September 20th, 2017
musesfool: Jason Toddler shows off his new costume to Dick (everybody starts somewhere)
Board meeting went well, even though it rained so the rooftop terrace at the venue went unused. Sigh. I went home afterwards and fell into bed at 8:30 pm after eating cookies and milk for dinner. I win at adulting!

Of course, the one night I go to bed without checking my flist, it turned out there was a question about my yuletide nominations. It is a spoiler for Crooked Kingdom but spoiler! ) As of this morning, he was approved without my having to say anything, but I did comment anyway to say what I said under the cut.

Now Gotham Academy has to be approved! I'm sure there'll be a question about Damian Wayne there too but he does show up more than once over the course of the comic. Which I guess is as good a lead-in as any to discuss Second Semester:

What I've just finished
Gotham Academy: Second Semester, which I enjoyed, though boy they do not shy away from making the kids selfish, thoughtless and highly teenagery. spoilers )

I did like that they have all really gelled into a team - I enjoyed Colton and Pomeline sniping at each other while they work together a lot. And any Maps+Damian team-up is A++ in my book. Best Team! For yuletide, I just want schoolgirl (and boy, though I care less about the boys) supernatural detective shenanigans, with occasional Robin.

Though have we ever gotten an explanation on why/how MacPherson knows Bruce Wayne is Batman?

This morning, I also read the Star Wars Annual #3 which is a nice Han/Leia story with some fun Indiana Jones references and Leia being her usual awesome self. I also liked how it explained Han sticking around with the Rebellion, neatly giving him an excuse he could live with to cover up the real reason.

What I'm reading now
Still A Ruin of Angels. I have to admit, I find "Trust me! / Don't you trust me? / I didn't tell you this hugely important secret because plot reasons it was too dangerous!" to be super irritating in a character so a lot of the plot machinations are making me say, "If Woody had gone to the police, this never would have happened!" "If Ley had just told Zeddig what was up, things might have played out differently!" Like, things still would have gone to hell in a handbasket, but I'd have a lot more sympathy for Ley when they did. Otoh, Izza and Kai and Tara! <333

And speaking of Crooked Kingdom above, yesterday I was thinking about how dropping the Crows kids into the Craft universe would work, since so much of the magic etc. in the latter is based on negotiation and deals, and the deal is the deal, right? Someone who isn't me should write that.

What I'm reading next
Two weeks until the new Magnus Chase comes out, so who knows? I do have a ton of stuff on the iPad, ready to go!

***
Mood:: 'rejuvenated' rejuvenated
Music:: Glory Box - Portishead
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
posted by [personal profile] rydra_wong at 02:00pm on 20/09/2017 under
Thanks to [personal profile] cesy for the heads-up -- Hope not Hate have launched a US site:

Hope Not Hate (Twitter: [twitter.com profile] hopenothate_USA)

By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.

The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:

The International Alternative Right

News reports:

New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right

Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money

As you will have noticed, I love HnH. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat). I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line, holy fuck) will be a formidable addition to the US scene.

Also they will allow you to give them money to help sue Nigel Farage, and honestly I would love them for that alone. PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY, PLEASE.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
The Guardian: Medieval porpoise 'grave' on Channel island puzzles archaeologists

I love everything about this story:

Archaeologists digging at an island religious retreat have unearthed the remains of a porpoise that, mystifyingly, appears to have been carefully buried in its own medieval grave.

MAYBE THE PORPOISE WAS A MONK, HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THAT.

... and now I eagerly await the medieval monk were-porpoise shifter romance.

For a different kind of wonderful:

The Fader: This Artist Is Filling London With Murals Of Extraordinary Black Women

The art is gorgeous, but what I really love is that he's portraying his female friends, people who aren't famous but are ordinary/extraordinary people - a youth worker, a psychotherapist, and so on. And I love the shots of the murals with the real women posed next to them.
September 19th, 2017
musesfool: Batwoman (your name in the title)
posted by [personal profile] musesfool at 01:55pm on 19/09/2017 under
ZOMG this day! Board meeting imminent!

I just wanted to let people know, in case they didn't and were interested, that Alice Hoffman has written a prequel to Practical Magic about the Aunts, and it's coming out in October: The Rules of Magic! I only found out the other day!

