ID this bird?

May. 1st, 2016 10:21 pm
[personal profile] telophase
Anyone know? Its beak is too long to be a house finch.

[personal profile] kate_nepveu
It's now out in at least two non-US countries, so, Internet who knows me and has seen it/reads spoilers, should I see it? I originally thought I wasn't seeing this without thorough spoilers, and I've changed my mind, I just want to know the following:

spoilers only insofar as you consider trailers spoilers )
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
and I can't tell if it's fatigue or adjusting to being on land. Or both.

Thanks to the extreme generosity of Chad's parents, we went with them on a Disney cruise this last week in the western Caribbean. I have been almost entirely offline as a result, and have opened half-a-dozen posts from the last page of my reading list to read and respond to, but am unlikely to go further back than that, sorry (see above).

Cruise was great; challenging solely because of the children's ridiculously narrow tastes in food, which the staff bent over backwards to accommodate, and a little because SteelyKid has a very low melting point. Also I did get a smidge motion sick but not that often. Rooms very comfortable, lots of stuff to do (even if you're not that into Disney characters), quite good food, generally a well-oiled machine. SteelyKid snorkeled for an hour and a half straight and swam with a dolphin, the Pip touched a sea turtle and went on a waterslide ten times in a row, and I smeared sunscreen on the kids at every opportunity and some that weren't and they didn't burn, go me.

Sadly I was on the same ship as Susan Egan, who voices Rose Quartz in Steven Universe, and did not lay eyes on her or, more to the point, hear her sing. (New episodes next week!)

. . . there was more, but I have no idea what right now. (Oh, wait, it was about the MCU, and therefore needs the next rock.)

Entirely new to me

May. 1st, 2016 07:34 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
"There is a local conspiracy theory in Kitchener that states the 118th Battalion is still around, making behind-the-scenes decisions in City Hall that affect the day-to-day lives of area residents."

I cannot fathom the mindset of people who react to one or two setbacks by seeing shadowy conspiracies everywhere.

(You could hide a battalion by dispersing its members across all the local Tim Hortons...)

In which something actually happens!

May. 1st, 2016 05:35 pm
[personal profile] telophase
The story so far: Murderface has received a bounty for 100 gold, so hired Jenassa, a mercenary, for 500 gold and headed off to wipe out a nest of necromancers. Not that he remembered they were necromancers. There seems to be a budding romance between Murderface and Jenassa that may not be entirely in Murderface’s head.
Read more... )

Dammit, JK Rowling.

May. 1st, 2016 06:41 pm
[personal profile] kass
My son's new favorite movie is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (I think we've watched it... what... five times this weekend?)

It's fabulous. (Sirius! Remus! Harry/Ron/Hermione!)

And, I had forgotten how exasperated I am at JK Rowling for what she did to Sirius. I'm just saying.
[personal profile] lannamichaels

Title: Princes Of The Solar System. (On Archive Of Our Own)
Author: [personal profile] lannamichaels
Fandoms: The Martian/Highlander: The Series
Rating: G

Summary: Mark Watney dies on Mars. Twice.

In which Methos shockingly does not appear )

[personal profile] musesfool
So I have been doing an important and totally scientific survey of chocolate covered fruit snacks in the past few weeks, and I can wholeheartedly recommend the Dove dark chocolate+fruit combinations, though I'd say the cherries are best, then the cranberries, then the blueberries.

I don't recommend the ones that are fruit+nuts, because I thought I was getting chocolate covered strawberry almond clusters, and what I actually got was chocolate covered dried strawberries (too sweet) and separate, random almonds. If I wanted random almonds, I almonds.

Otoh, the dark chocolate rainsinettes are pretty awful - once you've had halfway decent chocolate you realize how terrible the raisinette chocolate is and bleh. Do not be fooled by fond memories of movie theater candy!

Lastly, I also tried the Russell Stover orange bites, because orange+chocolate is a great combination you don't see very often, but instead of being candied orange bits or candied orange peel, it's some kind of non-fruit gummy thing in the center. The orange flavor is almost like an aftertaste - you don't get it on the first bite but it lingers after. I was disappointed. I mean, if you want orange-flavor gummy things covered in chocolate that's fine - I like those chocolate-covered raspberry jellies well enough - but it wasn't what I was hoping for.


