beer_good_foamy: (Default)
[personal profile] beer_good_foamy
OK, still trying to put down some thoughts on the Twin Peaks finale, but I might as well post it so I can get on with my life.

And it's with mixed feelings. Because I loved season 3 to little pieces, and that fucking ending simply won't leave me alone. So this will get long and not entirely coherent as I try to piece together what The Return and Fire Walk With Me and all that it seems to do, before I try to let it sit for a while and then do a rewatch.

The past dictates the future )

Dept. of Pain

Sep. 17th, 2017 07:40 pm
kaffyr: (Clara didn't ask for this)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Okay, This Is New. And Awful

Pain. Pain. Pain.  )
highlyeccentric: A woman in an A-line dress, balancing a book on her head, in front of bookshelves (Make reading sexy)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
Currently Reading: Alex Beecroft, 'Blue Eyed Stranger'; Griffith Review 36; misc other... stuff

Recently Finished:

Interpreter of MaladiesInterpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was an *interesting*, if unsettling, book. Some of the stories keep coming back in fragments in my mind: the perspective choice in When Mr Pirzada Came To Dine, to recount the Bangladeshi-Pakistani conflict through the incomplete perceptions of a child, was a particularly arresting one. The Treatment of Bibi Haldar left me with anger I was unable to properly defuse for some time - the girl with her under-treated illness, the it suddenly became clear she was being sexually abused, without the story ever specifying that because none of the characters even seemed to *think* of it. The titular story made me quite uncomfortable, but was intricately composed.

I think my favourite was the last, 'The third and final continent' - its characterisation of the boarding-house owner in particular moved me, for whatever reason.

Courting the CountessCourting the Countess by Jenny Frame

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Mmm, I just don't know how I feel about this one. It was compelling, and it was a nice change to see this rough plot arc played out with women (I see it a lot in m/m romance: career focused commitmentphobe meets some nice chappy who insists on commitment in red letters, angst ensues and we end with matrimony-like arrangements). But I found myself irked by the emphasis on Annie's lack of experience, and by just HOW heavily the 'the right woman will cure all your emotional traumas and then you marry' notes fell.

I found myself shipping the two supporting characters, Bridget the Vicar and Quin the Farmer, much more strongly than the main pairing. Apparently there's a sequel about Bridget the Vicar but it's not matching her with Quin the Farmer, so. I may or may not.

Spindle's EndSpindle's End by Robin McKinley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was a delightful fairy tale, but like... inexplicable heterosexuality? I mean. The two girls were running around BREATHING THE SAME BREATH and there was TRUE LOVE'S KISS and everything. Narl was sweet, but note Our Heroine only fell in love with him when she suddenly thought he was in love with her best friend? And when her best friend suddenly and obviously fell in love with another dude?

Look Both Ways: Bisexual PoliticsLook Both Ways: Bisexual Politics by Jennifer Baumgardner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was a frustrating book. I learned a lot of interesting trivia about 90s pop culture, including that there were far more bisexuals in it than I thought. There were some occasionally well-phrased ways of expressing ideas I've seen before, but nothing particularly ground-breaking. Even taking into account that it's over a decade old, 'Closer to Home' is much older and MUCH more insightful.

This was... magazine-y. I've never read Ms magazine, for which the author used to write, but in Australian terms it felt like... Cleo: The Bisexual Special. Only with a weirdly uncritical Thing for second-wave feminist foremothers, without any of their depth. (One of the well-phrased ideas was that second wave feminist criticism did not actually equip the young women of the 90s to fully reshape or realise their relationships with men, but even that point turned into weird bitterness without offering an alternative. I wanted to smack the author upside the head and say READ MORE BELL HOOKS.)

For something subtitled 'bisexual politics' it's actually about 'bisexual female existence in a particular culture bubble', with limited political ANYTHING.


Also finished, to review later: Madhur Jaffrey's 'Vegetarian India'; Carolyn Larrington 'Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European Literature'; Aviolot 'The Course of Honour'; Alex Beecroft 'Trowchester Blues'; Catherynne M Valente, 'The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making'.




