darthfangirl: the thirteenth doctor grins (Default)
[personal profile] darthfangirl
Out of all the Weasley kids, Percy is the only one who is actually interested in Muggle culture. Not that he would admit it for years and years, of course. Admitting that means admitting he's like his father in some way, and if there's one person in the world Percy doesn't want to be like it's Arthur Weasley. But even so, he is fascinated. Not by Muggle gadgets so much (he's not much of a tinkerer), but by other products of Muggle culture, like films and music and television. Especially television; he loves how there are so many different kinds of programs to watch, from documentaries to dramas to Muggle sports. And it's always there, no matter what time of the day you turn it on! Really, Percy doesn't understand why the Wizarding World hasn't adopted this particular Muggle innovation yet. Just imagine how many things they could do with it!

This post brought to you by the fact that I recently realized it's been 15 years since I first sat down and read all 5 then published HP books and fell irrevocably in love with a certain pompous prat. Wow, how time flies (or maybe I'm just getting old).
deird1: Joey and Pacey at the prom, with text "I remember everything" (Joey Pacey remember)
[personal profile] deird1
You step off the boat in Devonport, and lots of enterprising salesmen are standing right there, waving "Breakfast at our Cafe!" signs and gesturing to their joint down the street.

You step off the boat in Melbourne, and no-one cares. You want breakfast? Eh, so does everyone else. You got off a boat? Congratulations. People do that sometimes.

Melbourne: the city where nobody gives a damn. (And, for the first time in three weeks, I felt right at home.)

Our holiday can be neatly divided into a few different topics.
the old stuff )

the oops factor )

the natural stuff )

the kidlets )

the verdict )

(no subject)

17 April 2019 08:51 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Having bizarre television issues. I came home from work yesterday to discover there was no audio on my tv. My television is admittedly more than 10 years old. It's... Polariod FlM 323 B- LCD TV -- although I think it is more a 25 inch than 32 inch. I called Optimum, and we tried literally everything over the phone. They set up a technician to come out. I went online, and discovered others had similar issues -- so tried everything they suggested. Discovered in the process that the headjack worked -- there was audio with ear phones or speakers plugged into the headphone jack. Weird. Not sure if it is the HDMI cable -- because I unplugged it and replugged it and even switched the Fire Stick HDMI with the cable HDMI.

It has been telling me that there is an issue with the HDMI.

Discussed with a co-worker today, who is an expert and has recalibrated television sets -- also used to set up AV rooms, he gave me his computer speakers -- which he was no longer using. Free of charge. (Saved me a trip to Best Buy to hunt for some small computer speakers that would fit on my console and wouldn't block the tv. He also advised that I keep my appointment with the Optimum Technician on Thursday, who might be able to replace the HDMI cable and fix it. Because it probably is the HDMI cable cord. He also advised that I buy a new tv -- a TCL 6 series - 55 inch Roko.
(I have an Amazon Fire Stick not Roku, but apparently you can use the Amazon Fire Stick with it...and Roku has the same channels). He said it was the best bang for anything under $600. And I could buy it over the weekend, most likely on sale.

Sigh. I hate buying things. This is why I have a tv that I bought in 2006, and I'm procrastinating buying new furniture. I'm not a shopper (except where books are concerned...I have more books than I can ever possibly read in one lifetime. Seriously, if it weren't for Amazon telling me I'd already bought some of these books, I'd have accidentally bought them twice.)

2. Books

I'm reading a historical romance by Laura Kinsale, which I keep forgetting the name of. I think it is Moonbeam something or other. The title doesn't fit the book, so I keep forgetting it. Kinsale is an odd romance writer -- her characters can often be on the abrasive side, and I often want to smack her heroines upside the head. They also always have various physical and emotional disorders. In this book, the hero stuttered as a child and is terrified of heights, he also likes everything neat and orderly, while the heroine is an inventor, flakely, somewhat obsessive/compulsive and a touch on the autistic side of the fence. She's wickedly bright about certain things, and utterly stupid about others -- and doesn't have a wit of common sense or much empathy for those around her. She's invented a speaking box that the hero needs her to perfect to beat the French, and he also has to protect her from the French, who have tried to kidnap her once already. Meanwhile, she's far more interested in being the first to invent an aviation device that enables humans to fly. The hero is terrified of the device and doesn't want her to work on it or use it. Much chaos ensues.

