"Ninefox March" working notes

Mar. 23rd, 2017 04:05 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
I'm putting this behind a cut because I'm guessing composing/MIDI sequencing working notes will bore most of y'all. ;) OTOH, this is an easy way to keep track of what I'm doing!

BTW, I will never get tired of the rainbow the LEDs on the Komplete Kontrol S88 makes when you turn it on. I am easily distracted?

Read more... )
[personal profile] sovay
Last night I dreamed that I dropped by the library to return a book and found [livejournal.com profile] ashlyme and their presumably fictitious writing group hanging out around a table near the science fiction section; I talked plot with people, read some scenes of stories (the young man with Gullah heritage was writing a kind of supernatural mystery inspired by the life of his grandmother the root doctor, please tell me this exists somewhere), and then left the library to meet up with my parents for dinner, at which point I discovered that I had lost an entire day. Twenty-four hours to the minute had passed between my entering and leaving the library. My internal clock thought about an hour, two hours tops. Nothing worse seemed to have happened to me than lost time, but no one remembered seeing me or the writing group, even when I could point to the very table which was now empty of writers, laptops, backpacks, and sodas, but otherwise unremarkable-looking. The only evidence of my presence was the no longer overdue book, which could have been dropped through the return slot after hours. I had neither eaten nor drunk anything during my time in the library and I remember very seriously establishing this fact with my parents, because it seemed likely to be the only reason that I had been able to leave. "Were they in a circle?" [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel asked after I related the dream to him. "It was a round table," I had to agree. Congratulations, Ashlyme! My brain interprets your mere presence as shorthand for Faerie.

Some things—

1. I am reading William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley (1946). I didn't realize until I saw the dedication "To Joy Davidman" that I knew him by reputation—and not as a writer—the part of Davidman's story that she left behind when she moved to England to live near C.S. Lewis in 1953. In which case he really was as much of a personal disaster area as the foreword by Nick Tosches suggests, but he could write. The epigraphs are taken from Eliot's The Waste Land (1922) and Petronius' Satyricon. The table of contents is a Tarot reading, each chapter a card of the Major Arcana introducing a particular character or signaling a significant event: "The Fool who walks in motley, with his eyes closed, over a precipice at the end of the world . . . The High Priestess. Queen of borrowed light who guards a shrine between the pillars Night and Day . . . The World. Within a circling garland a girl dances; the beasts of the Apocalypse look on." Tosches credits Gresham with introducing a number of carny terms into popular culture, including "geek," "cold reading," and "spook racket." I want to get my OED out of storage and double-check all of these assertions, but it is true that the novel's initial setting of a traveling ten-in-one show feels like a worthy successor to Tod Browning's Freaks (1932) and forerunner of Theodore Sturgeon's The Dreaming Jewels (1950), evocative, sympathetic, and unsentimental in its details of carny life. It gets all the slang right that I can see: talker, spiel, gaffed, "Hey, Rube!" I'm aware the whole thing will eventually turn to horror—the 1947 film adaptation starring Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell is supposed to rank among the sleaziest and bleakest of the first-generation noirs—but at the moment we are still getting passages like this:

Evansburg, Morristown, Linklater, Cooley Mills, Ocheketawney, Bale City, Boeotia, Sanders Falls, Newbridge.

Coming: Ackerman-Zorbaugh Monster Shows. Auspices Tall Cedars of Zion, Caldwell Community Chest, Pioneer Daughters of Clay County, Kallakie Volunteer Fire Department, Loyal Order of Bison.

Dust when it was dry. Mud when it was rainy. Swearing, steaming, sweating, scheming, bribing, bellowing, cheating, the carny went its way. It came like a pillar of fire by night, bringing excitement and new things into the drowsy towns—lights and noise and the chance to win an Indian blanket, to ride on the ferris wheel, to see the wild man who fondles those rep-tiles as a mother would fondle her babes. Then it vanished in the night, leaving the trodden grass of the field and the debris of popcorn boxes and rusting tin ice-cream spoons to show where it had been.


Among its descendants, then, perhaps include also Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962).

2. Somehow despite falling in love (like most of the internet) with Miike Snow and Ninian Doff's "Genghis Khan" (2016) last spring, I had failed to realize that the same cast and crew had reunited later in the year for a second video: "My Trigger." Like its predecessor, it has a terrific poster. I am very fond of its disclaimer.

3. Please enjoy Emily Sernaker's "Lawrence Ferlinghetti Is Alive!" I had no idea that was true and this poem was a nice way to find out.

Jukebox Exchange

Mar. 24th, 2017 10:15 am
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide
Nominations for Jukebox are ongoing and will end at 23:59pm EDT on March 25 (a little over 2 days from now).


Poster for the Jukebox exchange, including a picture of a jukebox and URLs for the challenge. Links to AO3 collection


AO3 | LJ | DW

Nominations are open now.
Sign-ups run from March 28 to April 5.
Works are due on May 27.

If you offered, requested, wrote, or read fic about songs or music videos for Yuletide, consider checking out Jukebox. Jukebox is in its 5th year.

Because it might help to know

Mar. 23rd, 2017 08:01 pm
[personal profile] rydra_wong
that it's NOT just awesome people dying lately:

The New York Times: Joseph Nicolosi, Advocate of Conversion Therapy for Gays, Dies at 70

From five years ago, here's an account of the sort of damage he did (content note for suicidal ideation):

Gabriel Arana: My So-Called Ex-Gay Life

And you're grieving but don't hurry

Mar. 23rd, 2017 12:50 pm
[personal profile] musesfool
You know, I've lived at my current address for nearly 15 years(!!!) and for the most part, Amazon, via FedEx, UPS, and the USPS, has never had a hard time finding me. Until this week. Suddenly packages are being "rerouted" after being sent to the wrong facility(!?) or they've been delivered "to my mailbox" when in fact they 1. wouldn't fit in the mailbox and 2. have not appeared in the vestibule or hallway of my building, where such things are usually left. I can't imagine someone, upon opening their stolen booty of roller bottles and tiny gift bags, made toddler fists of glee, so I have to think the box wasn't stolen so much as it just...wasn't delivered as promised. (I mean, I suppose someone out there did in fact get gleeful over the contents of the box - stranger things have happened - but it does seem kind of far-fetched. Unlike the times my order from LUSH went missing. At least that was worth stealing.)

