not that Fig is a fussbudget

May. 28th, 2017 05:32 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
But if he notices Ibid is sleeping with his tongue out, he tries to tuck it in.

There is nothing quite like

May. 28th, 2017 05:21 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
A gaggle of adorable little girls spontaneously charging towards the edge of the stage to divide people into those who freeze in a crisis and those who don't.

something like vaguebooking

May. 28th, 2017 12:35 pm
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Sure is nice to have my third "normal" meal stay put instead of fleeing at the earliest opportunity, where normal has meant soft-cooked white rice with homemade chicken broth twice, and rolled oats once, cooked in water with a few raisins tossed in. Read more... )

When I took modern French one summer---all at once, the equivalent of a college year in ten weeks---there were three instructors. The lead instructor spoke Parisian French from her childhood and young adulthood (to be clear, she was lead because of seniority, not regionalism); the middle instructor spoke what she called West African French; the junior instructor spoke with an audible NorAm-anglophone accent but was, as a convert of sorts, the most correct about grammar. They expanded upon our textbook's attempt to acquaint us with Frenches beyond the Parisian inflection of our practice tapes; one day they played Manau's "Mais qui est la belette?" for us. It's a fusion take on a folksong---possibly two? I've forgotten---and has been stuck in my head for much of the week.
[personal profile] truepenny
This is for me, as a research tool. But if you're interested, hey, it's also for you.

Read more... )

It's furious balancing

May. 28th, 2017 11:15 am
[personal profile] musesfool
Hey y'all, did you know there's a Rivers of London novella coming out at the end of June? Or possibly September?
The Furthest Station

There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

Enter PC Peter Grant, junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.

Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog, their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.

Amazon says June 30 but Goodreads says maybe June 30 or maybe September 21. *hands* Either way, I've pre-ordered.

***

66

May. 28th, 2017 07:39 am
[personal profile] sartorias
So today I turned 66--official retirement age--official old age--and it doesn't seem real. (Except when I move!)

Though the spouse and I agreed a couple years ago no presents at holidays or b-days for each other until we get the debt load below five figures (if that ever happens), he did agree to my breaking it just this once: I got a hummingbird feeder, which hangs outside the kitchen window. Pix to come.

Anyway, as I do every year, I ask anyone who has a free couple minutes to link something beautiful, or funny, or tell me about a wonderful moment in your life, or if you happen to have read one of my books and liked it, a line about that. I come back to this page all through the year whenever my spirits are low. (And let me tell you, last year's got such a workout I was able to predict each treasure before it scrolled up. Much as I loved them, I need a fresh batch!)

History question

May. 28th, 2017 09:55 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
History question: does anyone remember the dates of the 1979 King Tut exhibit in Toronto? Aside from the year?

Sunday

May. 28th, 2017 08:02 am
[personal profile] marthawells
Good things that happened:

* My husband made short bread from scratch, and it was so delicious. Store bought shortbread is going to taste like cereal from now on.

* I cleaned out the guestroom closet and a friend took the debris away for her school's garage sale. Now you can walk into the closet and see all the stuff like sheets, coats, blankets, dining room table leaves, Xmas boxes, etc that needs to be in there. (One of the reasons we bought this old, comfortable, shitshow of a house is that it has closets in almost every room and they're huge. The downside of that is stuff gets put in them and you forget it's there and just put stuff in on top of it.)

* I also cleaned out and did some rearrangement of my office, mainly getting rid of the desk which wasn't being used since I don't have a desktop computer anymore. A lot of old publishing letters and paperwork went to my archive at Cushing Library, freeing up filing cabinet drawers for things to go into and I gave away some more stuff to the school garage sale. We're going to put a chair in there so people can actually go in, sit down, and read. (The process started with the realization that we didn't actually have to keep the door closed to keep the cats out since Jack and Tasha don't eat paper, plastic, and string like Harry did.)

* I love the new mattress. I'm actually having longer more detailed dreams, or at least remembering longer more detailed dreams, because I'm not constantly waking up trying to find a position that's not painful.

* I lucked into a half-price frame sale and got some prints we bought at Comicpalooza framed and hung up in the hallway.

* I've been gradually trying to get the choking vines out of the front flower bed, and it's sort of almost starting to look better.

* Doctor Who has been awesome. God, I love Bill as much as Donna. I want Donna to get her memory back and she and Bill have to find the Tardis and go off to rescue the Doctor.


Stuff I need to do today:

* Finish off the Raksura Patreon story (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2458567) and get it posted. I'm almost done with it, I just need the concentration to finish a tricky conversation.

* Pull more vines out of flower bed.


Stuff I need to do this week:

* Re-paint the trim in the stairwell.

* Make some serious progress on Murderbot 4.

