and I gave a little 'eek' when I realised that it was nearly at the end of the run before I'd got around to arranging to see it. I have seen 'quite a few' productions before,* but it is the greatest opera ever written and each of them has shone a new light on it even if, as in the case of ENO's last but one production, it was on how not to do it.** But if I am ever allowed to direct it, it's this one I shall shamelessly steal – erm, improve – the idea of the opening from.
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, the opening features Don Giovanni being disturbed with his latest conquest, Donna Anna, by the arrival of her father, the Commendatore. The latter is killed and given how long it is since it was first performed, it shouldn't be a spoiler that this is not the last we see of him… Watching and commentating on all this is Don Giovanni's servant, Leporello.
So there are two questions that the director has to think about because they affect how we see the Don from the start. The first is how consensual is the relationship between Don Giovanni and Donna Anna. The libretto has Don Giovanni masked and one of the problems between them is that he won't tell her who he is, but is it attempted rape? The second is how accidental is the killing of the Commendatore: is it murder, manslaughter or misadventure?
During the overture, this one has a series of women walk past Don Giovanni and Leporello, stop, turn round and go through one of a series of doors with him before coming out again. I've seen others where this sort of thing has happened, including ones like this where there's also been one man in the queue of conquests. What doesn't convince me is that he doesn't do anything to pick them up: we're expected to believe that merely walking past is enough to get the stream of nine or so people into bed. It's fair to say that the role isn't performed here by Brad Pitt. The other improvement would be to have some of the people exiting the door be adjusting their clothing / having their skirt tucked into their knickers at the back or something.
I guessed that the last in the queue would be Donna Anna and indeed it was. The moment I sat up was where the set opened up and there were two rooms, one of which had the pair inside. There is some mimed negotiation and Donna Anna wants a masked man wielding a knife to 'assault' her. Even better, her father enters the other room with a woman very unlikely to be his wife who he begins to top! He hears Donna Anna's cries, enters the other room and is 'You want it? You have it' stabbed by the Don.
It fails to work with the plot – Donna Anna is supposed to only realise later that Don Giovanni is the one who's killed her father etc – but it's nearly brilliant.
What I'd do is project something like the screen of someone using Tindr etc during the overture. With a masked profile picture, the Don is going 'yes' to anything in a skirt, and ends up in text conversation with Donna Anna who says that her fantasy is… But I'd keep the Commendatore being up to some extra-marital sex in the next room.
Alas, that's the highlight. Some of the other ideas – like having Donna Anna's boyfriend, Don Ottavio, be her husband rather than just engaged to her – are pointless and contradict small bits of the plot. Some – like having the statue of the Commendatore be as unlike marble (what they're singing he is) as it's possible to be.. up until he enters the room, when he's a bit marble, but more like the resurrected body – are 'huh?' Another of the latter is the number of doors people go through for no very good reason. Some ideas – like having Don Giovanni attempt to seduce a servant over the phone rather than by standing underneath her window*** – are mostly harmless, but serve to raise a question or two. The call's made from a phone box with a rotary dial, so when is this set?
The final idea – having Don Giovanni escape Hell by sending Leporello in his place – is something I've never seen before, is sort of in character, but only works here in terms of explaining WTF someone looking like Leporello's clone has been pointedly wandering through the scenes throughout: he just replaces Leporello as the servant and it's back to the opening corridor and its stream of walking past, stopping, and… It could work, perhaps, but my favourite ending is still that of the Francesca Zambello production for the ROH, where we see a naked Don in Hell, carrying an equally naked woman.****
The set design – a series of greys and drab olive (taken from tank camouflage paint tins?) – is uninspiring and the rest of the design isn't up to much either, with the exception of having Leporello look like Michael Caine. The English translation is also ok rather than great.
But you could close your eyes and listen to this one, and I'm very glad to have seen it.
Two more performances: Monday and Wednesday. I'd bought a 'secret ticket' – you pay £20 and only find out where you're seated the day before. I'd guessed that it having been at the Tkts booth in Leicester Square for £30 meant that it was likely to be a good seat rather than up in the balcony, and ended up in the middle of the fourth row of the dress circle, normal price £125.