There is a point in the book -- where the hero sort of seduces her. She's inadvertently given him a potent aphrodiasac and he can't keep his hands off her. She likes it so goes along with it. Some readers saw it as rape, and I thought, eh, no -- he was the one who was drugged by an absent-minded inventor. A lot of reviewers don't think critically.

Next up...probably not a romance, I'm getting burned out.

3. Knackered. Slept horribly last night, due to spending far too much time trying to fix stupid television set. And figuring out what to do about it. I have this sinking feeling Optimum is going to charge me $80 for their visit on Thursday, damn them.
But I'm afraid to cancel it -- in case they have an easy solution that could mean delaying trying to find a new tv.

Also I need to rearrange the apartment...and get rid of stuff.

As a result of being knackered, I slept walked through work.

4. X-men Marvel Movies...and television series?

While the MCU Avengers verse in the movies has been well-plotted, devised, and received, not so true of the X-men verse (as portrayed by Fox). Fox, starting with the animated series in the 90s, and straight through the filmverse, has been uneven.
There are about two excellent films, and two decent ones, the rest are abysmal. Television wise? One good series. That's it. One. Out of three animated series, and three live action -- there's only one good one.

What are the good X-men movies and series?
Read more... )
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly

I wanted earlier to say that this cold is wiping me out, and I also wanted to say that it's kicking my butt, two phrases which are semantically similar. What came out is "This cold is wiping my butt", which isn't. ("This cold is kicking me out" would have been equally puzzling, but less funny.)


Read more... )
auroracloud: a book held open by a reader who is unseen except for their sleeve (reading)
[personal profile] auroracloud
Because I haven't been posting enough about books lately. Books!

What I've Been Reading

The last thing I finished was Ghost Circles, volume #7 of Jeff Smith's Bone fantasy graphic novel series. I actually read it a few months ago, but I somehow had succeeded in skipping volume #6. So I went back and read that, and thought I'd reread #7 in its proper place before going on to #8. It's so gorgeous and amazing it can do with many rereads, anyway.

Other things I've read recently: The last novel I finished was Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire (Book #3 of InCryptid - enjoyed it a lot, though I maybe enjoyed the two previous ones a bit more). In the non-fiction front, I recently finished Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman, which is a popular science book about the intelligence of birds. It was very interesting, though the style was typical of modern American pop science books (but at least it wasn't about the writer's personal journey of discovery!). But birds are awesome. I read it in Finnish, and it was rather interesting sometimes because she'd often refer to American birds which are totally unknown here though probably common enough in North America. The translator had somehow dug up the names for all of them, some of which were quite complicated in Finnish because the birds aren't native here so some biologists have just put together a name, I guess.

I've also recently read Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield, and Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer, both of which were fabulous and both of which I should write little reviews of for [community profile] fffriday. Also, surprisingly many Finnish things, from a 1930s detective story to a lovely lesbian YA graphic novel.

What I'm Reading Now

A bit too many things, as always. But most actively, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (a delightful 18th century historical gay Grand Tour romp) and The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (for the Hugos, or rather the not-a-Hugo Lodestar ie. YA award). Also rather many history books for novel research purposes and such. And Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine, a smart and sharp rebuttal of the bad neuroscience people use to justify the claims about the supposedly very different brains of men and women. (Essentially, from what I can tell about the book, the science tends to be so bad and flawed that we can't say anything about whether the differences in skills and interests are innate and learned, or whether the observed structural differences have any practical influence. But Cordelia Fine explains it all much better, in detail, with exquisitely sassy commentary, and lots of sources.)