* more vines


Things I have coming up:

* I'm doing a signing with Rachel Caine at Murder by the Book in Houston, TX, on Saturday July 15, at 4:30
http://www.murderbooks.com/event/wells-caine

If you can't come in person, you can order signed copies of The Harbors of the Sun and The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red and Rachel's Ash and Quill, the latest in her Great Library series, and Stillhouse Lake. Plus whichever of our other books the store can order.

Sunday morning gratitudes

May. 28th, 2017 07:56 am
[personal profile] kass
There's a lot that's hard right now. So I'm doing what I can to cultivate gratitude:

1. Iced coffee. Turkey bacon. Challah french toast.

2. Cuddling with my kid yesterday and marathoning a bunch of Sword Art Online, which I enjoy as much as he does.

3. My kid is seven and a half today! On his suggestion, we're going to the grocery store later today to get cupcakes to share with friends later this afternoon.

4. Watching wee birds at my bird feeder, supping on seeds.

5. Friends. Including all of you.
[personal profile] sovay
Today has been very social, though not at all unpleasant. My brother's godparents are visiting from the Southwest, so we spent the afternoon with my family and then a sort of pre-Memorial Day dinner, which turned out surf-and-turf. There was way too much zucchini. There was not too much key lime pie. My three-year-old niece has discovered a pair of small stuffed animal rabbits which originally belonged to me and my brother—Bunnicula and Butterscotch—and is carrying them everywhere, even to dinner. She has decided that she wants a goat as a pet. (Suggestions that she ask for a pony instead were met with blank disdain.) I am no help to her parents in this argument. I think a goat in the family would be a great idea.

In the evening I met [personal profile] rushthatspeaks for a sold-out showing of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) at the Brattle Theatre: I thought it was great. It's more overtly supernatural than the series overall—it's focused on the most overtly supernatural strand—but it's also decisively grounded by Sheryl Lee's performance, with Laura Palmer's very realistic anger, damage, and agency (it was not clear in the show that her final status was a choice rather than an inevitable consequence or a weird side effect of the manner of her death; the film offers her no good options, but she absolutely opts for the best of them, which makes it strangely difficult for me to classify the film as horror, even though content-wise I don't know what else it should be) interlocking across registers with the characters who live in the soapier layers of the plot. I was glad to see Harry Dean Stanton turn up in the supporting cast, because he feels existentially like someone who should inhabit a David Lynch universe. Now we just need to finish watching the remaining half of Season Two and figure out what to do about the third-season revival.

A later interlude of placidly watching candymaking videos by Public Displays of Confection with [personal profile] spatch was interrupted by Autolycus violently throwing up all over a box of hardcover Le Guin and Tanith Lee, but fortunately the box had a lid on it, the books have been transplanted to a high shelf, and a very shaken small cat was comforted after we emergency-mopped the floor. (There was much anxious purring. We reassured him that we know he does not throw up maliciously. He never looks like he enjoys it.)

Unless it gets a National Theatre-style broadcast, I don't have a hope of seeing the Crucible's Julius Caesar on account of it being in Sheffield and me being on the other side of an ocean, but it's being done with a diverse, gender-equal cast and I wish I could see it, because Zoë Waites has a hell of a lean and hungry look:

Cassius


We are talking about seeing Jacques Tati's Playtime (1967) tomorrow. I haven't seen the movie since 2010, when it was also on film at the Brattle and I loved it. I should get to bed.

5 good things

May. 27th, 2017 06:41 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
1. Yesterday, a meeting I stressed over all week was cancelled, and instead I treated myself to a nice lunch and a long afternoon nap.

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

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

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

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

X-Men recs?

May. 27th, 2017 06:53 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
If I wanted to read X-Men with an emphasis on Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost (not necessarily all at once--for example, I'd love to read about Emma all by herself), where are good places to look? Comics continuity confuses me. I read New X-Men a long time ago but that's pretty much where my knowledge begins and ends (unless you count the MMO, which I haven't played for some time because I don't have time to play computer games these days :p).

I prefer things I can get as trade collections because there's pretty much zero chance I can afford to chase down individual comics. XD

(This has been brought to you by wasting time by reading Cyclops' TV Tropes page.)

FMK # 2: Gothics!

May. 27th, 2017 12:22 pm
[personal profile] rachelmanija
How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. Kill is actually "sudden death" - I read a couple paragraphs or pages, then decide to donate or reshelf (or read) based on that. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them. Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments.

Italics taken from the blurbs. Gothics have the best blurbs.

Poll #18418 FMK # 2: Houses Are Terrifying
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 43


Castle Barebane, by Joan Aiken. A series of lurid murders... a roofless ruin with crumbling battlements... nephew and niece callously abandoned in a slum... a man of mysterious origins and enigmatic habits... dark emanations from London's underworld... Mungo, an old sailor...