* A quick count says about twelve 'live in theatre' ones, some of which were seen more than once, plus a couple of 'live from..' satellite broadcasts and at least half a dozen on DVD.
** Normally, if the production is badly directed and designed, you can shut your eyes and listen, but even the singing was poor in this one.
*** Best line from any 'outside the window' production was one in the mid-90s: 'This worked quicker at Kensington Palace…' Now Princess Diana is long dead but we've another woman PM, you could have 'Downing Street'.
**** This was the production I paid HOW MUCH to see live and was definitely worth the money. Sky Arts were showing it at one point and it's also available on DVD.
Mirrored from my website's blog, The deranged mad of a brain man.
2. Coffee with milk and splenda. Particularly lovely in a warm mug on a cold damp day. I've had this mug since college -- it's a giant mug with an illustration of itself surrounded by coffee beans -- and I love the way it fits in my hand.
3. I went to the CSA this morning and am now cooking up a great big bag of swiss chard with lemon and garlic and sea salt and fresh pepper, which will keep me in greens for a few days.
4. Clean sheets on my bed, and laundry folded and put away.
5. I bought a pair of Not Your Daughters' Jeans on sale at 6pm, and they fit like a glove. ( Cut for body stuff )
How are y'all?
Fall is busy at work I don't have that much time left to read but I did read some and hockey season has begun.
Inbox (Books acquired)
This is almost a full month of new ebooks all on sale.
Courtney Milan's contemporary romances in her Cyclone series, Trade me and The Year of the Crocodile and the one of her Worth Saga, regency romance.
The Three-Body Problem. Cixin Liu. Hugo Awards 2015.
The Undoing (Call of the Crows). Urban Fantasy romance.
Anne Tyler's Vinegar girl, rereading of Taming of the Shrew ; Beatriz Williams' A Certain Age. Jazz age, New York City. Illuminae. Amie Kaufman. YA, sci-fi.
Outbox (Books finished)
Kelly Jamieson's Icing. Aces Hockey series. A very solid 3 1/2 stars. Both leads are strong, likable adults in their twenties. They met, they like each other, they talk and grow to love each other. The hockey scene is well done. You can see the author did her research. A good sport romance.
Poe Dameron #6.
Jed Perl's New Art City : Manhattan at Mid-Century. Which was amazing and so full of things. My copy is a rainbow of highlights passages.
In the Queue (Books I'm reading now)
The Year We Fell Down. Sarina Bowen. So far it's good and not ableist.
Trade me. Courtney Milan. It's Courtney Milan, it's rarely bad.
Being alone on Friday night can be difficult for me, so I'm lining up the forms of self-care I can manage.
I'm going to try baking these custardy apple squares (recipe courtesy of bironic.)
I'm planning to eat dinner with a book at hand -- the first March volume, the graphic novel about the civil rights struggle by Representative John Lewis, given to me by bayleaf.
I'm doing laundry, which means later I get to enjoy folding cozy warm things right out of the dryer.
Whatever your evening may hold, I hope it is sweet. (And for those to whom Shabbat is meaningful, Shabbat shalom.)
I call this a laundry basket. Keiki and Humuhumu claim they are in a boat.
They are sitting in a
That oblong of white plastic contains multitudes. Do not constraint its identity as above.
Spotted in the street this evening: somebody walking their ferret. Awwww, cute ferret. Aaaargh, ferret-walking hipsters taking over the neighbourhood.
I don't think I have ever managed to be fashionably late to any event unless there was a transport crisis.
Book launch held in turn of the century hall of institution for educating the lower orders, now embedded within a post-92 university. A dado (?dado; or would it count as above the dado?) of murals illustrating (I presume) great episodes from English history of some relevance to the location. The only one I could make the slightest guess at was the one with, surely that must be EIR? The one with a cat in the corner did not otherwise recall Dick Whittington.
