So on my way to work yesterday, I came up the escalator at the Metro station to find that a train was just pulling in. The guy ahead of me was going slow and blocking my way, so as soon as I got off the escalator, I ran around him and headed for the second car, which drops me off right at the bottom of the stairs at Union Station (where I get off).
As I bounded along, I felt something catch and then pop free at the bottom of my pelvis, where my butt joins my leg. Man, it hurt!
And still hurts, although it's a little better this morning, after some Alleve overnight. From info I found online, it looks like I may have slightly torn the tendon(s) at the top of the various hamstring muscles, which attach at that point.
So here I am, literally butt hurt. Ow.
Gotta remember that I'm too old (or at least, not in good enough shape) to be running for trains. :-(
Finished reading Twelfth Planet Press's Kaleidoscope (YA speculative fiction anthology.)
Reading Daring Greatly and feeling frustrated with how white and straight and US middle class and status quo it is, and how she doesn't really engage with how her research is largely on people like her. There's a passage about how a man at one of her presentations called her on that, as her research at the time was primarily on women, not men. So she went into what the research does show about men. But (so far in this book) she hasn't gone into whether perhaps these major sources of shame and vulnerability she's identified are perhaps very different (both in their nature and how they operate) in cultures other than the one she's interviewed within. I don't mind her focusing her research on a particular population, I mind the larger problem of systematic bias in research, and how findings like hers get generalised and universalised and made into policy without further research being done on other populations.
Started T Kingfisher's (aka Ursula Vernon) The Raven and the Reindeer last night. Have just gotten up to the reindeer. Am a little frustrated with how the villain seems to be the same type of villain as in Castle Hangnail, the pretty/perfect woman who makes you (a woman) hate yourself for existing next to her. That's a reasonable villain to write about, I just didn't really need two of them in a row. Which is my bad for reading them in that order, she doesn't always write about that villain. I like the genderfluid raven.
Comics and Manga
I was going to read the first tpb of Brenton E McKenna's Ubby's Underdogs, but apparently I grabbed the wrong volume. Who knew 'Heroes Beginnings' was volume 2, and 'The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon' is book 1? I didn't, and given that my library only has book 2, I'm guessing they didn't either.
Am flailing daily about Bubbles' situation on Questionable Content right now.
Finally watched thingswithwings and eruthros' 'Dance Apocalyptic'. Yeah, I've been slow. It was great and very hopeful, and just what I needed to see.
Read idiopathicsmile's World Ain't Ready (Les Mis, Enjolras/Grantaire, high school AU, fake dating, pining, 185K words) which absolutely destroyed me. Highly recommended if you also want to be absolutely destroyed. I recommend not reading almost all of it in one sitting over an entire night, like I did.
TV and Movies
Watched What We Do In The Shadows, the 2014 mockumentary-horror film by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement about gross vampire housemates Viago, Vladislav, Deacon, and Petyr. (Very brief Bechdel pass: Deacon's human servant Jackie argues with her former classmate Josephine about who (Josephine) gave Jackie a nickname she hated, before inviting her to
I enjoyed this a lot, especially considering that normally I can't stand horror at all.
Watched Ghostbusters (2016). Yeah, took me long enough. :D It was everything the happy fans said it was re female friendship and not male-gaze; and I think I wouldn't have found it scary even when I was a kid (although I probably would have stubbornly refused to watch it for fear of being scared. In fairness to young me, Gremlins 2 actually scared me when I was ten.)
Reinstalled Long Live the Queen and started a completist playthrough using a guide. It's amazing the plot stuff I'm learning. This game is so much bigger on the inside. I already knew it was harder and plottier than it looks, but I'm struck even more with each playthrough how much harder, and how much plot there is.
Listened to the first 40 or so episodes of the Hidden Almanac. Which is not a lot, since they're about three minutes each. Very soothing. Ursula Vernon wrote them on the basis of what if WTNV but Writer's Almanac, not A Prairie Home Companion. It is considerably less queer than WTNV, unfortunately, but it is also considerably shorter and quieter and calmer. 480-odd episodes to go.