View Answers

Fling
21 (50.0%)

Marry
14 (33.3%)

Kill
7 (16.7%)

The Five-Minute Marriage, by Joan Aiken. An imposter has claimed her inheritance... a counterfeit marriage to the principle heir, her cousin... family rivalries festering for generations... a shocking episode of Cartaret family history will be repeated.

View Answers

Fling
24 (60.0%)

Marry
8 (20.0%)

Kill
8 (20.0%)

The Weeping Ash, by Joan Aiken. Sixteen-year-old Fanny Paget, newly married to the odious Captain Paget... in northern India, Scylla and Calormen Paget, twin cousins of the hateful Captain, have begun a seemingly impossible flight for their lives, pursued by a vengeful maharaja... elephant, camel, horse, raft... The writer has used her own two-hundred-year-old house in Sussex, England for the setting.

View Answers

Fling
15 (34.9%)

Marry
14 (32.6%)

Kill
14 (32.6%)

Winterwood, by Dorothy Eden. The moldering elegance of a decaying Venetian palazzo... pursued by memories of the scandalous trial that rocked London society... their daughter, Flora, crippled by a tragic accident... Charlotte's evil scheming... a series of letters in the deceased Lady Tameson's hand

View Answers

Fling
21 (55.3%)

Marry
3 (7.9%)

Kill
14 (36.8%)

The Place of Sapphires, by Florence Engel Randall. A demon-haunted house... two beautiful young sisters... the pain of a recent tragedy... a sinister and hateful force from the past... by the author of Hedgerow.

View Answers

Fling
19 (48.7%)

Marry
7 (17.9%)

Kill
13 (33.3%)

Shadow of the Past, by Daoma Winston. An unseen presence... fled to Devil's Dunes... strange "accidents..." it seemed insane... the threads of the mysterious, menacing net cast over her life... What invisible hand threatened destruction?

View Answers

Fling
13 (36.1%)

Marry
2 (5.6%)

Kill
21 (58.3%)

[personal profile] rachelmanija
The winner of FMK # 1! Alas, I did not fall madly in love with it, but I did enjoy it. FMK is definitely off to a good start, because God knows how long that book has languished unread on my shelves. I'm pretty sure at least five years and possibly ten. But I'm very glad I finally got to it.

Twelve-year-old Lucy returns to the small English village of Hagworthy, which she hasn’t visited since she was seven. There she stays with her aunt, reconnects with some childhood friends and finds that both she and they have changed, and looks on in growing alarm as the well-meaning but ignorant new vicar resurrects the ancient tradition of the Horn Dance, which is connected to the Wild Hunt.

The premise plus the opening sentences probably tell you everything you need to know about the book:

The train had stopped in a cutting, so steep that Lucy, staring through the window, could see the grassy slopes beyond captured in intense detail only a yard or two away: flowers, insects, patches of vivid red earth. She became intimate with this miniature landscape, alone with it in a sudden silence, and then the train jolted, oozed steam from somewhere beneath, and moved on between shoulders of Somerset hillside.

This is one of my favorite genres which sadly does not seem to exist any more, the subset of British children’s fantasy, usually set in small towns or villages, which focuses on atmosphere, beautiful prose, and capturing delicate moments in time. Character is secondary, plot is tertiary, and there may be very little action (though some have a lot); the magical aspects are often connected to folklore or ancient traditions, and may be subtle or questionable until the end.

You can see all those elements in those two sentences I quoted; the entire subgenre consists of inviting the reader to become intimate with minature landscapes.

This is obviously subjective and debatable, but I think of Alan Garner, Susan Cooper (especially Greenwitch), and Robert Westall as writers with books in this subgenre, but not Diana Wynne Jones. The settings are the sort parodied in Cold Comfort Farm. Hagworthy is full of darkly muttering villagers who kept making me think, “Beware, Robert Poste’s child!”

In The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, Lucy’s parents are divorced, and her mother is now living in another country with a baby brother Lucy has never met. This is mentioned maybe two or three times, very briefly, which is interesting because so many books would make a much bigger deal of it. Lucy returns to Hagworthy for a vacation with her aunt, a botanist.

Of her childhood friends, the two girls have become horse-mad and have nothing in common with Lucy. The boy, Kester, is now a moody misfit teenager, and Lucy, who is also a bit of a moody misfit, becomes friends with him all over again. They wander around the countryside, fossil-hunting and stag-watching, periodically getting in fights over Kester’s refusal to discuss the thing hanging over the story, which is the new vicar’s revival of the Horn Dance to fundraise at a fete. This is very obviously going to awaken the Wild Hunt, and Kester has clearly been mystically targeted as its victim. Though there is a ton of dark muttering about what a bad idea this is, no one does anything about this until nearly the end, when Lucy finally makes first a misfired attempt to stop the Horn Dance, then a successful one to save Kester.

