manque

Apr. 18th, 2014 02:31 pm
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Some things I've wanted to do for weeks or months (incomplete):

* Read more than two pages of a recent francophone monograph whose focus overlaps that of my nearly ten-year-old dissertation. I want to read it; a few years ago it would've been difficult, but now I want to and there is not enough time.

* Have less upper thoracic pain, which half the time yields neck pain as well. Yes, I would rather read that book than experience less pain---something about relative plausibility.

* Learn the lyrics to "Let It Go." Half an earworm is more frustrating than a proper one. Reason thinks that "Let it gooooooo, when the door slides, let it goooooo"---something she's learned from a classmate---is not the same song as the thing Idina Menzel has recorded, which I've played once for her without the distracting visual. She says that two nearly five-year-old classmates also know a "let it go" song, which is different again. Heh. But of course I get the official one stuck partway every time someone says those three words; I want to ungarble my brain. Better perhaps if I could also learn the 25-language version (now with faces! h/t [personal profile] jae) by rote, since it and Menzel's run interference upon each other.

* Have a functional computer. My laptop, a three-year-old Lenovo ThinkPad X220, currently runs Win 8.1 Pro and has had a fragile explorer.exe process since the .1 upgrade, i.e. the Windows desktop keeps freezing and needing to be reinvoked (hitting the Windows key a few times does it). Without a happy explorer.exe, one cannot switch from one window to another except by clicking on it---bad if something's edge isn't visible---and copying/moving/etc. files is interrupted. The X220 shipped with Win 7 Pro; Lenovo continues shipping Win 7 with current ThinkPads; I am reinstalling Win 7 this weekend, albeit by hand because the Thinkvantage restore partition is broken. 8 has never done anything meaningful for me, anyway.

Freeeeeeeeeeee!

Apr. 18th, 2014 05:03 pm
[personal profile] oracne
I am officially discharged from PT! My right hand strength is up to 80 percent of the left hand's, which is close enough to normal that I can do most things. I'm supposed to stick with the weight machines for a while instead of free weights, and also the cable machines. I will have to work back up to pushups slowly, but they should be fine, eventually.

I am so relieved, I can't even tell you.

But I'm not going to the gym tonight. I have a serious case of the don't wannas, and I think I can take the night off without harm. Besides, my arm is still sore from Wednesday.

[ObMeme]

Apr. 18th, 2014 03:43 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Random links? I'm trapped at Joe's work. Foxes especially appreciated. Here's my linkcontribution: Vegetarian fox is just babysitting [Cheezburger.com].

Alternately, let's play shag, marry, toss off a cliff! Anyone?

every dance friday is a good friday

Apr. 18th, 2014 04:26 pm
[personal profile] glass_icarus
Happy things:

1. Dancing tonight!!

2. I finished Heyer's Cotillion and it was fantastic, and I don't think it is a spoiler to say that I think Freddy is the greatest, heh. :D

3. Reorganizing the closet, I stumbled upon a pile of BPAL things from a few years ago that I never really got round to trying! I tried one that seems to have aged well (Crow Moon) and which smells interesting enough on me that I may keep it, but knowing my usage habits, there's little point in me attempting thirteen more smell tests at this late date... I can put up a list, if anyone is interested?

4. Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real?

If by real you mean as real as a shark tooth stuck
in your heel, the wetness of a finished lollipop stick,
the surprise of a thumbtack in your purse—
then Yes, every last page is true, every nuance,
bit, and bite. Wait. I have made them up—all of them—
and when I say I am married, it means I married
all of them, a whole neighborhood of past loves.
Can you imagine the number of bouquets, how many
slices of cake? Even now, my husbands plan a great meal
for us—one chops up some parsley, one stirs a bubbling pot
on the stove. One changes the baby, and one sleeps
in a fat chair. One flips through the newspaper, another
whistles while he shaves in the shower, and every single
one of them wonders what time I am coming home.

-- Aimee Nezhukumatathil
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
(not in relation to anything I mentioned getting)

Before sending your ebook out for review, take a quick look to make sure it's readable. Just had one that isn't. Looking at it, i would guess it was originally a pdf and someone fed it through Caliber without double-checking the resulting epub.

writing: statistics

Apr. 18th, 2014 12:49 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
42 stories published at some point by my count.

