Perfect Timing 2

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:15 pm
purplecat: The Tardis against the spiralling clock face effect of the Capaldi opening credits. (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat




I had cause to pull this off the shelf the other day in order to write a Tides of Time article. I'm sure Perfect Timing wasn't the first Dr Who charity fanfiction anthology but it was the first of a new wave that started during the "wilderness years" when the line between fan and professional Dr Who fiction was particularly blurred. Perfect Timing 2, obviously, was its follow up and charity fanfiction anthologies, as far as I can tell, have continued to be published on a regular basis ever since.
sovay: (Viktor & Mordecai)
[personal profile] sovay
I was taking pictures of the cats.

Autolycus had opinions about the camera.



[personal profile] spatch says, "This is what I see every morning at seven-thirty!"
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I just went through a new Elizabeth Wein book in 24 hours flat. *glows* The Pearl Thief is set in 1938 and features a fifteen-year-old, bisexual-as-fuck Julie Beaufort-Stuart.
sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)
[personal profile] sovay
In about an hour, I am going to see Howard the Duck (1986) on 70 mm at the Somerville Theatre. It's part of their second annual 70 mm & Widescreen Festival, which started this Wednesday and runs through the rest of the month; last year it offered me such superlative viewing experiences as Lord Jim (1965), Spartacus (1960), Sleeping Beauty (1959) and Tron (1982), and this year I am starting with a duck from another planet. We're meeting my parents for it. My father unironically loves Howard the Duck. He ranks it with '80's cult classics like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) and has always felt it deserved a sequel. I have not seen it since high school at the latest and have peculiarly fragmentary memories of the plot. The opening sequence is picture-clear: Howard on his home planet greeting a Playduck centerfold with "My little airbrushed beauty!" before being sucked through space and time into Cleveland, Ohio where he rescues a new wave chick from some lowlifes with the ancient martial art of "Quack Fu." She has a band. I want to say he ends up managing it. After that things start to break up. I remember that an eldritch thing possesses Jeffrey Jones—and that it happens for the decently Lovecraftian reason that it is never a bright idea to open a door at random into the deep reaches of space when you don't know what might be on the other side—but I don't remember the mechanism or the immediate consequences, except that I have the vague sense of a road trip. I remember that Chip Zien voices Howard, when I know him much better for his work in musical theater. IMDb tells me that this movie was also the first place I saw Lea Thompson and Tim Robbins. I'm really looking forward. Other films I am planning to catch on 70 mm include Wonder Woman (2017) and Cleopatra (1963), which should really be something on a big screen, as should an IB Technicolor VistaVision print of North by Northwest (1959). I am a little sorry to have missed The Dark Crystal (1982) earlier this evening, but it has been a long and stressful day. There's always the matinée repeat on Sunday if I really feel like it. In the meantime, there's a space duck.

[edit] Yeah, sorry, haters. Howard the Duck remains a really delightful sci-fi comedy. Lea Thompson makes a surprisingly credible new wave/punk frontwoman. Tim Robbins is so young and so gangly. Jeffrey Jones is no Emilio Lizardo, but he chews good scenery as the possessed scientist. There are practical effects. There is stop-motion. (There are too many fight scenes and things blowing up, but I feel this way about most movies with any action quotient.) And there is a road trip, with a pit stop at a nuclear power plant. The script is sweet and full of consciously comic-book dialogue and it plays its interspecies romance straight; the only joke that really pulled me up short was a tossed-off sex-change line which mercifully goes by fast. I can't imagine swapping out any of the actors, especially Zien. I had completely forgotten about Richard Kiley as the introductory narrator, B-movie style. I don't even think it's an enjoyably bad movie: I just like it. And I have seen perhaps the last remaining 70 mm print in the world. No regrets.

Dept. of Poor Kitty

Sep. 22nd, 2017 05:49 pm
kaffyr: Kitty from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (kiki cat)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Phil's Very Bad, No Good Day

Poor Phil. Our little black kitty, who we've been treating for the past couple of weeks for ear infections - and taking to the very nice vet twice in those past couple of weeks - has been, finally, diagnosed with an ear polyp. It's bleeding when it gets jostled, which is why one ear has been smelling nasty; old blood. Eurgh. It doesn't seem to hurt him too much, and it's not awfully itchy, as ear mites would be ...

