torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 24th, 2017 02:40 am)
1. I have stayed up too late and am especially glad to have a day off tomorrow where I can sleep in.

2. We finished up season one of Daria tonight. I've really been enjoying it a lot.

3. I have also been enjoying the fairly cool weather we've been having. Looks like it's supposed to get up into the low 80s in the beginning of August, and I'm hoping it doesn't get too much warmer than that, but it probably will.

4. How are these cats so cute?

shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:08 pm)
Hmmm...note to self, just because you delete something, doesn't necessarily mean it disappears.

Although I do it a lot. Mainly because I'll re-read the comment or think about what I posted and go, frak. I did not mean to say THAT. I meant to say THIS. But someone will totally think THAT. What to do? DELETE! DELETE!

OR, damn, that didn't come out as well as I thought it did. Note to self, sugar warps the brain.
shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:31 pm)
1. The Great British Baking Show...this episode was pastry. And I felt sorry for the bakers.
Also, who makes Bakewell Tarts? I've rarely seen them and never had one. I've had marzipan tarts. But not with that horrid icing on top. Seriously. Everyone knows how to bake or should know how to bake a Bakewell tart? Maybe if you are British and in your 70s.

But I adore this show. And it made me cry this week...Val is such a lovely lady. She said she just bakes with love. And does it to share her love with others. And she's always so upbeat regardless of how well she does. Not that competitive and brings others up.

2. fannish about television -- alas, I'm not really. Nothing is really grabbing me. And the one show that did...got cancelled and didn't have enough episodes. Also...I think when you binge the entirety of a series at once, as opposed to watching it as it airs...the whole fannish bit melts away faster?

I've tried with Doctor Who. But it has so many problems. That said, it may turn around for me...I rather liked a good portion of this season. Much better than the previous season. And I did like the River Song arc. So, the change in Doctors or new Doctor may change my take on it and make it more interesting for me, while simultaneously getting rid of the things that irritated me about the series and kept me from investing in it on an emotional level. Don't know. This season was certainly better than last.

The trailer to the Christmas episode is quite brilliant.

3. Will -- uneven so far, but the play writing bits still fascinate. How Alice convinces him to adapt plays from books or borrow ideas from others, as opposed to coming up with his own. In a way his talent lay more in adaptation that in coming up with new and clever ideas. Also, love how it shows the collaborative nature of the work, and how much Alice influenced him and in a way co-wrote The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

4. Broadchurch -- the third season is better than the second, which I couldn't get into and found unwatchable. So far, I've found compelling despite the subject matter. What works is we have a normal, not beautiful, somewhat ordinary, older woman sexually assaulted. Usually in these shows, it's a pretty young girl, who is model pretty. Or a lead character. Here, it's a new character and I think that works better. Also they don't show the assault or fetish it, which helps. Too many shows fetish it.

Jodi Whittaker, who plays Beth Latimer in the series, I've been watching closely, curious to know what she'll do with Doctor Who. She seems a bit earnest. So don't know. But then that is the role of Beth Latimer. I can't remember her in Venus. I'm pretty certain I saw it, but the movie clearly wasn't memorable. I sort of wish Olivia Coleman had gotten the role. I rather like Coleman, she does world-weariness well.

I have to admit I can't understand half of what Tennant says. His accent is thick. And he mumbles. Same problem with a good portion of the actors. Latimer, I can at least understand. She enouciates and doesn't mumble. That was actually my difficulty with Tennant as Who, I couldn't understand half of what he said. He speaks fast and mumbles.

I keep putting on the close-captioning. In Broachurch, I rewind and sort of guess. Do however love what Tennant does with his face. Now if he'd just not mumble, it would be great.

5. It was either edit this post or write a new one...The Mary Sue keeps posting rather cool things to look forward to in the pop culture world. Such as

* Thor Rorganork, which has a great villain in Cate Blanchett's the Goddess of Death. Except I thought Doctor Strange was supposed to be in it. Don't see him in the trailer.
But the film looks like a lot of fun, with a buddy team up of Thor and Hulk.

*The Star Wars episode 8 trailer looks phenomenal.

* So too does the trailer for "The Gifted" which wonders what would it be like to be born a mutant in a world where the X-men and the Brotherhood may not even exist any longer? Focuses on lesser seen and known mutants such as Lorna Dane (Polaris), Thunderbird (John Proudstar, the Native American mutant), Eclispe, and Blink. Also stars Amy Acker and Stephen Moyer as humans.

* And..the Black Widow trailer. I didn't know they were doing a Black Widow film. It looks official not fan made.

* Apparently Marty McFly is coming back to save us from the Doofus in 2016-17. Will he succeed? Yes, there's a Back to the Future IV coming out. The mind boggles.

* They have actually adapted a film from one of my all time favorite children's books, A Wrinkle in Time -- which appears to have a good cast. And the trailer looks brilliant, unlike A Bridge Over Terribetha, which was a weak film.

* There's some concern over "The Defender's" which may focus a bit too much on Iron Fist, because of The Hand being the principle villain. I don't know about that...the Hand is actually also the main villain in Daredevil. I think Daredevil will be the center of it. Which is as it should be.

* They are apparently doing a film version of Cloak and Dagger, which I think are from the DC verse. Not sure about it.

* The Inhumans could be interesting...it's focusing on Medusa and Black Bolt, from the 1980s comics. Looks a little cheesy though.

Interesting, a lot of the comic adaptations and book adaptations, with a few exceptions, seem to be from the 1980s...which I rather love. Apparently my generation has some nostalgia for the 80s?

* Apparently Ben Affleck had a falling out with the new Batman director, so they are kicked Affleck to the curb...after that movie is done. Which..hmmm...how does that work with Justice League and other films in the franchise, exactly? Won't people notice a recast? Speculation is that Nightwing aka Dick Grayson will take over. Considering I liked Grayson in the comics and the 60s television series, I'm okay with that. Also he had a more interesting back story -- child of two acrobats, who were killed in a circus accident. So, a trained acrobat. Also, with Nightwing, you could potentially do a romance between him and Batgirl. (I've grown weary of Batman, finally. He's been over done. Superman has too, but not as badly as Batman.)

* And oh dear, I really need to catch up on The Expanse, don't I? They already have the third season trailer out.
One of my most vivid memories is of a rest break in the middle of the Russian proficiency test which a dozen of us graduate students in the Slavic Department were taking to fulfill the language requirement for a masters degree. We all stood up to stretch our legs. I saw one of the women, who I admit I was very fond of, glance oddly around the room and then exclaim in a loud surprised voice to no one in particular, "I'm the only one in the room, who doesn't have blue eyes!" It seemed to be an odd thing to be interested in at that moment. I looked around quickly and saw a lot of worried looking young men and women, who even after the outburst were not paying much attention to eye color or anything but their own thoughts. The speaker obviously wasn't very worried about the section of the test we'd just taken, concentrating on everyone's eye color, and I guess I wasn't either, concentrating on her and her deep brown eyes.

One of the first things we learned about genetics in primary school was that blue eyes are inherited. We were told that you had to have two genes for blue eyes and thus both of a blue-eyed person's parents had to carry one gene for that trait. It made perfect sense in terms of my family. My father, my sister and brother, and I all had blue eyes. But my mother had hazel eyes, speckled and streaked with lots of different colors, blue, yellow, green, rusty brown. My father had two of the genes for blue eyes, and by chance all of us children inherited my mother's gene for blue eyes. No need for 'further study' as they say. Several years later I was in high school and trying to get the attention of a different young lady. I gave her something I'd written that included something I thought was a nice compliment about her brown eyes. Her first reaction? "I don't have brown eyes! I have hazel eyes!' Oops! In my defense, her eyes were indeed brown in color, a nice milk-chocolaty brown, not the deep brown most people think of with brown eyes. And hazel? Well, if she and my mother stood side by side, no one would ever say their eyes were at all the same color! So my estimation of what hazel eyes should look like and the girl's hazel eyes were wildly different. I was too embarrassed to be thinking about genetics at that moment, but clearly I should have noticed before then there is a lot more to eye color than blue eyes on, or blue eyes off.

Since my grade school days, science has learned that individual genes aren't the end all and be all of inherited traits. But that is so complicated that comparatively little of that has been discovered yet.

Which brings us to the subject of the popular DNA tests offered by a number of companies for a non-trivial fee. There is plenty of useful information one of these tests could give you: finding unknown relatives, telling you about risks for genetically transmitted diseases and so on. But one of the biggest selling points the companies give is mapping out your genetic origins: where 'your people' came from. This kind of analysis is a considerably less accurate than they would lead you to believe.

First of all we would *like* to believe that the populations from various places on earth are so distinct and separate that it is an easy task to tell ancestry from here from ancestry from there. (Especially if you happen to be a big time racist!) The simple fact is that statistically speaking compared to a lot of other mammal species there isn't a heck of a lot of difference between any humans genetically, African, native Australian, East Asian, European, or thorough mixture. So what the companies are working with is a very limited number of genes and gene sequences that seem to be characteristic of particular geographic locations. Now mitochondrial DNA can tell you very precisely which woman your mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's ad infinitum mother came from. Very interesting. But that is only an extremely tiny portion of your family history. If you are male, your Y chromosome can tell you similar things about you father's father's forefathers, but again only one direct line and if you are female (and don't have a close male blood relative handy who can be tested) you are out of luck on that score. Assuming an average of 25 years between generations, five hundred years ago each of us potentially had over a million individual ancestors. Compared to that, one or two easy-to-define direct hereditary lines are almost trivial.

So let's talk percentages. When you take a DNA test the company will tell you what percentage of your ancestors came from areas of the world x, y and z. This a not exactly a lie, but it is misleading. The one fact that is drummed into our heads when learning the absolute basics of genetics is that we inherit (y chromosomes with their direct X pairs excluded) exactly half our genes from our mothers and half from our fathers. No question, this is basically true. But in our minds we tend to think that by extension we must get exactly 1/4 of our genes from each grandparent, 1/8 from each great grand parent and so on. This is a very big mistake. From each parent we get half their genes from the pool of genes they got from their parents. Mathematically speaking, whether you are male or female, it is possible for you to inherit 100% of your mother's genes from her mother and none uniquely from her father. Statistically speaking that's very close to impossible, but technically it's not impossible. What you get from each parent is a random selection from their internal pool of genes, not a definable amount from each of your more distant ancestors. Since the vast majority of our genes as humans are so similar it generally isn't a big deal. But when you are looking at a much smaller selection of genes for this or that, it becomes much more important. Imagine that we are going to look at 100 genes from our personal DNA. We look back at our mother's parents' genes and can say that statistics show that most of us, around 68% of us, will get somewhere between 32 and 68 of these 100 genes from each. Around 26% of us will get between 5 and 32 from one parent and 68 to 95 from the other. Finally over 5%, one in 20 people, will get 5 or less from one of mother's parents and 95 or more from the other. So it is very possible that one of your parents' parent's gene sets (particularly in our small sample of genes) will show up in you much more prominently than each of those from the other three individuals!