Amazon refunded me and told me to reorder and they would pay any shipping costs (hilarious because I have Prime so there are no shipping costs) but it's just inexplicable that this has happened twice within a week. My address has not changed! It's not wrong in my profile! So I don't even know what's going on.

***

In other news, boss1 said something interesting to me the other day when she was offering condolences, that now with my father gone, we'd get back the younger version of him in our memories. And I was telling L about it, because I've been thinking a lot about it.

It's true that the declining years are top of mind right now, and that's why people telling older stories is so important - he wasn't just an occasionally querulous old man with no short-term memory - he was an active member of his community for a long time, he was loved by his family members, and thought of warmly by his co-workers and friends. He did a lot of quiet good in his way for the people in his life, even if he sometimes seemed overly-strict or demanding with us. And I guess that's the man I want to think of, the one who used to send cheery good morning texts every day, who always made us feel like he wanted us to be happy above all - even if he didn't understand what we claimed we needed for that, he wanted us to have it.

I want to remember how he was always ready to believe in the best of us, and bail us out even when we didn't live up to that (I don't mean actually bailing us out of jail - we never had that experience! but with teachers and other school authorities etc. I will never forget his firm insistence of "My son wouldn't do that!" when he got a call saying my brother had been found passed out drunk in the hotel hallway on the school ski trip. And he never yelled at my brother for it - he just made him pay back the cost of the trip over time, since he was sent home the morning after he arrived without ever even making it onto the slopes. As he later said, he figured the humiliation of being sent home like that and missing out on his trip was punishment enough).

He made his share of mistakes and left us with some annoying baggage, but overall, I think he did way more good than harm in the end. At least, that's how I'd like to remember him.

***

Accomplishments This Week

Mar. 23rd, 2017 08:31 am
[personal profile] oracne
1. Sent emails to my reps every weekday (via their websites).

2. Went to the gym twice, as planned, though I did a little less than planned last night due to some knee pain, possibly a result of Monday's workout. Planning to go a third time on Friday, and I'll be walking around a lot on Saturday.

3. Called the dentist, went to the dentist, forked out cash for a custom mouth guard I'm supposed to wear at night so there will be no/less incisor chipping in the future. I pick up the guard in two weeks.

4. Compiled my deductions and tax documents, and sent them to my tax preparer. *fireworks*

5. Made good progress on reading my review book.
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Donald Trump Jr called 'a disgrace' for tweet goading London mayor Sadiq Khan

Yup, he decided to use the attack on Parliament as an excuse to insult (and misrepresent) the Mayor of London while the incident was still live.

Everyone at Westminster was still in lockdown and trapped in the chamber or their offices while he was Tweeting.

I can't think why he thought London's British-Pakistani Muslim mayor was an appropriate target at a time like this, except that that's a lie, I totally can, because it's really fucking obvious.

Also, the risk of terror attacks is an inevitable part of living in a big city (and I am more than old enough to remember when it was the IRA).

linkspam and birds

Mar. 22nd, 2017 09:53 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
New icon courtesy of [personal profile] rydra_wong! Seems fitting.

OK, this is cool and hopeful: a new technology for dealing with oil spills.

This is a fab resource for fic- and genre-writers, I believe.

At times they sounded like villains from a Michael Crichton novel. Russian scientists fight to save the earth from climate change by restoring the Pleistocene grasslands in the Siberian Arctic. This includes re-establishing herds of bison, musk oxen, wild horses -- and woolly mammoths. These Russians are bringing back the ice age to protect the future.

You might need to see this toad with a hat.

You might also need to see the art for this awesome mashup.

*

Politics is all moving too fast to keep up! Argh. Also, eeps.

A few political links:

People Power.

TaxMarch

Resist repeal of the ACA.

Resist Bot.


*

I rarely get into professional stuff here, but I thought I’d share something today. I spent part of this week in training, learning how to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. What’s that, you say? let me tell you a story. )

Anyway, that’s my little lecture about how the administrative state is responsible for saving tens of millions of birds nationwide.
[personal profile] sovay
This is the second day in a row I have slept between eight and twelve hours and I am desperately trying not to jinx it. I'm not thrilled about the part where I am having nothing but very obvious nightmares and where actually sleeping seems to leave me without much time for anything but work, but I still figure it's healthy for me. Tonight [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel and I had plans to see Oliver Hirschbiegel's Downfall (Der Untergang, 2004) at the Somerville Theatre, but instead we made Slightly More Authentic Chicken Saag and headed into Harvard Square to pick up some books I had ordered from the Harvard Book Store during last week's snow day, in the course of which I managed two acquire two more used pulp novels and we did not freeze to death despite the wind's best efforts. I came home to discover that Felled (formerly Moss of Moonlight) have just released their debut EP Bonefire Grit. I am glad that everyone I know in London seems to be all right. I feel like I have lost the ability to write about anything, but I think mostly what I've lost is time and rest. I'm trying to make up the latter. Admittedly I have been trying to make up the latter for decades now, but that doesn't mean it's not worth the effort.

wie lieblich sind deine wohnungen

Mar. 22nd, 2017 07:16 pm
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Mirok Li, Der Yalu fließt, trans. as The Yalu Flows by H. A. Hammelmann (1956): as a young man, Li was instructed by his mother to flee north across the nearby Amnok River (a.k.a. Yalu) and escape the Japanese police, probably circa 1920. He never returned to Korea; from China he made his way to Bavaria and worked as a doctor until his death in 1950. Besides this book, which is a remembrance of his childhood---it ends quite abruptly after his river-crossing into Manchuria---Li left scraps of a second book, which Hammelmann describes as a reflection upon juxtaposing European life with his Eastern upbringing. Think about it for a moment: born around the time when the Japanese government began occupying Korea, departed shortly after the March 1 movement---and then, somehow, sufficiently at home in a Bavarian village that people came to him for medical consultation amidst the tumult of the Third Reich.