... but he needs surgery. And the surgeon our vet recommended is 30 miles outside the city limits (in Buffalo Grove, oddly, where I spent 19 unpleasant months covering the community. In fact, when our vet handed BB the booklet, I thought "I'll bet this is somewhere way the fuck out, please let me be wrong," and of course I wasn't. Fucking Buffalo Grove.)  Since Phil goes unhappily nuts for the 10 minutes it takes us to drive to the regular vet, this promises to be extraordinarily stressful for him, and for us. Especially since he'll have to go out for a consult, and then back out for the actual surgery. 

It's going to cost, too, but to not do it would be wrong. There is also the possibility, we're told, that the polyp may have grown through the eardrum; and that may mean they can't remove the entire thing, and that it may grow back. Aaack. 

Poor guy, he's really so forgiving of us. He's already climbing back into my lap, and wanting to be petted. I love him, and I hate stressing him out.

In happier human news, I feel much better. And it's the weekend. So there's that. 

graphic novel book group

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:10 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I went to Graphic Novel book group once before, to discuss Bitch Planet, when the group leader, Cameron, happened not to be there. He was there today. I don't think I'll be going back.

Maybe he would be diluted in a larger group? There were only four of us. And neither I nor the other two guys, whom I know from SF book group, are very good at grabbing the talking stick. Still Cameron seemed weirdly controlling. I think more than half the time was just Cameron talking, and he didn't leave spaces where other people could start talking if they wanted to; he'd call on us, like, "What did you think of it? Was there anything else that you liked?" And whenever anyone spoke up without being called on he'd say something like, "Yes, go ahead." He'd actually interrupt a person who was speaking in order to give them permission to speak. When he said he was a history teacher I thought, that explains it.
zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)
[personal profile] zeborah
I don't know how many of these methods I'll keep up in the long-term, but I thought I'd list them in case they're of use or interest to anyone else.

Essentially I found myself in a mood to ask myself, just how much plastic is passing into the environment via my purchasing habits? Even though I send a lot of it to recycling, that's its own use of energy. Mostly I was looking at my grocery shopping:


  • I already take my own reusable bags (or reuse old plastic bags) at the checkout, and for fruit as well. I do like to get the occasional new plastic bag for use as bin-liners; I'm going to try emptying their contents directly into the red bin for a while, instead of tying the bags off and putting them in all together. But I haven't found myself throwing much into the red bin since making this resolution so no data on how that goes.

  • A 2L plastic bottle of milk every 7-10 days. And you can't even reuse milk bottles to store water against emergencies; hygiene aside, the plastic breaks down over time. Speaking of emergencies, though, I'd been considering getting a bag of milk powder for my supplies. So I thought I'd try it in every-day use. So far it's worked well in baking, yoghurt-making, hot chocolate, and morning cereal, ie all my normal uses except drinking straight from the fridge, which will wait until summer for testing. It takes a few moments extra in the morning to mix it (my preferred method: boil the jug, dissolve the powder in a bit of boiling water, then add cold to desired strength) but it's become part of my routine over the last couple of weeks so I think I will keep this one up. Bonuses: here at least it's significantly cheaper than fresh milk; no running out at inconvenient moments; and conversely no finding that it's gone sour before I've finished it.

  • A plastic bag around my bread each week. I've revived my bread-making to avoid this; to be honest it's the one I'm least likely to keep up. OTOH I have discovered that if I bake the bread and let the oven cool somewhat but not completely, it's a great place to incubate yoghurt overnight. And the bread is so tasty - it's just the time it takes. We'll see. I may just keep going through phases on it.

  • A plastic bag of muesli every week or so. I'm experimenting with pick-n-mix (taking my own bags) but pick-n-mix rolled oats alone cost about the same as (budget) prepackaged muesli. :-( Does anyone know why rolled oats and muesli come in plastic, when flour and sugar come in paper??

  • A couple of plastic packages of shaved ham every few weeks. (The recycling status of which I was never sure about, so red-binned them!) Careful attention revealed that cheap ham at the deli is cheaper than cheap ham prepackaged. Moreover today I was brave and found out that if you take your own container along they'll use that instead of a fresh plastic bag. (At least the guy I struck today did, and even set the scales to discount the weight of the container though I wouldn't have minded that little bit.) So I just need to keep organised.