As a result of the foregoing, I may have revived a 'Research This' Thing I have been thinking about for several years now, which impinges upon the general ballpark of my scholarly interests, but Not [Quite] My Period and probably requiring getting up to speed on a load of peripheral matters for that reason. On another paw, for Other Reasons it has a certain relevance.
and my glory shall be love (26459 words) by Lake
Fandom: Generation Kill
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Brad Colbert/Nate Fick
Characters: Brad Colbert, Nate Fick, Mike Wynn, Ray Person, Walt Hasser, Rudy Reyes, Craig Schwetje
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Politics, Big Bang Challenge
There is little that Agent Mike Wynn takes more seriously than the life of Vice President Nate Fick. When the number of death threats starts to climb, he calls in the one person he's sure he can trust, USMC Sgt. Brad Colbert, and assigns him the 24/7 task of being the Vice President's shadow.
The voices are spot-on -- this is absolutely Nate and Brad -- and the AU works beautifully. Also the slow unfolding of their relationship, the dynamics, the way they each come to recognize how much the other matters to them -- just gorgeous.
Then on my way back to my apartment, I realized I forgot to pick up my roommate's ticket (bc she agreed to come with me to the honor's ceremony. Hopefully she'll still want to.). So it was a trek in the rain across the half mile breadth of the campus, which wasn't so bad. I stopped in the box office, and stated my business. The guy pulled them out for me, and then said, "Congratulations on your fellowship."
And to be honest, that put a smile on my face. I keep forgetting I did a good job and got rewarded for being smart and proposing something worthwhile. Unprompted, unexpected praise was nice.
So finally really on my way back to my place, I decided I'd stop by the health clinic to double check on my blood results. What ensued was both hilarious and frustrating.
I asked the front desk receptionist if my blood results were received yet. She said yes, just they were waiting on one last one. I was a bit confused, since I had already gotten notification by the blood lab they were complete. The receptionist, looking over what I assumed to be the tests, got a little frown on her face. She asked me to wait a second while she checked something.
Apparently she went to run down a nurse, because when she came back she said that she was going to book me an appointment for the doctor to go over some concerning results on Monday. She went for the reassuring, "not that they're like crazy bad", and I had to do an inner roffle. Apparently the nurse was firm about me being seen asap.
So yeah, I see more testing in my future, and almost probably to determine which autoimmune bugaboo that's rearing its ugly head.
I'm sitting on a long train journey opposite a family of a mother and two young kids. Both kids have been hyperactive for the last three hours, playing loud games on their tablets (without headphones) and, in one case, providing a running commentary on everything he was doing. He's wandered off for a bit. The younger kid, who can't be more than 10, is playing something that - in-between automatic weapon fire - just had somebody call out to him suggesting "Champagne in your mouth and a couple of fresh tits in your face".
The argument against video-game-related moral panic usually involves parental supervision. In this case the mother is, as she has been since the start, curled up in a corner staring at her phone. I think she's given up.
God, I hope everyone looks bonkers. I can't wait to see what Sarah Jessica Parker wears, say what you will about her choices but they are on-theme as fuck. This is going to be GREAT.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show isn’t a movie to me. For me, it’s the feeling of moist rice sticking to the soles of my pantyhosed feet. It’s remembering not to wipe away that crustiness around my eyes because that’s mascara, you dolt, you need to look pretty for the audience. It’s eating french fries and gravy at three in the morning with a bunch of wasted-out weirdos down at the Athena Diner, wondering who I’m going home with that night.
I was Frank. I was the first Frank. And let me tell you, in the town of Norwalk, Connecticut – a place that didn’t have a single nightclub – that was an honor.
Because there was a single art house cinema in Norwalk, and it was a rattletrap organization called the Sono Cinema – headed by a stubborn man with no head for money and a frantic love for beautiful films. Brian would book the theater with the obscure foreign films he liked, and on a good night you’d get five people showing up. Sometimes he ran out of popcorn.
But he’d been told that running the Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight was a money-maker, and though Brian loathed the idea of “popular” cinema, he realized he needed some cash. So he ran it once, and filled the theater, but…
Nobody was doing anything.
He realized there was supposed to be shouting, and audience participation, but this was in the days before YouTube and online tutorials. The Rocky Horror was a purely hand-me-down tradition: you could only learn the rituals of flinging rice and wet newspapers by going to a raucous show and being taught.
What he had was an audience of virgins.
So he asked around. He needed someone stupid enough to dress up in women’s clothing, who would rouse an audience on, who would be shameless.
I wasn’t sure if I could be shameless before a theater full of people, but I was the only one who volunteered. I’d seen a few shows, had the tape soundtrack.