I caught up on some tv yesterday and geez, what a body horror fest.

But first, Arrow: Canary Cry
spoilers )

The 100: Join or Die
spoilers )

Orphan Black: The Stigmata of Progress
spoilers )


quick linkpost

May. 1st, 2016 11:17 am
[personal profile] colorblue
I've started lurking on a few Nirvana in Fire tumblrs (h/t [identity profile]

(1) My favorite is banafria's tumblr, where she posts slice-of-life drawings of the characters when they were younger. They are cute and funny and utterly lovely, and then I think about them in the context of the drama and OH MY HEART.

They've also pretty much become my head-canon!

Note: if you are watching the series or intend to watch it, save this for when you are finished!

(2) chaikat's reading the novel and recapping all the chapters. It is even more slashy than the drama.

Also, thanks to that and [identity profile], I found out that not only did this story begin in a Chinese bb, but it was actually a yaoi fic in a Chinese bl bb, and things make so much more sense now. This series is what Ravages of Time might've been like if Chan Mou had been a female bl-writer and decided to focus on one storyline instead of trying to juggle dozens. And I can just imagine Hai Yan watching romance dramas for research after she was told that the screenplay would require more romance, and trying to figure out a way to inject it without messing too much with the plotlines.

(3) I also really liked this pimp post. It summarizes the series really well, while being careful of spoilers (which are clearly demarcated).

(4) Discovered via tumblr: Nirvana in Fire novel translations at Wang Kai International (currently up to chapter 8) and ao3 (currently up to chapter 5). I think the total number of chapters might be close to 100? Not sure. Also, [personal profile] issenllo's post here contains links to other translations, though I think they got through even fewer chapters.

(no subject)

Apr. 30th, 2016 10:18 pm
[personal profile] telophase
If you comment on LJ and I don't comment back, it's because LJ is being very weird and either not showing me the comments at all (Firefox) or is showing them to me but making it very difficult to actually click on any link to reply or button to post it (Chrome).



Apr. 30th, 2016 10:16 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The number of times patrons enthusiastically (and independently) speculated about how useful my cane must be for disciplining patrons*. Both the frequency and the open glee at the idea surprised me.

I wonder what the reaction would be if I brought in my blackthorn cane?

* Instant firing offense if I did, of course. As it should be.
[personal profile] sovay
I slept almost twelve hours last night. Quite possibly that's more than the entire previous week combined. Finally I can do something with my brain.

Here's the thing about Van Heflin. If you cast him in westerns, he's a decent, embattled family man, and I always remember Alan Ladd in Shane (1953) and Glenn Ford in 3:10 to Yuma (1957) instead. If you cast him in film noir, he's exponentially more interesting and I've made a mental note to check out The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) and The Prowler (1951). And if you cast him in Johnny Eager (1942), he walks off with the entire picture in the pocket of his unbuttoned overcoat, weaving unsteadily but unstoppably through the tropes of the crime film with a distracted disregard for heteronormativity and the PCA. No wonder he won an Oscar for it—at thirty-two years old, the youngest winner in his category until Jack Lemmon beat him by a year for Mister Roberts in 1956. Jeff Hartnett is the most real person in his movie and one of the nicest queer characters I've met in his genre. How text is the subtext in this movie? I watched it over Easter weekend with my mother. As we were washing the dishes afterward, she said suddenly, "You kept waiting for them to kiss!"