Beyond plastic - I've also taken to washing dishes in a tub, and using the water on the garden. (Someone at church has set up her laundry pipes to use water from that on the garden; I think I'd just flood the house.)

And recently I came across SolarAid, a charity whose selling point is that you can 'offset your carbon' from flights you make by funding solar-powered lights for personal use (eg kids doing homework) in developing countries to replace kerosene, which besides emitting copious carbon dioxide is expensive, not that bright, and seriously unhealthy. It seems win-win-win so I looked for a catch but couldn't find any.

Anyway this came at a time shortly after a) I'd made some international flights and b) I'd received a tax rebate from last year's charitable donations so next thing you know I'd apparently donated enough to get sent an example solar light in the mail. It just arrived today, and it's cute and lightweight and works out of the packaging, and I'm weighing up whether it goes in my emergency kit or to City Mission here because goodness knows it's not just kids in the developing world who can't do homework due to lack of money for power.:-(
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
[personal profile] sovay
Even if the rest of the film were forgettable, Howard Hawks' Red River (1948) would be worth it for the climactic fight scene where Montgomery Clift and John Wayne are tragically and brutally and patriarchally beating one another's brains out and just as the audience, consisting in this case of me and [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, decides it cannot take another second of this senseless macho bullshit, Joanne Dru can't either and not only says as much, she holds both combatants at gunpoint until they cut the machismo and admit they love one another. It was a thing of beauty. ("You'd better marry that girl, Matt.") Factor in the gun-comparing scene between Clift and John Ireland and other not infrequent moments of no heterosexual explanation and the whole thing was a nice break from today's otherwise relentless grind of work, even if we weren't totally sure at the outset. It is not easy to watch a movie in the company of an active and presently tired and cranky eleven-month-old, but we managed. In other news, Fox these days is freestanding, fast-moving, can hang upside down by the knees if an adult holds them, and appears to be taking against the entire concept of pants. They like honeycake, though.

Autolycus is being heartbreakingly plaintive right now. He has a vet appointment early in the morning and it requires fasting, which is an impossible concept to explain to a cat. I let him graze all day and gave him a proper dinner at the absolute last moment, but he is attempting to convince me that, actually, in point of fact, he starved since then. We should find him some kind of special treat after the appointment, for being so brave and honest. Last night he and his sister shared in the Rosh Hashanah chicken. All cats are lunisolar.

In honor of the High Holidays, here is a post on Jewish superheroes and here is a brilliant riposte to the rather short-sighted question "How can you be Black and Jewish?"

Back to the relentless grind. At least it is almost autumn.

spring is in

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:44 am
tielan: (don't make me shoot you)
[personal profile] tielan
I have my hockey presentation night tonight, but due to a blood test, I can't eat anything and shouldn't drink anything but water after 10pm. Which is not entirely a bad thing because I don't actually feel like socialising tonight. Set INTROVERSION to ON.

I want to go home tonight and write; and then tomorrow I want to do ALL THE PLANTING AND GARDENING.

Dept. of This I Believe

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:47 pm
kaffyr: (Deficiency weekly)
[personal profile] kaffyr
You Know ...

Sitting in front of a screen, fighting codeine-generated nausea and an increasingly bleak mood, listening to Steely Dan warble about crossing one's old man back in Oregon, pleading with an unseen authority figure, "don't take me alive" ...

... is not necessarily a shining example of emotional hygiene. 

Perhaps it's time to go to bed. 

Yes, I know it's only 7:50 p.m. 

WHAT??!?!

Better late than never

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:57 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
So now we're having the summer weather we didn't get in July and August. Mellow warm clear days without a hint of rain, sun hot in the afternoon but not unbearable, cicadas singing out of season, nights what August would call cool- 16, 17- but I still use the window AC, even set at 20C. It's as much for the dryness as to avoidance allergens (bad year for those) as well as the skunk that has its sights set on being king of the block. Gratefully, I can afford this luxury because the property tax increase rebate came through to the tune of 750 dollars.

Can also afford dinner at Pauper's Pub, excellent meatloaf and a frozen margarita, out on the patio under the yellow and falling leaves of the pumpkin trees.

