elaineofshalott: Violet from the Lemony Snicket stories, tying her dark hair back with a ribbon. (ribbon)
[personal profile] elaineofshalott
(I wrote this post in a Word doc awhile ago; I think it's still relevant.)

I’ve been thinking about excessive empathy lately, and whether it might be leveraged as an asset, rather than smothered for being a liability. What can one do, what progress can one make, when one is incapacitated by compassion? When one’s only capacity is for grief, of what use can one be?

Related passages from fiction occurred to me, of course. Upon reviewing them I realize they have to do with empathy for one’s specially beloved human, rather than empathy for humanity in general--humanity in the abstract and then frighteningly in the no-longer-abstract. One hears news headlines. One watches a movie character and knows that real people have similarly suffered. So the following passages perhaps only glancingly apply to my own struggles, since I am unespoused. But often a glancing relation is still a telling one.

BBC Sherlock’s John, after a drug overdose:

John holds a hand out, pointedly. And then Sherlock is up and they are leaving. Sherlock is too thin, he's too cold, he's a tower of strength drained completely empty. It could make a grown man cry, this sort of waste, this level of senselessness. Why should a priceless work of art dash itself against the concrete purposefully? The whole story is a tragedy. It could break John's heart if he let it.

But he isn't going to.

wordstrings, Entirely Covered in Your Invisible Name


Original-canon Holmes, during World War I:
It was a calculated war waged against my own mind. My mind was my bitterest foe. My soaringly imaginative, tactically brilliant, ever-practical mind. Had I been able to exchange my brain with that of a half-witted factory girl, during the four years Watson was in France, I should have done so. I should have traded it for a Dorset cow's in an instant. Could I have slipped into a coma entirely, I should have chosen that, save that then I would not have been working every waking moment to end the War quickly.

And God, how desperately I needed to end that bloody War.

At the beginning, I could see everything. Too much. And there the information was, all at my disposal on my brother's desk. Guns. Troops movements. Chemical weaponry. Mustard gas. God in Heaven, it drew and quartered me daily. At the beginning, when I was less strict with myself and allowing flights of vividly pictured deductions, anything could tip my heart into a blind panic. I glimpsed a wire in concert with a coded list, a grain manifest, a series of numerals, and a map on my brother's oak desk and nearly sent myself to the hospital. I knew generally, within thirty miles, perhaps, where my friend was at any given time. My brother saw to that. And according to those seemingly innocuous papers in 1914, he would be dead in a week. The odds were for a simple gunshot wound, but exploding debris was also possible.

Looking up from the mad scratches in his commonplace war journal, Mycroft frowned at me from across the length of his entire office.

"Stop."

I made no answer.

"Sherlock," he said clearly, "I have seen what you have seen, but you have not seen all that I have. In addition, I do not allow myself to actually see it. Stop your mind's eye, and at once."

"How can I help but see it? I've always seen it. All my life," I answered miserably, leaning back against his bookshelves and shoving my hands in my pockets.

"Well, you are through now," my brother commanded, tidying papers. "This is not you staring at carriage tracks in our drive and predicting the events of the next six hours verbatim. I can allow you to know things, to employ your tireless energies on our behalf, but not to see them. Do you mark me? I will retrain your mind myself if I have to. You are Sherlock Holmes, not Cassandra of ancient myth. We shall unravel the work of sixty years."

"I can't. My mind doesn't work that way," I whispered in despair.

"It's going to have to." Rising, my brother approached me and placed a hand on my shoulder. He left it there until I looked back at him, seeing my own eyes in a huge, sagging face of sixty-seven years.

"He should not have done it," I said through a clenched jaw. It was the only time I said it. Ever.

"No, but now he has," Mycroft said softly. "Be logical. You are not getting him back for a period of months or possibly even years. You are thus presented with exactly two options. Either stay as you are and see how long you can live like this before you break--I give it three months, myself, and if the War grows worse as swiftly as I think it will, no longer than two and a half--or stop seeing things. Think them in the abstract, for I need you, but do not see them, petit frère. Please stop seeing them. Try for me."