And so there was a pit crew at my house at 9:00 on a Saturday. The Rocky Horror lovers in town wanted this to work – it was a lot easier than driving an hour up to the other show in New Haven – and so I had four people in my room making me look pretty.
My mother had no idea what was going on. “Hey, mom, do you have a fake pearl necklace I can borrow?” I asked. “Crap – do you have any mascara? Oh, yeah, could I borrow some pantyhose?”
She stormed into my room, holding a set of L’eggs at arm’s length, and deposited it in my lap. “Here,” she said curtly. “This is the last thing you ask for. And I don’t want to know what you’re doing.”
And I drove to the Sono, and there was a crowd that I remember as being like a rock star audience but was probably fifty wasted college kids – and I sauntered in, flipping effortlessly to working the room, and when the show started I got up to the front of the stage in a bustierre and silk underwear and yelled, “ALL RIGHT, PEOPLE, HERE’S HOW THIS GOES. WHO BROUGHT THEIR SQUIRT GUNS?”
I became a star. Or at least a star in Norwalk, Connecticut.
I was The Rocky Horror Guy.
And there were other Rocky Horror people, a great cast of folks who I came to love, and they were also vital – but I was the person introducing the audience to the show on Fridays and Saturdays, and so I became the face of the Rocky Horror.
(…Which Brian fucking hated. He hated the gaudiness of the show, he hated the cleanup, he hated the freaks showing up all the time because this wasn’t cinema, it was spectacle, but the money let him play Un Chien Andalou again, so he let me do what I wanted.)
And to me, the Rocky Horror is barely a film. It’s a backdrop. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a flickering blue light where I run up and down the aisles, scoping the cutest girls in the show so I can be sure to plop onto their laps at the appropriate show moment when Frank falls.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a set of crowded bathrooms where we put on makeup and come out to each other, that first time I really understood how complex sexuality was as I saw the straight guy with the broomhandle mustache who wasn’t a woman but this was the only place he would wear a dress, and guys going gay for a weekend to see how it felt, and women switching roles in the show as they tried on butchiness and femme to see how it felt.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a parking lot, where we’d all gather at 10:30 and start drinking lavishly, noting the old crew and welcoming the newcomers, we loved fresh blood because they were either folks travelling from distant Rocky shows to see ours – and they had new lines to shout at the screen, their rituals blending with ours – or they were people who’d never been here before and oh God you gotta see this it’s so wonderful have a hug this is your community fit in.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is my own sexuality blossoming because I discovered that when you’re shameless you will find an audience, and so there were blowjobs in the back of the theater and women fucking me in hearses and sometimes taking someone’s hand and bringing them to the backstage (“Fuck the backstage!”) and discovering that someone else was already making out in there and God, were we all going to kiss each other eventually?
Probably. And we dated, and we broke up, and we cheated, and that was all right because Rocky Horror was the hub. We could be pissed at each other, but this was where we came and this was who we are and maybe I was aching because Bari and I had broken up again but there was the Time Warp and we could always dance to the Time Warp no matter how mad we were.
And people would say, “Oh, I saw Rocky Horror on VHS!” And I tried not to be snobbish, but… you gotta see it live, I’d whisper.
I did that for about four years. And eventually, the RHPS got encrusted – I ran a very loose show, where “fun” was more important than the details, and hell, if you’d seen the show three times and wanted to go nuts as Eddie roaming about the theater, well, does this jacket fit?
But eventually folks who were Very Concerned about the correct costuming wormed their way in, which led to a stage show that was about mimicking the movie perfectly, which led to a hierarchy where you had to train in the ways of Rocky Horror before you could be on stage, which created this barrier between the audience and the show that eventually strangled it.
At that point, I was more like the Rocky Horror godfather. I was an emeritus; I’d show up, do the intro, and then go hang out in the backstage or goof around in the lobby. And eventually it dissolved, along with the Sono Cinema itself.
And when people say, “Oh, Rocky Horror was on TV last night!”, well, I couldn’t watch. I’m sure it’s fine. But I’ve gone to see Rocky Horror in the theaters since, and I’ve discovered that I lied.