Music notes: Saw Back N Black, the Swiss all-girl AC/DC cover band I saw back in 2014. They seem to be going through Drama, and were filling out the ranks with dudes on second guitar, bass and drums, but it was still a pretty good show. I got showered in fake blood courtesy of BB, the lead guitarist. This was unfortunate for my new cream t-shirt, but I think I've go the stains out now.

In celebration I bought myself 'Let There Be Rock'. I actually only owned one accadacca album and a couple of stray MP3s, until now. Clearly an oversight.

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:08 pm
skygiants: Beatrice from Much Ado putting up her hand to stop Benedick talking (no more than reason)
[personal profile] skygiants
If you are currently in Boston, you have one week left to go see Or at the Chelsea Theater! As [personal profile] aamcnamara put it on Twitter, "it is the Restoration queer bedroom farce spy writing-themed play of your dreams."

Or features three cast members, playing, respectively:
- former spy and ambitious playwright Aphra Behn
- Charles II of England and also Aphra Behn's ex-lover double agent William Scot
- Nell Gwyn, and also Aphra Behn's elderly and extremely cranky maid, and also in one memorably stamina-requiring and scene-stealing monologue Lady Mary Davenant, manager of the Duke's Company of theatrical players

Most of the play takes place in Aphra Behn's apartment, with cast members popping in and out of side rooms as Aphra Behn vainly attempts to keep all her love interests separate AND ALSO thwart a hypothetical plot on the king's life AND ALSO and most importantly finish writing the final act of her career-launching play by a deadline of 9 AM the next morning! Which nobody will let her do! Because they keep wanting to make out with her and/or tell her about plots on the king's life! It's all very frustrating!

The dialogue is delightful, the actors do a fantastic job rattling out natural-sounding rapid-fire iambic pentameter, I laughed aloud at the final plot twist, and the ending contains a solid dose of much-appreciated optimism; it's an extremely enjoyable experience and one I would strongly recommend.
kaffyr: The OT3 together, before PotW (Jack and Nine and Rose)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Title: Hearts & Moons Recall the Truth
Author: [personal profile] kaffyr  
Chapter: 28
Previous Chapter: Chap. 27, here, on LJ, or Teaspoon
Characters: the Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: In which even villains think they're patriots, and we edge closer to a conclusion.
Edited by: the remarkable [personal profile] editrx , who helped me excise unnecessary verbiage and streamline the narrative - thanks! And by my beloved [livejournal.com profile] dr_whuh, without whom none of this would be possible. 
Disclaimer: As much as I wish it were otherwise, no Whoniverse characters are mine. They are the sole property of the BBC and their respective creators. I take no coin or credit, but do thank the BBC for letting me play in their sandbox. 

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

RIP Harry Dean Stanton

Sep. 16th, 2017 08:35 am
beer_good_foamy: (Default)
[personal profile] beer_good_foamy
Damnit, I didn't need this right in all my feels about the Twin Peaks finale. 91 years is a very good run, but still.

Cool Hand Luke. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. Alien. Escape From New York. Red Dawn. Paris, Texas. Repo Man. (Seriously, Repo Man.) Pretty In Pink. Last Temptation of Christ. Wild At Heart. The Straight Story. INLAND EMPIRE. Big Love. The Avengers. Seven Psychopaths. And just a second ago, Twin Peaks. And even in the movies you didn't remember, you'd remember his bit.

Plus a fantastic singer and possibly just the coolest man on the silver screen in the last 50 years. For years, whenver anyone asked me my favourite actor, I'd always say Harry Dean Stanton. Pretty much nobody could ever argue with it.

Thanks, man. You did good.