What does this mean for those DNA test results? It means that they can only give you data on what you actually inherited, not on what your ancestors' DNA looked like. So suppose grandma told you a story that one of grandpa's grandmothers was a full blooded Choctaw Native American. Claiming Native American ancestry is more common than actually having Native American ancestry and having it is very difficult to prove through documentation. If your DNA test could be perfect and grandma was right, the test would hopefully tell you that you were at least 5% Native American by descent. But the number of genes they are testing for is small, and presumably in this case, the number of great-great grand parents who were Native American is one. So there is a fair chance that the test results will show 0% Native American ancestry even if grandma knew exactly what she was talking about!

If you want to take the test please do. It may tell you things you never knew. But don't take the ancestry results too literally. The tests can tell you a lot about who you are, but not as much about where you came from as you might hope.
torachan: (Default)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:04 am)
1. I have to stay till closing tomorrow, which means I don't have to go in until noonish, so I can have a nice lazy morning.

2. Last night Jasper fell asleep with his head on the base of the scratching post, which was super cute.

torachan: a kitten looking out the window (chloe in window)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:33 am)
1. I'm just a few pages away from being done translating Tera Girl! Even though this is only a three volume series, it was such low priority it feels like it's taken forever to finish it, so I'm excited to finally get it done. (There is an unrelated one-shot at included in the last volume, and I do also plan to translate that, so I won't technically be done with the series until that's done, but I'll be done with the main story and the unrelated one-shot can wait for a bit.)

2. We got these delicious edamame Pretz in recently at work and I just tried them today and they're so good!

3. Carla got a bunch of really cute Chloe pics yesterday.

shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 21st, 2017 11:38 pm)
1. And the FB debate on Carol's page continues...the poster who is cisgender, heterosexual, is offended because he sees it as a forced gender reassignment done by the writer. And refuses to ever watch the television show again because the Doctor is now being played by a woman.

the debate continues )
This is fascinating to me, because I honestly do not understand the backlash. Although I have seen it before in fandom. It's why, I've swung clear of fandom over the years. There's...to put it kindly, a kind of craziness that occurs in people when they get obsessed with something. And if they are shipping a character not the story, a specific character as they perceive and identify with that character in their heads...it can get heated.

That's the danger in shipping characters or relationships hard. Or being a devoted fan of a character, not a story or the world or all the characters within the narrative or the narrative itself, but a specific iconic character and/or relationship often at the expense of the canon or all logic.

I saw it in the Buffy fandom. A lot. A telling sign? I just want my television boyfriend to be happy.
(Ahem, the story ends when he is happy. There is no story. It's boring. We need conflict. This is not real life. This is a fictional story.)

2. On a funnier note... DALEKS ATTACK BRITISH TABLOIDS AFTER THEY POST NUDE PHOTOS OF NEW DOCTOR WHO...although I couldn't quite tell if the nude photo bit was fictional, if not, for shame you nasty people you.

3. our crazy ass government )
torachan: arale from dr slump with a huge grin on her face (arale)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 21st, 2017 01:39 am)
1. My mom called me this afternoon and said her husband was having problems with his computer, could I come over and fix it and she'd give me money off the rent if I did. Well, that's always good incentive, but especially considering we just had $1500 in car repairs, I rushed right over. :p And it was an easy fix, so I probably spent more time driving over there in lunchtime traffic than actually spent at his computer.

2. I finally got the last of the twelve memories in Zelda, and now there's another final memory to get. I played for quite a while today but I don't even know what all I did. Mostly wander around central Hyrule and kill Guardians in hopes of getting some damn ancient cores, but I killed like ten or more and only one dropped a core. I need three more cores to upgrade the last piece of my guardian armor! I also randomly found the Tingle tights even though I wasn't even looking for them. Oh, and I played some of the Trial of the Sword, but I died and then decided to do something else for a while.

3. Jasper is getting so big! He's almost nine months and he's pretty much as big as Chloe now, maybe even a little bigger.

shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 20th, 2017 09:56 pm)
1. Note to self when you feel irritated and frustrated with life or anything, stay off the internet.

2. I've been thinking about something that I read in The Mary Sue, which also skips back to a discussion in a friends FB. It's about identifying as a gender. Or a better way of saying it -- identifying a character as "male" or "female", and that being an identifying characteristic that cannot be changed. I'm struggling to wrap my head around it. Because I wonder sometimes what traits we consider to be typically male or female.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine actually handled gender identity in an interesting manner. One of their aliens Jadzia Dax was symbiot. The symbiot jumped from body to body, merging with a new one and becoming reborn. The Captain of the Space Station, Benjamin Sisko had issues with Jadzia at first, because he'd known Dax as male in Dax's prior incarnation.


Jadzia Dax is a joined Trill. Though she appears to be a young woman, Jadzia lives in symbiosis with a wise and long-lived creature, known as a symbiont, named Dax. The two share a single, conscious mind, and her personality is a blending of the characteristics of both the host and the symbiont. As such, Jadzia has access to all the skills and memories of the symbiont's seven previous hosts. Jadzia holds academic degrees in exobiology, zoology, astrophysics and exoarchaeology, all of which she earned before being joined with the symbiont Dax. (DS9 Season 1 Episode Dax)

Jadzia Dax is the station's chief science officer, and is close friends with commander Benjamin Sisko and Bajoran first officer Kira Nerys. Later in the series, she becomes involved with the Klingon character Worf, and they marry during the sixth season of the show. Her character is killed by Gul Dukat during the sixth-season finale (due to Terry Farrell's desire to pursue a role on the then upcoming TV show Becker with Ted Danson). The character of Dax re-emerges in the seventh-season premiere in the form of Ezri Dax.




It's difficult to handle. Particularly when we are socialized to put a great deal of importance on gender roles. Everything in our culture impresses this upon us. It's ingrained in us as babies. Even down to clothing. My niece stated once that she was happy she was born a girl because she could wear skirts and dresses. Which struck me as interesting because I've met men who wore dresses in NYC. Even went contra-dancing with one of them. I wore pants, he was wearing a skirt. Her statement even more amusing when I consider that my brother refused to tell anyone the gender of his child prior to her birth, so they would not get her gender specific items. He wanted blue, not just pink or vice versa.

At work, I once discussed Mad Men with a male coworker, who felt Elizabeth Moss' character was too masculine. That she clearly wanted to wear the pants. And wasn't willing to be female. And wanted to be a man. (I had to take three steps back, swallow hard, and remember he's not aware he's being sexist here. And he's not sexist in other ways.)

Remember being on a fanboard when it was announced that Starbuck in BattleStar Galatica reboot was being recast as a woman. Fans of the previous series went nuts. Dirk Benedict who'd portrayed the role was deeply offended. (Sort of makes me rather proud of Colin Baker who portrayed Doctor Who and adores the idea of a female Who, of course Who is a bit different...in some respects, but still.).
One woman on the board went ballistic. She felt it was an insult. How dare they! The more people complained about it, and they did through the entire course of the series, the more excited the writers became. Starbuck was interesting to me, because in some respects Katee Sackoff played the character more masculine than Benedict, more tough. She was high adrenaline. A Boxer. Took Apollo down in the ring. An ace pilot. Smoked those cigars with glee. Took no prisoners. A complete subversion of gender stereotypes. The writers through the recast challenged viewers and their own concept of gender. And identity. It was a brilliant move, but also a risky one.

Years ago, I wrote a Fanged Four fic with various members of a board. And a fight broke out while writing the fic. One of the writers had come up with the idea of having Angel and Spike dress up as women to infilterate a dance hall and fool a villain. But at least two people in the group, it was a collaborative writing effort, got really upset about the idea of "Angel" wearing a dress. They felt it demeaned the character somehow or was OTT. We compromised, most of the Spike fans had no problems with Spike wearing a dress. And I agreed to write the Spike in dress sequences along with the two other people.

And...I will always remember a fascinating discussion I had once with my brother and father regarding male writers. My brother despises Cormac McCarthy and Ernest Hemingway, he hates machismo and he's never really been a fan of James Bond. He said...that he feels it's limiting, that men are being pressured into falling into some sort of ideal -- the idea of a macho man, alpha, strong, and sort of cruel. My father, a fan of these writers and characters, was bewildered and felt too many books were geared towards women not men. He also had the odd view that women were more nuturing, caring, natural gardners, caregivers, and domestic, while men were more protective, less good with kids, and more pragmatic. My brother and I sort of threw that theory out the window. Since we are sort of the opposite or a hodge podge of both. We, my brother and I, both strongly believe that gender is immaterial and a spectrum. That it doesn't matter. When I mentioned once to him that women navel gaze more than men and are more into emotion and analyzing it, he blew my theory out of the water by telling one of his male friends did this sort of thing all the frigging time.

I'm talking about all this... because several things, not just one, have happened that brought it to the surface. The book I'm reading at the moment is driving me nuts, it's a fantasy novel and it is so...boilerplate on gender. Reinforcing stereotypes. Makes me miss Captive Prince. One of the reasons a lot of women like male/male romances is that a lot of gender stereotypes get exploded, also you don't have to deal with the ingrained sexism that is in the female/male romances. Did you know that a lot of reviewers on Amazon and Good Reads actually capitalize the word "Hero" and lowercase the word "heroine", with H/h? It blew my mind when I first noticed it. I started responding, please stop this, then gave up.

And of course the election from hell...resulting in the President from hell. I guess you could say the Europeans are more advanced in that respect. Except the Europeans don't elect candidates necessarily so much as parties. And it is the party that elects the candidate. So just that district elected Margaret Thatcher or Theresa May. I wonder if the entire country had to vote for them, if the result would have been the same? (Not sure about Germany.) And to be fair, Hillary did get the popular vote. But it's disconcerting that a lot of people chose to vote for a man who had not one but several allegations of sexual harrassment and sexual violence against him, various civil suits, and said derogatory things about women over a woman who apparently had no clue how to use email. Yet, they tell me they aren't sexist or misogynistic. And they aren't. Not in their day to day pursuits.
So why? Why chose to believe the horror stories about Hillary over Trump? Was it about gender? Hard to say...it appears to be. They say it wasn't. Yet. Same deal with Bernie vs. Hillary. They say it's not, and maybe not, yet...so many of the ads screamed it. Hillary was too masculine, too hard, not friendly enough, didn't wear the right clothing.

