cimorene: closeup side view of a woman wifh very short hair and wearing a black-and-white striped shirt (serious)
[personal profile] cimorene
The main interrogation in Smiley's People made me wish Smiley would study me and brilliantly determine the most psychologically effective way to interrogate me.

Not in a kinky way.

I still have plenty of other le Carré and even other Smiley-verse books that I haven't read*, but it was so great that I do feel a little bereft in case none of them are as enjoyable.

Though now I have the two Alec Guinness miniseries (I've never resented "series" for being its own plural before! I should treat it like Finnish maybe: 'seriekset'😐. At least that's fun to say) to look forward to (once we manage to get hold of them).


Though I will read something else first, because I always read at least one other book in between books of a series to minimize how much they blur together in my mind later. If I gulp it all down at once, the details will generally disappear from my memory after a few years.
hermionesviolin: a build-a-bear, facing the viewer, with a white t-shirt and a rainbow stitched tattoo bicep tattoo (pride)
[personal profile] hermionesviolin
Update: there's finally a small covered trashbin next to the toilet in the formerly-men's bathroom at my end of the hall at work.
marginaliana: David Mitchel giggling (DMitchell - hee!)
[personal profile] marginaliana
I keep not posting because I feel like I have to do a vacation post first, but you know what? I really do not. So here are some things that are not about my vacation:

--I'm up for auction on Fandom Trumps Hate 2019. You can see my listing here, although I am also willing to write any fandom that we mutually agree on, even if it's not listed there. You have a week to browse (and consider) before bidding opens on February 26th. (Bid on meeeeeee!)

--Here is an interesting post about how we 'see' things internally when we read. I pretty much have no mental image when I read - I am entirely a words person and my experience of memory/imagination is mediated entirely by words. Even when I'm writing a story myself have have to visualize a physical activity, I struggle. I think that's partly why I'm not great as a physical artist. My mental idea of what a piece is supposed to look like is vague and doesn't translate directly to the real world.

What about you?

--I wrote a Historical Farm fic:

Nectar (1402 words) by marginaliana
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Historical Farm (UK TV)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peter Ginn/Alex Langlands
Characters: Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn
Additional Tags: Plot What Plot/Porn Without Plot, supremely self-indulgent on the part of the author
Summary: "Can't believe you've never tasted honeysuckle before," said Alex, leaning back against the grassy hillock and letting his shoulder rest against Peter's.

--I nearly laughed myself sick on the train at this twitter thread, beginning with 'I forgot the word for photon so had to call it a “shiny crumb”'. There are SO many other examples in reply.

But I was thinking - why is this so funny? What is it about that situation that just hits the ridiculous spot?

Is it the incongruity of whatever people use in place of the right word? Banana = "It comes in its own case! It's yellow!" and Foal = "horse puppy." Is it because of the break in language, where there is a common word that the person definitely knows but they just can't get there? I feel like there's kind of an analogy to corpsing in theater, somehow. Or breaking the fourth wall.

Hmm. I wonder if anyone's done any science on this.
cimorene: blue-green tinted monochrome photo of a woman with short curly hair holding one hand to the back of her neck and looking to the side (helen kane)
[personal profile] cimorene
It really seems incredibly bizarre that Google Books uses some algorithm to suggest other books to me.

When I simply want to read one of their ebooks I can't even open the reader directly, I have to look at their stupid storefront, which insists on showing only five books, the two last opened and three terrible suggestions from the store. The suggestions aren't even weighted to show the next book in a series - in fact their default book page often doesn't even have that information so you have to know the title of the next and then search their disaster store for it!

Even if I charitably assume they've never heard of series, that's no reason to suggest random authors I have no inclination to read instead of things that could arguably interest me, like other books by the authors I've just bought! Yet at the same time nothing stops them from suggesting books I've already bought or "Top Selling" books based on location detection and hence in a language I've never bought a book in.

ETA at 9 pm: Actually this did inspire me to look harder for sources of DRM-free epubs, and it's not quite as bad as I feared, although I'm far from confident that I can find the specific books I want to read that way.

reading wednesday

Feb. 19th, 2019 09:36 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Never mind what I thought I was reading last week. I'll pick those up anon. I took Cynthia Kadohata's Kira-Kira for something, since it's also Reason-compatible. After a short time (fortuitously uninterrupted by Reason), I found myself 100 widely spaced, middle-grade pages in.

I liked her Floating World well enough years ago, when a prof assigned it for a course. Barely remember what happens, but it was in the better half of the course's reading list. Well, Kira-Kira is excellent so far, and I don't usually like Newbury award/honor titles.

If I can find another 20 minutes that I don't need for anything else, I can probably finish it. hmm.