The atmosphere and prose is lovely, and if you like that sort of thing, you will like this book. Even for a book that isn’t really about the plot, the plot had problems. One was the total failure of any adult to even try to do anything sensible ever, for absolutely no reason, until Lucy finally manages to ask the right person the right question. This could have been explained as some magical thing preventing them from acting, but it wasn’t.

The other problem I had was that nothing unpredictable ever happens. Everyone is exactly what they seem: the blacksmith has mystical knowledge, the vicar is an innocent in over his head, the horse-mad girls have nothing in their heads but horses, and so forth. I kept expecting something to be slightly less obvious—for the vicar to know exactly what he’s doing and have a nefarious purpose, for the horse-mad girls to not be as dumb as they seem or to have their horsey skills play a role in saving Kester, for Lucy’s aunt to know more about magic than the blacksmith, etc—but no.

I looked up Penelope Lively. It looks like her famous book is Ghost of Thomas Kempe, which I think I also own.

There’s an album of music based on the book which you can listen to online. It’s by the Heartwood Institute, and is instrumental and atmospheric.

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy

i'll be there in a hurry

May. 27th, 2017 12:15 pm
[personal profile] musesfool
This morning I got rid of two shopping bags full of DVDs and CDs that have done nothing but gather dust for years, and also got rid of all the shoes I no longer wear, so that was another trashbag full of stuff that is no longer taking up space. It's small but it's a start, right?

Also, two benadryl and I slept through the night! Progress!

In lieu of having anything interesting to say, here are a couple of links from tumblr that made me laugh out loud:

- Darth Vader is not your 'daddy'

- the scandalous backstory of the new Chargers logo

- this amazing new superhero duo

***

My day is complete!

May. 27th, 2017 11:09 am
[personal profile] batwrangler
And my "decision" not to mow the lawn has been completely justified by this morning's (rather musky) brown snake!

Picture! )

Maybe there is hope for the world after all.




Culture clash in Canada

May. 27th, 2017 10:44 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

More popcorn

May. 27th, 2017 11:22 am
[personal profile] rydra_wong
First, Mother Jones have put together a handy timeline, which they promise to keep updating:

Mother Jones: The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal

And the Guardian have a helpful guide to the multiple different investigations going on:

The investigations swirling around Donald Trump – a short guide

***********

So, lately:

NYT: At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls — from the 16th, which is practically decades ago in our new accelerated reality, but still fun:

Some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers fear leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn.

It’s been widely rumoured/speculated that the White House "significant person of interest" is Jared Kushner:

Vox: It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jared Kushner is part of Trump’s Russia problem

(Via [personal profile] robynbender, this: https://twitter.com/bornmiserable/status/865695064722251776 Once this has been pointed out, it's hard to stop noticing it.)

Raw Story: White House looking at ethics rule to weaken special investigation: sources

The two people this could potentially block investigation into are Kushner and Manafort.

This also suggests it’s Kushner:

NBC News: Jared Kushner Under Scrutiny in Russia Probe, Officials Say

And late on Friday, we enter holy shit territory once more:

WaPo: Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

Cut for length )

"I'm going to Disneyworld!"

May. 27th, 2017 02:59 am
[personal profile] rosefox
I'm on vacation! That means I get to do things I don't get to do when I'm working! Like... really clean my room. Which doesn't sound very vacational, but I will feel much better after I do it.

What I wanted was to take a week off. What I'm getting instead are two half-weeks off, Mon-Wed of this coming week and of the following week. BookExpo and BookCon are intervening, as is a big work project with deadlines that can't be moved. Such is life. It's still a vacation.

Things on my to-do list/wishlist with deadlines:

* Go to arm doctor May 30
* Prepare BookCon handout by June 1
* Read ILL book due back June 1
* Return book by June 1
* See visiting friend before he leaves on June 2
* Do BookCon panel and booth duty on June 3 (if you'll be there, come say hi!)
* Meet first work deadline by June 5 (ideally much earlier)
* Meet second work deadline by June 7 (see above)
* Write guest blog post by June 7
* Read ILL books due back June 8
* Return books by June 8

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Hang out with X, who also has this coming week off
* Watch the StevenBombs
* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender (I'm five episodes in; it makes great knitting TV)
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens on a day with nice weather
* Ditto Prospect Park
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read a book for fun? I hear people do this? ???
* Knit
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Vacuum (or ask J to if my arms are sad)
* Change sheets (or ask J to if my arms are sad)
* Move clothes from valet to closet
* Catch up on laundry
* Promote Story Hospital
* Clean out inbox
* Watch Baby Signing Time and practice signing on my own and with the family

Fess up

May. 27th, 2017 12:04 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Which of you mentioned "cultural appropriation" to Orson Scott Card?

Also, are Irish accents really as hard as all that for Americans to understand?

