September 24th, 2017
gramarye1971: white teacup of green tea with wooden chopsticks (Tea and Chopsticks)
posted by [personal profile] gramarye1971 at 03:47pm on 24/09/2017 under , ,
For the [community profile] remixrevival exchange, I was matched with [archiveofourown.org profile] makiyakinabe, and ended up going a little outside of my comfort zone to remix an AU I've never tried to write before: a daemon (His Dark Materials) AU of the World War II espionage anime Joker Game. The original fic, tools of the trade, put an interesting spin on the concept, so I kept the basic plot structure and made some tweaks to reinterpret the concept for a non-Christian culture. The result came out as Tsukumogami (The Subtle Knife Remix), and though I had to rework the ending a few times before I was completely satisfied with it, I think this idea turned out well.

In turn, I very much enjoyed the remix written from my own story -- Turn the Page (Don't Fear the Ending) by the always-delightful [personal profile] edenfalling! Based on The Monster at the End of This Book, a missing-scene fic for Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories, the remix does an excellent job of presenting one of the important implicit themes in the book, about the choices that people (and women in particular) make when they feel that they aren't in control of their own stories. I highly recommend both the original book and this fic!
musesfool: jensen, laughing (too pretty to die)
posted by [personal profile] musesfool at 03:26pm on 24/09/2017 under , ,
Friday night, L and I went out for dinner for her birthday to a newish place in the neighborhood, and it was so nice. Expensive, but really nice. Burrata stuffed ravioli with roasted grape tomatoes! Steak frites! Moscato! And I had this delicious Café liégeois for dessert.

Yesterday, I started watching s1 of Wynonna Earp, as recommended by some of you, and I'm enjoying it so far, though it is also making me miss the first two seasons of Supernatural, or more accurately, Dean Winchester. This show is sisters fighting demons, and while writing-wise it's about the same level as SPN (though nothing quite sticks in my head like, "We were raised like warriors, Dean!" there have been a couple of moments where something happens, and then the rest of the episode acts like it didn't happen? And I don't mean lingering plot threads for later. I mean, like, the writers forgot what just happened previously?), but it has a lot fewer dead ladies so far spoiler ), and also Waverly, who is THE BEST NO LIE. is this a spoiler? ) The special effects are kind of 90s syndication terrible, but I don't mind that much. I don't even mind the love triangle that much, because Wynonna is just going to do what she wants, instead of being torn between the two choices, both of whom are interesting int heir own ways (though I personally would choose Dolls, despite whatever secrets he's been keeping; at least you know he didn't sleep with your great-great-grandfather).

I guess I'll finish season 1 tonight, and then see if I can track down where season 2 is streaming. (as an aside, I started watching this because Killjoys - also recommended by many of you - is still not on Netflix. Why?)

Now I have a terrible headache, which is not being helped by the Giants being terrible. Sigh. At least hockey starts soon?

eta: I guess I shouldn't complain too much - the Giants have just stormed back with 3 TDs in the 4th to take the lead.

eta 2: I take it back. I was right the first time.

***
Music:: Giants v. Eagles on tv
Mood:: headachy
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Dear Senator Johnson:

You have been saying terrible things about people with "pre-existing" conditions for all of 2017, comparing us to cars, saying that we should pay more for our healthcare, even though most "pre-existing" conditions are not caused by anything a person does or by bad choices they make. In fact, since pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition," you are actively punishing people for having families--which seems to run counter to the agenda the Republican Party has been pushing for years The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, which callously strips all protections from people like me (and which makes it entirely possible that a premature baby will hit his or her lifetime cap before leaving the hospital for the first time), makes it clear that in fact you have no idea of what it's like not to be able to afford healthcare, or to have a chronic, incurable condition, and that you don't even have enough imagination to be able to empathize with the people whose lives you are destroying.

Moreover, given that there is astonishing unity among healthcare professionals, patients' interest groups, and major insurers (plus all fifty Medicaid administrators and a current count of eighteen governors), it is quite clear that you aren't doing this because it's a good idea. You don't care whether it will be good or bad for your constituents. All you care about--and more than one of your Republican colleagues have admitted as much--is repealing "Obamacare." You're doing this because you made a campaign promise, and you're too blindly self-centered to see that this is a promise that would be better honored in the breach than in the observance. You and your colleagues are behaving childishly, destroying something only because you hate the person who built it. The ACA is not failing, as you keep claiming it is, Senator. It is suffering mightily from obstructionism and deliberate sabotage from you and your colleagues, and, yes, it does need reform. But your proposal isn't reform. It's wanton demolition of legislation that is working, legislation that is succeeding in making the lives of Americans better, demolition which you are pushing without the slightest consideration of its effects on the people you claim you serve.