I love both the book and the movie, though they are very different, and I'm excited to read the Aunts' story! #please don't suck!

***
Mood:: 'busy' busy
Music:: Castle - Halsey
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
posted by [personal profile] rydra_wong at 10:45am on 19/09/2017 under
Via [tumblr.com profile] vassraptor and [tumblr.com profile] realsocialskills:

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network: ACA repeal is back – and so are we

Explanation, script and guide to contacting your representatives.
September 18th, 2017
musesfool: text icon: somewhere in this building is our talent (somewhere in this building is our talent)
posted by [personal profile] musesfool at 04:56pm on 18/09/2017 under ,
dear universe,

I have some complaints:

- as per this xkcd (hat tip to [personal profile] twistedchick), & should be used for friendship and / should be used for romance. Please stop getting my hopes up that there is new pairing fic to read in my rare pair when it is not, in fact, pairing fic.

- it's bad enough that I'm following a bunch of works in progress now, but what is up with people getting to the penultimate chapter of a work (and I'm not talking anything short here, I'm talking well over 100K words) and then just...never posting the last chapter? I would plaintively cry, "who does that?" except I am now in possession of such knowledge and it's more than one person! (And I know this because it'll be listed as 53/54 or whatever.)

- this is less a complaint and more a bit of bafflement, but I never know what to say to people who leave feedback along the lines of "I hope you keep writing!" or "I hope you've written more!" Like, click on my name in the by line? There'll be 700+ stories there? I mean, thank you! But yeah.

- why is writing such a garbage hobby? when I have the words, I don't have the time. when I have the time, I don't have the energy. when I have the energy, I don't have the words. Bah.

- subset of the above: I actually opened a story to work on last night, wrote one (1) sentence in two (2) hours, and gave up when I realized it would need to be all porn from there on out. Bah.

no love,

me

***
Music:: Photosynthesis - Frank Turner
Mood:: 'busy' busy
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
posted by [personal profile] rydra_wong at 09:37pm on 18/09/2017 under
September 17th, 2017
musesfool: baze and chirrut (i don't need luck i have you)
Last night, L and I went to the premiere of this English language musical version of The Romance of the Western Chamber (Xi Xiang Ji in Chinese?).

It is not, in fact, Romeo and Juliet, or it kind of is in terms of love at first sight and climbing up balconies and exchanging poetry in letters, but without the tragic ending. Which I was glad for.

It's very charming, though the male lead's voice was not up to the singing, imo. The ladies were all fantastic, especially Mari Uchida as Hong-niang, the matchmaking maid. The women's costumes were lovely; the men's were...well, they started out all right, but Mr. Chang's wedding outfit was made of what looked like baby blue lamé, which is not a look I personally endorse.

Afterwards - and it was not a short play! - we attempted to go here, because it was a beautiful night for a rooftop bar, but apparently my randomly picking a place in the vicinity of the theater because it looked cool meant I'd actually picked someplace popular and happening? There was a large line outside the door anyway, so we were like, we are too old to wait on lines for bars - even rooftop bars! - so we hopped in a cab and had dinner at the bar around the corner, and then stopped off at Insomnia Cookies for cookies. Which I didn't eat last night, but which will be my breakfast this morning.

All in all, it was a lovely evening, and I got to wear my star-print sun dress from eShakti, which is such a pretty dress, guys. I love it a lot.

I also have been catching up on Gotham Academy so I can make my yuletide request, and when Amy showed up in Second Semester, I at first thought, ugh, did they try to shove Harper in here as well? but I sincerely doubt Harper would ever do the nasty things Amy does, so it's not her undercover. Whew. I'll probably have more to say on Wednesday!

***
Mood:: 'mellow' mellow
kass: apples and honey (apples)
posted by [personal profile] kass at 09:48am on 17/09/2017 under , ,
It's one of my favorite flavors of the year, and it's one I only taste at this season: coffee-infused honeycake batter, licked off of the scraping spoon after I put the pans in the oven.
jerakeen: (Default)
September 16th, 2017
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
posted by [personal profile] kass at 11:52am on 16/09/2017 under
1. Tasty leftovers for lunch: baked rice (lemon, cinnamon, curry leaves), topped with spicy kale (ginger, soy, and a hot red pepper from the CSA) with a dollop of chicken schmaltz just to make the whole thing richer and more flavorful.