Male main characters/protags: 14
Female main characters/protags: 28
Unspecified sex/gender/whatever: 2
Also, "characters" is meaningless applied to "A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel," which is doing the Olaf Stapledonian thing with civilizations, sorry.
Of those characters, one (Loi Ruharn from "Wine") is FtM; everyone else is defaulted to cis.

Het main characters/protags: 6
Lesbian main characters/protags: 2
Bi main characters/protags: 1
Everyone else defaults to unspecified. (Well. Shuos Jedao is bi in Ninefox Gambit but there is zero evidence for this in "The Battle of Candle Arc," so I have him listed as unspecified. I really doubt he had any time to think about sex at Candle Arc.)
Um. I have one gay male pair in "Echoes Down an Endless Hall," whom I managed to kill off, although I also killed off the entire rest of that squadron except the one dude who...escapes only to be brainwashed and cyborged by his own side.

Yeeeeeeeeeah this needs work, although I am super super super reluctant to write trans* characters not because trans* characters are evil but because I'm trans* and I really don't feel like bleeding onto the page for other people's freaking entertainment reading, thankyouverymuch.

cut for raw data )
[personal profile] musesfool
So our building is closed today - apparently Good Friday is a union holiday, so there's no HVAC, no maintenance, and no cleaning services, but we're still here working. Or looking like we're working. Whatever. Sigh. I think I'm going to go back to taking Good Friday and Easter Monday off in the future.

In better news, Orphan Black returns tomorrow night for s2, and so far reviews of the first four eps have been promising! I am excite!

***

The AO3 hit-and-kudos count meme, since it's exactly a year since the last time I did it (what, I like anniversaries):

Top 10 stories by hit count on AO3:

all Avengers )

For the first time, a Steve/Bucky story breaks the top 10 hits list! (Imagine if I actually had something new to post now, post-Cap 2! I'm kind of sad I'm not ready to post while the pairing is hot, but it's nice having all this fic to read that I didn't have to write. *hands*) Also, goodbye Raj/Howard, which fell from 9th place to 16th in the year since I last did this meme.

Nothing is ever going to catch up to the two Clint/Darcy stories, which got recced around, but I'm always pleased that the Steve-and-Thor bro show is up there so high. Why is there not more fic about Steve and Thor's epic bro-ship?

Anyway. Here are my Top 10 stories by kudos on AO3:

Also all Avengers )

Once again, Steve/Bucky finally breaks the top ten! And the Steve/Peter, which was so close to breaking through last time. (More people should write Steve/Peter. IJS.)

I didn't do it by comments because that's just depressing*, but if I had, both BBT yuletide stories would jump back up into the top 10, as would the Steve/Peter and the Despicable Me/Avengers crossover.

*(also depressing, not even having a 1 kudos per 100 hits ratio on even the most kudosed story. Like Joe Walsh, I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.)

Maybe I will do some writing today! I still have to pick a remix. Um...look over there! A wild pome appears:

Diary [Surface]

Spring is not so very promising as it is the thing
that looking back was fire, promising:
ignition, aspiration; it was not under my thumb.

Now when I pretend a future it is the moment
he holds the thing I say new-born,
delicate, sure to begin moving but

I am burned out of it like the melody underneath
(still not under my thumb)--
was he ambiguous, amphibian?

Underneath, his voice, the many ways
he gathers oxygen; it will not stop raining
until the buds push through the brittle trees.

If they fail we will not survive,
washed and washed with rain, will we?
No, we are not there yet.

She is pushing me two ways until
I am inside the paradox, the many lungs,
and they're at it again, gathering oxygen;

no wonder I am wrung out
holding out for the promise of
something secret, after--

~Rachel Zucker
From Eating in the Underworld

***

Haikai Fest: "People As Islands"

Apr. 18th, 2014 06:38 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 shiny haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a new stanza responding to the original theme. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.
===


from underwater
islands look fingers of
the ground reaching up

_
in honor of [personal profile] kaberett's poem 'w/hole-hearted'

This I believe

Apr. 18th, 2014 11:30 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Fake banana is the best fake flavour.