I'm not writing this letter because I expect you will change your mind--or, frankly, even read it. I'm writing this letter because I'm angry and scared and unbelievably frustrated with your deliberately cruel and blindly stupid determination to do something that no one in this country wants. You won't change your mind, but you can't say you didn't know there was opposition.

P.S. I'd still really like to see you denounce white supremacism, Senator. Because right now, I unwillingly believe you don't think there's anything wrong with it.

***

Dear Ms. DeVos:

I am appalled at your decision to roll back the protections given to sexual assault survivors by Title IX. I'm not surprised, because it's perfectly in line with the other cruel, short-sighted, and bigoted decisions you've made since being appointed Secretary of Education, but I honestly wonder (and I wonder this about a number of Trump appointees, so you needn't think you're alone) how you live with yourself. How do you justify, even if only to yourself, the damage you're doing? Do you believe the lies you tell?

I'm not going to quote statistics, because I'm sure they've been shown to you. I'm not going to try to change your mind with personal stories. I am going to ask, futilely, that you stop and truly think about the young women whose college careers, already catastrophically imperiled by the sexual assault they have survived, may be destroyed because of the policies you're implementing. And I'm going to ask how on earth you think this destruction is part of your mandate as Secretary of Education?

Everyone's civil rights need to be respected. I believe this strongly enough to belong to the ACLU. But victims' rights are historically ignored, trampled on, and outright broken, especially in cases of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator is white and male. I also strongly believe that the purpose of government should be to ensure that privilege is not used to skew justice. It was already crushingly difficult for sexual assault survivors to report their assailants. You have made it that much harder, and that much more likely that they will simply remain silent. I cannot help thinking that that silence is your goal, and that, Ms. DeVos, is truly shameful.
marginaliana: Pot says to Kettle "OMG, your pigmentation is a dangerous shade of #000000!!" (Pot-Kettle)
September 23rd, 2017
mirabile: made just for me (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mirabile at 06:36pm on 23/09/2017
Well, this morning my sister and her wife flew back to Hawaii after an eight-day visit here. We were up at 4:30 and out the door by five to take them to the airport, so I'm a bit tired, but I'm also really sad. I like my sister very much, and this was a great visit. They stayed with us, in our new den/guest room, which worked really well and, they tell us, was very comfortable. Yay! I took some photos, which didn't really turn out, but I'll post two anyway so you can see the new blinds on the French doors:

Den_blinds_outdoors


And here is the other end of the den:

Den_southend


We really like the blinds but mostly we like that they're installed because that's the official end of the remodel. We might do more stuff later, but right now, that's it. Done and dusted.

I spent several hours with Mother today, too, and as she said, it helped ease the pain of losing my sister until she returns in February. We had a quiet day, spending part of it in the garden, and then I massaged lotion on her arms and legs and rubbed her feet.

Anyway, my sister is three thousand miles away.

Because they were here and we were so busy, I didn't practice ukulele or yoga, and I didn't read much online. I do have a few links but first I want to recommend the documentary Score. I loved it so much and am encouraging Webster to see it as well. I gather it was kickstarter funded??? Whatever, it was really interesting and I learned a lot.

I also want to recommend a new-to-me podcast, The Fall Line. I learned about it from Georgia Hardstarck on My Favorite Murder and I'm grateful she mentioned it. Dannette and Jeannette Millbrook (often misnamed as "Millbrooks"), 15, disappeared on the afternoon of March 18, 1990. They have not been seen since. Their case was closed in 1991, and not reopened until 2013. Many neighbors expressed surprise, stating that they didn't even know the girls had gone missing, or that they heard the twins had been found.

What happened to the twins? Why was their case closed? Why did they receive so little media attention? Where does their case stand now?
Heartbreaking. Similar in structure to Somebody Knows Something, another great podcast.

I miss the ocean! So I really enjoyed this timelapse of a thirty day sea voyage. Found via Kottke, of course.

Alas, I have been paying attention to politics and we have called both our senators about that horrible health care bill, fat lot of good that will do. But as a Bay Area girl in my heart, I was pretty thrilled to read the official Golden State Warriors statement: We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. Ha!

