- "I shall always be talking of Bath when I am home again".

'Roman' Baths and Bath Abbey 02-17

Raven, Quiet Street, Bath 02-17

• "The bestest full English I've had in town!" - Jane Austen [/advertising slogan of local cafe]

- Reading, books 2017: 52

Three Georgette Heyers, 5/5, 2/5, 3.5/5, with quotes and observations. )

• Oh, and every time the author uses the word "libertine" my brain responds with this image, lol, which almost certainly isn't the effect she intended....
There are times when you have to take a plot bunny out behind the shed and quietly do away with it before it eats everything in sight. So when I was hit with an awful, soul-crushing fusion idea for Yuri!!! on Ice and Puella Magi Madoka Magica -- in which Yuri Plisetsky is essentially Akemi Homura, a once sweet and charming child turned bitter and cold-hearted by a thousand failed timeloops in which he's been unable to stop his friends from dying or turning into witches -- I had to bash out this ficlet and throttle the concept at the source.

(Tidied up from the original anon posting at F_FA. Title from the Madoka ending theme, Magia by Kalafina. Some text modified from Madoka EP 10. Warning for Madoka-canon-typical violent character death.)

You can go back in time, right, Yurio? )

I have no intention of writing more of this, because did I mention that it would be soul-crushing? *goes to toss it at AO3 and then lie down for a while*
newredshoes: midcentury modern swallow (<3 | circumnavigator)
([personal profile] newredshoes Jun. 28th, 2017 01:09 pm)
Please allow me to just scream for a minute that my Wonder Woman/WWI story got linked by SyFy?!?!???

Also today in link round-ups, a new Things I'm Verbing: Cultural memory, peanut stew and how to be a better gentrifier.

Also related to Wonder Woman, if you've heard all kinds of Jew-hating bullshit about Gal Gadot "notching her rifle for Palestinians she's killed" and the like, this is a good rebuttal and full explanation of what Gadot's ~support for the IDF actually entails. See also. Yes, I'm still cranky about the Chicago Dyke March bullshit. This op-ed has a quite harsh take on intersectionality itself, but the basic point, that intersectionality as practiced is often antagonistic or indifferent to Jewish issues, is true to my experience. UGH. Okay. Gonna go draft that essay on Jewishness and who gets to be beautiful that I've been mulling over ever since Jenny Slate got together with Captain America.
in_the_blue: (kara waving goodbye)
([personal profile] in_the_blue Jun. 28th, 2017 09:38 am)
Guys, I'm not very fandomy any more so everyone's probably already seen this, but...

BSG cast reunion
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
([personal profile] sineala Jun. 28th, 2017 12:34 pm)
I got three hours of sleep and I keep coughing myself awake. Ugh. I hate everything.

What I Just Finished Reading

Elizabeth Letts, The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse that Inspired a Nation: The reviews of this are split between "wow, this is poorly-written" and "OMG HORSIE." I have to say it is indeed very poorly written, but the story is compelling -- I mean, horse rescued from the slaughterhouse, turning out to be a champion jumper? It was pretty good. Also I learned that the US Army had horse breeding programs up through WWII even though horses were much less useful than they'd hoped.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Black Panther #15, Defenders #2, Infamous Iron Man #9, Mighty Captain Marvel #6, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #20, Secret Empire #5, X-Men Blue #6 )

What I'm Reading Next

I have no idea.
silveraspen: quill and roses (quill and roses)
([personal profile] silveraspen Jun. 28th, 2017 10:04 am)
Today is not for epic political screeds, because if I start screaming about healthcare in the US I may never stop. Also, I scream about this a lot on twitter ([twitter.com profile] silveraspen), so if you are in need of facts and actions to use for various things political, come on over. Everyone's welcome.

No, today is for my own quiet reassertion of capability in the face of everything. To that end, I found this essay by Chuck Wendig particularly helpful today. Maybe you will too.
quigonejinn: (Default)
([personal profile] quigonejinn Jun. 28th, 2017 11:24 am)
Spotify likes to do auto-generated playlists -- like, it'll pull tracks that you have on various playlists and group them into pop themed playlists and rock-themed playlists and classic music or whatever. But they've recently started doing ones based on tracks you've listend to a lot at various times, and uh.

