My brag shelf

Oct. 21st, 2017 06:42 pm
scarlettina: (Default)
[personal profile] scarlettina
Every author has one: a shelf (or six, depending upon who you are) full of the books that one has either written or has stories in. I have one. Mine includes anthologies I've been in and I've edited, as well as magazines my work has appeared in as well. It came down as part of the house redecoration project. I have a new location for it. I look at those books and I just don't care anymore. I mean . . . I do care, but it's not vital that I have them out there. Like, I feel like, big deal. When did I stop caring about being a writer? Was it within the last 2.5 years, when everything changed so dramatically, when I nearly died, when my love and I lost each other, when everything fell apart? I look at my shelf and I think, is this it? Does it matter? I want it to. I . . . don't know how to make it matter anymore.

G-d, I'm so sad. C's death yesterday is part of it but not all. Maybe it's the return of the rain. Maybe it's another year when, at work, we asked management specifically not to schedule the big two-day meeting in the week before our biggest release of the year and they do anyway; talk about not feeling heard.

I should probably have dinner. Food could help. Yes.

Eva's party was a blast

Oct. 27th, 2017 07:23 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
She went to laser tag with 7 friends - damn, that's a long trip by bus! - and they loved it. One friend, who is diabetic, went in with a fairly high sugar count. Her mom showed me the tracker app on the phone a few minutes later - in at a high count, and it just plunged with all the running around.

The pizza and cake were both adequate, if not delicious - whatever, the kids were too hyped to care. The candles I got that advertised multi-colored flames really worked. OMG. They were just too cool. Everybody had fun, nobody got injured, and isn't that what you want in a party?

And then on the bus ride home Ana and Eva absolutely slammed the opposition in a friendly, respectful dialog* on the subject of abortion. So, yeah.

* It really was friendly and respectful, if a bit loud.


Oct. 21st, 2017 01:50 pm
balsamandash: (s] hope in the water)
[personal profile] balsamandash
I will update this through the day rather than making separate posts, unless I actually have something to say about the books. But I've been reading not-nonstop-but-plenty since 8:05 AM, it's 1:45 now, and I am pleased with myself.

A list of books and some thoughts. )


Oct. 21st, 2017 09:36 am
nancylebov: (green leaves)
[personal profile] nancylebov

Ex-KGB guy lecturing about subversion in 1983.

The beginning is ... amusing. He claims that the Soviet Union is immune to subversion because it's closed off from outside influences. It might also be amusing that he claims religion is the only thing which holds a society together, but fails to notice that the USSR tried to weaken religion.

However, his claims that it's possible to take a society down by amplifying its internal disruptive influences might be true.

The part that catches my attention is that cultivating no-compromise attitudes among people is very destructive. And that if you're looking to punish the other guy rather than get a good solution for the both of you, you're heading for trouble.

Unfortunately, it takes two to cooperate.

I'm wondering whether the world is worse than it needs to be, not so much because people are personally rotten as because there are organizations encouraging bad behavior for reasons which have nothing to do with the self-interest of the obvious culprits.

I suggest that malice is not adorable. Even if it's from people you agree with against people you don't trust. And that tear-it-all-downism might actually be bad for you.

There's a challenge here because hunting for negative foreign influence can also be a destructive force.

I'm not sure what the answer is. Look for people of good will. Don't make things worse.

Ireland day 14

Oct. 21st, 2017 09:31 am
kmusser: (Default)
[personal profile] kmusser
Sad to say our final day has arrived. We still have most of a day before we have to surrender the car. Our first stop will be at the ruins of Monasterboice monastery, famous for having some of the finest surviving high crosses and they do not disappoint - much larger than the ones we've seen so far. From there we also stop at Ardgillan castle, really a Victorian manor house, but it has crenelations, so they get to call it a castle. A very nice house with a beautiful Ocean view and extensive gardens. We probably would've wandered more here but it starts getting cold and rainy again, but we do lunch here. From there the final drive back to Dublin to return the car. We're staying at an airport hotel for our last night and our flight leaves at the crack of dawn in the morning. There is a pub within walking distance of the hotel, so we do get one last Guinness in before saying farewell.