Because I go to see the Rocky Horror in the theaters, and it’s not Norwalk in 1989. It’s these other kids, people I don’t know, and for me Rocky Horror is walking into a room full of freaks and knowing every single one. For me, Rocky Horror is that community…
…and the community is gone.
It’s not a bad thing. Bright lights fade. I wasn’t going to be dressed as Frank forever, nor would I want to.
But there’s a film, and there’s a show, and there are remakes. They’re all good. I want you to love them.
Yet there’s no remaking that crappy theater. There’s no getting all my friends back in the same room with that same feeling of hope that tonight is gonna be awesome, we’re gonna cheer, we’re gonna make new friends, we’re gonna kiss in secret and nurture crushes and maybe touch a genital that we didn’t think we’d like except oh I kinda like that.
There’s no going back.
It’s never been the same. It’s been better. Rocky Horror catapulted me into new realms of bravery – I can give talks to rooms because shit, after you’ve faced down a hundred drunken frat boys, “giving a speech” is nothing. Rocky Horror taught me about sex, and fluidity, and tolerance. Rocky Horror taught me how to handle microfame, because I was a star for six hours a week and then I went back to work at the record shop.
All those have built me into something marvelous, and I’ve thought about going back to some theater and seeing if I could become a member of the crew again, but….
That’s trying to recreate a past.
I have a glorious future to head to.
The longing will kill you if you let it.
Whatever happened to Saturday night?
When you dressed up sharp and you felt alright
It don’t seem the same since cosmic light
Came into my life
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
I have been freecycling things from my attic.
Getting rid of random stuff which I do not want, but which other people do (and which they will go to some effort to acquire), is giving me this strange sense of smug satisfaction.
So far I have gotten rid of:
- Ikea bookcase
- Boxing gloves
- Extension lead
- Another extension lead
- Clothes rail
- Tin of (extremely) yellow paint
- Strange device for cleaning windows (instructions in Japanese)
There's a lot more to go.
Your Name hasn't been released in the UK yet, but a preview was the "Mystery Film" at the "Scotland Loves Anime" festival. It's about a tokyo boy and a country girl who find that they switch bodies in their dreams... and there's not a lot more that I can tell you without spoilers. It was really nicely done. It didn't all quite make sense to me plot-wise, but it didn't really matter.
April and the Extraordinary World is better than the title sounds. This is because it's a French film and the title is an awkward translation (if in no other way than that the name "Avril" got translated as though it were the month rather than a proper noun...). It's set in a whimsical steampunk alternate history, it has a strong female protagonist without making a big deal about this, and is generally fun.
I recommend both :-)
Clifford B. Hicks has a character named Alvin Fernald, who has all sorts of books and goes on all sorts of adventures. And I think Wabbit would likely write about The Pest, if she knew of these books. (A girl desperate to be thought of as a boy, to be able to do fun things with her brother and his friends).
I like The Pest too. And I like Alvin (and though my brain never quite ran the right directions, I always *wanted* to be an inventor.) But what I like most of all --and who I relate to most of all, after a weird moment of thought, is Shoie.
Shoie is not The Magnificent Brain. He's the best friend, the follower. But he's also the incredibly physical one, who burns off energy by walking on his hands or along fences. Maybe it's the ADHD, maybe it's just my own weird quirk, but I've almost always been a fairly physical person. I used to go regular with the high school gang to play blind tag at the playground, and once there, I was one of the ones balancing on the monkey bars with my eyes closed and trying to make the Leap of Faith from the slide to the entrance of the structure. Nowadays, I sublimate a lot of my "need to MOVE" into dance, but I still climb up and walk on walls instead of the sidewalk some days.
Shoie is caring and supportive of Alvin, helping him out of (and sometimes into!) scrapes. He's a good dude, all around, and I'd like to think I am able to be that friendly and that loyal. But most of all, I know full well that neither of us would be happy to live our lives sitting down.
I've been ill since Tuesday night, no improvement in sight, and as of this morning I've lost my voice. The children found that a lot funnier than I did.
One of my friends from work, who had a similar leukaemia to me several years earlier, told me that she still finds colds hit harder and take longer to recover from than before the cancer. So maybe it's not surprising. But so so tedious. And I keep having to talk down the bit of my brain that panics when I get breathless climbing the stairs, because honestly brain it's much more likely that I'm breathless because I have a stinking cold than because the cancer has come back, and I wasn't breathless climbing the stairs before I caught this cold.
