ironymaiden: (beholder)
([personal profile] ironymaiden Aug. 21st, 2017 05:10 pm)

Eclipse progress tripping light sensors at port of seattle. something i saw

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
([personal profile] mme_hardy Aug. 21st, 2017 09:24 am)
I gave up on Joss Whedon, Male Feminist Icon, after the first episode of DOLLHOUSE.   I was creeped out by FIREFLY's Madonna/whore thing, but somehow I reasoned around it.   The revelation that he's been using that reputation to predate on women is horrible, but not a shock.

When I read Kai Cole's statement -- do read if you have somehow missed it -- I kept flashing on the pivotal conversation in Gaudy Night, in which Harriet and Peter talk about spouses who have eaten each other, and whether there is such a thing as a marriage in which nobody is eaten.  Kai Cole was and is an architect.  Starting, by her telling, with Buffy, she dedicated hersef to  emotional labor for Joss Whedon, including producing projects that he worked on.  Harriet Vane would tell you that Whedon ate Cole.  And, going only by the direct quotations Cole gives, when Whedon confessed to her, he praised himself -- told her what a powerful stud he was, and that it wasn't his fault he was surrounded by "aggressive" actresses.

Whedon's public response to Cole's statement:

“While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.”

Let's unpack this.  

1.  Whedon cheated for over a decade, but Cole is the one who's hurting their children.
2.  Whedon used feminism as a tool to get laid, but now he's showing Cole respect.
3.  Cole has direct quotes from Whedon's letter, showing exactly who he is, but the account "includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations"

So.  "You're a bad mother, and I could explain how much you're lying, but I won't because unlike you I'm a good father and respect the children and you."

Whedonesque, bless them, have gone read-only and shut down.
1. Every day, there is sunshine. (Okay, 256 days out of 365, but still. Come at me, sis.)

2. When I open the front garden blinds, there's hummingbirds fluttering away. HUMMINGBIRDS! They're the fairies of the bird world. Magical.

2. When I walk outside in my -- low-key wealthy -- neighborhood in what is esseeeeeentially pajamas, no one comments, or even spares me a second glance. This is brought to you by the girl who for the one short outside stint planned did not bother putting anything on beyond house-pants and a Nevertheless She Persisted shirt.

4. When I walk outside in the City on a workday, however, people throw me appreciative glances. European-style attire isn't common on the West Coast, and even if people wouldn't wear it they seem to agree it's interesting, or maybe even daring ("How is she going to explain that to her startup CEO in his ratty, IRONIC Status Quo band t-shirt?")

5. People are nice. I do mean that in an occasional nice-guy kind of way, but for 99% of interactions that suits me perfectly well. Germans are forthright, and you will know where you stand with them. Just, in 75% of interactions, you won't LIKE knowing where you stand with them.
A Poetry Monday without comment:


Meeting Point, Louis MacNeice

Time was away and somewhere else,
There were two glasses and two chairs
And two people with the one pulse
(Somebody stopped the moving stairs):
Time was away and somewhere else.

And they were neither up nor down;
The stream’s music did not stop
Flowing through heather, limpid brown,
Although they sat in a coffee shop
And they were neither up nor down.

The bell was silent in the air
Holding its inverted poise—
Between the clang and clang a flower,
A brazen calyx of no noise:
The bell was silent in the air.

The camels crossed the miles of sand
That stretched around the cups and plates;
The desert was their own, they planned
To portion out the stars and dates:
The camels crossed the miles of sand.

Time was away and somewhere else.
The waiter did not come, the clock
Forgot them and the radio waltz
Came out like water from a rock:
Time was away and somewhere else.

Her fingers flicked away the ash
That bloomed again in tropic trees:
Not caring if the markets crash
When they had forests such as these,
Her fingers flicked away the ash.

God or whatever means the Good
Be praised that time can stop like this,
That what the heart has understood
Can verify in the body’s peace
God or whatever means the Good.

Time was away and she was here
And life no longer what it was,
The bell was silent in the air
And all the room one glow because
Time was away and she was here.


---L.

Subject quote from "Snow-Bound," William Greenleaf Whittier.
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([personal profile] thistleingrey Aug. 21st, 2017 08:35 am)
* I wonder whether looking at patterns tagged "ballet neck" on Ravelry will yield results sufficiently different from patterns tagged "boat neck." The much-postponed Berenice meant for Reason is in there; so is this lovely cabled pullover, if I ever want to make something that'd be like wearing a warm blanket. Haven't looked comprehensively yet (hence the verb tense/mood).