A whole paragraph of my notes-while-reading was eaten by something, probably OneNote, so I no longer have the romanized names that caught my eye. "Mirok" is 미륵, more usually Mirŭk or Mireuk, as in the usual Korean rendering of Maitreya, the Buddha; his father's given name is rendered "Kamtsal," and due to Li's childhood training in classical Chinese, I'm not sure what to do with that Wade-Gilesish ts- as filtered through German. Chŏl, maybe? Two more bits have floated up while I type---Li's father asks him once whether he has heard of the great Korean poet "Kim-Saggaz," and Li's teaching includes the works of "Mang-dsa"---that's Menzius auf deutsch, usually Mencius or Mengzi in English.

I can see why people place this and Younghill Kang's The Grass Roof together, but Kang's text is almost painfully satirical, whereas Li's is almost painfully earnest, too earnest to be much truer than Kang's. Li's account is nonetheless nearer the technically fictional yet memoirish Richard E. Kim's Lost Names (1970), as expected.

I really wish that more writers besides these men and Park Wan-suh (her preferred romanization) had felt empowered to express themselves in semi-autobiographical writing (with a visibility level enabling translation into a language I can read). It's selfish, but seriously, they're all from yangban families---why don't we have a wider representation of voices? At this point, if we don't, we won't---they're dead---unless someone's writings are discovered late.

(no subject)

Mar. 22nd, 2017 09:21 pm
[personal profile] skygiants
After reading Peter Beagle's Summerlong and being Tragically Unimpressed, I made my book club read Tamsin just so I could remember the Beagles I have loved before.

Tamsin is very much a Beagle I have loved before. As a teenager it was probably my favorite Beagle, even moreso than The Last Unicorn, just because I identified so hard with sulky, obstreperous Jenny Gluckstein, a Jewish New York teenager who moves to Dorset and promptly falls head-over-heels for a beautiful eighteenth-century ghost named Tamsin Willoughby.

I described the book this way in book club. "But I don't want to oversell you on how gay it is," I added, worriedly. "I mean I haven't reread it since I was a teenager. It definitely might not be as gay as I remember. Maybe it isn't gay at all, and I was just projecting!"

...rest assured, this book is very gay. We're not entirely sure if Beagle knows just how gay it is? There are numerous moments where Jenny describes in great detail the tingly feelings that Tamsin's quirky smile and vanilla smell and tiny ghost freckles make her feel, and then adds something like "I guess I'll probably feel that way about a boy someday!" Will you, Jenny? WILL YOU?

(I mean, maybe she will, bisexuality definitely an option, I'm just saying. The book is first-person, with the device of being an explanation of Everything That Went Down from the perspective of several years later for Jenny's friend Meena to read; the structure makes a whole lot more sense if one just assumes Jenny and Menna are by this point dating. Meena is in the book plenty! Thematically paralleled with Tamsin, even! Meena's jealousy of the time Jenny spends mysteriously disappearing to hang out with a ghost and Jenny's jealousy of Meena's tragic crush on The Boy She Pines For Across The Choir Benches is a whole thing!)

So yes, in retrospect, it turns out I still love Tamsin - even though, in retrospect, reading it now, it's a super weirdly-structured book. The first solid third of the book is all Jenny's SULKY OBSTREPEROUS AGONIZING TEENAGE FEELINGS about leaving New York, which is fine, I guess, except it introduces half a dozen characters that are super important to Jenny in New York and will never be important again. Then another character who's incredibly important to the finale of the book shows up maybe three chapters before the end, and Jenny's like "oh yeah, I forgot to mention her? But she's been here the whole time, having weird interactions with me the whole time, let's just pretend I've been talking about it, OK? OK."

Still, Jenny's amused-embarrassed voice looking back at all the time she spent as a hideously embarrassing teenager continues to ring about as true for me as it did when I myself was a hideously embarrassing teenager. I think I'm always going to love Tamsin for that.

(Also the tragic feline love story of between Jenny's actual factual cat and Tamsin's imperturbable ghost cat continues to delight.)

Adventures in home ownership

Mar. 22nd, 2017 06:12 pm
[personal profile] kass
I received a tax bill today for property taxes for the place where I now live. I had been under the impression that I was paying property taxes into escrow and therefore would not get socked with such bills. I have emailed my banker, and am hoping like hell that it turns out this was in error / I don't have to deal with it. If I do have to deal with it, I will manage it somehow, but it would be a hefty hit to my finances.

I am proud of myself for not panicking; I'm pretty sure that at most other moments in my life this would have caused me to lose my cool.

I have, however, poured myself a glass of white wine. Because it is wine o'clock now.

In other household news, I did order myself a chest freezer, which should arrive by Friday. It is tiny (3.5 cubic feet, probably less than half the size of the one we used to have at the old place) but it will be useful, and I'm glad I ordered it before I found out about the possible tax bill.

And today I managed to remove the ugly wooden shutters from my kitchenette! I am already happier having them gone. (I am hoping that a friend with a power drill will help me hang a curtain rod there soon, whereupon I will have curtains, which will be both less ugly and less dusty than what was there before.)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Our master bathroom always contains three bathtowels, one on the top of the double rail and two on the bottom. Whenever I change the towels, I hang three; so does my husband. This weekend we found out that each of us thought the other needed two towels, and occasionally wondered why. As far as we can determine, the third towel got used only as an emergency handtowel.

