silveradept: The emblem of the Heartless, a heart with an X of thorns and a fleur-de-lis at the bottom instead of the normal point. (Heartless)
[personal profile] silveradept
The Magicians had a fourth season finale a little while ago. You can still see the fires burning over in that corner of fandom, and for good reason. I'm going to be linking to pieces written about the finale that do a far better job of summarizing what happened and what went terribly wrong with that idea. Those pieces, and my summaries and commentaries of them, have content warnings for suicidal ideation, completed suicide, and mental illness at the very least, so this may be something to avoid if you have seen enough, or you do not want to engage. The rest of this post is going under cut.

The Fourth Season Finale of The Magicians, and why we could have seen it coming, thanks to Joss Whedon. )

Today was beautiful

Apr. 30th, 2019 11:42 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Just lovely!

But I probably should not have celebrated the arrival of good weather by going to the bookstore....

****


Read more... )

Soooooo I really am a bit sedentary

Apr. 24th, 2019 03:26 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Well, sedentary with long walks because I'd always rather walk than take the bus, but still.

On the one hand, I want to exercise more for general health reasons. I don't want to end up old and find out that immobility has snuck up on me, nor do I want to discover that it's really true that being inactive increases your risk of dementia. (It's all well and good for me to assert that dementia doesn't run in my family, but that only works if I ignore my father's mother. Which I mostly do, but still. Probably I should stop doing that.)

On the other hand, I don't want to exacerbate existing joint issues, which would really suck and probably not help my old age mobility at all, especially not if that's connected to arthritis. In the past month my mother has mentioned off-hand an alarming number of relatives who were severely restricted due to arthritis at rather young ages - and that's only counting the ones who developed it in adulthood! There's at least one cousin of hers or her mother's who was apparently "totally crippled" before puberty. She can preen all she likes about how that gene seems to have skipped her, I see my sister increasingly worried and yet dodging the thought that she might already be developing arthritis. She's not even 40 yet! (She ought to go to a doctor. I think we all know that neither funds nor time is really the reason she hasn't.)

So clearly the thing to do is find some 15 or 20 minute daily exercise routine that's reasonably high intensity but isn't going to screw up my joints, at least, not more than they already are. Preferably something that can be done by somebody with no real coordination - I can't jump rope, I can't ride bikes, every day I nearly trip over my own two feet/my pants/the dogs and break my glasses.

Maybe I should just buy myself an exercise bike. When I don't need to balance, I am very unlikely to fall down. I'm not worried about myself so much as my poor glasses.

83F - 59F : Sunny

Apr. 24th, 2019 09:02 pm
zhelana: (seaQuest - Hurled)
[personal profile] zhelana
I couldn't sleep last night, but I really wanted to sleep so I stayed in bed. Kevin woke me up when he got up for work at 7, so I wound up getting 1 hour of sleep. I fell back asleep. When my alarm went off at 12 it was painful. I stood up, and... fell down. I pushed myself back up on the bed, and tentatively tried putting weight on my left leg again, and if I hadn't had most of my weight on my arms already, I would have fallen again. I shuffled my weight onto my right leg, and did not fall but literally wound up screaming out in pain. I have no idea what I did to my hips, but it isn't good. I called my therapist and told him I couldn't walk through his parking lot, and then went back to sleep. Kevin called at 4 but it failed to get me out of bed. He came home at 5:30, which did wake me up.

Because I have no brain, I stood up from bed. This time I didn't fall, and didn't scream, but every step gets a whimper. I shuffled stiffly into my office where Jack tried to jump up with me and give me kissies. I kind of alternated between reading lj and dw and trying to go back to sleep in my chair. Kevin kept demanding that I get up and do things and I really wanted to snap at him that I don't ask him to do shit on high pain days, and where the fuck does he get off demanding I move around on the one high pain day I've had this year. Slowly I realized that walking is less painful than standing, however, and while I was in the kitchen to let the dogs into the yard, I made myself a bagel. I ate that and finished off the granola bites I had bought last weekend, and called it dinner.

I read the 4 books I read on Wednesdays, and then did the habitica tasks that don't require standing or using my hips (which honestly isn't many of them). I decided not to go to the SCA meeting because it was a class called "bycockets part 2" and I don't know what a bycocket is, and I missed part 1 whenever that was. Rather than hold the class up while she caught me up, or just not understanding what was going on, I opted to stay home. My hips still weren't feeling up to standing for a long period, which always happens at these things, anyway. So I just stayed home.