* People talk about Ravelry for helping indie designers find audiences, encouraging beginner knitters/crocheters/weavers to tackle ambitious projects (community support), and so on. I've found it useful for being able to see how a certain garment fits a certain body without the social block of "Don't stare." That and looking around me while walking on university campuses and urban streets, for yeeeeears. But it's tricky, eh? because this cardigan model shares some of my proportions, and the cardigan doesn't look good on her. The thing is to figure out why, not to decide first off never to make a cardigan like that (though never-make is likely in this case). (And she can wear this well, but I couldn't because (a) her shoulders are straight, mine slope and (b) she has at least a handsbreadth more height in the torso than I. Heh.)

* This alteration tutorial made me chuckle. How do you know if you need to make a swayback alteration? Read more... )
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([personal profile] asakiyume Aug. 21st, 2017 10:38 am)
I want to do a post about the power of calendars, in honor of [personal profile] yhlee's Ninefox Gambit, which I just finished, but first I want to share with you this great beer label from a small New York State brewery:



Red-lipped woman with a smoking gun! And this text:

From behind the iron curtain comes our Czech'rd Past. We're not ashamed, and have nothing to hide. No regrets with this classic Bohemian Pilsner. Served cold, like revenge, it cuts to the chase. It's the choice to make when you can't afford any more mistakes in life.


Here's a can with the label still on:



We have one can left, which we can maybe drink as we take pictures of the crescent shadows during the partial version of the eclipse that we'll get here--or maybe not. It is, after all, still a work day. The CALENDAR tells me that. More on Ninefox Gambit and calendars anon.
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([personal profile] extrapenguin Aug. 21st, 2017 05:30 pm)
7. A song to drive to
Breaking Benjamin - Blow Me Away
lyrics
It's reasonably active without being aggressive, so alertness-inducing, and the rhythm's nice. And, after an inevitable post-con crash in sentiment, I require something that tells me that yes, I'll be the one who saves us all.
osprey_archer: (books)
([personal profile] osprey_archer Aug. 21st, 2017 09:45 am)
You may know David Macauley for his books Cathedral - Castle - Pyramid - or The Way Things Work. But the book he won the Caldecott Medal for, in 1991, was Black and White.

In between the title and David Macauley's other books, I would have expected Black and White to be illustrated with stylishly meticulous black and white drawings. But in fact it is not; almost all of it is in full color, and the few pictures that are not are in a completely different style than the sort of precise architectural detail in Cathedral. (It always impresses me to see illustrators with this kind of versatility. I'm still impressed by Robert McCloskey's two Caldecott wins, with two totally different illustration styles.) They concern cows that have gotten loose and turned into a festival of blotches as they move across the landscape.

Rather than tell the story straight through, Black and White starts with four separate stories: a boy on a train, a pair of kids at home, an empty train station, and a thief climbing into a cow pen. Eventually these stories become interlocked, all part of the same slightly surreal tale. Nothing that happens is actually impossible. Cows do escape and get onto railway tracks (although perhaps not choir practice...). Bored commuters waiting on a late train might decide to make themselves newspaper hats to pass the time. A boy traveling alone for the first time might mistake newspaper confetti for snow.

But altogether it does have this odd liminal feel, as if the characters have somehow stepped into a liminal space at the edge of reality. And this is heightened by the way that the illustrations carry the story. You couldn't make sense of it if you just heard the text read out in an audiobook; the illustrations hold all the connecting information. And perhaps that is what makes it feel slightly surreal: the fact that the story is not told in words, as if perhaps it could not be contained in words.
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([personal profile] telophase Aug. 21st, 2017 08:53 am)
So the other night I was reading in bed and, out of the corner of my eye, kept glimpsing a bald man lying down next to Sora...

cut for photographic proof )
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liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
([personal profile] liv Aug. 21st, 2017 12:50 pm)
A favourite song with a person's name in the title: Several options for this one, but I'm going with Hey there Delilah by Plain White T's. I generally really like songs that tell a bit of a story, and I can imagine the characters in this one so vividly. I like the balance of emotions; it's a sad song about missing a lover, but it's also optimistic and the music is at least somewhat catchy. And I like that they're apart because they're both pursuing their careers, it's not some passive muse waiting for her artist boyfriend to come home. It's not my usual musical style; indeed I discovered it simply by listening to chart radio like some young person who's in touch with the recent music scene.