It's not flu and I'm not running a temperature, I'm just bunged up and stupid and fed up.
excellent views of the graceful arc of the Tilikum Crossing bridge, by early daylight all shining silver, by pre-sunrise twilight pale and jeweled with lights, and by early-AM darkness a stream of fiery colors topped with two bright flags
a park full of autumn trees in full color, including daffodil yellow, bright pinkish red, deep burnt orange, pumpkin orange, dark purplish red, true red-orange with bronze shadings, dark damp brown and faded dark green
a warm fuzzy blanket
a hot shower
clean laundry (thanks darling)
( noms_and_identity_feels_and_vagueness )
So yesterday I finished Sekret, by Lindsay Smith. The premise was that our protagonist, Yulia, is a teenager in the 1960s in Moscow, and she's forced into working for the KGB, who train her psychic abilities and use her as a spy, which is very silly, but exactly my kind of very silly. Anyway, I am disappointed, because whilel it was a fabulous premise, all the characters were a little bit too flat for me to care about, it had a disappointingly uninteresting romantic subplot, and it is sad to me that you can manage to write Psychic Spies Do The Cold War! in a way that I don't care about.
To their credit, though, they had a pair of twins with psychic abilities who didn't have any particularly unique telepathic connection or twin magic or anything like that, and I do like it when fictional twins come without the superstitions.
But really what I'm getting largely from this is that I have Some Kind of autoimmune disorder. What exactly remains to be seen in further tests (that I may just kinda be like meeeeehhhhh dun wanna, because the last thing I need are More Disorders that would preclude me from jobs).
But like I'm kinda fascinated that my monocytes are borderline high, paired with anemia, paired with a definitive Positive Abnormal ANA test. Like hey that sounds vaguely ominous! hahahaha :D
(I guess I'm also kinda relieved that after my almost 9 years of ignoring these cyclical symptoms, I was rewarded with a Yes You Are Sick, Dumbass. Hahaha. I dunno? This is kind of hilarious to me.)
2. I am really excited for my actual assignment but I have a pile of background reading about a foot high to do as much of as I can first, and I keep adding to the pile. Raise your hand if you're surprised.
3. I.. may or may not actually get around to writing a letter...? YT writer, you're fine with what's in the assignment email and in the old letters, right? Nothing has changed I promise.
4. I am not doing super-well with, like, keeping up with life. But then this is the time of year when my body thinks I should be preparing to hibernate. And I think work is getting more back into a routine? Maybe? If they manage to fix the roof before it falls in?
5. I finished rewatch of S1 of Leverage! I forgot that my tragedy in that fandom is that all I actually want out of it is a long, meaty, hilarious pre-canon fic about Nate and Sophie chasing each other all over Europe. But I cannot write it because the bits of backstory are spread out over many, many canon episodes and I am not a person who can consume AV fandoms in a way that will let me collate all that. And all the current fandom gives me is The Best OT3 Ever, and don't get me wrong, I love them all and I love their canon OT3, but. The Golden Trio basically already have figured out who they are and have decided they like who they are and the only problem they need solved is finding other people who agree with them about liking who they are, and they've pretty much got that solved by halfway though S1, the rest is all details. Sophie, on the other hand. Sophie has layers. (I really really love the fact that the S1 ender that you expected to be all about Nate and his manpain ended up actually being about Sophie's issues and Sophie's past. Sooophie. Every time I tried to write OT3 it ended up being about Sophie and figuring out Sophie is HARD so I never finished anything.)
(now I remember, I stopped watching in the first place because Sophie left. At least now I know she definitely comes back after.)
Other things I would like that the fandom is not giving me: Sophie/Eliot. Maggie/Parker. Five-way found family telepathic soulbond (which is basically canon already, the way they use the earbuds thematically is SO GREAT, now I just need the post-canon fic where Nate and Sophie are off on a cruise somewhere and start hearing the other three on a job even though they don't have earbuds in.)
6. *cough* anyway
So jjhunter and I have been talking about Ancillary London (or maybe Rivers of the Radch?) You should come join us.