"All right," I gasped. I had not been aware of how shallowly I was breathing, for I was watching him perish over and over again in a spray of gore and crossfire. The moment I agreed, my brother slid back into his usual distant inertia.

"Good man," he said absently, going back to his desk.

Katie Forsythe, The Presbury Letters


These passages speak of the necessity of closing one’s heart, fortifying the doors against the onslaught of an unrelentingly brutal world, and the immense, hardly bearable anxiety and sorrow that would be engendered in the collision of that brutality with one’s own empathy. No human metaphor-heart can take in all the suffering of humanity, and continue to function.

Or can it?

What if Katie--my trusted pet favorite author, my guru of the ugly sides of love--is not entirely right on this count? What if this metaphor is faulty, or at least does not encompass all possibilities? That is the weakness of all metaphors, of course. Each one is only a lens, and not the thing itself. And the human brain, which is what we are really talking about here, is complex beyond our feeble attempts at description and measurement. So: what if the alternative to closing the door to empathy, and carrying on with trying to fix the mess, is also a viable possibility? What would that look like?

Using “we” to mean “I, and others with a seeming excess of compassion”: we could be in a waiting room where they have the tv news on, and not frantically try to divert our own attention.

What if a significant part of the horror of a horrific thought lies in our own panicked urge to look away, to not let it affect us?

What if we just sat with the reality that the world is brutal and merciless, that many many people are in unbearable pain at any given minute? And that we’re partly to blame? What if we just sat and let that be true? What if that didn’t have to mean us curling up in too much shame and rage and sorrow even to suicide ourselves out of this train wreck?

Would that lead to us taking less, and less effective, action to fix the world? Or more?

Consider: you can see the horrible thing in your mind’s eye, but you don’t have to be in the scene. You can just watch and be still. That’s all you can do in that moment, since it’s your mind’s eye; you’re not really there, able to throw your body in front of the cannon or whatever. And when the mind’s cinema screen flickers to darkness for the time being--perhaps, sometimes, even while it’s still running, if you can get the knack--you can plot ways to make it better.

It also strikes me that the rationally plotted, stiff-upper-lip approach is tied to toxic masculinity. What if I consult some female and/or non-Western heroes? How do they deal with their unbearable feelings? What does "Cassandra of ancient myth" have to say on the matter?

I do recall some tale of Theseus with lamenting women kneeling in the road before his procession, begging him to stop some deadly action. And, in the story, he did. Maybe the mere display of the full force of our distress, in front of the right persons, would be a force for good?

What can one do while in profound distress, other than displaying it? What action, in that moment, can be taken, that might be useful to the hemorrhaging world? Or must one wait until the moment passes, and act while in a calmer state?

Thoughts and fiction recs welcome.

Linkspam: fannish/geeky, misc.

Jul. 21st, 2017 03:02 pm
umadoshi: (ocean 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

"Here's how the new Star Wars novels will connect to The Last Jedi: The ‘Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ books will explore details from the history of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia". I'm just gonna jump down here to Canto Bight: "This collection of four short stories will focus on creatures from the glamorous casino world of Canto Bight, described as the galactic version of Monaco. The book, which hits stores on Dec. 5, will be written by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller." [Also linked at [dreamwidth.org profile] aftertheendtimes, because awesome news is awesome.]

"Stargate Origins Series to Launch New MGM Digital Platform — Watch Teaser".

"Pacific Rim: Uprising Releases Teaser and Info on a New Crop of Jaegers". [Tor.com] And once again, we have a Jaeger with a slur (same one) in its name. :/

"Jenny, the Doctor’s Daughter, Finally Getting the Doctor Who Spinoff Adventures She Deserves" [in audio drama form]. [The Mary Sue]

"Dick Grayson vs. Toxic Masculinity". [Book Riot] [May 2017]


Miscellaneous

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] wendelah1, "Rape Choreography Makes Films Safer, But Still Takes a Toll on Cast and Crew". [Content warnings: what you'd expect from that headline.]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "The Kitten Rental Program is Saving Lives".