Besides, I've been in long-distance relationships pretty much my entire adult life, so I can really relate. But no longer; I haven't posted about this in public yet, but in a couple of weeks I'm properly moving to Cambridge. So I'll be living full time in the same house as my husband and the same town as my Other Significant Others. And I won't be spending every Friday and Sunday evening commuting. I'm really really looking forward to this next phase in my life, but also at the moment up to my ears in arranging the move, and quite emotional about leaving the situation I've been settled in for 8 years.

This weekend I lead my last Shabbat morning service with my lovely community. They are understandably nervous about the future without me, and I will miss them absolutely terribly. I talked a bit about Re'eh, making sure that there's no comparison between Moses saying farewell to the Israelites and me saying farewell now. I discussed keeping sanctity while you're living in an imperfect situation, far away from Jewish centres. What compromises can you make (eating meat without making a Temple sacrifice) and what lines can't be crossed (worshipping in Pagan sites)? Then it will go well for you and your children after you, for all of time, because you will do what is good and right in the eyes of the Eternal your God. And we ate cakes made by my sister and the community gave me some really nice silver Shabbat candlesticks with engraved stands.

[personal profile] jack came up to help me sort the flat out. In lots of ways the decision making is the harder part of packing than the physical labour, so having my husband with me was an amazing help. I am really looking forward to living with him and properly sharing the work of running a household, because we're such a great team. Not just one day in the distant future when our dreams come true, but next month:
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would
My word is good

video embed )
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oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Aug. 21st, 2017 09:20 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] kerrypolka!
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
([personal profile] sovay Aug. 21st, 2017 03:03 am)
On the one hand, I feel that the most appropriate response to David Rudkin's Penda's Fen (1974) would have been a day in the Malverns and some cloud-watching à la Thomas Colpeper, JP. On the other, I was in Providence when I saw it, and I wasn't sure of the ancestral relationship of Edward Elgar to College Hill. I spent a lot of NecronomiCon walking. That will have to suffice.

Penda's Fen is a 90-minute television play originally commissioned and broadcast as part of the BBC's Play for Today (1970–84); it was directed by Alan Clarke and I have wanted to see it ever since I discovered it somehow in the archives of the BFI in grad school. I finally got my chance Thursday afternoon in the auditorium of the Providence Public Library. It was screened on one of those small classroom projectors; there were about a dozen people in the audience besides me and some of them left or arrived partway through. What I could hear of the introduction seemed to be trying to champion it as a Lovecraftian film—I don't want to misrepresent someone who was mostly less audible than the air conditioning, but while I grant that it is a gloriously weird piece of cinema, if anything I think it's anti-Lovecraftian. Lovecraft's universe is fragile and deceptive, contaminable and contagious. The world that can be perceived is a shell over the world that is, one crack away from collapse into barbarism or madness or the abyss of time itself. Knowledge is a virus and you may well die of it. Your bloodline was compromised before you were born. The Other is always looking for a way in, and it finds one, and down into the dark we all go, unless we turn out to be the Other, in which case the dark is where we should have been all along. I don't have to alter the premise of Penda's Fen to make it resemble this template: a sheltered young man discovers that his ideas of both himself and his nation, from race and sexuality to family and religion, are soul-shakingly wrong. He is "mixed, mixed . . . nothing special, nothing pure." But where that revelation might have sent one of Lovecraft's protagonists careening into the void, Rudkin and Clarke offer an alternate path. Openly political, unashamedly Romantic, their vision affirms queerness, hybridity, and ambiguity as the true heart of England, the small, stubborn fire that the clear-cut forces of oppression—patriarchy, white supremacy, Christian supremacy—are always trying to snuff out. Salvation lies in the liminal spaces, the mixed and marginalized. This is a really cheering thesis to see so forcefully and hauntingly stated, especially since the film itself is less a pamphlet than a dark-and-bright dream of nuclear anxiety, sexual confusion, and folk almost-horror. Its language is Christian and pre-Christian, angels and demons and the echo of William Blake, but it is actually a lot like watching a version of the Bacchae where Pentheus, instead of breaking and being torn apart, shifts shape as suddenly as his cousin into the strange thing he was always meant to be. There is also psychogeography. And sympathetic magic. And Elgar. Anglophile Lovecraft may have longingly written "God Save the King!" but I don't know that he would have endorsed or even recognized the Englishness of Penda's Fen.