He's not the protagonist, of course. Robert Taylor headlines as the evocatively named Johnny Eager, a formerly high-rolling racketeer turned ostensible model parolee; he makes an honest living as a taxi driver and never misses an appointment with his parole officer, but behind the scenes he's preparing to open a dog track with an old associate as the front, resuming his position at the head of the city's underworld. Lately the routine buy-offs have hit a roadblock in the person of John Benson Farrell (Edward Arnold), the same crusading DA who originally put Johnny behind bars and is now cracking down on gambling until Johnny's ambitious second-in-command fumes, "I haven't got a dozen books running—no dice, no roulette, my whole crowd's hungry . . . I got sixty slot collectors on my payroll, you know? I can't pay them off with conversation." With the impeccable coincidence of melodrama, the cool bombshell of a sociology student with whom Johnny's latest sparks are flying (Lana Turner, also starring above the title) will turn out to be his old enemy's stepdaughter, a potential lever on a famously incorruptible public figure—and Johnny will have to decide between criminal success and the less material rewards of the heart when his plan to buy her old man's silence with her complicity in an apparent crime exacts a harsher toll on the stubbornly faithful Lisbeth than Johnny had expected to care about. Despite its gritty, Warner-esque crime trappings, the film's essential question is a romantic one: can Johnny Eager love? Certainly he's shown no signs of it before now. He brushes off girlfriends old and new with the same cold-blooded charm, smiling no less attractively for his absolute indifference to their plights. When his oldest friend double-crosses him for a share in an up-and-coming, less patient syndicate, Johnny dispatches the man with the help of a bridge and a freight train and then returns to a poker game which he wins easily, grinning at his unsettled rivals as he lets slip the fate of poor, late Lew Rankin (Barry Nelson) and pockets the pot. The philosophy he expresses is tough, careless, and looking out for number one: "Give your best pal your last fifty bucks, wouldn't you? Well, he's already a dead duck or he wouldn't need the fifty, and after he's spent it you're both strictly from hunger. So what? Sure, the suckers all give me sour looks—the minute they stop, I'm worried, see, because then I know I'm not on my toes. And that's where I'm staying, ready to hit the first guy that's fool enough to try and cross me in the first place." He shows a puzzled affection toward a retired greyhound left to him by a backer of the dog track, but come on, that's a TV Trope. Let's get back to Van Heflin.

Throughout the film's opening scenes, as he goes about his business on both sides of the law, Johnny has one question for everyone he meets: "Seen Jeff Hartnett today?" He finally gets an answer from his devoted but neglected moll Garnet (Patricia Dane), whose exasperation suggests this isn't the first time this evidently important, as yet unexplained figure has gone AWOL: "Oh, sure, but he wandered away, full of gin and big words." We still won't meet him for another ten minutes, but that's Jeff in a nutshell, like a cross between Clive Brook's Rolls Royce in Underworld (1927) and Thomas Mitchell's Kid in Only Angels Have Wings (1939).1 He's not beautiful like Taylor's Johnny with his debonair mustache and his suggestive mouth, but he's got the more interesting looks of the two, more slender in the face than in any of Heflin's later roles, angular enough to look taller than his nearly six feet. His heavy-lidded eyes give him a curious resemblance to Peter Lorre, albeit a fair-haired, Shakespeare-quoting drop-out version. Most of the time he's got a drink in his hand and usually a cigarette, too; minus these accoutrements, he's either hungover or asleep. He's clever, disheveled, melancholy, sarcastic. He has a tired, educated voice, dry and meandering, sometimes very gentle. His face is always having an argument with itself—the mouth is cynical, but the eyes are concerned. His position in Johnny's organization is vague but unassailable. He's a right-hand brain, a confidant and a connection; if he doesn't get too plastered on his information-gathering rounds, he's as good as a daily paper for the news of the underworld. He accompanies Johnny almost everywhere, referring to himself as "a modern-day Boswell, meticulously recording for posterity the doings of a unique individual—an individual out of the days of the Medicis, and I'm your Boswell. The story of Johnny Eager. The next forty generations will find it required reading along with the words of Machiavelli." He also reads, quite naturally, as Johnny's lover.

That Jeff is in love with Johnny, I am confident is intended on the film's part. Any further implications may have snuck in accidentally around the edges, but they marshal a surprising amount of evidence on their side. Now I know why you keep me around. )

I have to run, so I'll wrap up fast. I watched Johnny Eager just two days after speculating aloud on the fantasy casting of Frederick Nebel's John X. Kennedy. I didn't realize how beautifully Van Heflin would fit the bill, right down to the crying. Alternately, selected scenes from this movie function quite decently as film noir AU of Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint (1987). It took me all afternoon and evening to write this post, but Jeff Hartnett and Johnny Eager are worth it. This soft noir brought to you by my smart backers at Patreon.