Friday About Town

Apr. 18th, 2014 11:23 am
[personal profile] jjhunter
Friday, every Friday, I invite you (yes, you!) to share with me key Dreamwidth posts from the last week. They can be one or more of your own posts, posts of others you'd recommend, interesting discussions, linkspams, tiny delights, whatever stands out to you from the last seven days that you'd like to highlight. Assume that I've been away and pining too true and catch me up on what matters to you.

In return, I will make a point of commenting on at least one post of those you share, and I encourage others to do the same.

Newcomers, lurkers and long-time commentators equally welcome. See also [community profile] followfriday.

New Scientist's ARC

Apr. 18th, 2014 11:00 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Did it really only have the two issues or is the entry for it in ISFDB incomplete?

(no subject)

Apr. 18th, 2014 09:38 am
[personal profile] skygiants
A Cultural History of Cuba During the U.S. Occupation is one of those library books that sat on my shelf for literally over a year as I renewed it repeatedly because I kept reading, like, YA and Mercedes Lackey instead, until FINALLY I could renew it no more and was like "OK I'M GOING TO READ IT."

And, as always happens with the nonfiction books that I put off reading because I'm lazy, it was incredibly fascinating. As the title indicates, the book focuses on the four years in Cuban history right after the Spanish-American War, when the U.S. was still occupying Cuba but an all-Cuban government was on the horizon.

Marial Iglesias Utset is deliberately focusing her attention, not on major or dramatic events, but rather on how the everyday things that ordinary people do take on enormous political and ideological significance in times of cultural shift -- like, what music do you dance to and how do you dance to it, what cafes do you eat at and what are they serving, when and how and where do you display the national flag? What holidays are state-sanctioned, and what holidays do people take anyway even if the government has not formally declared them a day off? What chotchkes are being sold at the store?

(There's a great passage quoting an ad that appeared in the magazine Patria, under the heading "Long Live a Free Cuba! Independence or Death!" which then went on to advertise commemmorative pins, brooches, buttons, belts, painted plates, portraits of Jose Marti ... because everyone should support the Fatherland and be a patriot! PEOPLE ARE SO MUCH PEOPLE.)

Anyway this is the kind of history that I'm always wanting to see more of -- not who killed what in which battle, but how people live their lives through and in and around and after those battles. HISTORY IS SO INTERESTING. Why don't I read more history? (Because I'm lazy, and there are so many terrible novels out there -- but I should read more history!)

Things To Do

Apr. 18th, 2014 09:22 am
[personal profile] oracne
I need to do things this weekend, but I'm not sure how many of them I will actually accomplish. I need to finish my review book, and so some mroe laundry, and clean off my couch (sorting through junk mail), and cull some more books. I also need to figure out the best way to get rid of the books once culled - the Free Library has a store, and I've donated to that before, so maybe them.

My closets desperately need help as well, but I don't think that will be this weekend. That needs to be several, smaller efforts.

And I have a pile of paper to go through, a mixture of letters and cards and event programs and such, that's been accumulating dust for months.

And I have things to mail.

And website stuff to deal with.

And PT this afternoon.

Will I do any of this? Stay tuned.
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
If anyone recognizes my OTW/AO3 water bottle, I will be beyond tickled!
[personal profile] yhlee
I...may never be able to Exalt because lizard's reaction was "That's mean." Which probably means no breeding for me. :p And lots of grinding for more nest space? But we'll see.

ETA: Well, we have a nest of three eggs going because lizard wanted to try breeding before I managed to tell her about limited slots and Exalting...we'll see...

Read more... )

Thank you to everyone who helped us get started! I am, um, stupidly addicted to the Coliseum, which has been my gateway drug into Final Fantasy I...

FNL rewatch

Apr. 17th, 2014 04:13 pm
[personal profile] kass
Last night [personal profile] kouredios and I watched S6 and S7 of SNL S5.

For kicks, I went back to see what I had written about them three years ago (and how y'all had chimed in):

Oh, show. (Thoughts on FNL S5 x 06: Swerve)

Friday Night Lights S5 x 07: Perfect Record

So, y'know, if I'm suddenly chiming back in on conversations we let lapse back in 2011, that'll be why.