"The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence".

"Photobucket Is Holding People's Photos For 'Ransom': The company is now charging a $400 fee to hot-link images — which will break photos on tons of old websites and blogs.". [Buzzfeed]

"The Lost Cookbooks Of Black Chefs".

"Just 19 Fascinating Things About The Hair & Makeup On 'GLOW'". [Buzzfeed]

"How Eyeliner Defines My Womanhood". "My politics and my eyeliner became inseparable. Projecting my own sense of beauty, without shame or hesitation, scared the hell out of my opponents. My look was my armor and my weaponry. / But the fight took its toll. Somewhere in my late teens, I closeted myself again, without particularly noticing that I was doing so. I stopped wearing anything that scanned as feminine. I didn't even own eyeliner for 20 years. And I said nothing when people took me for a straight, cisgender man. [...] I’ve finally recognized, over years of trial and error — mostly error — that a wildly disproportionate amount of anxiety I experience arises from dressing like a man. A couple of years ago, that anxiety was swallowing me whole. I didn’t like who I’d become, and I wanted better for myself and my family. And, thanks to the wealth of information available online, and the supportive trans and queer community I found there, I had finally found the words to describe myself."

"Not in This Day and Age? On “Feisty, Cheeky, and Rebellious” Women in History".

"Cooling the tube – Engineering heat out of the Underground". "One of the biggest problems is a side-effect of what made it possible to dig the deep level tunnels in the first place — namely the very solid and nice to tunnel through London Clay which sits under the city.

In fact, when the early tube tunnels were dug, they were so cool down there that the cool tube was seen as a respite from the summer heat on the surface. Why suffer on a bus in the heat when there’s a cool tube to take instead, said the marketing men.

So why is the Bakerloo line, once the coolest place to be, now a mobile sauna?"

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:36 pm
skygiants: Fakir from Princess Tutu leaping through a window; text 'doors are for the weak' (drama!!!)
[personal profile] skygiants
Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age is a fairly fascinating book that's trying to do a lot of things at once: the book starts out with the dramatic recounting of MURDER!!! and then immediately takes, if not a deep dive, at least a vigorous swim through such varied topics as the history of British radio and the BBC, Keynesian economic philosophy, copyright limitations, and the founding of Sealand in order to contextualize it.

Once we get back to the story of the murder itself, however, it turns out: IT'S BONKERS. The principals in the case are two pirate radio impresarios in 1966. Oliver Smedley, An Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist, was running a station called Radio Atlanta on a boat off the coast; Reggie Calvert, A Dance Hall Impresario, had taken over an entire abandoned British navy fort called Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary and staffed it with a rotating encampment of youths running a station called Radio City. At one point Smedley and Calvert were going to have a merger, but then they had an ACRIMONIOUS BREAKUP spurred on in part by:

- the fact that Smedley was supposed to give Calvert a shiny new transmitter and instead provided an old one that never worked
- the fact that Smedley never paid all the bills he had promised Calvert that Radio Atlanta would pay
- the fact that Calvert got sick of all this and decided to merge with another station instead

The reason for all these pirate radio stations on boats and naval forts, by the way, is because in 1966 there was no legal pop radio in the UK (as explained, extensively, via the history of radio and Keynesian economic theory etc. that makes up the first half of the book). Because the pirates were technically outside of UK territory, on the other hand, they could technically get away with doing whatever they wanted, or at least the government like "it will be way too embarrassing to launch a huge naval raid against a bunch of youths on was a fort with a radio transmitter, so let's not."