2. Rereading the introduction to The Bitch is Back this morning and being both comforted and inspired by the existence of many smart, thoughtful, passionate women determined to wrest the most out of midlife.

3. The fact that my son, who is going on eight, still wanted nail polish this weekend and still watches Shimmer & Shine.

4. Beautiful warm late-summer day, which means I'm still wearing sleeveless shirts and sandals, both of which make me happy.

5. I'm going to give myself a pedicure this afternoon. \o/!

How are y'all?
September 15th, 2017
musesfool: Princess Leia (so what level up)
I left work slightly early yesterday and today has been calmer, thankfully. I'm still dragging and my brain is on a bit of a time delay - why is sleeping so hard? even when I'm so tired? - but it's Friday and it's almost over.

Today, while I've been collating etc., I've been thinking about how in Leia, Princess of Alderaan, spoilers )

I really want to read that story without having to write it. You should get on that, stat.

***
Music:: i feel just like i woke up in somebody else's skin
Mood:: 'tired' tired
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
is now OH JESUS FUCK BUTTERCUP'S GOING TO SAY SOMETHING ISN'T HE.

Today:

Trump claimed on Twitter that the terrorist attack involved “sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard”, despite no such information having been released publicly by police. He also blamed it on “loser terrorists”, promoted his travel ban and advocated a “proactive and nasty” policy against Islamic State.

Note: since no information's been released publicly about whether the police even have suspects, let alone ones known to Scotland Yard, Buttercup is either a) violating the conventions on intelligence sharing (again), or b) completely making shit up.

Also note: almost all our terrorists recently have been home-grown, so a travel ban would do exactly fuck-all.

Also pre-emptively and doubtless ineffectively: DON'T EVEN THINK OF COMING AT OUR MAYOR YOU FUCKER.
September 14th, 2017
astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)
posted by [personal profile] astolat at 06:24pm on 14/09/2017 under
They close tomorrow so hurry and get your nominations in!

Mine are:

Witcher: Geralt, Emhyr, Ciri, Dandelion (duh)

Dragonriders of Pern: Menolly, Robinton (I totally want Menolly/Robinton NOT SORRY)

Dune (the book): Paul, Jessica, Stilgar, Feyd -- I don't know exactly what I want here, I think I want some outsider POV on Paul maybe?

My runners-up were:

Rome: Pullo, Vorenus, maybe Octavian -- man, I would love a story that undid what the show did to Octavian in S2 so much

Gladiator: Maximus, Commodus

Brimstone: Ezekiel, The Devil

Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon: Eric, Hank, Sheila, Venger

Battle of the Planets: Mark, Jason

and my perennial hope-springs-eternal Dracula: the Series: Lucard (hope doesn't really spring very far lol)

I am totally not mentioning these here in hopes that someone has a spare nom they wouldn't mind using on one of these. ;)
musesfool: Artemis from animated Young Justice, drawing her bow (a woman's got ambition)
I missed reading Wednesday in all the madness, but things are slightly calmer at the moment (though the MTA didn't help this morning with the 1, 2, and 3 being suspended. I had to walk through that long tunnel to the A, C, E at 42nd Street, which is at least slightly less rank than it used to be but also this morning it was full of a ton of extra people unhappy about being there), so books:

What I've just finished
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, which I loved after I got over my slight disappointment about it being an origin story. I liked that Diana got to save the world with a couple of teenage girls and recontextualize Helen of Troy a little while she was at it. Also, it reinforced the notion that spoiler ).

Star Wars #36, which I'll talk about by itself, since it is pretty self-contained. This is the issue where Artoo finally gets to the Devastator(? I think?) to rescue Threepio, and it's very cleverly done imo, with the narration telling us all sorts of typical instruction manual specs about the R2 astromech line, and Artoo being his usual badass self, thanks in part to some programming upgrades, some very skilled teachers, and of course, a complete lack of memory wipes. Everyone knows he's the real hero of the rebellion. (Sadly, he doesn't ever get to give Vader the tongue-lashing he deserves but I will just go on including that in every story I write, because it pleases me to do so. *g*)

What I'm reading now
A Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone, which is the sixth Craft sequence book - featuring Kai Pohala and her previously unmet sister, with a cameo (so far - could end up being more?) by Tara Abernathy. I'm enjoying it so far, but as usual, the random references to our world always make me blink - is this a super alternate universe? a far-flung future? Like, I guess I could accept a coffeehouse employee being a barista, even though there is no Italy in this world, but then it makes a Rent or a Casablanca reference, and I'm like, that is very specific to our world! I dunno. It's kind of a weird thing to get hung up on, but it strikes me every time.