Or maybe it was for the prophet Elijah, who knows.

[ObMeme] icon conversation

Mar. 22nd, 2017 02:41 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
How it works: Have a conversation (or several) by using your icons.

Animated Victor will start us off!

(Hi in real life I'm working on Revenant Gun revisions I swear)

Maybe This Will Help

Mar. 22nd, 2017 12:57 pm
[personal profile] malkingrey
I just got through installing a Firefox add-on that purports to, among other things, enable filtering of posts by keyword. I'm going to see if it will help reduce the sensation of standing in front of an open sewer pipe fire hose on the occasions when I check Facebook to see how some friends who mostly just post on there are doing.

(That's today's big accomplishment so far, after making arrangements to pay this month's electric bill.)

PSA

Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:40 am
[personal profile] yhlee
I'll be on Reddit's r/Fantasy on March 30 for an AMA (Ask Me Anything). You’ll need a Reddit account to participate. There’s a guide to the process here. I'm in CST but the format should accommodate multiple time zones. I'd love it if some of y'all showed up. ^_^

(I'll post a reminder on the day itself.)

There are examples of past AMAs with a staggering variety of sf/f authors, which make for some fun reading if you need a time-killer. =)

Okay, back to final revisions on Revenant Gun!

Check my math

Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:24 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Behind a cut, because student suicide is an upsetting topic for some people.

Read more... )

such a lot of world to see

Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:20 am
[personal profile] musesfool
Oh, I forgot to mention Jane the Virgin in my post yesterday, but I thought it was a good episode - I just enjoy the show so much but sometimes I don't have anything to really say about it.

I got a late start on watching The Flash because L and I went to dinner, since she was away thus hadn't been around since my dad died, and I think it was good to watch it without commercials. spoilers )

***
[personal profile] larryhammer
Reading meme day. And I've been reading. Some.

Finished:

Great Short Poems from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century ed. Dorothy Belle Pollack, who translated the Greek and Latin selections (and I suspect at least some of the uncredited translations from French and German). I want to like this, especially given how many unfamiliar poems it has. And yet ... the cumulative result is a bit thin, almost monotonous. The book's large trim size for presenting small poems does not help, nor the arbitrary arrangement (alphabetical by author within period). Possibly it's the tight focus on lyrics, with minimal epigrams? Dunno. Regardless, the result is not what I hoped for.

The Improvatrice by Letitia Elizabeth Landon, an intriguing but not entirely successful verse tale. It has some excellent elements, including a female protagonist from Renaissance Florence who is both musician and painter, and some of the songs she improvises are quite appealing. There are interesting signs that what Landon's actually doing is a critique of Romanticism. And yet ... and yet ... the tale is so episodic that I found myself skimming the last third, only to find that ultimately our titular heroine dies of a broken heart -- over a guy named Lorenzo. (My reactions to that last may be more personal than yours.)

Ongoing:

I Shall Seal the Heavens by Er Gen continues on -- I'm up to around chapter 1180, approaching the sum of what's been translated. Which is part of the reason for my slowing down -- another part being, the initial new venue of book 7 did not excite me, though what was made of it did indeed turn out tasty. (No "and yet" for this one ... yet.)

Plus various rounds of poetry both lyric and narrative.

---L.

Subject quote from "Time After Time," Cyndi Lauper.
[personal profile] mariness
I'm very pleased to announce that Through Immortal Shadows Singing, my epic novella in poetry, is now available for preorder from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other retailers!

And by epic, I do mean epic - the 170 pages do include a table of contents and things like that, but this is about 167 pages of poetry.

Here's the blurb:

Maligned for her beauty, cursed for her role in causing a war, she has rarely been given her chance to tell her tale. Now Helen of Troy's voice breaks free, offering a new vision in this epic lyrical sequence that follows her journey from Sparta to Troy, from earth to hell, and back. A stunning debut novella from Mari Ness, THROUGH IMMORTAL SHADOWS SINGING will transform your view of Helen and the Trojan War, in a soaring poem of love and war, healing and pain, hatred and triumph.

I had huge problems trying to pick a quote from the book, but here's two small tastes of the poetry inside:

I walk, knowing that the queen of death
may name me sister, that the
cry of the hunt
shares my blood, that I share a father
with the Fates.

#

Bone on silver,
silver on bone,
the sound of a harp
the memory of dream.

Available April 25.

Wednesday Reading

Mar. 22nd, 2017 08:50 am
[personal profile] oracne
This week, I've mostly been reading a book for anonymous review. And I read an issue of Time and one of Entertainment.

I am unsure whether I will ultimately be recommending the fanfiction story I'm reading right now. It's not bad, but I'm not desperate to get back to it, either.

I want to read a lot of things, but am apparently not doing so right now.

Nixon and what it was like

Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:35 am
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Lately, I've been chatting to friends and family who watched Watergate go down live about what it was like and how it compares to the current situation; it's interesting in itself, but IMHO also potentially useful as one of the many possible sources to raid for info on how to live in scary and chaotic times.

(And sometimes it just produces random bits of information like "We knew someone who slept with Bernstein!" As another friend commented, didn't everyone?)

[personal profile] robynbender wrote me a long and fascinating e-mail which she's given me permission to post below:

************

I agree that Trump is uniquely terrifying, due to his highly-impaired state, and due to the presence of Bannon and others working behind him. And there's unique threat in climate change, and how close we are to points of no return, which we didn't know in the 1970s.

At the time we didn't realize how addled Nixon was, but we knew he was very mean, vengeful, and righteously at war with his enemies. And he felt very dangerous because he was so much more competent and smart and ambitious than Trump, and eager to be a major player on the world stage, and had gathered very competent people around him eager to do bad things. The organized serial killer, in [Friend]'s terms, and a very energetic one who had Big Ideas.

