That day of the week again

Oct. 1st, 2014 03:20 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Conversations with Dorothy Allison (2012) - so good, though understandably a bit repetitive in parts as interviews tended to have to cover the same ground in intro, and sometimes in questions. I long for more novels by Allison, in particular the lesbian fantasy trilogy she teasingly mentions more than once. Why has no-one given her one of those McArthur grants? it is quite clear that to make a living she is teaching writing (and sounds as if she is an excellent teacher) at the expense of getting anything much of her own written.

Sybille Bedford, Pleasures and Landscapes: a traveller's tales from Europe (2014 edition of collection of pieces dating back to the 1940s issued 2003) - this is lovely. I picked it up in the local independent bookshop and could not resist. She is so good on the process of being a traveller and the wonderful feeling of expeditiously getting into one's hotel room and closing the door and what one wants in there (enough towels and hangers and correct voltage) and pleasingly about the pleasures of this sort of thing - comfort and efficiency and so forth - rather than the arduous mule-back trek, the primitive picturesque, etc. I like that. She is also, as one might anticipate, very good on the nosh side of things.

Noel Streatfeild, Parson's Nine (1932). A pleasant read, though one felt that she was not quite in the Charlotte Yonge class when it came to producing clearly individualised depictions of members of a large family (some of them were more in the background than others), and that EM Delafield was perhaps a little more pointed on matters such as the strains of being married to and having as a father a saintly unworldly clergyman, and philanthropic society ladies. Also, not much of a plot - more of an 'and then' narrative, and also perhaps a bit too shiftingly episodic between characters (what happened to the suffragette governess after the War? given how central she was in the early part) - although the ending was neat.

Also some Sekkrit Projket books.

On the go

Peter's Room for the Marlowverse group read.

Up next

I had a bit of a spate of ordering things at the weekend, and am in hopes of, in particular, the new Jane Haddam turning up before too long.

The Good Wife 6.02

Oct. 1st, 2014 11:33 am
selenak: (Alicia and Diane - Winterfish)
[personal profile] selenak
I had the chance to watch one more tv episode before hitting the road again, and thus:

it's the first time we did this, isn't it? )
oursin: Frankie Howerd, probably in Up Pompeii, overwritten Don't Mock (Don't Mock)
[personal profile] oursin

I have seen a couple of links to reports about a couple who are Christian swingers - and of what appears to be a somewhat evangelical end of the spectrum vis a vis belief systems.

One report suggested that what they were doing was setting up a swingers' contact system for people in that exact same situation. The other suggested that they were using swinging as a missionary opportunity.

But what particularly struck me was that they self-identified as seriously fitt gym-goers, and they were all NO FATTIES WANTED.

This struck me as far more problematic than the swinging.


Oct. 1st, 2014 08:13 am
selenak: (Three and Jo by Calapine)
[personal profile] selenak
Fandom can be frustrating sometimes, but it is also excellent for distracting from a depressing rl experience. Therefore, something which worked on me this morning:

When Jo Grant met Twelve, aka, Katy Manning and Peter Capaldi are adorable and I love them. Also someone should create an icon from this picture.

Marvelverse fanfiction:

Tinker Tailor Super-Soldier Spy (13726 words) by littlerhymes
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Nick Fury/Alexander Pierce
Characters: Nick Fury, Steve Rogers, Peggy Carter, Alexander Pierce, James "Bucky" Barnes, Jim Morita
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Alternate Origin Story, Cold War, Spies & Secret Agents, Action/Adventure

Steve survives World War II. In 1972, he and Director Carter team up with a young Nick Fury to investigate a mission gone wrong.

Described by the author as writing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the scriptwriters of which sasid they were going for a 1970s thriller type of story, as an actual 1970s thriller. Therefore, Steve Rogers never ended up frozen. What I love about this retelling/AU, not confined to, but mainly: 1) It's Nick Fury centric (Nick Fury doesn't get enough love in this fandom), 2.) Director Peggy Carter in her 50s is awesome, 2.) While the backstory is that she and Steve split up some time as a couple some time after the war because she didn't want to be Mrs. Captain America and he wasn't comfortable with her Director-of-SHIELD ambiguity, they're still firm friends, which isn't just claimed but shown, and best of all, the split didn't happen just so the story can get Steve together with Bucky (who spends it, as he does the movie, in the not-conductive-to-romance brainwashed Winter Soldier state).

This is just,,, no... I can't even...

Sep. 30th, 2014 10:14 pm
oursin: C19th engraving of a hedgehog's skeleton (skeletal hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

[H]e claimed he sent the messages to exercise his right to freedom of speech and to “satirise” the issue of online trolling.
Labour MP says Peter Nunn, who was jailed for 18 weeks for threatening her on social media, led her to install panic button

And he's claiming that it was what, some kind of performance art?

Or classic case of 'That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means'?

Was a bit tempted...