Stephen be secret, child be strange. )

The trouble with describing a film that treats its otherworld so matter-of-factly and its daily life with such an eye for the surreal is that the effort alone makes both of them sound more normal: I have to stress that while Penda's Fen is not in any plot sense difficult to follow, its constant shifting and eventual merging of registers is a lot like having someone else's hallucinations for an hour and a half. I suspect this was part of the reason for the walkouts, although I kind of feel that if you show up to the film track at a weird fiction convention, you should be prepared for something out of the ordinary to get into your head; I certainly expect what I saw in that library to stay in mine. It was messy, liberating, ambitious, and very beautiful. It left me hungry for sunsets on hills I've never climbed. It made me contemplate the sacred fires of my own country and who guards them now against the dark. Who is secret, strange, holy, and ungovernable. This dream brought to you by my mixed backers at Patreon.
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--The Sparkler Monthly Year 5 Kickstarter has only 48 hours left to go, and still needs about $5000. They've made a lot of progress over the weekend, and last year was a nail-biter too (and they made it), but ugh, this is stressful. Here's a post at Panel Patter outlining the awesomeness of the company and magazine, if you're on the fence or haven't taken a look but might be interested!

--I didn't make further Defenders progress over the weekend, so I'm still only three episodes in. But I did get StarCraft Remastered up and running!

--The one thing I miss about having a CRT monitor (yes, I hear myself) is my old document holder, which can't be readily used on a flatscreen. I've been poking around online this weekend (Amazon, Staples, Newegg), and there are so few options for holders that actually attach to the monitor and hold the document you're typing at eye level. [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose looked at the first couple of possibilities I found, and one looks like it needs more of a frame around the actual screen than my desktop monitor has, and the other sticks with something he thinks isn't likely to hold well on this monitor. I have great confidence that he can rig something up and make it work, once we go over the possibilities I've found so far, but I'm baffled by how few options there seem to be. (But maybe my dislike of having the document holder down on the desk--too low, and eating up a footprint of space on the desk surface--isn't widely shared.)

(The above means I fell into the rabbit hole of desk organizers etc. on Amazon. O_O I seem to have escaped alive.)

--AFAIK Nova Scotia won't see much sign of the eclipse tomorrow. I hope all of you who're able to see it, and who're excited about it, get a good look!

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are new enough at the whole gardening thing that it didn't occur to either of us to check on the plants after the weather yesterday. Although I suppose a lot of the reason for that is that the weather didn't seem that bad? It was windy and quite rainy, but it didn't seem that windy, and the rain seemed like it'd be good for them. *sighs* But no, a couple of the tomato plants, including the towering Sungold, toppled over. In the Sungold's case, the Smartpot stayed put but the halo and rootball tipped out. o_o

I didn't get a look at it then; [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose went out without me at first when I was still hoping it'd be a case of tipping the plants back upright. I'd just been in the shower, and it was dark, and I knew the mosquitoes--which, as we've established, find me tastier--were out. But [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose didn't come right back in, so I put on a thick hoodie, hood and all, and zipped it up so only my hands and face and the tops of my feet were bare.

Hopefully the plants will be okay, now that they've had more supports added. We'll take another look tomorrow when there's light. But at the very least, I definitely have mosquito bites on the backs of both hands and the tops of both feet. Ugh. Sounds like we may have similar numbers of bites despite [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose having been outside easily twice as long as I was.
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([personal profile] rushthatspeaks Aug. 20th, 2017 11:51 pm)
I went to the Boston counterprotest against the so-called 'free speech' (actually Confederates and neo-Nazis) rally on Saturday for a couple of hours. The energy was good, and there were a lot of people-- the radio said maybe fifty thousand counterprotestors and fifty or so Nazis, so we may literally have outnumbered them one thousand to one. The common was about as full as it was during the Womens' March, because people weren't as spread out marching; there were areas that were elbow-to-elbow and then areas where nothing much was going on and you could walk around.

There were of course many, many signs. I took one Ruth made with a graphic we got off Twitter, one of those red barred circles that mean NO over a glyph that combines a swastika and the number 45 so you can read it both ways. The person next to me on the T on the way over was also carrying a sign, so we started talking, and it turned out, completely coincidentally, that she is presently enrolled at the small liberal arts college my wife and I both went to, which is several states away. She had come up for the occasion. It was nice to have somebody there to have my back, since none of my family could make it.

