thistleingrey: (Default)
([personal profile] thistleingrey Sep. 16th, 2014 11:50 am)
I had the wit to turn on music while patching the shower tile grout. (Shouldn't one of those nouns get a genitive marker? Looks weird in any permutation.) It's the second patching---I did it a year ago, and this time I expect it to go at most six months despite use of stronger stuff. One can see little black mold stains below where the house's prior resident had ADA-compliant support bars screwed into the tile. My desire to fix this problem ranges from (i) ditching the porcelain tub and converting the space to shower-only to (ii) redoing half the tile minus the three bars, and who cares that we can't match tile style/color (Reason and other small visitors have long since smashed the pile of leftovers) to (iii) redoing the whole shower/bath. Option (ii) is most likely. darkforge wants to keep the bars. I have talked him into keeping one, whenever the work is done. Reason, who uses one bar to jump with although we ask her not to, doesn't have a vote, especially now that I find that two of three screws on one end of that bar are loose/stripped.

1. System of a Down, "Stealing Society"
2. PJ Harvey, "Plants and Rags"
3. Eom Jeong Hwa, "Baeban-eui Jangmi," positively sedate compared to today's kpop: everyone's wearing enough clothing (on this Top of the Pops-like show) to ring the doorbell at my dayjob
4. Duran Duran, "Wild Boys"
5. Chup Chup Ke soundtrack, "Dil Vich Lagya Ve"
6. Girls Aloud, "Call the Shots," which is sort of gloriously ridiculous---hadn't seen the video ere now
7. They Might Be Giants, "We're the Replacements"
8. Pink, "Long Way to Happy"
9. Magnetic Fields, "Absolutely Cuckoo"
10. Information Society, "Peace and Love, Inc." (album track doesn't have the irritating little intro)

That's VLC's randomization from the "most" subdirectory and not terribly representative. "most" collects most (you see) of the pop/rock/contemporary stuff; parallel subdirs are "tradish," "sndtrks," and "classical."

sources, for my entertainment )
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 16th, 2014 10:11 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] copperwise and [personal profile] noveldevice!
loligo: (neko)
([personal profile] loligo Sep. 15th, 2014 10:36 pm)
1) Sterling, our oldest cat who had the three abscessed teeth removed, is fully recovered, except for that he drools prodigiously in his sleep. "Well, his jaw is smaller than he's used to," said the vet, "plus he doesn't have those big teeth holding his lips in place anymore." So when he wakes up, someone needs to go after him with a wet washcloth, which he likes about as much as a toddler getting their nose wiped.

2) Jay, one of the two youngest, ate something very large and/or awful several days ago (he's the one cat who still insists on going outside every day). He was horribly sick to his stomach all weekend and spent yesterday hiding under our bed, refusing food and water. Several expensive tests later, the vet said that whatever it was had made its way to the colon, but needs some encouragement to complete its journey. So he got enough sub-q fluids today to look like a furry hunchback, and if the extra hydration doesn't help things out by tomorrow morning, it's on to kitty laxatives.

3) Lucinda, the frail elderly stray, is diabetic. So, this is the part where you can all laugh and say I told you so: since we have plenty of experience with diabetic animals, we're going to try keeping her. The big hurdle here is whether she can get along with the other cats -- but I don't think we can even try introducing them until she's feeling better. She weighs only 3.5 lbs right now, that's how emaciated she is; a healthy weight for her is probably 6. The vet recommended trying these pheromone collars when we're ready for the introductions. I really really hope this works out, because I cannot handle another war of territorial peeing. If it comes to that, she will have to go. And by "go" I mean "die", unless some other fairy godmother appears out of the woodwork.
thistleingrey: (Default)
([personal profile] thistleingrey Sep. 15th, 2014 06:50 pm)
I attended a digital humanities grad-student group meeting recently at which one of the few other non-students said he would be giving a talk about how postdocs and recent PhDs in hum/soc could present themselves to potential employers. He asked for ideas. There was an awkward silence, a reply by a recent BA, and a reply by me. I realized suddenly that though many of the grad attendees had had jobs, they'd either had jobs that they thought didn't count (teaching as a grad student doesn't require prior teaching experience) or that they didn't respect (entry-level retail, e.g.).

