Wednesday went underground*

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:19 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished Boys will be Boys, which was still very familiar although it is many years since I last read it. Wonder if Turner would really have liked to be writing something a bit more serious about matters of popular culture; and would have liked to be nerdish in the archives of the publishing companies, because there are sometimes wistful asides about the mysteries that might be solved thereby. Pretty sure this is where the very youthful [personal profile] oursin first acquired that apprehension that each generation disses upon what the young of next are consuming (whether print or radio or more latterly other media) as A Road to Ruin (I wish I could locate my copy of his Roads to Ruin).

Also finished The Witch of Syracuse: worked well, did not have that sense one so oft has when scattered short stories on a character/s are brought together of 'fix-up', but that it worked as a narrative arc. Also thought it worked well on the historical contingencies, nature of the deities, etc. (Very unfluffy Hellenic/Punic goddesses.)

Being somewhat smitten with travel angst, read various short things, comfort re-reads, etc.

Did read the novella Suradanna and the Sea by Rebecca Fraimow (2016): very good, even though I couldn't remember why or when I'd downloaded it.

On the go

Finally began Victoria Bates, Sexual Forensics in Victorian and Edwardian England: Age, Crime and Consent in the Courts (2015) - very good so far.

Also currently in medias res, Patricia McKillip, Kingfisher (2017) - very good, but my bar for riffing on/mashing up Arthuriana is set very high with Naomi Mitchison's To the Chapel Perilous.

Up Next

Dunno.

*Among other sights seen today, Rynek Underground.

Mr Tranter

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:43 pm
[personal profile] bridgetblood posting in [community profile] trennels
From the solution to a crossword clue, I just learned that "tranter" is an old Dorset word for a carrier, or someone who sells goods while travelling from place to place. I wonder if AF chose Mr Tranter's name because of the dialect link?

Interesting Links for 20-09-2017

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:00 pm

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:45 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthdsy, [personal profile] sharpiefan!
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
[personal profile] netgirl_y2k
1. My little sister is visiting from the Republic of Ireland. She was in a pub in Dublin, and a couple of people asked her what she was doing in Ireland, and she said: "I'm British. I've come to take your land." And then she had to go to the airport and flee the country immediately. Well, no. I mean, yes but no. She's on loan back to a Scottish university to work on a project she doesn't want to be on, for a senior academic that she doesn't much like, for a grand total of zero pounds sterling (something holding references and publications over her head something something.) Sometimes I think about the difference between having a job and having a career, and at the moment I think it's that when I have to do things I don't want to do, at the behest of people I don't like, I at least get paid for it.

On her first day back, she was on a bus where somebody threw a bicycle at the driver, who stood up and chased him down the street. And because she hasn't been living in Glasgow for a couple of years she considered this 'weird' and 'frighting', and not 'a good reason to be late for work' or 'a tuesday'. So I've been loaning her my car, and as my car is held together by string and happy thoughts (that, of course, being the other big difference between having a career and a job) I'd warned her to keep an eye out for any of the engine management lights coming on. Anyway, cue later that night when she called frantic because there was a light on the dashboard that wouldn't go off. It was the handbrake light. She hadn't let the handbrake off, and it was the handbrake light. I love her.

2. I have had Freya - ridiculous mostly labrador, much loved bane of my existence, and reason for getting out of bed on mornings when I just want to go nope - for three years now, and to celebrate my mum made her a birthday cake. Liver & kidney, which, yes, is as disgusting as it sounds. It's worth noting that I have passed thirty-four birthdays on this green Earth, and my mother has yet resisted any temptation to make me a birthday cake.

I've actually been having some behaviour problems with Freya. Earlier in the summer she was attacked by two Vizslas (a couple of stitches in her eyelid, a bad fright, and me nearly coming to blows with the owner.) But ever since then she's been determined to get her revenge in first with almost every female dog she meets.

In almost all respects I think dogs are better than people, but you can't explain female solidarity or internalised misogyny to a dog; then again, you can't explain those to most people, so maybe we'll call that one a draw.

And she's still a total pet with people, so.