The final season is still really good, even on a rewatch. I still love the way they brought Jason Street's storyline back in.

And I just. Luke. Becky. Vince. Jess. Coach. Tami. Julie. ♥ ♥ ♥

OH SHOW. :-)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

April 17, 2014

Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope,
astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.
[personal profile] sovay
Dear brain. Let me start by saying that it's not that I don't appreciate you dreaming—I haven't had a dream I remembered since the beginning of March that wasn't some kind of grotesque or obvious anxiety nightmare. But while I'm sure it raised the intellectual bar for the next few nights, I really didn't like dreaming about a community event that turned into a race riot (in the dream I thought pogrom). A white man ran out of the school below me carrying the chewed arm of a brown-skinned child in his teeth. Said he was a wolf, only the difference was, a wolf's skin was hairy on the outside. It is interesting to represent racism itself as lycanthropy. Werewolves in mainstream fiction lately seem to function more more as metaphor for marginalized groups. I'm sure something powerful could be done with the reversal if it hasn't already. But it will probably not be me this week and anyway it was a very upsetting dream, thank you.

Dear Open Office

Apr. 17th, 2014 12:52 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I really did mean to type Sudoku. While your suggestion that I actually meant to type sodomy is bold and innovative, it is also wrong.
[personal profile] musesfool
Stuff! And also things!

1. it got cold here again. I DO NOT APPROVE. And I had to wait longer than usual for a bus this morning, so I was Not Pleased, especially since I didn't wear a fleecy under my coat.

2. I spoiled myself for Amazing Spider-man 2. On purpose, actually. spoilers ) I still don't know if I'm going to see it. I guess I'll wait until people I trust have seen it and commented.

3. Ugh, so I put the teevee on at 7:59 pm for Arrow and channel 11 was dark! And it was dark on the HD version too! And I was like, NOOOOOOO! but it popped back in just at the end of the previouslies. Whew. I have to say that Arrow and Good Wife are the two hours of tv I look forward to most every week. I still enjoy Elementary but I feel like it's been idling this season and has never really gotten into gear. But that could just be because everything feels slow when compared to TGW and Arrow (and Sleepy Hollow when it was on). Talk about breakneck pacing. Anyway!

Arrow: The Man Under the Hood (no, sadly, not Jason Todd)
spoilers )

4. Speaking of excellent television, I would put the s2 run of Avatar: the Last Airbender, from The Blind Bandit through Crossroads of Destiny, up against any tv show in terms of excellent runs of episodes. There's really only the one clunker (The Guru) - it just builds and builds and builds to an amazing climax. Why yes, I've been rewatching. Last night, it was The Desert, which might be my favorite Katara episode. She's just so determined to get them all out of there alive and intact while Sokka's high and Aang's grieving and Toph can't actually help.

5. Today's poem:

What Goes On

After the affair and the moving out,
after the destructive revivifying passion,
we watched her life quiet

into a new one, her lover more and more
on its periphery. She spent many nights
alone, happy for the narcosis

of the television. When she got cancer
she kept it to herself until she couldn't
keep it from anyone. The chemo debilitated
and saved her, and one day

her husband asked her to come back --
his wife, who after all had only fallen
in love as anyone might
who hadn't been in love in a while --

and he held her, so different now,
so thin, her hair just partially
grown back. He held her like a new woman

and what she felt
felt almost as good as love had,
and each of them called it love
because precision didn't matter anymore.

And we who'd been part of it,
often rejoicing with one
and consoling the other,

we who had seen her truly alive
and then merely alive,
what could we do but revise
our phone book, our hearts,

offer a little toast to what goes on.

~Stephen Dunn

***

Audible sigh

Apr. 17th, 2014 12:29 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Debate over the safety of Wi-Fi in schools is on hold now that the Waterloo Region District School Board plans to upload the controversy to its parent organization.

More muscles please

Apr. 17th, 2014 08:53 am
[personal profile] oracne
I went to the gym last night and did many interesting things with the cable machine, mostly just with my right arm, with occasional switch-offs to remind myself of the strength of my left arm. I interspersed many stretches, and some pronation/supination with a small dumbbell. And today, my arm does not seem to be falling off. Yay.

