media consumption

Aug. 28th, 2016 09:33 pm
jmtorres: From Lady Gaga's Bad Romance music video; the peach-haired, wide-eyed iteration (Default)
[personal profile] jmtorres
I watched Limitless (tv series, and partway through, the movie to which the tv series is sequel--well, it's a sequel to the alternate ending, heh) this past week while recovering from concrud. I figured the wacky partners fight crime! genre was decent for sick brain capacity, and honestly if I hadn't been looking for lighthearted cheese I probably wouldn't have stopped skimming Netflix on a show starring a white dude. I enjoyed it fairly well for the purpose I chose it, but after, I am thinking about the genre, the mismatched partners, one of whom is responsible/uptight, one of whom is wacky and fun! and how often that division lands on a gender lines in a way that it comes out as a professional woman having to add to her job the responsibility of babysitting a misbehaving manchild. In Limitless, definitely; Castle's another example; Chuck (to which Limitless has a lot of parallels: NZT and the Intersect have the same plot function); Psych, in some ways, although it's mitigated by Juliette not being the sole (or arguably even main) straight man to Shawn's comic act (I think Gus is up ahead of her, and Lassiter is definitely in the running for most uptight). I'm tracing this back in my head through to shows I watched growing up and I think even X-Files has a seed of it; Mulder is at least trained law enforcement, not some civilian tagging along for lulz, but arguably Scully was the responsible, sensible one who was supposed to reign in his wild conspiracy theories. Comparable dynamic. I'm skimming through the TV Tropes "they fight crime!" page and oh look, yeah, Sleepy Hollow also qualifies.

So, that's a thing.

Reading stuff lately--from the library, checked out some Nicola Griffith, Ammonite, about a planet cut of from the rest of humanity for a few centuries, and with a plague that kills off dudes. So everyone on the planet is female, it's under quarantine, and our intrepid galactic anthropologist is trying to solve, among other questions, how do make babies? This book was listed among various other important feminist scifi in reviews, and I got to the end of it going "what was so special about that?" then I read the author's notes and she was trying to fight the idea of a feminist utopia by having every kind of person, good and bad, kind and cruel, etc etc, represented but all women. I was like "that's the groundbreaking thing? --that's the groundbreaking thing." and just, facepalm.

Read another Nicola Griffith, Slow River. The most interesting bits of this (also the grossest? maybe?) are the technical exploration of near-future designer microbes to process sewage and industrial waste water. The main character is the youngest child off a family who has gotten very rich off their genetic patents for that technology; she is kidnapped, tortured for the ransom demands, all on mass media, and then after being dumped, the ransom never paid, she tries to completely change her identity to never go back to her family. She falls in with a scurrilous rogue, a thief and sex worker who pretty quickly tips into "consent? what is consent?" with the use of sex pollen drugs. All of the drama about the main character's family (there's sexual abuse, and disgusting capitalist spy games) and all of the, honestly I'd call it whumping, of life in the *gritty underbelly*, was gross and kind of boring? There was one line that stuck out to me, at the end, when the main character has been outed as the rich kidnapping victim and reunited with (the acceptable) parts of her family. She tells her shady ex that there's always a choice, you didn't have to do all those horrible things to everyone we know; and shady ex is like jfc you're going back to your fortune you want to talk to me about CHOICES? some of us DON'T have them. I was thinking about that, and the thing about shady ex was, all of choices were bad, but so were all of her options. Like Ammonite, this book had a ton of F/F relationships with no like, commentary or justification or even discussion of queer identities; it was unremarkable. Unfortunate byproduct of this was that it was also the main character's mother who abused her daughters. I don't, I don't even. Ultimately noped out of the rest of Griffith's stuff. The ratio of interesting to uncomfortable was not working for me.

Audiobooks I've listened to lately--The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger, about a couple of trail guide pardners in Reconstruction era America (so one white, one black, of course) with the complication of one can see ghosts and gets sucked into some spiritualist conspiracy. Liked it, not 100% sure what I thought about the race dynamic, and I don't really feel qualified to judge the subject. White dude was the one who could see supernatural shit, so we avoided magical negro I guess? There were several instances of white dude trying to stand up for his buddy and tell people to fuck off for trying to be racist at black dude, and black dude being like ffs chill I don't want to fight about this stop making my life harder??? so, I don't know, maybe aware of layers? not treating racism as a simple issue?

Updraft, by Fran Wilde, this reminded me of Pern not so much in particulars as in broad strokes. An invisible enemy in the skies, fought by an elite and insular ruling group, who might take common people with ~special talents~ into their number, but would completely divorce them from their previous lives in so doing. Flight, though it's a lot more visceral here, and not made possible by dragons. A lot of it seems pretty unbelievable to me: humans learning to echo-locate, for one. Haven't really decided what I think of this one, or if I'll go for sequels.

