To get some good AC I went to the cheap seat movie theater tonight and saw "Step." This is a documentary about a Step dance team at a girls' high school in Baltimore. The film focuses entirely on black girls and women. Recommended.
Liberty and Other Stories (Prosperity, #2-4, 6) - Alexis Hall - ★ ★ ★ ★
A diverse series of stories expanding on the Prosperity universe, both before and after the events of Prosperity. ( read more )
The New Born Year - Kris Ripper ★ ★
I love this series, and I really liked getting to know Ally better, but I found this a difficult and unpleasant read. ( read more )
Full of Briars (October Daye, #9.3) - Seanan McGuire ★ ★ ★
I'm several books behind in this series, and figured this was a good way to dip back in. Because Quentin. Who is awesome. ( read more )
Gun To My Head - Dira Lewis ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reread. First read April 5, 2017. Second read April 6, 2017. Third read now, by which you might infer that I really fucking love this book. ( read more )
The Mystic Marriage (Alpennia, #2) - Heather Rose Jones ★ ★ ★ ★
I continue to adore this series. This second installment continues to follow Barbara and Margerit's lives, while expanding the focus to two characters who played a supporting role in the first book. ( read more )
The Element of Fire (Ile-Rien, #1) - Martha Wells ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reread. I think I first read this sometime in 2010.
This is a secondary-world fantasy set in the approximate equivalent of 17th Century France only with both sorcery and Fae creatures.( read more )
Point of Dreams (Astreiant, #2) - Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett ★ ★ ★ ★
In some ways the murders are the least interesting part of this book. They matter, and they drive the plot, but it's the thematic stuff going on around and in cause of the murders that I found most interesting.
This is a book about relationships, and the ways they are seen and controlled by society and societal pressures. ( read more )
Seven Summer Nights - Harper Fox ★ ★ ★ ★
This was not the book I expected it to be, but I quite enjoyed the book it turned out to be.
This is, as the cover copy stated, a just-post-WWII historical romance between an archaeologist and a vicar, both of whom came back from the war changed. It's about two men trying to fit back into roles and ways of life they no longer fit. ( read more )
Bound to Be a Groom (Regency Reimagined, #1) - Megan Mulry ★
It's queer, kinky, poly, historical erotica. I'm pretty much THE target audience for this book. And I gave up at 13% read. ( read more )
Death by Silver (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey, #1) - Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold ★ ★ ★ ★
This was a rougher read than I expected from the ad copy. Good, but at times decidedly difficult.
This is a queer, steampunk murder mystery, but that's not really what it's about.
What it actually is is a book about institutionally-sanctioned bullying and abuse and the different ways in which adult survivors of childhood trauma cope with their past. ( read more )
Kevin is busy writing negative reviews of his employer. I wish I thought they'd get him fired.
I'm fighting off panic at the price tag, and anger that the animal control agent said he clearly wasn't bitten but there's still nothing they can do and anger that he is slandering my dog (but my dog probably does not have legal standing in a court to sue him - which Kevin won't let me consider doing anyway). And desperate sadness because my dog is going to be locked away with no one to love him, and he's not going to understand why he doesn't have even his sister with him for the first time in his life. And I'm afraid if he's in quarantine they won't be able to let him go outside throughout the day. And basically, my poor dog, who did nothing but try to make a friend he thought was playing with him.
Otherwise, I was supposed to go to the zoo today for gorilla day, to do arts and crafts activities with kids. I emailed two people to ask where to meet and neither of them got back to me, so I didn't go. I did wake up to check my email on time to have gone, but I didn't go. I'm really annoyed about this because it means I either need to spend more time in flamingo plaza as a greeter, or I have to find other events to sign up for. I should probably look in next month to see when these events might be. Yeah now I'm signed up for something called "Boo at the Zoo" on the 21st. If I don't get enough hours by then, I'll finish up then. It's by the orangutans which I actually know something about having studied them as an anthro major in college.