HOWEVER, the fact that everything was happening outside of territorial waters where British laws and police had no jurisdiction BACKFIRED when:

- Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist Smedley decided he was so mad that Calvert had made a deal without him that he was going to MAKE SURE that the deal could never go through
- he was going to GET BACK HIS PROPERTY [the transmitter that had never worked]
- so he sent an ACTUAL OCCUPYING FORCE composed of out-of-work dockworkers to Shivering Sands, stole a bunch of key broadcasting equipment, took a bunch of it back to the mainland, and left a bunch of toughs to hold everybody who was on the station at that time hostage!!!
- (when they met the invading force, the hostage broadcasters were like 'welp' and made everybody tea)
- ("the vessel had to return briefly to pick up [the contractor who recruited the gang], who had been left behind drinking his tea")
- and then Smedley went to Calvert and his partner, an actual professional broadcaster, and was like 'I will not let you broadcast from there again or finish making your deal unless you pay me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS'

Naturally, everyone involved was like 'wtf????' and refused to pay Smedley a dime; Calvert threatened to involve the police but the police were like 'ummmmmm technically we can't do anything for the same reasons we haven't been able to stop you from broadcasting;' Calvert then made a whole bunch of other even wilder threats; and all the hired dockworkers sat around cheerfully charging Smedley for hostaging operations which he was rapidly running out of money for.

Anyway, in the middle of all this, Calvert drove out to Smedley's house in the middle of the night and started screaming at him, and Smedley shot him and then claimed self-defense and that his HOSTILE OCCUPATION OF A POP RADIO STATION was just a little joke gone wrong! No harm no foul if only Calvert hadn't been so UPSET about it! It did help Smedley's self-defense case that Calvert happened to be carrying A FAKE PEN FULL OF NERVE GAS at the time, which apparently, according to his family, he always carried around just for safekeeping.

...so the author's point in writing about all this seems to be that a.) this incident was crucial in getting the pirate radio boats shut down and the formation of the current BBC radio system that includes actual pop radio, b.) that this is all a forerunner of later copyright battles and offshore data centers and so on, c.) pirate-radio-on-boats in the 1960s was a WILD TIME. About the latter, at least, he is most surely not mistaken.

(This has nothing to do with the main brunt of the book but I have to spare a mention for Radio City's chief engineer, who later was hired by the mob! to perform an assassination attempt!! using a spring-loaded hypodermic needle full of cyanide!!! in what it turns out was ACTUALLY a sting operation by the U.S. Treasury department who picked the hapless Radio City engineer to act as the assassin because "he needed the fee while being clearly incapable of killing anybody"!!!! This whole incident gets two pages in the book because it's somewhat irrelevant to the author's argument but seriously, where is this guy's movie?

For the record, the same mobsters then tried to intimidate Reggie Calvert's widow into selling them the remnants of the station and she was like 'lol no' and they were like '....well, when a lady knows her own mind, she knows her own mind! No hard feelings.')

Trope Bingo (Round 9) card

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:14 am
umadoshi: (nonfictional feeling (oraclegreen))
[personal profile] umadoshi
This week I caved and requested a [dreamwidth.org profile] trope_bingo card to go with my cards for [dreamwidth.org profile] hc_bingo and [dreamwidth.org profile] seasonofkink. This time I opted to only get prompts from the main set (I just typed "pain set". Hmm), rather than also drawing from the AU, kinks, and/or art sets.

I haven't spent much time going through and thinking in terms of which ones are most workable for me, but there are several I like. Chosen family is one of my favorite things; "huddle for warmth" is one of those reliable classic tropes that I don't think I've ever actually written; I like domestic things, so both curtain fic and food/cooking fit... We'll see.

Anyway, here's my card:
under the cut )
umadoshi: (mermaid (roxicons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
A Pair of Kickstarters

--"Mermaid Hues: A Book of Mermaids" is a project by an artist whose work I enjoyed during Mermay, so I'm glad to see it's being made available for purchase!

--Sparkler Monthly just launched their Kickstarter for year 5: "Twelve more issues of women-oriented, LGBT+ friendly webcomics, light novels, and audio dramas in our digital magazine!" Their Kickstarter page includes a lot of info on the kind of work they do and publish, and links to a free downloadable Sparkler Starter Bundle.