GUESS WHAT I LISTENED TO THE PACIFIC RIM THEME A LOT FOUR SUMMERS AGO GUESS WHAT IT STILL MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I COULD STAB A KAIJU IN THE FACE WITH A 50 FOOT CHAIN SWORD GUESS WHAT I STILL LOVE MAKO GUESS WHAT

...

Recently worked my way through all three books of Diana Wynne John's "Howl's Moving Castle" series, and they're as charming as advertised -- magic cats! Sisterhood! Babies! Domestic housekeeping being valued and not denigrated! The intro to the first book is one of the most effective openings that I've ever read in the genre of updated fairytales, because it's clean and tight and shows such awareness of the form, while also making smart, focused tweaks.

On the other hand, who gives a fuck about Howl? As usual, I'm apparently in the minority on this, because there's a bit at the end of one of the books where Jones mentions how many girls show up at readings with crushes on Howl, whereas I'm just ????????????????????????? WHAT IS THERE TO LIKE ????????????? SOPHIE WHAT DO U SEE IN HIM??????????????

I told Mr. Rhod this, along with the bit from Wikipedia about Howl being an interpretation of the Byronic hero ideal, and he started to laugh at how I was surprised at not liking Howl. Because it's completely true -- Howl, and his flashy, dramatic ways and inability to commit and unwillingness to take responsibility are things that actively repel me. I'm too old for that shit, and like, there's a bit in Howl's Moving Castle about him throwing a temper tantrum in the course of days-long sulk, and causing the whole house to be covered in green goo that Sophie has to work herself to the bone cleaning up, right?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooope.
Wednesday! Books!

What I've just finished
The Five-Minute Marriage by Joan Aiken, which is delightful! If a little short on true romance. But the shenanigans are pretty hilarious and enjoyable, so I didn't mind the lack of feels too much.

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, which was very charming. The funny thing is, I never really knew what it was until I read Between Silk and Cyanide (which I highly, highly recommend), because Leo Marks, the author of that, was the son of the owner and he mentions it in his book, and I was like, "wasn't that a movie? or something?" but now I have read it and I feel like a gap in my cultural knowledge has been filled. *g*

What I'm reading now
Speaking of gaps in my cultural knowledge, I never did manage to read The Three Musketeers, though god knows I tried, and I have seen numerous adaptations (I didn't keep up with the most recent BBC one, but gosh, it had a super pretty cast), so I have a sketchy outline of the story in my head, and it seems like Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts is following it pretty well, except D'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos are LADIES (and numerous other characters have been genderflipped as well) and it all takes place IN SPACE. So I am utterly enchanted with it, though I kind of wish Constance had been left a lady too (I am very fond of Constance and Constance/D'Artagnan). I guess the dude version here is all right. And Athos is somehow more enjoyable here than I usually find him. It seems like it should be ending soon and yet somehow I'm barely halfway through, so maybe there is more stuff I just don't know about coming! I'll report back next week! *g*

What I'm reading next
*hands* I know I mentioned The Lie Tree last week, and there's a ton of other stuff on my iPad, so we'll see. My recent viewing choices may have an influence.

So last night, I finished season 1 of The Expanse. Unfortunately, I can only get the last 5 or 6 episodes of season 2 streaming on Syfy or via on-demand. What even is that model of streaming shows? If I can't watch the beginning of the season of a highly serialized show, why on earth would I watch the ending? Maybe if it didn't cost $30 for 13 episodes I'd spring for the season, but as it is, I'm just annoyed.

ANYWAY. That has nothing to do with the show, which I enjoyed, even though I can't say I'm all that invested in most of the characters.