What I'm Reading Next

As always, I've got ever so many books that I really want to read as soon as I get some of the current ones finished. More history, many Hugo nominees, some Finnish historical novels I'd like to get to eventually, and several comic books / graphic novels that I inadvertently picked up the other day in the library. I swear it was an accident, I meant to look at the LGBTQ+ shelf, but it was occupied so I had to go somewhere else for a while, and the next thing I knew, I had all these graphic novels in my hands.

Also, I've got several Hugo (and not-a-Hugo) nominees waiting for me, as my library reservations on them have been going through. I think when I'm finished with The Belles, I'll go for Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver or one of the series category starters, depending on which one the library wants back the soonest. But we'll see! My reading plans rarely are very solid, and I'm a creature of whims and moods when it comes to reading books.

Have any of you been reading anything interesting you'd like to share?

Reading, Listening, Watching

17 April 2019 07:38 pm
purplecat: A pile of hardback books (General:Books)
[personal profile] purplecat
Reading: The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse. I genuinely have no idea why this is on my to read pile. Someone must have recommended it but I'm struggling think in relation to what. Its kind of interesting but doesn't seem like the sort of thing I would particularly seek out - and it very much feels like an SF-reaction to Germany in 1943 (though weirdly by way of blaming the Romantic movement for everything - though, I suppose, Wagner). I don't particularly dislike it, but I'm not sure I particularly see the point it is trying to make, and it is obviously trying to make a point.

Listening: I got name-checked in the Verity Podcast (by way of making a suggestion on Twitter). It was very exciting.

Watching: A random Netflix trawl netted us R.I.P.D last night. We read the description (Undead Cops police the Undead) were, as a result, surprisingly impressed by the cast list: Kevin Bacon, Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges and concluded that it might be a bit like Tremors on the strength of which supposition we agreed to give it 10 minutes. It opened with a distinctly dodgy CGI special effect and proceeded to be considerably more serious than Tremors for the next 10 minutes and we were starting to debate whether to stick with it but then Jeff Bridges turned up, the whole thing planted its tongue firmly in its cheek and off it went. I guess its sort of Tremors meets Ghostbusters and you need to be in the mood for that kind of thing, but if you are then it does more or less what it says on the tin.

I once read a book

17 April 2019 02:07 pm
sjnt: (Hey There)
[personal profile] sjnt
Or nine.

Recently Finished:

Jan Beatty, Boneshaker. Poetry. Early aughts, I believe. Feels very of its time. (Don't ask me what I mean by that. :P)

Mary Gaitskill, Someone with a Little Hammer: Essays. It took me quite a while to get through this, as too much Gaitskill makes me feel worn down and sour. As with most essay collections, some pieces are stronger than others. At times she really twists herself into knots to make a "controversial" point, and I winced (see: the final essays on Linda Lovelace and Nabokov.) That said, she makes thought provoking, points, even in mediocre essays; her reviews (e.g., of Secretary, Agaat) can be great; and I enjoy her music musings.

Katie Hickman, Travels with a Mexican Circus. If you're a white person spending time in the third world/developing world/the global south and planning to write a book about your experiences, you should do it like this. (Speak Spanish fluently and join a circus. Love the country you're in and the people who comprise it.) The individual stories of circus troupe members are fascinating and heart-breaking and uplifting and frightening - sometimes all at once.

Helen Oyeyemi, What is Not Yours is Not Yours. I don't have much to say about this. Fun, quirky short stories set in the same universe. I read a lot of short story collections (I don't like reading them individually in magazines/journals; same with poetry. There's something about the cumulative effect that works better for me). This brought me more pleasure than several of the volumes I've recently read.

For example...