Knitted another mitred square of the never-ending mitred square blanket.
Three tomatoes on the vine now, and one of them is starting to look less green. Am pondering indoor cacti or other small and low care/low light indoor plants for my bathroom.
MeLuna cup arrived. (See previous locked entry.) It was sparkly purple, not sparkly pink as advertised and hoped for. The Iron Bull would disapprove slightly (-1). However, on inspection it seemed still... fit for purpose, and has now been successfully put to use. (That's my attempt at being not too TMI about this in a public post. My previous purchases in this endeavour, from other companies, were... not fit for purpose.) Suitable for a fairy tea party, if your fairies drink blood (and if they don't, why not?)
Did a thing for marriage equality.
This a really interesting question!
And I swear I had an answer for this... a few months ago but now I can’t remember! I do know that I would love a story about all my favorites in one story!
Like a a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen except the team is composed of Buffy Summers, Aeryn Sun, Dani Reese, Sameen Shaw (yes they look alike, it freaks Dani out), etc., and all the other favorites banding together to save the world/fight crime.
I would like it to be a series of fun adventures, with an epic arc, excellent character development, and team bonding!
How did Belle put it? "Far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince/princesses in disguise!”
First of all, I want to apologize for never actually coming back and doing a roundup for the last amnesty round, or doing much of anything at all with the comm in the last few months, really.
You can probably guess what happened - it's basically a case of having wandered off into other fandoms. I REALLY appreciate the enthusiastic participation from the people who posted nearly every prompt (I think sharpest_asp and possibly Redrikki actually did post every time, which is a source of inspiration and awe ...!). Unfortunately, I'm no longer in the fandom enough to do regular posting rounds. So my question is, for the people still watching this community - what would you like to do with it?
I would be very happy to hand it off to someone else, if anyone else would like to take over. I can simply give you mod access and step away.
... that said, if no one wants to take over and anyone has an idea for something that would keep the community going with less mod involvement, I'm fine with that too. Longer rounds without roundups, perhaps? I'd be happy to post a new prompt every month or so and then wander off to other things, if the prompt inspiration is the important thing.
Basically just let me know what you would like to see from the community, if any of you are still around and still interested. And apologies, again, for basically going AWOL without explanation.
March: Book One
Over the weekend I binge-read March, the graphic novel (in three volumes) by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. My advice is that you should absolutely read March but pace yourself. TW for racism and violence.
March describes Representative Lewis’s years with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). It’s told as a series of flashbacks remembered on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration and bookended by memories of Bloody Sunday — the day when marchers tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
Volume One describes John Lewis’s childhood, his participation in lunch counter sit-ins, and his first arrest. In Volume Two, he recalls his participation in the Freedom Rides, protests in Birmingham, and the March on Washington. Volume Three talks about the SNCC’s efforts to register voters in Alabama and the march from Selma to Montgomery (which included the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge).
One thing this book does very well is demonstrate just how brutally violent responses to Civil Rights protesters were. It’s one thing to have an intellectual knowledge of the fact that protesters were often beaten. It’s another thing to see page after page of pictures of people being hit hard in the face (and much worse). Volume Two is particularly graphic in its illustration of the atrocities visited on the Freedom Riders. I don’t consider the depiction of violence in this book to be gratuitous, however. It frames the violence in a personal and specific way that shifts the reader’s perspective from an abstract sense of the danger faced by protesters to a visceral one. “Beaten” is a vague term but there’s nothing vague about what happens in this book.
Another thing this book does well is show that the Civil Rights Movement was messy, just like movements today. The story in school that I always heard around Martin Luther King Jr. Day was something like this:
Once upon a time there was segregation. That was bad. Martin Luther King Jr led a bunch of protests and marches and made a speech. Then he died and now we have a three-day holiday and segregation is gone.