Also somebody needs to convince me I don't actually need to read The Science of Discworld in order to write Rivers of Ankh-Morpork. Even if Peter Grant probably has read it already.
I have the first comics trade but haven't read it yet because I have been reading Peter as looking vaguely like, oh, Rainbow Sun Franck c. SGA, and Thomas looking vaguely like Tim Gunn or sth, and at least judging by the cover, that is really not where the comic went with character designs, so I am scared.
7. Also I keep switching between Fivethirtyeight to obsess and Leverage to watch evil corrupt billionaires cry, which was a mistake, because now I want a story about the *other* Nate being the mastermind of a team of the world's greatest criminals. And they were a YT nom. And they could pull off a great caper plot, I am convinced. Whiz Kid Harry drinking his endless bottles of diet root beer that he somehow finds even in the middle of Antarctica. I just can't think of anything I want to see them steal.
Translated from the German by Joachim Neugroschel, this is an early work of Heschel, written when he was 28 and living in Berlin in 1935. That... is an astonishing fact to recall as you read, and think about the questions and dangers to his community that Heschel was grappling with as he tried to provide context and meaning to the life and works of the Rambam.
Heschel's biography is primarily informed by the primary sources- Rambam's own writings about this life, as well as what can be inferred about Rambam's life from his theological and philosphical writings. He pulls a little extra detail from the writings of Yehuda HaLevi and Yosef Ibn Aknin and some of the Rambam's other contemporaries, but not a whole lot. The biography is therefore, on the whole, a direct intellectual conversation between Heschel and Maimonides, both giants of Jewish philosophy. That is something to treasure.
Heschel is extremely interested in Maimonides's wandering, how he went from Spain to Morocco to Israel to Egypt, fleeing Islamic persecution and seeking a stable, safe Jewish community, and at the same time trying in all of his sojourns to offer meaningful and pragmatic spiritual succor to the Jews living under pressure. It's a tradition he links to Rambam's father, Rabbi Maimon, who wrote a powerful letter providing halachic cover to Jews forced to pretend to be Muslims and only practice Judaism in secret, against hardliners in the Jewish community insisting that only those who risked martyrdom by openly practicing Judaism were offering valid worship to God. Rambam picked up the responsibility when his father died, engaging with splinter sects and messianic cults in a desperate and important effort to hold Jewish unity against the siege of Almohad persecution. Just imagine Heschel reading these texts in 1935 and thinking about their applicability to his own situation, how to create a viable Judaism in response to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis! How just three years after he published the book, the Jews of Berlin would see a pogram as bad as anything Maimonides ever saw, how he would lose most of his family to the Holocaust over the next decade.
Heschel sees in Maimonides's teachings a very clear response, and it is the response that informed the rest of Heschel's own life: Torah education and the spiritual exploration it fosters is the reason man was placed in the world, and it is the great protection of the survival of Judaism and the Jews. Maimonides, in both Mishneh Torah and Moreh Nevuchin, as well as Iggeret Teiman and his responsa literature, was creating the pathway for Jews to survive in spite of the persecution of the Almohades. Heschel reviews all of this literature in detail and in context. Earlier this year I reviewed Seeskin's A Guide for Today's Perplexed, which offers an interpretive gloss on Moreh Nevuchin in an explicitly modern philosophical language. Seeskin is asking how to understand Maimonides in the wake of Kant and Hegel and so on. Heschel is interested in understanding Maimonides on his own terms, in relation to medieval philosophy generally. This is, generally speaking, a less useful approach to engaging with the philosophical message of Maimonides, but it is a much richer approach to engaging with Maimonides as a person and as a leader. Heschel's biography of Maimonides is a thrilling guidebook to thinking about how to keep Judaism thriving.
Went to the British Library the other day to do some research for this biographical article I am supposed to be writing.
I had preordered some things that were on 48 hour access, all of which turned up.
I also, while I was there, ordered some things that were on 70 minute access (this was an entirely remarkable prospect to someone who remembers the old Bloomsbury days), and got those.
One was actually Not What I Ordered, but it turned out that the reference had been misread, and they managed to get me the right item most expeditiously.
I had had some concern that I might not readily find a seat, but the reading room at least was a lot less chokka than I'd anticipated, though outside there were vast swathes of people looking at laptops (on-site only digital resources, or just social media?).
