Sunday, August 20th, 2017 06:01 pm
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Sunday, August 20th, 2017 09:02 pm
I would like to state, for the record, that I seriously hate having finances that are in a state where all it takes is one unexpected larger expense to send me panicking. :-/

So, yes, it's looking like my tentative plans to make it to PAX Unplugged are crashing and burning at the moment. And there's a very good chance that I'm not going to have enough money to cover some bills that will be popping up in the next 2-3 weeks, which means I'm probably going to be going through my belongings and putting up another virtual garage sale post in the next few days.

Mainly because the universe fucking hates me right now. Apparently, at least.

It's been awhile since I posted it, so here's my Ko-fi page if anyone has an extra couple of dollars to spare. If anyone makes a donation, I'd be glad to try to write you a short fic in a fandom that I know. And, like I said before, I'll probably be posting a bunch of books and DVDs (and probably some other stuff as well) for sale in the next few days if anyone's interested in such things.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 05:28 pm
Went on an overnight trip thing Fri-Sat.

We camped! In a tent! That I pitched! At the beach!!!

Back. Today am very tired, not feel great today; restaurants are dangerous.

Tomorrow is Eclipse Day. Need to go very early because everyone will be go place do thing!

Should repack car. Keep going flat instead. Flat cat. Mrrrr... zzzz...
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Sunday, August 20th, 2017 02:12 pm
The problem with Goodreads is that now I have two places to talk about books and I'm never sure if I posted here about finishing something. I really enjoyed the rest of The Inheritance Trilogy, the second book hit my buttons more than the third did but I liked both of them. I guess I found the relationships in the third one didn't quite hit my kinks the way I wanted them to, while the first and second ones did.

[Insert current gripe about superpowered woman/unpowered dude shipping and lack thereof. This series just had an absence rather than having it and "fixing" it, but I'm now on the lookout.]

Did I mention I read Roses in Amber and it was lovely? It was lovely. Queer and magical and full of awesome women and "I have to do this awkward thing because magic so we're both going to agree to live with it" which I love love love as a trope.

I also just finished The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe which was terrific. I would normally like more dialogue but the author is doing a Lovecraft pastiche, so I'm grateful for the dialogue we did get! Sharp in all the right ways. I liked the ending but now I want more! (Not literally, but I'd like to see something set in this dreamworld fifty years out or so.)

I'm still in the middle of The Goblin Emperor, and maybe when I have a little more brain space I'll pick it up again.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 02:13 pm
This morning, Kaylee discovered that Nenya's wastepaper bag is REALLY fun to play in.





Which means my cat is in the trash bin with the rest of us.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 04:50 pm
I ended up marathoning all 8 episodes of Defenders last night. I enjoyed it. It doesn't have the same thematic cohesiveness that Jessica Jones does and the fights aren't as good as they were in the first season of Daredevil, but it's a fun ride if you enjoy the characters, and it helps that everyone else finds Danny Rand as annoying as the audience does. *hands*

spoilers )

So it was a good way to spend 7-ish hours, and it didn't leave me in a state of existential dread the way JJ did.

the other day, in anticipation of this show, I was making a list of ladies with robot arms, and I couldn't come up with many - Misty Knight, Nina Sharp, Lirael, Furiosa... who else is there?

***
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 01:14 pm
This clip from CNN is well worth listening to.

It encapsulates both the jaw-dropping awfulness and bizarreness of the Orange Supremacist era, and the extent to which the mainstream media has gotten so appalled that they're dropping their usual false equivalency. I mean the old "both sides have a point," which works when both sides DO have a point, but does not when you're talking about Nazis vs. anti-Nazis or Cheetolini vs. human beings with empathy. Also, it made me laugh.

Yesterday post-rally [personal profile] hederahelix and I were discussing this.

"It's just so surreal," she said. "Hey... Is that a camel?"

I looked over. The U-haul next to us had a giant camel painted on the side.

Below the camel, as if in explanation of why a U-haul would be decorated with a giant camel, were a few lines of Wikipedia-esque notes on camels, something like "A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as "humps" on its back."
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 02:11 pm
Kitchen Terror Unleashed

I have made 78 molasses ginger cookies with raisins. 

Fear me. 
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 07:20 pm
Atomic Blonde is a great soundtrack in search of a film.

I think my anger with the film is because of its wasted potential. It could, and should, have been so much better.

The acting is solid, as is the directing and the technical stuff. The make-up department deserve an Oscar nomination. No, seriously. A character goes into shock and they made the character up to the right shade of pale.

