Shitposting in the living room

Feb. 19th, 2019 09:18 pm
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
[extensive conversation apropos of which]
Me: I am, unfortunately, seeing a ghost cat (actual cat) wearing a Village People leatherman cop hat.
Some Random Housemate (okay there are only two to choose from): But wouldn't it be the sailor, [apropos of previous]?
Housemate 2: They have that song, In The Navy.
Me, singing: In the Navy, you can sail the seven bees, in the Navy...
[personal profile] silveradept, unhooking the headphones from their ears: I'm sorry, what?
Me, with the aggrieved aggression of a challenged shitposter: Well, how many bees do you think there are?!

I have done a lot of things today

Feb. 19th, 2019 07:51 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
And the past few days, in spite of having a cold & ear infection.
Yes, honestly. I'm not doing the itemized list now. I might come back and add it later.

I feel sad. (Warning, here be All The Breakup Angst with bonus general woe-is-me) Read more... )

So, that was a lot of feelings. Comments are welcome but it may take me ... awhile to be ready to reply to them.

I'm going to try to have a GOOD day at work tomorrow.

And I'm going to tend my plants before bed. And look up Meetups.

(Oh, I tried plugging in my computer charger one last time before going to the Apple Store. It worked. (wry face))

Hank Green & Holly Bourne

Feb. 19th, 2019 11:22 pm
lokifan: Four hands holding each other's wrists to strengthen each other, text "we are fandom" (Fandom: unity)
[personal profile] lokifan
Last night I went to see Holly Bourne (British YA author -- her themes seem to be feminism and mental health, and the new one involves the internet) interview Hank Green (Vlogbrother, CrashCourse and Vidcon creator) about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. Which is a very good book.

book and interview stuff )

I'm getting old

Feb. 19th, 2019 03:39 pm
clawfoot: (Default)
[personal profile] clawfoot
So I had an absolutely wonderful weekend that I hope never to repeat.

No element was bad: it was just too many good things. I was at my sisters' place from Fri-Sun, then on the way home from their house, we picked up Fedoriarty and Valkryor, who were then our guests until Monday afternoon. I got back at around 5pm from dropping them home; just in time to prepare to start the work week again.

Visiting or visitors: I must in the future choose one, not both. I do not regret doing either. I just wish weekends (even long ones) were longer.

Things that are helping

Feb. 19th, 2019 10:18 am
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
(food, material possessions, school job, health care, the privilege of having these) Read more... )

And about time, some of us say...

Feb. 19th, 2019 03:08 pm
oursin: A globe artichoke (artichoke)
[personal profile] oursin

Apparently solo dining is becoming A Thing? (scroll down, it's the last thing)

In New York, there’s a rising trend for eating alone and some restaurants have amended their menus and tables to cater for this. The restaurant booking site OpenTable has also reported a rise in solo dining.
That thing that that is that I have been doing, lo, these many years. And I am sure I am by no means the only one, because I still remember with great affection the great Katharine Whitehorn's suggestion of a restaurant, or maybe an entire chain, set up entirely for solo diners, with reading lights and bookstands on the tables. Sign me up with a loyalty card! (and I am so not a loyalty card person.)

Perhaps I am a grumpy ol' misanthrope who has had one or two too many group meals which have involved going, finally, to some place that is nobody's first choice but will fit everybody in and accommodate everybody's dietary requirements/a person turning up late and keeping everyone else from ordering/that person who either takes for ever deciding what to order or is too busy chatting to address the matter/person who takes an inordinate time longer than everybody else to finish a course/ - yes, I am a grumpy ol' misanthrope.

Also, I have my book/e-reader/phone/laptop for company: I do not want a giant teddy-bear vis-a-vis. I should not have to come over all Greta Garbo 'Vant to be alone' at a teddy-bear. At least, one may hope, the bear will not attempt to engage one in lively conversation ('What are you reading/is that a good book?').

Song of the day: Loona, "Butterfly"

Feb. 19th, 2019 04:29 am
brithistorian: (Default)
[personal profile] brithistorian
This is one of those times when I get to unironically say "I love living in the future!"  I love that this song was just released an hour ago on the other side of the world, yet I'm able to listen to it and share it with you.  I hope you enjoy it.

Expect to hear more from Loona in the future - they're monster rookies who seem to have hit the ground running and only gone upward from there.

Link: Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?

Feb. 18th, 2019 08:49 pm
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
[personal profile] sonia
Is Sunscreen the New Margarine? by Rowan Jacobsen.

Over the 20 years of the study, sun avoiders were twice as likely to die as sun worshippers.

