onyxlynx: The words "Onyx" and "Lynx" with x superimposed (Default)
([personal profile] onyxlynx Apr. 24th, 2014 01:33 pm)
 Ben Heppner is retiring.  From singing, that is.

Chelsea Manning name change approved.
Today is my dad's 79th birthday. He celebrated by sending a group text to all of us on his new phone. Yay technology!

***

Today's poem:

After the Blast

It happened again just now, one word
snagging like fabric on a barbed fence.

Concertina wire. You said: I didn't see the body
hung on concertina wire. This was after the blast.

After you had stood in the divot, both feet
in the dust's new mouth and found no one alive.

Just out of the shower, I imagine
a flake of soap crusting your dark jaw, the phone

cradled like a hand on your bare cheek.
I should say: love. I should say: go on.

But I'm stuck on concertina—
the accordion's deep inner coils, bellows,

lungful of air contracting like a body caught
in the agony of climax.

Graceless, before the ballooning rush
of air or sound. The battering release.

~Elyse Fenton

***

Arrow: Seeing Red
spoilers )

Seriously, though, if you are looking for a kickass live action comic book show - that requires no prior knowledge of the comics (though it provides a lot of fun Easter eggs if you have some) - you should be watching Arrow. It's on Netflix (and also available via the usual suspects, I ... suspect)!

Here is a list of s1 episodes that are essential: The pilot, "Year's End," "Trust But Verify," "The Odyssey," "Dead to Rights," "Salvation," "The Undertaking," "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and "Sacrifice." If you enjoy it, then you can go back to watch the s1 eps you've missed, since they do provide some character intros and relationship stuff that is important down the line. And then watch all of season 2, because it is KILLING it. The show's not without its issues - there are few PoC and there's a classic fridging of one of them, and it took half a season to find its feet - but when it's working, it really works. (And early on, the fight scenes, the Ollie/Diggle relationship, Ollie's inappropriate chemistry with his younger sister, and the at-first brief flashes of Felicity will carry you through. Oh, and Susanna Thompson is gloriously regal as Moira Queen, Ollie's mother.)

Trust me! You won't regret it! Have I ever steered you wrong?

***
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
([personal profile] kindkit Apr. 24th, 2014 09:44 am)
The bad news: "my" internet connection still hasn't come back, and at this point I must doubt that it ever will. So for the foreseeable, I'll only be online 2 or 3 times a week (once a week from Starbucks, one or twice a week from the public library, which is free but also a lot more limited in what I can do and how long I can spend doing it).

This is inconvenient, but I'll still be around enough to read fic and talk a bit, if in a slow and time-delayed manner.

Good news: Today I had the delightful and extremely rare experience of checking my bank account and discovering that there was more money in it than I thought there was. Still not a whole lot of money, but enough to pay the bills etc., which is good.
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lotesse: (tony)
([personal profile] lotesse Apr. 24th, 2014 01:42 am)
Reading Tony sans arc reactor in Iron Man as parallel to Mal in "Out of Gas": the arc reactor analogous to air/oxygen, and Dummy parallel to Serenity. I am happy now imagining fusion AUs in which Mal can wear his darling ship right close to his body and Tony can move in to the Iron Man suit with his bots and his Jarvis and his Pepper and his Avengers and fly the 'verse. If the suit were a ship, what would Tony name it? If Joss was writing it would totally be named, like, Bob or something.

"You can't take the sky from me" vs. "well you can't have it."
13 pepper seeds underground

6 tiny pepper sprouts

I had so much fun growing peppers last summer that I decided to try again this year! But partly because carrying seedlings home is a pain (not to mention getting to Agway in the first place is a pain), I decided to take the hard route and grow them from seeds, which I could conveniently purchase at my grocery store.