The full story is, of course, much more complicated. It’s no disrespect to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to acknowledge that the civil rights movement involved many groups and many strong-willed people who were not always in accord. Lewis writes about the divisions within and between the SNCC and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference led by Dr. King, as well as the Congress of Racial Equality and the NAACP. He also writes about the role of women in the civil rights movement, and how women were crucial to the movement’s success but were frustrated by their lack of recognition.
As the Civil Rights Movement progressed, SNCC members struggled to determine the role, if any, that white people should take in the movement, as well as when, if ever, to engage in self-defense. All of the organizations struggled with choosing which fights to take on and when to retreat.
I suspect that every reader will take away something different from this book. I found myself inspired by the imperfection of the movement. Despite the divisions within and between groups, they were all able to focus on a common goal and often were part of each other’s projects, bringing different strengths. I was especially touched by the friendship that Lewis developed with Malcolm X, who offered Lewis emotional support when Lewis was discouraged — despite their very different approaches to activism.
Above all, this is a tremendous story – well paced, moving, with complex characters. It reminds us that segregation in the Jim Crow form was ended by people – imperfect, tired, cranky, flawed, but completely dedicated people, not saints. It’s a powerful reminder that we, the imperfect people that we are, also have the ability to create change, and that change is still very much needed.
Heaven only knows when I'm going to be able make these. I'm trying to lose 5kg (10lbs) in the next year...
Maybe if I make one batch for every quilting event I attend and only have two each time? That could work...
I've been trying to write. It's really really difficult right now since we're in the middle of a heatwave, and I think my brain has shut down. Sleeping last night was awful.
Two hours later and it's cooled down, and all I want to do at this point is quilt!
UGGGGH MUSE WHYYYY?
Also, Monday afternoon (after the gym) was not terrible. Yesterday was bad - going down steps hurt. Today? Today has been absolute and utter hell. I need to remember to have a epsom salts bath for an hour or two before going to bed. At least I'll sleep better tonight - the temp has come down from an insane 41C in the middle of the day, to a comfortable 24C, the windows are open and we are ventilating something fierce!
I'll be doing an introductory post shortly, for the new people.
Author: Beren (aka Tasha)
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story is canon compliant until the end of Order of the Phoenix and then goes AU. None of the HBP or Deathly Hallows plot will be used, or the Horcruxes for that matter since this story was planned before we knew the details about those things, and hence has it's own fanon. This includes birthdays and other information that have since been revealed on Pottermore and in further productions.
Summary: The threat of open war in on the horizon. The Order and the Ministry are of one accord and both know that where Harry Potter is, Voldemort will eventually be. Preparations are being made and this time the side of the light will not be caught unawares.
Summer classes, sabotage, revelations about Draco's father, teaching and the final showdown with Voldemort all await Harry and Draco in this exciting sequel to Gold Tinted Spectacles (LJ | AO3 | Wattpad).
Author's Notes: This is the second story in the Hecatemae universe. It starts up just after the end of the first instalment and I advice reading that one first so you understand the premise. Thanks go to my sister Sophie for the beta reading.
It has taken me 12 years to finally get around to finishing this, I very much hope everyone enjoys it.
Link to other parts: LJ | DW | AO3 | Wattpad
New chapters will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
( Chapter 8 - Not On the Same Page )
D.E. Stevenson was a prolific and beloved writer who lived from 1892 – 1973, though her first book was published in 1923. She wrote character-centered books like the Mrs. Tim series – a series that I have read dozens of times in a state of hypnotized bliss despite the fact that nothing much happens in it. She also wrote more dramatic romances and mysteries, such as Smoldering Fire and The Young Clementina. If there’s one single book that our family loves more than any other D.E. Stevenson book, it’s the gently hilarious Miss Buncle’s Book, which was originally published in 1934.
Miss Buncle’s Book is about Miss Buncle, a woman who falls upon hard economic times and decides to write her way out of them. Miss Buncle writes a book titled Disturber of the Peace about a small English village called Copperfield. She publishes it under the name “John Smith.” She fills this imaginary village with characters who are quite settled in their rather humdrum lives until a piper comes to town and sets an enchantment upon it. Suddenly everyone in Copperfield begins seeing life in a whole new way – two women run off to Samarkand together, a confirmed bachelor proposes to his neighbor, an abused wife leaves her husband for another man, etc.