I then spent half an hour on the elliptical, reading Martha Wells Emilie and the Hollow World.

Haikai Fest: "Reverse Time Capsule"

Apr. 17th, 2014 08:19 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 shiny haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a new stanza responding to the original theme. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.
===

statistics, not calc.
skills, not grades; life, not college
things I wish I'd known

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 11:58 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
the back of my chair fell off. like, fell off and i cant fix it anymore. D: gonna have to start walking to campus to do work now.

I took a walk today! unfortunately where I live in Riverside is not very interesting, just houses and apartment complexes. =/ sigh. i miss living in a downtown area!

investigating multivitamin powder options. preferrably something with high folic acid content, since i always forget to take my pills. the protein powder smoothies in the morning seems to be working out for me, so time to look into this further. two scoops of the stuff help with the texture a lot. it's not like using a banana, but close enough!

I PASSED :D

Apr. 16th, 2014 11:59 pm
[personal profile] starlady
As of about 12 hours and 15 minutes ago, I'm ABD.

It went great, and I had a great time. Thanks to everyone who's provided support this semester--I couldn't have done it without you, truly.

best vid ever*

Apr. 16th, 2014 11:22 pm
[personal profile] lettered
Hey so did you guys ever notice that in the Captain America vid The War Was In Color, on the line, "let's start at the end", on the word "start" it shows them stamping 4F on Steve's form and then on the word "end" it shows 1A

and the 1A is the A on Stark Tower?

Yeah I never noticed that either.

*okay after the Doctor Who No Handlebars but srsly guys. This vid.

Dog bites man

Apr. 17th, 2014 12:21 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Woman writes an article about a lousy cover, gets rape threats.

On an issue raised in the original article, why are so many comic book artists so terrible at drawing human breasts? Don't we live in a research-friendly environment these days, what with the interwebs?
[personal profile] colorblue
Recently watched Secretly, Greatly, and loved it. One of those movies that just so perfectly caters to my id, not to mention, Ri Hae-Jin, the kid assassin/spy, is ridiculously adorable.

A music vid without major spoilers:



mvs with MAJOR spoilers )

Wednesday reading

Apr. 16th, 2014 08:02 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
Hey, it's Wednesday!

Recent reading: My internet was out over the weekend; I got a lot of reading done. Among which: Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison/Sarah Monette. Which is really rather sweet, even though it's a novel of political intrigue. Kind of hurt-comfort, although much of the hurt is offstage. I really enjoyed it, and didn't want it to end.

I also just the other day finished Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice, which I found ambitious and really interesting. I didn't have as much trouble tracking the POV as I expected, and I liked the way Leckie challenged our male-as-default gender problem through pronouns, language, and cultural behavior. I also liked the plot, which I found interesting, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Oh, and I read Machines of Freedom, an X-Files novel by Amal Nurriyah. It's set after the 2nd movie, and it's about how Mulder and Scully (and their kids) (and Skinner, Doggett & Reyes) save the world from colonization. I rather enjoyed catching up with the old gang again.

Current reading: I'm on a reread of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I'm on jury duty this week, and it's kind of difficult to switch back-and-forth from the trial to Jonathan Strange fighting with Wellington in the Peninsula, though.



Next up: I'm not sure. Possibly Elizabeth Bear's Range of Ghosts; I read the first chapter on Amazon and thought it was interesting, and I haven't read any Bear since the original Hammered trilogy, some years ago.

"Bread and circuses"

Apr. 16th, 2014 05:33 pm
[personal profile] rosefox
Spoilery thoughts on Winter Soldier. I keep meaning to turn these into some sort of coherent post, but I haven't done that, and having a tab I can't close is annoying me, so here, have a bunch of paragraphs.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS if you haven't seen the movie and don't want spoilers then CLOSE THE TAB this is your FINAL WARNING EJECT EJECT EJECT etc.

Did I mention SPOILERS )

Recovering....