I planted thirteen seeds on Friday, April 11th, and left them on the table beside my kitchen windows. As of tonight — Wednesday, April 23rd — six of them have sprouted! The sprouts are tiny, but still. Sprouts! I am very excited.

an onion in a pot

still an onion in a pot

I also happened to have an onion that I had purchased with the intent of, you know, chopping it up for pot roast or chicken soup or whatever, but which had plans of its own and unexpectedly sprouted. So I stuck it in a pot — also on April 11th — and it’s still sitting out on my deck, placidly growing despite the best efforts of the local squirrels to discover what strange and fascinating nut might be buried next to the bulb. *shakes fist at squirrels*

So yeah. Dilettante tabletop gardening project year two is GO. :-)
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)
([personal profile] cadenzamuse Apr. 23rd, 2014 07:23 pm)
I read this article and my brain immediately went "HOCKEY RPF!" Because apparently obsessive + flagrant disrespect for laws + sounds like a frat boy + likes dumb things = pro hockey player.

This Guy is Trying to Collect Every Single Copy of the Movie Speed on VHS

P.S. Nnnnnnn, somebody make me an icon of Johnny Toews so I don't live a sad hockey-icon-less life, please.
likeadeuce: (writer)
([personal profile] likeadeuce Apr. 23rd, 2014 06:52 pm)
Oops, I quit doing this meme for a while, because I felt like I was repeating myself and then just because I got lazy. Giving this another shot.

• What are you currently reading?

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin. NKJ is the keynote speaker at WisCon. I'd enjoyed her first series (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms etc) and bought TKM & its sequel but hadn't gotten around to reading them. So I'd like to finish those up in time for the con. I'm about 100 pages into this and enjoying it, though it's one of those books that has a lot of characters and world-building, and would probably benefit from being read in big chunks rather than a chapter at a time, and chapter-at-a-time is sort of where I am with time commitments right now.

For my in-car audiobook, I have The Once and Future King by T.H. White, which turns out to be one of those books that I knew both more and less about than I thought I did. The edition I have is actually a collection of 5 shorter books (there are 4-book versions, too, but this has the final, later, sequel.) I've already sort of absorbed most of the book in adaptation form, I think -- I saw the Disney version of Sword in the Stone as a kid, and of course I know the high romantic tragedy of the middle books in musical form from Camelot. But White's a better, funnier, writer than I expected somehow, and particularly in the first part (since I'm still on The Sword in the Stone), there's not only a lot of comedy that still hits but a lot of deliberate anachronism (which was in the Disney version from the 1960s, but I always figured that was just Disney, but it's obviously part of what White was doing in the 30s, too. My favorite bit so far is the narrator explaining that (not an exact quote since I'm not looking at the book, but the gist of it), "In those days, magicians were still seen as rather middle class by the true jousting set" -- which is nonsensical in medieval terms, but perfect for Britain in the first half of twentieth century). Anyway, I wasn't sure how many books into this I was going to go, but it's very fun so far.

I've also picked up The Wicked by Douglas Nicholas (the sequel to Something Red, which I reviewed here before) but I'm not far enough in to have enough of an impression.


• What did you recently finish reading?

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, a teen werewolf romance which I found both ridiculous and delightful. (It's not supposed to be ridiculous, or at least I'm pretty sure it's not.) It's basically like a Twilight book if you could imagine a Twilight book being well-written and done without horrible gender issues. The werewolf boyfriend, Sam, is actually a sweetheart who, I am happy to report, writes songs and quotes long passages of Rilke in German. Love interest Grace, on the other hand, is an extremely pragmatic problem solver (pragmatic if you ignore the part where she is clearly into Sam in a sexual way BEFORE she realizes he is not just an ordinary wolf, though why would you want to ignore that?)

I also recently read After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman, which is an engrossing multigenerational family story wrapped around a murder mystery, and reread Gaiman's American Gods, which I was glad held up for me, and also the novelette sequel "Monarch of the Glen" for the first time, which I liked okay although the casual reveal of Shadow's real given name made a lot of the plot of AG seem kind of nonsensical. Spoilers for American Gods )

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The number of things I plan to read before WisCon never manage to line up with the number of things I actually end up reading, though I'd at least like to finish the two Jemisin books + Hiromi Goto's Half World, and at least make some headway into Nicola Griffiths' Hild.
gehayi: (Default)
([personal profile] gehayi Apr. 23rd, 2014 05:48 pm)
Placeholder for Night on Fic Mountain letter.
musesfool: Peter Parker being adorable (honor the heart of faith)
([personal profile] musesfool Apr. 23rd, 2014 02:31 pm)
Ugh, I woke up this morning with a terrible headache and nothing so far has helped.

I think I might have broken geeky co-worker #3 this morning. He asked me if I was excited about Spider-Man 2, and I was like, "More like really concerned." spoilers for a 40 year old comics arc )

*spoiler for ASM2 )

SHIELD: "The Only Light in the Darkness"
spoilers, not squee; also Cap 2 spoilers I guess )

So there's that.

***

Wednesday reading meme:

What I've just finished

The First World War by Hew Strachan, which is a good overview of WWI, if a bit drier in tone than the other books I've been reading. Its main flaw is the absence of maps. I don't understand how nobody said, "Hey, can we get some maps to illustrate all the things you're talking about?"

I also reread Wyrd Sisters, which was really enjoyable.

What I'm reading now

I've moved on to rereading Guards! Guards!, which I'm also enjoying.

What's next

I don't know? I might do another WWI history, or possibly a book about both wars and the inter-war period, and intersperse the heavy non-fiction with a Discworld reread. I also have a Star Wars tie-in novel I haven't read, and a bunch of comics to catch up on, so there could be that, too. *hands*

***

Today's poem:

Keeping Things Whole

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

~Mark Strand

***
jamalov29: (Default)
([personal profile] jamalov29 Apr. 23rd, 2014 06:06 pm)
Voici une image qui est un symbole de sérénité, de beauté, et qui représente l'endroit idéal pour lire au sein de la nature.

 photo Mlhavuacutedoliacute.jpg

La lecture de "Les Brumes de l'apparence" de F. Deghelt a été un enchantement qui, s'il devait être comparé à un lieu, ressemblerait à cette photo.
naraht: (Default)
([personal profile] naraht Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:44 am)
I've been meaning to post about this for a while. [personal profile] cereta just made a post which reminded me. Apparently offering trigger warnings in higher education is a trend:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/05/trigger-warnings-can-be-counterproductive

http://www.metafilter.com/137207/Trigger-warnings-needed-in-classroom

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2014/03/05/against-trigger-warnings/

http://web.archive.org/web/20131222174936/http:/new.oberlin.edu/office/equity-concerns/sexual-offense-resource-guide/prevention-support-education/support-resources-for-faculty.dot

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/14/oberlin-backs-down-trigger-warnings-professors-who-teach-sensitive-material

Now, there are circumstances in which I think trigger warnings would be a basic courtesy: if you are about to show a film with graphic content which students might not be expecting.

But from the standpoint of a historian I think that warnings for any given historical subject would basically approximate the warnings for human existence itself: racism, sexism, colonialism, slavery, religious bigotry, war, disease, child abuse, grinding poverty, exploitation, suffering, death, etc. However innocuous a subject you might be able to imagine - "Jane Austen's world," for instance, which included just about all of the above.

For that reason I found Oberlin's previous - now removed - policy on trigger warnings a little bit chilling:
• Remove triggering material when it does not contribute directly to the course learning goals.
• Sometimes a work is too important to avoid. For example, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is a triumph of literature that everyone in the world should read. However, it may trigger readers who have experienced racism, colonialism, religious persecution, violence, suicide, and more. Here are some steps you, as a professor, can take so that your class can examine this source in the most productive and safe manner possible:
• Issue a trigger warning. A trigger warning is a statement that warns people of a potential trigger, so that they can prepare for or choose to avoid the trigger. Issuing a trigger warning will also show students that you care about their safety...
• Tell students why you have chosen to include this material, even though you know it is triggering. For example:
“…We are reading this work in spite of the author’s racist frameworks because his work was foundational to establishing the field of anthropology, and because I think together we can challenge, deconstruct, and learn from his mistakes.”
“…This documentary challenges heterosexism in an important way. It is vital to discuss this issue. I think watching and discussing this documentary will help us become better at challenging heterosexism ourselves.”
• Strongly consider developing a policy to make triggering material optional or offering students an alterative assignment using different materials. When possible, help students avoid having to choose between their academic success and their own wellbeing.

Why is it worth studying history? That's a good question and well worth discussing with undergraduates. But I strongly refuse the idea that one should have to justify to students the reasons for not sweeping (tw: sexism) "man's inhumanity to man" under the carpet.