Caught in a Cat Romance

Feb. 19th, 2019 08:57 pm
cimorene: scribbly sketch of an orange and white cat in an alert, friendly posture (curious)
[personal profile] cimorene

This is an extremely common sight around here (the cats snuggling together and grooming each other) but made an unusually good looping animation this time.
versaphile: (Default)
[personal profile] versaphile

“Look,” Divad says to Lenny. “Farouk needed you so he could get David to trust him. Not the Benny-David who was trying to destroy himself, the Lenny-David who you helped him become. We were there, remember? David wouldn’t have gotten better without you. He wouldn’t have been healthy enough to want things again without you, so he wouldn’t have asked Syd out without you.” “And they wouldn’t have kissed and swapped bodies and killed me,” Lenny grumbles. “No, but if they hadn’t, you’d still be a red,” Divad says. “And so would we, no matter what color they put us in. You saved us, Lenny. You saved us a lot. Whatever bad shit Farouk put in you, it’s his, not yours. You’re still the Lenny we remember, and we remember, okay?” “Okay, okay,” Lenny says, surrendering. “Did you have that speech saved up or something?” Divad eases. “I told David a lot of terrible things, so I’m stocking up on good things to tell him to make up for that. But I guess they’re for you, too. Because you’re a good thing in our life, and— We don’t want to lose any of the good things.”

from Tumblr:

Neat turns of phrase from le Carré

Feb. 19th, 2019 09:50 am
cimorene: woman writing in a hard-bound book with a quill pen (writing)
[personal profile] cimorene
[H]is smile went with him everywhere. The typists declared that he slept in it, and hand-washed it at weekends.

-The Honourable Schoolboy

Forty is a difficult age at which to stay awake, he decided. At twenty or at sixty the body knows what it’s about, but forty is an adolescence where one sleeps to grow up or to stay young.

-The Honourable Schoolboy

The whole house gently asserted an air of old age; it had a quality, like incense, of courteous but inconsolable sadness.

-The Looking Glass War

holiday weekends are for tv watching

Feb. 19th, 2019 12:28 am
hermionesviolin: animated icon of a book open on a desk, with text magically appearing on it, with text "tell me a story" framing it (tell me a story [lizzieb])
[personal profile] hermionesviolin
This weekend I have watched:
  • the first 5 episodes of the new season (3) of One Day at a Time (Netflix)
  • the first 3 episodes of Pose (FX, [personal profile] thedeadparrot)
  • the 8-episode first season of Tidelands (Netflix, [ profile] carlyinrome)

Umbrella Academy s1

Feb. 18th, 2019 08:02 pm
cimorene: 80s She-Ra using telepathy as indicated by glowing rings of magic coming out of her head (magic)
[personal profile] cimorene
I don't remember being incredibly annoyed by how stupid Luther was while reading The Umbrella Academy, but then, I don't remember very much of it at all and will have to reread it soon.

This is mostly Mood Spoilers™ but in a quantity that kinda adds up to spoilers )

(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2019 09:30 am
lotesse: (freedom)
[personal profile] lotesse
Going to the anti-Trump "emergency" protest at the Federal Plaza in a few hours.

(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2019 03:08 pm
versaphile: (Default)
[personal profile] versaphile
avoidantcactus: Constantly torn between “I can’t ask for help bc then I’m annoying and everyone will be mad” and “I must ask for help at every possible stage because I might do it wrong and then everyone will be mad” ya feel
from Tumblr:

eliminating fleece blankets and socks

Feb. 18th, 2019 01:39 pm
cimorene: Sheppard & McKay from Stargate: Atlantis standing in an overgrown field in tactical gear (pastoral)
[personal profile] cimorene
As much as I would love to live plastic-free (or mostly plastic free), I, like most people, don't have the time and money to devote to it (not to mention the environment is still full of microplastics and everything else you buy was still made with plastics anyway). This article, which I read last night, had me thinking a lot about consumer activism (ie boycotts and petitioning brands for changes to their policies) vs consumer choice activism (the notion that you can 'do something' to save X simply by paying slightly more for a more morally pure alternative to something you were going to buy), and how this encourages the false impression that consumer choices can make a difference on a global scale when they really can't because the vast majority of use is driven by industry, and only collective action (= structural and regulatory reform) can significantly change them.

But it also reminded me of the plastics that I probably can dispense with and am now trying to replace in my life, namely: polyester fleece.

We use a lot of throw blankets because 1. I'm always cold and 2. cats hog blankets and 3. bunnies need blankets in their homes (4 per bunny right now: either ½ blankets or ½ bath sheets), and the nice wool ones are in the closet because they can't be washed in the washing machine, but our cats are genetically predisposed to barf on everything.

For the same reason, we can't have any rugs that won't fit in the washing machine, and a lot of them are cheap nubbly fleece bathmats because the pets all love them.

Problem: the winter is long, the air is hella dry, and the bunnies, who are about 75% hair by volume, spend their time exposed to lots of fleece blankets and rugs, and this produces so much static. You'd think that wool would be bad, but actually wool is way less staticky for them than fleece.

