Matters go flying out of my hands

May. 29th, 2015 11:06 am
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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

That merry gossip Miss D-, who has lately become part of the set at my soirees, tells me that Sir B- W-'s fearsome old mother has come to Town, desiring (or ordering) him to accompany her to Bath, as she has been advised by her physician to take the waters there. The on-dit, she adds, is that she is extremely desirous to see grandchildren, and is determined to see him married and in the way to providing them.

While this was a blow to my plans that he might make an honest woman of Miss G- (it being not unknown for men of his rank to marry their mistresses), I am persuaded that he is unlikely to cast her off, being a man of habit and unlike Mr O'D, no indiscriminate womaniser.

So it thus perchanced that he was not present at my next soiree.

We were already a convivial group - Miss G- at cards with Mr H- and General Y-, Mr F- discoursing with Mr B-, Misses L- and McK- looking over their music, &C, when Hector shows in Mr E-, Sir Z- R-, and an unknown gentleman wearing clerical bands. Mr E- and Sir Z-R- kiss my hand, which has become the custom for my regular visitors, and introduce their dear friend Mr T-, who is in Town and staying with Mr E-. Calling on the latter to go together to my soiree, Sir Z- R- persuades Mr T-, with whom he is now well-acquainted after his sketching excursion to see the wombatt, to come along with them. For I told him, Madame C-, that he will not find genteeler or more elegant company or better conversation anywhere in London.

Mr T- is by no means as old as I had imagined: not above thirty at my estimation, somewhat plain but by no means ugly, with bright brown eyes that scan the company after he makes his bow.

Had he been expecting flaunting doxies he must have been disappointed: Miss G- it is true is as usual somewhat decolletee, but far less than many duchesses; Misses L- and McK- have come from a drawing-room recital; Miss A-, being quite nauseated with the elaborate costumes she is obliged to wear on-stage, goes into company very simply attired; and Miss D- affects an almost Quakerish plainness of dress, though moves in such a fashion as to give glimpses of her very fine ankles.

Mr E- notes Mr F- is of the company and goes over to invite him to visit his laboratory. Mr T-'s gaze falls on the gaming table and he stiffens like a pointer, with an expression as of a schoolboy that spies a pastry-shop. I am about to introduce him to Mr P-, who will hold him in conversation about The Stage for as long as he can, but I am thwarted by Sir Z- R- laying a hand on my arm and desiring a word.

As I turn with an agreeable smile to Sir Z- R- I see Mr T- head for the card table like a greyhound loos'd from the slips. I have seen about the place, says Sir Z- R-, a woman like an African Queen. I am commissioned for a large canvas of the embassy of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon and she is my very notion of that lady, who is reported black.

That, says I, is my housemaid, Phoebe, sister to Hector (and this recalls to me my intention of promoting her housekeeper and finding an undermaid). She is indeed a fine figure of a woman. Sir Z- R- beseeches me to ask whether she will sit to him for his painting, and I agree to do so, with only the proviso that I trust he will pay her generously, and that Hector may chaperone her. He is also a fine figure, remarks Sir Z- R-, and would serve as a model for her guard.

It is now too late to prevent Mr T- joining the card players, and I see the famous supposed diamond bracelet flashing on Miss G-'s arm as she displays her lovely hands in cutting and dealing the cards and distributing counters. In comes Mr N- to further distract with apologies for his lateness, being about the business of the nation in Whitehall, and making me some foolish compliments. I introduce him to Miss D-, Mr P- he already knows.

Mr F- and Mr E- are chatting by the supper table. Mr E- turns to me and remarks that my chef seems to understand very well the chymical processes that turn uncomestible materials into exquisite delights for the palate. I had not, says I, previously thought in such terms of the matter, and I do not employ a chef, but would match my cook Seraphine against any of them. Oh, says Mr E-, doubtless she proceeds on innate instinct and a little tradition. Mr F- comments that it has seemed to him that Seraphine is constantly developing her art and indeed, is a bold experimentalist of the kitchen. Really, says Mr E-, I would very much desire converse with her. I respond that I should have to ask her whether this would be agreeable to her.

At the card table, Mr H- and General Y- have long since departed, casting up their hands at Mr T-'s facility. He and Miss G- were for some while at some two-handed game, but have now moved to the chess-board which I keep set up lest anyone fancy a match, and because it is a very finely carved set. I would that I could think the low conversation between the two heads bent over the board was all of rooks and knights and pawns, but cannot persuade myself that this is so.

