Weekly media report

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:44 pm
immlass: (banzai - no matter where you go)
[personal profile] immlass
Another week where I was out of town on the weekend and didn't do a lot of mass consumption.

Books:
- - Rivers of London: Detective Stories Issue 3. This entire series (books and comics) is a small delight and continues to be.

Movies/TV:
- Atomic Blonde. Round two for this one because a friend wanted to see it. I need to talk about it because it has things going on that became more evident on second viewing.

Music:
- Sam Heywood, Stanford: Preludes. Early 20th-century piano miniatures heavily influenced by Bach.
- Offa Rex, Offa Rex. The Decemberists partner with a British folk singer to make a record of serious English folk music. Overall I like it better than anything they've done since their long break.

UPDATE: Nazis Fuck Off Rally

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:17 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Looks like the Nazi scum saw how many people planned to show up to stand up to them in LA, and ran like the cowards they are. Apparently the Venice Nazi rally has been cancelled (but Nazi rallies are still planned in other cities). But it looks like OUR rally is still on, whether the Nazis show up or not.

I will keep updating but if our rally is happening, I'll still be there. I think it's important to show our solidarity and fire. Hey, just talking about showing up chased the Nazis out of LA before they even came - let's give them crowd photos to haunt their dreams and keep them out.
rachelmanija: (Heroes: support WGA)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The "alt-right," aka LITERAL NAZIS like the ones who murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, is planning a protest in Los Angeles this Saturday. Here's what I found when I went looking for a counter-protest. I will be there.

Obviously, this could be dangerous. But I am not letting LITERAL NAZIS march in my city unopposed. Besides, it could be a great opportunity:



Please let me know if you're going, so we can rideshare or try to meet up or something.

Defend Diversity: Fight to Protect Diversity Policies in the Workplace!!

Public · Hosted by Defend Movement and Build the Peoples' Democratic Workers' Party

Saturday at 12 PM - 3:30 PM

340 Main St, Venice, California 90291

101 in 1001 update

Aug. 15th, 2017 03:53 pm
immlass: (break the monotony)
[personal profile] immlass
One item down: we visited the Trammell Crow museum in Dallas.

Under the cut. )

Still moving along on all the other items, not at a fast enough pace. Launched my IJ game and it's going along, though I'm reminded what a grind game start can be. Need more PT and walking but that's par for the course.
tatterpixie: me and the girls (social)
[personal profile] tatterpixie
So last week was mostly spent running around. XD Ran some errands after cleaning the house on Monday, ran Mike back to the Chevy dealership in Nazareth on Tuesday to pick up his car, went to an Iron Pigs game in Allentown with Mike Thursday night (they lost XD), went to a Cupcakes and Tattoos event at Electric Cheetah Tattoos on Friday, where Angie and I each got a nifty cupcake tattoo and delicious cupcakes, and ran around Allentown and Bethlehem helping Angie with some of her GISHWHES tasks. XD The weekend I stayed in though, on account of it was THE RETURN OF PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTIE. Yay! I have been so deprived of soccer I'd taken to watching MLS soccer -- which isn't too bad in the grand scheme of things, it's just not as fast or precise a game as the European game. And that's all the sport nattering I'll do, so I don't bore you all to tears. XD

And I must have footie on the brain because this is being posted several hours later than it should have been XD

WeatherDork:
Currently at Bethlehem, PA at 2.02pm: Mostly cloudy
Temp: 76F (feels like 76F)
Humidity: 67% (dewpoint 64F)
Pressure: 30.02"
Winds: Calm
Forecast: Mostly cloudy, high 81F, low 63F

It was positively GORGEOUS last week. Temps stayed down in the upper 70s to low 80s, humidity was mostly low (til the end of the week at least, when we got more rain), and the sun when it shone was not oppressive. I'LL TAKE THIS FOR AUGUST. This week it's going to warm up a little bit before the rain returns, along with the mild temps.