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 06:16 pm
skygiants: Hikaru from Ouran walking straight into Tamaki's hand (talk to the hand)
[personal profile] skygiants
At first I expected to write a rather scathing post about Rachel Kadish's The Weight of Ink, and then I got like 2/3 of the way through and realized that there were in fact some things I really liked about the book to counteract the things that made me stare into the camera like I was on the office, and THEN I got to the end and -

-- ok let me backtrack. The Weight of Ink is a serious literary novel about a pair of academics (the favorite protagonists of serious literary novels) who have discovered a treasure trove of 17th-century documents in a staircase written by Ester Velasquez, a Portuguese Jewish woman who Confounded All Tradition by acting as scribe for a London rabbi. The book proceeds to interweave Ester's story and POV with that of the academics as they discover various bits of evidence pointing to the things that Rachel Kadish will then later explain to us in Ester's narrative sections.

Ester's story is .... it's mostly good? I think I have come around to largely thinking it's good. It starts to pick up around the middle of the book, when Ester starts writing letters to various famous philosophers under fake male names so that she can Engage in the Discourse.

[ACADEMIC A: [Ester's fake name] did not get much attention during his career or make any important allies -
ACADEMIC B: Oh, why is that?
ACADEMIC A: Well, basically, he was very rude to everyone he wrote to.

I will admit I was charmed.]

Ester's most important relationships are with the rabbi -- a good and wise man who respects her intellect and cannot support the ways in which she chooses to use it -- and with Rivka, the rabbi's housekeeper, a Polish Jew who acts as Ester's foil in a number of significant ways, not all of them obvious or expected. Both of these dynamics have an interesting and complicated tension to them that goes well beyond the standard 'I, A Misunderstood Woman Ahead Of My Time.'

Also there is another young upper-class Jewish woman who is rebellious in wildly different ways than Ester is; a pair of brothers who are both interested in marrying Ester for profoundly different reasons, neither of which is true love; and, for a brief period of time, a love interest. The love interest is hilariously lacking in personality and equally hilariously irrelevant to Ester's life on the whole, and mostly exists to trigger a series of philosophical musings related to desire about which Ester can fight with Spinoza. I guess The Distant Shadow Of Spinoza is also one of Ester's most significant relationships.

Anyway, I appreciate the weighting of these relationships, and the way in which the narrative emphasis shifted from what I expected, and especially all the relationships that were not grounded in romance, but in other forms of love and duty and resentment and complicated emotional bonds.

And ... then there's our modern academics.

Helen Watt is a stiff-necked elderly British specialist in Jewish history, who is on the verge of retirement due to Parkinson's disease. Helen has a Tragic Backstory: in her youth, she spent a month as a volunteer in Israel in the 1950s and had a summer fling. Sorry, let me rephrase: she met an Israeli soldier who was the love! of her life!! (For a month.)

The pivotal scene in their romance occurs when Helen shows up for one of their few actual shared off days to have a date, and he hands her a copy of The History of the Jewish People and then LEAVES and REFUSES TO COME BACK until she's READ IT COVER TO COVER. This is the only way she can understand our endless, endless oppression!

(Meanwhile, he lurks outside, and periodically brings her snacks. THIS SCENE IS SOMEHOW NOT MEANT TO BE COMIC.)

Alas, Young Helen in her frailty decides it's all a LITTLE too much for her, and subsequently regrets her lost love until the end of her days. But, inspired by the world's weirdest date, she decides to dedicate her life to the study of Jewish history, so I guess ... that's all right .....?

She is assisted in her endeavors by Aaron, the third POV character. Aaron is an insufferable American Jewish Ph.D. student. He is working on a dissertation about Shakespeare and the Jews, for which he has no evidence, so instead he spends the entire book obsessing over an unattainable Cool Girl. (And she is so textbook Cool Girl! The coolest girl of all! A girl who poses nude for artists who capture a certain something about her, a girl who's just realer than other girls, THE MAGICAL IDEAL.) He sends her incredibly long, pompous emails after a one-night stand which took place on an evening in which "he waited until Marisa was on her second beer -- he kept track from a distance, biding his time. When he approached at last, his own untouched beer dangling casually in his hand --" OKAY AARON, THANKS AND GOODBYE, YOU AND I ARE DONE.