The problem is the plot.

It makes no sense. No, seriously.

Without the last two "twists" (neither of which is a twist if you'd paid any attention during the film), it just about makes sense, because of some serious legwork by the actors, mostly Charlize Theron.

With the penultimate twist, spoilers )

Unfortunately, that's when they throw in the last twist. Which isn't really a twist and ruins all that has gone before )

In short, when your most sympathetic character is a Stasi agent, there is something wrong with the film!

I'm not even going to go into the really weird thing where there is only 1 German actor, who gets no lines in German. All the other Germans and Russians are played by Scandinavians. Now the amassed Vikings all do a damn good job (no, seriously, all my love for Roland Møller and Bill Skarsgård) but if you're actually filming in Germany, which this was, it's a bloody odd casting choice.

~~~~

While the film is nothing like the advert, I am willing to give the ad makers props for one thing. Spoilers )

~~~~

In a more fandomy way, you know the concept of a Remix. I would love to see Remixes of the film from the perspective of spoilery dead characters.
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Sunday, August 20th, 2017 07:10 pm
Art:

The woman who painted her body for artist Yves Klein - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37632356

Healthcare:

The bereavement midwife: Is this the saddest job in England? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-37628554

Teenager describes summer on 'terrifying' adult ward - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-37631784

History:

Aberfan: This clock stopped ticking at 9.13 on the morning of October 21, 1966 - http://aberfan.walesonline.co.uk/

Aberfan: The mistake that cost a village its children - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-150d11df-c541-44a9-9332-560a19828c47

Miscellaneous:

Do six people die for every kilo of cocaine? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37717848

Black Mirror: Backlash against writer inspired episode - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37714850

Musicians:

Phil Collins: Back from the brink after alcohol battle - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37714459

Science-Fiction:

A Computer Solved Time Travel’s “Grandfather Paradox” With An Extra Time Machine -
http://www.tor.com/2016/10/19/a-computer-solved-time-travels-grandfather-paradox-with-an-extra-time-machine/ I don't think this a solution. It's a bit 'turtles all the way down'.

Sport:

Football:

Bayern Munich's Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: 'English clubs almost kidnap youngsters' -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37732246 Given that he's Bayern's chairmen and what they do to other German teams, this is a bit pot, kettle, black, but he's got a point.

Rugby Union:

Anthony Foley: A community struggles after the death of its favourite son - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37710942

Technology:

The team fighting to remove online child abuse images - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37707231
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 06:55 pm
Business:

Shopping in Australia, while in China - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37584730

Film:

A Stray: Finding and filming the real Somali immigrant experience - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37735113

Healthcare:

'I can't imagine being a doctor for five more years' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37787586

History:

The Suez Emergency: The forgotten war of the conscript soldier - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36985325

Miscellaneous:

The Skype sex scam - a fortune built on shame - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37735369

Sex, honour, shame and blackmail in an online world - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37735368

Natasha Annie Tonthola: My fight against Malawi's 'hyenas' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37431005

Musicians:

Syd Barrett: Cambridge honours its 'Crazy Diamond' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-37748713

News:

The Russians who fear a war with the West - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37766688

Will Central Asia fight over water? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37755985

The kids who have to sew to survive - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37693173

Child refugees in Turkey making clothes for UK shops - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37716463

Photography:

In pictures: Framing the Mafia - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-37749921 I do wish they'd gone with a different title for the article.

Politics:

US election 2016: Indians' verdict on Donald Trump's Hindi - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-37787347 From before the last US election

How to deal with uncertainty - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37697460

Science:

Regrets of a Naturopath - http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2016/10/25/regrets-of-a-naturopath

Sport:

Chicago Cubs: City parties as baseball 'curse' ends after 71 years - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37743581

Football:

Jose Mourinho: Man Utd boss says life alone in hotel is a 'bit of a disaster' -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37772298

Heading footballs 'affects memory' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37714830

Theatre:

Key Change: From prison cell to sell-out show - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37731821

Amadeus play: NT homecoming in fine tune - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37692975
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 06:34 pm
Business:

Sport 'mechanic of the mind' brings Olympic expertise to firms - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37642812

Serial returners cause problems for shops - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37711091

History:

'I cheated death and joined the Guinea Pig Club' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37840480

Law and Order:

Dog attacks: When is a fatal dog mauling a criminal offence? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37692140 Apparently the answer is 'when the owner isn't a police officer'.