On My Plate:
Tags and Other Writins:
  • From One Trickster to Another (ItNotM)
  • Some Light Research (ItNotM)
  • Putting The Band Together (ItNotM)
Art:
  • continue with scribalry practice
Etc:
  • list stuff on Ebay
  • reading: A New History of the Picts (still -- I haven't picked it up in awhile XD)
  • reading: Parsival, or A Knight's Tale
Weekly Things Checklist:
  • Thing Arted: nothing
  • Thing Writed: nothing
  • Thing Cleaned: dishes and catbox and watered plants and swept and hoovered
This week promises to be quiet. I need to catch up on scribalry stuff -- been slacking off a bit on that. MUST PERSEVERE. And I definitely need to catch up on tags! And do more cleaning! And laundry!

hrm

Aug. 14th, 2017 09:52 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Had a dream last night that was most likely triggered by watching Game of Thrones after painting scars onto a photograph of a model for a book cover--a dragon had, in the recent past, put its mouth down right on top of me and bit me, then picked me up (with my head and shoulders in its mouth) and shaken me around a bit before dropping me. So I had wounds, turning to scars, on my torso and back.

Was that was the focus of the dream was? NO. I was back at some sort of school, although I was adult or young adult, and the headmistress refused to believe my story, and I spent the time attempting to convince her.

Why are brains?

links dump

Aug. 13th, 2017 12:16 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
A Twitter thread of "good Charlottesville-based nonprofits those Nazi jerks would really hate"; donate and/or share to the extent you can.

Correctives to an article that, I admit, I shared at first: smartphones aren't destroying a generation from Slate and Psychology Today.

Oops, this mobile puzzle game Humble Bundle only has a day left: I've played and liked klocki, Hook, and Deus Ex GO, and I'm in the process of playing Zenge.

The Secret Life of the City Banana at the NYT; I love logistics-heavy looks at ordinary things like this.

Tag yourself, I'm X (that's a legible text version of this tweet).

A minute's worth of zoo animals escaping the heat; I think the last bit is my favorite.
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Dekteon, a slave in fantasyland, escapes and blunders into a strange world between worlds where horses have bear paws and he gets hired by a man who looks just like him to guard him from the terrors of the night. At least, that's the excuse. But it turns out that his new employer has a much more sinister task in mind.

This odd fantasy has some very beautiful, striking images and scenes, and the first fourth or so has a wonderfully spooky, dreamlike atmosphere. Unfortunately, once Dekteon is sent to the matriarchy of cold, bitchy moon women and the sun men they rule, the magic falls away and is replaced by an annoying plot in which he gets the better of the entire society just by being a manly man and not doing what the women say. I'm not objecting just because it's sexist. I'm also objecting because it's dumb and boring.

Not one of Tanith Lee's best. Though I do love the cover, which is 100% accurately taken from the book. A woman with an ivory bow riding a horned lion is what I read fantasy for; wish she was in a better book.

It was part of the MagicQuest series, a fantastic YA fantasy imprint which reprinted (or originally published some?) books by Patricia McKillip, Jane Yolen, Diana Wynne Jones, Peter Dickinson, Robert Westall, Paul Fisher, and Elizabeth Marie Pope. They had great covers and sometimes also great interior illustrations, and I haunted libraries and bookshops for them - all were reliably worth reading, though I liked some more than others. (I never warmed up to Peter Dickinson, and the Pied Piper book was forgettable.) Except for the Westall book, I read all its books for the first time from that imprint; it introduced me to Diana Wynne Jones and Tanith Lee.

I wish the imprint had lasted longer, but it only put out 18 books. Looking them up now, I see that I never saw or even heard of The Last Days of the Edge of the World by Brian Stableford.

Anyone else read MagicQuest? What were your favorites and least favorites?

a vid daydreaming post

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:59 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So the stuff in the prior post reminded me that I've always thought of Bruce Springsteen's "Livin' in the Future" as a Dark Tower song, and now that the movie is not good, I was daydreaming what a constructed trailer for the . . . TV show, probably . . . that we should have got would look like.