And now, the ruckus over Doctor Who. In a perfect world, it wouldn't matter. Doctor Who in a perfect world would have been black, blue, a woman, an man, old, young, and something in between. In a perfect world, it wouldn't matter that Barack Obama is black, or that Hillary is female. But alas, we don't live in a perfect world. We live a flawed one. From an objective pov, such as my mother's or various others...this seems rather silly. Just as getting upset over making James Bond female or casting a female version of Bond might. (Which they did, by the way.) But not as James Bond. Not that they can. James Bond is after all human and he doesn't regenerate. And the movies don't necessarily follow a serialized format. I don't why they couldn't cast a female Bond, anymore than they couldn't cast a female Starbuck or female Wolverine. Or, Spike or Angel female. I'd actually like to see someone reboot Angel the Series but with a gender flip. Less so, Buffy, because been there done that.
(There was a British show a while back about a boy who was chosen to fight monsters...) And to be fair, the whole point of Buffy was to challenge a gender trope. (To give you a little back story on Buffy? Whedon studied film in school, and almost all horror films killed the Buffy character off, she was staked, slayed, and often in an alley. With the guy being the hero. Also up to Buffy, all vampire stories had the girl killed, and they guy be the vampire slayer. In short, we've had 100 years of Buster the Vampire Slayer. Whedon was flipping the trope. If you recast Buffy with a guy, it wouldn't be interesting. Actually that's why Supernatural isn't very interesting ...because been there, done that. It doesn't challenge any established tropes. It doesn't do anything interesting. At the end of the day, it's mindless tv. Which is okay. I like mindless tv. But it's not great. Buffy was great because it changed television. And it did it by challenging established gender tropes and archetypes.)

I think the problem with challenging these tropes in culture is two-fold. One, people have a tendency to watch things with their genitalia or as masturbation fodder. I know, I know, insane, but there it is. They won't admit it. But if someone is posting pictures of a hot character...

Two...there's this thing about archetypes and that's psychological. Role models. Needing a strong male hero to fantasize about or love or look up to. And...whether we want to admit it or not, a need to reinforce traditional views and comforting categories that we were taught.

I don't this is speculation for the most part. Because I like flipping the gender roles. I get off on it. I'm doing it myself to an extent, in my writing. I like subvert established tropes. And it irritates me when artists don't. Like with the book I'm reading now. For me, art is more interesting when they aren't playing it safe. It's hard for me to understand why you want it to be safe?
Or maybe I do...I do watch and read things for comfort. Although they aren't necessarily conventional.

Again, I don't know. I don't know why the guy on my friend's FB page can't handle a female Doctor Who. He's rational is that Who is from his perspective identified as male. That the proof of that is how he loved, that he loved in a heterosexual male way. As if there is such a thing. Maybe there is?
I don't know there was never any sex on Doctor Who. It was implied but rather coyly. My friend was as bewildered by this as I was. He suggested that she'd be upset if Wonder Woman was cast as a male.
But that already happened, with Wonder Man. The US has less problems with this sort of thing in its cultural experiments than the Brits apparently. We do it all the time. So part of my bewilderment may be that I'm used to it. Example? Starbuck.

And I don't know why Hillary couldn't become President. Or why we insist on reinforcing these things.

I don't understand my own views on it. But I think we need to ask the questions. Ask why. I don't think it is something as simple as misogyny or sexism ...I think it is more about how we link gender and identity in our heads, giving gender perhaps more importance then we should? Another way of looking at it...a lot of people I've met online...I've no idea from their names what gender they are. I guess. But I've been wrong. They've guessed about me and been wrong. Although I always thought shadowkat was rather obvious. I remember one individual being pissed that we felt the need to out their gender. They preferred to be genderless online. To be without a gender. I think it was interesting that I felt the need to identify it.
torachan: charlotte from bad machinery saying "oh the mysteries of the moth farm" (oh the mysteries of the moth farm)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 20th, 2017 07:44 pm)
What are you currently reading?
I'm still reading both Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children and The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory. I'm about 3/4 of the way done with Miss Peregrine's and a third of the way done with History of Forgetting. I've actually been picking up the latter more often this week, but it's just slower going in general.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finally finished the final volume of Y: The Last Man. Overall, I enjoyed the series, though it's not something I'd read again. And I was pretty bummed by spoilers ).

I read volume one of Giant Days by John Allison, a cute slice-of-life comic about three girls at university. I've read a bit of his webcomic Bad Machinery (that's where this icon is from) but got frustrated with webcomics and stopped reading all the ones I was following, so I never read the whole thing.

Sawtelle: West Los Angeles's Japantown turned out to be a much quicker read than I was expecting when I ordered it, as I didn't realize how little text there was to go along with the pictures (one full page of text at the start of each of the five chapters, plus captions on the photos). I enjoyed this as a look at local history, but it really made me want to read something more in-depth.

I also finished up Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family. I was worried it was going to focus entirely on Ella based on the title, but while there was more focus on her than there had been in past books, there were still chapters about other family members as well.

What do you think you'll read next?
I still have not actually started Are You My Mother?, and I also picked up another library book on Monday, too. We saw the preview for the upcoming Wrinkle in Time movie and that made me want to reread the book. I think I read it more than once as a kid, but it's probably been like thirty years or more, so I remember virtually nothing about it.
torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 20th, 2017 01:08 am)
1. Day off tomorrow! I'm looking forward to staying home and relaxing.

2. The weather's been staying cooler after that spike earlier in the month. High seventies in the day, back down in the sixties at night. It's still pretty muggy, but I'll take this over being muggy and super hot any time.

3. I love looking up at the high shelf above my computer and seeing kitty paws sticking out. XD

shadowkat: (work/reading)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 19th, 2017 07:33 pm)
More other things...

1. A friend of mine on her FB page is having multiple heated discussions with various Doctor Who fans about well, a female Doctor Who. She's for it, of course, they aren't. Her discussions are reminiscent of the debates she had regarding Hillary and Trump.

She's a great debater. But people are...stubborn. Her best point was this Original Creator told BBC to cast Woman as Doctor in 1986.

Here's a link to an interesting article in The Mary Sue about negative female reactions to Doctor Who. And how ingrained misogyny is in our culture. I know it is, I've read a lot of romance novels and literary novels by female writers...and oh dear. Also, notably, I know a lot of men who are happy with Doctor Who being a Woman, voted for Hillary, and loved Wonder Woman, and a lot of women who need well a strong male lead and can't handle powerful women. I saw it in the Buffy fandom, Doctor Who fandom in regards to River Song, and Battle Star Galatica fandom in regards to Starbuck.

2. What I just finished reading?

King's Rising - The Captive Prince Part III and The Summer Palace by CS Pascat. Both were okay. Kings Rising was better. Summer Palace sort of works as a fanservice epilogue. Lots of boring sex, not a lot of story. I'd skip Summer Palace and just end with King's Rising.


What I'm reading now?

Lord of the Fading Lands by CL Wilson -- hmmm, apparently I'm on an initial kick.

This is fantasy, told in a fairy-tale style, with a romance at the center of it, at least for the first two books. The later three in the series apparently focus more on the battles and conflict apparently.

Not sure I'll make it that far. The writing style is not exactly captivating me. I'm having issues with how the writer perceives gender. Also she's very conventional, as is her story. It follows the established tropes.

That said, she says some interesting things about our culture, via fantasy, and is an excellent world-builder. From a thematic, world-building, and plot perspective, she's pretty good, somewhere in line with CS Lewis. And her style is in some respects similar to Anne McCaffrey. (I don't like Anne McCaffrey's writing style now, which is odd. I recently tried to re-read her Dragon Rider's of Pern series and gave up mid-way through. I have a feeling that I'd react the same way to CS Lewis. I loved both as a child, but now certain aspects of their writing and how they viewed gender, get on my nerves.)

I'm admittedly a little obsessed with gender issues at the moment. There's a reason for that -- points at current President, and last year's election.

3. Claws

Made it through five episodes of this series on "On Demand". (Adam Ruins the World -- almost ruined the episodes. He kept popping up in the commercial breaks -- which is every fifteen minutes for On Demand. And I kept muting him, because I cannot abide that man's voice. It's the human equivalent of nails on chalk board. Seriously, people, watch Bill Nye Science Guy instead of Adam. His show is on TruTV. The US has more television networks than it requires. I don't know, I think 1000 is a bit much, don't you?) BTW, the later episodes (of CLAWS not Adam) are really good. You sort of have to get past the introductory stuff...or I did. Actually this is true of most television shows. I rarely get hooked with the first episode. And when I do, the show tends to lose me after the third one.

I loved the fifth episode. Although, I feel a little guilty for loving it. It's hilarious in places.
There's this scene where ...you sort of have to see it for yourself. Too hard to explain. Oh and a great dance sequence to Lady Marmalade.

It also has a lovely twist, that had me giggling.

The series reminds me a lot of Breaking Bad -- except with a John Waters flair.

4. Struggling with a lot of things at the moment. I think I may have to go off fruit. Broke out in hives after having a dish of berries, truwhip cream and a little ice cream. Had the same thing last night, no issues. Not sure why I had a reaction tonight.

Super promises he'll paint the living room soon. Just hasn't happened yet. I'm waiting for it to get painted prior to doing anything else with it. I want a table so I can paint. I miss painting. I watercolor, not oil paint or not with acrylics. Although I have painted with acrylics in the past. Taught myself in my twenties. Just have had more watercolor courses and I'm more comfortable with the medium.

Considering taking another class -- but it meets on the upper East Side, and is at 6PM after work, and I just don't know if I can get there in time and if it's doable.

At loose ends. Want to do something, just not sure what. I want to paint, but do I really want to take a class? I need a table. I can't paint on my lap or the floor effectively. And I tend to spill things, so... Also, I have a bad back.

Also struggling with my novel. I don't really know why.
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 19th, 2017 01:41 am)
1. Got the car back this afternoon and it's running great. I think the disintigrating parts that had to be replaced were probably disintigrating for a while and its performance was suffering, but not to the point where we really noticed until it got really bad.

2. Molly and Jasper really don't spend much time together, so I was really happy to see them both on the window table together looking at a bug last night.

shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 18th, 2017 10:18 pm)
Whoa...HT to yourlibrarian for this link regarding how actors and filmmakers cope with enacting rape on screen . Made me rethink a couple of films I've seen and how I viewed psuedo rape scenes. For example there's a scene in LAST TANGO IN PARIS, that I didn't realize was rape, but the actress experienced as rape and it tramuatized her. Also, various actors who had to portray the rapist relate how taxing it was on them emotionally and mentally, along with the editors and film crew.

Reminds me of something James Marsters stated that haunted me. How he unraveled after being forced to do the attempted rape scene in Buffy. And how he'd had a nervous breakdown...in part because of it.

Yet, 46.7% of the scripts that the writer of the article has read, contained rape scenes. I have to admit, I stopped watching criminal procedurals and series like Supernatural after a bit, because I got tired of the sexual violence. They all have it. Every singled one. It's ...exhausting.

There's a very interesting section in the article concerning Ned Beatty, who states:


In the spring of 1989, actor Ned Beatty penned an op-ed column for The New York Times, writing, "If [men] felt we could truly be victims of rape, that fear would be a better deterrent [for committing rape] than the death penalty."

Beatty most famously played Bobby, a character who is brutally raped by a hillbilly in John Boorman's tense thriller Deliverance (1972). They rehearsed for days and finally completed the scene in a four-minute shot that would forever change Beatty's life. After the film's release, wherever the actor went, strangers would guffaw and yell, "Squeal like a pig," a line uttered by Bobby's rapist. Beatty was continually struck by these cold displays from fans. They seemed to expect him to smile and chat after they'd gleefully demeaned him in reference to a sexual assault.

"He felt like a rape victim," Boorman said later in commentary for the DVD of the film. It had never crossed Beatty's mind that he would become a public spokesman for sexual-assault awareness, but the experience reshaped his psyche, and he was forced to confront what we now call rape culture.