Jenny Zhang, Sour Heart. I have mixed to negative feelings about this one. It's a volume of seven interconnected short stories, narrated by a handful of elementary school age, Chinese-American girls. (A character mentioned in passing in Story One is the narrator in Story Two, etc.) On the one hand, Zhang writes pungently, and deftly conjures scenes where I was very present; it was hard to look away, even when I wanted to. On the other hand, what she's received so much praise for - her depiction of girls, interest (obsession?) with bodily functions, disruption of what it means to be an (East Asian) immigrant - is, in the end, not that interesting. If you're already aware that: fourth grade girls are sexual beings; children are horrible to each other; parents love their kids while being total fuck-ups and damaging them, however unintentionally; and not every Chinese immigrant comes to this country as an upper middle class, model minority, then just the very fact these are mentioned doesn't make it quality literature. Reading it, for me, was a similar experience to reading Junot Diaz's This is How You Lose Her. Except Diaz is a better writer. Reading it was also similar to listening to Cupcakke's raps. Her constant talk about dick sucking doesn't bother me, but there's got to be something more there, and I don't hear it.

[I was relieved when a family friend - a twenty-something, artsy, hip, sweet as can be smartypants - said she also bounced off Sour Heart, for many of the same reasons I did. It's nice to get a little confirmation that I'm not *always* reacting to media primarily from a place of Get Off My Lawn and that a reader this collection is arguably meant for - did I mention this was published by Lena Dunham? - was also not into it.]

Currently Reading:

Dana Spiotta, Eat the Document. I bounced off a previous work of hers, and picked this up only for fic research. It's about two '70s radicals, former lovers who have gone underground after taking part in an act of political violence, and their (separate) lives, twenty years later. I started it yesterday, and I'm one-third through. It's very good. Spiotta has a real knack for developing characters and giving them strong, individual voices - helpful as the narrative bounces between multiple points of view. So refreshing after reading the same-same POVs in Jenny Zhang's short stories.

A review described it as: "a grown-up novel about late adolescence, and about what we take with us - and what we jettison - on the journey from passionate, reckless youth into seasoned (or soiled) middle age." Since I am currently semi-obsessed with coming of age stories that don't have easy answers, this is right up my alley.

Carmen Boullosa, Texas: The Great Theft. Still reading this, still enjoying, but I've been pulled in multiple directions recently, and this requires focus and concentration. Hopefully now that I've (almost) cleared the reading decks I will find time to finish it.

Putting Aside for Now, Will Come Back to Later:

For me, this a serious category. I do this all the time, because I rarely read one book at a time.

Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke. I started writing a short, Umbrella Academy, Klaus fic. (The conceit: 3 conversations Klaus doesn't remember having.) But then I got to the Vietnam conversation and felt I needed to read a book about it, and this was sitting on my shelf. A hundred pages in, I can say that it's much better than The Things They Carried.

Up Next:

My up next never pans out, but this time I believe it will, because I'm very excited to read it and only waited because I was in the midst of so many other books.

Valerie Luiselli, Lost Children Archive. Here's a review courtesy of NPR.

I really appreciate how Luiselli combines fiction and non-fiction (e.g., through documents and photos as well as narrative). How she's (socio-)political while always keeping in focus the story and her characters' humanity. Her Story of My Teeth is a good introduction to her style (and it's very short.)

What I've Been Reading Wednesday

17 April 2019 09:33 am
thisbluespirit: (reading)
[personal profile] thisbluespirit
On a Wednesday and only 3 weeks after the last! \o/

What I've Been Reading

I found Amy Snow by Tracy Rees on the Tesco's bookstall, which looked intriguing and easy to read, and the cover was pretty, so I snaffled it. It was easy to read and quite sweet and fun. Victorian foundling Amy Snow's foster sister and sole friend in the world dies, but leaves her a treasure hunt to solve.

My Mum lent me The Librarian by Salley Vickers, which was good, although it could have been more about the actual librarianing, but probably I am the only person who would complain about that. (I see in my reading diary that I gave it two stars which is quite high, as three is the most I run to; only now I am baffled because obviously I liked it a lot more when I had just finished it than I think I did now. I cannot explain myself sometimes.)

I also read Tracing Your Merchant Navy Ancestors by Simon Wills, which was helpful. Not that I can actually do any further tracing of anything of that sort until I can visit an archive again one day, but it's good to know where to go, and the bibliography threw up a couple more possible merchant navy titles to look into.