3. It occurred to me that I'd never actually made use of the Netflix free trial. I watched Below Her Mouth (porn, basically), a bunch of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (the best hangover telly there has ever been or will be), two seasons of You Me Her (actually really good), a season and a half of iZombie (I thought the first season was awesome; during the second I thought that the joke that Liv basically becomes the person whose brain she'd eaten was wearing thin, and I didn't give a rat's ass about anything that was going on with Major.)

I tried the first episodes of Santa Clarita Diet (too gross) and One Day at a Time (too much laugh track) but nah.

But the bigger thing was that Netflix has half-assed its crackdown on vpns, so while you can't watch anything, you can see how much better the US version is, kind of killing any desire I had to shell out for the clearly inferior UK version.

4. I have been on this thing of writing for more exchanges in 2017, and honestly, I'm not sure this has been leading to my best work: Exhibit A: my contributions to [community profile] auexchange

Truth, Justice, and a Really Good Dental Plan (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Superhero AU)

"What I'm saying is: do you think they're trying to Avengers Assemble us? Collecting New York's finest superheroes, and---"

The elevator doors dinged open, revealing Hitchcock and Scully.

"--'Kay," said Jake. "Never mind."


The Morning After the War Before (Person of Interest, Everybody Lives AU)

Sometimes Root wasn't sure that they hadn't lost the war after all, and that she wasn't living out some digital afterlife in the best simulation the Machine could come up with.

Krakow is chilly and rather wet

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:08 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

This morning it was overcast and a bit cool, by this evening via mildly drizzly has become colder and wetter.

Nontheless, we have managed some flaneurserie around the Old Town, a visit to St Mary's Cathedral with its massive gothic altar, and several museums:

The Gallery of C19th Polish Art at Suikiennice

The Jagiellonian University Museum Collegium Maius

The temporary exhibition of 350 items from the The Princes Czartoryski Museum

Pharmacy Museum, Jagiellonian University Medical College

All of which leaves me rather too overwhelmed to say much beyond: that's a hell of a lot of old scientific instruments/apothecary paraphernalia, and dealers across Europe must has seen the Czartoryskis coming, with their interest in associational historical items (I would guess scamsters moved into this after the decline in fake relics?).

There was also (v expensive) coffee taken in a very plush place with numerous historical associations.

Place is generally heaving with tourists and tour groups.

Interesting Links for 19-09-2017

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:00 pm

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:05 pm
girlofprey: (Default)
[personal profile] girlofprey
The dog is better, by the way. He was never quite as bad as he was that one day he was really out of sorts, but now he's had all the medicine - sometimes under extreme duress - he seems to be back on form. All eating and regular and whatnot. I was a little worried for a while, because while I was looking after him, at one point he was off the lead and had a huge feather in his mouth. It's size might be a little exaggerated to me compared to what it was actually like, but it was definitely a whole feather, quill and all. And I walked up to him to get him to drop it, and he just swallowed the whole thing before I could get to him. So, we were a bit concerned it was that causing a blockage, because I never saw it come out the other side. The internet was also super unhelpful about whether feathers are indigestible or not - I think not, but dogs in the wild would probably eat them if they ate a bird? So idk. But anyway, if it was causing a blockage, it's obviously stopped now, so as long as he doesn't have a problem I guess there's no point worrying about it.

He's going to my sister's on Wednesday, when my parents are going away. That was their solution to me thinking I would probably find it difficult to look after him and the house while working. Which I think was probably the right decision, because I slept in until 11:05am this morning, and I have to leave for my train at 12pm, and I needed to have a shower. Hopefully that won't be a recurring situation. But I would always worry it might be if I knew I also had a living thing depending on me. Apparently my sister said "yeah, that's fine" when mum suggested it, and we are very much taking her at her word. She looked after him for long enough when she first had him. Although it might be a little confusing for him.

I'm sort of on edge about mum and dad going away - like, I keep forgetting it's happening, and then remembering that no, I will have to go food shopping on Saturday, and the Saturday after, and I won't have any back-up if I'm running late to go for my train and stuff. But I'm sure it'll be fine, and they do deserve it. I just have to remember I have more to do for the next couple of weeks.