Some day, I'll have to watch Deliverance, never been able to get myself to see it all the way through. Just seen sections of it.

Fascinating article, recommend reading it all the way through, particularly if you are at all interested in film.
cactuswatcher: (Default)
([personal profile] cactuswatcher Jul. 18th, 2017 06:30 am)
I've been recommending Photobucket for people who wanted to post pictures here. Unfortunately, Photobucket has decided to to make their users pay a large fee per month for the ability to do that. Sorry! I guess nothing lasts forever. I probably will not be posting any more pictures here myself.
phosfate: (knifecrab)
([personal profile] phosfate Jul. 18th, 2017 08:14 am)
"The rain was warm and dribbling, as though millions of incontinent hamsters had been suspended over the city."

--Chandland Raymer
Rodent Dick (1943)
torachan: a cartoon kitten with a surprised/happy expression (chii)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 18th, 2017 01:43 am)
1. The check engine light came on the other day and both Carla and I noticed the car was feeling a bit wonky when we were driving, so we took it across the street to get looked at and...it's going to cost $1400. D: But, on the bright side, I hadn't gotten around to taking it in to get the bumper and stuff repaired from the accident yet, so at least we didn't just have $1000* in repairs and then this. The bumper stuff is all cosmetic (except for the fact that the trunk latch is now misaligned and hard to shut, but that just means we can't use the trunk, and we can do without a trunk for a while), so we can just keep putting that off for a while until these repairs are paid off. SIGH.

*I don't think I mentioned this, but the repairs that were supposed to be paid 50/50 by us and the other driver's insurance? Well, apparently the other driver changed their story and insists they weren't backing up, and their insurance has decided to believe them even though they had previously admitted to backing up, so now the insurance won't pay, and my insurance says the only way we can get them to is to take them to small claims court, which I do not have the time for, so we're stuck paying the full amount. We are going to see if we can get another estimate from somewhere else, though, once we do finally take it in for repairs.

One other plus is that they should be able to get it back to us tomorrow, so we won't be without the car for long.

2. I posted so much manga today. I feel very accomplished!

3. I played some more Zelda this evening. Finally got the last two shrines done, and also finished up a few more quests and did some armor upgrades. Still trying to decide if I want to do the master sword trial in this game or not.

4. Speaking of games, I got an email from Nintendo informing me that the new Pikmin game is out at the end of this month, so I pre-ordered it. I've never been that interested in Pikmin until they made it a side-scroller and then I was like, I'm there! XD

5. I love this picture of Chloe so much. (That's one of her favorite places to curl up for a nap.)



Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Kiss
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 6 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: 31-year-old Mame has been in love with her childhood friend Souta ever since she can remember. Despite multiple rejections, her love has stayed constant. It's become a habit more than anything, but is it one she'll ever be able to break and get on with her life?

Chapter Summary: Mame still can't believe this is really happening.



Chapter 19: Holiday
torachan: (Default)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 17th, 2017 12:48 pm)
Hey guys, I've got a little something different for you today. Migeru, who has been my awesome cleaner/typesetter for so many projects, approached me about a single-volume series she'd translated herself, that she wanted help proofreading since her level of Japanese is low. So while I was not the translator for this project, I did do a very thorough revision so I can guarantee that the quality of translation is the same level you have come to expect from my other projects. The other thing different about this is that it's BL (and quite graphic at that). It's not a story I necessarily would have chosen to translate on my own, but if you are a fan of BL, please give it a try! Finally, rather than serializing, we decided to publish it all in one go, so this is the entire volume in a single release (four chapters plus a couple bonus chapters).



Title: Free Kisses
Author: Akahoshi Jake
Publisher: Daria Comics
Genre: BL
Status in Japan: 1 volume, complete
Scanlator: Migeru + Megchan's Scanlations
Scanlation Status: Complete
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: In junior high, Aikou had a crush on his tutor that ended badly. Now in high school, he's joined a "kiss club" at a local bar to try and relearn about love starting with the basics. While holding up a "free kisses" sign in the park one day, he's spotted by Eisuke, a boy from his school. Intrigued by Aikou's sign, Eisuke impulsively kisses him. Could this kiss be Aikou's chance to start over?



Free Kisses
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 17th, 2017 01:04 am)
1. My contacts started really bothering me today at work, so I went home and got my glasses. It's always nice to live super close to where I work, but it's especially great for times like this. If I lived further away, I would have just toughed it out or took out my contacts and been blurry all day. Since tomorrow's my day off, I'm going to give my eyes a rest and just wear my glasses all day at home.

2. I posted manga today and should have more to post soon. :D

3. This morning I went out to the kitchen and looked up and saw Jasper on the high shelf in the living room! He's watched Chloe and Molly jump up there so many times and clearly wanted to get up there himself but just didn't realize he could do it. Last night he jumped up on the dresser in the bedroom for the first time, too, so he's clearly getting more confident in his jumping.

shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 16th, 2017 05:49 pm)
1. Hmmm..they finally did it... 13th Doctor Who is Jodie Whittaker, first female version of the Doctor.

I admit that I'd sort of given up after Capadali became the Doctor, and quit watching for a while. Because honestly what is interesting about an old guy escorting a young gal about time and space

I came back for Pearl Mackie, who portrayed Bill.

So I find this intriguing. There's so much more they can do now. So many story angles that they haven't tried that opened up. It's basically made the series fresh, and more interesting, and more appealing to newer viewers like myself. Not to mention more relateable.

Now, if someone would just replace the American President with a woman, life would be good.

2. Tried Salvation -- sigh. An arrogant billionaire techie, a MIT Whiz-kid hipster, and a pentagon press secretary save the world. This time from a planet killing meteor, at least they think it is a planet-killing meteor. And a government conspiracy. Because of course the scientists at NASA and the State Department are too stupid to figure out how to save the world on their own, they require the aid of a corporate techie who runs a billion dollar corporation (think younger/hotter version of the guy doing SpaceX) and a whiz-kid. And course the government is killing anyone who finds out to prevent a panic...

Five minutes in and it felt very paint-by-numbers thriller, with a lot of pop science thrown in.
It could be fun, I usually like these things. But the characters are too stock and the casting isn't on target.

It feels like the networks are burning off pilots this summer.

3. Still Star-Crossed -- is hard to find. If I wasn't recording it, I wouldn't be able to follow it at all. ABC clearly has no confidence in it, and is pushing reality shows instead like (gag) The Bachelorette, and Battle of the Network Stars (are there any? I was wondering about this. It's not like the 1970s and 80s, when they used to do Battle of the Network Stars during the summer months...when there were only five or six channels and actual network television stars. Now, with over 450 scripted television series, there are no stars.)

Still Star Crossed was on at 10 PM on Sat. It isn't on Monday, because Battle of the Network Stars took it's time slot, and the Bachelorette has been expanded to a full two hours. Somehow, I don't think Still Star Crossed is long for this world, it feels like they are just burning episodes.

4. Hooten and the Lady -- this is on CW, and I have no idea how it got that far. It's atrocious. About a female archeologist, office worker, who works at the British Museum, and convinces the Museum to send her to the Amazon to hunt down some ancient relics for a big exhibition. (Don't they already have archaeologists doing this sort of thing under grants?) She runs into a mercenary, who goes by the name Hooten. (I'm serious he actually only goes by that name, and apparently by choice.) They run into each other, when they are captured by a bunch of natives, who want to roast her and use him as a sex slave. Unless he can challenge their warrior to a fight, and win. He wins.
The natives chase him and her out of their territory. I stopped shortly after that. I kept going to sleep.

Could not stay awake during it. But I couldn't stay focused on or awake during the first episode of Fargo either...

I think the networks are burning off bad television shows right now. Not Fargo, obviously. Hooten and the Lady.
torachan: two people embracing (is)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 16th, 2017 10:03 am)


Title: IS [ai-esu]
Original Title: IS~男でも女でもない性~ (IS~Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei~)
Author: Rokuhana Chiyo
Publisher: Kiss Comics
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 17 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Dokukinoko Scans (translation by Megchan)
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: IS is a unique manga that realistically deals with the topic of intersexuality. It starts off with a couple shorts dealing with different intersex characters, but starting with the second volume, it becomes a regular series following one character from birth to adulthood.

Chapter Summary: Haru gets an answer from Ibuki. Meanwhile, Haru's childhood friend Leon has big news...



Chapter 75
torachan: (Default)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 16th, 2017 02:16 am)
1. I actually slept in this morning, which was really nice.

2. I'm so, so glad the weather's cooled down a bit. The forecast has us holding steady at high 70s for the next ten days, so that would be nice if it stays true!

3. Jasper really loves to curl up in the computer room closet lately, and the other day I poked my head in and instead of being in his usual spot on top of a box, he was actually stretched out behind a bunch of stuff and looking so cute!

benedict: (owl wink)
([personal profile] benedict Jul. 15th, 2017 09:47 pm)
Hi! I'm Rosencrantz on AO3 and I'm pleased that you're going to be writing for me! Thank you! Pleasure to meet you!

Likes: Adventure, mystery, family, humour.
Dislikes: Rape, incest, gore, underage, Sue Dibny being dead.

Let's get this party rolling.

FANDOM: X-Men: The Animated Series.
AUs:

  • AU: Nightcrawler Joins The X-Men In His Intro Episode (X-Men: TAS)

  • AU: Mystique Raises Nightcrawler (X-Men: TAS)

  • AU: Wolverine Joins Starfleet (X-Men: TAS)

  • AU: Genderswap (X-Men: TAS)


Characters/Relationships:

  • Relationship: Wolverine/Nightcrawler (X-Men: TAS)

  • Nightcrawler (X-Men: TAS)

  • Wolverine (X-Men: TAS)



X-Men: TAS Prompts )


Fandom: DC Comics
AUs:

  • AU: Sue and Ralph Dibny Run A Detective Agency Instead Of Being Heroes (DC Comics)

  • AU: Identity Crisis never happens (DC Comics)

  • AU: Soulmate AU (DC Comics)

  • AU: Wonder Woman Protects Gotham Before Batman Becomes Batman (DC Comics)



Characters:

  • Sue Dibny (DC Comics)

  • Relationship: Batman/Wonder Woman (DC Comics)



DC Comics Prompts )


Fandom: MCU and TV
AUs:

  • AU: Tony Was Kidnapped By Ultron At The Start Of The Movie (MCU and TV)

  • AU: Tony Stark Talks Ultron Out Of Going Nuts (MCU and TV)

  • AU: Sam and Steve With Eachother's Abilities (MCU and TV)

  • AU: Sam and Steve Are Retired (MCU and TV)

  • AU: Steve and Natasha Are Private Detectives (MCU and TV)

  • AU: Steve Is Put In Charge Of Recruiting Natasha To The Avengers (MCU and TV)



Characters:

  • Relationship: Tony Stark & Ultron

  • Relationship: Steve Rogers & Natasha Romanov (MCU and TV)

  • Relationship: Sam Wilson/Steve Rogers (MCU and TV)



