why always so blue?

  • Oct. 18th, 2017 at 11:33 AM
There was a most adorable pug in a bag on the subway this morning. It reminded me of Gizmo from Gremlins. It looked a little skeptical about the whole bag situation but was really well-behaved. And so cute!

Work continues to be ridiculously busy because in addition to my own job, they keep adding things to my to do list from jobs that aren't currently filled, so I'm doing three people's jobs. It's bullshit, and I would rant but I'm not locking the post so. Whatever. I don't get paid nearly enough for this.

Yesterday, I got an email from the realtor, who'd gotten an email from the management agent who was like, "There's no estimated monthly mortgage payment in this loan commitment letter" and I said to myself, says I, "I wondered about the exact same thing!" So the loan officer forwarded the loan estimate letter that I'd gotten back in September with the estimated monthly payment. They also wanted proof of my "bonus" since it wasn't listed in my salary verification letter so I had to send them the pay stub and the letter explaining it as a "one time extra wage payment" since that is what they call it in order to not have to tax it like a bonus, but it was a deposit that shows up on my bank statement and then in my taxable income and therefore needs an explanation. Luckily, after all that was forwarded, the agent said she was sending the application to the board for their review, so hopefully I get called for an interview soon.

In other news, I got a clean bill of health from the dentist, so I'm free from that for another six months. Of course, I totally ruined the minty fresh feel of my mouth by having cheesy garlic bread for dinner, but eh, sometimes a woman needs cheesy garlic bread, bad breath be damned.

***

Wednesday reading meme:

What I've just finished
The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3) by Rick Riordan, which I enjoyed a lot, especially the spoilers )

What I'm reading now
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, the Practical Magic prequel focusing on the aunts. I love the aunts! I love seeing them as young women! I love everything to do with them and their relationship with their aunt who fills the role for them that they do for Sally and Gillian in PM.

I do not love their super special most handsomest and most powerfulest baby brother who spoilers )

What I'm reading next
Too many books to pick one out of the pack just yet!

***

with heart

  • Oct. 17th, 2017 at 8:13 PM
Kate Elliott, Buried Heart (2017)
(and "Bright Thrones," the novella between #2 and #3)

I can say even less about Heart than about Blade, its predecessor. This is one of the rare times when I like the middle book best of a trilogy. I think that the YA-ness of this trilogy has limited (by complexity and book-space) the treatment of relevant social issues raised by the story; it is good that they are raised, but several choices in #3 make sense to me only because the book is YA and needs a relatively small number of characters. Things have fitting ends within that constraint, but I'm not quite satisfied. Still a good read.

Tags:

does anybody else know you like i do?

  • Oct. 17th, 2017 at 1:38 PM
Yesterday, I checked to make sure my application package had been delivered and FedEx said there was a delivery exception!!! the business was closed!!! and I was like, "!!!" but luckily it was reattempted and delivered by noon instead of 10:30 am. Still, though. Can nothing just go smoothly?

In other news, I just wrote and deleted a writing rant, but suffice it to say, "start as close to the end as possible" remains one of the best and most useful bits of writing advice I ever heard.

***

this is not my beautiful wife

  • Oct. 16th, 2017 at 10:50 AM
Yesterday, I scheduled my grocery delivery for the 8 am - 10 am slot, since I had plans for the afternoon, and so I set my alarm for 7:30 so I could at least have brushed my teeth and put on pants, but I hit snooze instead of getting up, and then the doorbell rang at 7:45. Needless to say, teeth were not brushed and pants were not acquired - I did pull on a pair of boxer shorts before I answered the door, but I was still half-asleep while the guy handed me my groceries.

I guess being early like that almost makes up for two weeks ago, when they didn't show up at all? Even though they said they delivered it to someone in the household? And I spent half an hour on the phone with Amazon assuring them that as the only person who lives in my household, I had not received any groceries. They refunded my money, of course, but it meant I had to actually go do grocery shopping. And then my baby spring greens froze (I think it was the packaging? because the bagged salad doesn't do that) and I had to buy lunch all week anyway, because ugh, salad that has frozen and then defrosted is all limp and slimy and I couldn't bear a week of lunches of it.

In better news, my plans yesterday were meeting up with [personal profile] tenaciousmetoo, her husband, and [personal profile] innie_darling to go see the 30th anniversary screening of The Princess Bride, which was, of course, fantastic. It opened with Ben Mankiewicz interviewing Rob Reiner, and Rob Reiner telling cute stories about the filming of the movie (and then there was a second brief interview segment bookending the movie).