What I'm reading next
*hands* One of the things I did last weekend, in addition to getting rid of more books and dvds, was to start sorting through all the books I've downloaded and adding them to iBooks or Calibre (though I can no longer dedrm kindle books via Calibre, which sucks), so I have a lot more books than I realized and they're mostly sitting around on my iPad waiting to be read.

Lastly, here's a link: Ranking the Robin Hood Adaptations — Which Tales Fly Truest?

It gets it right, I think, though there's a sad lack of appreciation of Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham, which is the only reason to watch the Kevin Costner version, and Robin and the Seven Hoods doesn't even get a mention! But I think the one-two punch of Errol Flynn and that Disney fox is the correct answer.

(I feel like there is also a sad lack of Jason Todd references in this post - after all, he was Robin and now he's a Hood - but I'm too frazzled to come up with good ones. Take it as read that Robins as in Batfam are never far from my thoughts.)

***
Mood:: 'busy' busy
Music:: The Room Where It Happens - Hamilton OBCR
September 13th, 2017
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times: Selected Haiku of Basho, by Bashō Matsuo, translated by David Young: A delightful collection. David Young's introduction is informative and easy to read, which is a rarity in poetry collections and must be praised, though you won't learn a thing about Bashō from it. Young says you can get that everywhere else; instead, the introduction addresses Young's approach to translating these poems, and I was quite surprised at the amount of latitude Young gave himself. Due to the differences between the number of syllables in English and Japanese, he disregards the West's belief that haiku must conform to a 5-7-5 arrangement, which is fine by me, but he also elides cultural references he thought would be lost on English-speaking audiences, reorders the lines themselves, and even removes the occasional question mark, and I don't know how I feel about that. The result is lovely, but is it an honest reflection of Bashō's words?

In Young's hands, Bashō's poetry is clear and simple, each haiku a meditation on life and nature. They are, by turns, longing, playful, soothing, and contemplative, and it's remarkable how many sensory details they include. So much is packed into these little sentences, giving you brief glimpses of another life, transporting you to where Bashō was three hundred years ago, listening to the rain, gardening, or:
Big white leeks
washing them off
feeling how cold
The poetry is transcendent, in that it moved me to a different place. Once I came back, though, I wondered a lot about the choices Young made. I really would have liked some translator's notes (outside of those in the introduction), but instead I'll have to content myself with reading Jane Reichhold's Basho: The Complete Haiku and go over her notes to see how their translations differ. This is actually Young's idea, and he helpfully includes an appendix that correlates his page numbers with Reichhold's numbering system for easy comparison.

Really accessible, and highly recommended.
musesfool: jason todd is not all right (always all right)
Yesterday, I ate my breakfast at 12:30 and then just didn't eat lunch. I could rant about what I think is poor time management and poor organization, which given the fact that I have never in my life not procrastinated on a thing to the last possible moment, would be really saying something, but I won't. It's pointless. I'm just here to redo all my edits because someone kept editing a(n old version of a) document after they sent it to me for updating. Whatever.

Monday night, I was here late and then L and I met up on the spur of the moment and I had three pints of beer, which I haven't done in years and which I should never ever do on a weeknight again. Ugh. I am officially too old for this shit.

Last night, I got home by 7 and just sat on the couch refreshing Tumblr and playing 1010 until it was time to go to bed. Yes, I know I said I deleted it off my phone, and I did, but that didn't remove it from my iPad, so I still have it (and I re-downloaded it to my phone the other day when I was waiting for a train) but I also found it online so I can just play on my laptop now. *hands*

In better news, I heard from the loan officer that my loan commitment letter is preliminarily approved but they needed me to send a bunch of documents I've already sent them twice, plus one new thing that just proves what a dumb racket the whole credit thing is because I have excellent credit, but since I've tried to purchase a home, my credit has been checked three times since April, which is concerning to them. The fact that it's all been in service of trying to get a mortgage, and that no additional lines of credit have yet been opened, doesn't seem to matter. It's like if you have too many accounts, they tell you it has a negative impact, but if you close an account to have fewer, that is also a negative. You carry a balance, which means you have debt! but if you pay it off every month, then that's a negative because you have no outstanding loans! No matter what you do you can't win, which is a clear indication that the whole thing is rigged against you.