Miscellaneous:

'Major failings' in DVLA medical fitness to drive cases - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37703036

Itchy business: The growth of head lice removal firms - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37617423

I went to Nigeria to meet the man who scammed me - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-37632259

Costumes to go: Rolling out for Halloween - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/disability-37774000

Music:

10 real-life love stories and the heartbreaking songs they inspired -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1yP6wqGtc3NKw5t3V5Tnb2Y/10-real-life-love-stories-and-the-heartbreaking-songs-they-inspired

News:

Is a child bride really married every seven seconds? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37804539

India Kashmir: The teenager blinded by pellets - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-37773759

Photography:

In pictures: Lagos photo festival on African identity - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-37768022

Politics:

What is it like when the PM is your MP? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37691279

That black British feeling: Does the UK need Black Lives Matter? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/37715090/that-black-british-feeling-does-the-uk-need-black-lives-matter

6 Reasons Why Donald Trump Is Not ‘Just Like Brexit’ - http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/donald-trump-brexit_uk_5810d58be4b0c6d521b59cc0 From before the last US elections. Actually more interesting for the wrong assumptions the analyst made.

US election: Why does the US have such low voter turnout? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37634526

Sport:

Palestinian women bring baseball to Gaza - http://www.aljazeera.com/video/news/2017/03/palestinian-women-bring-baseball-gaza-170320194333648.html

Football:

Live From Leicester Fuching City - https://www.theplayerstribune.com/christian-fuchs-live-from-leicester-fuching-city/

Rugby League:

Jack Smith: Four Nations role for ex-Royal Marine shot by a sniper in Afghanistan -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/37772922

Technology:

Inside the Cyberattack That Shocked the US Government - https://www.wired.com/2016/10/inside-cyberattack-shocked-us-government/
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 06:17 pm
Economics:

Model train prices are rising because of pound's devaluation - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37755137

Film:

Dorothy's Wizard of Oz slippers to be saved after campaign hits $300,000 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37754079

History:

London Is Still Paying Rent to the Queen on a Property Leased in 1211 -
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/london-is-still-paying-rent-to-the-queen-on-a-property-leased-in-1211

Miscellaneous:

'I don't': Why choose civil partnership over marriage? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37834074

Halloween: Meet England's most interesting ghosts - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37717362

Your pictures: Witches' marks - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-37824761

Putting the fun back into fitness - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37727456 This is one of those ones where I disagree. I enjoy the suffering of training. It pleases me. I am aware that this says nothing good about me.

The “432 Hz vs. 440 Hz” conspiracy theory - https://jakubmarian.com/the-432-hz-vs-440-hz-conspiracy-theory/ This is your actual lunatic fringe conspiracy theory/

Russian bullet train whirrs past bleak lives - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37766289

An uncanny mixture: God, alcohol and even cannabis - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37727458

Snail mail: The postcard that arrived 50 years late - http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/37762203

Does it pay to sell a home online? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37677444

Politics:

Ugly US election race a poor ad for democracy in China - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-37724839 From before the last US election.

Why we lost the Brexit vote - Behind the scenes of the flawed campaign to keep the UK in the EU. - http://www.politico.eu/article/why-we-lost-the-brexit-vote-former-uk-prime-minister-david-cameron/ Obviously a little partisan but interesting nonetheless.

Science:

I’m a Doctor. If I Drop Food on the Kitchen Floor, I Still Eat It. -
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/upshot/im-a-doctor-if-i-drop-food-on-the-kitchen-floor-i-still-eat-it.html?_r=2

Breast-Feeding the Microbiome - http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/breast-feeding-the-microbiome

Nine colourful facts about chameleons -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2bKnSDQQKgvMPChch0C3T4g/nine-colourful-facts-about-chameleons

Cancer care: Is world class status a distant dream? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37719471

Technology:

Blockchain bandits hit crypto start-ups - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37307826

Clicks and bricks: How building is going digital - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37541598
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 09:33 am
:: I understand other people have social Saturdays, bing-watch The Defenders*, or combine the two; go, y'all! Me, I write a brief article for work. When I say "brief" I mean it's supposed to be two pages. I didn't write it briefly -- more like five hours for the baseline -- nor is it brief at the moment (though there's always changing the font back to Times New Roman. Which is, let me put it like that, better than Courier New).

* I ask whether to watch The Defenders on Twitter; two threads (the more Yay) here and (the more Nay) here.