(I do have to note that I'm friends with several of the founders/editors [and have proofread a few of their print volumes], but that means I can tell you with confidence that they bring a LOT of experience and passion to the table as long-term manga-industry professionals and as enthusiastic, thoughtful fans of female-gaze-focused Japanese and Japanese-style media.)


Cute Stuff

"10+ Times Corgis Mixed With Other Breeds, And The Result Was Absolutely Pawsome".

"Columbus Zoo And Aquarium Welcome A Squeaky Little Small-Clawed Otter Pup".

"22 Dogs That Prove We Don’t Deserve Dogs". [Buzzfeed]

[dreamwidth.org profile] naye posted June pics of her LaPerm kitties!

"I’ve Spent Years Photographing Rats To Break The Negative Image Of Rats By Taking Cute Pics Of Them".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] erinptah, "Senior Cat Was So Grumpy — Until He Became ‘Grandpa’ To Kittens: “I was expecting him to hiss or growl or slink away. But then one of the ginger kittens started licking Mason’s ear, and Mason sort of leaned into it and closed his eyes like it was the most amazing thing ever.”".


Miscellaneous

"Sleeps With Monsters: Stop Erasing Women’s Presence in SFF". [Tor.com]

Aww, yay! Sarah Kurchak is Writer of the Week at The Establishment.

"The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] alexseanchai, a fascinating piece of poetry/meta and commentary about translation between languages where the speakers of one have oppressed the speakers of the other. It's remarkable.

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] tielan, "5 Easy To Make Homemade Air Conditioners".

"How Clergy Set the Standard for Abortion Care: Fifty years ago, a network of religious leaders helped thousands of women find safe, comfortable ways of having the procedure". [2016]

"'Glow' Star Betty Gilpin: What It's Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence With Watermelon-Sized Boobs", a piece about becoming comfortable in her body for the first time. (I'm not sure exactly what content notes to put on this; proceed carefully if you have issues tangled up with body image.)[Note: I have not seen Glow, although it's on the LIST OF DOOM.]
umadoshi: (Feed logo (from Mira Grant's site))
[personal profile] umadoshi
In a shocking development, I'm going to try going to bed now (before midnight) rather than my more usual 2-3 AM. I can't even pretend to myself that there's any chance I'll produce any wordcount tonight, so trying to sleep seems like the right call even if it's wildly out of character.

PSA: the ebook of Feed (Newsflesh book 1) is currently on sale at all kinds of retailers, including the Canadian Kobo site, if you haven't tried it yet and feel at all inclined to fill my heart with joy by reading it and meeting Georgia Mason. (Here's my rec post for the series.)

As it happens, now is an extra-good time to pick up any of [dreamwidth.org profile] seanan_mcguire(/Mira Grant)'s books or support her Patreon: her beloved female Maine Coon, Alice, is extremely ill. ;_;
umadoshi: (facepalm - cat)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--My brain is refusing to settle on much of anything. It feels like a mix of my usual lack of focus with a few scattered side notes of...not impending anxiety, but flickers of it trying to settle in. (In a couple of cases I know that the anxiety is about, but can't shake the sense that it may be justified, which makes it harder to deal with. I may wind up having to send an email or two of the "I honestly don't know if you're mad at me and I'm picking up on it or if my brain is making it up wholesale or if I'm picking up on other stresses from you and my brain's misattributing them" [and the later makes inquiring much worse, because if someone is worn down or stressed because of unrelated things, I don't want to add "oh, and please help me regulate my possibly-irrational emotions" to their plate].)


--For the past several nights my sleep cycle was even worse than usual, resulting in far too little sleep, and last night/this morning some part of my subconscious took charge and I didn't really wake up until almost 2 PM today. o_o Fortunately I had the rewrite that was due today basically finished, so I just had to give it a final polish and read-through. And this afternoon Jinksy was randomly extra cuddly and came to snuggle on my lap at my desk twice while I was reading the paper and working.