The movie still holds up. It's still sweet and funny and romantic and funny, eminently quotable with iconic performances, sword fights, pirates, evil princes, and true love conquering all. Do I wish Buttercup were a little more active in the fire swamp? I do. But I am heartened by having seen Robin Wright as General Antiope in Wonder Woman, and the progression of yet another princess from my youth (I was 17 when TPB came out, so I can't say childhood) becoming a general. Anyway! It was great to see it on the big screen again, and I definitely recommend it.

Then we had dinner at the Grey Dog - the food was good but the music was loud - and talked for a couple of hours. All in all, a great way to spend a grey October afternoon.

And then the Giants actually won last night! A game where they were supposed to be annihilated! So that was fun. *g* But now I am very sleepy and wish I was home in bed instead of at my desk at work. Sigh.

***

some things, including fiber monday

  • Oct. 15th, 2017 at 8:11 PM
First (1.), a question: every sewing blog that mentions "interfacing" shows something that's essentially plastic, and the bit of fusible interfacing I've seen in person is the same. What was used in its place before polymers seeped into daily life? Something like organza/organdy?
And: it's pretty clearly a Western European-based tradition to use interfacing. Do pre-colonial-influence sewing conventions in other parts of the world do something similar---is it actually generally useful for a neckline---or does W Euro-influenced sewing assume that interfacing is necessary because it's become commonplace and unquestioned? (I have to question the casual inclusion of dairy or wheat all the bloody time now, so I feel free to question this, too.) I mean general tunic and vest shapes, excluding anything ultra-fancy for one-time wear.

2. Status: I didn't knit much this week despite ample opportunity because dry fall air and raging fires a county or two over == chapped hands, rough enough to snag worsted-weight wool, never mind a laceweight wool/silk blend.

3. After ten minutes failing to revisit Stardew Valley productively (there was a plan and I'm happy to have forgotten it), I've begun playing Torment: Tides of Numenera at last.
Current reading, btw: Axie Oh's Neo Seoul, YA with a near-future dystopian setting. I love the fact that the title is a pun: in English, neo = new, two syllables; in Korean, reading neo as monosyllabic , it's a near-homophone for English "no soul." Thank you for letting so many things stand, Lee & Low (publishers).

4. Read more... )

A time to pull away the football

  • Oct. 15th, 2017 at 9:52 AM
So [personal profile] rachelmanija is trying to start a campaign to pull the nuclear football away from Trump's grip.

I Google, and found Charlie Brown's Greatest Misses: Every 'Peanuts' Football Gag Comic. Some of the panels seemed ... strangely apposite.

Free to take, use, modify, do what you will. Pull the football, save the world.

Instarec

  • Oct. 14th, 2017 at 7:36 PM
I downloaded the album Red Planet by 볼빨간사춘기 (Bolbbalgan Sachungi, which means Blushing Adolescence, sometimes awkwardly translated at Blushing Puberty, and generally Romanized as Bolbbalgan4 ... "sa" being 4 in Korean) last night, and I've pretty much had it on repeat ever since.

Bolbbalgan4 is a K-indie singer-songwriter duo that rose to fame through appearances on the Korean tv show Superstar K. I've never actually watched that show...they crossed my radar simply because their singles are always at the top of Korean streaming charts. When I finally hunted down their songs, I realized I'd heard some of them before while out and about.

Their overall sensibility reminds me a bit of Akdong Musician. Like AKMU's Play, Red Planet is remarkably solid as an album. It's very consistent in overall tone/mood, and there isn't a single track that makes me want to press the skip button. So instead of adding a couple of the best songs to my heavy rotation playlist, I'm putting the entire album on repeat, in order. It's a happy thing.

(Also, they're totally adorable. I kinda want to feed them and pat them on the head.)

four embedded videos )

Whatchya listening to these days?