I have somehow tagged Aaron on here almost half as many times as Jack, despite the fact that I've had Jack for 11 years and Aaron for only 3. I usually only tag them if they do something cute or if I have to take them to the vet. I suspect this comes from all the vet visits for Aarons UTIs? Though I'm pretty sure that Jack has hurt his legs more often than Aaron had UTIs.

At this point, my hips don't hurt anymore, so I'm hopeful I can get to fighter practice tomorrow evening if they don't flare up overnight again. Maybe that's a bad idea, though. But since the writers don't seem to write anymore, I'm not sure what else to do with my Thursdays. if I do the thing, I need to buy gas. I went to buy gas yesterday, and all of the machines had a card in the credit card slot that said "cash only" - I'm certainly not about to either try to guess what my gas will cost ahead of time nor spend my cash on gas because they can't get their shit together to allow me to pay with a credit card. There are plenty of other gas stations around, and they should be punished financially for not having their shit together. I've been thinking I shouldn't go to that station anyway because one of their pumps doesn't allow you to set it and stop holding it the entire time you're pumping, and I never remember which one it is so I often end up at it. lol. I just realized that I drove off and left my gas cap off. Fortunately it was still attached when I got out there.

One of the founding members of our barony, Duke John the Mad Celt, found out yesterday he has cancer, and today they did surgery. It was fairly major surgery, and he's still going to be in the hospital for a few days, and then we'll see what's going on about chemo and all those other cancer treatments out there. The speed they're moving with makes me think things are bad.

Watching: Greta

Apr. 24th, 2019 08:58 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
Neil Jordan's new film, Greta, is a classic stalker thriller. Chloë Grace Moretz stars as Frances, a Bostonian innocent in New York City whose well-meaning act of returning a bag found on the subway to its owner ("In New York, if you find a bag you call the bomb squad!" chides her more worldly-wise flatmate) lets her in for more than she bargains for as Isabelle Huppert's Greta proves not to be the delighful new friend she appears to be. Nothing in the plot is really going to come as a surprise to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the stalker genre, and the jumps are all well-signposted by music and atmosphere, but they're jumpy nonetheless, and while if I'm honest it tended a bit too much towards horror for me it was entertaining enough (and probably better than the alternative, Red Joan, which I suspect would be rather formulaic and which reviews suggest suffers from Not Enough Judi Dench).
fullupwithfire: (+ reaching out)
[personal profile] fullupwithfire
I'll be honest: Some part of me feels really awkward trying to get back into the hang of regular posting after the last few posts, for whatever reason. But I feel like that is the way back to the land of "one update every month or two, maybe", which I don't want to do, so here I am. My computer, and specifically the work site, is being ridiculously difficult to deal with today. Right now I'm giving it ten minutes to see if it stops freezing if I give it time, so let's see if I can pull out an update.

Things are settling down around here again. Bast's mom goes home Friday, and things will settle even more then, I think. May is supposed to be busy all over the place, but with good things, so we'll see? I'm not 100% sure all the things are still even happening, so who knows.

I am back on youtube while I work this week apparently, and it's reminding me that I really do, alongside the million fic rec posts I mean to make, mean to make video rec/link posts at some point, too. I'm so bad at actually sharing things for how much I love to rec shit to people. I am not starting that now, because made of tired, but maybe later this week, who knows. (Probably not. But maybe next week?)

Uhhh. Other than that I got nothing, honestly. I thought maybe I did, but not so much as it turns out. So back to work I wander.

♥♥♥ to all of you.
jesse_the_k: Short white woman in yellow flat cap lurks behind ornamental grass (JK 64 loves grass)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity by Arlene Stein (Author)

four of four stars

print, ebook

Appreciated this book, aimed at cis folks like me. review and long quote )

(no subject)

Apr. 24th, 2019 06:39 pm
[personal profile] theandrewhickey
I don't post here much, but I do still read my reading page every day. But I thought some of you might want to know about the new social media accounts for my podcast, A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs (and if you don't yet know about the podcast, check out http://500songs.com to hear (so far) me talking for fifteen hours straight about music from 1938 through 1955). twitter.com/500SongsPodcast is the Twitter account for the podcast, while https://www.facebook.com/rockmusicin500songs is the Facebook page. [personal profile] hollymath is running the Facebook, as I deleted my FB account a couple of years ago, as FB's whole interface and system seems designed to cause me social anxiety and raise my blood pressure, but she'll tell me anything people post there and stuff.
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
[personal profile] silveradept
This post can be excluded with a paid account. Remove the tag "political links" from what you would like to see, and it will never darken your space again. (Unless I forget to apply the tag.)