Welcome to Books: FMK

May. 26th, 2017 01:08 pm
[personal profile] rachelmanija
[personal profile] melannen has been culling her bookshelves by playing "Fuck Marry Kill" via poll. In the interests of doing the same, and also getting back to posting more book reviews, I have decided to join her. (I am doing "fling" rather than "fuck" just because my posts get transferred to Goodreads and I don't want EVERY post of mine on there littered with fucks.)

How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. (That could be a very long time.) Kill means I should donate it without attempting to read it. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them.

Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments. For this particular poll, I have never read anything by any of the authors (or if I did, I don't remember it) and except for Hoover and Lively, have never even heard of the authors other than that at some point I apparently thought their book sounded interesting enough to acquire.

Poll #18415 FMK: Vintage YA/children's SFF
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 50


The Spring on the Mountain, by Judy Allen. Three kids have magical, possibly Arthurian adventures on a week in the country.

View Answers

Fling
19 (48.7%)

Marry
10 (25.6%)

Kill
10 (25.6%)

The Lost Star, by H. M. Hoover. A girl who lives on another planet hears an underground cry for help (and finds chubby gray cat centaurs if the cover is accurate)

View Answers

Fling
22 (53.7%)

Marry
13 (31.7%)

Kill
6 (14.6%)

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, by Penelope Lively. Lucy visits her aunt in Hagworthy and is embroiled in the ancient Horn Dance and Wild Hunt.

View Answers

Fling
27 (61.4%)

Marry
6 (13.6%)

Kill
11 (25.0%)

Carabas, by Sophie Masson. Looks like a medieval setting. A shapeshifting girl gets accused of being a witch and runs off with the miller's son.

View Answers

Fling
19 (46.3%)

Marry
12 (29.3%)

Kill
10 (24.4%)

Of Two Minds, by Carol Mates and Perry Nodelman. Princess Lenora can makes what she imagines real; Prince Coren can read minds, but everyone can read his mind. (Ouch!)

View Answers

Fling
22 (52.4%)

Marry
11 (26.2%)

Kill
9 (21.4%)

"You with the Guardian?"

May. 26th, 2017 08:10 pm
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(X-posting to [community profile] thisfinecrew.)

Here's a thought:

If you disapprove of politicians beating up journalists (or winking at other politicians' beating up journalists) and have some spare cash, one possible action would be to contribute to the Guardian -- whose journalist, Ben Jacobs, got beaten up.

There are various options for becoming a member and paying a regular subscription, but you can also make a one-off contribution.

Although they're a British newspaper, their coverage of US issues is very very strong.

They would like to note (in an e-mail sent out to members) that they recently ran pieces including GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies and Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana's 'white man's country' – video:

In that interview, the Guardian's west coast bureau chief, Paul Lewis, challenged Gianforte over his support of Trump's executive order that threatens more than two dozen national monuments in America, including the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.

who does it better than we do?

May. 26th, 2017 02:30 pm
[personal profile] musesfool
Generally speaking, I either am totally overprepared for something because I'm freaking out about every little detail, or I completely leave it to the last minute/do it by the seat of my pants, with very little in between, so since I am bound and determined to not fuck up this co-op application process, today I have:

1. gotten a letter from my employer verifying my employment and salary
2. lined up the recommendation letters from people who are not related to me
3. filled out as much of the purchasing application as I can at this moment (since it's been EIGHT YEARS, I had to google to see if any of my old bosses from Big Evol MegaCorp were still there and at least one is - he can direct them to HR to verify my employment if necessary)
4. freaked out a little about my previous landlord, as he is dead and therefore cannot be contacted! But the lawyer was like, there's nothing you can do about that, just put that he is deceased. I mean, I haven't lived there in 15 years so I don't know what the point is anyway, but it's required. *hands*
5. left a voicemail with my current management company asking for a letter verifying my tenancy - I'm afraid this is going to be like pulling teeth and will never happen and will spike all my plans, but dammit, they are professionals and should at least respond on Tuesday (I didn't expect to hear anything back today since it's the Friday before a 3 day weekend).
6. e-signed several documents which all have to be updated since there were typos in the address of the place I'm buying. (The typo was perpetrated by the seller's lawyer, which doesn't fill me with confidence, I must say.)

I'm sorry this is all househunt17! all the time! at the moment. It's basically all I am thinking about, except when I am thinking about how to get Lucy and Wyatt to have sex, and aside from like 3 of you, I doubt anyone is much more interested in that than this, though that might be a little more fun.

At least it is a 3 day weekend and summer Fridays start today! I'm meeting L for celebratory drinks later, and my sister is having a BBQ on Sunday (well, it might be an indoor party if the weather doesn't cooperate, but it'll be fun either way), and my oldest and youngest nieces will be celebrating their birthdays, so it's all good.

***

Out of curiosity

May. 26th, 2017 01:08 pm
[personal profile] rydra_wong
What happens if the new Republican rep for Montana is now convicted of assault?