But alas, we are not done with Aaron, we are not done with Aaron at all. Eventually Aaron does come to realize that he's insufferable! A significant part of this realization comes when he visits an archive and meets a shy, demure archivist who's bad at flirting, and is suddenly struck by how desperately sad it is that people like her may never find love because they're all overlooked by assholes like him. If only people like him paid attention to people like her, their lives might be fulfilling and the world would be better! ALAS.

(There are two other archivists in the book, The Interchangeable Patricias. They have a few moments of heroically rising to Helen's aid but mostly their role is to stand as icily competent, largely humorless glowering gate-guards over the sacred text, because of course.)

So basically everything about the modern sections was nonsense to me. (Also, I got mad every time they found a document that explained to them a Piece of the Mystery in a way that was way too narratively convenient. 'Oh, look, Ester doodled out her real name and her fake name next to each other and added a note that said 'HEY IT'S ALL MY NAMES!' Isn't that handy!')

Still, Ester's story in and of itself was good and compelling and interesting, and grudgingly I became invested in it despite myself...

And then spoilers! )

(no subject)

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:38 pm
skygiants: Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist with her head on a pile of books (ded from book)
[personal profile] skygiants
Juliet Takes a Breath was our book club book for the month of August. I am glad for the existence of this book in the world and I am glad I read it, and with that said my experience of reading it was largely one of OVERWHELMING CONTACT EMBARRASSMENT.

Juliet Takes a Breath is the coming-of-age story of Juliet Milagros Palante, a young Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx who's spending the summer of 2002 interning in Portland, Oregon! with international feminist sensation Harlowe Brisbane! author of "Raging Flower," a book about VAGINA POWER!

Unsurprisingly, pretty much every time Harlowe Brisbane spoke a sentence I wanted to retract my head all the way back inside my nonexistent turtle shell until a million years had passed and womyn power white lady feminism was a thing that could be discussed with distant scholarly complacency, like galvanism or the Cathar heresy. This is completely expected and indeed clearly intended by the book, but nonetheless, OH LORD.

Anyway, not everything is Harlowe Brisbane being exactly the way you'd expect; a great deal of the book is Juliet dealing with a wide range of family reactions to her coming-out (the width of the range in particular is really good!), and Learning New Vocabularies, and finding comfortable queer POC spaces, and attending lectures about intersectional solidarity in the wake of 9/11, and making romantic gay teen mixtapes full of Ani DiFranco songs! But oh, lord. At least one book club member said it rang extremely true to their experience and memories of Portland in 2002. Myself, in 2002 I was nowhere near Portland nor any of the Cool Yet Problematique gay spaces that Rivera is writing about here and it's PROBABLY just as well, but it does seem quite likely to me that walking around Portland in 2002 was a lot like walking around a physical manifestation of certain bits of tumblr, and that is indeed the sense I got of it from this book.

[a sidenote: the acknowledgments in the back include pointed thanks and reference to the time that the author spent with Inga Muscio, author of 'Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.' I'm not necessarily saying this book was a callout post, but .... anyway Inga Muscio also cheerfully blurbed the book on the front so it seems there were no hard feelings on her part and all is well.]

Dept. of Woo-Hoo!

Sep. 12th, 2017 08:11 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
[personal profile] kaffyr
I Am Typing This Headline ...

... on my own, my very own, my beloved and darling, laptop PC. 

Dept. of Ear Worms

Sep. 10th, 2017 08:02 pm
kaffyr: Two elegant dancers (Dance)
[personal profile] kaffyr
It Won't Let Go

I find myself still drenched in Steely Dan, with many of the band's songs in my head when I wake up. This one especially; it's the one that makes me want to dance, and the one whose words least remind me of Becker's and Fagen's intermittently irritating schoolboy cynicism. 


Dept. of Things Get Better

Sep. 9th, 2017 07:54 pm
kaffyr: (Happy Kyouso Giga daughter)
[personal profile] kaffyr
A Productive Saturday

After feeling uncomfortably down by the end of Friday night, and after worrying about having to clean up the storage basement so early Saturday morning, I found that it worked out quite nicely. I rolled out of bed, staggered to the grocery to buy some bagels, orange and grapefruit juice for whatever laboring condo owners were going to turn up to help clean, and discovered a nice little group of them ready to go. That was a relief, since one of my worries had been that no one would show up (I was supposed to put out a pre-cleanup notice by email and forgot; that, too, made me feel down.) I did discover that yesterday was one of the days where I couldn't drink grapefruit juice, which was a shame, since I love the stuff, but by the end of the cleanup, I felt a lot better than I had going to bed Friday night. 

My mood temporarily tanked when I came into the house and found that I'd forgotten to put the lid down on my work laptop; Phillip immediately got on it, and managed to turn on a function that I couldn't turn off, and which made working on the laptop progressively more difficult. I reached the point of screaming at the computer, because doing that prevented me from actually slamming the thing into the floor. I'm not kidding. When I get furious, physical action is something that often happens, and is often the stupidest thing I could do (i.e. tossing everything out of a dresser drawer when I can't find something I want, or physically hitting a piece of machinery that's acting up. It's a serious and dangerously immature habit of which I've never quite broken myself.) Hence the screaming, which damaged nothing except, possibly, my husband's sense of calm. 

All hail, therefore, to 
[personal profile] owlboy , for answering my plaintive cry for help; he correctly ID'd my problem, and led to the brightening of my world. (And since my own laptop is still in the shop, this is even more important.) I told him he deserved a sonnet, but I didn't have the mental wherewithal to write him one. I may yet do it, although I'm not sure whether that's a threat or a promise ....

(no subject)

Sep. 10th, 2017 06:37 pm
skygiants: Katara from Avatar: the Last Airbender; text 'just kicked butt' (katara kicks butt)
[personal profile] skygiants
Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent is a compilation of oral history interviews with Pearl Witherington Cornioley, behind-the-lines SOE agent in France during WWII, packaged up into a YA nonfiction narrative.

Pearl's story is as fascinating as all the other stories about WWII female secret agents I've read, with the bonus that it's barely crushingly depressing at all! Pearl started out as a courier, posing as a traveling cosmetics saleswoman and working with an old school friend of hers who was running the SOE Stationer network -

(sidenote; she'd also been the one to recommend that her old school friend sign up for secret intelligence to begin with, and then was like 'yes now that I've set that up I'll pop on over to join his network now, thanks')

(sidenote 2; she'd also managed to somehow smuggle a secret message to her fiance Henri, a French soldier who had just escaped from German POW camp, and get him in contact with the Stationer network as well, so literally as soon as she parachuted in her boss was like "HEY WELCOME TO FRANCE HERE'S YOUR BOYFRIEND I'll just .... leave you two alone a bit")

- but eventually her boss was arrested by the Gestapo. Fortunately, Pearl had dragged several other members of the network out for a picnic that day, so they all escaped!

Then D-Day happened and Pearl was like "well, I guess it is now my job to be in charge of organizing all British supply drops and getting weapons and money to the French underground resistance, and no one else seems to be sabotaging the Germans around here, so ..... I guess that's what we're doing now?"

And that's how Pearl ended up being in charge of several thousand Maquis soldiers! With Henri playing support.

(There's a couple of Henri interviews in the back and they are mostly taken up with the story of how he rescued a baby bunny while retreating from the Germans and brought it along with him through numerous battles until they were about to be captured, at which point he was like 'FLY FREE, MY RABBIT FRIEND! SAVE YOURSELF!' "And that was the only life I saved during the war." BLESS.

There's also a very cute bit that the interviewers put in dialogue, because they also obviously found it super cute, where Pearl is like "ugh I get so mad when people say the men followed me because I was pretty" and Henri is like "BUT YOU WERE, YOU WERE SO PRETTY" and Pearl is like "I WAS NOT AND ALSO THAT'S NOT THE POINT.")

I have not yet managed to get my hands on Nancy Wake's autobiography, but I would love to compare/contrast -- they played very similar roles during the war in organizing Maquis during the liberation of France, but while Nancy Wake seems to have made no bones about being a very front-lines combatant (strangling soldiers with her bare hands, etc.) Pearl spends a lot of time in her account strongly disclaiming active heroism and emphasizing the logistics and support elements of her role. Could she have killed somebody herself if she had to? Well, gosh, she's so glad she never had to find out, that wasn't her job at all!

But I mean, Pearl also starts out early on in her narrative explaining that she is very conflict-averse and dislikes argument above all things, and then goes on to describe, in addition to extensive amounts of fighting with the Germans:

- fighting with the entire French government when it looked like they weren't going to give any of her Maquis any medals because they were technically working under the British rather than the French (ง'̀-'́)ง
- fighting with the entire English government when they tried to give her a civil Order of the British Empire rather than a military one because "there was nothing remotely 'civil' about what I did" (ง'̀-'́)ง
- fighting with the head of SOE after he accused a trusted French colleague of hers of being a double agent due to a misunderstanding and then failed to apologize -- "as Colonel Buckmaster is kind enough to visit me each time I come to Paris, can you ask him to alert me next time and I'll ask [the dude who was falsely accused] to come too?" (ง'̀-'́)ง (AND HER OLD BOSS NEVER VISITED HER AGAIN)
- fighting yet again with the English government when they wouldn't let her wear parachute wings, because she'd only jumped four times instead of five, "SO I JUST WORE THEM ANYWAY" (ง'̀-'́)ง (the editor is like 'we don't know where or how she got a pair to wear? but apparently she did?')

What I'm saying is I take Pearl's description of her own retiring conflict-averse shyness with a grain of salt.
highlyeccentric: A photo of myself, around 3, "reading" a Miffy book (Read Miffy!)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
Currently Reading: Mary Webb, Gone to Earth; Griffith Review, Millenials Strike Back; Cassandra A Good, Founding Friendships; Cathryne M Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making; and... more things. Too many things.

Recently finished: reviews still playing catch-up.

The GruffaloThe Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Re-read: small babysitting friend has this in his storybook collection now. Still a great read.

Meanjin Winter 2017 (Vol. 76, Issue 2)Meanjin Winter 2017 by Jonathan Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This issue was a mixed experience. I really enjoyed Margaret Simmons' essay on the future(s) of the ABC. Katherine Murphy's piece on work/life balance or lack thereof in politics was likewise great. Charlotte Adderley's memoir piece Ethanol, Eschar was beautifully written. Fiction-wise, AS Patric's Avulsion was creepy-fascinating. Both of Shastra Deo's poetry contributions were striking, but What Followed most of all.

On the other hand, I found Shannon Burns' In Defence of the Bad White Working Class infuriating. I have liked Burns' class-based criticism before, but this one seemed blinkered. He acknowledges that the suburbs he grew up in were never free of crime, but gives the white residents a free pass for feeling more hostile to asian gangs than white ones. That's called RACISM, folks. Also, we know this: we know that demographic change causes stress, we know that economically struggling groups have less access to positive integration experiences than the middle class, we KNOW that part of the solution lies in government and local government resources being poured in to lift *all* residents of an area. NONE OF THIS IS NEW NEWS.

The Science Of Discworld II: The GlobeThe Science Of Discworld II: The Globe by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Oh, a confusing reading experience, this one. On the one hand, I had not realised just how MUCH of my mental framework for thinking about, well, the build-a-human-kit is drawn from, or crystalised in, this book. I read it in late high school, and re-read it a few times during undergrad, and while I can express the concepts about the role and use of stories in much fancier lit-wank language now... here it is.

On the other hand, now I have degrees in premodern history and I want to set their rigid 'no science before newton' framework on FIRE. Oh my glod. Roger Bacon would like to talk to you, you fuckers. I could almost roll with it, except that I know a lot more about science now than I used to (thanks, Trojie), and their definition of science as experiment-driven rather than data-analysis also rules out MOST OF THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES. These authors are totally the kind of physics stans who refer to natural history as 'stamp-collecting'. Nope nope nope so much nope.

The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1)The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


THIS WAS A GOOD. I mean. Captor/Captive scenario where they have a sensible conversation about power imbalances? Sign me the fuck up.

My major problem with this is that the protag's age was given as 17, and she just... isn't. There's a throwaway mention of schooling, but it felt wedged in. Everything else about her character felt post-high-school, maybe around 20: old enough to be in apprenticeship for her career, young enough to be bloody stupid. It felt like her age was lampshaded at 17 to make the books eligible as YA, rather than either a solid part of her characterisation or a book really written to that genre.

I also can't tell for the life of me if they're living on the planet we know, in a post-apocalyptic future, or if they're living on a terraformed replica of it.

In Other LandsIn Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


THIS WAS A RIOT. I loved 'Turn of the Story' and this is that, sewn together with 'Wings in the Morning' (the latter POV-flipped to fit TotS).

As a story: holy shit yes cannot recommend enough. I shrieked with laughter all the way through.

As a work, though? I am disappointed in the editing. There were typos still evident that had been in the online version of TotS. The join between TotS and WitM isn't as smooth as it should be. There are occasional POV hitches, where something should've been written out when flipped to Elliot's POV but hasn't been.

I loved this book very much, but I think the publisher did a lazy job on it - bought the rights to something already popular, and did a rush job on editing it because all its components were already well-loved.


I also re-read Spectred Isle on the plane to Chicago; given I only read it for the first time in late June, it doesn't get a second review/commentary.

Finished, yet to review: Interpreter of Maladies; Courting the Countess; Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European Literature; Spindle's End; Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics; Madhur Jaffery's Vegetarian India; The Course of Honour.

Up Next: Oh my. My to-read is overflowing, it's ridiculous. I need to finish some of the currently-readings. I have a book on bisexual geography on interlibrary loan. Who knows?




Music notes: there was a stretch of not buying anything new, because I've now set up a bribery system wherein I have a habit chart and I only get to buy music if I meet a target number of squares on the chart per week. So late August, after getting back from Chicago, was musically 'listen to stuff you already have', because it was also, habit-observance-wise, a washout.

But I ticked off 30 this week and consequently bought myself the EP 'Ameska' by the Taalbi brothers (best known, apparently, for a song in the Breaking Bad finale). The French competitor at the JGP Salzburg, Julie Froetscher, skated to the lead track, Ameska, in her short program, and I fell in love with it. I'm also really enjoying 'Tafat', which has a great percussion track.

I'm accumulating a list of 'figure skating routine music i like' and an awful lot of it is tango and flamenco. If i end up with a whole new musical generic interest I will blame the ISU. I already blame Shoma Uno for the fact I own an album of tango music played on accordion, of all things.
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Help!

Calling all ships at sea, particularly those who know their way around a Mac. 

I foolishly left the cover of my Mac open while I did some chores; BB came back to find Phil sitting on the keyboard (because cat). He shoo'ed him off, but the damage had been done; I now have a visual panel, or pane, up that I can't get rid of because I don't know what it's called, and I don't know which keys were depressed in what manner by the ^&%$@ cat to make this function start. 

It appears to be a panel that tells me exactly what my cursor is doing and where it is. Unless I turn the sound off, I also get a mechanical voice saying the same thing that appears in the panel. And whatever I put my cursor on gets etched in black (that's in addition to the descriptive panel.)

It therefore appears to be something that would describe what the cursor is doing, while making that description easy to understand for either a visually or aurally impaired computer user. So you'd think there'd be something in the files under "accessibility" or "accessibility aids," but there isn't, or at least not that I can find out. 