Apr. 16th, 2014 05:33 pm
[personal profile] badgerbag
Did ok on my trip, but just ok. I also got through work today. And I wrote a blog post because it seemed like it had to be done. But now I'm totally done touching a keyboard. Exhausted, in pain, a bit fevery feeling all over. I have not managed to unpack yet. Moomin helped me put away clean laundry. Zond7 ordered us groceries and cleaned up and we have a helpful house cleaner coming tomorrow. I need serious rest.

Read The Goblin Emperor, which I highly recommend! OMG... more like this!

Also, Pen Pal by Francesca Forrest.

Both excellent!!!

"Few and far between"

Apr. 16th, 2014 05:33 pm
[personal profile] rosefox
Fun things, Apr 15: took possession of the new apartment!
Apr 16: ate tasty Seder leftovers

The apartment remains amazing. I cannot wait to move in. Sooooooon.

After several days of my ear being very blocked and loud, I woke up at 5:40 a.m. today with mild vertigo. Blah blah details blah ) Nine days since the last bout. They're getting further apart and milder. Still lasting an obscenely long time, but I don't mind so much as long as I'm reasonably functional.

We're moving in ten days. X has a "what if R gets vertigo on moving day" plan all ready, which means I don't have to worry about it, so I am doing my best to think about anything else. Like culling and packing. Once I can move my head again.

Hello from Sicily!

Apr. 16th, 2014 05:07 pm
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
Sicily, days zero and one

Lengthy blather ahoy! )

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 09:12 am
[personal profile] skygiants
So, as encouraged by various persons in the general vicinity of this blog, I read Gemma Files' Hexslinger series.

The plot kicks off thusly:

MAGICAL EX-PREACHER OUTLAW: I feel like this lifestyle of riding around with my homicidal gunslinger boyfriend and our merry outlaw band, committing heinous magical felonies and murdering anyone who makes homophobic slurs in our direction, is probably not sustainable in the long-term.
AN AZTEC GODDESS: I could help with that.

*several instances of human sacrifice, one impending apocalypse, one non-consensual deification and an extremely messy breakup later*

MAGICAL EX-PREACHER OUTLAW: .... it's possible I may have made some poor life choices.
HIS NOW-DIVINE HOMICIDAL GUNSLINGER NOW-EX BOYFRIEND: YOU THINK????

The books take place just post-Civil War in a universe in which some people have magic, and magical people ... can't hang out together because they will accidentally murder each other trying to eat each other's magic, except when they manage to get round it by making out a lot instead? I wasn't entirely clear on the exact rules there. Also, magic is ... illegal? Socially frowned-upon? Allan Pinkerton is trying to recruit magic users for his Pinkerton agency, anyway. Pinkertons are highly relevant. After a magical accident, Allan Pinkerton also at one point swells up to the size of a house and starts biting people's heads off, which should give you something of a sense for the plotting style.

My feelings about the series as a whole are pretty mixed. First of all, I would be A-OK with placing a firm moratorium on fantasy novels about Aztec gods demanding human sacrifice. Why is it that nobody ever writes about Aztecs (or Mayans, for that matter) doing ANYTHING except performing human sacrifice and playing handball with intent to lead to human sacrifice? Presumably SOME PEOPLE in these VAST EMPIRES occasionally did ... other things ... with their time ...

I mean the racial politics of the books in general are not -- well, okay, that's not quite what I want to say. The racial politics are clearly very well-meant. The cast includes many characters who are not white, the Trail of Tears and the one-drop rule and the Nativist attitudes of the Bowery B'hoys are all name-checked; at one point someone delivers a speech about how if the world is going to be saved, it's because of the gays and the Chinese and the Indians and the secret Jews, so suck on that, Mr. Pinkerton!

So, like, there is plenty of representation, it is the method of it that often really did not work for me )

I mean I guess what it boils down to is that much of the time the series can't decide whether it's subverting and critiquing all the wildest tropes of the WEIRD WEST GUNSLINGER genre or gleefully embracing them, and so it's like "BOTH!" but sometimes I do not think it's possible to have your cake and eat it too in quite that way.