1. A film I have wanted to write about for years and almost did in January before getting derailed by Arisia. Watch this space, dammit.

2. He's standing in the doorway when Johnny asks hesitantly, referencing an earlier exchange with Lisbeth, "Say, Jeff, you know these things—that guy Cyrano, Cyrano de Bergerac or something—does a dame really fall for the type of chatter he gave out?" Despite the hangover and the bromide, Jeff squints at him with expertly deadpan apprehensiveness: "Are you starting to encounter literate dames?"–"Who said anything about dames?" Johnny snaps immediately. "Go on to bed."

3. Never mind Wilmer, the things Joel Cairo does with his cane in that first interview with Sam Spade are an amazing exercise in the subliminally X-rated.

writing self-inventory

Apr. 30th, 2016 06:20 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
This is navel-gaze-y and likely to run long, so I will cut. Read more... )

Today's Random Thought

Apr. 30th, 2016 06:47 pm
[personal profile] malkingrey
When a writer for a major urban news and entertainment magazine can couch an entire political column in terms of an extended gaming metaphor, it's time for the hardcore old-timers (and even harder-core johnny-come-latelies) to give up thinking that they're still a misunderstood minority.

Face it, folks, gaming is mainstream.

And I say this as somebody who was playing D&D back when there were no pre-fab dungeon adventures available, never mind computers, and it was all done with dice, pencils, graph paper, and the insides of our heads.

some things

Apr. 30th, 2016 02:21 pm
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* I considered having Post Amnesty Month for May, but it'd be boring: most of the pending drafts are from my having watched part of something months ago.

* The house has a front door that isn't coming unhinged! (There was a 1.5-cm gap between uppermost hinge and frame after Reason kicked in a glass pane at her knee level in January and slammed the door in anger a few times.) Now the door needs painting. *counts spoons* We'll see whether someone is willing to do such a small, inconvenient job; if not, I can do it, though I don't have or know about good primer. Suggestions welcome.

* I have a corrective-lens prescription that goes with my spine being in the right places! Glasses are on order. I will be so glad to put the interim ones into a donation box---hoping for less eyestrain with the correct scrip, and then someone with a smaller head can use my current frames....

* I also have a concern that the optometrist didn't share; since it's recurred for the third year running, next eye checkup ought probably to be with an ophthalmologist (last visited 25 years ago). Left eye has been receiving less light than right eye since my twenties, and the optometric one-eye-only tests suggest that the disparity has become more pronounced---shadows that I can't blink away. I try since last year not to drive at night. Eye pressure wasn't tested this time but was "basically fine" last year.

Well, keep wearing a hat outdoors, self. (Not mixing cataracts and glaucoma here. To the extent that genetics affect destiny, I'm likely to have both---long before I'm eighty, if I last---but cataracts are the one that a person can do a bit to stave off.)

* My aged uncle sounds better this year than last, clear of mind and voice. Though he groped for English words, he insisted on practicing English except for a few phrases. He tells me that my father said he was moving to another country (again). Has my father told me? He has not.

Read more... )


Apr. 30th, 2016 06:47 pm
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
This evening I am somewhat less sorry that we won't get to do the enormous hike tomorrow. I did not know there was so much DOWN in the world. )
[personal profile] musesfool
Did you see the Mets had a historic TWELVE RUN inning last night against the Giants? IT WAS GLORIOUS. And the kind of thing that usually happens TO the Mets rather than FOR them. I guess it kind of makes up for them getting no-hit the last time they played the Giants.


This great post came across my tumblr dash last night, wondering about fandom in the GFFA, and I was like, there is totally billions of bytes of hilaribad RPF about the Jedi on the HoloNet and even Vader has never been able to completely eradicate it. (I actually have Ahsoka mention this in a story and Anakin is horrified that people think he might be sleeping with his 15yo padawan, even fictionally.) The Emperor doesn't care; he finds it hilarious and since it keeps Vader occupied, he allows it.