The book is a hit, which is great for Miss Buncle. However, she does have a serious problem. Miss Buncle is a firm believer in the “write what you know” principle and when she wrote her book she based every character on people who live in her own village, Silverstream. Because she described the residents of Silverstream in such detail, changing nothing but the names, her neighbors recognize themselves as soon as they get hold of the book.
Disturber of the Peace plays the same role in the very real Silverstream that the piper plays in the fictional Copperfield. Most people are furious to see themselves in the book. Others are amused, and a few remain clueless. As the people of the village try to figure out who among them is “John Smith,” they start to break their old habits – often in ways just like their counterparts in Disturber of the Peace. Meanwhile, Miss Buncle keeps her head down, tries to avoid suspicion, and works on a sequel. This brings her into frequent contact with her publisher, Mr. Abbott – a single man of great practicality and kindness.
Miss Buncle’s Book isn’t exactly a romance. It’s more of a commentary about romance – both ‘romance’ in the sense of romantic love and ‘romance’ in the sense of adventure and change. There’s a romance between Miss Buncle and Mr. Abbott and several others as well. There are happily and unhappily married couples, and the descriptions of those couples in conversation says volumes about the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
For the most part, Miss Buncle’s Book is not a laugh out loud book. Its humor is gentle and understated but very funny nonetheless. It’s also a delightful ode to the power of the written word. Miss Buncle has no intention of doing anything other than raising some funds (she considers raising hens as an alternative) but once she starts writing, she can’t stop, and once people start reading her book, they can’t stop reading. Pretty soon they are acting out dreams they may not have even known they had, as though the act of reading about people doing amazing things makes amazing things possible. Even Miss Buncle finds herself acting more like her fictional and more stylish counterpart, Elizabeth Wade.
Catnip alert: the romance between Miss Buncle and Mr. Abbott takes place between two middle-aged people (or at least people who feel middle aged by the standards of the time), as does the romance between Colonel Weatherhead and Dorothea. One might also delight in reading between the lines of the relationship between Miss King and Miss Pretty, longtime roommates who are clearly devoted to each other. There are no passionate love scenes in the book, although readers are scandalized by a passionate love scene in Disturber of the Peace.
Despite not involving scenes in which the earth moves, the fates of all the characters are quite satisfying. Indeed, this book is so satisfying that whenever I finish it I feel almost smug. While the book has multiple sequels, I keep returning to this first installment and Miss Buncle’s newfound romance with writing.
2. Carla got the baby gate taken to the UPS store today. We didn't even open the package (in fact, I had tried to cancel the order before it was shipped, but it was too late). It was only $16, but I'm glad that's one less thing we need.
3. I have fallen back into the bad habit of not eating much in the way of veggies again lately and my digestive system is not happy about it, so I'm trying to get back to eating salads for dinner several times a week and I had a delicious one tonight. Having a huge salad for lunch every day is one thing I really miss from my days of working from home. Now I don't even eat any meals at work, maybe just a quick snack, because I never have time to sit and eat, but even when I did take a lunch break, I never felt like taking a salad because it's a pain in the ass.
4. Carla caught Jasper just as he was about to yawn and he looks super adorable.
Horse-snowboarding! A new snow sport. (link goes to German broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, with link to video, 1 min 40 seconds.)
This one doesn't reflect well on me, because the article is about serious stuff (refugees in Belgrade) but I was distracted by the photo that went with it. It struck me as very Caravaggiesque, in the bold perspective as well as in the light-and-dark of it. At first I didn't understand what the main figure was doing; his lifted hand seemed to me to be raised in recognition of significance, or maybe sheltering/shielding the other figure - which was my misreading entirely, of course, but I thought I'd share the picture with you nonetheless. (And the article's good, too.)