A situation is happening in the Let's Play community, and it's kind of gotten me thinking. I'm sure everyone on the internet, particularly people anywhere near Tumblr, knows who Pewdiepie is and that he's kind of a shithead - last week, he used the n-word while streaming a video game, and in response a different company issued a DMCA to take down his old Let's Play of their game, because they didn't want to be associated with him anymore. Which I think is fair enough, but a lot of people think it's going Too Far, and it's kind of reminded everyone who does Let's Plays that they're only allowed to do it - sometimes for a career - by the grace of the game-makers who own the copyrights. And it's just sort of super weird, because I really don't think they're going to stop Let's Plays, any more than they've stopped fanfiction and fanvids (although the content breach is obviously different) - but whether people should be allowed to make money from Let's Plays, and do it officially in that way is another matter. And the money aspect is absolutely part of the reason for the Pewdiepie takedown - the game producer said they were sick of their content helping make him money, especially given he's now a millionaire. And it's sort of brought home to me just how entitled people seem to feel to make money off of, and make a career out of, Let's Plays and other people's copyrighted games. Like, I genuinely think it affects how much a thing is fair use, whether or not you're making money out of it. And the issue has even come up with paid mods and stuff, and how people 'should really be paid for their work' - but being paid or monetising things is literally not an issue with fanfiction, nor is it even really a discussion. And it just seems super-weird, now that I think about it, the way people seem to think 'yeah, this is my take on this game, and it was hard work to make, so I should get paid for it', and literally no-one thinks that about fanfiction, either inside or outside the community - I think Let's Players would be pretty surprised if anyone suggested to them people should get paid for writing fanfiction.

And I know it probably basically comes down to the same old thing - that fanfiction is largely done by women, and Let's Plays are largely done by men, and people automatically see men's work as more creative and valuable than women's. And men are more likely to ask for a reward for their work, and women are probably more likely to be community-minded and do things for free. But it just seems so odd now that this conversation is happening, and literally none of the Let's Players are asking "do we actually deserve to make money off this?". Strange how different views can be to different types of fanworks. Idk. I kind of experience Let's Plays for free anyway, because I have adblocker, and I subscribe to Rooster Teeth mostly for their original content, so I never really thought about it as a monetary thing. But it's interesting. I'll be interested to see how the situation with DMCAs and stuff plays out.

Travel/travail

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:11 pm
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Today has been mostly airports and planes - both flight AND connecting flight were delayed, so even more hanging about airports than anticipated.

Now fed and in hotel - serious lack of/unhelpful positioning of power sockets. But at least free wifi and brekkers inc.

Good Omens, literally

Sep. 18th, 2017 04:09 pm
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
[personal profile] nineveh_uk
After going home sick at lunchtime*, my day has been greatly improved by the first photo of David Tennant and Michael Sheen as Crowley and Aziraphale in the forthcoming TV adaptation of Good Omens.



I definitely approve. Crowley's a bit different from the book, but the faint miasma of desperation exuding from the aging would-be rocker works for me. As for Aziraphale, for the people complaining that it looks exaggerated, that's mild compared to some of the horrors you get round Oxford**. The appalling cut of the trousers is a particularly fine touch, and I like the 'cherub gone to seed' of the fluffy blond hair.

*To the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody: Is this the real flu? Is it just virus-y? Crap immune system, no escape from things disease-y.

**The pale mustard broad wale corduroy suit remains a low point.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:01 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] auguris and [personal profile] fitzcamel!

August Books & September Fun

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:39 pm
morganmuffle: (tea)
[personal profile] morganmuffle
I am finding September challenging in many ways. The whole back into termtime activities coupled with work continuing to be crazy busy with the prospect of it only really getting MORE busy steadily over the next... well I was going to say few months but probably the better part of a year.

But that's not a very good excuse for posting my August books on the 17th September. (Though my September list is going to be VERY short so maybe I should put them together!)