What I'm Reading Now

Currently I'm just at the end of The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan, which has been fairly engaging and readable so far (although - and not that I was bored or anything, because I wasn't - technically we've had nearly 400 pages and very little has actually happened when I stop and think about it). Anyway, I've had this trilogy and some of the next on my TBR pile of hope for ages, so it was very satisfactory just to be able to take it down and read it fairly easily. Take that, brain!

For family history purposes, I am going through Wartime Britain 1939-1945 by Juliet Gardiner, which is very interesting, readable, and useful social history. If you write anything in that period, it seems like a good book to have to fall back on for background detail and info, so far at least.

What I'm Reading Next

Well, The Novice by Trudi Canavan, the next book, but probably first An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry, which I got from the library.

(no subject)

22 April 2019 12:31 am

I'm not proud but I cheated.

16 April 2019 11:43 pm
orangerful: (cow)
[personal profile] orangerful
I started playing Call of Cthulu last week (Tim got it for me for Christmas so it was about time!). I honestly could not remember why I asked for it, but now that I have played a little, I am guessing it must have been on a "If you liked Layers of Fear" list because this game is CREEPING ME OUT!

I don't know much about H.P. Lovecraft and his creepy stories so I'm not familiar with the lore the game is based on, which is fine. Up until about the 4th hour, the game is relatively chill. You play as a private investigator sent to look into a family death that was labeled an accident but the father of the dead woman doesn't believe it. And, of course, it looks like her husband was involved with cultists!

Anyway, the gameplay is a lot of chatting with NPCs and finding out what they know. You level up your detective skills and depending on where you put those points, different options open up to you. You also can trigger some sanity issues by finding items about the occult or uncovering a room full of mutilated corpses, which I'm sure will bite me in the ass later in the game. He started out stable and is currently listed as "shaken"...

And then a freakin' MONSTER just crawled out of a painting and is stalking me in a pitch black room! Now the detective is crawling on the floor, trying to avoid being scene. I was killed three times in a row and needed to quit out because it was stressing me out (I'm so awful at stealth) and I decided I was going to Google the key to surviving this section because I could feel myself getting far too tense. Now I technically know how to get through next time I'm brave enough to start the game...technically. I will still have to stealth around and it sounds like the "Shambler" doesn't always follow the same path (and if I make eye contact with it, I'm dead).

I hate looking up the "answer" to the puzzle but the scary was too much! Plus, I can only watch the detective get horribly stabbed by a faceless monster so many times in a row. :\

Do you ever cheat at games or puzzles to save your sanity?

LJ 20th Anniversary

16 April 2019 10:51 pm
orangerful: (Default)
[personal profile] orangerful

My LJ was created in 2001 so it is a few years shy of 20, but still going strong. I honestly don't know what my life would be like without LJ. I made so many friends through different fandoms, learned basic HTML and Photoshop, and it has always been there for me as a place to ramble. For a site that is dead, there seems to be a lot of activity! I've said it many times, but I think LJ is one of the best social media platforms — the posts, the threaded comments, the communities. It has always felt easier to find like-minded people here than any other service.


16 April 2019 07:56 pm
yourlibrarian: Scooby Hideout (BUF-ScoobyHideout-bubbles_girl778)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) This radio story on AO3's nomination for a Hugo award singled out the Buffy fandom specifically.

2) The fight between the Writer's Guild and agencies definitely needs to be had.

"[G]uild leadership reached out to writers, via survey and group meetings, to find out what professional issues and concerns they faced. According to WGA sources, leadership was surprised to discover that writers — ranging from top showrunners to those fighting for staff jobs – overwhelmingly pointed to the “Big 4” agency (CAA, WME, UTA, ICM) practice of packaging as negatively affecting their careers." That's probably because "The WGA estimates that close to 90 percent of scripted series in the 2016–2017 television season were packaged, with WME or CAA involved in 80 percent of those packaged series." (Emphasis mine)

That is astounding, and I can only imagine how many actors and other workers lose out due to packaging, not to mention how likely this is to affect women and minorities in the business.