--This evening [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I got some gardening done. I deadheaded some annuals; he took down the "prey TV" birdfeeder (because of this); we moved the tomato plants around a bit so the smaller ones will get more light; we added some height to a couple of stackable tomato cages; and we put down mulch in the perennial bed and around the two lilacs (in the latter case, in order to clear the encroaching grasses as much as anything else). The Sensation lilac is thriving in the face of getting actual care from us! It's significantly larger than it was at the beginning of spring. (Why, it's as if pruning, fertilizing, consistent watering, and putting lime down makes a difference!) And the lone Sungold tomato plant is growing rapidly, and still far bigger than any of the others. (Even after it lost a stalk [?] today. We moved it, and once it was away from the others two stalks weren't nearly supported enough, but weren't outright falling over...and yet in the time it took [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose to get some ties ready, one of them said "fuck it" and snapped. *sighs* At least it didn't have wee tomatoes on it.)


--Hey, remember how, in Toronto, I bought orange Enthusiast Fluevogs in orange because the purple had been discontinued? Guess what just came out in a new purple colorway for the new season? *facepalm* Fortunately, I don't like this purple version nearly as well as the discontinued one. (And also, the orange--which I really do like!--were noticeably on sale, so even if the new purple had been out, it would've meant not getting either pair this trip, not getting the purple instead.) But part of me is still just like "...really? Really?"

Press Start Letter 2017

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:55 pm
john_egbert: No grave can hold my body. ((FNV) Courier Six *Rise*)
[personal profile] john_egbert
Hello there… Press Starter? Player One? I'm not sure what the best video game metaphor is here, haha. I'm so happy you've signed up to create some sort of fic or art for me, and I cannot wait to see what you'll make!

I wrote a whole lot of words below, mostly because I like talking about video games a whole lot, but I'm actually really easy to please; I like fluff and darkfic and everything in between, I like SFW and NSFW, I like all kinds of tropes and plots that range from the relatively restrained to the completely off-the-wall. Whatever you create, I'm sure I'll love it!

Press Any Button )

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:54 pm
skygiants: C-ko the shadow girl from Revolutionary Girl Utena in prince drag (someday my prince will come)
[personal profile] skygiants
[personal profile] genarti read The Privilege of the Sword for the first time recently, because I had been telling her to since 2008, and then kept trying to talk to me about it. Unfortunately at this point I did not remember most of the things she was trying to talk to me about because I hadn't read it since 2007, so eventually I also had to reread it in self-defense.

It turns out this is still and probably will always be my favorite Ellen Kushner book. The central plotline follows Katherine, a cheerful young lady who gets invited to restore the family fortunes by going to live with her incredibly weird uncle in the big city and becoming a swordsman!

Unlike many plucky heroines, Katherine does not initially have really any interest at all in cross-dresing or becoming a swordsman. However, eventually she comes to enjoy swordfighting for its own sake, helped along by the mentorship of her incredibly weird uncle's nice ex-boyfriend, the necessity of dueling for a friend's honor, and the discovery that bisexuality and gender fluidity are potentially relevant concepts to her teen coming-of-age story.

...that's the A-plot! B, C, D, E, and F plots include:

- Katherine's mom's reparation of her relationship with Katherine's weird uncle
- Katherine's weird uncle's actress girlfriend's dreamy new cross-dressing fantasy Broadway show
- Katherine's weird uncle's unfortunate friendship breakup with his mathematician bestie
- Katherine's bff's attempts to overcome trauma from rape-by-fiance by engaging in romantic gay roleplay via letter-writing
- Katherine's other bff's attempts to overcome trauma from an abusive childhood by engaging in competitive voyeurism
- Katherine's bff's gigolo cousin's star-crossed romance with a scriptwriter/potter who is on the run from her abusive in-laws who do not appear in this book
- trade routes?? politics?????

I'm pretty sure that's not all the plots. There are so many plots in this book. It's fine because the plots are barely the point at best, the point is coming-of-age and life after trauma and thumbing your nose at Societal Conventions while getting to know and like yourself! I especially enjoy how in the end, spoilers )

(Note: emo murderous Alec from Swordspoint drives me up a wall in his own book, but is significantly more tolerable to me when he's just Katherine's incredibly weird uncle. I mean he still drives me up a wall here but it's much funnier when he's driving everyone else up a wall too.)