Okay! Resolutions - ( How did I go in 2016? )
( So what's the plan for 2017? )
There! The long-delayed New Year's resolutions post is done - and now to make a sticky post to record books I've read, as I read them, in 2017
Out of the cut: I loved it. It's really good and it you have a shred of love for musicals, you'll love it too. Watching 'Singin' in the Rain' before it really worked for me.
( Reaction. )
“At some point in my teens, my dad walked in on me kissing a girl on the living room couch, and he called me downstairs for a ‘private discussion’ and seemed very upset, though I honestly had no idea why. He asked if we were ‘practicing,’ and I laughed and said something obnoxious like, ‘No, Dad, we’ve pretty much got it down,’ and I watched him just deflate. He had no idea what to say or do, and I think even realized that he wasn’t totally sure why he was mad. A few hours later he interrupted us again to yell at me about putting the cheese away wrong –not wrapping it up properly– and he was way more upset than one would need to be over refrigerator cheese etiquette, but eventually I learned how to wrap cheese up properly and he learned that it was just as uncomfortable for him when I kissed boys, so he might as well stay out of the whole thing." - Devin Grayson
Trigger warning for sexual abuse, misogyny, and homophobia.
16 of 48 pages after the cut.
( Read more... )
Kimi no na wa/Your Name: A girl and a boy, living in separate places, switches bodies from time to time. Then, curious, he goes on a trip to visit her. The use of nonlinear narrative is well-applied without ever being messy. Very much a teen romance, and I don't mean it in a bad way, only that the ending might be a little forced.
( Trailer )
I tried watching Arrow, the CW series. Five episodes are enough. Not even Felicity can make me stay.
Legend of the Condor Heroes 2017: Is the fifth TV adaptation that I watch. (There's no dedication like an old fangirl's dedication) Production values are good if not grand. Color schemes are eye-catching without being gaudy. "Iron Blood Loyal Heart" from TVB's 1982 version is used as both the opening and ending themes - the series is very aware it has to attract both veteran viewers and newer ones.
Eight episodes in, I continue to heart it. I don't feel like, because this is the only Jin Yong series available rn, I have no other choice and must enjoy it. A new JY series I can watch with a minimum amount of frustration! Series is not only interested in showcasing pretty young people but also the older ones! That's satisfying for old viewers like yours truly!
Scenes that are inherently dramatic are presented with few to no extra frills. The fight scenes are progressively better edited. Story details mostly stick to those of the novel which is a bloody relief after 2008.
Yang Xuwen's Guo Jing is a pleasant surprise - he expresses every facet of the character at just the right level, neither over-the-top nor restrained. Li Yitong's Huang Rong never looks mean enough, or that meanness could be reserved for later.
The casting directors deliberately made choices that differ from the previous versions. Although you could argue that Yang Xuwen's Kpop idol looks are what's in. After Shui Ling, Meng Ziyi is the second fiercest-looking Mu Nianci. Would her character protest more against Yang Kang?
Right, Yang Kang. What sort of character interpretation does the series offer? Probably one that's closer to the 1994 version, where his villainy is brought up at the most unfortunate moments, with none of the confused, spoiled boy angle. So far I 100% approve of the cunning and manipulative prince approach.
Also approved: Ouyang Ke as an evil pervert. When he's not being that, he's cool.
Mei Chaofeng with hair ornaments may not be a trend for upcoming versions that I look forward to. The protruding veins on her hands are a nice touch, though.
This is the third time I watch Zong Fengyang as a Jin Yong villain and he continues to be good. If he's not being good, you can be sure it's the script.
Most fatherly Genghis Khan ever heheheh. For Jebe they pick a fiery-looking younger actor instead of a dignified older one, making him look more like Guo Jing's older brother.
Yang Tiexin is so distant? Like, I'm used to his TV portrayal being pretty emotional, while in the novel he's not, but here he has little chemistry with Bao Xiruo and Mu Nianci. But again, since this indicates Yang Family Drama won't be part of the series, I'll roll with it.
At this pace, 52 episodes are too many - 40 like in the 1994 version would suffice.
Below the cut: OP & ED clips with "Iron Blood Loyal Heart" in Mandarin.
( OP-ED )