Map of our trip:

Hope you've enjoyed the travelogue, in case you missed any of them all the entries can be found at

Interesting Links for 21-10-2017

Oct. 21st, 2017 12:00 pm

The Blood is the Life for 21-10-2017

Oct. 21st, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Just One Thing (21 October 2017)

Oct. 21st, 2017 09:02 am
nanila: Pokemon Go 2km Egg Hatch (gaming)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.


Random Doctor Who Picture

Oct. 21st, 2017 08:46 am
purplecat: The Seveth Doctor and Ace (Who:Ace/Seven)
[personal profile] purplecat

I recently listened to the Doctor Who Book Club podcast on Relative Dementias. They quite liked it but thought it wasn't completely in control of its themes, there was too much incidental stuff to bring up the page count and its descriptions of action were confusing. All criticisms that could probably be aimed at many of the Doctor Who novels.

Ireland day 13

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:03 pm
kmusser: (cartographer's conspiracy)
[personal profile] kmusser
Lots of stuff today, first up is the Brú na Bóinne site, mostly known for Newgrange - we aim to get there when it opens to minimize crowds, which is partially successful. The site is home to 3 huge neolithic tombs, two of which can be visited, and those via tour only. They date from 3200 BCE, making them one of the oldest monuments known, predating Stonehenge or the Pyramids. For most of that history these tombs were buried and just looked like hills and their status as "fairy mounds" prevented them from being disturbed. We visit the tomb of Knowth first, and our tour group has just a couple other people, so we get to see it without a crowd. This tomb was excavated relatively recently, beginning in the sixties, and care has been taken to preserve what they've uncovered. The primary mound is ringed with large stones, each with unique artwork carved on to it and they are beautiful - seeing 5,000+ year old artwork is just mind boggling. We can't go in the tomb itself, but we do get a peek along the chambers, Knowth has two - aligned with the equinoxes, and they are lined with more carved stones. Newgrange presents a bit of a contrast, it was uncovered in 1699 and so has suffered a couple hundred years of weathering and vandalism - also all the rest of the tourists have caught up to us so we see it with a huge crowd. It has the same ring of stones, but most of the artwork has weathered away - the striking white retaining wall is a modern reconstruction, the white stone was found on site, but probably wasn't in a giant wall (the same stone was found at Knowth, but there they've just left it on the ground where they found it). Newgrange does have the advantage though that we can actually go inside the tomb which is very cool, and they also do a little light demonstration of the effect of the alignment with the winter solstice when the sun would naturally illuminate the inner chambers. Seeing Knowth first definitely helped in imagining what Newgrange would've looked like with all its artwork intact. The third tomb is Dowth and visitors aren't allowed, but we can see it in the distance, its alignment is to the summer solstice. We do lunch in the visitor center.

From there it is on the Hill of Tara, the traditional seat of the High King of Ireland. The site today is a couple of hills surrounded by the grass covered remains of various earthworks. The little visitor center in a former church is closed but the site is open and crowded, mostly with students, while a bit chilly the place has a summer park feel with lots of folks just hanging out. Also check out a pair of entwined trees that are covered with offerings, not sure what the story there is, but was not to see, the whole site does have a very nice feel to it.

We leave here and have a little more time left than we were expecting, we head towards Kells. On the way we stop briefly to wander the Bective abbey ruins, heading out when a wedding party arrives in their classic cars. Another stop at the Hill of Ward, a lesser known site associated with Samhain, now in a farm field and not marked other than a tiny plaque saying its a protected site (not even saying what it is). On into the town of Kells and take a look at the abbey grounds there which has a couple of high crosses and then just wander the town. A very tasty dinner at the pub of a MasterChef contestant, but otherwise a quiet night as we pack up getting ready to make our departure.


[MA, gastronomy] Moar Ghoti?

Oct. 20th, 2017 08:51 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea

I have a friend coming from out-of-town – from one of those more landlocked places – who would like to go out for seafood. I'm abashed to admit, my answer to the question of where I go for seafood around here is "New Hampshire", which is not compatable with our plans. I am nursing a grudge against Legal, and just about all the places I used to go are out of business.

They're a foodie, will be staying in Somerville, and will be getting around on the T.