He actually had come in, and gotten re-elected, with a strong victory against very fragmented opponents. (The greatest irony of the break in being, he had a lock on the election by the time it happened.) He had the support of the middle-american and southern-strategy "Silent Majority" (viz, nearly all my family and extended kin, for sure) who firmly believed any protesters or dissidents were dirty, long-haired, drug-addled, sex-crazed, godless hippies (sometimes in league with scary Negroes, Black Panthers, etc.) So he felt to me like a juggernaut, having mown down morally-solid but too-left-wing candidates RFK, McCarthy, and McGovern over two elections. The resistance was generally quite young, and mobilized by the generational threat of the military Draft as much as by any other issue. He was a power center for a lot of hate, and he cast my friends and me as wrong, degenerate, and a danger to the Republic just for be-ing. LBJ had built up social helps with the War on Poverty, Medicare, etc.; domestically, Nixon started the process of sending federal services "back to the states" and putting money into "drug enforcement" and other "law and order" priorities.

Cut for length )

If you were there, I'd love to hear your perspectives too.

what the hell did i do to myself

Mar. 22nd, 2017 05:02 am
[personal profile] lannamichaels
yesterday, presumably from all the coughing and random ways of moving my body for that, lower back and hips hurt a lot.

after first sleep segment over this night, they hurt way more. took more pain killers after that.

third sleep segment ended very soon after second, with coughing/near retching, but with *pain all over body* and my spine goddamn hurts. It took me about 20 minutes to manuever myself out of bed and it all still really hurts.

seriously everything fucking hurts. my lower back is terrifying and my hips and my legs... this is not good. and i thjink i'm all out of the good pain meds for muscle spasms. and even if i could convince doctor to refill, there is no way i could actually get to the pharmacy.

everything goddamn fucking hurts, this cough is a wreck, and im not sure this cost was worth the fun parts of travel. it really seriously hurts.



fuck you thermometer i make it all the way to the bathroom do i look like i'm in any shape to figure out what 35.5c is in f???

Mind sees double when it comes undone

Mar. 21st, 2017 10:40 pm
[personal profile] sovay
Overheard tonight on the bus to Davis Square, two teenagers giggling behind me:

"Little mushrooms growing out of your skull . . . Eat a huge meal and then just go up on the roof and die."

Until I get evidence otherwise, I'm holding Caitlín R. Kiernan responsible.

(And if you're in the Boston area and missed her appearance at Porter Square Books on Monday, you can come to Pandemonium Books & Games on Thursday and find out why.)

Doonesbury Watergate icons

Mar. 21st, 2017 09:08 pm
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Take 'em if you want 'em! (But if you feel like letting me know which ones you're snagging, that will give me positive reinforcement.)

001
002
003
004
005
Table generated using angelamaria's Icon Table Generator.


(Alice is an obsessive Watergate-watcher. I relate.)

(Yes, I made two John Dean icons. I like his angry Tweeting at Buttercup and his "(incorrectly)". Definitely my favourite conspirator.)

Gratitudes

Mar. 21st, 2017 03:31 pm
[personal profile] kass
1. Mr. Kid has learned how to make his own breakfast (cereal with milk, not exactly culinarily complicated, but the point is, he can do it himself now.)

2. I have graduated from weekly allergy shots to bimonthly allergy shots. The number of sharp pointy sticks in my future has been cut in half!

3. Sushi lunch with [personal profile] squirrelhaven, followed by a massage. I am always amazed to (re)discover how much tension I carry in my body without even noticing it (because it is such a constant presence that it doesn't even register as pain.)

4. Zaphod wants to take me out for ice cream this afternoon after school, and has offered to spend some of his own precious allowance money thereon. Awww.

5. So hey, I'm forty-two today. Go me.

now i try to be amused

Mar. 21st, 2017 11:07 am
[personal profile] musesfool
Supergirl
spoilers )

Star Wars Rebels
While I didn't love the droid episode - I generally skip the droid-centric episodes - the Annie Get Your Gun interlude made me laugh out loud. If you can't dig two droids reenacting "Anything You Can Do," you must have something cold and dead inside.

And then there was Twin Suns. spoilers )

***

Back at work. 161 emails to sort through. *cringe*

***

Agh Yargh Gyaahh

Mar. 21st, 2017 08:16 am
[personal profile] oracne
I could not tolerate political anything I tried to read this morning. I'm still going to send my daily emails to my reps, though. Not sure of the topic - such a bounty to choose from!

I email letters (through their websites) rather than call because 1) I am at dayjob in a shared work environment; 2) I feel much more in control of my message when it is written; and 3) I can easily edit past letters to make new, even more enraged letters.

I want an app that always replaces the face of Jeff Sessions with a giant poo emoji.

Good things:

1. I finally made a needed dentist appointment for a chipped incisor. Appointment is tomorrow.

2. I saw the Adorable Tots both Sunday and last night, and introduced them to pumpkin in hot pot, which they liked a lot.

3. I gymmed yesterday, after taking Friday off due to sleep deprivation.

4. Saturday, I am meeting friends for dim sum, followed by a WWI art exhibit at PAFA, followed by my other birthday orchestra ticket, Britten's War Requiem.

5. Ms. 8 liked the way I wrapped her 5 pound dumbbell: encased in a fuzzy medium blue sock, tied off with a sky blue ribbon with a tiny dark blue squishy frog semi-concealed within the bow.

6. I am making good progress on reading my review book.
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(It occurred to me that this would be an appropriate nickname for Nigel Farage, what with the whole "braying posh boy selling us out to Nazis" factor, and I would like to invite other people to join me in spreading it.)