Otoh, I am really digging the whole "Amos is kind of a sociopathic hothead whose first resort is always violence, so he uses Naomi as his moral authority" thing they've got going on. I haven't gone looking for fic because I don't want to be spoiled, but surely someone must be writing stuff where she doms the hell out of him, yeah?

spoiler )

Otoh, I want to know EVERYTHING about Naomi Nagata. And her service sub, Amos, who I like way more than I probably should. I think it's the fact that he looks like the love child of Aaron Douglas and Stephen Amell, and he has such dewy wide eyes. And great biceps. Idek. *facepalm*

On the third hand, the world-building is a lot of fun, Jared Harris is clearly having a ball, I yell CUTTY every time Fred Johnson appears, and Shohreh Aghdashloo is a joy to behold. If you are looking for a show to fill the BSG-shaped hole in your heart, this could do it, though sadly the characters are nowhere near as viscerally endearing as Starbuck, Roslin, and Adama were for me from the start.

Now I have to decide if I want to spring for season 2, or just wait until it shows up on Netflix, though even season 1 isn't on Netflix atm. Sigh. I think I have the first book in the series - is it worth reading?

***
sami: (Default)
([personal profile] sami Jun. 28th, 2017 08:44 pm)
Final Fantasy XIV features:

- a misogynistic jerk with a very high opinion of himself who is going down in flames every time he tries to interact with a woman, because none of them are having any of his shit

- another guy quite a few female characters seem genuinely to be hot for, but sadly for them while he's super-nice and all he doesn't appear to notice their interest (but he did find some scantily-clad male warriors very distracting)

- a tribal group with unusual views on death and reincarnation that result in an interesting perspective on gender e.g. "She happens to be a woman at the moment, but she was a great man like three times already, so she's still the man in charge" and "yes, I do have a woman's name, I was born into a male body but I am in fact a heroic woman so what's your problem exactly?"

As far as I can tell they either determine "real" gender by what someone usually is or first was, or else by kind of a personal preference thing bordering on not actually caring that much, beyond encouraging people to take lovers who are reproductively compatible because they're kinda super-fighty and have a mild population crisis going. Like, they seem to use pronouns aligned to people's potential reproductive status because they need more babies and beyond that point they could not be persuaded to care less.

(Their take on life is this: that when one of their people dies, it's not a big deal, because that person will be reborn in a forthcoming baby, and identified by what familiar spirit they recognise behind the baby's eyes. Whereupon that baby will be given the person's name, and taught about their previous lives, and raised as that person. They are, therefore, undying warriors, whose souls burn brightest in battle.)

- Another group features all-male warriors who cannot stand interacting with women pretty much at all; a friend was surprised at herself for how belatedly she realised that they are also, of course, extremely gay.
Tags:
sineala: Detail of The Unicorn in Captivity, from The Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestry (Default)
([personal profile] sineala Jun. 28th, 2017 12:53 am)
It is now my birthday! Go me!
Tags:
sami: (Default)
([personal profile] sami Jun. 28th, 2017 11:04 am)
NPC just made a comment that amounts, more-or-less, to a snarky comment about how everyone in Kugane is short and has black hair.

1) Bro, I am a Lalafell, don't step to me with short jokes

2) I didn't even know how many Japanese stereotypes I was vaguely aware existed until Stormblood started hitting every single one of them oh my God I'm starting to feel racist just for noticing. If I thought Japanese people cared more about what other people thought of them, I'd start to wonder if Yoshi-P was going to be in trouble when he went home to Hokkaido.
Tags:
misslucyjane: (tony stark (iron man))
([personal profile] misslucyjane Jun. 27th, 2017 07:03 pm)
Fidele (103759 words) by misslucyjane
Chapters: 23/?
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Male Character/Original Male Character
Additional Tags: Romance Novel, Paranormal, PTSD, Hauntings, Kid Fic, Drug Use
Summary:

A house full of ghosts is no place to fall in love.

Malcolm Carmichael has been coping with his post-war trauma by taking lovers, teaching art to schoolboys, and trying to ignore the ghosts he sees everywhere. At the death of his mother, he realizes he wants more than just to coast on by, and leaves the exclusive school in search of something more.

Caleb Thibodeaux was so traumatized by the death of his parents in a fire that he hasn't spoken a word since. His uncle Noel hires Malcolm to be his tutor, and Malcolm discovers that Caleb is not the only Thibodeaux son with secrets. The plantation house Fidele is beautiful but haunted, and Noel is much the same.

Soon Malcolm is absorbed in protecting Caleb and Noel from threats both living and dead, and in uncovering the story of Fidele.