That horse, I fear, has bolted and it will prove futile now locking the stable door.

Not really my sort of novel

May. 28th, 2015 07:10 pm
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
[personal profile] oursin

Though will admit that some of the British versions are dear to my heart (o hai, Arnold Bennett) this was not quite that.

Anyway, this was one version of the one of the young(-ish) man with wider ambitions who finds himself in an unsympathetic provincial milieu, sitting next to me on the flight home.

(I had had some hope that the seat next to me would remain empty, but they let on a group of passengers who had been on a connecting flight that was late, right at the last minute.)

Anyway, comes and sits down next to me a young(-ish - maybe 30 or so?) man, being ebullient in conversation with the other latecomers.

After take-off, when the landing-cards are distributed, he asks whether I have a pen he can borrow, and we fall into conversation.

I initially thought his exuberance was a)American b) due to being one of those enthusiastic bouncy-Labrador-puppy characters, but on the basis of the number of tiny bottles of vodka he managed to put away, realised it it v likely that he had already drink taken before boarding.

So, it became revealed that his life was not what he would have wished. His journey was undertaken in connection with a relationship for which he did not hold out happy prospects. He had had a place on a prestigious graduate programme in the field he wished to pursue but this had not worked out. He was working in his father's (comfortable middle-class) business Somewhere in the Mid-West, and did not find either the career or the environment congenial.

He seemed utterly and vociferously thrilled to discover himself seated next to somebody who read books, and could make literary jokes and allusions, went to the theatre, etc, even if the recognition of my qualifications did not deter him from a certain amount of mansplaining, along with what threatened to become 'and let us become BFF forever'.

By the time we landed he appeared to be in the throes of a severe hangover and I was tempted to offer him one of the more potent painkillers from my handbag.

But, anyway, this struck me as being a little vignette scene in some novel of not yet quite male midlife crisis about having so far failed to affront his destiny.

For some reason, this essay on being struck dumb when asked to recommend books. resonated.

(no subject)

May. 28th, 2015 01:53 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] genarti, [personal profile] green_knight and [personal profile] sartorias, and a day in arrears (thrown off by travel) to [personal profile] redroanchronicles!
the_comfortable_courtesan: (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

I was delighted to receive Mr F- into my household once again: Seraphine immediately cooked a fine dinner, and Hector disclos'd that he had been studying some of the finer points of valeting with Lord G- R-'s man Frederique (whom we all suspect of having been born plain Fred Brown) with the intention of serving Mr F- even better in this respect. Docket furbished me up for the evening as if I were expecting royalty (which has so far not chanced to be my lot but I can scarcely, with reflection, regret this except for the cachet it supplies).

After the elegant and substantial repast Seraphine had supplied, I poured Mr F- a glass of good brandy (Mr H- has the prettiest little mansion on the Channel coast near Brighton, where he deems the air extremely sanitive, and one can obtain certain goods in the locality at unusually low price, a benefit he is willing to pass on to his friends), and enquired after the success of Mr H-'s prescription of Harrogate for Mrs F-.

Mr F- was delighted to report that she was a new woman, or rather, the former Mrs F- restored to health and vitality. But alas, he goes on, though she is so much better in herself the opinion of the profession is that the risk remains in further familial increase.

I look thoughtfully down into my own glass, and remark that it appears to me that Mr F-'s feelings towards his good lady are not merely the respect he has for her as a mother and housekeeper, the value he places on her services as his trusted lieutenant in the ironworks, but also that he loves her quite ardently in the manner of man for woman.

He sighs and confesses that, from when he first saw her and began his courtship, until the birth of dear little Quintus, he had eyes for no other woman but her and their marriage-bed was indeed a place of great happiness to them both. But I could not, he goes on with a slight catch in his voice, bear to lose her - I was quite frantic when it seemed I might.

My dear Mr F-, says I, this may not be my place to intervene, but women such as myself are privy to certain secrets of our trade just as, I daresay, you yourself have certain secrets respecting the manufacture of iron. One of these secrets is the evasion of the consequences of amorous pleasures.

He does not denounce this as flagrant immorality and interference with the ways of nature, so I proceed to outline the various measures that one might take, and he shortly takes out his memorandum book and a pencil in order to make notes on my suggestions.

I understand, he says, that some of the Utilitarian philosophers have made this counter-charge against the exceedingly melancholy predictions of Mr Malthus, but while I have much sympathy with their views I also find them often impracticably idealistic. However, you bring a certain practical experience to the matter.

