The finale did not disappoint.
( SPOILERS )
Love to hear what you thought!
After games were done, my partner showed me Who Framed Roger Rabbit? out of the "You haven't seen that yet?" queue. And we watched more of The Orville, and I tested out my stand mixer by making some cookies.
Friday, in honor of the equinox, I baked a sweet cardamom loaf. Then we did a shopping run, and my partner made dinner.
These past two days have involved a lot of small gas-powered motors around. Partner has summoned a yard maintenance company to take care of some of the tree, bush, weed, and tenacious invasive morning glory things that the ex neglected in the interminable six months leading up to departure. It's been loud, but is so much better looking now. Though there are still some more things left for today, like the stack of lichen-covered branches in the driveway.
Devastation in the US and British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma and How to Help
NYT: How to Help Victims of Hurricane Maria
Hispanic Federation: Donate (choose "Hurricane Relief Effort" from the dropdown menu)
We are coming to the United States because we have to. In our increasingly interconnected world, what happens here impacts on Europe. What happens in Europe has an impact on what happens in the United States.
Last year Britain voted to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit). This would not have been possible without the intervention of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Likewise, Brexit gave Donald Trump a huge boast and convinced him and his supporters that anything was possible.
One of the main protagonists behind the Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories was Paul Joseph Watson, a 32-year-old man who lives in a flat in London. More recently, the ship charted by far right activists from across Europe in the Mediterranean was funded primarily by Americans.
From last year -- here's a Guardian piece on a Hope Not Hate workshop:
The Guardian: What does Hope not Hate actually do?
In November, I went to a Hope not Hate event at a mosque in Cardiff – a three-hour workshop on how to challenge and discuss anti-migrant and prejudiced sentiments. It drew a crowd of around 20, one or two of them local muslims and a few with migrant backgrounds, but the majority were white Welsh, many of whom had not previously been in a mosque. The organiser, Jonathan, began the session by asking what had prompted people to attend. Many described feeling worried, frustrated and in need of a toolkit for discussing race and immigration with family, friends and colleagues.
Their undercover reporter patrik_h -- looks like a cinnamon roll, will secretly infiltrate your international white supremacist network:
Dagens Nyheter: The Swede who infiltrated American Nazis
”He offered me to speak at the opening about my thesis topic: how the left has infiltrated the right. I spoke in front of 75 armed white supremacists.”
The Local.se: Meet the Swede who went undercover for a whole year with the alt-right in the US and UK
Of course, then I was scared. I mean, there was this combination of a group of young men with guns and a violent ideology. That's not a great combination.
And I like making my mark with the orange pen and getting my sticker. The first time I voted in a national election I accidentally got some orange ink on my finger in the booth, and since then I've made sure to come away with a bit of orange on me so I really feel like I've done my bit.
Beautiful sunny spring day today, that's good for turnout, and it sounds like the youth vote is up a bit, so there's some hope for progress. We'll see.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love this book. Schaffer is such a good writer. I think it's so hard to write academic criticism well. The writer has to straddle the line between knowing her stuff/making a convincing argument and coming off like a pretentious twit who's just interested in proving how large her vocabulary is and how convoluted a sentence she can write. The longer I am in the academy, the less patience I have for dense, impenetrable academic writing. Life is too short to read someone masturbating (painfully, no less!) on the page. Schaffer's writing is not conversational, but it's not convoluted either; her writing is clear and convincing. I get a sense of who she is as a scholar and a thinker; her writing is formal, but she has not attempted to absent herself entirely from the process, a conceit I find tedious in a great deal of academic writing (as if our passions and interests and biases as scholars do not inform our work).
As a Ouida scholar, what mainly draws me to this book is Schaffer's argument that Ouida is a female Aesthete who can be credited with popularizing the witty, epigrammatic language that will later become characteristic of male Aesthetes like Wilde. She also positions Ouida and other female Aesthetes as a direct influence for Modernist writers; her comments about the way that Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own explicitly denies the lives and literary output of late Victorian women writers in order to create its argument that a female literary tradition doesn't exist are quite compelling (and even shocking) in this context. Identifying Ouida as an Aesthete also helps us to understand some of the seemingly inexplicable choices she made in her personal life (the way she dressed, her love of hothouse flowers, etc) as an attempt to live out the principles of Aestheticism.