But, um, what are we as a society doing, or what is academia doing, that a bunch of bright, capable twentysomethings don't have thoughts they're willing/able to articulate in each other's presence on how to present oneself to employers? They were plenty chatty the rest of the time.

I have mostly had the dubious luck of falling into jobs: either someone took a chance and hired me despite minimal clear overlap with the job description, or I was the only likely possibility at an unexpected time (my current gig was "Here, hold this bag" as someone else ran off). Or it was a position that, like grad teaching, has non-job-specific hurdles. Apparently, having had a non-university job between undergrad and grad schools is The Great Divide for mindset here? I felt old, but I would've felt old at twenty-three in this situation (having someone shove the project lead bag into your hands when you're twenty-one can do that).
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
([personal profile] forestofglory Sep. 15th, 2014 06:01 pm)
I went on a picnic yesterday, that had yummy food, nice if windy weather and surprise reconstructed Chinese shrimping junk being greeted by children lion dancing. It was all round a lovely afternoon.

I was quite tried afterwards. (I think because of the sun and small amount of water I drank) So I spent the afternoon doing very little.

This today I have spent a good deal of time reading with the cat sitting on my lap.

I have just started reading Sabriel in anticipation of Clariel. (I have an ARC waiting for me.) So far I have read the prolog.
oursin: a hedgehog lying in the middle of cacti (hedgehog and cactus)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 15th, 2014 08:35 pm)

Got to the station in more than good time, got the train, the train was not a problem (though I do think that they might provide power sockets along with the wifi, no?).

As we came into Toronto it started to rain, and by the time I found my way out of the station (building works...) it was chucking it down. There was a sign among the building work hoardings pointing to taxis, but this debouched at a point where it was by no means clear that this was the taxi rank, and there were no taxis to provide a clue.

After some considerable while (did I mention, chucking down rain?) a taxi did eventually turn up and I then spent a jolly best part of an hour stuck in traffic, slow-moving queues of cars, etc (I guess this was rush-hour + RAIN).

Finally got to the place where I am staying, though am pretty sure I had achieved the wrong entrance, but I was not going to circumnambulate in the RAIN.

Anyway I got checked in, and discovered that the dining room closed very shortly, so just left my bags in my room in order to eat, except that there was something rather cryptic about the system of locking the door... eventually achieved.

The meal was actually quite good, but I'm still feeling pretty much all of a frazzle.

boosette: person holding a yellow road sign with a question mark over their face (?)


([personal profile] boosette Sep. 15th, 2014 01:01 pm)
There's a file on my google drive - ~untitled document~ with a single line of text inside.

"the lesbian red masque of death"

I ... need to write that, huh?
cahn: (Default)
([personal profile] cahn Sep. 15th, 2014 10:06 am)
4/5 - The Royal Opera version from 2013. I really wanted to see this one because, well, Keenlyside, and the conceit sounded interesting. Then I read a whole bunch of lukewarm reviews, so I delayed buying it sight unseen (which I might otherwise have done). Well, someone finally put it up on youtube (first part here) and now I am gonna have to buy it, because I thought it was completely fabulous (with one exception I will talk about). (No subtitles on this one either, sorry! I watched it with a browser tab open to the libretto in English.)

The conceit is that Keenlyside and Stoyanova are way too old to play the teenager versions of Onegin and Tatiana, so they have dancers that double as the younger selves (while Keenlyside and Stoyanova, of course, sing all the lines). It changes the whole thrust of the opera -- what is a fairly straightforward driving sequence of events in the original becomes instead a retrospective of regret. I think it would be a terrible first exposure to this opera (for which I'd absolutely recommend the Met version with Fleming and Hvorotovsky), but as a second one (which it was for me, or okay maybe the fourth or so) it's fabulous, it really brings out the themes of loss and regret from the very beginning; I find it a really interesting alternate interpretation.