Otoh, whenever Queen & Knight: The Unauthorized Padme Amidala Story pops up on some torrent server, Vader is a literally lethal takedown notice. It's not enough that the actress looks NOTHING like Padme, but the movie also perpetrates the lie that she was secretly in love with OBI-WAN and that makes him even angrier with rage. (I imagine the fandom passed over Padme entirely in favor of Obi-Wan/Anakin, but maybe I'm just cynical.)

Of course, there are also fangirls who hoard their secret cache of "Hero With No Fear" newsreels (and the fictional serials based on them) and many years later, one of them, a major in the Rebellion's ground forces, presents copies to Luke, who is genuinely touched and excited about getting to see his father and Obi-Wan in action.

After the Battle of Endor, the supposedly limited run holonovela The Princess and the Smuggler goes into production, but it turns out to be so popular that they just keep adding story arcs and seasons to it. Luke is mostly puzzled by the whole thing (his character is a Jedi pilot hero but they cast a strapping 6' tall actor and he's never sure if he's annoyed or amused by that); Han wants to know if they're going to make any money off it, and Leia spends a lot of time over the years trying to sue the producers but it's just fictional enough that she can't make any headway, so she just has to accept that her entire life is a holonovela. (On the plus side, nobody ever painted her tits-out on the nose cone of a starfighter after that one time she verbally eviscerated the only guy who ever tried.)

Actually what this makes me want is a pirate radio AU, where maybe in addition to being smugglers, Han and Chewie run Rebel Radio, a sporadic Rebel broadcast and Luke listens to it when it occasionally pops up within range of his wireless, and that's an extra thing going on during the OT. I mean, it's written by Chewie, of course, who's the real revolutionary of the bunch, but Han is the voice coming to all you rebels and dreamers out there, wishing for a better galaxy while dancing to some sick beats.

You should totally write that.


And finally, today's poem:

Trever's Song
in memory of Trever Harris

In the space between slip and fall, the asphalt sky prickled with stars,
he felt a noise break in his heart, blood-rushed and ecstatic, jazz-boned,
the low swell of a saxophone gone berserk, a frenetic constellation
of notes jerked from his dreams and set earborne above the earth.

He heard dirt-tones and blood-chords, hunger-phrases and bone notes all
shaken like a gin martini and woven into flannel shirts, a muddy dirt bike ride
through his life hung as a mobile in the last of the summer nights,
the spooled sound of his body unspun, let loose, rain over Hornby Island.

And in that instant a light fired in his eye, and he spied his reflection
glimmer in the crystal flesh of the night, shatter-wise and dumbstruck,
silent in the bosom of the rushing wind, and soul tied like a marionette
to the sky, a huge net of sound parachuting him unharmed to the ground.

~Matt Rader

And that's it for National Poetry Month 2016. I hope you enjoyed some of it, at least. <3


(no subject)

Apr. 30th, 2016 11:25 am
[personal profile] skygiants
I've talked about the brain-candy books I read and loved on my trip, so let's talk about one I didn't like so much: Shannon Hale's Austenland.

To be fair I was unfairly biased against Austenland from the beginning when the close-third narration made an offhand comment about loving all the books except Northanger Abbey which nobody likes like I was expected to agree and identify with it, when: how dare you, Northanger Abbey is a comic masterpiece and beautiful literary treasure.

Anyway, the basic premise of Austenland is: our heroine Jane has been Ruined for Real Love by the fact that no real humans can live up to her fantasies of Mr. Darcy, Ruined! So in her will her great-aunt leaves her an all-expenses-paid trip to a secret luxury Austen LARP where women can go to role-play out an Austen romance with hot paid actors in Regency costume.

Hypothetically, this premise could have been a pretty interesting exploration of the boundaries between fantasy and reality and the inherent weirdness and squickiness of role-playing out a romance with someone who's being paid to feign passionate suppressed Regency attraction, which ... is sort of what we get, except in the end it follows the same pattern of basically all prostitute romance: yes of course it's kind of gross for other people, but our protagonist, who is doing exactly the same thing as all the other women that she has withering contempt for that except we're in her head so we know that she's self-aware and ironical about it on the inside, manages to kindle TRUE LOVE in the heart of the jaded paid romance role-player! for the first time ever!! SHE'S DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE OTHERS, SHE MADE HIM BELIEVE.