So, Hope not Hate (who successfully helped kick UKIP's arse in Stoke, btw) report:

A month ago, we uncovered that Nigel Farage and UKIP had failed to declare election expenses of at least £26,302 during his failed bid to become MP for South Thanet in the 2015 General Election.

This is a serious offence, and though the Electoral Commission has now fined the Conservative Party £70,000 for breaking the same rules, so far UKIP and Nigel Farage have not faced any investigation.

12 police forces have referred cases – including that of the Tory MP who beat Farage in South Thanet – to the Crown Prosecution Service, which may bring charges against those involved.

We cannot allow UKIP and Nigel Farage to escape punishment – will you join us in calling on Kent Police to also investigate UKIP's flouting of election laws? Sign our letter to the Chief Constable here.

We've revealed that UKIP spent almost twice as much as was legally permitted. Farage himself signed the declarations, making him legally accountable for their (false) statements.

It's up to us to mount enough pressure on Kent Police to take action and hold everyone to the same standard – please sign our letter now.


Link for UK people to sign letter: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/investigate-farage-expenses

(no subject)

Mar. 21st, 2017 09:04 am
[personal profile] telophase
BTW, a Finnish animation studio is creating a new series of The Moomins, and is running an Indiegogo campaign to fund the visual development. They're working with Tove Jansson's niece.

(no subject)

Mar. 20th, 2017 09:45 pm
[personal profile] skygiants
So [personal profile] tenillypo and I have just finished watching a drama which is called I Hear Your Voice but which I have been calling, from the beginning, ACE ATTORNEY: KOREAN ROMCOM.

Our Heroine is a jaded public defender named Jang Hye Sung who needs to learn to believe in her clients! and the law!! assisted by a telepathic teenager who can read her clients' minds and tell her if they're innocent or not!!! Because that's definitely what you need to know, to do your job as a defense attorney!!!!

The storyline literally follows all the beats of an Ace Attorney game:

FIRST CASE - Easy Starter Case! A Failboat Friend Has Been Falsely Accused!
SECOND CASE - Bizarre Strangers Are Involved In An Inordinately Complicated Murder!
THIRD CASE - Someone We Care About Got Murdered!
FOURTH CASE - Someone We Care About Got Framed For Murder!
FIFTH CASE - Someone Is On Trial For Murder But It's All Tied To A Previous Murder Trial That Went Wrong Twenty Years Ago And Also The Principals In The Case Might Be Somebody's Long-Lost Parents Presumed Dead!

On the one hand, TRAGICALLY, nobody interrogates a parrot. OR a whale. On the other hand, dramatic amnesia, accidental stabbing, identical twin murder suspects, and MORE THAN ONE INCIDENT of a person cutting off a body part to fake their own death. Also, not even while playing an Ace Attorney game have I screamed "CONFLICT OF INTEREST! RECUSE YOURSELF!!!!" so much at a screen in my life, ever.

Now, OK, I've played lots of Ace Attorney games. I know how this goes and I can provide documentary screencap evidence )

Gifts to myself

Mar. 20th, 2017 09:05 pm
[personal profile] kass
I unearthed a $100 Amazon gift card earlier today when I was cleaning out my desk.

I am strongly considering getting myself a small chest freezer to put in the garage. There are a bunch of options in the $180-200 range, so with this gift card (that I didn't remember I even had), I can get one for a hundred bucks, which is hard to beat.

My indoor freezer is mostly full of Zaphod foods (frozen waffles, ice cream sandwiches, etc) and a handful of staples. If I had a chest freezer, I could do things like stock up on proteins when they are cheap, and freeze servings of soup when I make a giant batch, and go to the Asian grocery an hour away and come home with frozen chapati and dumplings and stuff like that. And I can fit one in my garage -- space is getting tight, so I can't fit much more in there, but I can manage a wee chest freezer (the 3 cubic feet ones seem to be roughly 2' x 2' x 3', and I can manage that.)

I am caught between feeling ridiculously excited that I can afford this appliance, and wryly amused that I have become the kind of grownup who gets this excited about buying a freezer.

::facepalm::

Also...

Mar. 20th, 2017 05:06 pm
[personal profile] telophase
...we have a downy woodpecker hammering the part-dead tree in our backyard.
Between that, the cats, the great horned owl I heard the other night, and
the possum we caught on camera, it's a downright menagerie around here.

WOULD ANYONE LIKE A KITTEN?

Mar. 20th, 2017 09:57 am
[personal profile] telophase
Well, anyone in North Texas that is.

Part of the reason I've been scarce around here lately is that I've been occupied with a family of feral cats that took up residence in our back yard.

cut for kitten saga AND PICTURES )
[personal profile] larryhammer
More poetry for a Monday:


Origami, Bob Newman

One coloured square of paper has untold
Potential which an expert can release.
Whole zoos for those well-versed in how to fold
One coloured square.

Seals, whales, storks, elephants, bears, monkeys, geese,
And more, can all be made by young and old.
Menageries on your own mantelpiece!

The creatures you can make are manifold.
The size of your collection will increase.
What do you get from each when you unfold?
One coloured square!


Almost all internet sources attribute this to Swinburne, which it patently cannot be. Leaving aside the issues that it sounds completely unlike Swinburne and that it doesn't appear in his collected works, it is anachronistic for a Victorian poet to talk about origami animals that are not traditional Japanese models. (Yes, I did notice this issue first. Origami geek, much?) I think all of these come from a misreading of this page, which correctly cites Swinburne as the inventor of the form. The page does not attribute the sample verse to the site owner, but other on the site, for other forms, do -- so assigning to him with 90% confidence.

Subject quote is because it's an origami poem, that's good enough for me.

---L.

Subject quote from "C Is for Cookie", Joe Raposo.

Hope

Mar. 20th, 2017 08:37 am
[personal profile] oracne
I really like this: Despair is Not a Strategy.