MCU and TV Prompts )


Fandom: Marvel Comics
AUs:

  • AU: The Gambit Is Cyclops and Sinister's Clone From The End Miniseries In Main Canon (Marvel Comics)

  • AU: Mr. Sinister Goes Good And Becomes An X-Man (Marvel Comics)

  • AU: Matt and Jennifer Are Normal Lawyers Who Suddenly Get Superpowers (Marvel Comics)

  • AU: Patsy Walker Does Not Get Fired By She-Hulk (Marvel Comics)




Characters:

  • Nathaniel Essex | Mr. Sinister (Marvel Comics)

  • Remy LeBeau | Gambit (Marvel Comics)

  • Scott Summers | Cyclops (Marvel Comics)

  • Matt Murdock | Daredevil (Marvel Comics)

  • Jennifer Walters | She-Hulk (Marvel Comics)

  • Patsy Walker | Hellcat (Marvel Comics)




Marvel Comics Prompts )

Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (1991)
AUs:

  • AU: Shrek It Beauty Becomes A Beast (Beauty and the Beast)

  • AU: Girl Beast Girl Belle (Beauty and the Beast)

  • AU: Belle Is The Beast (Beauty and the Beast)

  • AU: Beast Never Changes Back (Beauty and the Beast)




Characters:

  • Beast (Disney)

  • Belle (Disney)




Beauty and the Beast 1991 Prompts )
shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 15th, 2017 09:54 pm)
Finally got around to watching Claws on Demand. (The problem with On Demand is you can't fast forward over the commercials, and I binge watched the first four episodes. At some point, I got hooked on it, because I was willing to put up with the extremely annoying "Adam Ruins the World" commercial breaks. I don't know, I think I'd have preferred watching this on Amazon Prime. The commercial breaks are annoying.)

Anyhow, Claws is sort of a female version of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul", except the protagonist is more sympathetic and likable. It's a bit over the top in places, and reminds me a great deal of the Carl Hiaasen novels that I'd read several years ago. Hiaasen sort of is Florida's answer to Elmore Leonard. With quirky characters, a noirish setting, and an absurdist somewhat black sense of humor.

Took me a little while to get into it, but, after awhile, I began to fall for the female characters. (The only weakness in the series is the male characters...who, well, to be fair that's the opposite of the weakness in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, which are the female characters. So I found this sort of a breath of fresh air in that regard. It's nice to female centric series in this genre finally.)

The story is about a nail salon owner in a Southern Florida strip mall, who is laundering money for the Dixie Mafia. Desna dreams of owning a nice big nail salon, and then a franchise. Having a nice place. And getting out from under the mob boss who has her by the purse strings. Along with Desna, big black and beautiful, are her gals, who are a bit of a family within the salon. Polly, portrayed by Carrie Preston, has just gotten out of prison and is con artist. Jenny is big and blond, married to one of the Mob boss's sons, and is trying to keep her husband out of the mob. Quiet Anne is a lesbian, and Hispanic. Virgina, Ginny Lock, is the new gal, who is Asian, and makes the colossal mistake of sleeping with the Mob Boss's older son, who Desna is also sleeping with.

The Mob Boss is portrayed by Dean Norris, who was Hank on Breaking Bad. And Harold Perrineau from "Lost" portrays Dean, Desna's autistic brother, who is a bit of savant, but with a mind of a child.

After a while, I started to fall for Desna and root for her to achieve her dream, no matter how impossible it seems. All of these women feel stuck and are trying desperately to get unstuck. (Although I think if they found a way to get rid of Uncle Daddy, Dean Norris' mob boss, that might help.)

It is over-the-top in places, and crude in others...similar to John Waters style of humor or Jonathan Demme. But the characterizations, plotting and world are rather well done.

The only problem is to get caught up, you have to watch it on demand and put up with that Annoying Adam Ruins the World commercials. However, new episodes are on TNT on Sunday at 9PM. If you liked Breaking Bad, Cybil, Absolutely Fabulous, or series similar to that, or say Weeds, you should try this. Actually think Breaking Bad meets Absolutely Fabulous and Weeds by way of John Waters and Carl Hiaasen.

I've decided to add it to my DVR recording. Because now I'm hooked and want to know if the ladies survive Uncle Daddy and manage to achieve their dreams.
Tags:
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 15th, 2017 01:21 am)
1. It looks like maybe they're done (or mostly done) with the work they've been doing on our street. If nothing else, it's the weekend, so there will be quiet for two days, but I really hope they're done for good!

2. We had some watermelon tonight and it was pretty tasty! Not the best I've ever had or anything, but pretty good. I like that the cut watermelons we sell at work aren't higher priced than the whole ones (a lot of stores, the cut ones are way more expensive). I like being able to just buy a quarter (or sometimes half) at a time.

3. The new box we got the other day is a hit with all three kitties. (Though I haven't gotten a pic of Jasper in it yet.)

shadowkat: (tv slut)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 14th, 2017 11:19 pm)
Cliff Hangers Are Ruining the Golden Age of Television

Although, actually, I think it's more than just cliff-hangers. But, the writer addresses something that's been bugging me for some time now -- the need for television serials to have "shock value" twist or "big plot twists" often at the expense of character and plot, just to grab ratings. It's a current phenomenon. As in post 2000. I don't remember seeing it as much pre-2000.

As seasons advance, a fantastic series can get indefensibly artificial, running on fumes and cliffhangers, until “Who will die?” is the main reason to watch. Part of artistry is to elicit an emotional response; but to elicit and elicit (and elicit) is commercialism.

Agonizing is not the same as being left in suspense, and a constant state of cliffhanger suspense gets boring. For example, the point of “House of Cards” — created after Netflix collected and analyzed subscriber data, then synthesized our tastes to guarantee our obsession — has become to watch more of “House of Cards,” a point I’ve taken to heart.

So it’s the golden age of television with an asterisk. Now TV can be surveyed and engineered. Now it’s art by algorithm, with artistry going with the whim of data analytics and gimmicks.

I wonder if, in some way, we’ve spoiled our appetite for artistry.

Maybe artistry has gone down and cliffhangers have skyrocketed because art gets us out of the house. Art puts us more in touch with life outside and doesn’t compel us with cosmic force to actively submit, to alternate between trance and withdrawal, between replenishment and exhaustion.

But streaming as a medium and cliffhangers as a tool haven’t turned us into fanatics. Rather, it’s the behavior and attitude toward our lives that media consumption has been orchestrated to encourage. Bingeing, aided by cliffhangers, sells engagement by way of disengaging; together they make a sport of spectatorship.

Most of us can’t stand an open narrative loop, so we persevere and sprint back to our devices, again and again. Cliffhangers deny us resolution and closure so that we may never find peace, may not turn off the machine, may continually dissolve into some violent or exotic disaster involving a volcano.


I think a lot of what the critic states is true, and she's seen more television shows than I have. What I know is that over time, I've become underwhelmed and almost immune to the shocking plot twist. In some cases, such as Scandal and Grey's I find myself waiting for it.

Nashville has started to impress me a little by swinging away from it, well for the most part.
There was that one shocking plot twist...the big character death. Reminiscent of The Good Wife's big character death, except the Good Wife did a better job of keeping theirs a secret.

Also, big character deaths happen a lot in television serials, due to the actors pesky habit of wanting to leave the television serial before it has completed its run. The writers aren't left with a lot of options. Because with few exceptions, actors don't tend to tell them years in advance, so much as weeks in advance. It's sort of like giving two weeks notice for a job your leaving, except your job is a major television show and you play one of the major characters or leads. Whoops.

This is why I don't get that angry at the writers. Usually, I just think, damn, I liked that character. Sometimes it is story dictated, but in the cases of Grey's Anatomy, the Good Wife, and Nashville, really not.

But the cliffhanger ending, particularly at the end of a season arc, or even worse as a series finale, is irritating. Joss Whedon did it with several of his television series. Granted he wasn't given a lot of choices, since the network ended his series before he was ready.

You'd think television writers would pre-plan for the eventuality of cancellation and just write a season ender that can double as a series ender. Sort of like what Once Upon a Time did.

But going back to the above article? This is why a lot of people, such as my parents, prefer episodic television series which can't be easily binged, and are wrapped up in one or two episodes, tops.
Less commitment of time and energy.

I'm admittedly addicted to the cliff-hanger format. I like binge-watching. TV turns off my busy brain effectively. So too does reading a book. Which is why I love both pursuits. Writing also keeps the busy brain active.

But, I have fallen into the trap of...just one more episode, and I'll stop. I did that with Sense 8 and Iron Fist. And Iron Fist wasn't even that good, but...I thought, just one more episode then I'll stop... eight hours later, frigging hell, where'd the weekend go!!!

I think the writer has a point about there being a sort of artistry in the slow build, in forgoing the cliffhanger. Cliffhangers used to be associated with pulpier fare such as those Saturday Maintainees way back when, before I was born, which Spielberg and Lucas paid homage to with Indiana Jones. Or daytime soap operas, which always ended on a cliff-hanger on Friday, leaving the audience sputtering over the weekend. Not so much any more -- due to pre-emptions.

But with the insane amount of cultural media available, audience's are less patient. So the slower build or more artistic series are often left by the wayside. I know I'm guilty of this, I didn't have the patience for Rectified or Left-Overs. Preferring faster paced and pulpier fare. But this too has to a degree always been the case. Many of us worker bees want the thrill ride, the roller-coaster, and then the ability to let it go. The appeal of the commuter fast paced novel to the literary work of art.

Although, then again...whose to say what is art? Or what moves us? Or informs us? I no longer know.
I've read more books than I can count or even remember, and I've gained something from them all, along with television series, of which I've seen just about as many. Some stay with me, some don't.
I can't really say any more which is quality and which isn't for certain. So much as I think it is in the eye of the beholder.

I am critical of things I love. I am trying to be less so. Since I've noticed it doesn't make me happy always. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
Tags:
1.) Just finished watching the two episode season premiere of the new TNT series Will which airs at 9/10 pm on I think, Monday nights.

It's surprisingly good. If you enjoy Shakespeare, are interested in theater and how it is created, love poetry slams, and ahem, pretty men, not to mention a few pretty and strong women, this is the show for you. (It does, however, feel a bit like I'm watching Shakespeare in Love meets the Protestant Inquisition by way of Slings and Arrows. With a 1980s British Pop Rock soundtrack. The Clash's London Calling was playing in the background. Not that I mind, I happen to like the Clash.)

"Will" takes place in Elizabethan England, and follows the escapades of a young William Shakespeare who has journeyed to London to make his fortune as a playwright, against his family's wishes. He's married to Anne Hathaway, with three children, and is Catholic. With a job as a glove maker. His devout parents want him to take a message to his cousin, a Catholic rebel, Robert Sutcliff, placing his own life in danger in the process. So off he goes, and well the message doesn't get to Sutcliff because a young street kid, slashes his hand and steals it. The kid hopes to sell it to Tomkins, one of her Majesty's agents, to save olderhis sister from a brothel. Tompkins is a nasty piece of work, a Cromwellian Protestant, who tortures people for being Catholics, instead of the true Protestant faith.