We had been worried on the train about how things would go, but there were thorough barricades and we basically couldn't even see the actual Nazi types, let alone physically interact with them. Every so often one of them would break out a Confederate flag or something like that, at which point the police would immediately confiscate it. One of them got perp-walked away while I was there, but I didn't see what for. The police presence was huge and, while I was there, generally polite to us counterprotestors, although I understand they got more annoyed later. I have to say, the sirens that bike cops use are among the silliest things I have heard in quite a while, like putting a real police siren through a filter marked 'Yakkity Sax'.

There was one dude wandering around shouting about how he wanted to [insert violence and sexual profanity] Trump and Trump's children, but everybody he came near was shouting back at him to just shut up and go home. I couldn't tell his ethnicity beyond 'not white', but he was also wearing a hat with the Washington Racists' logo-- I mean their real logo-- and the crowd was not having with that either. So it was uncomfortable when he wandered by, but the crowd very clearly was not on his side and was not going to let him harass any individual people.

The most intense things got is that somebody set fire to a swastika flag, I believe with a blowtorch. It burned very hot and fast, to intense cheers, and produced a lot of smoke, but I think it had gone out entirely by the time the cops arrived-- it had clearly been timed for when the bike patrol was circling around the other end of the Common. At any rate, I don't believe anyone was arrested in connection with that.

I am proud of my city about this one. A lot of people in the crowd were worried about violence, I was worried about violence, my train-met friend was worried, and that worry was explicitly why we had to be there. Because no. We refuse to give up when things get scary.

It was a good counterprotest.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
([personal profile] dira Aug. 21st, 2017 02:23 am)
…Some weeks just not starting more ginormous WIPs is the real success, okay? I expended a lot of focus on absolutely positively not starting SEVERAL things this week (and… yep, that is definitely the only thing that was using up brain processing cycles this week at an unusual rate, YEP, TOTALLY).

Anyway. 

WIPs currently active: 5, because I bumped All Eternals Deck #2 off the list until I figure out what happens after the beginning.

Words written this week: 4,041

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 883, and I started writing Chapter 47 and then abruptly discovered where the floating point on the outline labeled [particular sex act redacted]? should go in the story, so. Whee!

Born in the Blood: 276, chugging along toward [more sex acts redacted]!!

Slavefic #6: 104. Okay, that looks bad? I’m at the point where I outlined things for this part of the series literally almost two years ago and now have to figure out how to hook them up with the stories that I’ve actually written, so there’s a bit of frantically-jury-rigging-a-round-CO2-filter-from-square-components going on. Hopefully none of which will be apparent from the end result. :)

Wildly Unmanageable Ace!Bitty Longfic: 661

Jack/Bitty angsty happy ending kidfic: 2,117

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I am home from NecronomiCon Providence. I hope to write out a real con report before I forget the details, but not right now.

All panels present and correct, including the one I thought I moderated badly; I was asked after that one if I taught for a living (not for years and not in the sense they were asking) and my impostor syndrome was confused. I probably short-circuited my own reading, but again, I sold a copy of Ghost Signs (2014) afterward, so it cannot have been a disaster. All program items in which I was involved were a lot of fun, including the podcast on which I had not originally been scheduled to appear. The Lovecraftian erotica was amazing.

People kept handing me things. A lime-green rubber tentacle, a bandanna for the Lovecraft Readathon, a CD of Bohren & der Club of Gore's Black Earth (2002), a first edition of C.L. Moore's Doomsday Morning (1957), DVDs of The Bat (1959) with Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead and The Lodger (1944) with Laird Cregar, a fictitious vintage program for the HPLHS' The Call of Cthulhu (2005 1927), Andrew M. Reichert's Weird Luck Tales: Monsters (2017). I got the souvenir book as part of being on programming, ditto the lapel pin with its emblem of the leaf-eyed pyramid like something out of Gravity Falls. I bought the Dwight Frye cards, the Lovecraftian postcards, the Miskatonic University T-shirt with an Art Nouveau design instead of the usual university seal, Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles' She Walks in Shadows (2015). I bought a birch-veneer screen print of two witch's cats by Liv Rainey-Smith as a present for my brother and his wife. I think I just picked up the fake vintage newspaper because of its headline "Has Science Gone Mad?!", but its supposed date is my birthday, forty-five years before I was born.

There was not enough seeing of people, but what there was was good. Late last night, I wrote three-quarters of a post on Penda's Fen (1974) that I did not manage to finish before having to check out this morning, so either I will finish it later tonight or I will sleep. Or both.

I am exhausted. Various parts of my body think I was trying to kill them and are now attempting to return the favor. It was worth the early mornings.
.

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