I really enjoyed learning about female some writers I didn't know anything about (Who's going to immediately start reading Lucas Malet? This gal) and developing a greater understanding of Aestheticism itself. I was also fascinated to learn that Thomas Hardy plagiarized Jude the Obscure from a Lucas Malet novel and no one caught it at the time. Schaffer puts enough of their writing side by side that the plagiarism is undeniable.
Highly, highly recommend this as a very readable work that helps define Aestheticism, tells us about the lives and literary works of both male and female Aesthetes, and helps us understand the relationship of Modernism to the Aesthetic Movement.
View all my reviews
I want to go home tonight and write; and then tomorrow I want to do ALL THE PLANTING AND GARDENING.
Stretch goal: 29/30 (Eeee!)
Women authors: 20/29
Some songs I am digging right now:
( Shark Smile by Big Thief )
( Cumberland Gap by Jason Isbell )
( Bloodbuzz Ohio by The National )
The recip for my assignment hasn't responded to any of her recent gifts, either comment or kudos, so while I think it's kind of rude not to say thank you, at least it's not personal.
Title: as the wyrm turnsI actually wanted to write a whole lot more to this - Arthur and Morgana and Merlin and Gwen all sitting down to dinner and having a conversation about magic and what it means in the world...
Characters: Merlin, Gwen
Relationships: Merlin & Gwen
Summary: Magic had laws. His mother had been a lecturer of physics at Oxford for years before her sciatica made the constant standing an agony. Hunith had been the one to teach Merlin that all energy came from somewhere, that there was nothing new under the sun, and that every action had an equal and opposite reaction. She’d also been the one to observe that her son’s abilities and gifts followed those rules...most of the time.
My second genex was a PH I picked up because I liked the recip, and because I could. It's not as brilliant as I'd envisioned it in my head (sometimes your brain does this, you know? And then it's not quite as magnificent as you thought it would be).
Title: stars of hope in dark despairI've had an idea for the story from Luke's POV for some time, and after writing this, I have ides for more Chirrut-and-Baze backstory, but the issue of time and hijacked brain is big right now...
Fandom: Rogue One
Characters: Chirrut Îmwe, Baze Malbus, Luke Skywalker
Relationships: Chirrut Îmwe & Luke Skywalker, Chirrut Îmwe/Baze Malbus (background)
Summary: There’s no palm trees, no sand, no watery inlets, no tower – not anymore. Yet Chirrut knows exactly where he is. He can feel it – hope and success in the midst of death and destruction – that this was both the ending and the beginning, like the tale of an ancient snake who endlessly swallowed its tail to represent time unending...
And a recent Captain Hill snippet:
Title: Office GossipThis was a snippet that sprang from another fic I wrote a while back - 'go down with your shield or come back upon it' - which featured Steve and Maria negotiating their relationship.
Characters: Steve Rogers, Cameron Klein
Relationships: Maria Hill/Steve Rogers
Summary: “So, I heard that Commander Hill is seeing someone.”
Steve looks sharply up from the missions Maria gave him to sign off. Then he remembers that the person Maria is seeing is him.
This one was...kind of fun. And silly. But fun, too.
It seems like I must have read more than I am remembering ... .
Anyway, I finished The Brightest Fell, by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #11), which ends pretty much on a cliffhanger. The Magic McGuffin puts Toby (mostly) back together again, but two characters she cares about very much are seriously traumatized and a slippery opponent has disappeared. Thus it goes when you are the Knight of Lost Words. My sister has suggested that I introduce my 15-year-old niece to these, and I might as well. Certainly they've kept me going for a good long while now.