There are not many daily lifestyle choices that double your risk of dying. In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, Lindqvist’s team put it in perspective: “Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor of a similar magnitude as smoking, in terms of life expectancy.”

It turns out that supplementing vitamin D does not remedy the negative health effects of low vitamin D. The remedy is to go out in the sun (without sunscreen) and make your own vitamin D, as well as getting all the other health benefits of sunshine.

Margarine became a big deal, the new "health food," when I was a kid. My parents cooked and baked with a lot of butter. I clearly remember thinking that something that came from a cow had to be healthier for me than something made in a lab. Sure enough, 20 years later trans fats become something to avoid.

Same thing with sunshine. I only wear sunblock when I'm going to be biking all day and know I would get fried otherwise. If I'm just out and about my normal amount, I don't wear it. And that was my habit even before I got sensitive to most of the chemicals used in sunblocks. I have a hard time convincing some clients, no really, they can't wear sunblock to their sessions with me no matter how automatically they apply it every morning.

It's nice to see science catch up to basic common sense. Sunlight can't be inherently damaging to us, or we'd never have gotten this far as a species. What's damaging is hiding inside most of the time and then getting overexposed all at once. It's a bit of a problem in Portland where it can be rainy and cold until June, when the sun is at maximum strength, no chance to build up a tan gently starting in March.

Link: Anger and Depression

Feb. 18th, 2019 08:27 pm
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
[personal profile] sonia
If You're Often Angry Or Irritable, You May Be Depressed by Nell Greenfieldboyce

Newsflash! Anger and depression are associated! On the one hand, this seems crashingly obvious. Grief and depression are similar. Anger can certainly be a part of grief. On the other hand, as the article says, the DSM doesn't consider anger a symptom of depression. Fortunately they're starting to do studies that strongly show the link.

Books read, early February

Feb. 18th, 2019 04:25 pm
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Ben Aaronovitch, Lies Sleeping. This is the latest in this long urban fantasy series, and it relies very heavily on both plot and character arcs from earlier in the series. Good news: there is plenty of movement on things that have been going on for several books. Bad news: if you want to start somewhere, this is not it. Peter and his friends, enemies, relations are all barreling forward at top speed, but a lot of it will make no sense without the rest of the series.

Jill Baguchinsky, Mammoth. This is a charming YA about a plus-sized teenage fashionista with a passion for paleontology. It has a lot of genre-YA themes about finding yourself and also maybe someone else, but at the top of the list of things the protag finds is BONES so that is pretty great. I want to put a CW on this for the protagonist starting the book fixating on guessing other women's weight. This is flagged as unhealthy but may still be difficult for some readers, so: choose when you read it accordingly.

Hans Bekker-Nielsen et al, eds., Mediaeval Scandinavia 1968. This is a hardbound annual journal for its field. A lot of the stuff therein has either become basic knowledge since then or gotten debunked, but there were still some interesting rune-deciphering passages. Not recommended unless you're constantly eager for new medieval Scand studies stuff, which...I am.

Blair Braverman, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North. I read this author's twitter, and she writes about dogsledding there. YAY I LIKE DOGS. It was also a good time for me to read about dogsledding, as I revise a book with significant amounts of dogsledding in it. This book...was not really about dogsledding. Very much at all. It was mostly about recovering from sexual abuse, assault, and trauma. Braverman chose to do that in the far north of Norway, and there are interesting cultural things going on there, and I engaged with this narrative, but--if you're here for the dogsledding, not so much.

Roshani Chokshi, Aru Shah and the End of Time. This was a lovely, charming middle-grade adventure. I got a copy for a kid in my life for their birthday. Friendship and magic and figuring yourself out. Yay.

Linda Collister, The Great British Bake Off: Big Book of Baking and The Great British Bake Off: Perfect Cakes and Bakes to Make at Home. I flipped through these and wrote down exactly three recipes, but that's actually pretty good for library cookbooks--I mostly am not a big recipe cook anyway.

Philip Cushway and Michael Warr, eds., Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin. This was a harrowing book of protest poetry that was very much worth engaging with, a little at a time. I was a tiny bit frustrated that such a large percentage of the page count was dedicated to writing about each poet rather than showcasing their poems--for most poets there were more words dedicated to their bio than in their poems, which seems backwards to me. I feel like most of the poets showcased probably had more than one good protest poem. But the ones that were there were good to have.

Michael Eric Dyson, What Truth Sounds Like: RFK, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America. This traces the roots and results of a major meeting between American Black intelligentsia/artists and Robert F. Kennedy. Dyson has lots of ideas about the implications of this conversation and conversations like it, and this was fascinating--especially with the range of talent that Baldwin could get to show up on a moment's notice.