OK, well, nice for you, but you definitely did not make me believe.

(Also, I wanted to take a drink every time the heroine is hanging out with the love interest, noticing his broodiness/sarcasm/lack of sociability/tendency to say condescending things, and thinking 'wow, so different from Mr. Darcy!' GIRL.)

Haikai Fest: "Full Rotation"

Apr. 30th, 2016 11:25 am
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

what lasts, that we build?
stones over our bones like stakes?
relations? stories?
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
me, looking at trail guide: Okay, they warn us that up ahead the path becomes "moderately vertiginous."

Pause. Geoff and I look down at the twenty-inch-wide rocky trail we're standing on, and out into the vast empty expanse of space between the trail and the facing side of the valley half a kilometer away, with patches of terraced garden plots like contour lines and occasional buildings looking tiny and lost, and the Mediterranean stretching bluely away from the foot of the land toward the horizon. To our right is the steeply rising wall of this side of the valley; to our left the unprotected and occasionally crumbling edge of the trail yields immediately to a four-hundred-meter precipitous plunge.

me: You know, it's hard for me to post pictures from my phone, but it occurs to me that I could probably tweet them. "Moderately vertiginous" is less than a hundred and forty characters, right?

Geoff: Because you wouldn't have time to finish typing. "FALLING, ELL OH --"

Life happened

Apr. 29th, 2016 10:22 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
No Tanith Lee review this week. To make up this, I am extending the Lee reviews past the 52 week mark to the end of 2016.

Ah, young love

Apr. 29th, 2016 07:45 pm
[personal profile] telophase
The further adventures of Murderface McKenzie, Esq. in Skyrim.
Read more... )
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Come play in Victoria Park!

A Task Party is a collaborative art event. Everyone will draw tasks and complete them in whatever interpretation they see fit. The only limitation is your imagination! And physics.

BRING: yourself, an open mind, optional: snacks, craft materials/ random objects to contribute, and a smile*!

Take Chances! Make Mistakes! Get Messy!

This is a kid-friendly event. In fact, kids are probably 10,000% better at the whole Take Chances! Make Mistakes! Get Messy! thing!

* If not your own, then someone else's.

Person of Interest 2.21-2.22

Apr. 29th, 2016 04:34 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
I don't have an actual appropriate icon, so have a tentacle heart instead as an expression of my love.

Spoilers: Read more... )

In conclusion: I wish someone had told me much earlier that S2 would be RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS. ;) Don't worry, I forgive y'all!


Apr. 29th, 2016 04:38 pm
[personal profile] telophase
Can tick "drive through golf-ball-sized hail" off the bucket list. Do not recommend.

Most of it was quarter-sized, and I think nothing larger hit the car. I was terrified that the windshield would crack. Can't tell until the storm is over and we can inspect the car in better light than the garage has if there's any dents.

It was a very short-lived storm, luckily. I was still panicking whether I should pull over and shelter behind buildings when it ended. I was trapped at a light for most of it, and had gotten maybe 100 yards down the road when it ended.

ZOMG a busy day.

Apr. 29th, 2016 08:20 am
[personal profile] oracne
Dayjob was busy busy busy today but tonight I'm going to the gym and then I have three days off after my weekend. Yay.
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Officers and members of the 26th Battalion of the Second Canadian Expeditionary Force. Photo credit: Patent and Copyright Office, now in the collection of Library and Archives Canada

The young ladies of Berlin want you

my whole face is tingling

Apr. 29th, 2016 06:16 pm
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
aka Friends don't let friend blog drunk

another excellent day, ending with a large glass of wine )

Darn those Hyphens!

Apr. 29th, 2016 12:07 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

This I Believe

Apr. 29th, 2016 11:35 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Read because it makes you happy. Read for content!

from joy to joy to joy

Apr. 29th, 2016 10:36 am
[personal profile] musesfool
I fell asleep early last night, so I caught up on no TV. Sigh. This weekend is supposed to be chilly and rainy (ugh, not how I want May to start), so I guess I'll catch up then.