Steal Across the Sky, by Nancy Kress, in which an alien race known only as the Atoners recruits (via internet ads) a bunch of people to Witness the crimes they committed against humanity: humans once had a genetic trait which allowed them to see spirits of the dead before they moved on. The Atoners took a whole bunch of humans to experiment with 10K yrs ago, and set up a whole bunch of systems with two habitable planets, where one population got to keep the gene (and generally seemed like... more peaceful? I mean, I guess it's harder to use death as a threat, weapon, motivator, if you know people keep on existing after their bodies stop. But this particular sociological phenomenon is not explored) and the other planet with the other population got no spirit sense and was full of war-making people like Earth. Also the Atoners totally took the spirit sense away from all specimens they left on Earth. Halfway through the book we switch from one team of three Witnesses figuring out what is the difference between the two planets at the system they've been sent to (the Atoners didn't TELL them about the spirit sense gene, they had to figure it out, and some of them were pretty skeptical) to the lives of the Witnesses on Earth after returning, either full of media or attempting to avoid media and live normal lives, however unlikely. There's... we pick up several new Witnesses during this switch, and the time jump disconnect combined with the main character merry-go-round combined with no one knows what the Atoners are actually DOING to Atone, makes things very weird? (It turns out the Atoners have brought pregnant women from some or all of the worlds were the spirit sense gene was still present, to have kids on Earth. But they stop a couple of the Witnesses from trying to bring back a DNA sample to analyze and add back in themselves. Basically they're just still high-handedly doing whatever without asking humanity's permission for anything. I was also left wondering if they planned to Atone to any of the populations they seeded and manipulated for their experiments, a question no one in the book thought to ask.) Sooo. *seesaw hand* Interesting, but kind of a hot mess.

(no subject)

Aug. 28th, 2016 03:39 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
argh I would really like to be able to sit up for more than three minutes without horrible paiiiiiiin
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
In a rare, almost scientific move, I am following up on last week's poll. Here is my new phone case, simultaneously expressing my love of Japanese woodblock printing and Pokémon Go.

Pokemon Go meets Katsushika Hokusai

The Great British Bake Off has begun again. The first episode of the new season aired on Wednesday night. I livetweeted with the other fanpersons on my list. We all fell in love with Selasi Gbormittah. So...who is/are your favourite(s)? (A reminder of the contestants, with photos: Radio Times listing)

Poll #17641 Bake Off 2016
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 16


My favourite(s) on Bake Off this year are:

View Answers

Andrew
3 (18.8%)

Jane
2 (12.5%)

Louise
0 (0.0%)

Selasi
16 (100.0%)

Michael
0 (0.0%)

Benjamina
10 (62.5%)

Candice
8 (50.0%)

Val
3 (18.8%)

Lee
0 (0.0%)

Kate
2 (12.5%)

Tom
0 (0.0%)

Rav
3 (18.8%)

ahahaha what

Aug. 25th, 2016 07:43 pm
ysobel: A kitten staring at its reflection; text: through the looking glass (through the looking glass)
[personal profile] ysobel
Browsing Audible, and came across this:

Game of thrones (asoiaf 1) runs 33 hrs and 50 mins.
Book 2 runs 37 hrs and 18 mins
Book 3? 47 hrs and 37 mins

For comparison, HP book 1 is 8 hrs and 33 mins. The longest book, OOtP, is 27 hrs and 2 mins. LotR is 19 hrs and 11 mins (FotR) + 16 hrs and 40 mins (TTT) + 18 hrs and 18 mins (RotK) for a total of 54h9m.

...yeah.

Sadly, one cannot search Audible's catalogue by length...

Office Hours: Aug 26 - Sep 1, 2016

Aug. 25th, 2016 08:32 am
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla
I can't believe it's almost September! Thanks for letting me know about your continued interest; I've tried to keep open as many potential time slots as I can manage, so hopefully each of you can find at least one that works for you!

The medium that I've chosen for scheduling office hours is a site called Sign Up Genius. It is pretty easy to use in my experience, and all of my kids' teachers use it for conferences, parties and such. You don't have to have an account on the site to sign up for time slots, which is pretty great - just give them your email address. They will send you a confirmation and a reminder, and nothing else. But if for whatever reason you have trouble claiming a time slot using that site, you can also comment here and I can take care of it for you.

I am only doing signups for a week at a time, because that's about how far in advance I can be fairly confident of my availability. Each week will start on Friday, and I'll post the signups for the following week on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Each signup slot is scheduled to run 90 minutes, but since they're non-adjacent, it's OK if we need to go longer. Anything Dreamwidth-related is fair game: we can talk about code you're writing, code you want to write but don't know how to proceed, code someone else wrote, or things that don't involve code at all (I hear such things exist). My only request is that you don't take more than two slots in a single week, to make sure there is enough of my time to go around. Of course, you're still welcome to catch me on IRC at other times if I seem to be around, and PMs are open 24/7. :)

Here's the link for my available meeting times for the seven-day period starting August 26:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090D45AEAD2DAAF94-office8

Small victories

Aug. 23rd, 2016 10:56 pm
ysobel: (batman)
[personal profile] ysobel
I finally figured out how to get my iPad/phone to let me say "fucking" and "fuck" without duckifying it.