What else have I been doing? Open House London on Saturday involved some very beautiful sniffer dogs and Custom House. On Friday I saw God's Own Country in the cinema and you really should all go and see it and support it as an indie LGBT love story (and oh it really is every bit as hopeful as they say, Brokeback is a stupid thing to compare it to)

I saw Lady Day a couple of week's ago! Which was amazing too, Audra McDonald really disappeared into the role which was incredible to see. It's a slightly strange show in that really it's just a very long impression but it's so spectacularly well done and Billie had such an interesting life that it's hard to quibble with.

Going even further back I got to try out Mail Rail and the newly refurbished Postal Museum (teeny tiny underground trains that used to transport letters around London) and that was pretty cool and will make a great unusual day out when they iron out some of the engineering kinks. I also went with some work people to Banqueting House to try out their Lost Palace Audio Guide around the site of Whitehall Palace which was very clever and a lot of fun though I'm rather afraid that the group I was with slightly collapsed in giggles at the Cock Fighting section (there was a movement censor in the wooden audio unit we had and earlier it had been a sword but when they asked us to imagine it was a Cock and grasp it firmly with both hands and then shake it... well I made the mistake of meeting the eye of my bosses boss and and that was it)

So I've not been doing nothing! Just in between those things quietly freaking out about life in general. So nothing out of the usual.

Anyway. Books!

  • Orlando - Virginia Woolf
  • Screwtape Proposes a Toast and other pieces - C.S.Lewis
  • The Sun, The Moon & The Stars - Steven Brust
  • The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  • Giants at the End of the World - Johanna Sinisalo & Toni Jerrman (eds)
  • Shylock Is My Name - Howard Jacobson
  • The Gap of Time - Jeanette Winterson
  • Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Avonlea - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of the Island - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Windy Poplars - L.M. Montgomery

  • Anne's House of Dreams - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Ingleside - L.M. Montgomery
  • Rainbow Valley - L.M. Montgomery
  • Rilla of Ingleside - L.M. Montgomery


August reviews )

Culinary

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:36 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Bread during week: a loaf of the Khorasan (kamut) flour, made as per instructions on the packet.

Friday supper, Gujerati khichchari, very nice, even if yet again I put in ground cumin instead of cumin seeds.

No Saturday breakfast rolls, as we were using up bread before going away, so had toast.

Today's lunch: lemon sole fillets, seasoned and panfried in butter, served with Ruby Gem potatoes roasted in goosefat, garlic roasted sweet sprouting cauliflower and tenderstem broccoli, and padron peppers.

Fanworks Challenge: Author reveals

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:42 pm
lilliburlero: silhouette of two leaping figures against sunset, the caption "hubris! nemesis!" (hubris)
[personal profile] lilliburlero posting in [community profile] trennels
Authors of the fics in this year's fanworks challenge have been revealed. I doubt if anyone was exactly knocked down with a feather...

Anyway, that's it for another year. Thanks to everyone who contributed for their hard work. Please do go and kudos and comment on any fic that you enjoyed - it's the only reward writers get, and even a simple comment saying 'I enjoyed this!' always means a lot, especially in a small fandom.

Fictional Characters

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:42 pm
bookwormsarah: (Default)
[personal profile] bookwormsarah
I have been really missing LJ of late, and then I remembered dreamwidth. No idea when the entry below dates from, but it turned up when I opened the posting window, so thought I might as well leave it in...

1. Leave a comment to this post asking for a letter.
2. I will give you a letter.
3. Post the names of five fictional characters whose names begin with that letter, and your thoughts on each. The characters can be from books, movies, or TV shows

Antisoppist gave me E:

1. Eustacia Benson (Chalet School)
In common with many bookwormy children I was almost completely on Eustacia's side from my second reading onwards. Not allowed to use the library for a month? I would have wept. Not allowed to be on your own to read? Dreadful. No wonder she hated the school. I can't decide whether she was actually brainwashed, or just very, very clever and learned to outwardly conform until she was old enough to escape. I imagine her spending her first year at university wandering through the college library at 4am and treating herself to blissful solitary days with books just because she could.