Sep. 30th, 2014 07:59 pm
oursin: Painting of Clio Muse of History by Artemisia Gentileschi (Clio)
[personal profile] oursin

Well, actually, after I had already sent the email to the media researcher saying 'not a historian of early modern medicine', and not saying, 'so not about the What did they really die of thing', the thought occurred to me -

- that with a very minimal amount of mugging up, me and the Famous Shirt could probably go on telly and sound pretty authoritative in a brief soundbite.

(Telly researchers, by the way, never seem to google anything, otherwise they might have twigged that the C16th is not my patch, and deaths of people around the monarchy, not that either. But even though I try to eschew watching history programmes, even in the ones I've been in I have been moved to ask the heavens, 'Y O Y did they ask X to say anything on this subject?' Sometimes they are even visibly struggling. So perhaps as long as they can describe a person as 'historian' it doesn't really matter what they are a historian of.)

Also, I think that 'different theories of what the actual cause of death was' does not amount to 'controversy', rather that simply that there could be several possible explanations. When a woman dies some days after giving birth following an arduous labour, I don't think we need to start invoking sinister conspiracy. Maybe there's a desire to know The Real Facts but even if we had the contemporary case records, whether these would decode to anything that we could define in modern medical terminology, Clio alone knows.

Once upon a Time 4.01

Sep. 30th, 2014 02:22 pm
selenak: (Regina by etherealnetwork)
[personal profile] selenak
Oh cracky fairy tale show of my heart, you're back!

Spoilers would never let Sleepy drive )

'Ello? 'Ello? (anybody there?)

Sep. 29th, 2014 08:14 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

I note that people are joining up, or begging for invites to, the new social network Ello, which is being marketed as the alternative to FaceBook after FB suddenly decided to crack down over the Real Name issue (sigh). (At the moment it looks pretty much like crickets and tumbleweeds over there, it's all stark mimimalism and white space, but what do I know. It is after all still in beta and invite-only.)

There has already been a certain amount of critique:
Goodbye, Ello: Privacy, Safety, and Why Ello Makes Me More Vulnerable to My Abusers and Harassers
No, I am not interested in joining your proprietary social network
The social networks we already have are not giving us what we want. We’re turning to the new thing because it’s new, not because it’s good

Do I want/need yet another social space online? I feel that I'm already pretty much maxxed out on places I hang out and chat with friends, ascertain what's new on the Rialto, etc.

My main space is DW - increasingly more of a salon than an agora, now that the latter function seems to be much more happening on FB and Twitter - and LJ since I still have legacy people there who haven't made the jump and aren't likely to.

FB is a mishmash of DW/LJ people (some no longer active in those places), academic/professional connections, family, etc etc; ditto, pretty much, Twitter (not so much family, for some reason). G+ doesn't seem to be particularly happening - I am still getting circled by total strangers, I skorn this practice utterly.

More niche sites where I have a presence are and GoodReads.

I did have a Diaspora login but haven't visited it for a very long time and have forgotten my details.

I haven't updated my professional blog for months.

Do I really want another place, however cool and happening? Not really. If there does come about a mass exodus there of people I'm connected to I can rethink then.

Oh no!

Sep. 29th, 2014 01:34 pm
selenak: (Old School by Khalls_stuff)
[personal profile] selenak
I just found out Maggie Stables died. . Peaceful and in her sleep, which is a good way to go, of course. But Evelyn Smythe, whom she played on the Big Finish audio adventures, was such a great character. As Colin Baker says, she was the definite Sixth Doctor Companion; she redefined him. And their audible chemistry was just delightful.

Perhaps because she was the first Companion who was introduced as an older person, Evelyn dealing with her mortality - not the chance she could be killed during an adventure, but the normal human fragility of her aging body - was a red thread through many of her adventures. A bit like Laura Roslin on BSG who gets introduced in the scene in which she gets her terminal diagnosis, and whose survival beyond the end of the show would have felt like cheating, Big Finish didn't just tease out this with Evelyn. And because the audio adventures don't have to happen in a linear fashion, we got Evelyn's goodbyes - to her Doctor, the sixth one, in Thicker than Water, and to the seventh one in A Death in the Family - without this meaning the end of Evelyn; there were adventures starring her made after this which simply preceded those goodbyes in chronological fashion. And Maggie Stables never sounded weary or routine-esque. I recently heard two adventures which paired her and the Doctor with Victorian trickster Thomas Brewster, and Evelyn sounded as vibrantly compelling as ever. Even when, in a spacesuit, she faced possible death (again) and still loved the wonder of the moment.

I'm so glad Big Finish cast Maggie Stables as this wonderful character. We could say goodbye to Evelyn, knowing it was au revoir really because of that non-linearity of adventures. Not anymore, and yet, those goodbyes feel a bit comforting now. I think I'll listen to them again.

(no subject)

Sep. 29th, 2014 09:29 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] violsva!


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