Interlude:

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:38 pm
kinoface: (☾:Usagi: ehhh!?)
[personal profile] kinoface
29 weeks! That means 11 weeks to go! Yikes!!!!!

I gotta say: gestational diabetes is a pain in the ass. WANNA HEAR ABOUT IT? complaints complaints complaints )

OTHER THAN THAT, I'm tired a lot and my hips hurt like crazy and I've got some gnarly stretch marks on my stomach. Also my hair is thicker and my nails grow faster. Also I feel huge but people constantly tell me I look really small for seven months, so??? Also here is a list of things I cannot wait to eat again:

→ a salami sandwich
→ runny eggs
→ a cold beer
→ smoked salmon on a bagel
→ FUCKING ANYTHING WITH SUGAR







... Anyway.

Been watching a lot of Elementary. Like A LOT. It's really fun and I'm enjoying it a lot.

I have been to the dentist a lot recently and all of the appointments have been fine except for one which was the only one not with my usual dentist and, whether this is coincidental or not, it was terrible in every way and the teeth in question still hurt which is impressive particularly because they didn't actually hurt before the appointment and I have some regret-like feelings of dread that I'm going to move on from now okay yes good.

About to start my last week of work, which is bad because that means no more money but is good because I am feeling very tired and overwhelmed recently, so more me time sounds like a great idea.

I'm working on a fic thing and it's a big project and I am planning on finishing it by Jun's birthday but we'll see.



... This is a very complainy post but overall I'm doing pretty okay. It's just that the frustrating things are really, really frustrating. I'm going to end this post now but I love you all!!!
umadoshi: (Killjoys - Johnny 01 (inawhirl_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I had theories about writing an actual post or two this weekend, but then the super-wordy (half-volume) of a Hana to Yume series* that's due tomorrow devoured every trace of brain power I had, apparently. OTOH, I have a draft, and once this is in I'll be back on track post-travel.

(That said, I'm already dreading the potential length and intensity of the fall bout of Casual Job and really hoping to actually get ahead on my freelance stuff, insofar as that's possible. *fingers crossed*)

Fannish/Geeky Things

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] spikedluv, "Riverdale Casts Supergirl's Brit Morgan in Recurring Season 2 Role". (I didn't read the article, as I haven't yet seen Riverdale, but yay, Brit Morgan!)

"Black Panther Is Cleverly Reimagining One of Its Major Villains To Avoid Racial Stereotypes".

I love [dreamwidth.org profile] chaila's (spoilery!) [dreamwidth.org profile] ladybusiness post about Wonder Woman from a couple of weeks ago.

"Star Trek: Discovery literally hired writers to fact-check new stories against Trek canon".

"Killjoys' Aaron Ashmore reflects on past Smallville, Veronica Mars roles". And a bunch of others!


Miscellaneous

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] larryhammer, "The Quest to Return Tomatoes to Their Full-Flavored Glory: We’ve bred the original tomato taste out of existence. Now geneticists are asking: Can we put it back?"

Also via [dreamwidth.org profile] larryhammer, "A third of marine megafauna died in a mass extinction that we didn’t even know about".

"Kill Your Old Ideas So You Can Be More Creative". [Lifehacker] Hmm.

This site lets you see if a Twitter user (one with a public account, anyway) is currently shadowbanned.

"Why bisexual men are still fighting to convince us they exist". [January]

"10 Coolest Ice Cream Traditions From Around The World".

"That Time the TSA Found a Scientist’s 3-D-Printed Mouse Penis: And other tales from the intersection of science and airport security".

"After a Revolution". [Dimas Ilaw at Uncanny Magazine] [Content notes: refers to a wide variety of murder, rape, assault, torture...] "Here is a secret that is not a secret. Here is a curse that is not a curse. Revolutions are not redemption. They will not save you, just as ours did not save us back in 1896, or 1986, or 2001.