I'm about three-quarters of the way through Max Gladstone's The Ruin of Angels (his new Craft novel), and I'm enjoying it immensely, despite the fact that the editor seems to have fallen down on the job. Several times, I've had to re-read sentences two or three times to make sense out of them. It's not that Gladstone blew it in any of these cases, according to the rules of grammar, but he wasn't terribly clear, and given that this is a fast-paced thriller, really, the pacing went off. Also, at one point, a character introduced as Marian becomes Miriam for a sentence, and then returns to her original name. Finally, did you know that the past tense of "sweat" (as in, what you do on a hot day, especially if you run) is also "sweat"? I, in fact, did not know that. But Gladstone does, and there's a lot of sweating going on, so I kept tripping over this.
Despite my confusion on these mechanical points, this is an awesome read. There's an extended and thrilling caper involving a Very Cool Train (making me wonder whether Gladstone has been reading Stand Still Stay Silent: see Dalahästen), and about a third of the way in, it occurred to me that all the leads, all the POV characters, and the most significant antagonist are all female, and several of them are also queer.
And Kai and Izza are back, as is Tara Abernathy. \o/
If I remember what I read between Fell and Ruin, I'll let you know.
I am starting to think that the Marriage Equality survey here in Australia will prove to be Australian Evangelicals’ ‘Trump’ moment. The ‘no’ side will win by a narrow margin, but it will be because half the people didn’t respond to the survey, and in the process, the most vicious ‘no’ responders (the 'loud and proud no' side) will have burned bridges beyond repairing for a generation already on the verge of asking, “Where is your God of mercy? We see none of His qualities in you.”
How I know I’m losing weight: my bra cups suddenly don’t fit my breasts. Which makes me feel like I’m walking around with my tits hanging out, never mind that I have two or three layers of clothing over the top.
Tonight, I have a quiet night. I don't even have to cook dinner; I prepped a lamb shoulder last night and stuck it in the slow-cooker this morning. I just have to get the sister to slice the potatoes and toss them in around midday...
I'm finally bouncing back from my last bout of chemo, which was last Monday, a week and a half ago. Worst one yet, whoo! It was compounded by the cold I caught from my student employee. I guess I was lucky to make it through without getting sick thus far, immunocompromised as I am. Whatever, at least I'm feeling better now, and the metallic grossness in my mouth is beginning to dissipate. And I [hopefully, hopefully] just have one more to go. \0/
Also...my eyelashes are beginning to grow back, which is so great. You guys have no idea how important eyelashes are, and I don't mean just aesthetically, though that is nice [and to me, almost as pleasing as the hair on my scalp]. They really do protect your eyes from dust and grit. If I didn't wear glasses most of the time I'd be tearing up constantly from all the crud in them.
The mornings are lovely and brisk. It's almost October! And almost time to start decorating the office for Halloween. SO EXCITED. Halloween is the BEST. This year, because we share space with IT now that our new building is in the process of construction, we are joining forces. They usually go crazy with spiderwebs, and I usually do full-on Gothic, so that'll be fun. I will pull all my post-mortem framed photos out of storage, and all my black spray-painted flowers and gilt candelabra and skulls and black drapery and little velvet and glitter and feathery ravens. We have a lot less surface area this year, but we'll make it work. :D
I still have my summer clothes out because it's still in the high eighties and low 90s during the day, but next week it's supposed to get down into the low seventies! Oh my goodness. Of course then we'll get hit by a wave of nothing but 93 degree weather.
This weekend, at least, I intend to transition from spring/summer to fall/winter perfumes. CAN'T WAIT. My fall/winter perfumes are a thousand times more awesome anyhoo.
My older sister and I went to see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in the cinema the day before I had my last chemo. I hadn't seen it in...oh, at LEAST fifteen years, I imagine. I forgot how good it was, though I had to close my eyes at the parts with the worms, AAAAAGH. And...were those really Ricardo Montalban's pecs? Once and for all. Cause if they were, he was cut, man. It was SO much better than Into Darkness. Sorry Benny! I love you and all, but there were years of history behind STII and genuine relationships behind the drama. I had tears pouring down my face at the end, and then, of course, I had to go home and watch the best vid ever.