Where should we go?
strange_complex: (Dracula Risen hearse smile)
[personal profile] strange_complex
I am very happy indeed a) that this book exists and b) that I managed to bag one of the original print run of a mere 600 copies for only £35 last year. It now goes for upward of £150 on eBay... The publishers' page is still up, though, and includes several page images which indicate what the book is like: basically a pictorial record of the seven Hammer Dracula films which have Christopher Lee in them (so not Brides or Legend), covering cast pictures, production documentation, behind-the-scenes pictures and publicity material. As such it is of course an absolute treasure-trove.

I'm fairly familiar with the publicity photos and posters, but even they are wonderful to have in high-quality printed form. Meanwhile, the really exciting content was the production documentation, including letters, set designs, pages from shooting scripts etc. From these I learnt several things which I had not known before, such as how the various sets for Dracula fitted together. I had long realised that Harker's bedroom and Dracula's crypt in this film must be essentially the same set re-dressed, because they share the same curved, pointed arches along one wall. However, I never realised before I saw the set drawings in this book that this is actally because they both make use of the area glimpsed between the very same curved, pointed arches in the dining room after they had been blocked off by book-cases to create the library set. (I.e. they are slotted into the shadowy space from which Valerie Gaunt's vampire woman first appears when Harker is in the dining room.) Nor did I know, as correspondence with the censor for Risen reveals, that the name of the Monsignor's niece in this film was originally to have been Gisela. The switch to Maria in the final film was of course a sound move, since it is more familiar to Anglophone audiences, as well as accentuating her virginal purity and connection with a Catholic clergyman. Meanwhile, Gisela did not go to waste: the name was repurposed for the unfortunate girl found in the bell at the beginning of the film, whose coffin Dracula goes on to steal once he has been reawakened from the icy stream.


Also very illuminating were Terence Fisher's hand-written notes on Jimmy Sangster's original script for Dracula 1958. They're written on plain pages, rather than on the script itself, so you can't see what Sangster actually wrote - only Fisher's reactions. But that is enough to make it very clear that Sangster's first draft must have included far more scenes from the original novel than ever made it into even the shooting script, never mind the film. Scenes or characters which Fisher is reacting to include for example Harker in an inn before he ever reaches the castle, the three vampire brides, the 'child in a sack' scene, Harker gashing Dracula in the head, the Demeter, Renfield and Quincy Morris. And what Fisher is saying about them includes things like "cut", "keep till later?", "new character unexplained and uninteresting", "make it a pre-title sequence?" etc. This is absolutely revelatory, because the standard line until now has always been about how the efficiency of the script reflects Sangster's instinct for what could be achieved on a small budget. But I now see that his original draft must actually have followed Stoker's novel fairly closely, while most of the credit for that ruthless efficiency really belongs to Fisher.

In between the images runs a concise and generally useful supporting text from Kinsey, but I was struck by the fact that he doesn't always seem to recognise the full value of the material he himself is presenting. So, in spite of having treated us to Fisher's observations on Sangster's first draft, he still reports the usual story about how Sangster "was given Bram Stoker's novel to adapt, which he achieved again within Hammer's modest budget" only a few pages later. I spotted a couple of mistakes, too. The double-page spread on Francis Matthews in Prince calls his character Alan (rather than Charles), while a similar spread about Patrick Troughton as Klove in Scars claims that he passed on the mantle of Doctor Who to Tom Baker (not directly!).

That is to quibble, though. On the whole this is an absolutely superb collection which huge amounts of work must have gone into, and which I am certain I will keep returning to over the years. Three thousand cheers that my favourite films in all the world have received this splendid tribute.

7 things make a post

Oct. 20th, 2017 09:26 pm
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
1. We spent a pleasant low-key weekend in Todmorden with my mother and stepfather for Charles's birthday / their wedding anniversary. The only niggle was the mild cough I had before going turned into a horrible cough and I got very little sleep on the Saturday night, so my patience etc on the journey home was ... limited. We got home with no-one murdered though.

2. I love my Yuletide assignment and have a plot bunny gently growing. It's going to be pretty niche and I don't care, so long as it works for the recipient.

3. Thanks to the aforementioned cough, I missed morris practice last week - so frustrating given my fears about falling out of it - but I managed it again this week, and it is still very happy making. (I am so, so unfit compared to all these older women, but they are all so pleasant and welcoming.)