Read at AO3 or at JennaLynnBrown.com
Tags:
Okay. Okay, this thing that I've been pouring hours into for more than month -- it's here. It's finally live. I am so proud of it. I am already thrilled and overwhelmed by its reception!! It definitely started with a late-night annoyed tweet, and now it's a 2,000-word examination of how and why we form and curate cultural memory. Thanks, Wonder Woman!

"Why Do So Few Hollywood Movies Take Place During WWI?" - Pacific Standard (a very big deal!!)
Going to the movies became a ubiquitous means of participating in patriotic culture closer to World War II. The Great Depression halted most memorial-building in its tracks, as memorials required huge local investments. In the 1910s, when movie palaces were still new, they became sites of moral panic for civic and community leaders concerned about sexual looseness and the corruption of American youth, even as only about one-third of the total population attended each week. However, by the 1920s, that number rose to half, and, by the 1930s, two-thirds of Americans took weekly trips to the movies. During WWII, studios supplied hundreds of fictional films torn from the headlines.

Simple, hagiographic narratives about the war predominated. In titles like So Proudly We Hail! (1943), Hell Is for Heroes (1962), and Saving Private Ryan (1999), WWII was "the good war," waged by the U.S. to crush fascism and imperialism. Hollywood did work closely with the War Department to produce pro-war documentaries during the war. But, historically, even films that are not government-funded, or those that have questioned American wars, have largely refused to condemn those who fight it. It is perhaps easier for film studios to sell a vision of Americans as principled heroes fending off all-threatening evil, rather than naïve young men fighting in a conflict of ambiguous nobility.
There's so much more! I got to talk to some amazing people! My job doesn't pay bupkis but the work can be so good!! (And if you feel inclined to share, you can credit me at [twitter.com profile] ejbergdahl.)
- Remember: they can't ban abortion, they can only ban safe abortion. This shouldn't be news in 2017 but the BMA, which is the trade union for doctors in the UK, has voted to lobby for the decriminalisation of abortion in the UK, in addition to restating their support for the general 24 week limit under current regulation with exceptions for later abortions (usually when the woman's "health" is at risk but this is interpreted widely to include mental health, and the consequences of rape and/or domestic abuse), because we can have regulation without criminalisation. I note that no common men's healthcare procedure is criminalised in law.

- For want of a comma the husband was lost: "The novel features the author's minor series character the ex-Empress Irene, who has by this time abdicated her throne and Benjamin Trafford." /lol, wikipedia

- Reading, books 2017: 51. Having moaned about my inability to read, due to both disability (seasonal and relapsing) and my inability to pick reading material that suited my mood (which was as irritable as my eyes, lol), I then had enforced extra indoor time because I was under the weather, LITERALLY, and am now on course for my goal of 104 books in 2017. ::wryface::

40. Assassination Classroom 5, by Yusei Matsui, 2015, comic. Good, boysy, not hooking enough for me to spend £100+ on the whole story though. :-) (4/5)

42. Hellcat!, vol.2, Don't Stop Me-ow, by Kate Leth and Brittney L. Williams, 2017, comic. Good scripting from Kate Leth and perfect art from Brittney Williams but this volume didn't do much for me as it consists of what seemed a rushed conclusion to the Hedy frenemy storyline (although I presume she'll recur), an interruption for the tedious Civil War event (although Leth does her best and delivers an episode centring on female friendship), the obligatory supervillain ex-boyfriends plot (trying to mock the tropes, I suspect, but without enough depth to pull it off imo), then part of a Black Cat girl gang story that didn't grab me enough to care about the ending. There were two small continuity fails, one in which Hellcat forgets she applied to be Jessica Jones' babysitter (a job that eventually went to Squirrel Girl, lol), and one in which Bailey (and the writer) seems to have forgotten she can use her magic bag to escape by teleporting as she does in the first volume to escape Hellcat and mall security. Although I did like the deliberate ret-con explaining Patsy's mom trying to sell her soul. I've bought Ms Leth's Spell on Wheels trade too [ ↓ see below]. (4/5)

43. Reread
44. Reread

46. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, vol. 2, Cosmic Cooties, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, and Marco Failla, 2017, comic. ♥ ♥ ♥ (5/5)

• Now a mealtime catchphrase :-D : "Enough! We will not discuss this at the feasting vestibule."