In other...fashion news, a few days ago a girl came in wearing shorts that revealed the entire bottom half of her ass. Now, I genuinely want to not give a fuck about other people's fashion choices, and I don't consider myself terribly prudish, but I couldn't stop boggling. I mean, she had a nice ass and everything, so props for that...? But this was the ENTIRE BOTTOM HALF OF HER ASS. I mean, she might as well have worn a thong and left it at that. No bueno, muchacha. You're not on Spring Break. -___-
Speaking of Benny, I saw the trailer for The Current War and it looks sort of, um, boring. I'll go to see it, and I hope it's good, but I'm skeptical. If even a trailer is deadly dull, I'm terrified for the prospects of the actual movie. But I have a MoviePass, so movies are a lot cheaper if I go to see more nowadays. I am looking forward to seeing The Child in Time, though. That looks good, even though I'm not generally a fan of Ian MacEwan.
I think BC is hotter when he does flashy roles like Sherlock. I thought the same about Ewan McGregor - I loved him way more in roles like Obi-Wan and Curt Wild than in roles where he played a writer or a reporter or whatever. I suppose that says more about me and my preferences than about the actors I like.
I started watching The Defenders and got bored after the third one. I realized I was really only watching for Matt Murdock and there wasn't enough of him in it to satisfy me. If someone makes a Matt-only edit, LMK. Oh, and if they included Sigourney Weaver and Rosario Dawson that would be cool too, but the rest of them, meh. I don't even care about Jessica Jones anymore. :-/ I don't know what happened. It feels like it's trying too hard or something to be edgy, and I can't stand the dull-as-Wonder-Bread guy who plays Iron Fist at ALL.
God, I sound so cranky. I don't mean to dump on it, I just don't think it's for me anymore. :(
So, I decided to wear a wig today, because it's been freezing in the office, and a wig is way warmer than a bandana or scarf. I could wear a woolly hat, but I've got the wig, might as well wear it. And one of my death cafe pals, a cancer survivor, had a wig she never wore, so she gave it to me, so now I have two. ( Pics under cut )
I wrote last night - 1500 words! It would be great to finish my chapter this evening. I'm close to completing my CP story. I feel so guilty for taking so damn long with it. :-/
At my therapist's recommendation, I am taking up the heavy bag in order to purge some anger. I have obtained an empty canvas punching bag from one of the guys at work - need to fill it with cotton rags or old towels or blankets or something, which won't be a problem - yay thrift stores. And, I have purchased MMA gloves and liners...in PINK. Of course in pink! I want to hang the bag outside, but I'll have to wrap it in a tarp or something so it doesn't get all gross. Not that we get a lot of rain or snow, sheesh.
I'm looking forward to it. I need this, mentally. And honestly, I could use the upper body workout. I literally do NOTHING for my upper body. I need a power playlist.
I suppose that's all the news that's fit to print for now. Hope you're all having a wonderful day and night.
Hope Not Hate (Twitter: hopenothate_USA)
By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.
The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:
The International Alternative Right
New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right
Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money
As you will have noticed, I love HnH. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat). I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line, holy fuck) will be a formidable addition to the US scene.
Also they will allow you to give them money to help sue Nigel Farage, and honestly I would love them for that alone. PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY, PLEASE.
I love everything about this story:
Archaeologists digging at an island religious retreat have unearthed the remains of a porpoise that, mystifyingly, appears to have been carefully buried in its own medieval grave.
MAYBE THE PORPOISE WAS A MONK, HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THAT.
... and now I eagerly await the medieval monk were-porpoise shifter romance.
For a different kind of wonderful:
The Fader: This Artist Is Filling London With Murals Of Extraordinary Black Women
The art is gorgeous, but what I really love is that he's portraying his female friends, people who aren't famous but are ordinary/extraordinary people - a youth worker, a psychotherapist, and so on. And I love the shots of the murals with the real women posed next to them.
ETA: hlh_shortcuts. And it will be run entirely on DW. Last year sign ups started end of September. I really rec this fest as it's extremely welcoming and the mod is great.