We can, and should, replace the rugs with rag rugs and other woven cotton ones and the blankets with hand-knitted washable wool blankets (and cotton towels for the bunnies), but that's a long-term goal as cotton rugs are more expensive and blankets take time to knit. (I'm not willing to buy ones that are the wrong colors. And not all rag rugs are created equal - they have to be the tightly woven kind.) Knitted cotton blankets are the best in the summer, but they don't cut it for Finnish winter, even indoors. At least not for me.

The last problem are those fuzzy chenille socks, which I wear whenever I'm at home. These aren't easy to replace because standard wool socks are meant to be worn over other socks, but the cotton socks that you put underneath them aren't warm and soft enough for me: cotton just doesn't feel warm on the skin. Sock yarn needs to be hard-wearing, though, and that tends to work against being soft and squishy. Synthetic fiber inclusion helps the yarn to wear better, and many fiber blend yarns are able to increase the softness, but they won't be warm or breathable enough if the synthetic portion goes above 25% or so, in my experience. I will have to do some research into the sock-knitting field and hope there are some good yarns for the purpose.

Author Event

Feb. 17th, 2019 12:40 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
For anyone in the Madison area, I'll be doing an author event at A Room of One's Own on Tuesday, February 26, at 6 p.m. I'll be reading from the next book in the Goblin Emperor universe, The Witness for the Dead.
cimorene: very fluffy white and beige rabbit standing alertly on top of an upturned box (alert)
[personal profile] cimorene
Japp is basically a model bunny. I don't mean an ideal bunny by that, but rather a bunny that the camera loves. As long as I keep aiming the cameraphone, he'll casually keep striking adorable and charming poses and he is often happy to keep doing it, because he's basically just a really chill dude. A really chill dude who has a burning heart of butthead underneath, but a chill dude. He's relatively calm, adventurous, docile, and unafraid (for a bunny). I can sit down near him and have a conversation from a couple of feet away and take a lot of pictures, and reach out and pet him on his head, and he'll stay there engaged in the conversation and continuing to give amazing angles.

Rowan, on the other hand, who is a very Sensitive Boy, is more affectionate and also more standoffish and highly strung. He is very, very cautious, and when they were still baby bunnies, he had to be taught to do things like how to jump out of a box with a 3" high side and how to climb the furniture and that it was safe to cross the threshold from the livingroom into the kitchen by watching Japp do it safely several times in a row.

So this is why (as I said before) all my pet blog posts with the most notes are photosets of Japp. Rowan is just as cute, but he's very cautious. He'll let me sit down near him and hang out and have a conversation sometimes (a minority of the time) without retreating to somewhere safer from the dangers of being picked up or put in the cage, but as soon as he notices humans studying him from close enough to take a good cameraphone photo he'll freeze (I mean if I had a big camera with a telephoto lens then yes, I could, but I don't know enough about photography for that).

I thought if I put him somewhere to explore on his own where he was forced to stay in good natural light for a little bit I could get some good photos of him behaving naturally, but when I covered the kitchen table (in the sunlight) with padding and towels and set him free on it, he reacted with intense suspicion. Granted, Rowan has not spent time on the kitchen table before and he chooses not to hang out in the kitchen very much, but the kitchen is not foreign to him. Nonetheless, he never stopped cautiously creeping around the table like he thought he could blend in somehow until I gave up, brushed him, and then set him free.

ro on the table

I got a few cute pictures obviously, but the little guy just would not relax. Later, Japp reacted with milder suspicion to the opportunity, but he did give me a ton of model shots before I gave up on teaching him how to jump from the table to a chair to the floor.

FILM: Matilda

Feb. 17th, 2019 09:33 am
naraht: (art-Icon)
[personal profile] naraht
This is the story of the soon-to-be Tsar Nicholas II's affair with the Mariinsky ballerina Matilda Kschessinska. Obviously my interest in ballet and my upcoming trip to Saint Petersburg meant that I felt at least mildly obliged to check it out. In addition, it was wildly controversial in Russia due to its portrayal of Nicholas II as very human when he's now a saint.

In all honesty I've only watched a third of it, and I doubt I'll watch the rest. It's supremely cheesy, although you have to admit that the costumes are great.

It was apparently made in collaboration with the Mariinsky, which gave me hope, but let me be supremely picky and complain that they clearly made no effort to ensure that the dancing was historically accurate for 1890. Way too extreme in the extensions. Since they cast non-dancers (there are doubles for the dancing scenes), at least their body types are a little more 1890s-adjacent.

(If you have historically-informed ballet performance needs, the ROH has you covered.)

I have to say it was worth watching purely for this exchange about the business model of a cultural organisation in Tsarist Russia...

Matilda: Why all these photographs of the ballerinas? This isn't a brothel.
Artistic Director(?): No, it's far better. Brothels don't get state subsidy.

February 2019


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