He appears to have "declined" a further interview requested by local law enforcement (which, much like "declining" a subpoena, is one of those things I didn't know you could do).

But he's apologized (or "apologized") for having "made a mistake".

(A "mistake" that allegedly involved grabbing someone by the neck with both hands, body-slamming them to the floor, then repeatedly punching them.)

Paul Ryan (displaying all the guts and principle we have come to expect from him) took the bold stand of saying Gianforte should apologize. Other Republicans seem to feel that Ben Jacobs should apologize for having wickedly provoked Gianforte to attack him by being a liberal journalist in public.

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 07:38 am
[personal profile] colorblue
Someone who physically assaulted a reporter for asking uncomfortable questions about policy just got elected to Congress by a margin of 6 points.

GOTG

May. 25th, 2017 10:33 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
So I saw Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 tonight, and spoilers still use a Walkman )

***

In other news, I would really like to go a year or two without a family medical emergency, y'all. But with luck I'll be able to make Lance Armstrong jokes with P. for the rest of our lives...
[personal profile] sovay
Today was cold and grey and generally sucked and the first three restaurants I thought to check for borscht didn't have it on the menu at the moment (and the fourth was two states away), but we walked out to Inman despite the drizzling rain and I had a bowl of borscht with sour cream at the S&S and it was extremely satisfying.

1. I am very glad to read that the revised travel ban continues to be ruled unconstitutional.

2. This is a very sweetly drawn comic about bisexuality.

3. Courtesy of [personal profile] gaudior: an appreciation of the Mahler's 6th mallet. I feel someone should point Hurra Torpedo at this symphony.

In conclusion: borscht.

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 03:16 am
[personal profile] telophase
I bought a Korean night moisturizer called Wine Therapy in the red wine
variety.

My face now smells like grape jelly.







I kinda like it.

How do they rise?

May. 25th, 2017 07:38 pm
[personal profile] batwrangler
DSC_9146

Lilacs on the 25th of May.

(ETA: Lilac icon available for use with attribution.)
[personal profile] musesfool
So after a committee meeting first thing this morning at work, I schlepped out to the island to meet with the mortgage broker and the lawyer and sign a bunch of documents (so many documents) and write a shockingly large check (and yet not the largest, if this thing is a go). Then he went through the basic steps of the process with me so that I know what's coming (and what's coming is a lot more of the same re: signing documents, also collecting documents and making copies of them, and then after that, writing more checks, but that's not until I have the actual loan commitment, which will hopefully be soon or at least within the time allotted) and then if they approve that, the dreaded board interview. None of which I am particularly looking forward to, but hopefully I sail through with flying colors instead of getting somehow derailed by picayune bullshit, which I've also heard can happen.

We overnighted the documents to the seller's attorney, so hopefully sometime next week the listing will show as "in contract" rather than "active" (if it continues to appear at all online).

Now I am going to eat my face off, since I haven't eaten since 10 am, and then maybe try to sleep. I remembered that I had an icepack in the freezer last night, so during my now-usual 3 am - 5 am sojourn, I strapped that onto my calf where two of the bug bites are, and it helped immensely with the itching. Eventually they'll go away and I'll be able to sleep again. Just have to stand the itching until then. Sigh.

***

Here!

May. 25th, 2017 04:48 pm
[personal profile] oracne
At WisCon. Have napped. Napping is great.

Oh, Yes, I Definitely Have a Cold

May. 25th, 2017 02:37 pm
[personal profile] malkingrey
It hit me like a hammer late Tuesday afternoon, putting me down for the count for about 12 hours, and leaving me achy and sniffly and bleary-eyed all day yesterday and again today.

And the weather is once again grey and clammy.

Going to Wiscon after all

May. 25th, 2017 01:27 pm
[personal profile] pameladean
No doubt I should have posted something earlier, but we've had memberships and a hotel room for the past several years and yet it was not actually feasible to go. But this year, if I get off the computer and finish my lunch and finish packing, Eric and I will be at Wiscon. We hope to arrive in time for the Gathering, or a good portion of it.

Pamela

LOTR: book IV, ch 9-10

May. 25th, 2017 09:42 am
[personal profile] sartorias
At the very beginning, Gandalf said he couldn’t “make” Frodo hand over the ring—it would break his mind. The choice would destroy him, even before it had begun its long work of insidious influence. What we begin to see here contrasting to Gollum’s outward struggle is Frodo’s inward struggle. Both are going to lose—but in losing his final battle, Gollum is going to free poor Frodo by taking choice away from him. Unfortunately, not soon enough for Frodo to return to his former ring-free life.

The only ring-bearer who manages to get off with relatively little damage is Bilbo, but he never had much ambition, nor did he set out to destroy the ring and so come closer to its center of power.