Will is torn between two worlds, his duty as a Catholic and to his wife and family, and his art and dreams of being a successful playwright. His wife is less than enthusiastic regarding his artistic dreams, and wishes he'd settle down as a tailor and support the family. But in London he's found a tribe of like-minded spirits, and in Christopher Marlow, a tempting devil.

This sounds more hokey than it actually is. Because all of the above is sort of in the background. Front and center is the Burbidge theater troop's struggle to become successful and avoid bankruptcy.
It also serves as the conflict in Shakespeare, who is guilt-ridden for doing what he feels driven to do. At one he tells Marlow that what he most wants is freedom. Marlow's response is to gleefully kiss him.
Read more... )

2. Update on my bathroom ceiling. After a difficult work day, in which various co-workers half convinced me that no work would get done on my ceiling this weekend and I should be hunting a way out of my lease...I came home to a pleasant surprise, my super had come in and completed his work on my ceiling patching it up and scraping away the peeling paint. He also patched up the living wall a bit and scraped away the bubbled and peeling paint. Readying it for a new paint job.

Silly co-workers.

Note to self - stop venting about things at work. It's hard, there's a limited amount of things I can discuss with various co-workers.

3. Reading this funky fantasy series, that's won all sorts of romantic fantasy awards, but has a rather juvenile writing style -- in that it reminds me a bit too much of stuff that I wrote when I was 17. Except my writing was a little less hyperbolic. However, the world building is excellent, and the detail is consistent and logical. It also builds plot. So...not sure what to make of it.
Tags:
torachan: jason momoa/ronon smiling (ronon)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 14th, 2017 02:46 am)
1. We went out to lunch with my aunt today, who is in town for a few days.

2. I got in some Zelda time this evening. That new map feature is just so awesome. I would have sworn that I had completely explored everywhere, but with the tracker on, I could see that there were some huge areas I'd managed to just completely go around every time, including one which had a shrine in it. So I did that, farmed some more materials and was able to upgrade a few more armor bits, found some Koroks, got another couple quests done, and now I am that much closer to feeling like I could go beat Ganon and be satisfied with my level of completion (definitely want to get the last two shrines and the last memory; I'm not going to force myself to upgrade all the armor sets just to say I did, because at this point that's still going to require a lot of farming, and I'm probably not going to try and get every last quest done). Still not sure if I want to do the Master Sword trial this game or save it for my next game... I'm definitely going to save the new armor quests for the next game, just to have something new to do.

3. Chloe was being super cute this afternoon.

torachan: a cartoon kitten with a surprised/happy expression (chii)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 14th, 2017 12:09 am)
What are you currently reading?
I made progress on both the books I had just cracked open last week: over halfway through on Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children and about 10% on The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory, which is definitely going to take me longer (it's only 300 pages, but has small print, plus it's a physical book which means I'm not picking it up as often as I would an ebook).

I also got Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family from the library the other day and have read about a third of it. I never read this one as a kid, but I'm enjoying it just as much as the earlier books.

What did you recently finish reading?
Last week I got Alison Bechdel's Fun Home at the library. I went to pick up a book I had on hold, and there were some shelves of comics right next to the holds and this grabbed my eye. I really loved it. I've heard of Alison Bechdel and I've heard of Fun Home, but I really had no idea what it was about other than a vague idea that it was about her rocky relationship with her father, which I had always assumed meant he was homophobic. I had no idea he was gay himself.

Today in the mail I got The Middleman: Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse, which I had ordered because we finished the show recently. Back when I watched the show the first time, I did watch the panel reading of the finale done at Comic Con or wherever, but I don't even know if I knew there was a comic of it at the time (or I might have known and just not gotten it because it was expensive...this was $25 for an eighty-page comic!) but anyway, I'd totally forgotten the plot of the final episode anyway, so I was eager to read this and refresh my memory. I actually think the show ends just fine on episode twelve, but I like this as well.

I also read Y: The Last Man volume nine, though did not actually get to the final volume yet, since I keep getting distracted by other things.

What do you think you'll read next?
I have three books on Goodreads marked as "currently reading" that I haven't actually started reading yet, so those for sure! They are Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother?, the final volume of Y: The Last Man, and Sawtelle: West Los Angeles's Japantown (Images of America: California), which I also received from Amazon today.
masqthephlsphr: (vincent)
([personal profile] masqthephlsphr Jul. 13th, 2017 05:11 am)
Happy Birthday, [profile] astrogirl2!!!
torachan: a cartoon kitten with a surprised/happy expression (chii)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 13th, 2017 01:16 am)
1. They've been doing work on our street since last week and have had their super noisy machine parked right in front of our house every day, but today they moved it to the end of the street, which made it much quieter (and the house at the end is actually abandoned, so they're not bothering anyone there anyway!). So hopefully they'll keep it parked up there for however long it takes them to finish this up.

2. I went in the kitchen around ten tonight and found tons of ants swarming over the cats' dinner plates, and leading all the way back into the dining room. I was able to clean them up and seem to have gotten rid of them, but I'm really glad I found that before going to bed and not when I woke up, because I'm sure it would have been much worse.

3. Day off tomorrow! I haven't slept well the past two nights, mainly due to cat interference, so I'm really hoping I can get a good night's sleep tonight and maybe even sleep in a bit.

4. This big giant Jasper! He's getting so big!

shadowkat: (work/reading)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 12th, 2017 08:57 pm)
1. What I just finished reading?

Kings Rising - Book 3 of The Captive Prince by CS Pascat

Your_Librarian has actually written a thorough and detailed review of this book, HERE. Which I pretty much agree with.

The only difference between us, is I've read a lot of romance novels, f/m and m/m, and I think one f/f, published, fanfiction, etc...so picked up right off the bat some of the romance conventions.

Kings Rising, as previously stated, is the third book in a series of novels that were initially written as a web serial on the author's live journal blog. This is important to note, because the series has some of the same failings as a lot of WIP "romantic" or "shipper" focused fan-fic, and romance novels.

By that, I mean, the writer adheres to a couple of romance novel conventions that unfortunately don't necessarily serve her story that well. She also goes out of her way to put the leads in romantic and/or sexual situations, that do little to drive the story or characters forward, and in some places grind the action to a halt. There's a few sequences that make no sense from a plot and character stand-point. I can almost hear the characters standing on the side lines protesting -- "wait! There is no way I'd bring a Sword into Kings Meet, or attack any one there, I'm not an idiot." Or "why in the hell, would I enter a tournament or even agree to hold one, when we are at war, with three unstable armies, and I've been injured? You nit witty writer!"

The reason romance writers and fanfic writers often do this is to cater to their readership, which expects adherence to these conventions, and wants certain things from the book or story. (I can't help but respect writers who tell their readers and fans to go screw themselves. And just write the story. Which is actually what literary writers and the sci-fi, noir, mystery and action genres tend to do. Hence the reason romance and romantic fanfic get such a bad rap. There's something to be said for the axion, give the audience/reader what they need not what they want. In other words tell the story, ignore the readership. Or as Stephen King put it once, if it doesn't serve your story or your characters, ax it.)

It's probably worth noting that this series is actually just a romance novel set in historical fantasy setting similar to ancient Greece and Rome. (It just happens to be between men instead of male/female. I'd say it was an LGBTQ romance, except I'm pretty certain the intended audience is heterosexual women. I don't really envision gay men reading and enjoying this, or gay women for that matter. Although I could be wrong about that.) So some of this probably can be hand-waved, since that's what the story is. It's not a fantasy series or historical series, but a romance, with the central bit -- being the romance and HEA between the two leads. Everything else is window dressing.

Which is the problem with it. It starts out as being a bit more than that...a fantasty history romance novel that focuses on things outside of the romance, and appears to have something to say.
But somewhere along the line that gets lost and as a result so does much of what made this story interesting and unique. At least to me.

It was okay, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone. If you read the series, you might want to stop with book 2. Which I thought had an interesting and thought-provoking ending.

What I'm reading now?

The Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson -- interesting book, so far. It's a romantic fantasy. Emphasis on well both. The author unlike Pascat, above, is spending a lot of time building her world, and on developing various characters. It also has more than one point of view, or mulitple point of views -- third person close.

The heroine is not physically strong, rather confused, and has a disability of sorts. As a baby she was found and adopted by a handicapped wood-carver and his wife. Who were poor. But after adopting her, he became healed somehow. Also the child, Ellie, started having horrible night tremors and seizures. Being somewhat superstitious, her adoptive parents took her to the church, where they attempted to exorcise her of demons. Luckily they didn't decide to leave her there, and took her home and prayed. Eventually she learned to control her rages and emotions, along with the seizures, so they weren't as noticeable, and they appeared to go away. Her adoptive mother believed this was due to her accepting the Lord of Light as her savior, and being confirmed in the Church of Light.

Now, at 24, her parents fear she is to be forever unwed. This takes place in a medieval setting, where the system is somewhat feudal in nature, and most of the people are uneducated, and superstitious. Women get married around 18 or 16 is the norm. She has two sisters, who aren't adopted, and rather young, and the local Butcher's son, whom she despises and for good reason, is attempting to woo her. The one time they are left in a room together, he bites and sucks her neck, mauls her breasts, and shoves his tongue down her throat. Repulsed and frightened, she cries out in pain.

And is heard by Rain, The Tairyn Soul. King of the Light Fey. He's an ancient Fey Lord, who lost his truemate (soul mate) thousands of years ago. The Fey are for the most part immortal. And he's very powerful. He turns into a giant black cat with lavender eyes and black taloned wings (like a bats).
He's trying to save his kind. So seeks guidance from the Eye of the Oracle, which shows him a woman's face and the town he despises. (The town is where Ellie resides.) Thousands of years ago when his first truemate died, murdered by Dark Mages, he almost destroyed the world in a wild rampage of grief. The Light Fey are dying off. Fading.

Rain hears Ellie cry out in his soul and searches for her, no idea who she is. But knowing that now, a thousand years later, he's found, against all odds, another truemate.

Well, maybe. He has to woo her and win her first. It's complicated. And he's rather scary. Granted so is the Butcher Boy. In Ellie prays to the Gods to send her anyone but the Butcher boy, but I think she was thinking more in lines of a nice kind man who sells cloth or cuts wood.

There's a fairy-tale aspect to the story, which I rather like. It does have Cinderella vibe, although I don't see any wicked stepmothers -- unless her adoptive mother is wicked in attempting to marry her off to the first promising suitor available.

The writing is rather hyperbolic in places. I keep envisioning exclamation marks. Look, I'm EPIC! But I don't mind it, it's sort of fun and doesn't require much focus.

3. I've gone on another book buying spree at Amazon. They keep having sales, I keep buying books.

The latest? A vampire novel by Octavia Butler, entitled "Fledging" for $3.99.

I also have Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human, which was on sale for $1.99.

I keep collecting genre books. I'm flirting with Americanh, which is not a genre book, and Church may be doing it as a book club selection.
torachan: (Default)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 12th, 2017 01:55 am)
1. Carla bought the first season of Daria on iTunes and we started watching it tonight. I've never actually seen it before, but I like it so far.