I must, he continues, discuss this over with Mrs F- but I have certain signs that she would not be averse to resuming warmer conjugal relations. He puts his memorandum book back into his pocket and adds with a boyish grin that he has been thinking much upon the pleasures of our own reunion during our late extended separation.

Multifandom news and a rec

May. 28th, 2015 08:24 am
selenak: (John Silver by Violateraindrop)
[personal profile] selenak
It's good to know that Bryan Fuller's American Gods adaption is still on, and progressing. (Not just because I'm looking forward to the Fuller-meets-Gaiman result, but because I would like a Fuller series I can watch again. Says she who tried and disliked Hannibal, thus gave it up after eight episodes.) Meanwhile, I've just seen a (German) tweet to the effect that they want to do a remake of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Methinks someone took notice of the fact that Penny Dreadful is drawing an audience and recalled they still have the Alan Moore property. Dear movie makers who own the LoeG rights: I didn't see your first movie because your git of a director and your idiot of a producer gave an interview before it ever came out in which they said they changed the set up from Mina being the leader to Alan Quatermain being the leader because "can you imagine Sean Connery taking orders from a woman?" So if you want me to watch a new film version, pray go back to the Moore, let Mina stay the leader (and don't change her into a vampire, the entirely human sharp tongued take charge woman of the first two LoeG volumes will do nicely), and if you must add non-Moore characters, don't let these be Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer. Go for Lydia Gwilt from Armadale and Marian Halcombe from The Woman in White instead.

Yesterday I got a mail informing me the BBC will stop its Global iPlayer service, so that was depressing. Whyyyyy, BBC? I loved watching your shows in my trusty iPad! Has the newly confirmed Cameron slashed your budget that much already? On the bright side of BBC news, though, they're planning an adaption of A Place of Greater Safety. Considering this is the Hilary Mantel novel I love, whereas I have mixed "yes, BUT" feelings about the Thomas Cromwell novels, I hope this will indeed come to pass. Not least because: a British production about the French Revolution in which the French revolutionaries are the heroes and there's not a heroic aristocrat, British or otherwise, in sight, that will truly be a first one. (There are some sympathetic aristocrats in Mantel's novel - poor trying-to-do-the-right-thing Lafayette who gets loathed by Marie Antoinette and the Jacobins alike for his trouble, Mirabeau as the gifted and corrupt but not evil type, oh, and Mantel has fun giving a few scenes to the author of Les Liasons Dangereuses since he's Philippe d'Orleans' sidekick for a while - but they're all supporting, not major characters.) I'm also looking forward to bisexual Camille Desmoulins, a tragic instead of evil Robespierre and hope that whoever gets cast as Danton has the necessary charisma (and voice!). Finger crossing for Alex Kingston as Annette Duplessis - for Lucille, I have no opinion yet.

And lastly, because Elementary is so much on my mind these days, a fanfic rec:

When You Know I Can't Love You (3319 words) by AxolotlQueen
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Elementary (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson, Sherlock Holmes & Kitty Winter
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Joan Watson, Kitty Winter, Jamie Moriarty | Irene Adler
Additional Tags: Character Study, Platonic Love, Mental Health Issues, Mentions of addiction, Past Sherlock Holmes/Jamie Moriarty | Irene Adler, Gray aromantic Sherlock, Loneliness

He had thought himself, for a long time, incapable of love. Some people simply are, after all.

A character study of Sherlock and various kinds of love.

Wednesday is seriously jetlagged

May. 27th, 2015 07:08 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

For reasons which may be apparent, not much. Finished The Door into Sunet, which held up better than I remembered, and at least doesn't leave one on a massive cliff-hanger waiting for the long-delayed final volume.

Picked up as a freebie at Wiscon, Clay and Susan Griffith, The Shadow Revolution (2015), first in a trilogy involving occult goings on in an AU, generically and not very well-worked-out 'Victorian' London (felt earlier to me). Possibly if I had felt more drawn by the characters, the plot and the writing I could have borne with the fuzziness of the period, but, really, if we posit a date by which Bedlam had moved across the river to what is now the site of the Imperial War Museum, I think that by that date the Commissioners in Lunacy might have had something to say about Orrible Experiments being done in the basement (I really do not care if that's a spoiler). Also, all the main characters seem to be carrying dark secrets or at least Complicated Backstory, which may, I suppose, get clarified in subsequent volumes. Do I care.