4. Charles was away this week with the school residential outdoor activity week with PGL. It was a bit of a challenge for him being away from home and his usual routine, but he seems to have mostly enjoyed it, and enthused at me about climbing and rifleshooting and archery and a few other things too ... It is good to have him back; and now it is half-term.

5. I had my flu jab this week, and the children had their flu sprays last week (I am a bit envious of them, but the nurse at my GP surgery is really very good about doing jabs quickly and with minimal pain). Flusurvey has started up again and are keen for more participants if any of my UK subscribers aren't already doing it and would like to.

6. It seems like half my reading list already posted about the #PullTheFootball campaign to require a congressional declaration of war before the US President can launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.  But in case you didn't see it, that link has actions, phone numbers and a script for US citizens (the rest of us can just help by sharing it with US citizens ...)

7. Clipping wrote the soundtrack for a new TV show, The Mayor, and tracks from it are being released weekly onto Spotify and iTunes.  I couldn't find an official Spotify playlist so I made my own and am adding the new tracks each week as they get released - TWO this week for a Halloween-themed episode.  The show's premise is that an up-and-coming rapper stands for mayoral election as a publicity stunt for his music career and accidentally wins. I love this idea, but can't find a way to legally watch the show from here; anyway I am really enjoying the musical output.

The Frightening Friday Five

Oct. 20th, 2017 02:13 pm
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

What book frightened you as a young person?
None I can remember.

If you had to become a ‘living book’ (i.e. able to recite the contents of a book cover to cover upon request – reference Fahrenheit 451), what book would it be?
To Be of Use by Marge Piercy, poetry

What movie or TV show scared you as a kid?
The Outer Limits. I’d watch with my older sister and she told me when it was safe to lower my hands from my eyes.

What movie (scary or otherwise) will you never ever watch?
Silence of the lambs et seq

Do you have any phobias?
Centipedes, millipedes, and other Myriapodae make me recoil and squeal a little.

I still exist

Oct. 20th, 2017 11:14 am
subbes: An excerpt from Cat & Girl. A teacher says "Follow your dreams," to which Girl responds "my dream leads to scurvy." (My Dream Leads To Scurvy)
[personal profile] subbes
Wildfires last week. We are all safe.

Mediation turned into restorative justice. I’ve been journaling it out, offline.

In this weird place where my twitter account has 1800 followers but I feel like nothing I tweet is of any importance or value, so I’m surprised when something I post gets retweeted and people pay attention to it.

Cabbage News Network Week #39

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:57 am
kmusser: (enlightenment)
[personal profile] kmusser
Status of Puerto Rico infrastructure - it's been over a month and the island is still 80% without power.

Sunday 10/15
  • Interior considering a road through Alaska wilderness (source) - this one trickier than it seems at 1st glance, more in comments.

Monday 10/16
  • Media reveal that Tom Marino, DJT's Drug Czar nominee, was behind legislation protecting drug companies. Nomination now in doubt. (source).
  • DJT comments on special forces soldiers killed 12 days ago in Niger, might call the families eventually. Also lies about previous presidents not calling families of the fallen (they did), but he still totally supports the troops (source).
  • DJT subpoenaed in sexual harassment case (source, reminder of the 15 separate sexual harassment accusations against DJT).
  • District Court judge hearing arguments on DJT's new travel ban (source).
  • EPA says it won't settle with environmental groups in lawsuits (source).

Tuesday 10/17
  • Marino withdraws nomination (source).
  • U.S. backed Kurdish forces take ISIL capital (source).
  • Sean Spicer interviewed by Mueller's team (source).

Wednesday 10/18
  • New travel ban blocked by courts (source).
  • Most states to use work-around to avoid DJT's health care subsidy cut-off (source).

Thursday 10/19
  • Budget resolution includes language potentially opening Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, Senate defeats amendment that would've protected the Refuge (source).

Friday 10/20
  • Senate passes House's budget resolution - not this is not a budget per se, but allows future budget related bills to immune to filibuster rules (source).
  • Senate to hold hearing on a new Authorization of Use of Military Force (source).

In news elsewhere
  • China has taken over building the world's infrastructure (source).

Legislative action this week

conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
mike (short for "microphone")

Should I ditch my plans and plunge into a day of current events?


hollymath: (Default)

October 2017

1 23 456 7
8 910 11 12 13 14
15 16171819 2021

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags