conuly: (Default)
([personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:19 am)
Cats can reproduce by budding. Make sure to dispose of all brushed fur properly.

Context needs to comb her cat more often.
navaan: (Public Call Mod)
([personal profile] navaan posting in [community profile] doctorwho Sep. 21st, 2017 11:03 pm)


Schedule:
Nominations: 18th September - 1st October
Sign-ups: 4th - 18th October
Assignments: sent by 20th October
Deadline: 26th November
Posting period: starting 1st December

Description:
[community profile] public_call is a secret santa fic exchange for Doctor Who and its various related fandoms, run through LJ/DW and AO3. Participants sign up to write a story of at least 1,000 words involving a relationship between two or more characters someone else has requested. In return, they receive a story of at least 1,000 words with a relationship they have requested.

Nominations now open
[personal profile] sasha_honeypalm's musical tribute to Barbara G. Walker's (professionally published!) novel
Amazon:


Don't know much about history
Don't know much about theology
Don't know much 'bout how to write a book
Don't know how to cite the quotes I took
But I know all that I say must be true
And I know if you believed it, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much sociology
Don't know how to understand folklore
Don't know what a reference book is for
But I do know that one god is bad
And if we'd kept the goddess we once had
What a wonderful world this would be

Now, I don't claim to be a goddess
But I'm tryin' to be
For maybe if I'm a goddess, people
You'll all worship me.

Don't know much about history
Don't know much about technology
Don't know much...


[personal profile] rosepsyche's paean to the Power of Story is also quoteworthy:

I have to call "bull" on Antiope's reasoning that art and music are inferior because they are "not alive" for another reason. No, such creations aren't living, breathing things. However (and I apologize if this gets a bit corny), the best of them can seem as if they are alive, get us invested in their characters, have us cheering about their triumphs and crying over their tragedies. They are just as valuable in their own way for their ability to entertain, to inspire, to teach, to help us grow and develop by seeing the world from a new point of view, and I don't think anyone involved in creating them would appreciate being told that their work can never compare to something that was squeezed out of a vagina.


Context sporks the world's worst Wonder Woman fanfic.
Currently Reading: Alex Beecroft, 'Blue Eyed Stranger'; Griffith Review 36; misc other... stuff

Recently Finished:

Interpreter of MaladiesInterpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was an *interesting*, if unsettling, book. Some of the stories keep coming back in fragments in my mind: the perspective choice in When Mr Pirzada Came To Dine, to recount the Bangladeshi-Pakistani conflict through the incomplete perceptions of a child, was a particularly arresting one. The Treatment of Bibi Haldar left me with anger I was unable to properly defuse for some time - the girl with her under-treated illness, the it suddenly became clear she was being sexually abused, without the story ever specifying that because none of the characters even seemed to *think* of it. The titular story made me quite uncomfortable, but was intricately composed.

I think my favourite was the last, 'The third and final continent' - its characterisation of the boarding-house owner in particular moved me, for whatever reason.

Courting the CountessCourting the Countess by Jenny Frame

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Mmm, I just don't know how I feel about this one. It was compelling, and it was a nice change to see this rough plot arc played out with women (I see it a lot in m/m romance: career focused commitmentphobe meets some nice chappy who insists on commitment in red letters, angst ensues and we end with matrimony-like arrangements). But I found myself irked by the emphasis on Annie's lack of experience, and by just HOW heavily the 'the right woman will cure all your emotional traumas and then you marry' notes fell.

I found myself shipping the two supporting characters, Bridget the Vicar and Quin the Farmer, much more strongly than the main pairing. Apparently there's a sequel about Bridget the Vicar but it's not matching her with Quin the Farmer, so. I may or may not.

Spindle's EndSpindle's End by Robin McKinley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was a delightful fairy tale, but like... inexplicable heterosexuality? I mean. The two girls were running around BREATHING THE SAME BREATH and there was TRUE LOVE'S KISS and everything. Narl was sweet, but note Our Heroine only fell in love with him when she suddenly thought he was in love with her best friend? And when her best friend suddenly and obviously fell in love with another dude?

Look Both Ways: Bisexual PoliticsLook Both Ways: Bisexual Politics by Jennifer Baumgardner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was a frustrating book. I learned a lot of interesting trivia about 90s pop culture, including that there were far more bisexuals in it than I thought. There were some occasionally well-phrased ways of expressing ideas I've seen before, but nothing particularly ground-breaking. Even taking into account that it's over a decade old, 'Closer to Home' is much older and MUCH more insightful.

This was... magazine-y. I've never read Ms magazine, for which the author used to write, but in Australian terms it felt like... Cleo: The Bisexual Special. Only with a weirdly uncritical Thing for second-wave feminist foremothers, without any of their depth. (One of the well-phrased ideas was that second wave feminist criticism did not actually equip the young women of the 90s to fully reshape or realise their relationships with men, but even that point turned into weird bitterness without offering an alternative. I wanted to smack the author upside the head and say READ MORE BELL HOOKS.)

For something subtitled 'bisexual politics' it's actually about 'bisexual female existence in a particular culture bubble', with limited political ANYTHING.


Also finished, to review later: Madhur Jaffrey's 'Vegetarian India'; Carolyn Larrington 'Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European Literature'; Aviolot 'The Course of Honour'; Alex Beecroft 'Trowchester Blues'; Catherynne M Valente, 'The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making'.




Music notes: Saw Back N Black, the Swiss all-girl AC/DC cover band I saw back in 2014. They seem to be going through Drama, and were filling out the ranks with dudes on second guitar, bass and drums, but it was still a pretty good show. I got showered in fake blood courtesy of BB, the lead guitarist. This was unfortunate for my new cream t-shirt, but I think I've go the stains out now.

In celebration I bought myself 'Let There Be Rock'. I actually only owned one accadacca album and a couple of stray MP3s, until now. Clearly an oversight.
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([personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes Sep. 12th, 2017 11:01 am)
It seems that Starbucks is offering sandwiches with Cage Free Egg Whites. Personally, I never keep my egg whites in cages. Usually keeping them in their shells works just fine.

Context is free-range.
rydra_wong: dreamsheep with spork and "SheepSpork" logo; no, it wouldn't make any more sense if you saw it  (dreamwidth -- sheepspork)
([personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] metaquotes Sep. 10th, 2017 05:45 pm)
Everyone was nice to me, but I found it hard to participate in some of the conversations because everyone else there was fluent in Gearhead and I just don't care. It was all

One dude: "How do you like that model BLQ45Z?"
Other dude: "It's got pretty good flang, but the chimping bleederweep doesn't zerbert as well as I like in the corners."
First dude: "I heard that floppykush helps with the zerberting, tried that?"
Third dude: "My next squelch is gonna be a floppykush! Used to have a panpan bleederweep, but you know what they say about those oilsquirms!"
All dudes: [nod sagely and then argue]


Context is locked; QWP.
Currently Reading: Mary Webb, Gone to Earth; Griffith Review, Millenials Strike Back; Cassandra A Good, Founding Friendships; Cathryne M Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making; and... more things. Too many things.

Recently finished: reviews still playing catch-up.

The GruffaloThe Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Re-read: small babysitting friend has this in his storybook collection now. Still a great read.

Meanjin Winter 2017 (Vol. 76, Issue 2)Meanjin Winter 2017 by Jonathan Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This issue was a mixed experience. I really enjoyed Margaret Simmons' essay on the future(s) of the ABC. Katherine Murphy's piece on work/life balance or lack thereof in politics was likewise great. Charlotte Adderley's memoir piece Ethanol, Eschar was beautifully written. Fiction-wise, AS Patric's Avulsion was creepy-fascinating. Both of Shastra Deo's poetry contributions were striking, but What Followed most of all.

On the other hand, I found Shannon Burns' In Defence of the Bad White Working Class infuriating. I have liked Burns' class-based criticism before, but this one seemed blinkered. He acknowledges that the suburbs he grew up in were never free of crime, but gives the white residents a free pass for feeling more hostile to asian gangs than white ones. That's called RACISM, folks. Also, we know this: we know that demographic change causes stress, we know that economically struggling groups have less access to positive integration experiences than the middle class, we KNOW that part of the solution lies in government and local government resources being poured in to lift *all* residents of an area. NONE OF THIS IS NEW NEWS.

The Science Of Discworld II: The GlobeThe Science Of Discworld II: The Globe by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Oh, a confusing reading experience, this one. On the one hand, I had not realised just how MUCH of my mental framework for thinking about, well, the build-a-human-kit is drawn from, or crystalised in, this book. I read it in late high school, and re-read it a few times during undergrad, and while I can express the concepts about the role and use of stories in much fancier lit-wank language now... here it is.

On the other hand, now I have degrees in premodern history and I want to set their rigid 'no science before newton' framework on FIRE. Oh my glod. Roger Bacon would like to talk to you, you fuckers. I could almost roll with it, except that I know a lot more about science now than I used to (thanks, Trojie), and their definition of science as experiment-driven rather than data-analysis also rules out MOST OF THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES. These authors are totally the kind of physics stans who refer to natural history as 'stamp-collecting'. Nope nope nope so much nope.

The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1)The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


THIS WAS A GOOD. I mean. Captor/Captive scenario where they have a sensible conversation about power imbalances? Sign me the fuck up.

My major problem with this is that the protag's age was given as 17, and she just... isn't. There's a throwaway mention of schooling, but it felt wedged in. Everything else about her character felt post-high-school, maybe around 20: old enough to be in apprenticeship for her career, young enough to be bloody stupid. It felt like her age was lampshaded at 17 to make the books eligible as YA, rather than either a solid part of her characterisation or a book really written to that genre.

I also can't tell for the life of me if they're living on the planet we know, in a post-apocalyptic future, or if they're living on a terraformed replica of it.

In Other LandsIn Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


THIS WAS A RIOT. I loved 'Turn of the Story' and this is that, sewn together with 'Wings in the Morning' (the latter POV-flipped to fit TotS).

As a story: holy shit yes cannot recommend enough. I shrieked with laughter all the way through.

As a work, though? I am disappointed in the editing. There were typos still evident that had been in the online version of TotS. The join between TotS and WitM isn't as smooth as it should be. There are occasional POV hitches, where something should've been written out when flipped to Elliot's POV but hasn't been.

I loved this book very much, but I think the publisher did a lazy job on it - bought the rights to something already popular, and did a rush job on editing it because all its components were already well-loved.


I also re-read Spectred Isle on the plane to Chicago; given I only read it for the first time in late June, it doesn't get a second review/commentary.

Finished, yet to review: Interpreter of Maladies; Courting the Countess; Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European Literature; Spindle's End; Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics; Madhur Jaffery's Vegetarian India; The Course of Honour.

Up Next: Oh my. My to-read is overflowing, it's ridiculous. I need to finish some of the currently-readings. I have a book on bisexual geography on interlibrary loan. Who knows?




Music notes: there was a stretch of not buying anything new, because I've now set up a bribery system wherein I have a habit chart and I only get to buy music if I meet a target number of squares on the chart per week. So late August, after getting back from Chicago, was musically 'listen to stuff you already have', because it was also, habit-observance-wise, a washout.

But I ticked off 30 this week and consequently bought myself the EP 'Ameska' by the Taalbi brothers (best known, apparently, for a song in the Breaking Bad finale). The French competitor at the JGP Salzburg, Julie Froetscher, skated to the lead track, Ameska, in her short program, and I fell in love with it. I'm also really enjoying 'Tafat', which has a great percussion track.

I'm accumulating a list of 'figure skating routine music i like' and an awful lot of it is tango and flamenco. If i end up with a whole new musical generic interest I will blame the ISU. I already blame Shoma Uno for the fact I own an album of tango music played on accordion, of all things.
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