This is almost certainly impossible because of the footage that would be needed to be created from whole cloth, so this is just for fun.

spoilers for all of The Dark Tower series )

Someone give me a bazillion dollars and I'll make it happen.

a vid rec post

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:38 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Here is a wonderful Steven Universe vid by [personal profile] skygiants, which is about loving and being together even if the world might end. Disclaimer: I introduced this song to her as part of a "cheerful apocalypses" playlist called "(and I feel fine)", which you can listen to via YouTube, and I am unreasonably pleased by that. But it's still an amazing vid, it packs so many character arcs and has such great bouncy movement to match the bouncy song. If you're up through . . . I think the latest thing I recognized was S04E16, "The New Crystal Gems", you should definitely watch it.


Clean Light_ from skygiants on Vimeo.



If you like, here are links for feedback: skygiants' DW, AO3, or click through for Vimeo.

Also, I can't remember if I've recced this already, but I made the playlist before I knew about "Dance Apocalyptic", so here is another fabulous vid, this one multi-fandom, by [personal profile] eruthros and [personal profile] thingswithwings:



Comment at thingswithwings' DW or click through for YouTube.
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Please comment if you've read any of these or others by the same author.

Poll #18676 Oldie Children's Books
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 37


Beginner's Luck, by Oriel Malet. Jenny is sure she'll be a famous ballerina. Victoria is sure she has no talent. James (9) writes a poem: "O venerable is our old Ancestor, to finance our first trip to the theater."

View Answers

Fling
10 (52.6%)

Marry
3 (15.8%)

Kill
6 (31.6%)

Cherry Ames, Army Nurse, by Helen Wells. An entry I haven't read in a series I loved as a kid; a young nurse helps her patients and sometimes also solves mysteries.

View Answers

Fling
11 (52.4%)

Marry
8 (38.1%)

Kill
2 (9.5%)

The Kelpie's Pearls, by Mollie Hunter. "The story of how Morag MacLeod came to be called a witch is a queer one and not at all the sort of thing you would expect to happen nowadays."

View Answers

Fling
15 (60.0%)

Marry
7 (28.0%)

Kill
3 (12.0%)

The Little White Horse, by Eleanor Goudge. When orphaned young Maria Merryweather arrives at Moonacre Manor, she feels as if she's arrived in Paradise.

View Answers

Fling
18 (64.3%)

Marry
8 (28.6%)

Kill
2 (7.1%)

The Magic Book, by Willo Davis Roberts. Apparently the only other sff novel by the author of "The Girl With the Silver Eyes," an old favorite of mine.

View Answers

Fling
13 (59.1%)

Marry
9 (40.9%)

Kill
0 (0.0%)

Otto of the Silver Hand, written and illustrated by Howard Pyle. A historical adventure by the author of fairy tales I used to love as a kid.

View Answers

Fling
9 (47.4%)

Marry
8 (42.1%)

Kill
2 (10.5%)

The Time of the Kraken, by Jay Williams. Thorgeir Redhair must go on a quest to save his people from the kraken, since they're too busy fighting another tribe to do anything useful. By the author of my old favorite, "The Hero From Otherwhere."

View Answers

Fling
12 (60.0%)

Marry
5 (25.0%)

Kill
3 (15.0%)

We Rode to the Sea, by Christine Pullein-Thompson. Horse story by an author of other horse stories I liked as a kid.

View Answers

Fling
13 (65.0%)

Marry
4 (20.0%)

Kill
3 (15.0%)

trailers with The Dark Tower

Aug. 10th, 2017 12:02 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Geez, I almost forgot. Which is impressive considering how many of them there were.

FYI: I link to IMDB because it's stable, but on some of these, it adds these few seconds at the start that weren't in the theatrical version? So if there's a title screen that included "Official Trailer," what was in the theater started after that.