I did come up with a title for a story idea I've been kicking around, though I feel like it probably won't end up being the the title if I write it. I find that having a title to start, or pretty early on in the process, allows me to shape the story to match, or at least to make sense of it, which I guess is pretty backwards, but it mostly works for me. I mean, "Like stars burning holes through the dark" was an easy one - Luke and Leia are the stars, Vader is the dark - voila! "Circle into Motion" went through a few variations but it was always about acknowledging the sort of circular nature of events and relationships but then attempting to break out of those patterns since they clearly hadn't worked before. I mean, I don't know if any of this ever communicates itself to people who read my stories, but a lot of the time, the title does actually have a connection to the story (not always - sometimes it's just a lyric from a song that was playing when I was ready to post, e.g., "the naked floor reminds me"), though sometimes years after the fact, even I couldn't tell you what the connection was.

Of my current wsip, Thing 1 and Thing 2 have complementary titles, since they go together, though I'm probably the only one who thinks they're clever. And something [ profile] angelgazing said to me makes me think that this fifth attempt at the opening of Thing 1 might be the one that sticks. I'm also considering just writing it as notfic for myself and then fleshing that out, since I have a bunch of notes of things that are important and I know exactly what it needs to do, I just can' it. Part of that is that it relies on the sequence of events in Thing 2, so I kind of need to have that mostly done for this to make sense? But that one's rolling merrily along. Mostly it's a POV issue, in that the POV character for Thing 1 is a lot harder for me to write and it keeps coming out wrong.

Wow, that is a lot of vaguery there. I'm not sure why I don't feel like talking about those two in more detail when I'll happily discuss nearly anything else I'm writing, but I feel like I can't say too much. I mean, I think this is also the sort of thing that has an audience of me? So I can't imagine other people even being interested? But I've been there before and not worried too much about it, so... *hands*

In more concrete things, last night this picture of Temuera Morrison came across my dash, and for those of you who don't recognize the name, he played Jango Fett (and various clones) in the Star Wars prequels, and in that picture he looks JUST LIKE Rex looks in Star Wars Rebels, and since Dave Filoni has said he believes Rex is alive at least through RotJ, and he is actually in a position to make that canon, they could have had him in Rogue One but they probably don't and now I'm preemptively sad that that is not a thing that exists. Sigh.

In other news, possibly there will be a recs update later today. New Boss 1 is having surgery today, so she'll be out of pocket for a while, but I thought I was going to have a huge project, except that it's still being fiddled with, so it hasn't landed on me yet. Sigh.

Anyway! Today's poem:

From Blossoms
by Li-Young Lee

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

strong empathy risks
presuming your feelings shared
clogs understanding

linkspam is grateful it's Friday

Apr. 28th, 2016 11:02 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
So, yet another delayed compilation.

Argh, yes, this a thousand times. When I picked up my last bicycle, the guy in the shop kept steering me towards the pink and purple helmets, and it was like pulling teeth to get a black one to try on.

Oh, yeah: 33 Things I hate about this Election. SO TRUE.

This is one of the most amazing/horrifying stories I've seen recently. I guess this is how conspiracy theorists get made?

This article about bassist Carol Kaye reminds me I need to watch that documentary about The Wrecking Crew (even if that wasn't really their name!).

OMG this looks like the best thing ever. Daveed Diggs as Hobbes! ::loves::

Chernobyl, 30 years later. Jeez.


In other news, I finally watched Steven Universe and OMG Peridot is basically Rodney McKay. ::facepalm:: Anyway, how long until the next season? I am totally hooked.

I also watched Over the Garden Wall last weekend, and that was lovely.

I'm also finally watching Man in the High Castle and it's pretty interesting, even if I can't quite tell what's going on half the time. I think a lot of spycraft is too subtle for me. (I would be a terrible espionage agent, I'm just saying.)

ok, and now to bed.

Haikai Fest: "A change of views"

Apr. 28th, 2016 09:48 pm
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

I've changed my route home
a steeper hill, less known streets
I walk it to heart
[personal profile] sovay
I am so glad that there are now multiple confirmed seals visiting the Charles for culinary tourism. I like that they haul out on the docks. I expect a boom in selkie stories in Boston. Do you hear me, local folklore?