Pavol Breslik as Lensky is very different from Ramon Vargas' Met Lensky (whom I also love), and I really love Breslik's way-too-sure-of-himself over-passionate bad-poet vibe, especially the parts where his aria to Olga is performed from a bit of paper where he's written it down, and where it turns out he's written the poem for Tatiana's birthday and mouths the poem while it's being sung, hee! I absolutely adore what Elena Maximova and the direction has done with Olga... I think the predominant interpretation (certainly the one the Met used) is that Olga is a shallow flirt, but here she gets depths -- certain lines in the libretto are brought out with the distinct implications that she's been a bit stampeded into this engagement by everyone's expectations, that she's not always comfortable with Lensky's suffocating attentions... I just fell in love with her character, after not liking her much in the Met version.

There are so many little interpretive bits that I loved. Stoyanova and her double (Vigdis Hentze Olsen) embracing in a rare moment of acknowledging each other as Stoyanova sings of how she is all alone. Keenlyside, when his declaration of love is met by Stoyanova showing him her past letter, recoiling in horror. LOVE IT. I also felt that the cinematography was excellent and really pointed up a lot of the interpretive choices that were being made.

I actually liked Breslik remaining on stage after the duel, as I felt it really underlined that the duel is at the heart of the opera -- although I can see why others thought it ham-handed. And it's true that I started worrying halfway through the last act that he must get really bored. Hopefully he could maybe take a nap or something?

I spent the entire time watching this squeeing quietly to myself about how much I loved it (except, okay, the Polonaise was a little... obvious?...I could have done without it), and then the ending happened and I started giggling, which was not the intention. I have problems with the ending in general, as I feel like Tchaikovsky really overdid the romanticism to begin with, but bringing in Prince Gremin to hear Onegin and Tatiana sing at top impassioned volume about their love for each other... just... didn't work. Especially the bit where Tatiana sees him but... keeps... singing, and at the same time Onegin doesn't apparently see him at all (which is somewhat OOC, for one thing). It just didn't work. I know why they did it -- to end with the tragic tableau of all three of them despairing -- and that was pretty cool actually -- but the leadup to it didn't work at all. It almost works if I pretend that Gremin is Tatiana's hallucination/construct, which in a production all about memory constructs and the past impinging on the present is less weird than it might seem at first glance. But yeah... the staging of the conclusion in the Met version was way better.

And, okay, Keenlyside and Stoyanova are brilliant singers and actors, but I must admit that I didn't get any chemistry between them at *all* (a lot of *emotion* between them, which was awesome, but no sexual chemistry). I mean, I could see that being part of the point...that anything that could have been between them was destroyed by what happened... but I think I was spoiled by the super chemistry between Fleming and Hvorotovsky in this regard. And I often find Keenlyside very *likeable*, as I did here, which isn't, uh, how I think I'm supposed to feel about Onegin. (It's something about his physical presence, I think. When I just listen to the audio, his Onegin is superb. But... I didn't get that vibe from his Don Giovanni. So in conclusion: I just don't know.)

Also now I'm annoyed because I can't find either my Met DVD or either of my copies of the Pushkin. It's like someone who was completely obsessed with Eugene Onegin carried them off somewhere to keep them secret and safe! Unfortunately... there's only one person in my house who fills that description...
rivkat: Dean: green-eyed monster (green-eyed monster)
([personal profile] rivkat Sep. 15th, 2014 09:06 am)
The Poison Makes the Dose (read on AO3)
Sam/Dean, NC-17
Summary: Post-S9, even if Dean wants to be saved, it’s not going to be that easy. Because I am indulging myself, there are alternate endings, choose-your-own-adventure style. Thanks to [personal profile] giandujakiss and [ profile] shoofus  for beta.
References to past non-con.

part 1 )
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
([personal profile] staranise Sep. 15th, 2014 01:11 am)
I am listening to the audiobook of Dorothy L Sayers' Strong Poison and a couple chapters in, and I have a bit of an irritation. (I mean mostly it's lovely and I can very much see the influences on Bujold, oh yes; BUT.)