It is not that revolutions are useless; it is that they are not enough. And, perhaps, that is what damns us: we give everything we have, blood and fire and all our screaming voices, and after that it is still not over—we still have to go on, to carry our country through the painful process of rebuilding and rooting out diseases infesting our systems and finding better ways to be just, and fair, and kind, which is an even longer, more difficult trial, for all that it is less lit by fire."



On RocketNews24:

--"Dominique Ansel gives us new eye-popping ice cream served in a slice of watermelon!【Pics】".

--"Sanrio and Sailor Moon finally reveal their lineup of My Melody collab goods!"

Remix...and looking ahead?

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:47 am
gramarye1971: Old Ways (TDIR: Old Ways)
[personal profile] gramarye1971
Signed up for [community profile] remixrevival, because Parallels doesn't seem to be running this year and I'm in need of a midsummer fic exchange to boost creativity levels. More people should sign up (especially if you're nominating anime/manga, because I am happy to adjust my own offerings if people do)!

Writing that first sentence, though, made me stop and ponder: it's a bit past the time for it this year, but would people participate in an AO3-coordinated Dark Is Rising fic exchange next May/June? Perhaps with reveals timed for Midsummer's Day? I may post about it on [community profile] thedarkisrising, but since a significant body of that community overlaps with my flist, it's worth doing a straw poll for it here.

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:37 am
skygiants: Nellie Bly walking a tightrope among the stars (bravely trotted)
[personal profile] skygiants
Rose Melikan's The Blackstone Key is one of the few books I've grabbed at random off a library shelf recently without ever having heard of it. Then I immediately grabbed the next two books, The Counterfeit Guest and The Mistaken Wife, so I guess they were doing something right, although also several things not right.

These books are deeply fluffy YA-ish Regency espionage hijinks starring Mary Finch, an impoverished orphan schoolteacher turned (by the end of the first book) surprise heiress with an unexpectedly encyclopedic knowledge of British law and an enthusiastic penchant for Adventures! !! !!!

Captain Holland, the series love interest, is an artillery officer who is good at mechanics and up on new military technologies. Other salient characteristics include:
- a terrible tendency towards sea- and carriage-sickness
- an ongoing resentful inability to understand all the clever literary and historical references being tossed around by the rest of the characters
- CONSTANT MONEY STRESS

I'll be honest, he won me over during the first book when Mary's like "am I a bad person for worrying about how the outcome of all this espionage will affect my potential inheritance?" and he's like "DEFINITELY NOT, if anybody tells you they don't stress about money THEY ARE LYING."

Rose Melikan is a scholar of the period and very good on British military history. She is not so good on plot. The first book is complete, hilariously convoluted nonsense involving SMUGGLERS and CIPHERS and MYSTERIOUS WATCHES and a SURPRISE CHANCE-MET DYING VILLAIN. It turns out that spoilers )

The second book is probably my favorite and definitely the least nonsense plot-wise; it's about the 1797 naval mutinies, and Our Heroine gets recruited to spy on a plotter because she happens to know his wife and will likely be in his house, which does not stretch suspension of disbelief too very wildly. (It's also sort of entertaining to watch the author do a careful dance between what I suspect is a personal sympathy for unionization and strike tactics and the fact that Mass Military Mutiny Is Definitely A Bad Thing, Our Characters Must Stop It At Any Cost.)

...then in Book Three we are expected to believe that an actual professional spy sees no better alternative for an important espionage mission than taking a well-known youthful heiress and society figure whose salient skills are, as aforementioned, a knowledge of British law and an enthusiasm for Adventure, and sneaking her off to Paris in a fake marriage with a clueless American painter while her respectable household desperately tries to pretend she's in London the whole time. At this point suspension of disbelief goes straight out the window again.

I have mixed feelings about Book Three in general; it's the darkest of the three and several sympathetic characters die as a direct result of Our Heroes' espionage endeavors including infuriating spoiler ) I'm not here for that! I'M HERE FOR THE HIJINKS.
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