Brexit and the Muller Report, mostly )

There will be more. There will always be more.

The times roll by - March-April 02019

Apr. 24th, 2019 07:19 am
silveradept: White fluffy clouds on a blue sky background (Cloud Serenity)
[personal profile] silveradept
Good morning! Let's get started with pictures of a black hole. Using a telescope array and supercomputers to piece the data together, we have a picture of the black hole and the surrounding area.

(We also have the metaphorical black hole of the concentrated harrassment campaign against one of the visible faces of the project because she's a women and a bunch of men believe that women should never be in science at all.)

Secondly, a high school in New Jersey adapted the film Alien as a stage production and created everything they needed for it out of recycled materials. The few clips linked in the Mary Sue article show excellent production values, set design, costuming (have a look at the Xenomorph they created!), and acting. That's awesome.

The AO3 Hugo, Pillowfort's Future, and a lot more! )

Last for tonight, a gentle reminder - petrol is not an effective infield-drying agent, as much as people might want it to be, and as much as it sounds like it might be some sort of effective method to spread it and light it on fire to draw the moisture out.

Championship level tag - use parkour equipment in a confined space, and see if you can last 20 seconds without being tagged. It's harder than it sounds.

Also, turning candies and peeps into sushi-like creations. Mostly by taking the heads off Peeps, but there are other things to do with the decapitated marshmallow puffs.

(Okay, one last thing, no really - A Pole Sport Organization where a Deadpool takes to the art of the pole [Video, Youtube].

(no subject)

Apr. 24th, 2019 08:52 am
unicornduke: (Default)
[personal profile] unicornduke
 I'm helping with another work meeting today, which is actually just handling lunch stuff. Then this afternoon, I'm heading north to check traps and look at some grapes if I have time. I'm trying to crunch everything that was supposed to happen tomorrow into today if I can. 

My mouth still hurts from the dentist on monday, but just around the one wisdom tooth where the hygenist said the gum is like cheek tissue rather than gum tissue. Unless I'm getting sick and it's actually a sore throat. Who knows! 

Laser scarecrow part is being shipped. 

I'm heading to PA tomorrow morning because I'm tired and I don't think I'll have time to pack up and drive down tonight. 

Apparently when I get stressed out, I make stuff because I've baked a ton in the past few days. I also picked back up playing stardew valley when I was bored last night. I'm still working on not sitting and refreshing social media. 

I made pastry cream last night and I ate it for second breakfast so that's good. 

Higher education is broken

Apr. 24th, 2019 07:16 am
brithistorian: (Default)
[personal profile] brithistorian
If you want to see what I mean when I say higher education is broken, go read "Death of an Adjunct" from The Atlantic.

If I hadn't met A. and then married and had kids young, that could have been me.  Having set myself upon a course, I would have done anything, sacrificed anything, to get there.  But once I had other people depending on me, it forced me to have some sort of work-life balance.  A lot of things that I might have done if it was just me were off the table once there were other people involved.
brithistorian: (Default)
[personal profile] brithistorian
Remember I told you how K-pop was more into seasonal songs than American pop?  Well, it's still spring, so we're still getting spring songs.  As far as I'm concerned, this is the spring song of this year.

quantumcupcakes: (Default)
[personal profile] quantumcupcakes
Tuesdays are always a busy day in our household, and today was no exception.

Jack goes to a 'men's group' called The Dusty Shed. It's a men's over 50's group and they do practical things like woodworking, metalworking, electronics, burning fingers with solder, model making. He's been going for a couple of months and I know he really enjoys connecting with other men his age.

Lucy goes to a schizophrenia group, it's not a therapy thing but a 'self-help' group - sometimes they talk, sometimes they do social activities like bowling... note to self, this is changing to a Monday in May at a later time and a different location, you need to update the calendar.

I go to a bereavement group - it's nice to be able to talk to other people going through the same thing as you, to realise that what you're feeling is perfectly normal. It also helps to not feel like I'm offloading everything on Jack or Lucy. A bit like Lucy's group - it's everything from coffee and cake and someone to talk to, and sometimes we go walking or bowling.