Spoilerssss )
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
([personal profile] staranise Sep. 14th, 2014 11:26 pm)

If there’s anyone on Tumblr who hasn’t checked XKit out?  Check XKit out.  You may check it out and decide it’s not for you and that’s fine!  On the other hand, I encourage my friends to at least look to see whether or not it has something they want.

XKit is your one-stop shop for browser extensions on Tumblr.  It has over 80 different features you can choose that can improve your Tumblr experience in every way possible, however you want it.  You can also sync your XKit preferences between computers, and to your iOS device.

Every time Tumblr annoys me, XKit has a fix for that.  I love it.  So I’m telling my friends.

yhlee: counterpoise trebuchet (trebuchet 1 (credit: <user name="vom_mar)
([personal profile] yhlee Sep. 14th, 2014 11:35 pm)
- recent reading
Lloyd Clark. The Battle of the Tanks: Kursk, 1943. I asked R. at Little Wars where I should start researching if I wanted to know about tank warfare (I like tanks as aesthetic objects, but know damnably little about them) and he recommended looking into Kursk, among other things. This is not quite what I was hoping for, although it gave me other things instead. As a read it is a bit of a slog, because there is an awful lot of operational detail and as it so happens it comes in a form that is not useful for the particular story I am researching, but the accounts--coming both from primary sources and interviews--of the experience of the battlefield, that was extremely useful. The overview in the epilogue was also useful for reorienting myself after, well, the slog.

Something about Clark's prose, for all its clarity and organization, does not satisfy me. His depiction of two veterans from opposite sides meeting each other in his epilogue genuinely moves me, and yet his account of Kursk was a punishingly slow read, despite the body of the book being under 400 pages. But I have what I need, and in the meantime I am now free to read something for fun. I think I may reread Amulet vols. 1-5 (since I have forgotten almost everything that happened) in preparation to treating myself to vol. 6, which Joe and the lizard have already torn through.

And in the meantime, I will need airplane reading this week, so maybe I can have another shot at all the fanfic that's been sitting on my ereader since forever. Personally, it's too bad I'm too cheap to splurge on Anita Blake ebooks, because that's about where my brain is these days. I think it's fighting back against ALL SPACE OPERA ALL THE TIME.

(someone needs to write urban fantasy werepire sparkle space opera just to sell to meeeeee)
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
([personal profile] staranise Sep. 14th, 2014 05:37 pm)
Now that I have health benefits I can finally afford dental work (since I've gone without even a checkup in a shamefully long time) and I've sent in an appointment request to the closest dentist. Having done that, it's like I finally have permission to really look at my teeth; which is how I noticed that the bottom edge of my eyeteeth is uneven with little chips and notches. I'm, um, assuming a dentist can fix that? And the tooth edges inside my mouth that are so sharp I routinely cut my tongue on them?

Anyway, I'm really feeling this post right now, about Neville being seriously interested in Hermione's parents' professions and then impressed with the badassery of Muggles, because we go to dentists.

So this weekend I had a fit of FEELS and wrote some Tumblr posts on Bucky Barnes and PTSD:

Bucky and how PTSD therapists are different than more general therapists
My theory of how to get a post-Winter Soldier Bucky who does not have PTSD
Bucky and therapy animals!
Bucky and therapy robots

One of the things I spend a lot of time thinking about is how PTSD and trauma vary so much for everyone in large part because of how we cope, because you can make so many different choices. You can prioritize building and maintaining social networks--or cling to some internal sense of self in defiance of current reality and group consensus--or admit to being broken and discouraged--or push yourself to achieve perfection. And we don't know what price we'll pay when we choose those things, partly because our culture does not overmuch work to teach its citizens that there are prices, much less what they are, and when it does by accident half the time it's misinformation. When I chose perfection, I didn't know it would hinder me from friendships; but when I chose to stay true to myself, I didn't know that would lead me into profound communion with others.

But that's a body of knowledge I would term wisdom, the kind of thing elders need to teach children and youths; and I think our society has a deficit of relationships where that kind of knowledge transmission can take place.


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