I don't remember if I mentioned this here or not, but 23andMe is doing a study of people who have been treated for either depression or bipolar disorder, and in exchange for your DNA they'll send you a free ancestry and health report. So I mailed off a vial of my spit to help with that study and find out whether I should be chasing this Polish guy or the English guy on ancestry.com. There are also rumors in my mother's family of some Native American ancestry, which it will be interesting to find out of that is true or not. If you've been treated for bipolar disorder, you can click here to get in on the same deal I did - but time is running out. The depression study is already closed.
I opened a loot pets box today to see if I'd get some kind of a toy I could send with Jack to quarantine, but Kevin wound up really liking the toy inside it (which was a borg cube), so we gave it to Rogue, who will not destroy it instead of Jack, who will.
Last week, a couple of days before the end of my holiday, we had the sad news that ones of PB’s leading posters almost since the site started, Mark Senior, has died.
Over nearly a decade and a half he became a key part of the site’s unique commenting community and although I never met him I am sure that others feel like I do that we know him from our interactions over such a long period.
I’ve not been able to find a picture of Mark but we do know that he was an assiduous follower of local elections, polling and a was regular contributor to this and other sites. His knowledge and memory in these area was quite extraordinary and he would never shy away from fights. He was also a very strong supporter of the Lib Dems as those who have followed discussions of PB will have been very much aware and why I have illustrated this with an appropriate picture.
If anyone knows more about Mark or has a picture it would be great to hear from them.
In 2005 Mark won one of the first PB competitions predicting a by-election outcome and two years later was elected LD poster of the year.
This was his last post here on August 17th 2017:
I am able to ascertain that his last visit to PB was on September 1st.
Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
Things with Scott's work schedule are a bit up in the air. They source their raw materials in Texas and so have a supply bottleneck even though they're facing both their busiest time of year due to special orders for cider season and an unusually high demand for the things they make all year. This worries me that they'll only give Scott one day to transition back to day shift by making him work next Saturday night into Sunday morning and then expecting him to start back on first shift at 6:15 Monday morning. It all depends on whether or not the supplies come in and how much of a backlog of orders they have then.
We ended up going to Dairy Queen last night because Cordelia said she really wanted a hot fudge sundae. Seeing what she ended up with, I'd never have called it a 'hot fudge' sundae because the topping was very, very runny. She commented, after eating it, that she really should have thought about the fact that she's not currently all that into chocolate. Her other idea had been an expedition to Novi to the Cheesecake Factory there, but it was 8:00 by the time we were ready to go anywhere at all. Dairy Queen was cheaper and closer.
I'm still working on characters for my game at UCon. I'll be running it from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, and I worry a little that a home rules game won't draw players in that time slot (I was worried about that in any time slot, quite frankly), but I suppose that people who like my games will still see that the game exists. I'm willing to run with just two people. Scott will be running something during that game slot, so I can't ask him to make up numbers.
I have notes, some sketchy and some not so much so, and names for seven characters. It's my intention to write them so that they can be played male, female, or anything else as the player prefers. I did that for my Amber game last UCon, and one of the players decided their character used they/them pronouns. I don't intend to make sex/gender integral to the plot in any way unless the player characters chase after it.
Looking at the online UCon game book section for RPGs is kind of fascinating. There's no character limit for the online listings, and some people post a wall of text while other people say little more there than what will fit in the printed version. It would be interesting to see which of these attract more players or if they simply attract different players. I haven't seen much yet that makes me want to play anything, but many games are better than their blurbs.
I'll be running Sentinels of the Multiverse on Friday morning, so all my GMing will be done by 1 p.m. on Saturday. Sentinels is much less work in the preparation stage. Mainly, I need to pick a villain and a setting and test the combination so that I know what bits of each are likely to kill the superheroes. I may, based on that, offer a limited selection of heroes rather than letting anyone choose any hero at all, but I also may not because that's more work. It's just that there are some heroes who can't function at all against certain villains.