And that's it from me. I need to recover a bit, get back into uke and yoga, and of course catch up with all of you. I hope you are well.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Not about books, but definitely a review.

Hulu has episodes from 3 seasons of A Crime to Remember, which is an Investigation Discovery show. In my ongoing love/hate relationship with true crime media, ID stands out for their high production values and for about as unexploitative an attitude as you can have. (I wonder, perhaps unworthily, if part of what makes ACtR seem thoughtful rather than vulture-like is that the executive producer and a bunch of the writers & directors are women.) I have also been very fond of Homicide Hunter, partly because the show does not try to sugarcoat Lt. Joe Kenda at all. He's very good at his job, and he is a ruthless avenging angel, but he is not a nice man. I kind of adore him. (I'm pretty sure he'd hate me, but that's okay.)

But ACtR. All the episodes are period pieces. (I joked to my therapist that they must have come up with the idea because they wanted everyone to be able to smoke on camera.) I'm not super fond of the gimmick, in which every episode has a narrator who is a minor fictional character in the real crime being portrayed, but most of the time it works okay. (It works extremely well--give credit where it's due--in "The 28th Floor" (2.4).) The actors--"character" actors all--are excellent, and most of the time they even get the accents matched up to the region. (There are exceptions.) And the producers have interview clips with true crime writers who have written about the cases; with people who investigated the cases (when those people are still alive); with Mary Ellen O'Toole and other experts in various fields; with friends and family of murderers and victims alike. They frequently featured Michelle MacNamara before her death in April 2016--pretty obviously because she was very good at conveying information clearly but without sounding scripted. And, again, because they seem to look for women. They also have gotten Catherine Pelonero more than once. (I actually haven't been able to bring myself to watch the episode about Kitty Genovese, but Pelonero does a great job in the other episodes I have watched her in.)

My true, serious beef with ACtR is its insistent trope of the loss of American innocence. Almost every case is framed as something that destroyed a piece of American innocence, and this is infuriating to me for several reasons:

1. America has never been innocent.

2. The idea of the Golden Age, the before time just out of reach in which everything was perfect, is a very, very old fallacy. (The Romans were all over it.) I think it is pernicious, because it validates reactionary attempts to return to "the good old days," which are "good" (in 20th century America) only if you are white, middle-class or above, and it helps if you're male. ACtR does deal with racism, sexism, and classism, but it doesn't seem to recognize the contradictory position it puts itself in thereby.

3. Casting these crimes as destroyers of American innocence erases crimes that went before. I can give one very specific example: "Baby Come Home" (2.8) about the 1953 kidnapping and murder of Bobby Greenlease, who was murdered before his kidnappers ever tried to extort ransom from his parents. Now I am not at all denying that what happened to Bobby Greenlease is vile and horrible and an expression of the worst part of human nature, but claiming that Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Heady somehow invented kidnapping children for ransom--or even just the worst and most cruel of bad faith negotiations after the child was already dead--erases what happened to, for one example, Charles Lindbergh, Jr. Or, for another example, Charley Ross. If there was any innocence to be lost in this particular genre of crime, it was lost in 1874, 79 years before Bobby Greenlease's death.

So, yeah. That's the one thing that I really think they get wrong. Otherwise, they do a lovely job, and they have taught me about murders I'd never heard of but I think should not be forgotten: the terrible deaths of Judge Curtis Chillingworth and his wife Marjorie in West Palm Beach in 1955; Charles Whitman's sniper assault on the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Texas in 1966 (which I knew about, but knew kind of wrongly); the bizarre murder of Betty Williams in Odessa, Texas, in 1961; the murder of Veronica Gedeon in New York in 1937, and how the case was largely solved by the editors of the true crime magazines she was a cover model for; the murder of Roseann Quinn in New York in 1973, which was the inspiration for Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and I deeply appreciate the way ACtR questions the LfMG myth and suggests that Theresa Dunn is a cruel travesty of the real Roseann Quinn and the reality of her death. If you are interested in criminology or American history (because nothing tells you more about a culture than its cause celebre murders), I commend this series to your attention.
September 22nd, 2017
musesfool: close up of the Chrysler Building (home)
This morning I met up with boss3 to do a site visit at a conference space in the Empire State Building and gosh, it was a beautiful room. I say site visit like the meeting is not actually taking place there next week (it is); it was more to introduce me to the staff on site since boss3 will be away and I will be staffing the meeting. Just like my meeting planner days! Now I have to put together the BEOs for the caterer etc. It's so fun! If I only ever had to do meetings in NYC, I would go back to meeting planning. It was the travel that killed me. Among other things. (uh, the building on my icon is the Chrysler Building, but you get the idea.)