But, I mean, I say all this, but ... I read the whole thing! I did not have to, but I did; it was compelling and very more-ish, and I did very much appreciate the fact that many of the seemingly casual deaths ended up having consequences and mattering later. So there you go. IDFIC GALORE. If "homicidal gay gunslingers sarcastically recite the Bible, seduce Pinkertons, bring about and/or avert magical apocalypse in an extremely gory fashion" sounds like it's the kind of idfic that would appeal, then maybe check it out? I don't know, other people who have more unalloyed enthusiasm about these books, please feel free to chime in and make your pitch, I'm sort of stuck at "...well, I did read the whole thing!"
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Sorry, not cute. I misspelled "steadfastly provincial in the manner of persons from great empires".

[personal profile] musesfool
SHIELD spoilers )

In other comics news, apparently now that his secret identity has been revealed, Dick Grayson is going to become a super spy. I don't even know, you guys. (I mean, if it's public now that Dick Grayson is Nightwing, isn't it SUPER OBVIOUS that Bruce Wayne is Batman? IJS)

First off, I'm so glad he's not dead. That would have been three out of four post-reboot Robins dead (I still say a big FUCK YOU, STEPH WAS ROBIN to DC, but whatever) and for real, I think Alfred might have had to beat the everliving crap out of Bruce for that, even if Dick came back fairly quickly.

Secondly, I don't have a problem with the gun, which seems to be a sticking point for a lot of people, but even though I guess it was erased by the reboot, OFFICER GRAYSON was still a thing, and Dick carried a gun then, too. (The comics did not explore this nearly as much as they should have, though. IJS) Otoh, he looks way more Jason-y there, so. I don't even know. Also, I'm not sure how having your face and name revealed will make you a good super spy. And Dick's disguises are notoriously hilariterrible. This is a dude who went undercover in the mob AS HIMSELF. So while he's probably got a ton of tradecraft in some ways, I just don't see it working out well for him. (Also, I feel like the shades of gray morality that spies live in will be tougher for him to handle, but who knows?)

Thirdly, I kind of laugh at the Winter Soldier-y-ness of it all (well, Dick and Bucky are the prototypical plucky boy hostages sidekicks, but didn't we already do that with Jason? though to be fair, I think Red Hood and Winter Soldier happened kind of simultaneously in the comics, just as both Steve and Bruce were unstuck in time at around the same time with Dick and Bucky stepping into their respective cowls [I still want that story! How do you step into your mentor's shoes when it was never ever what you wanted to be doing?]; while Jason/Bucky seems like the obvious parallel, I do love the Dick/Bucky parallels as well), but if it allows for easier MCU/DCU crossovers, I'm good with that. We already know Dick loves redheads, but I feel a rash of Natasha Loves Dick jokes breaking out already. *cough*

Mostly, though, I once again feel the need to say #DC LOOK AT YOUR LIFE. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES.

***

What I'm reading Wednesday:

What I've just finished

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings, which suffered (for me) from being just about 1914 rather than the whole war. *hands* It was really long for a book that only covered one year, and it was probably a little too much about various battles etc. and not quite enough about the personalities involved, though there was some of that too.

What I'm reading now

The First World War by Hew Strachan, which is quite a bit shorter for all that it does cover the whole war, and quite a bit drier in tone. While I appreciate that the pictures are probably interesting in a hard copy, they're completely unreadable in ebook form, and the book suffers quite a lot (imo) from a sad lack of maps. I NEED MAPS, PEOPLE. If I want them of fictional places - and I do - then I want them eleventy million times MORE of real places. Otoh, I've already learned a ton of stuff I didn't know about what was happening in the Europeans' African colonies during the war. I didn't even realize there was related fighting in Africa at the time, but there was!

What I'm reading next

I dunno. Maybe I will dip back into fiction for a while. Who knows?

***

Today's poem:

the loneliness of the long-distance lover

another phone call. the distance becomes
blue smoke rising from an ashtray; static

crackling like familiar songs on vinyl; the
delicate smell of mandarins. tangible and

elusive. how inadequate hands can be –
fingers slice through air as if it were mere

gas, not a tangle of unused words. and you
hold your breath, don't ask. i hear silence

intensify, before you blurt out my name –
jack-in-a-box sick of confinement, its lid

kept shut too long. this is how you make
love to me. this is what i have learned to

mould into a dream of happiness, late at
night when sleep won't come: your lips

on mine, your palm a perfect fit for my
pale winter cheek, an answer to every

question, and no morning without the
reward of another night. i want to be a

secret whispered in your ear, the smoke
that stings your eyes, a tear on your face.

unlearn the magic, pleads reason; my
voice says nothing. my heart beats out

whatever rhythm yours dictates, tries to
x out every single thought does not bear

your name. darling, i breathe across time
zones. darling. all my words melt into one.