I wonder whether Oberlin's sweeping policy was a result of concerns about legal liability more than anything else? Or perhaps I'm being ungenerous.
Tags:
Aspects and Avatars (32629 words) by Aris Merquoni
Chapters: 9/?
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Underage
Relationships: Sokka/Suki (Avatar), Jee/Zuko (Avatar), Aang/Katara (Avatar), Katara/Zuko (Avatar), Mai/Zuko (Avatar)
Characters: Toph Bei Fong
Additional Tags: Work In Progress, Alternate Universe, Alternate Universe - BDSM
Summary: A number of scenes from the Avatar D/s universe next door.

I've finally gotten around to finishing Chapter 9, so have Chapters 8 and 9:

Chapter 8: Margins of Air. In which we meet MANY new characters and they have adventures.

Chapter 9: Margins of Earth. In which Jeong Jeong has a headache and everybody comes to Iroh's.

Sorry for the ridiculous wait on this one. I wanted to get chapter 9 finished before I posted chapter 8, which was probably a timing mistake... but I feel better about posting them together.

No explicit porn in either of these chapters, sorry! (Sorry?)

More eliding next time. Enjoy!
lotesse: (faerie)
([personal profile] lotesse Apr. 22nd, 2014 10:22 pm)
It's an odd thing that, as so many of y'all have argued, Sherlock's central flaw lies in its absolute infatuation with Sherlock Holmes - considering how much Holmes' actual c19th author disliked and was tired of him! Final Problem/Empty House used Holmes as a proxy for a conversation between ACD and his readership - "if you won't stop loving him so much I'll kill him off, see if I don't," and then three years later "all right all right I'm sorry he's not dead he's just been to Tibet and other whatnot and hey look wax dummies! air guns!" - and it's interesting that a century later the character can still be said to serve a proxy function, mediating between the audience's perverse desire and the show's starstruck narcissistic neoliberal power trip. Also interesting that the resonance between Victorian Holmes' drug use and the repeated "hit" of serial fiction seems to have shifted over into abuse/codependency territory instead of addiction: the author as dom, the viewer who only thinks she knows what she wants. I mean, speaking for myself, watching Sherlock does sort of feel like getting negged.

I enjoy the instance of "The Empty House" - I feel for ACD in a comical sort of way, like, the poor guy! but I also like it when readers' desires come out on top. No matter how many times I try to engage with Sherlock I always end up bouncing solidly off of the much more authoritarian textual power dynamics.
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edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae in a silver dish (ice cream sundae)
([personal profile] edenfalling Apr. 22nd, 2014 09:59 pm)
Tonight's fortune cookies has a very serious question to ask the universe:

If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is it naked or homeless?
darchildre: cooper and truman looking interested and somewhat skeptical (cooper and truman)
([personal profile] darchildre Apr. 22nd, 2014 06:07 pm)
And then, a patron called me over to his computer, so I walked over and asked what I could do for him. He told me that he wanted to show me something, and proceeded to point to a gif of the Blood Moon. I watched it and said "Wow." He turned around to look at me and said, "Do you know what that means?" I told him that I did not and he said, "Well, I'm sorry to hear that."

Apparently, there was nothing more forthcoming, so I walked back to my desk. I still have no idea what that was about.

Some days, I feel like I have walked into a David Lynch movie, but most of the time I'm pretty sure that's on me for not understanding, rather than on the people I'm talking to. But this thing? Totally on that dude.




ETA - Is it an End Times thing? Parts of the internet seem to think it's an End Times thing.


ETA2 - Okay, as he left he asked if we were ready for the next Blood Moon in October and when my coworker said she hoped it was clearer so she could see it better, he said, "Revelation reveals it." So definitely an End Times thing.

(Also, he spent quite some time growling at the computer about an email that wouldn't print and muttering under his breath and generally being very quietly angry in a pretty scary way and, in general, I was pretty happy to see him leave. I'm not usually actually freaked by any of our weirder patrons and I'm sure he's probably harmless but he gave me an unsettling angry-white-dude vibe. I've never seen him before and I hope he doesn't come back.)
.

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