Found at Wiscon - Aqueduct were also carrying Twelfth Planet Press books - the second Livia Day mystery, Drowned Vanilla (2014), which does not have an e-edition and which I was reluctant to buy in non-virtual form with postage from Australia. This was a great read for a dreary plane journey (though I may post further about the incident that made me feel like a character in somebody else's novel, and not a novel in the sort of genre I normally read). Enormous fun, if at the cosier end of the crime spectrum. The novella which falls between the two full books is purportedly coming out as an ebook but so far is No Can Haz.

On the go

Christine Lloyd, Doing Time on Planet Earth (2015) and possibly that title is giving me a clue to characters who seem to have learnt English from US and UK noir movies... it's got some lovely touches and a real sense of place and particular time, and I should add that it is self-published by a social media friend.

I just picked up Marjorie Bowen, The Rake's Progress (1912), nothing to do with Hogarth, a romance set in generic-ish C18th or so but nicely done, and having the ruined nobleman sell himself into marriage for money was probably quite shocking at that date.

I'm also dipping into The Wiscon Chronicles 8 and 9 but my head is not really in the place for these at the moment.

Up next

No idea. I have been saying for ages that I ought to do some Tanith Lee re-reading, and this seems like it might be the occasion.


This is a very peculiar list on Buzzfeed of Greatest Books by Women: How Many Have You Read which skews strongly North American and late C20th onwards. I scored just over 50% - too many instances of That Book By Whoever that I hadn't read rather than any that I had, and some things where I was going, you know, I think I did read that, back in the day, and I did not count things I bogged down in.

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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Mr F- wrote that he was hopeful that Mrs F- would shortly be returning home. In the meantime, he was vastly indebted to Mr E- of the Royal Society, a chymist whose studies on the properties of iron had been invaluable to him, and thus he would be greatly obliged if I could send Mr E- a card for one of my soirees. He is a most conversable fellow, and passionately fond of music. Well, says I to myself, this is what some would term a sign.

I therefore writ a dainty note to Mr E-, desiring the honour of his company at my next soiree, at which, I added, Signor V- would delight us with his virtuosity on the violin (Signor V- was a long-time patron of Miss L-, and she was only too happy to do me the favour of persuading him to this performance).

Miss G- was busy at the card table with a set composed of Sir B- W-, Mr H-, and Mr N-, of the Home Office, a current suitor to my favours. I was curiously undecided as to whether to grant these, even though I would have told any other woman in a similar case that dithering over such an eligible offer was foolishness.

She was thus thoroughly preoccupied at the far side of the room when Mr E- is shown into the room by Hector. He makes a pretty bow, looks about him with appreciation, and then Mr R-, or, as we must now style him, Sir Z- R-, comes up and claps him on the back.

Imagine my distress, dear sir, he says, that I was unable to attend your latest conversazione, where I hear Mr T- discoursed most interestingly about his attempted antipodean garden (Sir Z- R- is quite passionately intrigued by the antipodes, but since even a pleasure cruise on the river in calm weather gives him severe mal de mer, there is little prospect of his visting them.)

I am sure, says Mr E-, Mr T- would be delighted for you to visit his garden, where he also has some examples of the strange fauna of those parts. While the platypus (do we not all long to see a living specimen?) died on voyage, he has a thriving young wombatt and several birds. He has a very snug living in Essex which lies within the gift of his family, a cosy vicarage with an extensive garden which he devotes to this enterprise, as well as a pretty little sum left him by his uncle that was in the Hon Company's service, indeed I wonder he does not put in a curate and devote himself to scientifick pursuits.

Ho, says General Y-, joining the conversation, was that old T- of the Bombay service? He was known to have shaken the banyan tree as we put it, to great effect, provided handsomely for his family by his bibi as well as doing well by his relatives in England.

Mr E- says he believes this was so. The late Mr T-, he understands, also presented some fine Indian curios to the British Museum. Sir Z- R- wonders whether Mr T- would receive a sketching party as there will surely be great interest in the wombatt and the curious plants. A jaunt to Essex in the fine weather we are having would be most pleasant, he adds.

In comes Signor V- with Miss L-, carrying their books of music, followed by Miss McK. Both the ladies are looking exceeding well.

While I am encouraged to hear that Mr T-'s mind is not exclusively on mathematicks, and that he is at least not a poor man, it is still undeniable that he is a man of the cloth and thus unsuitable for Miss G-'s thoughts to linger upon.