Psychic Hygiene, Miasma and Me

Aug. 23rd, 2016 06:38 am
finch: (Default)
[personal profile] finch
This post was inspired by Ravew’s Purity and Devotion.

I didn’t really understand what Prozac could do, when I hesitantly agreed to medication. I thought it would reset me to my normal levels of functionality but it’s been a bit of a lightning bolt. I didn’t know what I was missing.

Knowing I had an early schedule this week, I went to bed at reasonable hours all weekend. (This turned out to be a good idea because apparently night weaning means the baby gets up at 6:30 on weekends now.) I went to bed at a reasonable hour last night despite having to do chores after the baby went to bed. I fell asleep in a reasonable amount of time, and was not kept awake by self-loathing or rehashing mistakes I made ten years ago.

I got up this morning just after five, along with my very gracious spouse who altered their schedule to accommodate mine. I felt gratitude that they were doing this for me, but not guilt. 

This is all so new. 

My practice includes no standards of purification, no states of uncleanness. It never will again. I have OCD, and am prone to being all too aware of my failures and the ways in which I am incomplete, broken and unacceptable. I drown easily in the fear of being tainted. 

My ex, at one point, would often question me when I disagreed with her: “I think you’re being influenced by nasty spirits. Work on your shielding. Work on your psychic hygiene. The real you would agree with me and with the gods.”

Staring at it now, broken down like that, it sounds ridiculous, but at the time it made perfect sense. So I banished. I prayed. I meditated. I learned a dozen shielding techniques and used them all, layer over layer. I banished some more. It was the metaphysical equivalent of washing my hands compulsively, and I had no idea what I was doing, only that I had to keep doing it or I would be infected and hurt everyone.

This was a particularly fucked up instance, but ritual uncleanliness is often a stick used for beating. Look at the taboos around menstruation. Look at the way humanity tends to turn from death, from untouchables, from lepers both literal and metaphorical.

I’m better now. I learned what scrupulosity was, and how to spot it in my thoughts, and how to chase it out. Miasma may be a useful concept for other people, but it is not and cannot be for me.

And that’s okay. My practice seems to be fine without it. My powers do not ask me to ritually purify, and there’s not really a precedent for it in heathen practice anyway. When I have the energy for cleanliness, it’s going to my apartment, because that matters more to my gods. I’m down in the mud and the blood of living and that’s just my way and the way of my powers.

The post Psychic Hygiene, Miasma and Me appeared first on Jack of Many Trades.

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Aug. 22nd, 2016 08:23 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Thankfully, I don't think anything's actually fractured from my fall down the stairs. (Did not bother going to have xrays done, because even if I had fractured my tailbone, there isn't much they can do about it except prescribe painkillers and tell you to ice it, and I can't accept painkillers from anybody but my primary prescriber and I'm already doing the ice thing, so.) Still hurts like fuckery, but I have plenty of painkillers and I've finally figured out a way to lie in bed that doesn't either a) make it hurt worse or b) make everything from my waist to my knees tense up, so.

Insult to injury: period cramps. NOW IT HURTS FRONT AND BACK, ARGH.

oh look, it's monday again

Aug. 22nd, 2016 08:22 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)

Pokémon Go: Week 5

Aug. 22nd, 2016 10:54 am
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila
I was going to post this tomorrow rather than today, but for various reasons am in dire need of cheering up. Please to share with me your Pokésquee if you have any.

  • My Spreadsheet of Evolve finally got to the point where I was ready to pop my Lucky Egg.
  • 67 evolutions in slightly over 30 minutes with eight new Pokémons registered to the Pokedex gave me 74500 XP. The egg ran out just before I finished the last one. I suspect the additional time taken for the Pokedex registrations rendered it impossible to complete them all in time for doubled points.
  • The orgy of evolve wasn’t quite as fun as I was hoping. Partly because I was nervous about getting them all done in time, and partly because frankly it’s boring evolving 11 Pidgeys and 12 Rattatas.
  • This was mitigated by watching my trainer bompf from the end of Level 20 to nearly Level 22. That wasn’t at all tedious. :D
  • Am now Level 22.
  • I now have a Wartortle. Take that, Euston Station.
  • Why did no one look at the Weepinbell and think “flying condom. no. bad idea. back to the drawing board”? Least Favourite Pokémon.
  • I have maxed out the Bird Keeper and Punk Girl medals.
  • Whenever I have grump, I go and poke the Gengar’s tummy, and then there is less grump.

Yikes

Aug. 21st, 2016 09:41 pm
ysobel: (easily distracted)
[personal profile] ysobel
Apparently I forgot to do duolingo yesterday.

Thank fuck for streak freeze, is all I have to say.

(620 and counting.)
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