Flatliners: it is too! soon! for a reboot!

Only the Brave: I could have sworn this had a different title. Crushingly obvious-looking "inspired by a true story", about a forest-fire-fighting unit.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: I know the first of these has some devotees in fanfic fandom, but I don't go for mentor/mentee, and this just screams "trying way too hard" to me.

It: that looks pretty good! I don't do horror so I'm not getting near this with a ten-foot pole.

Birth of the Dragon: quasi-Bruce Lee biopic, which possibly has been recut to focus less on a white dude, whose presence still seemed weird and out-of-place in the above trailer?

The Hitman's Bodyguard (the version we saw had fewer swears and not the end bit either): okay, I may have been pummeled into submission by this point, but I did actually smile. Not going to see it, mind.

The Dark Tower (2017 movie)

Aug. 9th, 2017 11:18 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So . . . that was a thing.

Okay, it is actually shaped like a movie. It required (at least) one explicitly-acknowledged "just because" in order to make the plot work, but by and large it was shaped like a movie and, as far as I can tell, got its exposition across—very obviously, granted, but I'm starting to think smooth exposition is no longer something movies care about? (Feel free to provide counter-examples.)

As a standalone movie, it's . . . unexceptional? I thought some of the special effects were oddly shoddy and uninspired, but it does contain gunfights, Idris Elba being grizzled and badass, and Matthew McConaughey waving his hands around, so if that's a thing you wanted from seeing the trailers, then you'll get it. I'm not sure that it would particularly zing or feel fresh, but it does generally provide what it promised, though there's a lot more of the kid, Jake, than one might expect.

(This review has movie spoilers but amused me and seems about right: The Dark Tower Is Not That Terrible — But It Does Feel Like a Copy of a Copy of a Copy, by David Edelstein at Vulture.)

As an adaptation, it makes some interesting choices, most of which I did not like.

all the spoilers for the movie and the entire book series, so many spoilers )

Queen + Adam Lambert

Aug. 9th, 2017 07:53 pm
immlass: (music - radiola)
[personal profile] immlass
Queen with Adam Lambert. American Airlines Center. August 4, 2017.

Queen has been on my bucket list for a long time, but after Freddie died, I assumed there was no way it was going to happen. I wasn't really sure about Adam Lambert, but I thought that if we hated it, I could always leave. Turns out Adam Lambert is a big fanboy who's flamboyant, if not in Freddie's mold, in a fashion clearly influenced by him. And while nobody can fill those big old Mercury boots, Lambert brings his own boots to the table and does admirably with them, hitting many of the highlights and, while never making them his own, not just channelling Mercury. Particularly great was his work with Roger Taylor (carrying the Bowie role) on Under Pressure.

Brian May was awesome on the guitar and in full wizard costume, and the staging and props were great but not distracting.

I didn't have the energy to stand and dance all through the show but a lot of people did. I'm glad I saw it; even if it didn't make me a Lambert fan for life, I came away with a lot of respect for him.

Weekly media report

Aug. 9th, 2017 12:10 pm
immlass: (books)
[personal profile] immlass
Didn't do a lot of anything because we were traveling!

Books:
- Rivers of London: Detective Stories Issues 1-2. Comics about Peter Grant's efforts to make detective. Each issue is a case in his file.

Movies/TV:
- none

Music:
- Takács Quartet, Beethoven: The Early Quartets. Another "Ginger expands her repertoire" listen. One of the things I've heard about early Beethoven is that he owes a lot to preceding trends in classical music that I enjoy before he strikes out in his own direction, so it seemed like a good place to start. And it was rewarding--definitely something I want to listen to again.

The Last Enemy, by Richard Hillary

Aug. 8th, 2017 11:29 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The memoir of a WWII fighter pilot who was shot down, badly burned, had his face and hands reconstructed, and then somehow managed to finagle his way back into being a pilot, where he was promptly killed in a training accident (I really hope not because he was, in fact, no longer fit to fly); this book came out three months before his death, so at least he got to see it published.