Meme: Ten Fics That Stayed With You

May. 27th, 2015 09:44 am
selenak: (Borgias by Andrivete)
[personal profile] selenak
From [personal profile] intrigueing and [personal profile] muccamukk:

In a new post, list ten fic that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow.

I'm sure I could come up with ten more, but these are the ones that came immediately to mind (and which I could find again online!):

1.) From Me To Q by Julia Houston (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Star Trek in its first three incarnations is one of my oldest fandoms, and the time when TNG and then DS9 were broadcast was when I started to get aquainted with fanfiction, first via fanzines and then via the earliest online archives. Finding this particular story was like striking gold. It's TNG; it's plotty, like a well written episode complete with ethical dilemmas; it's Picard/Q (which was what I was looking for when finding the story) but uses the entire TNG ensemble well; it takes the most reviled of fanfic clichés, the Mary Sue, and gives it a highly original twist. (Well, back then it was original, for all I know, it's been often imitated since.) Also, the dialogue sparkles. In short, I fell in love, so much so that I gave Voyager, which I had almost given up upon, another shot, simply because Julia Houston back then was also writing Voyager reviews and I adored her writing that much.

2.) Last Set Before Closing, by Kat Allison. (Highlander: The Series). HL was another early online fandom of mine, and this story left me shaken and breathless the first time I read it. On the surface, not much happens in this tale, which is set several years after the series ended; Joe Dawson is very old, not far from death, and his mind has started to wander; Duncan visits. Behind that simple description hides one of the best and most gutwrenching stories I've read in any fandom, which at once gives us the relationship between Joe and Duncan, and how both of them relate to Methos, about friendship, about mortals and immortals, and at the same time manages to say something very personal to anyone who has an older relative. (Until then, I don't think I had ever read fanfiction tackling a rl subject such as aging, its physical and mental decline, so unflinchingly, and with a beloved character, no less.) Another reason why I love it is this: at the time when it was first posted, its take on Methos was pretty much unique and went directly against how most fans then wrote him. (Probably still does.) And yet I find it entirely plausible.

3.) Changed Utterly by Parda (Highlander: The Series). Another HL story. Parda was a writer I interacted with a lot during my HL days, both as a reader and as a writer. This story is still my favourite of hers, and at the time it was first posted struck me as one of the best meditations onf grief and surviving I had read i nthe fandom. It's set about a year after the show ends, wherein Duncan is still dealing with Richie’s fate, when he sees Cassandra again. Not present in body but very much in thought are Methos, Connor and Richie. What to do when you’ve both done and experienced the unforgivable is a question with a dozen answers and none, and all the characters here are dealing with it. Poetic and profound.

4.) Father's Heart by Fernwithy ( Star Wars). Still my favourite Star Wars story, many years later (this was written shortly after The Phantom Menace was released). Set between trilogies, it pulls off something a lot of people tried since, and does so in a credible way: Vader and the child and later teenager Leia forming a tentative friendship, which falls apart with a vengeance as she grows older and experiences the Empire at its worst. In addition to a terrific take on Leia and Vader, Bail Organa and his wife (who in this version is one of the former handmaidens, Sabé) as well as some original characters are compellingly written. ( Not to mention it caters to two of my narrative soft spots: non-romantic intense relationship, relationship that breaks up because of politics and ethics (and rightly so). ) I was only ever at the periphery of SW fandom, not least because I happen to like the prequels, but this story made me search for and read a lot of SW fanfiction for a while. It was years before I found its match.

5.) Freefall by Penknife (X-Men movieverse). This is an X2 AU, ensemble story, Scott pov, and one of the earliest [personal profile] penknife stories I read. X2 had just been released. As after X1, I hunted for stories that weren't Wolverine/Rogue. Hard to imagine for current day fans, but back then it was actually difficult to find Magneto/Xavier stories, or stories that featured Mystique in a prominent role, or stories that featured Scott at all. Bingo, thought I, when I found this one, and little did I know I had also found a favourite writer in many fandoms more. Oh, and I think this was the first AU I really liked (the twist is that Scott realises a bit sooner what's going on during the prison visit at the start of the movie, with the result that he and Xavier end up as fugitives together with Magneto and Mystique; it's Jean who gets captured instead). Until then, I had avoided AUs. After reading it, I gave them a shot.