~Michaela A. Gabriel

***

Local Flooding

Apr. 16th, 2014 12:29 pm
[personal profile] malkingrey
Not a picture I took, but here's what the rain and winter runoff did to the wall under Howard's Restaurant, where the river runs by it:

...pic under the cut... )

I'm told that at about 8PM last night, the water was nearly up to the bridge across the river, which would be just past the left margin of the photo. 

Route 3 (aka Main Street) was closed in both directions, the road to Errol was closed because Roaring Brook was up (any watercourse named Roaring Brook is one to avoid on a rainy springtime night, just as a matter of principle, and our example of the name goes over its banks on a regular basis), and Route 2 was washed out in a couple of places as well. Himself went down to Groveton after dinner instead of at 5 AM, because the snow was supposed to start after midnight, and with snow and road closures there would be no telling what the route to Groveton -- normally an uneventful twenty-five minutes or so -- would be like. He ended up having to take the only open road across the river to Vermont, go across to St. Johnsbury, cross back over into New Hampshire from there, and drive north to reach Groveton.

And today it's cold again, but sunny.  Ah, springtime in the North Country!

mongolian nomadic society

Apr. 16th, 2014 08:50 am
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Bat-Ochir Bold, Mongolian Nomadic Society: A Reconstruction of the "Medieval" History of Mongolia (St. Martin's, 2001): the inscription is to his parents, "Prof. L. Bat-Ochir and Kh. Cendjav." (Sidenote for those who scrutinize which press carries a book: the St. Martin's scholarly division merged with Macmillan in 2000 or 2001 (Wikipedia disagrees with itself) to create Palgrave, soon after styled Palgrave Macmillan; Bold's book was issued a "99-" CIP number despite the 2001 copyright date, which usually indicates a delay during the final stages of publication. Looks to me as though this book was caught amidst the Holtzbrinck/Macmillan branding reshuffle. I looked it up from wondering why the book hadn't been on Palgrave's imprint, which I'd misremembered as starting a year or two earlier: ways in which grad school can mark you....) Maps, endnotes, a list of terms and names that amounts to a glossary, and references show that the book is scholarly, not trade.

So, the monograph itself. followed by bits of notes )

This morning's very serious problem

Apr. 16th, 2014 10:44 am
[personal profile] telophase
Toby: "Uh-oh. By Saturday it's going to be DefCon Coffee around here."

Me: "Don't we both have Friday off this week? We can go shopping then."

Toby: "Good call. Crisis averted."










I do find it very odd that my employer gives Good Friday off, but not Easter Sunday. Not that I'm working Easter Sunday this year, but I've done it in years past.

Wednesday

Apr. 16th, 2014 09:19 am
[personal profile] oracne
I posted my Reading Wednesday yesterday, on Tuesday, and didn't realize it was the wrong day until the afternoon. Possibly because I was in meetings for 3 straight hours, and also my brain would not stop playing the same Bach cantata until I got home and put in my most recent mix, while I hung up a load of laundry and changed my sheets.

I'm going back to the gym this evening, and I'll try the new tricep exercise again - it's a pulldown, similar to the one with the resistance band, but with weights on cables. It's very enlightening to compare that move on my uninjured left arm with the difficulty on the right.

Did anyone register for Flight Rising on the 14th?

Poem: "To Be (To Dream To Be)"

Apr. 16th, 2014 09:09 am
[personal profile] jjhunter
Originally posted as a comment reply to one of D's cat photos.
___

To Be (To Dream To Be)


every ear and whisker says
my body is ready

o birds, you do not know
the foe beyond
the air you cannot pass

the taut spacing of her midnight hair /betrays the singing of her legs )

April 2014

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