In that time I've read Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, which very closely details the rise of anti-Semitism in Western Europe between the French Revolution and the Second World War. Sayers is an awkward novelist in that her writing in the 1920s and 30s is sparkling in many ways, but soured a few times a book by discordant notes whenever "those people" are mentioned--Sayers seems to think that she is being very liberal-minded by mentioning Jewish people at all, much less having her characters vaguely tolerate them and discuss how a Jew might be as moral as the next fellow. (She had an unhappy early affair with a Jewish writer that seems to have affected her strongly)
I can see no situation in which they might ever have met, but still, the whole thing solidifies mentally for me into a unified whole if I imagine them at some evening party full of urbane and witty literary people, drinking and smoking and sounding clever, where Sayers is holding forth and being pleased with herself and Hannah Arendt is smoking in silence and taking down extensive mental notes for an essay later. She smiles when Sayers passes her an ashtray, but she's already plotting her revenge.
Corvallis Fall Festival
Maybe this is a new annual thing for us! Jenni and I repeated our 2016 Autumn Day Tip with a followup visit to the Corvallis Fall Festival. But as always with Jenni and me, it’s not so much the destination as the extended time that she and I get to chat. We could have done that anywhere. Still, participating in a special event just adds more fun.
At 10:00 am Jenni arrived at my house while I was putting my things in the car – so we were immediately ready to jump in and take off. It was a breezy, conversation-filled drive to Corvallis. My parking fairy opened convenient street parking just two blocks south of Central Park. It was 11:30 am.
As per plan, we walked over to Block 15. As if to celebrate our return, the waitress coincidentally seated us at the same table we had last year, tucked away in a corner upstairs. We were delighted.
Block 15’s Oregon Country Beef Burger was so good last year that I eagerly reordered the meal. I couldn’t decide on fries or the beef barley soup – so I got both. I ended up taking most of the fries home for an evening meal. As before, everything was delicious.
iPhone 6 Photo
I think it was about 1 pm when we finished lunch and began our return walk through downtown Corvallis. (I didn’t take any notes this year, so I can only guess on times.) We returned to the Starbucks at SW 4th & Madison, where Jenni got a drink; she also got cash from an ATM. From there we walked back to my car to drop off my takehome container of fries – and also my Icebreaker vest. The weather forecast was 60°F with a high of 66°F under partly sunny skies – but Accuweather and buddies lied. Bright sun. Not a cloud in the sky. I was dressed too warmly. During the week I’d been fighting the onset of a cold and had been uncharacteristically chilled, so I dressed conservatively. I should have worn short sleeves.
We walked up to the festival and did all the loops. The festival advertises 160 vendors, so it takes a couple of hours to get through the whole thing.
The festival has a nice variety of artisans and craftsfolk. Lots of impressive jewelry. Interesting photography (but nothing I’d put in my own house). Unique fabrics and clothing. Other facinating scupltures, paintings, and mixed media works. Jenni and I had a wonderful time absorbing the mix – as well as talking with the artists. Jenni bought some gifts for her friends, but I was much less noble.
Early on we happened upon one of my favorite ceramic studios, STILLFire Pottery. This year they had a number of bowls in sizes I wanted, so it was difficult to show restraint. I limited myself to three bowls – a convenient soup bowl and a small snack bowl in my normal blue/white style… and another shallow bowl similar to the dark one I bought last year. I love these bowls! I think my favorite is the soup bowl.
Sometime between 3:30 and 4:00 pm we headed back to the car. It was an easy jaunt from SW 7th St (where I had parked) over to SW 9th St. Unlike last year, there was no home football game this year, so we had no problems at all with traffic. I took SW 9th to 99W, and we again took the scenic route from Corvallis to Independence to Salem to Woodburn.
And like last year, we stopped at Woodburn Premium Outlet Stores and did some shopping. Neither of us make it down to Woodburn often. The day continued to be sunny and warm – just around 70°F – so walking was extremely pleasant.
When we were finished shopping, I took us home. We were back by 6:40 pm. We had talked non-stop the entire day, and I could have gone on for hours. I was energized. But we did have a lot of things to get done for ourselves over the weekend and had to stop sometime. My rare days with Jenni bring me great joy, and I savor the memories – and am still smiling a day later.