2. Pretty hectic this morning at work, as it usually is on Tuesdays (big delivery day, plus it's the day all the salesmen make their rounds), but it calmed down later in the afternoon and I was actually able to leave at a pretty decent time.

3. Molly face.

cactuswatcher: (Default)
([personal profile] cactuswatcher Jul. 11th, 2017 05:09 pm)
from [personal profile] mamculuna

What's your favorite cereal? Something with oats. Honeynut Cherrios, Honeybunches of Oats with almonds, oatmeal...

Is there a bus stop near your house? As the crow flies it's not far. Considering how far I'd have to walk around to get to it, it's far. Worse the bus doesn't go any place I'd be interested in going.

Do you prefer red wine or white wine? I'm not fond of red. Rosè is nice. I used to drink Riesling about as frequently as any other wine.

What's the last airport you were at? Why were you there? Phoenix Skyharbor. Comin' home.

Who do you live with? Sirius Black, the kitty cat.

Do you read reddit? If so, how often and what subreddits do you like? Nope, the things I've heard about it were discouraging.

Have you recently broken up with a significant other or even just a friend? Nope.

What's the weather like today? Is it nice enough to go outside? It's 102F and thunderstorms possible. Compared to the 119F a couple weeks ago, it is relatively nice.

Do you know anyone who's had a baby recently? Grandnieces.

Have you used a pen or pencil today? What did you write down? Oddly, no.

What does your last text message say and who is it from? I don't own a cell phone.

Can you count how many times you've seen your favorite film? No, but probably seven or eight times.

When was the last time you ate marshmallows? By themselves, decades ago. In hot chocolate last winter some time.

Do you listen to any podcasts? How do you listen to them? Yes and no. I start listening on the computer through twitch.tv, but usually don't stay long.

How old will you be in the year 2030? Ten years older than I will be in 2020!

How often does the kettle in your house get used? In the summer never, in the winter about once a day.

Does your skin bruise easily? Do you have any bruises right now? What from? I bruise mostly from bumping into things, but I don't think I have any at the moment. I probably have a few cat claw marks.

What was the last thing you spent $150 or more on? A new refrigerator.

Do you prefer yes or no questions or more open-ended questions? Depends on the circumstances.

What brand of toilet paper do you usually buy? Most recently I bought Charmin. I probably got a deal.

If I knocked on your door right now, would you be acceptably dressed? Depends on who you are and what you wanted, but generally, today, yes.

Why did you leave your last job? I retired.

What color were the last socks you wore? Blue, I'm still wearing them.

Are you studying currently? What level of education and what do you study? I suppose you could call my continuing work with the Russian Language studying. I have an M.A. in Slavic Studies, and did everything but finish a dissertation for a PhD in Russian Linguistics.

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and left without paying? Lot's of times. Without anyone in the party paying for us? Never!

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud? That last question.

What's your favorite scent of air freshener? It's called fresh air. Can't open the window for it tonight because it's too hot and we might have a dust storm!

How many weddings have you ever been to? A dozen maybe.

Do you know anyone named Nora? I really like the name, but I think the closest I came to knowing one was a Nola.

Are your hands and feet in good condition or could you do with a mani-pedi? If you think a mani-pedi improves the *condition* of one's hands and feet, I think you are mistaken. Improving the looks is a different matter, and I think I'm lacking enough vanity to care what my feet look like.

When was the last time you played a board game? What did you play? A few weeks ago. Actually it's a card game. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. Cooperative, challenging and fun.

Have you ever been to a festival for beer or other type of alcohol? Yep, Oktoberfest in St. Louis.

Do you own a record player and/or vinyls? I have the records and they are in good shape, but haven't had a record player in ages.

When was the last time you went out for drinks? I don't think I've gone out just for drinks since grad school.

Have you ever been to a strip club? No, if you ever saw the outside of one of them in daylight when you were sober, you likely wouldn't go in at night when you were drunk.

What's your favorite kind of smoothie? I have to admit I've never been tempted to drink a smoothie. I like fruit and vegetables unsmooshed just fine.

Do you know anyone with a 'virtue name'? (Google it) I knew a young guy named Pride and a young woman named Prudence. The guy liked his name; the woman did not like hers.

Would you ever wear real authentic leather? I still own leather dress shoes and only have genuine leather belts. With all that beef being slaughtered, it would seem a giant waste to not do something useful with the hides.

Have you taken out the trash today? No, trash set-out evening is tomorrow! I did bag up and take out some kitty litter, early today. Does that count?

How often do you wear make-up? About as often as I star in Broadway plays.

What's your opinion on The Simpsons? It's about as dumb as Homer. I haven't watched a full episode since I retired.

Do you prefer horizontal or vertical stripes? On me? I'm probably thin enough for either again, but I usually don't buy the causal sort of men's clothing that has horizontal stripes.

What's your favorite brand of deodorant/antiperspirant? It's called soap.

Do you know anyone who has been through a divorce? Yes, not me, thankfully.

If you had the money, would you take taxis everywhere instead of driving? Probably not.

Have you ever done a juice cleanse? If you seriously believe a juice cleanse will do you any particular good, you might need a brain tidy instead.

Do you have any friends who you can't decide if they're attractive or not? I hope I'm beyond that nonsense. As the old song goes "Everybody's beautiful in their own way."

Is the inside of your fridge clean right now or does it need a clean out? It's clean!

When was the last time you washed the dishes? Yesterday. By myself it takes a few days to fill up the dishwasher.

Are there any magazines that you read on a regular basis? National Geographic (not as good as it once was) Trains

Do you have to pay for parking in most places in the town/city you live in? Nope, I try to avoid places that only have pay parking.

What's the first thing you tend to do when you have a headache? Suffer. If I can't sleep I might take an aspirin.

Tell me about your responsibilities at work. Get up, feed myself, go to bed, go to the store, go to the mail box, pet the cat, water the cat, feed the cat, clean up the litter box...

What's your favorite style/cut of underwear? Boxers

Can you hear lots of traffic from your house? Does it bother you? If I try, I can hear the freeway, but it's far enough away it doesn't bother me. It does bother me to hear the fire trucks go by on the main streets nearby, but only from wondering where they are headed.

Have you ever had proper Canadian poutine with the squeaky cheese? Personally I don't like soggy fries. Why put perfectly good gravy and cheese on something that doesn't need either? Put them on mashed potatoes (i.e. something that's a little bland and soggy already) and you'd be more likely to get me to try it.

Do your parents know how to operate smartphones and/or computers? My mother was lucky to figure out her microwave oven and was gone before cellphones were common, let alone smartphones. If my father had lived long enough he would have been fine with computers.

How old are your parents, anyway? Both would be well over 100.

Are you allergic to anything? What do you have to do to prevent them? Mold. Got rid of my grass.

What song is stuck in your head at the moment? "This is the song that doesn't end. It just goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing not knowing what it was..."

Do you hate it when people try really hard, or do you kinda like it? It depends. You can overdo anything. But generally if it's something important, try hard. If it's not important, ease up.

What's your boss' first name? Do you call him/her by that name? I'm my own boss. And I've been know to call him 'Hey, Stupid!'

When was the last time you wore a uniform of any kind? What color was it? I was a boy scout. Olive green.

Have you ever lost enough weight to drop a dress size? I'm afraid I've never kept track of my dress size. Have I dropped a size in pants from my heaviest? Yes! A man is not likely to drop a shirt size unless he has more weight the lose than I ever had.

What's your favorite kind of bread? Sopapillas. Bread as in plain old bread? Pumpernickel, maybe.

When was the last time you got pizza? What toppings did you get? A month or so ago. I got my usual, Italian sausage, pepperoni, black olives and mushrooms.

Do you own Monopoly? Is it the original or a special version? I think I do have the original. I haven't had it out in decades.

What was the last thing you said out loud? Sirius, Sirius, come on, boy! (feeding the cat)

You have to choose one: cats or dogs? I like dogs better, but right now a cat fits my life style better.

Would someone being either a cat or dog person effect you dating them? Not unless they wanted to bring the pet along on the date.

How do you travel to and from work? What little traveling I do is by car.

Do you primarily use cash or card for your purchases? Why? Cash. Though chips in the card help, I think it is wise to generally limit the number of stores that have your card information.

Have you ever been to a stadium concert? If a pro basketball stadium counts, yes.
Tags:
shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 11th, 2017 09:36 pm)
1. Too funny, not to share, thank you, beer_good.

Friend is reading Harry Potter for the first time. He suddenly realizes he's read a fanfiction Order of the Phoenix instead of the real one.

Clue as to whether it is fanfic, there's explicit sex with teens in a kid's book.

As an aside why is it that adult fanfic writers feel the need to write explicit sex scenes between kids and adolescents from books and television series that have no sex in them? I noticed this with Harry Potter, Sailor Moon (which okay made more sense), My Little Pony, The Hunger Games, Teletubbies (creepy that one), and Twilight (also made a bit more sense, since technically there is sex in them at a certain point, albeit not BDSM.).

2. Finished Captive Prince - King's Rising, will write about it tomorrow. The skinny? First half was great. Second half went a bit off the rails, and fell into a lot of romance novel plotting traps and cliches. (A lot of romance novelists suck at plotting for some reason. I don't know why this is. And it really doesn't seem to matter the type of romance they are writing.)

Meant to watch Will tonight, since two people I know of are enjoying it. "anne1962" and "Co-worker who loves Doctor Who and keeps lending me pulpy sci-fi/fantasy novels". Actually, co-worker loved it. But got distracted by Amazon Prime Day sales. Didn't find much, most of the good stuff was taken, and seriously I need to not buy anything for a bit.

Currently reading a pulpy fantasy novel entitled Lord of the Fading Lands -(Tairen Soul #1) by CL Wilson. I love Good Reads and Smart Bitches and Dreamwidth...they lead me to unknown pulpy cult reads, that few have heard of. My geeky self is all a-twitter.

3. Update on my apt situation.

Good news: they fixed the outlet in the kitchen. And determined what was causing the leak -- apparently a corroded hot water pipe in the upstairs apartment, which was in the floor and wall of the apartment above mine. So they kocked into the apt above mine's wall and the floor of their bathroom, yanked out the pipe, and dug a huge hole in the ceiling of my bathroom. They did clean up the floor though. So the leak is fixed in both living room and bathroom. (at least I hope it is)

Bad news: I have a huge freaking hole in my bathroom ceiling.

Good news: I'll get it fixed and a new paint job, which it needs.

Russian co-worker keeps trying to get me to find a new apt. I keep telling him that I'm fine. It could happen anywhere.

Lando and I were having fun with Russian co-worker. We told him that since Russia has basically invaded our country and co-opted our government. He will soon be appointed head of our agency, and to think kindly of us peons when this happens.

4. Agency aka work place has declared this the "summer of hell" -- our transportation system has issues. Major issues.

I don't know about you? But I am not a fan of watershed years. Where everything goes topsy turvy.