I hadn't been to the Empire State Building since I was a kid, and [tumblr.com profile] angelgazing was like, "Why even live in NYC if you don't go to the attractions?" and I was like, "I've never even been to the Statue of Liberty." *hands* Generally speaking, the thought of masses of tourists repels more than the attractions attract. Unless someone from out of town wants to go, I generally don't do those kinds of things, though they are always fun when I do.

Anyway. The Good Place had its season 2 premiere Wednesday night, but it started at 10 pm and when I saw that I was like, "oh hell no!" I am not cut out for 10 pm shows anymore. So I set the DVR and watched it last night.

Spoilers from here on out! Please don't read if you haven't watched. It's a show that works best unspoiled the first time around! spoilers for all of s1 and the s2 premiere )

[personal profile] rachelmanija has a much more thoughtful post here.

***
Mood:: 'bouncy' bouncy
Music:: Sweet Jane - Lou Reed
September 21st, 2017
imogeneherdman: (Default)
imogeneherdman: (Default)
musesfool: mal & zoe, out of gas (can't take the sky)
Monday night, [personal profile] innie_darling and I met up to see the new Jake Gyllenhaal/Tatiana Maslany movie about the Boston Marathon bombing, Stronger. The acting was good, I thought. It was not the kind of movie I would have sought out on my own, but I was glad to have seen it.

While we were waiting for the movie to start, we were talking about fannish things as per usual, and about how I sometimes classify a pairing as "I don't not ship it" and in thinking about it more over the past couple of days, I came up with my own personal taxonomy of shipping:

- OTP OF OTPS (i.e., the all-time greats, ironclad, no matter what)
- OTP
- I ship it!
- I don't not ship it
- I could/might be convinced to ship it
- I don't care (i.e., if it shows up in a story that otherwise has things going for it, I'll keep reading, but I don't seek it out)
- meh, I don't ship it / it bores me so I don't read it
- I dislike it but whatever, other people can do what they like, I can scroll past
- NOTP (i.e., it's blocked so I don't have to sully my eyes with it)

Generally, when I talk about a pairing as as "I don't not ship it," I mean that they are people who are most definitely weird about each other, which is one of my personal flags for shipping, but in this particular classification, I don't care if they are having sex with each other or not (or with other people, depending), as long as they are somehow together – partners, brothers, whatever. I think (I hope!) it's implicit that I understand why people would ship them*, but I just...don't take that particular read on the relationship under most circumstances.

*as opposed to pairings where I don't.

And if they are having sex, I personally prefer it not to be framed romantically? Or, rather, in most cases, in terms of canon (rather than AU) settings, I don't find the usual shippy romantic tropes particularly interesting with these sorts of pairings. I mean, sure, 'there's only one bed' or fake dating are always on the table, but I don't feel like even those tropes should follow the regular narrative path. The clearest examples we came up with were Sam/Dean and Mal/Zoe, and I mean, I don't see either of those pairings as people who go on dates or have traditionally madcap rom com hijinks (which isn't to say that that couldn't be done with great results, but I don't think it could be played straight, as it were [I mean, Sam/Dean is incest, so it has its own challenges]). And she threw in Middleman/Wendy (which I do ship more traditionally), and I brought up Obi-Wan/Anakin, which is what I'm having complicated feelings about lately, and so it seems like a useful category to have. idk.

***
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful
Music:: Gravity - Vienna Teng
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
September 19th, 2017
imogeneherdman: (misc: smiley eggs)
imogeneherdman: (oglaf: friendship)
beatrice_otter: Atlantis--And the sky full of stars (Sky Full of Stars)
beatrice_otter: Atlantis--And the sky full of stars (Sky Full of Stars)
beatrice_otter: Maria Hill (Maria Hill)
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!

***
Music:: Castle - Halsey
Mood:: 'busy' busy
September 18th, 2017
beatrice_otter: Torchwood team with crime scene tape (Torchwood)
beatrice_otter: Mystique in X-Men gear from First Class (Mystique)
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)

February

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
      1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26 27
 
28