The excerpt I copied in my last post exemplifies the best parts of the book, which are the chapters on flying, pilot training, and recovery. (There's less on the culture surrounding his recovery (The Guinea Pig Club) than I'd hoped, possibly because he wasn't in the hospital anywhere near as long as many people were.) A lot of the memoir is devoted to philosophical conversations and musings which I found less interesting, chronicling how Hillary went from seeing war and life as something purely a matter of individual striving and enjoyment to also having a moral dimension, and from seeing himself as something of a detached observer to being connected with all humankind. The last chapter, in which he has an encounter with a woman he digs out of a collapsed house, brings together the perfectly observed details of the chapters on flying and fighting with larger issues.

Hillary was a sharp observer with a great prose style and an understated/dark sense of humor. He wasn't a pilot who wrote one book because he had an extraordinary experience he wanted to record, he was a writer who was also a pilot. I wonder if he'd have gone on to be a noted writer if he'd survived, or a minor writer whose books a handful of people really like. If the latter, I would very probably have been in that handful.

An unhappy Amazon reviewer remarks, "Too English," and it is indeed incredibly English in a very specific way, but I grew up reading books like that and for all the flaws inherent in that very specific (colonialist, among other things) outlook, I love the style.

A number of writers (J. R. R. Tolkien and Neil Gaiman, just off the top of my head) have imagined that artists continue their work in the afterlife, creating great libraries of books unwritten in life. It's the heaven I'd most like to have actually exist.

99 cent ebook on Amazon: The Last Enemy

Gig list - August 2017

Aug. 8th, 2017 01:02 am
immlass: (music - tickets)
[personal profile] immlass
This late in the month we've already started to see shows, starting with the excellent Queen + Adam Lambert that I need to write about. We did see the Tears for Fears + Hall & Oates show in San Antonio but ended up missing Chic + Earth Wind & Fire because of an unexpected car breakdown and health stuff. Oh well.

Under the cut to protect your flist. )

We did get the tickets to the Tannies at the Duck, and I may go to Houston to see an opera with Jen in late October/early November, but we're getting into the Christmassy season of music planning, so shows will be thinner on the ground for a while. We're also seeing Carbon Leaf at a local venue over Labor Day with Jen so there's that as well.
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
From the first chapter of the memoir of a WWII fighter pilot; he has just gone down in flames, and is floating in the ocean, badly burned and alone:

There can be few more futile pastimes than yelling for help alone in the North Sea, with a solitary seagull for company, yet it gave me a certain melancholy satisfaction, for I had once written a short story in which the hero (falling from a liner) had done just this. It was rejected.

99 cent ebook on Amazon: The Last Enemy
tatterpixie: poptart nathan explosion (brutal)
[personal profile] tatterpixie
The new AC arrived on Tuesday! It didn't get put in until Friday though, when Angie's dad came over. OH BLESSED AIR CONDITIONING. ;_; Not that I needed it very much over the weekend (see below XD) but still! It's got a remote that makes sense and actuallly works! FANCY SHMANCY. And it keeps the place nice and cool and dry.

So Thursday I delivered Angie and Micah to the airport in Allentown for their vacation in Myrtle Beach! Soon as I dropped them off I went to Wegmans to lay in some supplies, then came home and rested before taking Lennon down to Quakertown Vet Hospital to see if they had any thoughts about his poopy problems. Poor old man looks like he's got intestinal cramps, and it looks like it hurts. ;__; Vet gave us something to hopefully correct the runs and a dewormer in case it's parasites, and if things don't improve she wants us to consider more bloodwork for his weight loss and an ultrasound for his gut. She was also concerned about his sniffles, which she thinks is a sinus infection, but she didn't want to load him down with too many meds at one time. Poor old baby. And he so hates taking his medicine -- for all he's 16 years old and 13 lbs, he's still a big strong cat, and he fights like his life depends on it when you try to dose him. And now his eyes look inflamed. ;___;

Sunday I picked Micah up from the airport ass early (he had to cut his vacation short because of starting a new job at Amazon on Monday) and I started on my task for the duration of Angie's holiday, cleaning the entire house. XD Who me, ambitious? XD In the midst of all that, I shadowed Mike as he drove his car to Nazareth to get the fan motor replaced, then drove him to the airport to pick up Plunder's car (she's in San Luis Obispo til late September).