I tried to continue yesterdays theme of saying positive things to people, and one of the younger girls in the group had cut her hair very short and dyed it a beautiful emerald green colour. I told her how nice it looked, how the cut really framed her face and she lit up - she actually started crying and hugged me, and of course, that made me cry.

We talked a lot about strengths and weaknesses, and I found it interesting how we could all really easily identify what we thought were our weaknesses but struggled with our strengths. I don't know how much of this is bereavement/depression vs social conditioning that, especially as a woman, we're told that we shouldn't be strong and celebrate ourselves. Fuck that. I'm organised, I'm efficient, I'm an analytical thinker and a creative problem solver. Jack just looked over my shoulder, read what I'm writing and says I'm a damn good kisser. I'm passionate, caring and easily excited.

I then spent the afternoon helping Jack finally set up the tablet I got him for Christmas - playing around in the app store, finding new things for him to play with. He's also updated his dreamwidth ([personal profile] jackjanderson) for the first time this year and is slowly working his way through his long-abandoned email account. He's got it down from something like 1100 to under 500. I'm hoping he's going to get back into blogging - not for me to read (though I do) but because I know he was enjoying connecting with people online. Like I said earlier, he's a social creature, my husband.

We're now all curled up on the couch - cats included - and watched some Doctor Who on Netflix. I'm pretty exhausted, mentally and emotionally, so I'm thinking I'm going to head to an early bed.

A week without complaining
This is going well. I am so pleased that I have been able to pull my head in, and focus on just getting on with stuff... and not complaining. What does it achieve? So far, so good - and I'm more than halfway through.

Lucy Mangan reads Antonia Forest

Apr. 24th, 2019 07:43 am
hunningham: Woman reading book (Reading)
[personal profile] hunningham
From Bookworm, by Lucy Mangan. She loves Forest's school stories; the enthusiasm and delight is such that I'm going to have to acquire and read for myself.
End of Term (and Autumn Term, The Cricket Term and Attic Term, which I would discover in due course) are technically school stories. They are set at Kingscote boarding school and the events the twins (Lawrie and Nicola) and their sisters take part in there include many of the standards: being unfairly left out of teams, getting (and not getting) parts in the school play, negotiating friendships, shifting loyalties and small treacheries. But there are no high dramas - no gorse-anchored clifftop rescues, no hidden heirlooms, no near-drownings, no mysterious figures who turn out to be long-lost uncles or overzealous guardians. Boarding-school-story conventions are in fact often lightly mocked. At one point, for example, Tim (real name Thalia - 'A muse or something, Mother would have it, though Father did his best') likens Nicola to a character being 'very, very competent and awfully, awfully keen'. Kingscote is not an idyll. Its pupils are not perfect and neither - more shockingly - are its teachers, whom the pupils see at all times with clear rather than ennobling/idolising eyes. Rowan, one of the Lawrie and Nicola's older sisters, describes her relationship with headmistress Miss Keith as 'delicately balanced on a razor-edge of mutual toleration'. A wonderful phrase that I took instantly to my heart and have used many times in life since, and it encapsulated what I was most drawn to about the characters and the writer - the cool command they shared, the slight sense of detachment from life in order to keep perspective on it. It was like a bracing plunge after the close, sweaty sauna of more traditional school stories. You emerged from a Forest novel - and I instinctively reach for that word rather than book or story because everything was as finely and accurately drawn as in any fiction for adults - as braced as you had been entertained. My mind felt keener and sharper after every reading. Maybe it even was.

What are you reading Wednesday?

Apr. 24th, 2019 12:03 am
zhelana: (Marvel - Puny God)
[personal profile] zhelana
What have you just finished reading?

Educated by Tara Westover - As of last week I thought maybe her mother was just as much a victim as she was, and didn't completely hate her. As of this week I think her mother might be the most vile character in the whole book, even worse than Shawn. Basically shit hit the fan in this week's section, and the entire family disintegrated into factions: one faction we like and one faction we hate. The mother is firmly in the faction we hate. Tara tells a difficult to read but important story about how education taught her one really important lesson - that being abused is not okay. She spends her time studying feminism and not applying that to herself, but in the end she comes to terms with the fact that she is a person worthy of respect and being treated well. This doesn't play well with her family, who are all abusive assholes, and she loses most of her family in the process. Then she writes a dissertation comparing three 18th century schools of thought including Mormonism as one of them, looking at her religion through historical eyes: neither lionizing nor criticizing it. Just looking at how it fit with the time it was founded. It would have been interesting to see whether she remains faithful after this, or if she leaves the church when she leaves her family.