13th Age April 6, 2016

Apr. 28th, 2016 02:46 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Virgil the Tiefling Sorcerer. “Amnesiac”. Didn't used to be a tiefling.
Ren the Dwarven Bard: tall for a dwarf, with red skin
Percival the (ancient) Forgeborn Commander, the perfect Dwarven companion bot.
Ewoud Thon, Human Fighter.
Blunder, Human Fighter (NPC)

Beyond the dragon he is nose to nose with, Ren can see a massive room, filled with rubble, treasure and bodies of the dragon's prey. The good news is this dragon is smaller than the last one the party ran into, only the size of four horses and a beer wagon combined. The bad news is that means it can fit down the staircase the party is standing on.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Apr. 28th, 2016 10:59 am
[personal profile] telophase
Ganders, the goose from the streaming cam on top of the Bioware building, has at least one gosling!

I think I actually saw two, but not at the same time so I can't be sure.

Trust me on this

Apr. 28th, 2016 11:40 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
If you want any chance with grammarians, never end a sentence with a proposition.

on today's hike

Apr. 28th, 2016 04:36 pm
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
me: Okay, so we stay on this trail for another forty-five minutes or so, until it meets the main stream, and then the trail follows the stream.

him: It's a good thing we're not hipsters, then, or we wouldn't be willing to follow the mainstream; we'd have to make our own stream.

me: Step off the path if you're going to do that.

when i waked, i cried to dream again

Apr. 28th, 2016 09:58 am
[personal profile] musesfool
Last night, [ profile] innie_darling and I went to see Helen Mirren be interviewed at the New York Public Library. The line to get in was tremendously long - I think the only other time I've seen it that long was for Neil Gaiman on Halloween (and maybe not even then).

She was fantastic - funny, smart, gracious (but willing to shut down the interviewer when she thought he was wrong), and just a little bawdy. A true queen. #there is nothing like a dame

I don't think all that highly of the NYPL interviewer - he tries too hard to be witty and profound and often misses his mark, though I can understand why he'd want to be when he interviews so many amazing people, but he needs to be quiet more and just get out of their way. Nobody cares what you the interviewer think is the answer to your question! Just let Helen Mirren speak!

At the very end, they showed a clip of her as Prospero, and she recited the speech along with it:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

And then she read Caliban's speech to us:
Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.
(That should count as today's poetry, I think.)

So that was a great experience. I highly recommend the live programs at the NYPL and if you're a 'friend' of the library you get discounts (though there was no discount on these tickets for some reason, but it was totally worth the $40).

Then I got home and my fear of not being able to unlock the new door on my apartment building was, alas, realized. I panicked a little and called Mean Super's Nice Wife, and she was like, "They installed it wrong! Everything is wrong! But if you turn the key to the left instead of to the right, and pull while you turn, it should work!" and it did, so I didn't have to show up at L.'s door like a vagrant with no place else to go.

Whoops, hit post too soon!

[personal profile] umadoshi pointed out that you can buy a Murder Squash T-shirt from Stiefvater's Society6 page, and the thing is so ugly it's charming, so I have ordered one. I am weak. Squash one, squash two. Sigh.


(no subject)

Apr. 27th, 2016 11:34 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
Also I'm reading Bryan Thao Worra's DEMONSTRA poetry collection, selecting at random things to read tonight. Two of the three I've read so far have made me cry.

first hike!

Apr. 28th, 2016 08:25 am


Apr. 27th, 2016 11:36 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
According to a sorting quiz for Harry Potter, Jedao is...a Ravenclaw? Based on fannish osmosis I would have guessed Slytherin. (Looking at the numbers, I see answering-as-Jedao got me almost equal points in all four houses.) Although...possibly skewed by the large number of "what do you do about this small child in X situation???" questions--I like to describe Jedao as, hmm, "in a universe where you don't care that your babysitter is a mass murderer, Jedao is the world's best babysitter." (He's great with kids.)

Cheris is a Hufflepuff. I don't know much about them. :p

Okay, enough screwing around on the internet.

May 2016


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