"There is a difference between our actions being worthless and our actions not accomplishing what we hoped they would."

Huzzah

Mar. 20th, 2017 10:23 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Grand River Transit strike averted.

It's a 6.6 km walk to work and a bit less than 4 to Jasmine's place.
[personal profile] sovay
God damn it, I do not have time to write as I would like about the Actors' Shakespeare Project's Edward II, which I just got back from seeing with my cousins and [livejournal.com profile] nineweaving, but it was wonderful. I did not know until we were leaving that director David R. Gammons was responsible for the stunning Duchess of Malfi that introduced me to the ASP in 2009, but I had started to wonder in the second act based strictly on the staging and lighting. His director's note is worth reading. I am sorry only that I cannot send everyone I know to see it because tonight was the last show of the run. This is worse than my usual problem of reviewing the second-to-last performance. It was a dense and beautiful production; I might as well have some record of it.

You walk into the black box of the Charlestown Working Theater and you find yourself in the fantasia of a bathhouse: shower-white tile and undressed brick, plastic curtains and graffiti, the private subterranean space where a man can meet another man and kiss him full on the mouth in the knowledge that no one will try to kill them for it. (Other things may—the wall over the toilet is scrawled "SILENCE = DEATH" and the wall behind the audience bears the white-on-black legend "UNDIQUE MORS EST"—Death is everywhere. The play is not anchored to the 1980's, but they set much of the tone.) Steam drifts by from the fog machine. There is often a sound of water when there is not the echo of music. By low incandescence it's intimate, by fluorescence it's grody, it takes on a dance-club aura when suffused pink or purple and when the lights fall to warning red it's a bomb shelter. There is a catwalk above and a ladder going up a far wall. There is a tin bath. There is the royal throne, a plain gold chair with a crimson cushion. In that last piece of dressing lies the trick and the tragedy of this bathhouse: it is not a secret or a safe space, because Edward is the king of England. Nowhere he goes is truly private. Nothing he does is in isolation from his realm. His reunion with the recalled Gaveston is a slow, urgent, athletic dance, powerfully expressive of the chemistry and the affection between them, culminating in the transgressive sight of the low-born Gaveston with his feet tucked up on the throne like a cat in its favorite armchair, the gift of his king's great ring hanging about his throat, his slim body swathed in the black-and-gold brocade of Edward's robe. They cuddle and Gaveston snaps on the TV; a music video washes soundlessly across the tiled wall. They could be any harried but happy couple, hiding away from the world in each other's arms. They look at each other like no one else exists. They were watched from the catwalk by the disapproving Earl of Lancaster and now he confers with ambitious, malicious Mortimer, sourly cataloguing the titles and honors that the king is lavishing on his "minion" while letting the rest of the country go hang. Especially because this production treats their relationship as true romance, I appreciated it also recognizing that the reality of their love does not constitute an excuse for Edward's shirking of his political responsibilities or his callous treatment of his queen Isabella, whose love for him was just as real and powerful and painfully unrequited. The play isn't a tragedy because Edward is queer. It's a tragedy because he's a king and he's so bad at it. His lover is just how his enemies get in.

My only other point of comparison for this play is Derek Jarman's Edward II (1991), so I am happy to report that Gammons' production is very much its own thing, although I love how the director signals that he is perfectly aware of the career of Saint Derek of Dungeness of the Order of Celluloid Knights—the music videos playing silently as Gaveston and Edward snuggle and Mortimer and Lancaster plot are the Pet Shop Boys' "Rent" (I love you—you pay my rent) and the Smiths' "Ask" (If there's something you'd like to try, ask me—I won't say no, how could I?), both shot by Jarman.1 Both comment, of course, on the problem of Gaveston: it is one thing to dress a mistress with jewels, it's another to give a base-born man more rights and powers than any nobleman in the land. Eddie Shields' Gaveston shows little inclination to abuse his privileges for personal gain—though he pronounces my knee shall bow to none but to the king with provocative pride, on receiving his invitation to "share the kingdom" with the newly crowned Edward he imagines mostly that he will organize masques, dances, and music for his lover's delight—but the class-crossing is insult enough. Of course, it does not help in the eyes of hard men like Edward's earls that Gaveston is a pretty man, slinky, snarky, and just a little bit of a bitch, with a conscious, flirtatious boyishness. He makes his first appearance naked, rising from his bath to drape himself in a strategic towel and dream of Edward. He knots the rich brocade of his sovereign's robe around his waist and it trails behind him in a more queenly train than Isabella's own gowns; he returns from exile in gilt stiletto heels and a sashaying, feather-trimmed coat open to show the ring that hangs against his chest and the light trail of fur that leads down into his tight black trousers. Maurice Emmanuel Parent's Edward can lift him outright in his arms, nuzzle him and flip the smaller man's weight around his shoulders like a swing dancer; part of what makes their relationship both believable and heartbreaking is their playfulness as well as their passion with one another, three-dimensional groundwork for Edward's maddening grief on his lover's loss. He too is a beautiful man—a beautiful Black man in a production where he is not the only actor of color—and also seen naked, though in the much more poignant circumstances of his imprisonment, crouched in the same tin bath where Gaveston woke, convulsively, from a bad dream that might have been a premonition in the first seconds of the play—and encompasses easily the difficult sympathy of a character whose decisions are almost all terrible and whom the audience still wants to see happy. His final scene was even more moving than I had hoped from realizing who would share the stage with him for it.