2. Enid ?Nightshade? (The Worst Witch)
I loved The Worst Witch books. I was clumsy, I empathised with Mildred Hubble. I almost picked Ethel Hallow (the first so-evil-she's-actually-fun-if-you-don't-have-to-deal-with-her character I can remember), but I remember how taken I was with the description of Enid's hair (the colour of milky tea), the thick plait worn over one shoulder (Maud had bunches, Mildred long straggly plaits like my own). She was the new girl who disrupted things but turned out to be a good friend, upsetting the equilibrium from the first book, but turning into a loyal ally by the third. Must dig these out of the loft when next at Mum's. [This must have been written several years ago as I have had these books for a while]

3. Eowyn (Lord of the Rings)
She was strong! brave! dedicated and refused to be put into a box because of her gender.

4. Esther (Marlows)
I felt for Esther with all her squirming aching awkwardness and embarrassment.

5. Miss Evangelista (Doctor Who, Silence in the Library)
[I didn't write anything for this, but she was an interesting character - dismissed by the crew and treated so contemptuously, aware of her flaws. I need to rewatch.]

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 01:11 pm
girlofprey: (Default)
[personal profile] girlofprey
I am 1000 pages into IT, and I'm so proud of myself, and I sort of don't want to talk about it in case I ruin the magic somehow. But I also don't want to not talk about it in case I make too big a deal of it in my own head and ruin it. I don't want IT to be one of those things I don't finish. But also I am tense because it is finishing. This is it. I'm going to get answers and find out what really happens. But I'm also going to get answers and find out what really happens. When I was about halfway through the book, I estimated it was about 1400-1500 pages, but looking at it now I think it's closer to 1300. Which doesn't seem like enough for all the stuff I know is going to happen. Spoilers )

But I am getting close to the end, and I am excited. But also, at the same time, I read Tommyknockers as a teenager and I remember there was one bit where a character went into Derry to get some more batteries and thought they saw a clown in a storm drain for a minute. And I remember thinking at the time "that's a reference to It", and now I can't remember what year The Tommyknockers was set in. It was after 1985, I don't even know. They better beat the damn death clown, Stephen.

It's so cold lately, it's September and it's sunny, but it's still cold. I don't understand why. I felt like after the not-summer we had in June and July and then how hot it was in August, it would just continue to warm for another few months. Now I'm worried we're going to have a really cold winter. I don't do so well with the cold. Or maybe we'll have a really hot one? I don't know.
oursin: Hedgehog saying boggled hedgehog is boggled (Boggled hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

A pregnant woman working at a Queenstown ski field found a colleague had left a condom filled with mayonnaise and a crude note on her desk during a staff morale boosting event.

And okay, perhaps this is me being Very British Problems, but I'm fairly creeped out by the concept of

an event dubbed "woo week" where staff were encouraged to boost each other's morale using notes and gifts.

An event poster from NZ Ski encouraged staff to "Let those romantic and creative juices flow, to show your affections and/or appreciation for your woo'ee. "Whether you're single, married, defacto or other, woo week is fun for everyone. "You are assigned at random one person to woo in secret from 23-29th July," the poster read.

The ughfulness is terrific. I feel thar even short of the reported crudity, this has enormous potential for problems.

Interesting Links for 17-09-2017

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm

Where the Wide Aisles Are

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:16 am
steepholm: (Default)
[personal profile] steepholm
My daughter has been working at Sainsbury's for a week now, but yesterday was the first day I'd actually seen her in her Sainsbury's jacket and name badge, when she popped home for some things before heading out again into the night.

It did make me wonder, though, whether she would ever be able to go into a supermarket while so attired. If she went into different store, say the Co-op, I imagine she would be driven out by staff enraged by her livery, much as crows will mob a sparrow-hawk. But if she went into a different Sainsbury's the following exchange would have a certain comic inevitability:

C [to the cashier]: Just this chewing gum, please.
Cashier: That'll be 45p.
Manager [interrupting]: You! Get to Till 13 right away! Don't you know we're understaffed today?
C: Me? But I'm only buying some chew--
Manager [hands already bunching into fists]: Don't answer back! Till 13 - hop to it!
C: But I don't even work here.... [Is bustled away to Till 13 and spends the next 7 hours weighing carrots.]


I don't know why I imagine all managers as ex-RSMs, but I do.

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