The Municipalists by Seth Fried - There were absolutely no surprises in this. They had a suspect in the 3rd chapter, and that's who turned out to do it. I think rather than a sci fi thriller this should have been written as a character study. The main character essentially goes from lawful good to neutral good when he realizes his own agency is freezing out poor neighborhoods and refusing to help them, which is kind of the bad guy's point. But it was really weird. The entire book was entirely predictable. At the same time, I neither liked nor disliked it. This may actually be related. There were no surprises that pleased me and no surprises that displeased me. I don't know. I wound up giving it 3 stars, a rating I rarely give, because in the end I didn't care about it really, but I didn't dislike it either.

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson - Leon and his family get sent to a concentration camp from which his father and brother are rescued by Oskar Schindler. The father must have made a heck of an impression on Schindler, because he then decides to hire the younger son and mother, too. The younger son is our author. He is too short to work the machines in the factory, so he has to stand on a wooden box to reach. Nonetheless, Schindler points him out to passing inspectors as "an absolute expert, indispensable." At first he believes it, but then he finds out that he's actually doing about half as much work as even a competent person would be in the timeframe. As the war ends, Schindler has to escape to the American controlled side of Germany because if he stays in the Soviet controlled side, he'll be executed as a nazi officer. Then, the trainload of female Jews who worked at his factory never get to Germany, and he finds out they've been sent to Auschwitz. Risking his own life, he returns to Poland, and bribes these women's way back to a new factory in West Germany. He literally interrupts the selection, and Leon's mother was in the wrong line at the time they announced they were to get back on the train. Had he been mere minutes later, she would have died. The parents and two children survive the war, but two siblings didn't make it. This destroys his parents, and they beg him not to go to Israel where there is likely to be fighting and killing, but rather to come with them to The United States, where he lived until his death in 2013.

What have you just given up on reading?

1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Women's History by Constance Jones - At fewer than 1001 pages, this book was trying to do too much too quickly. Each thing that they thought was important about women's history got like 1/5th of a page. There was never enough time to get into a thing, and I wasn't retaining anything. There's an entire series of these historical books, but I'm glad I only bought the one.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas - The premise of this book was stupid. It's about a poor family, and the girl decides that she is going to leave the ghetto one day. But instead of then putting her nose in some books and getting a scholarship to college, she decides the only way out is to become a famous hip hop artist. What kind of shitty-assed message is this giving to our kids (it's a YA book)? Drop out of school to become a hip hop artist and you will be set for life? Except that doesn't work for the vast majority of people who try it. Do you have any idea how many no name people we will never hear of out there trying to become famous for every person who actually becomes famous? This is terrible!

The New Global History by Bruce Mazlish - This promised me a history of globalization, but it was actually all theory and no history at all. I put it down pretty quickly when I realized it just assumed I knew all about globalization, and just wanted to argue that this is a thing that can be looked at historically.

What are you reading?

Bully for Brontosaurus by Stephen J Gould (48%) - We had a chapter on the Burgess Shale and how everyone thinks it was discovered by accident when a horse lost its footing and slipped on a rock that happened to have all these invertebrate fossils on it. However, it turns out that story isn't true and really the guy who found the Burgess Shale knew exactly what and where he was looking for. He planned the expedition to go there, went there, and discovered exactly what he expected to find. The horse story is more popular because it's plausible, and relies on luck. But really, it's sort of offensive, if you think about it. Then we start a new part of the book. I'm not sure why the book is divided into parts, as the parts seem to have nothing in common with themselves, but here we are in a new part, in a chapter on glow worms and larval forms of insects containing the entire adult form within themselves.

Watership Down by Richard Adams (41%) - Two of the rabbits from the old warren have found them and told them that Fiver was right to tell them to leave. Humans came and gassed the warren, killing almost everybody. Also, they rescued a seagull which is trying to help them find some females, so apparently they're not unaware of the fact that they need some females. I just got there a bit ahead of them. We also got a chapter which was nothing but a story about the rabbits' god. He's an interesting fellow.