My parents are planning on moving (into a smaller house and into an assisted care retirement community), my brother is moving (into a bigger house farther north with a barn and 11 acres), my buds are moving (MD to Martha's Vineyard) and (AD to Beacon), my reflexiologist is moving about one train station away.

My government has gone insane. I decided to stop following the news, although it has gotten so absurd, it's sort of funny. I mean if this was a tv show, I wouldn't believe these plot twists were possible. And I'd be yelling at the screen -- there's no way that guy is still President. Sort of wish it was a television series. Can I live in the AU where this is a television series? And the Doofus is a fictional character like the President on House of Cards?

Oh well, at least I'll get a raise in a month.

There was an exchange on FB today regarding a posting of a car accident in my neighborhood. One of the posters took issue with the fact that someone posted the car accident.

Poster #1: Just because you have the ability to take a picture of something with your smartphone and post it to FB, doesn't mean you should.

Poster #2: Just because you have the ability to read a post and comment on it on FB, doesn't mean you should.

Me: LAMO!!! Freedom of speech at its best.
mamculuna: (Default)
([personal profile] mamculuna Jul. 11th, 2017 04:36 pm)
 It's been so long since I posted, but I will leave this meme here in case anyone else would like to waste some time...

What's your favorite cereal?
organic rolled oatmeal

Is there a bus stop near your house? 
indeed there is, in all the places I stay except the beach. I ride it a lot in Chicago.

Do you prefer red wine or white wine? 
dry rose from Provence

What's the last airport you were at? Why were you there? 
Charlotte (CLT) coming home from California, and a very nice employee helped me find my car (running late when I first got there so forgot to note parking place in my phone....)

Who do you live with?
husband, cat--Columbia; husband only (usually)--Chicago; sister, BIL, my cat, their dog, and whoever--beach; son, partner, granddaughter, their cats--California.

Do you read reddit? If so, how often and what subreddits do you like? 
Occasionally if there's something I want to talk about that no one on any other site is interested in, but it's not very satisfying.

Have you recently broken up with a significant other or even just a friend?
broke up with a prison a couple of years ago (though still visit others); rightly, it turns out (that guy who used the drone was there)

What's the weather like today? Is it nice enough to go outside? 
really hot and humid, as usual, and no outside in the middle of the day if possible, but hoping for some rain to cool it down

 

Do you know anyone who's had a baby recently? 
son's partner's brother's wife...son's partner's sister is due soon

Have you used a pen or pencil today? What did you write down?
not yet

What does your last text message say and who is it from? 
reminder to call Senators about healthcare vote, from Daily Action

Can you count how many times you've seen your favourite film?
probably five or six, but there are lots of them.

When was the last time you ate marshmallows? 
the last time I had somemores, and when was that? or maybe it was hot chocolate...

Do you listen to any podcasts? How do you listen to them? 
when I'm working out. I like Lovecraft stories and To the Best of Our Knowledge, and use my phone.

How old will you be in the year 2030? 
88, if I'm around then.

How often does the kettle in your house get used? 
at least twice a day

Does your skin bruise easily? Do you have any bruises right now? What from? 
no, one fading, probably from kayak paddle

What was the last thing you spent $150 or more on? 
refinishing an antique table that people had made water rings on

Do you prefer yes or no questions or more open-ended questions? 
depends on the question!

What brand of toilet paper do you usually buy?
Publix 100% recycled

If I knocked on your door right now, would you be acceptably dressed? 
by my standards, but probably not everyone's (old shorts and tanktop)

Why did you leave your last job? 
retired, if we're talking paid work, but I'm still a volunteer at various things

What color were the last socks you wore? 
white, with running shoes (no socks after March down here, otherwise)

Are you studying currently? What level of education and what do you study? 
Studying Buddhism always, and the actions of politicians, and human oddness, and the beauty of the natural world, and whatever I'm trying to write about--refugees, just now. I have a Ph.D. in linguistics, but don't do serious scholarly work with that anymore

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and left without paying? 
no! would not do that.

 

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud? 
a dinosaur trying to do Warrior Three asana (video...)

What's your favorite scent of air freshener?

I so much dislike any kind and never use it. 

How many weddings have you ever been to
many, many --can't recall

Do you know anyone named Nora? 
I had a friend in school, but she was Norah

Are your hands and feet in good condition or could you do with a mani-pedi? 
They're a mess in various ways, including a blue polish on my toes that needs to go

When was the last time you played a board game? What did you play? 
Last week--my family plays all the time. I think the last one was about growing wine--Viticulture, a variant of Tuscany, maybe?

How old were you when you first became sexually active? (consensual sex act)
15--isn't that a good age? Depends on what you mean by the term, though.

Have you ever been to a festival for beer or other type of alcohol? 
no, unless you count Octoberfest in Chicago

Do you own a record player and/or vinyls? 
yes, but never use them. The vinyls are old and scratched.

When was the last time you went out for drinks? 
I think Bill and I went to a bar sometime last fall?


Have you ever been to a strip club? 
no, not that I remember. I went to dinner with a porn king in SF in the 60's, but didn't get involved in his activities!

What's your favorite kind of smoothie? 
something with mango and bananas--other stuff varies

Do you know anyone with a 'virtue name'? (Google it) 
I've had students with names like that, and Hindu friend named Anahata (heart)

Would you ever wear real authentic leather? 
i try to avoid when possible, but my most recent shoes are..

Have you taken out the trash today? 
big plans for when it cools down a bit later

How often do you wear make-up? 
pretty much never, and same for jewelry

What's your opinion on The Simpsons? 
funny, but I watch only if someone else turns them on or they're still on when I tune in for something else

Do you prefer horizontal or vertical stripes? 
I'm very tolerant of both

What's your favorite brand of deodorant/antiperspirant? 
Tom's

Do you know anyone who has been through a divorce? 
me and lots of other people

If you had the money, would you take taxis everywhere instead of driving? 
In Chicago and SF, yes (Lyft, actually, though in Chicago it's so easy to hail a cab right there and not wait). Other places it would be too complicated.

Have you ever done a juice cleanse? 
no--don't quite get the point, with all that sugar in juice. I've done colonoscopy prep, but don't think that's what you're asking

Do you have any friends who you can't decide if they're attractive or not? 
don't know what my friends think about their own attractiveness, but they mostly seem very at home in themselves at this point

Is the inside of your fridge clean right now or does it need a clean out? 

Needs to be cleaned out! Too many condiments pushed to the back.

When was the last time you washed the dishes? 
I always put everything in the dishwasher and run it when full. Bill's not here, so not full yet this week.

 

Are there any magazines that you read on a regular basis? 
New Yorker - Harper's--Tricycle

Do you have to pay for parking in most places in the town/city you live in? 
All the cities downtown, but not the beach

What's the first thing you tend to do when you have a headache? 
Take an ibuprofen if it's bad enough, otherwise ignore it

Tell me about your responsibilities at work. 
I can't imagine you want to hear. I edit loans for Kiva, discuss Buddhism and meditation in prison, coordinate communications for the Buddhist group, rent a beach house (phone calls, contracts, etc). Today I sent a mass email for the beach house rental, and Saturday I helped lay pavers at our retreat center. It varies!

What's your favorite style/cut of underwear? 
all cotton, even over elastic, bikini cut panties, and underwire bra (preferably Warner's)

Can you hear lots of traffic from your house? Does it bother you? 
Sadly, I can hear the interstate from my deck here. Other places, no.

 

Have you ever had proper Canadian poutine with the squeaky cheese? 
Yes, in Montreal and Quebec, and I loved it! The best had lamb gravy, but it was all good.

Do your parents know how to operate smartphones and/or computers? 
My mother was learning to use a computer in her 90's but she died in 2001, so no smart phones. My father died in 1983, so neither for him. My kids were just starting to play with a TI keyboard then, but it didn't interest my father at the time.

How old are your parents, anyway? 
My mother was 90 and my father 78 when they died, long ago

 

Are you allergic to anything? What do you have to do to prevent them? 
not sure what, probably mold, and I take Zyrtec

What song is stuck in your head at the moment? 
none! don't make me think of one!

Do you hate it when people try really hard, or do you kinda like it
depends on who and what and when

What's your boss' first name? Do you call him/her by that name? 
no boss, and that's how I like it, but when I had them, I usually called them by their first names--not the college presidents, but anyone below that

When was the last time you wore a uniform of any kind? What color was it? 
I
 wore a waitress (that's what we were then) uniform back in 1966--black skirt and white blouse and white laced leather laced shoes, like nurses used to wear. So ugly.


Do you complete a survey before taking this one? Will you take one after? 
Is this a survey?

Have you ever lost enough weight to drop a dress size? 
yes, and gained it back (several times...)

What's your favorite kind of bread? 
homemade with lots of grains and things

When was the last time you got pizza? What toppings did you get? 
last night, with anchovies


Do you own Monopoly? Is it the original or a special version? 
I think there's part of a set at the beach, the original.

 

What was the last thing you said out loud? 
thanks, and bye, to telephone solicitor.

You have to choose one: cats or dogs? 
cats, but I do like dogs, just not quite as much. But then I don't have a dog right now.

Would someone being either a cat or dog person effect you dating them? 
dating probably is not ever going to be something I do again, but I don't think I'd get on with a person who didn't like animals.

How do you travel to and from work? 
Mostly by computer and phone, but I do drive to prisons

Do you primarily use cash or card for your purchases? Why? 
Card when possible (need miles!)

 

Have you ever been to a stadium concert? 
several, but my favorite was listening to Paul McCartney from the street outside the stadium (outdoor football arena) and dancing in the street

torachan: onoda sakamichi from yowamushi pedal with a huge smile (onoda smile)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 11th, 2017 12:48 am)
1. It was definitely a lot cooler today!

2. I played some more Zelda this evening and finally did the final Divine Beast. I'd been holding off on it because every time you defeat one of them, the overworld enemies level up and I didn't want them at the highest level when I still had so much exploring to do. I also did one of the new DLC sidequests and got the teleportation thingy! Not a whole lot of use for it in my current game since I'm almost done, but it will help out with one of the last shrines I need to get.

3. Look at this sweetie Jasper. It took me like five tries to get one that wasn't a squirming blur, lol.

shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 10th, 2017 08:01 pm)
1. Well, the Super managed to fix the outlet in the kitchen, so no more hazardous extension cords. Progress. The bathroom leak, however, has somehow begun to leak into the wall and ceiling of the living room with a few water stains. Hasn't begun to drip in the living room, yet, but I moved the television set just in case. (It was directly below it). Still leaking in the bathroom. They aren't sure what is causing this, since they removed and replaced a huge pipe with a hole in it on Friday.
The plumber is coming to look at it tomorrow.

2. While I'm still enjoying, Captive Prince - Kings Rising, I'm not sure the plot works. Actually it just jarred me out of the story. Having some of the same issues with it that I had with Scandal S4's plot, which also jarred me out of the story. (I think we're on S4). Neither quite tracks. I'm super-sensitive to plot issues, as you probably already know by now because I keep whinging about them when they pop up in television series and books. So it may just be me. (shrugs)

In Captive Prince - Kings Rising, Spoilers )

In regards to Scandal...spoilers for Scandal )
.