WeatherDork:
Currently at Bethlehem, PA at 10.30am: Overcast
Temp: 64F (feels like 64F)
Humidity: 90% (dewpoint 61F)
Pressure: 30.08"
Winds: ENE 5mph
Forecast: Rain showers with some thunderstorms, high 72F, low 61F

Ugh, it was hot and gross all last week til the weekend, with highs near 90F and ridiculously high humidity and occasional thunderstorms. And it figures, right after we get the AC in, it cools down. XD Highs this week look to be in the upper 70s to low 80s, much more bearable than last week was.

On My Plate:
Tags and Other Writins:
  • A Smile and a Song (Three Wishes)
  • From One Trickster to Another (ItNotM)
  • Some Light Research (ItNotM)
  • Putting The Band Together (ItNotM)
  • Options (ItNotM) x1 and DONE
  • ORP -- PUFFS v. STUFFS (ItNotM)
  • The Green Willow (ItNotM) and DONE
  • The Lady in White (ItNotM) started
Art:
  • continue with scribalry practice
Etc:
  • list stuff on Ebay
  • reading: A New History of the Picts (still -- I haven't picked it up in awhile XD)
  • reading: Parsival, or A Knight's Tale
Weekly Things Checklist:
  • Thing Arted: nothing
  • Thing Writed: OMG TAGS
  • Thing Cleaned: dishes and recycling and catbox and watered plants and cleaned bathroom
Monday I finish cleaning then go to an Iron Pigs game with Mike (if it's not rained out, which it might be), Tuesday I retrieve Angie from the airport in Allentown and shuttle Mike back to Nazareth to retrieve his car, Friday we go to a Cupcakes and Tattoos event at Electric Cheetah Tattoos, and this weekend PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTIE IS BACK YAY! Busy week for me!

A Higher Call, by Adam Makos

Aug. 5th, 2017 11:44 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Nonfiction about a brief but fateful encounter between a German ace fighter pilot and an American bomber crew, in mid-air; forty years later, the two pilots met up again. The book started out as a magazine article, and I bet it was a terrific one. It’s a great story and unlike many WWII stories, this one is about people’s best behavior rather than their worst.

As you may guess from the summary, the actual incident, though amazing, lasted about twenty minutes and is recounted in about ten pages. So most of the book is the story of the German fighter pilot, Franz Stigler, plus a much smaller amount about the American crew. (Stigler was not a Nazi and in fact came from an anti-Nazi family. I know that it would have been convenient for him to claim to have been secretly anti-Nazi after the fact, but given what he was witnessed to have done, I believe it.)

The book is is interesting if you have an interest in the subject matter, but doesn't really rise above that. The best parts, apart from the encounter itself, were the early sections on the culture and training of the German pilots. One detail that struck me (not just that it happened, but that Stigler actually told someone about it), which was that dogfighting was so terrifying that pilots regularly landed with wet pants. I'd heard that about the first time, but not that it wasn't just the first time. Just imagine doing that for months on end. And knowing that you're not likely to do it for years on end because the lifespan of a fighter pilot is probably not that long.

If you just want to know what happened in mid-air over Germany, in December, 1943, click on the cut. Read more... )

Does anyone have any recommendations for other books on pilots, fighters or otherwise, historical or otherwise? I've read Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and really enjoyed the combination of desperate survival narrative with odes to the joy of flight. I think I'd be more interested in memoirs by pilots than biographies about them.

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

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wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
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