The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles by Gregory Bassham (55%) - There was the chapter comparing Dumbledore to Plato, which I apparently got nothing out of whatsoever because I can't even remember what the comparison was. Then we get a chapter on whether Dumbledore is gay, and who's to say. Apparently when JK Rowling announced she had always thought of him as gay, there was a large outcry claiming she had no right to put things into the books that weren't actually in the books. This seems to be the homophobic crowd looking for a way to complain without outright complaining that he's gay, since these same people did not complain when she gave snippets of other characters' lives. We go over different definitions of "truth" and end up with the conclusion that there is no "The Harry Potter Universe." There are as many HP universes as there are fans, and each one is a bit different. Finally, we have a chapter on whether choices are more important in defining you than abilities. This seems painfully obvious to me that the answer is yes, but we apparently have an entire chapter's worth of stuff to say about it.

The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe by Valerie IJ Flint (31%) - Astrology got a makeover and became Christian. Something about the 12 astrological houses being represented by the 12 tribes of Judaism? Also, astrology was one of the least objectionable methods of divination out there, so you may as well allow this one so that you can outlaw the others and tell people "just do that one" instead.

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath (46%) - The acronym is SUCCESS which has a lot of Cs and a lot of Ss. So far we've covered Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, and started on Credible. Credible is difficult because you have to borrow credibility from somewhere external. You can, if you're a company, hire a celebrity who seems credible. But if you're like most of us and don't have the funds to hire a celebrity when we want an idea heard, you have to get that credibility from somewhere. The antismoking campaign got it from a woman who smoked from the time she was 10 and got cancer and died in her 30s. Before she died, she was the spokesman for the antismoking campaign, and she was credible because she was a smoker for so long and then got cancer, just like the experts would predict.

Jewish Humor: What the Best Jewish Jokes Say About the Jews by Joseph Telushkin (49%) - So apparently he thinks all the best Soviet dissident jokes were written by or about Jews. I have no idea how he comes to this conclusion, because it's not like all the dissidents were Jews. Also, there's a bit on children marrying outside of the faith, and apparently the punchline is that the parents are going to kill themselves because of it. These aren't very relevant anymore, now that most Jews intermarry, and there is no USSR. This book may be old enough that there still was a USSR when it was published.

Where the Desert Meets the Sea by Werner Sonne and Steve Anderson (translator) (62%) - I looked it up - Werner Sonne is a man. I guess that explains why in this book that is billed as a strong friendship between unlikely women, the men are taking center stage. At this point, enough has happened that I'm starting to be curious about the men, and I want to see how it'll turn out. But I'm still really disappointed that it wasn't a book about a strong female friendship, like I was promised. That promise is likely going to cost the book a whole star when I go about rating it on goodreads. I suspect there is going to be at least one main character death as the brother has been abducted by Arabs, and the Arab woman's ex fiance keeps threatening to kill her.

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (51%) - This week the lesson is don't try to do things, just do them naturally, and they will naturally get done. This is demonstrated by Pooh throwing a rock into the river to try to make waves to rescue Eeyore. Eeyore protests that this is a bad idea, but with the first rock thrown, he gets pushed into water where he can stand, and walks out of the river.

Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson (32%) - We do, indeed, have the strong female friendships I was promised in this book. Also, putting them in the class of 2004 was not a mistake. She did wind up having September 11th happen in their sophomore year. As of today's reading, they are graduated from West Point. Along the way we see Dani get injured which is the start of her friendship with Avery. We get a few snapshots of life within West Point, and now they are going to each go their own way, and I guess we'll see what happens to the friendships they forged in the hardest 4 years of their lives.

The Snow Gypsy by Lindsay Jayne Ashford (26%) - The woman who found the child in the snow is a gypsy, and she names her child Nieve, which is the Spanish word for snow, so it's pretty clear who the snow gypsy is. Lola, this woman, and the other main character whose name may be Sarah, have now met and Lola is the only person at the gypsy festival who knows the name of the city Sarah's brother disappeared from. They're enjoying the fiesta, but later Lola is going to take Sarah to the city and see if anyone knew her brother. I predict that Nieve turns out to be Sarah's nephew. This book gives me a second book that passes the bechdel test this week.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (25%) - We've gotten through Part I, which is the story of Dinah's mothers/aunties. Now we've reached Dinah's story. Her mothers' story was alright, but we already knew it, mostly, from reading the Bible, or hanging around Jewish people long enough. Dinah I know almost nothing about, other than the fact that she gets raped, or at least I'm pretty sure that's her. So this should start getting more interesting now. The mothers' relationship with each other gives me another book that passes the bechdel test this week. I think this may be the first time in the history of ever that I've read 3 books that pass the bechdel test at one time. Interestingly, two of them were published in 2019. Are we getting better? Or do amazon and BOTM just do a good job of picking books to suggest that do that?