I've checked my Mac help files under "description pane" and "description panel," under "text pane (and panel)"; under "cursor," "cursor description pane" and a lot of other descriptors I can think of. Nothing leads me to any help subject that I can understand. 

I made a screen capture of it, and will show it here, if I can actually get photo bucket or the Google image process to work. If anyone can help guide me to whatever I need to do to get rid of this thing, I'd be grateful. 

Welp: I can't get the fucking image uploaded anywhere in order to embed it in this post, so I can't show you the thing that I'm looking at on the screen, which means that you really don't have anything with which to identify the stupid pane I'm dealing with. But it's making use of this computer - the only one I have to deal with, and my work computer, if you'll remember - almost impossible. It won't let me scroll properly, so it's incredibly hard to edit anything. Perhaps this information can help, though: As I'm typing this, the pane is actually showing each individual key I'm typing, including typing out the word "space" when I hit the space bar.

Dept. of Weariness

Sep. 8th, 2017 10:59 pm
kaffyr: Animated rain falls on the bathhouse from Spirited Away (Bath house in the rain)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Friday

BB and I went to see "Spiderman: Homecoming" tonight. If you can get to see it, do so. It's the best superhero movie I've seen since, well, "The Avengers," and I loved all the other MCU movies, so that's saying a lot. It's funny — I haven't laughed out loud in a theater for quite some time — and smart, and has a villain who's both villainous and perfectly understandable, with a work ethic and a sense of responsibility to his staff and family. I found myself cheering him on in a couple of instances, a little to my surprise. Michael Keaton does villainy right. Tom Holland as a 15-year-old Peter Parker is so good that I can forget that he looks more like a 17-year-old kid. Sure, that's only two years' difference, but it's a difference. And that may be the only thing I can find to nitpick about. 

I'm glad I went to the movie, but I'm still fighting the Black Dog. In my case, it's probably more of a Black Puppy, but he (or she, who can tell with these little demonettes?) keeps dashing out of the shadows and nipping at my emotional ankles. Fucking puppy.  

So perhaps it's time to go to bed. I have another working weekend; helping clean out the condo storage basement, something I completely forgot until this morning, and then one of two separate union meetings, neither of which I want to go to, on Sunday morning. 

Fucking puppy. 

Oh, I said that already. 

Down, boy. 





beer_good_foamy: (Default)
[personal profile] beer_good_foamy
So apparently the author of My Immortal has come forward and is bringing out a memoir.

In other news, I'm trying to piece together thoughts on the Twin Peaks finale, which was incredible and frustrating and thought-provoking and hilarious and left me a sobbing wreck and ... there'll be a longer post as soon as I get an hour to beat it into readable shape. In the meantime, here are two (spoilery) articles worth reading:
NYT: "We haven't seen that before" - a critics' conversation
Variety: The story ends - forever?
highlyeccentric: Sign: Be aware of invisibility! (Be aware of invisibility)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
I am an incrementalist by nature but not in this case )

I sent some $ to the yes campaign at the start of the month, but not as much as I could have - it seems like sinking money into a bog. It's unlikely that we'll win, and regardless of whether we do or not, between them the yes and no campaigns are fortifying a national discourse wherein the sexuality is legitimised by legal wedlock, and marital bonds elevated above other social bonds. And I just... maybe I'm too much of a coward to face calling my relatives, but I'd rather support the likes of Twenty10 and the GLCS - the networks that are going to be doing the hard caring work for the most vulnerable queers regardless of marriage outcomes.

I have been sending little personalised postcards to first my MP and then working my way through a list of NSW senators urging them to either oppose a 'one man one woman OR two men OR two women' bill (in the case of opposition/green senators) or to advocate for a more inclusively worded bill (liberal/national senators).

And I subscribed to Overland today, because they're the only publication whose marriage articles haven't been making me feel queasy. (Well, Archer have been okay but not as punchy as Overland, and I'm already subscribed to them.)

TL;DR it's hard being a non-marrying queer in the time of plebiscite-surveys.

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