Tooting No Award's horn

  • Oct. 15th, 2017 at 9:02 AM
The proper grown-up blog I share with [personal profile] yiduiqie has been linked from some amazing places in the last month, and I just want to document it for posterity and ego boosting:
  • The New Yorker linked to our 2015 post about the sinister subtext of Thomas the Tank Engine. Yes, that New Yorker. Ain't no thang. *hairflip*
  • (That article was then shared at BoingBoing, where the comments were filled with nerds taking our silly post very seriously indeed.)
  • BookRiot's crime fiction podcast discussed our post on why we're not supporting the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries film Kickstarter, and our earlier post (linked in our recent one) about the racism in the books and TV series, and how it's something that non-Australians seem to overlook.
  • The podcast included a wonderful bit where the hosts were like, "Well, these Australian ladies say the books are problematic, but we wanted to make up our own mind, so we read one each." But they chose the books at random, and had the misfortune to end up with Blood and Circuses, The One With The Infamous Clown Sex. (If you watched the series -- which I really love, when it's not being incredibly racist -- you should take a moment to appreciate the lack of clown sex. Really.) Anyway, they concluded that, yes, the books are very bad in terms of exotifying and othering people of non-Anglo backgrounds, but they're also just not well-written and ... bad. Which is fair. 
  • And The Monthly, an Australian publication whose essays and articles appeal to flat white-sipping inner-city lefties (so, me), linked to our first Discovery post in an article about angry, racist nerds complaining that Trek is "suddenly" appealing to an "SJW" agenda.
  • (I am extremely proud to get the word "feelpinions" into The Monthly, BUT I also wonder if my use isn't a bit defensive, ie, no one can accuse me of being emotional, irrational or otherwise a silly lady fan if I say it first. Am I putting myself at a disadvantage by emphasising that my posts are reactions, not reviews, and that my opinions derive from my emotions? On the other hand, what is television for but to elicit an emotional reaction?)
Finally, here is this week's Discovery post, which I almost didn't share because it wasn't wholly positive and ... IDK, I guess I've become protective of this ridiculous show, and don't want to play into the narrative of it being The Worst. On the other hand, it made some Bad Choices this week, along with some better ones. (And I note that the dude reviewers who have decried it as being The Worst really liked this episode, which only reassures me that I'm on the right track.)

I answered the first ten questions of this meme here, and now I'm doing the second set of 10:

Ship Questions for your Current Fandom

11. Who is your current OTP?
I guess if my "current" fandom is technically Star Wars, then Han/Leia is my current OTP. *hands* And also Rey/Finn and Obi-Wan/Satine and Kanan/Hera.

12. Who is your current OT3?
Rey/Finn/Poe. Anakin/Padme/Obi-Wan (which is more...how could these relationships be better/more healthy than fervent shipping; but they do work better as a trio. IJS).

13. Any NoTPs?
Didn't I already answer this last time? Reylo for Star Wars, definitely.

14. Go on, who are your BroTPs?
Han and Luke, I guess? Though I'm okay with Luke being there as part of the OT3 with Han and Leia. *hands*

15. Is there an obscure ship which you love?
Obi-Wan/Satine. Obi-Wan/Ventress. Also, Anakin/Ahsoka. I would also love some Ahsoka/Steela if people would write it.

16. Are there any popular ships in your fandom which you dislike?
Hux/Ren. Ugh. DO NOT WANT.

17. Who was your first OTP and are they still your favourite?
HAN/LEIA. OTP OF OTPS.

18. What ship have you written the most about?
I haven't really written much ship fic in Star Wars.

19. Is there a ship which you wished you could get behind, but you just don’t feel them?
Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan. I guess I can see why people ship them but I find them a huge yawn and have mostly been unable to sustain interest in reading fic about them where the romantic relationship is the focus. See also Finn/Poe, which doesn't interest me unless Rey is also present. I also just don't get any of the Obi-Wan/clones fic. I mean, knock yourselves out, but I don't get it.

20. Any ships which you surprised yourself by liking?
Obi-Wan/Anakin. Which - I don't read most of the fic for it, because I don't see it a regular romance? But I have a hard time with them being separated (before Anakin turns evil, I mean) even if they are technically involved with other people.

***
These are very gossipy shallow reactions, but maybe I will get back into the swing of posting, who knows.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S03E01 )

Jane the Virgin S04E01 )

Arrested Development vids

  • Oct. 14th, 2017 at 10:01 AM
A few Arrested Development vids:

Gob/Tony: Origin of Love
Genre: slash, friendship, romance
Summary: All of his life all Gob has ever wanted was to be loved. But even though Gob does everything for his family’s approval, he won’t ever be good enough for them. Along comes Tony Wonder and for the first time Gob doesn’t have to be ashamed of who he is…

On AO3: Origin of Love


Gob&Michael: Everything I Do
Genre: gen, brotherly love, family
Summary: A vid about Gob and Michael's relationship from season 1-4, including lots of hugs, brotherly love and also a bit of roughhousing because that's just who they are.

On AO3: Everything I Do


Ensemble vid: 9 to 5
Genre: ensemble, gen, humor, family
Summary: A normal day at work for the Bluth family. - Humor vid featuring the Arrested Development gang and their work ethic.

On AO3: 9 to 5

Ballads

  • Oct. 13th, 2017 at 1:44 PM
K-pop loves its sentimental ballads. Traditionally they haven't done much for me, but lately they've matched my melancholy mood. Here are a few that I have on heavy rotation.

embedded videos behind cut )

New Vid - In Memory of Chuck and Sarah

  • Oct. 13th, 2017 at 1:33 PM
Fandom: Chuck (TV)
Pairing: Charah (Chuck/Sarah)
Song: Rivers and Roads by the Head and the Heart
Summary: Chuck premiered over 10 years ago. It still has my heart.
Program: PowerDirector 15

Youtube



#PullTheFootball

  • Oct. 13th, 2017 at 9:17 PM
I've mentioned the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act before. This is the bill that would prevent the US President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war.