The Good Place
This is actually funnier this year than last. We basically watched Michael attempt to make things work and fail miserably.
It was a wonderful satire of organizational and management failure. Or directorial failure.
If you like absurd humor mixed with light satire...this is worth a shot.
Mozart in the Jungle -- which was adapted from Mozart in the Jungle- Sex Drugs and Classical Music.
In the tradition of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and Gelsey Kirkland’s Dancing on My Grave, Mozart in the Jungle delves into the lives of the musicians and conductors who inhabit the insular world of classical music. In a book that inspired the Amazon Original series starring Gael García Bernal and Malcolm McDowell, oboist Blair Tindall recounts her decades-long professional career as a classical musician—from the recitals and Broadway orchestra performances to the secret life of musicians who survive hand to mouth in the backbiting New York classical music scene, where musicians trade sexual favors for plum jobs and assignments in orchestras across the city. Tindall and her fellow journeymen musicians often play drunk, high, or hopelessly hungover, live in decrepit apartments, and perform in hazardous conditions— working-class musicians who schlep across the city between low-paying gigs, without health-care benefits or retirement plans, a stark contrast to the rarefied experiences of overpaid classical musician superstars. An incisive, no-holds-barred account, Mozart in the Jungle is the first true, behind-the-scenes look at what goes on backstage and in the Broadway pit.
The television series follows the conductors more than just the oboist.
I'm tempted to get the book, I love books like this.
Loving the series...has great characters, lovely music, and is happy. It's comforting. Like a nice blanket on a winters day.
2. New A/C not yet installed, hardly surprising. This is the Super's Day off. So surviving with old A/C fan and fan. Which brings things to 75 degrees. Hopefully will sleep tonight. Was up at 6:20 AM
in order to get delivery, which ended up arriving at 8 AM. So made it to church, saw MD off. MD was quite kind. I'll miss her.
Church was better this week...the sermon was about the evil addiction of the iphone. Apparently teens have stopped having sex, going to parties, and exercising since the advent of the iphone, suicides and isolation has increased. One teen commented that she didn't leave her bedroom and just was on her phone and social media all day.
So on October 8, she's going to challenge people to check in their phones, or put them in a basket and do without for a day. Unless you have to have it for some reason or have a good relationship with your phone.
I'd be just as happy without it.
But hey, I got a basket to put my backpack and purse in. Also got rid of dusty sofa. And got armchair. Now trying to decide whether to buy second arm chair or a love seat two seater couch.
On the fence. Also need new coffee table, small desk (to draw on and eat on), and more storage capability. Bit by bit. By the time I'm done, I'll probably want to move again.
3. Music tastes...watching Mozart in the Jungle reminds me how much I love classical music. I just don't see it in person, because it tends to put me to sleep. I prefer to listen over watching people playing. Odd. But there it is.
5. Rock (British and otherwise)
6. Country/Easy Listening
7. Broadway Show Tune
10. Heavy Metal (ie. Nine Inch Nails)
12. Opera/Hip Hop
C.S Harris does a great deal of research for her Regency detective series. I'm therefore a little puzzled at her aristocratic detective threatening to call in the services of the Bow Street Runners for a crime committed in... Shropshire. Evidently the Runners aided investigations outside London, but Shropshire is an awfully long way from the Home Counties.
Well, it's done now. Thankfully, I expected errors and bought a lot of extra felt.
The funny thing is that all his classmates, their families just drew on the bags with Sharpies. His mom asked me to do it due to lack of time, but I can't draw! I even had somebody else do the stencils for me! So now it looks like I put in way more effort than anybody else (despite the fact that I can see all the errors glaring out at me), but really, I just can't draw. Cutting and sewing is a LOT easier for me.
It is so rare that I like a sitcom, but this one is smart and funny, and the actors terrific.
I think I'm done with this series for reals now.
Sam: You should go to the thrift store and find something cool to replace it with! That’s how you get a really unique chess set.
R: So you’re saying his mistake became….a mistakapportunity?
Sam: Of the millions of words that I thought you might say when you paused, mistakapportunity didn’t even make the list.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2y0YuXL