Russia: History of Russia: Kievan Rus to Vladimir Putin by Ian Maslow (59%) - This book makes some really dumb grammatical errors, including at least once omitting the word "not" and completely changing the meaning of the sentence. It's not often enough to make me put down the book, but it's frequent enough to be annoying. I wonder what's up with that. Did he try to do his own translation, and just wasn't good enough at English? Otherwise this is a really short book for trying to talk about that much history, and is very surface level. I know we don't know much about the Kyivan Rus, so maybe he hit the highlights for that section, but then it's like 10 pages for all of the tsars put together, and 10 pages for the empire all told. Now we're in relatively recent history and we got 10 pages for World War I to World War II, and apparently we're going to get 10 pages just of WWII. I was not expecting this book to be so short.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (6%) - In the first chapter, someone had a heart attack and died. Then in the second chapter, we start seeing people heading towards this health spa in Australia. Reviews are mixed - people either said it was the best thing to ever happen to them, or the worst. There is no middle ground.

Becoming by Michelle Obama (1%) - Just read the prologue so far. She talks about all the major events of her life and how she feels she has something she wants to share about herself. What that is, I guess we'll find out by reading on.

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde (11%) - I decided to give this another try after someone told me it wasn't scary even though there are zombie things running around. I hope I don't come to regret this. So far we've got the main character who is going to stay awake while humanity hibernates. He has gotten a job, and apparently that was all flashbacks because now he's sitting on the train with the dead woman, which is where we started this book.

82F - 51F : Sunny

Apr. 23rd, 2019 10:57 pm
zhelana: (Firefly - moments)
[personal profile] zhelana
Last night I drugged myself to sleep at midnight, and actually fell asleep then. It probably helped that I was kind of drowsy already. I woke up with the alarm to let Katrina in at 10, and then slept another 2 hours. I got up right about the time she finished cleaning, around noon. When I woke up I started with reading LJ and DW. Then I did my Tuesday reading. Then it was only 3pm, so I finished reading both The Boy on the Wooden Box and Educated. I guess it's already Tuesday night so I'll save my thoughts on those books until midnight, and then update my usual Wednesday reading post. That took me until 6. I spent the next half hour chatting with Riverdoe and Kali. Then I got up and got dressed.

Today's adventure was rapier. There was a guy there from HEMA who only does cut and thrust, so everyone was suiting up for that. I asked Brendan if I could do it too, and he said there was an introduction to it we could do but I couldn't fight anyone with it just yet, just like your introduction to rapier is a class, your introduction to C&T is a class. But he was willing to do the class with me, so we did that. I'll just say "it will take some getting used to" and leave it at that.

After the class I fought Wistric regular rapier, and did decently at that. Then HEMA guy taught Pietro and me a very basic introduction to long sword. He and Pietro went to fight long sword while I fought Brendan again.

After practice, we went to dinner, but it was just Brendan, Pietro, and myself. Pietro and I got there long before Brendan, who had to clean up all the loaner gear and the portable lights we use to fight with. We talked about Easter and Passover, which apparently Pietro confuses the two because they're at the same time of year and neither of them is his religion. I explained why they're at the same time, and then Brendan talked a little about Ostara and whether or not it is the pagan precursor to Easter. He doesn't think it is.

We finished dinner, and then I came home and took a shower and stretched. I started my goddamned period again. WTF body. We just did this on the 12th. No need to do it again. I'm starting to think it's some kind of reaction to exercise because A. I was on my period the entire time I was in basic training and B. it seems to always start up on a Tuesday. Great, body. Thanks. A punishment for exercising is just what I needed.

Anyway, that gets us through to now.

My vacation is looking lovely - low to mid 80s and sunny for the 4 days that are on the long term planner now. So hopefully it will be a week of playing in the surf and reading on the beach and by the pool. It honestly looks lovely until then. The 4th it might rain here, though, so I may have to drive through some rain, but it should stop before I get there. I'm not too bothered by a bit of rain, as long as it doesn't rain while I'm actually at the beach. But I guess if it does, we'll spend a day sitting on the couch reading.

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