I might just be exhausted and ranting. I don't even know. Anyway. Once I get the loan commitment letter, I have to send in the board application package and hope they call me for an interview. Of course this is happening at the same time I'm prepping for my actual board meeting (see above re: work), so the timing is terrible.

I did have a very cool dream where I visited [personal profile] destina and she fed me very fancy pasta and then we went to a murder mystery reenactment.

Lastly, I did my yuletide nominations while I had a free moment, because I didn't want to forget, so this is what they are right now:

Six of Crows
Inej Ghafa
Kaz Brekker
Nina Zenik
Nikolai Lantsov

The Middleman
Wendy Watson
The Middleman
Ida
Noser

Gotham Academy
Olive Silverlock
Mia "Maps" Mizoguchi
Pomeline Fritch
Damian Wayne

I guess I'll let you know if I change my mind.

***
Music:: Rocks and Water - Deb Talan
Mood:: 'exhausted' exhausted
September 12th, 2017
kass: orange aspen leaves, "zen fen" (aspen zen fen)
posted by [personal profile] kass at 04:03pm on 12/09/2017 under
1. Kitten. With his little kitten face, and his giant kitten paws, and his blissed-out kitten squinty-eyes while lounging on my desk in a sunbeam and licking my fingers.

2. Thanks to [personal profile] heresluck posting her recipe for Keralan pepper chicken last week I was inspired to get curry leaves (one can buy them on Amazon! which is useful to know if one lives in a small town as I do), and then I was inspired to ask her what else she cooks with them, and now I am making lemon, cinnamon, and curry leaf basmati rice.

3. It is warm this afternoon. Warm and beautiful and sunny and the crickets and cicadas are singing their song.

4. I have a big work deadline coming up and I am reaching a state of calm about it. As in: the really important things will get done. The things that don't get done...? Must not be that important. ::grin:: We'll see if I can sustain this attitude through the next couple of weeks (not likely, but one lives in hope.)

5. Tonight [personal profile] kouredios will come over and we will have dinner and watch some Gilmore Girls again. It's nice to be getting back to that routine.

How are y'all?
September 11th, 2017
musesfool: jar of flower petals, spilling (but there is this)
posted by [personal profile] musesfool at 04:52pm on 11/09/2017 under
this day is always weird and solemn, and for the past 15 years, I would call my dad and we'd be thankful he'd survived a terrorist attack (2 actually, since he was there in '93 too), but now he's gone.

The six-month anniversary of his death is Thursday, and then the fourth anniversary of my mother's death is a week from Saturday, so this is a rough stretch to get through, I guess.

On the other hand, work has been so ridiculously hectic that this is the first moment I've had to breathe since I walked in the door, so it kept my mind occupied, which is good. I might just crawl into bed when I get home. I feel like I could sleep forever, but the rest of this work week is going to be busy too, since we're gearing up for a board meeting next week. Boss1 bought me flowers to brighten me up.

***
Music:: All I Really Want - Alanis Morrisette
Mood:: 'tired' tired
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
posted by [personal profile] rydra_wong at 09:42am on 11/09/2017
... Macmillan did more research to establish that someone who claimed to have written "My Immortal" had actually written "My Immortal" (she sounds pretty cool, btw) than the Times Literary Supplement did to establish that someone who claimed to have decoded the Voynich manuscript had actually decoded the Voynich manuscript.

2017, people.

(Yes, it probably is a women's health manual, but we knew that anyway.)

(I mean, maaaaaybe Gibbs has proof which he's holding back that his theory holds up, but right now it's pinging people's bullshit meters.)

http://ciphermysteries.com/2017/09/06/whats-wrong-todays-voynich-theory#comments
https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/experts-are-extremely-dubious-about-the-voynich-solution/

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