3) More signs of corporate confiscation (and indifference): Google Play Music is kicking out thousands of songs as its Artist Hub closes:

"the fact that hundreds of thousands of songs will no longer be available on Google Play Music but won't be automatically available on YouTube Music is a kick in the teeth for artists and subscribers alike…That gives rise to the question of what will become not only of purchases but also the 50,000 song upload locker that Play Music currently offers."

Also: Microsoft announces it will shut down ebook program and confiscate its customers' libraries

(And as someone pointed out, MS did the same to its customers in 2006 when they shut down the MSN Music store, and customers were unable to migrate their libraries to Microsoft’s zune ecosystem.)

4) This was a new one on me, but it makes sense – the celebrity scammers. Read more... )

5) I watched Bad Times at the El Royale this past week and realized I'd completely forgotten it was written and directed by Drew Goddard. That certainly explains why I was reminded of Cabin in the Woods. Read more... )

Poll #21827 Kudos Footer-35
This poll is anonymous.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7

Want to leave a Kudos?

View Answers

7 (100.0%)

Can you all help me out?

21 April 2019 07:02 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
[personal profile] flamingsword asked me if I remembered posting a certain link, and I do, but I haven't tracked it down either. It was a discussion here on DW about how you could make Buttercup in The Princess Bride a more interesting character, with more agency and intelligence than a sack of potatoes* by turning her into a poet.

* This is mean. To potatoes. They might roll down a hill after somebody, but they hardly ever spontaneously dive overboard into eel-infested waters. I don't know what this says about their agency, but I don't wish to insult their intelligence.

Night of the Doctor

16 April 2019 09:48 pm
purplecat: The Eighth Doctor (Who:Eight)
[personal profile] purplecat

Paper Doll of the Eighth Doctor in his Night of the Doctor outfit
The Eighth Doctor gets shoes!

Also, I think I may be getting the hang of this (7 doctors after I decided to stop leaving white bits). Some white outlines are left, some have been removed.

Fic: Lease for Lives

16 April 2019 09:47 pm
thisbluespirit: (s&s)
[personal profile] thisbluespirit
I wrote a thing:

Lease for Lives (3221 words) by thisbluespirit
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sapphire and Steel
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Copper & Silver (S&S)
Additional Tags: Community: hc_bingo, Community: genprompt_bingo, Alternate Timelines, Temporary Character Death, Pre-Canon
Summary: Circumstances drive Copper to do more than just bend a rule...

Game of Thrones

16 April 2019 12:11 pm
avrelia: (Pensive Queen)
[personal profile] avrelia
I am not a huge fan, but it grew on me, and I really really really want to know how it all ends. Besides, things like unite the world a little bit. It's so much better to have fictional tragedies. I care who will survive the long winter in Westeros, but not that desperate as I am about the state of our world.

Anyway, I was ok with previous season, and ok with the first episode of this one. I don't miss slow movement of first seasons full of gratuitous sex and violence. we could cut some more of those even now, honestly.

Love all the reunions and meetings between characters. Could watch a lot of Bran creepily watching everyone, Sansa snarking and Arya flirting with Gendry.

http://chryswatchesgot.tumblr.com/ cute and funny recaps here

(no subject)

16 April 2019 11:46 am
avrelia: (Default)
[personal profile] avrelia
Yesterday it was sad and horrifying to see Notre Dame in flames. I’ve never seen it myself, and I am not sure when I will, but I am happy it survived, and very grateful for the work firefighters did there. I am sad today for all the world’s treasures that disappear without much public outcry due to accidents, negligence, or deliberate actions or wars… we are losing so much.

I think...

16 April 2019 11:04 am
sjnt: (Default)
[personal profile] sjnt
I need to see Hadestown.


elisi: van Gogh almond flowers (Default)elisi
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