I didn't find out very much - or rather, the evidence was negative - but I did come across one thing, a descriptive phrase, which in the light of other info on my subjects was very suggestive.
I still have to go back - one thing I thought I could order on the day turned out to be 48 hour access, and there is a microfilmed (AAAAAAAARRRRGGGHHH) periodical I need to consult.
And I found myself really knackered after a day there, perhaps because I am somewhat out of training?
- apple turnovers, using rough-puff pastry (half for my stepdad)
- sausage apple pie in a cheddar crust
- birthday dinner at Omai, as recommended by newredshoes
- cider street fair with L. and zopyrus
- make more bread dough for loaf-pan experiment
- pesto chicken turnovers
- aloo gobi with chickpeas
Roommate E. bought herself a Keurig, and I am trying not to judge her for it. It takes up so much room, it is so wasteful, it is none of my business.
Yesterday, I posted a sad status that said:
And I was beswarmed in kind comments. Something like twenty people replied, others sent kind messages, and still others texted me to send love. Which is all wonderful, and I appreciate that, but…
I’ve got a good support system. I have my bad days, but when I have them, I also have thousands of people on my social networks who are willing to sympathize.
So I am declaring today “National ‘Don’t Be Nice To Me’ Day – and what I’d like you to do today is to reach out to someone who doesn’t necessarily have a great support network and tell them you’re thinking of them. Or reach out to someone who’s having a hard time and hasn’t, for whatever reason, been able to post online to get the support they deserve.
Basically, take the kindness you were willing to show to me yesterday and use that to surprise someone else with love. Don’t tell ’em why you did it, don’t explain what today is – just text them or @ them or DM them to tell them “Hey, you know what? I’m here for you.”
And if you feel like posting this elsewhere on your blog/social media/whatever, thus converting the latent kindness people feel for you into active kindness for other people? Awesome.
Because any excuse to be nice to someone else is a great excuse.
Don’t be nice to me today.
Be great to someone else.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
- My three 10 km eggs hatched into: a relatively low CP Jynx (grumble), a high CP Pinsir (sigh) aaaaaand….A SCYTHER. The last was new to me and also very powerful. So I’m happy. I’m saving the fourth 10 km egg for when I level up.
- Nearly finished with Level 24. So...close...want....Lucky...Egg...argh.
- I cracked and did some boring Pidgey evolutions because I was so tired of hauling around loads of them.
- My Pokédex claims I have attempted and failed to catch a Nidoqueen and an Exeggcutor. I find this irritating because I cannot recall seeing either.
- I walked my Jigglypuff for sufficient candies so that they’re ready to evolve along with the Omanyte and the Seel. Now walking my Clefairy because even though I’ve only caught a few, it’s only 1 km per candy.
- I reached Silver level on the Breeder medal for hatching 100+ eggs, and Silver on the Fisherman medal for catching 50 big Magikarp. I also have sufficient candies to evolve a third Gyarados. Typically I earn enough candies to be able to fully power up my highest CP Magikarp before I do the evolution as well. It’s a bit ridiculous.
- I think I’m seeing a greater variety of Pokémon spawns near my house. Don’t get me wrong, the majority are still comprised of Magikarp, Goldeen, Poliwag, Psyduck, Slowpoke and Staryu and occasionally the evolved forms of these (apart from Gyarados - I’ve never seen a wild Gyarados). But I see Eevee, Oddish, Zubat and even Drowsee now, where I would only have ever seen Pidgey and Rattata previously. The change seems to have happened around the time the nests were rearranged. Has anyone else observed this?
Abyssrium, which I’d almost stopped playing entirely, has a Halloween event going on. Sir Tap Tap’s guide has been updated so that you can optimise your candy usage to collect all the ghost and bone fish. I’m enjoying the theme, as you can see from my reef below, with its pumpkins, candles, tombstones, ghost fish and bone turtle.
( +2 )
The Green Knight's poetic beheading
From experience he knew
it's a hard thing to do
to cut off a head without hewing
There are poems like cats, a prof said,
that are pretty too look at, or read,
but more complex by far
when you take them apart -
but then cats, unlike poems, are dead.