Lissa Evans, Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms. This is a fun MG about magic (the stage variety...or is it...) and puzzles and family.

Robert Frost, New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes. Kindle. Several of the "Grace Notes" are familiar, much-anthologized poems, tacked on here as extras. The "Notes" tend to be longer, often dialect-laden local poems. And then there's the titular poem. It's massive and rambly and reminds me a bit of W.H. Auden's Letters from Iceland in form/style. I really like this geographical ramble poem thing. I would like a book of them. (But mostly I would like to reread Letters from Iceland because I love it unreasonably and Uncle Wys is the best.) (Ahem. Okay you can read Robert Frost too I guess, but really you probably already know that.) (AUDENNNN.)

Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf. All the other grimdark books are like teddy bears having their picnic compared to this. It is full of multiform rape, genital mutilation, excretion in its various types, is a lot. It is vividly imagined and beautifully written, and so, so very dark. It is doing things with worldbuilding that no one else has tried, and also it is so very dark.

Rosalie Knecht, Who Is Vera Kelly? This is both a spy novel and a young woman's coming of age story. It is the kind of spy novel I have wanted, light and fun and firmly placed in space and time. It has the short, zippy chapters of some earlier works in this genre while leaving out the sexism. Yay for this book.

Rose MacAulay, Crewe Train. In many ways this is a charming and eccentric narrative of a young woman who does not want what she is told to want and the mild chaos that ensues in her life because of that fact. I will read more Rose MacAulay for sure, because this was intriguing and mostly good in an early 20th century way. However, I do feel the need to flag that there's about a chapter of staggeringly racist content that is not only awful but completely unnecessary to the plot, the sort of thing that makes you repeat, "Rose, what are you doing, Rose, what are you doing," over and over as you read. Is one chapter of that too much? You get to decide.

Seanan McGuire, In an Absent Dream. This is the most recent of Seanan's portal fantasy novellas, which are my favorite thing she's doing right now. This one stands quite well alone and is very distinctive in setting and character from the others. I was mostly okay with which things were summarized and which shown (an interesting calculus of novellas), until the ending, which wasn't quite as satisfying because of that ratio. Still glad I read it.

John McPhee, Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process. This is the book equivalent of sitting at John McPhee's feet listening to him talk about his long and storied career and how it all has worked. I wouldn't start here if you haven't read McPhee before, I'd start with Annals of the Former World, because that is amazing. But if you already like McPhee this will probably be an interesting and fast read. (Note for people who are always on the lookout for writing books: this is about writing nonfiction, if that changes anything for you.)

Robert Muir-Wood, The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters. Interesting stuff on structure and materials and their adaptations to place. I'd have liked more of the title and less of the background for the title, but I'm told there are storage and organization issues with having everything.

Dennis Romano, Markets and Marketplaces in Medieval Italy, c. 1100 to c. 1440. This goes into a lot of detail about the relationship of the sacred and secular in this context, and about how the different Italian city-states varied but had common elements in how they handled marketplace issues. One of the things that was interesting to me was how much focus there was on fraud--which makes sense, but...well, if you have friends and family who spend a lot of time on deregulation as a political hot button, direct them to the medieval Italians.

Rebecca Solnit, Call Them By Their True Names. This is a collection of Solnit's recent essays on the contemporary scene. I'd already read several of them in their original magazine publications, but it was still an interesting book--and I basically always reach for Rebecca Solnit first whenever I get one of her books.

Vanessa Tait, The Looking Glass House. I didn't see one of the marketing points of this book before I picked it up in a used bookstore--namely that Tait is the descendant of Alice Liddell of Alice in Wonderland fame. This is a novel about the Liddells' governess. Basically everyone in it is unhappy and unpleasant, parents, children, governesses, random family friends, all of them. This is a "sucked to be them" book, and while it's written reasonably well, all that did was make me keep reading until the end, with nothing but frustration and misery as far as the eye can see. Not recommended.

Sara Teasdale, Love Songs. Kindle. There are several things that Teasdale appears to think about love that make me want to rent her a cabin for a year so she can get some time to herself to think, and then introduce her to people who are kind and don't play power games, because wow, kiddo, wow. But then there are the moments where she is wrapped up in natural beauty, and I'm here for that.