But all the cast are good. There are eight of them, condensed and doubled from Marlowe's thirtyish speaking parts. The rebellious barons become a pair of conspirators, Nigel Gore's Lancaster and Alex Pollock's Mortimer; the former carries himself with disgusted, soldierly efficiency while the latter is a pallid skinhead in black biker leathers, drawing out his creepily amused delivery and off-kilter swagger past the point of grotesquerie yet never losing his grasp on the verse, which is probably what saved him for me as an interpretation. (Whistling "YMCA" before the killing of Gaveston was almost a clockwork orange too far for me. The way he rattled off his Latin with a niceness all out of keeping with the rest of his persona may have brought him back.) Both bring knives openly into Edward's otherwise unarmed court. Watching the blades change hands among the cast, the audience can track each character's potential for violence, though not necessarily their chances of success. Moving with great dignity in her antique dress, Jennie Israel's Isabella turns against her husband only slowly, driven by the increasing cruelty of his rejections and the need to protect her son—the future Edward III, played by David J. Castillo as a lanky, raspberry-haired teenager who would much rather lie up in the loft and listen to post-punk than have to witness his horrifying family drama—from the political storm she herself will not escape. Stewart Evan Smith makes a cocky, competent Spencer, with a wonderful stunned expression when kissed suddenly by his king in a defiant assertion of sexual and political identity, and Nile Hawver succeeded in making me feel for traitorous, hesitating Kent, who really does love his brother the king and really does care about the welfare of his country and by throwing in his lot with Lancaster and Mortimer absolutely guarantees his inability to protect either one of them. (The actor had fantastic hair, manga mad scientist quality; I liked that he looked good in the SS-ish black leather trenchcoat that he donned after betraying his brother and looked really uncomfortable about looking good in it. His total failure to make amends in the second act constituted an unexpected miniature tragic arc of its own.) I enjoyed how often all of them were allowed to shift registers, sometimes naturalistic, sometimes highly stylized, often some mix of the two; a particularly striking scene in the second act had the young Edward—as yet uncrowned, his father still in the Tower instead of his grave—pinned in the empty shaft of spotlight where the throne should have stood, twisting with nightmare slowness from his implacable mother to his desperate uncle to his mother's grinning lover, searching for truth, searching for security, finding nothing. I should have remembered this director's eye for compositions. One of the highlights of the first act was the unspeakably awkward welcome-home party for Gaveston, complete with decorated cake, nervously held mylar balloons, and boldly designed, impressively passive-aggressive shield devices. The concluding image of the play was not Jarman's, but it was Jarman-worthy, gilding and ambiguity and all.

And I cannot get out of this post without mentioning that this Edward II had the best music of any stage production I've seen in a long time. The first song playing as the house opened was the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?" (You shut your mouth—how can you say I go about things the wrong way? I am human and I need to be loved just like everybody else does.) At different points I heard Joy Division's "Transmission" (We would go on as though nothing was wrong and hide from the days to remain all alone) and Killing Joke's "The Wait" (Motives changing day to day, the fire increases, mass decay). The second act came up on Pylon's "Cool" with its scratchy, flourishy guitar riff, its bassline thrumming nervously in the aftermath of Gaveston's murder. The cast took their bows to the Smiths' "Panic" (also filmed by Jarman), which I can only assume was an in-joke because I did not want to hang the DJ, I wanted to find them and thank them because I have never before heard that many songs I liked and recognized in a stage production unless it was a musical. If anybody knows the piece which accompanied Edward and Gaveston's lovemaking and reunion, please tell me; I think it had some of the Song of Songs in its lyrics, but I had never heard it before. [edit] Nineweaving found it: David Lang's "Just (After Song of Songs)." It's nice to know I heard the allusion correctly.

Right. This is less than I wanted, but longer than I intended. Next time I see David R. Gammons' name on a production, I should just get tickets whatever it is. I hope it's something as infrequently performed and rewarding as The Duchess of Malfi or Edward II. I am going to bed. I almost tagged this post for Patreon.

1. In the process of checking that I had remembered his canonization correctly, I discovered that Derek Jarman actually thought about making a film about Alan Turing and I was then distracted by furious grieving. Do you have any idea how much I would have wanted to see that? I start wondering who he would have cast as Alan; I wonder if he would have cast Kevin Collins as Christopher. (Or as Arnold Murray? Double-cast? I saw a production of Breaking the Code that did that and it worked. I wonder if Tilda Swinton would have played Turing's mother.) I could see him treating the codes and mathematics as elliptically and understandably as the philosophy in Wittgenstein (1993). I don't know what he would have come up with for Turing that was as left-field as the Martian in Wittgenstein, but I know it would have worked. Even if he had just written the script, I would have wanted it. Fuck you, AIDS. Current administration, I can't believe you're making Reagan look good by comparison; he doesn't deserve to.

fiber monday

Mar. 19th, 2017 10:10 pm
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Once again, an unexpected, hey-I-could-make-that gift has squeezed other items down a step in the queue. Soon I'll see a friend from grad school who had a baby a few months ago. We have the slightly awkward habit of exchanging small gifts---tl;dr not my idea, and culturally bound. It's far simpler to bring a gift for a baby than for a person who eschews thinginess. I mean, baby gift or fruit basket? Baby gift.

The last time I attempted baby gifts, I failed utterly. This time there is only one child---no extras for older sibs, etc. With one temporarily free-to-use pattern, the friend's prior (over-)generosity is balanced, I think. Plus, it uses yarn that I'd nearly given up on reassigning after it proved too soft and splitty to crochet into a small dragon. It's Dale Baby Ull (wool)---all right for knitting. (I used different yarn to crochet a kangaroo + joey for Reason instead, three years ago.)

It helps that a toddler-sized garment is small; it's a bit past the halfway mark. Cajsa cardigan's lower edge is mid-bindoff, and one pocket-bag's edges have been sewn.

Also, nnnngh, Reason's legwarmers have wanted so much k1,p1, but at last they're finished. It's nice to have a positive example for a child of something horribly boring that has a good reason for pursuit...? (We did talk about it in those terms.) Photo sometime after they're dry.

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