6.) Ten Thousand Candles by Andraste. This is another early story by a future favourite writer; Charles Xavier post X2, trying to cope with all that happened (read: spoiler for big X2 twist )). Back then, Charles Xavier centric stories were incredibly rare; stories in which he wasn't either the wise mentor type or trying to win Erik back were even rarer. What he experiences in X2 is pretty horrifying, and I loved finding a story which addressed that. Of course, Andraste turned out to be the biggest Xavier expert in the planet, but I didn't know that then. :)

7.) Bed of Bones by Roz Kaveney (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): I had spotted Roz on a couple of Buffy discussion mailing lists (remember those?), but this was the first BTVS or fanfiction in any fandom tale of hers that I had read, and it was sharp, poetic, and made the First Slayer(about whom at this point we only knew what Restless had mentioned) into a fascinating character. I was wowed. It also raised my standard of expectation re: fanfiction creating mythology in present day or futuristic fandoms to no end.

8.) Queen of Spades by Astolat (James Bond: Casino Royale): Ah, ye golden days when the Craig Casino Royale had been released and for the first time in my life I actually went and looked for Bond fanfiction, because Dench!M and Craig!Bond dynamic in that movie had gripped me in and fascinated me. (I had also loved Eva Green as Vesper and her relationship with Bond, but not in a way that made me look for fanfic.) And again, I hit gold. I think this probably was the first Bond/M story online. It set a most pleasing trend - for the next few years, you could rely on Yuletide including some great and sharp Bond and M fanfiction. (And then came Skyfall which brought the avalanche of Bond/Q and the Bond movies were no longer qualified for Yuletide, but that's another story.) Now, most combinations that have one character in a position of power over the other character are hard to sell to me as pairings, but there are exceptions, and Queen of Spades made me realize Dench!M and Craig!Bond were such an exception for me, because wow. (It also made me realise that I had a new story or rather old story archetype, not necessarily always as pairings, I love the gen variations, too, but: Morally ambiguous queens and their morally ambiguous battered knights, bring them on! Though only if the Queen is the older of the two. Read: Dany/Jorah does nothing fo rme.)

9: Working Order by Eatscissors (Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles). John/Cameron is a pairing that intrigues me but which I find more interesting on the actual show than in most of fanfiction, because, imo as often, fanfic tends to simplify and dispense with much that makes this particular relationship so layered, starting with the fact that Cameron is a machine, no matter what she looks like.Some spoilery ramblings about John and Cameron on the show ensue. ) Working Order, by contrast, addresses this and the other issues between them head-on while also being one of those stories where the explicit sex is part of the character exploration instead of reading as just being there for its own sake. For a reader like me who often finds sex scenes (both slash and het) reading like involuntarily funny gymnastic mannuals, with the participants interchangable to other fandoms and thus not very interesting, this was an eye opener. Really well written.

10.) Petrarchan Sonnets from the Vatican by Petra (The Borgias): I was and am grateful for all the stories I got in exchanges, and often loved them to bits, but this one will always remain special. Its just that awesome. It's a story in the guise of a fake article about the discovery of sonnets between L.B. (now who could that possibly be in Borgias fandom?) and person unknown, female and apparantly her tutor. Complete with the sonnets. And the commentary. Absolutely delightful, needless to say, poetic (my Yulewriter's ability to compose Petrarchan Sonnets with clever allusions to events from the show's first season still stuns me), and full of subtlety, and the wit and love for language that the characters in question display on the show as well (and did in history). (And now I'm grieved again that the Lucrezia and Guilia relationship post s1 fell by the wayside on the show, but never mind me.) If I could ensure that just one bit of Borgias fanfiction survives, this would be it.

O, O'Hare, WiFi faaaailll

May. 26th, 2015 06:33 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

It takes forever to get a connection, then it takes forever to get any info or login screen, the free 20 minutes is weak and unreliable, and it seems the only way to get connected is to pay evil Boingo and try to remember to cancel the subscription in due course.

As I have hours yet to my flight, since the weather in Madison was so horrible I took the earlier bus, I decided to pony up. I just hope signal is reliable enough to justify it.

I thought the situation was better last time I was here. Or another terminal?

Fury Road and Agency

May. 26th, 2015 05:07 pm
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)
[personal profile] brigid

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

Just saw “Mad Max: Fury Road” and it was utterly fantastic in so many different ways. Is it a perfect movie? No, of course not. But one thing I noticed was how many of the marginalized characters had agency, made their own decisions, controlled their own lives. There’s spoilers in this, so I’m going to tuck the text behind a fold.

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