50. Spell on Wheels, by Kate Leth, Megan Levans, and Marissa Louise, 2017, comic, is basically a road trip version of Practical Magic but with a more diverse cast. As ever Kate Leth excels at writing comedy and light adventure, and Megan Levens' art is perfect for the story. The subplot about drugs and alcohol at a party being used against a woman was well done and solidly blamed the perpetrator (not the victim). I did have two small quibbles but only one worth mentioning: this is at least the fourth ex-boyfriend revenge plot I've read in only three trades by Ms Leth and although she does them well, with nuances, and I recognise this is an aspect of women's lives that's been underrepresented in most mediums and genres of fiction (with the honourable exception being chicklit, obv), I hope she'll expand her storytelling repertoire before it becomes too repetitive. I did like the implication that our heroines' team raison d'etre is finding new magic users, which is necessary because power isn't (and shouldn't be) hereditary. (4/5)

Entitlement Boy, the (not at all super) villain of Spell on Wheels, by Kate Leth and Megan Levens, 2017

My ancient scanner and the flickr resizing don't do the art any favours so my apologies to Ms Levens but that panel was too funny not to post! Good lettering too, lol. :-D
out_there: Mycroft Holmes (SH: Prim Mycroft)
([personal profile] out_there Jun. 27th, 2017 02:45 pm)
Sometimes, the best part of a crossover is wondering how two characters could possibly get on, and then being happily convinced that they absolutely would.


Smoke by esama
Fandoms: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)Sherlock (TV)
Relationships: Mycroft Holmes/Gary "Eggsy" Unwin, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Words:48420



I am terribly lazy and procrastinating sharing this simply because it didn't have a handy share button. I am very spoiled these days.
chanter_greenie: a slightly faded picture of a three-legged torbie kitty cat with a lot of rust coloring in her fur (supermodel kitty)
([personal profile] chanter_greenie Jun. 26th, 2017 07:12 pm)
Had a much, much better day at work. I did not realize just how badly I needed that vacation until I took it. Also, bless my understanding boss, and the coworkers who covered for me while I was off. :)

Still going to see someone about this anxiety shtuff, because a sustained spike like the one that hit me last week, including over much of my vacation time--wow. That was alarming even while I was in the midst of it, to say nothing of what it looks like in hindsight now that I'm a bit more clear-headed. Still dealing with low-grade anxiety, at that. This has honestly been years in coming, high-strung ball of nerves that I am, and I've reached the point where I'm done trying to function through it. My mother might have been able to bull her way through her anxiety until it stopped being an issue for her. I'm not able to do the same. I'm personally fine with that.

Now if I could only be fine with her not being fine with that. ... I'll deal with that aspect of things later. First comes actually getting my head sorted out. I've got an appointment for July 7, and between the aforementioned anxiety issues that are hopefully confirmed as brain chemistry errors and treatable with medication of some sort, and what I suspect are malfunctioning/low functioning depression meds, there's going to be a lot to talk about.

The worst of the sustained anxiety spike seems to be over for now, though. Whew. The time off work has helped the burnout issue, as well. Double whew.
musesfool: art deco brandy ad (been drinking since half-past three)
([personal profile] musesfool Jun. 26th, 2017 06:12 pm)
I was completely useless last night after several hours of day drinking. it was a lot of fun, but oy the headache that hit around 7 pm! Even though we definitely hydrated.

Now I have version 3 of some sort of bug bite balm cooling on the counter - it uses coconut oil, which I don't really like the smell of, so hopefully the tea tree oil, peppermint, lemongrass, and lavender essential oils will cover that up. Though I would bear the smell if it meant the itching stopped.

I know I said I was done with trying to make anti-itch cream - hot water, ice, and rubbing alcohol in conjunction with benadryl and zyrtec seem to work best, tbh - but I figured third time's the charm? And I had all the ingredients so...I guess we'll see. Or maybe I am just super itchy, since i am super allergic to bites and swell up and get all welty.

I guess that's all the exciting news from here.

***
.