:: Well, at least I can claim I had a social Friday -- my naturalized friend in Cole Valley took me in after the Worst Day Ever, got us and his two other flatmates a close-to-perfect gluten-free dinner, and I found out first-hand that Archer really is only funny to some people. I didn't want to aggravate my friend, who is extremely loving to me, always (without, I stress, wanting to sleep with me -- he has a relatively quick succession of girlfriends at all times). But Men Behaving Badly is basically my bullet-proof squick.

Too bad that...well, let's not get into that here.

:: The good thing that I consumed lately was the latest installment of Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series -- "Magic for Nothing". Finally, finally I really connected with a character of hers; Antimony Price is the first of the Price siblings I genuinely like. At first I was wondering whether the voice actress put me off (audiobook listener because of the lack of sit-down free time). But no; the same voice actress voices Magic For Nothing, and I wanted to hug Annie all the time. Or maybe shoulder-bump. She's not a physically affectionate character. Perhaps not incidentally, this was also the first book of the six where I spoilered )

:: What I have just started AND almost finished is one of those cheap offers on Audible**, namely a book called Louisiana Longshot by Jana DeLeon. I enjoy it a lot -- much more than I expected. It's grouped as "cozy mystery", which I personally take to read, "Did you like Miss Marple and her village? Try this!" There is very little cozy about characters or plot, which is really for the better. As you know, I like dragons and spaceships and ladies who kick ass...not all at the same time, necessarily. But this book made me grin, a lot. For one, it's funny. Second, in the Atomic Blonde age, I cannot but picture Charlize Theron in the main role of a basically-benched CIA field agent ending up in a Louisiana bayou. It's an enormously Bechdel-passing book, and while I can already tell the solution to one of the B plots (and you will too), I haven't solved the A Plot yet; I think the straight-up murder has to be misdirection. Weakness: Where the fuck are all the Black people? This is LA; we're talking 33% of the population. I can see small towns self-selecting, especially Sinful, LA, but not to that degree.

** I do give too much money to Jeff Bezos.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 03:17 pm
- My local online news feed has had two big breaking stories this weekend so far: a van crashed into wall but nobody was injured, and a photo of a cuddly toy lost at a local event.

- Funko Four and his 2D Tardis.

The Fourth Doctor and the Tardis

- Reading, books 2017: 84.

79. Calling Major Tom, by David M Barnett, 2017, very soft science fiction novel, and I mean soft in every sense of the word. The point of view characters are Thomas Major the first astronaut travelling one-way to Mars, Gladys Ormerod a 70 year old grandmother with dementia, Ellie Ormerod a 15 year old granddaughter trying to keep her parentless poverty-line family together, and James Ormerod a 10 year old grandson who might want to be a scientist. Other characters abound and are decently fleshed out, including a Black teenager from Ellie's class at school who is called Delil (I don't think I've ever met a Delisle who spells his name Delil but anything's possible in Wigan, I suppose). The plot is ridiculous and sentimental, and pays tributes to It's A Wonderful Life as well as Space Oddity, although it also reminded me of an Ealing comedy by managing to be funny while telling uncomfortable truths about society but without being realism. Warning: contains a brief incident of mild racism from one of the pov characters, although not portrayed from her pov, but written skillfully, and frankly actually painfully amusing in the way that socially embarrassing older relatives sometimes are when they're -ist from decades old habit but with no current malice and one doesn't know whether to flinch or laugh at them. (4/5, goodreads = 140 ratings / 62 reviews 4/5)

• Unrepresentative quote: When BriSpA's Chief of Multi-Platform Safeguarding, Craig, was in the Royal Navy he was generally known as Hammerhead due to his habit of smashing his head against doors, walls and other heads after too much drink. Those days are in Craig's past, as is the nickname, though he sometimes uses a variation of it when he frequents certain online forums that require a certain level of anonymity. At least until an assignation is organised in a dark nightclub, or sometimes on a moonlit heath, where for the purposes of identification he carries a dog lead though, of course, he owns no dog. Craig does own two cats, named Ethel and Frank. He will know he has found true love when he meets someone who knows that those are the names of the parents of Judy Garland. He is still waiting.

• Another unrepresentative quote: And that but hangs there in the still air between them, buoyed on the heady scent of flowers in Laura's garden, threaded with the lazy flight path of droning bees, suspended from the brittle, drifting spiderwebs.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 03:19 pm
Productivity is a distant dream today. So instead, I'm going to start documenting my London trip, which was amazing (A-M-A-Z-I-N-G).

3 days )
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Sunday, August 20th, 2017 08:19 pm
I may be a bit sweary behind the cut.

Teen Wolf 06x13 )

Just saying.
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