Another important point: Elrond once said that the company was meant to fall in together, and Gandalf said in that initial conversation that Bilbo was meant to find the ring. But not by its maker. This is about as near as I can find to JRRT revealing his own moral (and religious) compass—these small hints are scattered all throughout the story.

On to the last chapters of this book—in both senses: the last of book four, and the last of The Two Towers.

“D’you mean you’ve been through this hole?” said Sam. “Phew! But perhaps you don’t mind bad smells.”
Gollum’s eyes glinted. “He doesn’t know what we minds, does he, precious? No, he doesn’t. But Smeagol can bear things. Yes. He’s been through, O yes, right through. It’s the only way.”
“And what makes the smell, I wonder,” said Sam. “It’s like—well, I wouldn’t like to say. Some beastly hole of the orcs, I’ll warrant, with a hundred years of their filth in it.”


Gollum has made his decision, and it bodes no good for Sam or Frodo—he’s talking to the precious again.

Soon Gollum slips away, leaving them to Shelob, who is hunting them. They can feel it, then they hear it. Who hasn’t been skin-crawled by that bubbling hiss?

Sam remembers Galadriel’s phial, which Frodo brandishes, and light sparkles with white fire, vanquishing the thick darkness—and a voice speaks through Frodo, “Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!”

And She that walked in the darkness had heard the elves cry that cry far back in the deeps of time, and she had not heeded it, and it did not daunt her now.

Shelob comes on, Frodo aware of her malice. But when he cries “Galadriel,” a hint of doubt halts her for a moment. Then Frodo, who has never been a warrior, pulls Sting and advances on Shelob’s millions of eyes, which shutter into darkness as she retreats.

The hobbits run into cobwebs, cut free, and take off—and then the narrative voice fills us in on Shelob’s history. This is one of those places that make the world so very much larger than it seems, and older.

Little she knew of or cared for towers, or rings, or anything devised by mind or hand, who only desired death for all others, mind and body, and for herself a glut of life, alone, swollen till the mountains could no longer hold her up and the darkness could not contain her.

Creepy!

Sauron knows she’s there, and likes that she guards that way into his citadel, “hungry, but unabated in malice,” and calls her his cat.

Shelob stalks Frodo with her “soft squelching body” and Sam tries to warn him, but gets jumped by Gollum. But Gollum, gloating ahead of winning, spoils his attack from behind and Sam beats him off, breaking his staff.

But Frodo is taken.

Then it’s Sam’s turn for heroism beyond measure: he leaps between her legs and stabs Shelob from below with Sting. And when she tries to crush him with her huge body, Sam holds Sting upright so she drives herself onto the blade.

When she retreats for a last spring, it’s Sam’s turn to wield the phial and to cry out in Elvish, words he did not know. Is it Galadriel, guiding them on the mental plane, or is it that briefly referenced power beyond the world that helped Frodo and Sam in this dire moment?

Shelob scuttles off to her lair, and whether she lay long in her lair, nursing ner maline and her misery, and in slow years of darkness healed herself from within, rebuilding her clustered eyes, until with hunger like death she spun once more her dreadful snares in the glends of the Mountains of Shadow, this tale does not tell.

I read that so many times as a young reader, but it never struck me until recently the glimmer of grim humor in this long recitation . . . with a “well we don’t really know” at the end of it.

So Sam finds Frodo cold and apparently dead. He is left with two horrible choices, and after agonizing, decides he has to carry the quest through to its end. So he takes the ring, and goes on.

But he hears orcs, who find and carry off Frodo. Sam changes his mind—his place is with Frodo, though he knows this is the bitter end. He chases the orcs, who have a rallying cry, “Ya hoi! Ya harri hoi!” It’s rhythmic, making me wonder if the orcs, among themselves have song.

And here we get a long conversation between Gorbag and Shagrat, in which Sam—and the reader—learn a lot. The orcs have their own slang, and their own attitude toward their commanders, which reminds me of the skepticism of foot soldiers in more frank memoirs.

”Yes,” said Gorbag. “But don’t count on it. I’m not easy in my mind. As I said, the Big Bosses, ay,” his voice sank almost to a whisper, “ay, even the Biggest, can make mistakes. Something nearly slipped, you say. I say, something has slipped.

So orcs can think for themselves. Then comes their view of their enemies as he goes on: “Always the poor Uruks to put slips right, and small thanks. But don’t forget: the enemies don’t love us any more than they love Him, and if they get topsides on Him, we’re done too.”

Sam learns something about Shelob—and that Gollum is known, and called her Sneak—then the orcs decides that Sam is a huge warrior who abandoned the “little fellow” in a regular elvish trick.

That stopped me. Have the orcs been told that? How do they know it? They don’t abandon their own? But he said regular elvish trick, and I so want to know what lies beneath that accusation.

Sam reels when he discovers that Frodo is only poisoned, but alive—but the orcs have him. And he is shut outside the gate.
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The final seat count.