Fic: The Lion and the Unicorn

Feb. 18th, 2019 10:06 pm
philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)
[personal profile] philomytha
I mentioned something about falling headfirst into a new fandom? Have another fic, something a bit more substantial this time. I don't think it's going to be all Saru all the time here forever, but, well, I'm not out of ideas yet :-). I feel like I'm still getting to grips with their voices, and Trek is such a gigantic canon that I only know bits of - the only Trek I've watched all the way through is DS9 - so it's a bit intimidating to write for this, and writing for visual fandoms really isn't natural for me at all. But I have a whole lot of thoughts and headcanon about the mirror universe and Kelpiens and what was going on with everything to do with Saru in S1, and because I don't really do nonfiction meta, it's coming out in stories :-)


Title: The Lion and the Unicorn
Summary: Saru visits the Terran Emperor aboard Discovery. An extra scene from 1.14

The Lion and the Unicorn )

This goes beyond what I can fathom

Feb. 18th, 2019 02:46 pm
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

Or, being home IT support...

Partner's computer has been connected to the home network via a TP Powerline, i.e. an ethernet connection.

There have lately been problems and in fact, the connection has defaulted to the (weak and fluctuating) wifi that reaches the back room.

We have therefore replaced the existing TP Powerline (which was of some antiquity, as I recall), but this does not seem to have fixed the problem. The computer recognises that there is an ethernet connection to the home network there, but says there is No Internet.

This is getting beyond my competence to deal with.

O, all knowledge which is on Dreamwidth, can you help me?

ETANow seems to have sorted itself! Boggle.

Interesting Links for 18-02-2019

Feb. 18th, 2019 12:42 pm
brithistorian: (Default)
[personal profile] brithistorian
This is a really interesting song to me, not so much the song itself (which sounds kind of like something Erasure might have produced in the late 80s/early 90s[1]) but the choices surrounding it.  You see, IZ*ONE was one of the hot new groups that debuted last year.  Their debut song, "La Vie en Rose," was recently featured as SOTD here.  Given the success of "La Vie en Rose," I think it's an interesting and somewhat risky choice that their second single is a Japanese release, as are their third and fourth music videos (which weren't released as singles).  If it pays off, it will have been good for them to get into the Japanese market early in their career, but it has the potential to backfire.  Korean fans can be very sensitive about the international markets, and they're quick to turn on an artist that they perceive as devoting too much attention to international markets at the expense of the Korean market.  I hope that doesn't happen to IZ*ONE.  I think the best thing they can do to prevent it happening would be to have a Korean comeback soon, preferably with an original song, not a Korean version of "Suki to Iwasetai."  [2]

[1]  Which I mean as a compliment.
[2]  "Suki no Iwasetai" doesn't even necessarily have to have a Korean language release - Twice and Red Velvet have each released any number of Japanese songs that were never released in a Korean version, and it doesn't seem to have hurt they're career.  Korean fans understand the necessity of foreign markets, and they don't insist on having everything.  They just think they should have the most and the best things.  (I imagine Canadian fans feel much the same way about Canadian artists promoting in the US.)

Home from Boskone

Feb. 17th, 2019 09:56 pm
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] redbird
Despite being awake late last night, I woke up a little after 7 a.m. I made tea, then went down to the fitness center. This time I did a few exercises and soaked in the hot tub for a bit, which my legs appreciated.

That took me to about 8:30. There was no Sunday morning programming that interested me, and I didn't feel like hanging out for a couple of hours hoping someone I knew would walk past and be in a mood for conversation, so I got dressed, checked out, and headed home. (Judy Bemis saw me in the lobby as I was heading out; we hugged goodbye as she explained that she was on her way to a shift in the con treasury.)

I stopped off at South Station and grabbed a savory croissant at the Pret a Manget; I hadn't wanted to wait in line at the hotel lobby Starbucks, but it seemed imprudent to wait until I got home. One disadvantage of this year's Boskone is that the con suite had only packaged snacks--chips, candy, cookies, I think some little packets of cheese and crackers, rather than bagels or donuts, or the lots and lots of hard boiled eggs they've had in previous years. There wasn't even milk for the coffee and tea, just packets of sugar and creamer. (This seems to have been a change in hotel policy.) If I go to another con at that hotel, and stay overnight, I am going to make sure to bring yogurt and other food I can keep in the fridge. (I'd bought a couple of single-serving yogurts, and forgot to grab them on my way out of Adrian's apartment Friday; if I'd known how limited the con suite would be, I'd have stopped in South Station and at least gotten some more yogurt.)

Since getting home I have played three games of Scrabble with [personal profile] cattitude, combed Molly, proofread one short article for Queue, stretched and exercised, and unloaded (twice), reloaded (twice), and run the dishwasher. Tomorrow's plan is more Scrabble, proofreading, stretching, and playing with the cats.


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