But there have been some recent news stories that make it particularly clear why this is important:

NYT: Mr. Trump Alone Can Order a Nuclear Strike. Congress Can Change That.

RawStory: GOP official imagines Kelly and Mattis discussed tackling Trump in the event he ‘lunges for the nuclear football’: report

TPM: Houston, We Have a Problem. LA, Chicago, STL, ATL, NYC, You Guys Too

[personal profile] rachelmanija has a post with everything: explanation, who to contact, scripts, a hashtag and an aspiration to go viral:

[personal profile] rachelmanija: Pull The Football - Save the World

Look, I grew up in the late '70s and '80s and I was a very anxious child who (like so many) read Raymond Briggs' When The Wind Blows way too early because a lot of adults didn't realize it wasn't a children's book, and also a book on how to prepare for all possible disasters (nuclear war included) which I found in my grandmother's house because anxiety is severely over-determined in my family. I still remember about building a lean-to from doors and whitewashing your windows, okay?

(And yes, I know that the UK is unlikely to be a direct target unless things spread and more countries get pulled in, whereas the South Koreans are absolutely fucked, but I can't even start getting into that kind of calculation before my brain shorts out because it's horrific to even be at the point of thinking about that.)

I am not interested in panicking or freaking out because I know that I can't live at that pitch of terror, and I have to secure the blast doors on my brain and not think about certain shit.

But if we do what we can do, we might be able to make the world substantially safer on this one front.

If you're in the US, contact your representatives and signal-boost on social media. If you're not in the US (like me), signal-boost for those who are. Take what action you can, then return to going lalalalait'llneverhappen because that's how we get through our fucking days, okay?

Let's give this one a shot, and may Stanislav Petrov's spirit watch over and bless us.

plug it in, change the world

  • Oct. 13th, 2017 at 2:50 PM
Well, the coop board application package is all spiffed up and waiting to be picked up by FedEx. keep your fingers crossed!

***

Brooklyn Nine Nine: Kicks
Huh. I'd have definitely named this episode after the flan, but that's just me. spoilers )

The Good Place: Existential Crisis
spoilers )

***
The Good Place is such a delight I don't even know how to talk about it. All I want to do is burble.

If you're not watching it, it's a half-hour afterlife comedy about a slacker (Kristen Bell) who has been accidentally misassigned to the "Good Place" (Heaven) after her death, and has to keep the mistake secret from the powers that be (Ted Danson), while trying to figure out how to be a good person -- or at least a good enough person not to stick out. Fortunately for her, she's assigned a soulmate (William Harper Jackson) who was an ethics professor in life.

I don't know how to convince you to watch this. The show is so much stranger, more surreal, and sillier than the setup portends. It is hilarious and moving; it burns through plot like a brushfire (avoid spoilers, I mean it); and the cast is so good, I mean, they are so amazing, not just Bell and Danson, but newcomers like Jackson and D'Arcy Carden as an omniscient database and Jameela Jamil as a socialite philanthropist and Manny Jacinto as a surprising sweetheart. The first season is streaming on Netflix and the second season is airing now.

Spoiler note: the numbering for this season is confusing, since some sources consider the first hour, aired together in a single night, as a single episode. I don't. The latest episode I discuss below the spoiler cut aired 10/12/17.

Spoilers have a thirteen-point scale where eight is the highest score )

Most people still don't get it

  • Oct. 13th, 2017 at 11:10 AM
I've been reading a lot about the Weinstein sexual harassment saga these days. And I've seen a lot of wrong opinions.

The first set is some version of, we need clearer boundaries between work and personal life. Or, men are spooked and therefore won't meet casually with women employees. This group continues to assume the Weinsteins of the world are a product of some kind of misunderstanding - men and women get their signals confused, and whoops, a woman feels harassed. That's incorrect. Men know exactly what they are doing; they claim it was a misunderstanding after the fact to absolve themselves. When other men buy into the myth - by refusing to, say, meet privately with women for fear of being falsely accused - they not only stall women's careers, but shore up the narrative that predators are simply men who are awkward at expressing benign sexual interest.

The second set of wrong opinions suggests that Weinstein was only able to get away with it because he's powerful. This column is an example; it suggests that Hollywood is too deferential to talent. I mean, maybe that's true to some degree, but you also have stories like these, where Blake Lively couldn't get anyone to take complaints about a makeup artist seriously. Powerful men might be able to harass more easily, but fundamentally, this is not about worship of power or talent; this is about men who feel entitled to women, backed by other men.

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