Liberals 43
NDP 41
Green 3

Seats needed for a majority: 44

(opens bag of popcorn)

... wow

May. 25th, 2017 03:01 pm
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(x-posting from [community profile] thisfinecrew)

Holy shit:

The Guardian: Republican candidate charged with assault after 'body-slamming' Guardian reporter

The day before the Montana special election (which is today).

And it was caught on audiotape and witnessed by a Fox News team also present who wrote this about (avid Trump supporter) Gianforte's alleged attack on Ben Jacobs:

Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, "I'm sick and tired of this!"

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. Jacobs then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.

To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.


Fox News: Key Montana newspapers pull Gianforte endorsement after incident

Here's [personal profile] colorblue's post on the Montana election:

Action: Montana Special Election

If you are a US citizen, you can still donate to the last-minute get-out-the-vote effort for Gianforte's opponent, Rob Quist, and he currently has 5X matching:

ActBlue page for Rob Quist (thanks to [personal profile] loligo)

Drabble

May. 25th, 2017 07:20 am
[personal profile] lannamichaels


A tiny little drabble thing for the glorious 25th of may, which I celebrate as discworld day ;)

Drabble: All Things Strive. (100 words) by Lanna Michaels
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Discworld - Terry Pratchett, Thud! - Terry Pratchett
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Tak (Discworld)
Additional Tags: Drabble, Death of the Author
Summary:

"W— They think the world was written, sir." -- Carrot Ironfoundersson, Thud! Or, these are the things that Tak wrote.



On the naming of Briards

May. 25th, 2017 06:07 am
[personal profile] batwrangler
Given how his brother Faustus turned out, I ought to have just gone with Fenris. Maybe if I get a black "P"-year puppy (if I end up with a tawny one in an "F" or a "P" year, it's going to be Fizzgig).
[personal profile] sovay
I want my country to figure out a way of being angry that its political system has been externally manipulated without becoming any more nationalistic than it already has, since that's being a disaster.

My mother showed me a one-panel comic with one of those hot dog carts on a sidewalk and two passers-by looking on. The cart's umbrella advertises it as "Vlad's Treats"; the menu is "Borscht—Caviar—Unchecked Power." One of the passers-by is saying to the other, "It's an acquired taste." It is very obviously a Putin reference, but it still rang off-key for me. I don't want to move back into an era where we have ideological purity food wars. It was embarrassing enough when French fries were briefly and xenophobically renamed in 2003. No one in my family has been Russian for more than a century (and Russia might have disputed whether they counted in the first place, being Jews), but my grandmother made borscht. I don't make it with anything like the frequency I make chicken soup with kneydlekh, but that's partly because kneydlekh will not make your kitchen look like you axe-murdered somebody in it. I order it every chance I get. For my mother's seventieth birthday, my father took her to a Russian restaurant especially for the caviar. It can't be much of an acquired taste if as a toddler I had to be stopped from happily eating the entire can my grandparents had been sent as a present.

And let's face it, if I get this twitchy (and vaguely sad that at four-thirty in the morning there's nowhere I can get borscht in Boston), I assume the dogwhistles are much louder for people for whom Russia is closer than their great-grandparents. Can we not do McCarthyism 2.0? Especially since we sort of have been for some years now and it's, see above, not so much working out?
[personal profile] sovay
Tonight in unexpected numismatics: identifying two kinds of coins in five different writing systems for my mother. The former had classical-looking pomegranates on the obverse and were obviously Israeli because they said so in Hebrew, English, and Arabic; they turned out to be Israeli pounds or lirot issued between 1967 and 1980 and the design of a triple branch of budding pomegranates looked familiar to me because it was patterned after the shekels issued in the first year of the First Jewish Revolt (66–67 CE). My grandparents almost certainly brought them home from their visit to Israel in the mid-1980's. The latter were very worn, thin copper or brass cash and I thought Chinese, which meant the latest they could have been issued was 1911; they turned out to have been struck in Guangdong in the reign of the Guangxu Emperor, specifically between 1890 and 1908, and the script I didn't recognize on the reverse was Manchu. We have no idea where they came from. I really appreciate the role the internet played in allowing me to stare at images of different kinds of cash until I recognized enough characters to narrow my search parameters, because I don't actually read either Chinese or Manchu. I mean, I know now that the Manchu for "coin" is boo and it looks like this and the Chinese inscription on the obverse of that issue is 光緒通寶 which simply means "Guangxu currency" (Guāngxù tōng bǎo) and the reason it took me forever to track down two of those characters turns out to be the difference between Traditional and Simplified Chinese, but seriously, without the internet, that would have just been a lot of interesting metal to me.

(Me to [personal profile] spatch: "This is ridiculous. If I can read cuneiform, I should be able to read Chinese. I feel incredibly stupid." Rob to me: "You can't call yourself stupid if you're teaching yourself Chinese!")

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