The Indian gardener's son has gone with grass on his front lawn. Foolish foolish Indian gardener's son. Look at your next-door's unavailing attempts to have greenery. Only one house on this street has decent grass, and bets are taken as to whether it's the real thing or an expensive kind of astroturf. Sensible people go with ground cover.

Last April's mouse was invisible except for the magically vanishing bait in the untipped tip-trap. No gnawed bread in the bread bag, no poo on the counters. But I always had a feeling that it was still around somewhere. And thus, when I carelessly left half an unpalatable green-tea mini-mooncake on the table last night, perhaps no surprise that I found much of it demolished this morning, accompanied by large (for a mouse) mouse turds. Tip-trap is now baited with mooncake, and we shall see if mouse has become any porkier since the spring.
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
[personal profile] asakiyume
I'm doing a little bit of writing with some adult learners (there may be some high school students in this class as well)--just ten minutes or so. I don't have any pedagogical reason to believe this is beneficial, except for believing that when people have pleasant experiences doing something, then that thing becomes less daunting. In other words, maybe, if the students enjoy this time writing, they'll feel more able to tackle the sort of writing you need to do to clear the hurdles in front of them. But even if that's not the case, I think people deserve a chance and a place to try out writing, just for its own sake and their own sake. So.

My first prompt for them was this quote from Fred Rogers: "You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind," which I recalled from this autotuned song made from that and other remarks of his.

I showed them some gardens.

A garden in Holyoke, created by "self-proclaimed plant geeks":


(Source)

Randyland, the garden created by Randy Gilson, a waiter and son of a single mom, in Pittsburgh, PA:


(Source)

The magic gardens of Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia:


(Source)

The blooming Cadillacs at the Cadillac ranch in Amarillo, Texas:


(Source is this Google image, whose original location is given as this video.)

The famous Zen garden at Ryōanji, in Kyoto, Japan:


(Source)

And I said, even when you think a place is barren, nothing growing, life pushes through, like in this parking lot in Boston:


(Source)

And then I asked them--what's growing in the garden of your mind? Several people wrote that they felt like the parking lot and talked about worries, but one wrote about a painting she's planning, and another compared his mind to a potato (and gave me a diagram to show it growing). It was wonderful.

What's growing in the garden of *your* mind, these days?

Daily Reading (21st September)

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:21 pm
ironed_orchid: (newsflash)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] bitesizedreading
What have you been reading today? Everything counts, from the user's manual to the back of the cereal box!

genexes

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:32 pm
tielan: (MCU - Maria/Steve)
[personal profile] tielan
One assignment, one pinch-hit.

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 turns
Fandom
: Merlin
Characters: Merlin, Gwen
Relationships: Merlin & Gwen
Rating: G
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.
I 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...

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 despair
Fandom
: Rogue One
Characters: Chirrut Îmwe, Baze Malbus, Luke Skywalker
Relationships: Chirrut Îmwe & Luke Skywalker, Chirrut Îmwe/Baze Malbus (background)
Rating: G
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...
I'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...

And a recent Captain Hill snippet:
Title: Office Gossip
Fandom
: MCU
Characters: Steve Rogers, Cameron Klein
Relationships: Maria Hill/Steve Rogers
Rating: PG
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 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.

This one was...kind of fun. And silly. But fun, too.
sovay: (Rotwang)
[personal profile] sovay
Erev Rosh Hashanah: I misplace the keys to my parents' house and cannot help with the cooking as early in the afternoon as planned, but my brother and his family turn out to have been laid low by some opportunistic bug (the preschool year has started) and don't make it for dinner after all; my father drives their roast chicken and their challah and their honeycake out to them in the evening. We eat ours after I light orange taper candles that technically belong to Halloween because that's what's in the house. The chicken is brined and stuffed with lemon halves and fresh rosemary; the huge round challah with honey drizzled lightly over its egg-washed crust is from Mamaleh's; the honeycakes are homemade and the twice-baked potatoes were introduced by [personal profile] spatch and me. I know it is not precisely the customary use of the Shechecheyanu, but I find it useful to have a prayer thank you, God, that we've made it this far. The year starts anyway, ready or not. I'd rather recognize it as it goes by. L'shanah tovah, all.

And now we're back

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:48 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
This is the crazy time of year when new babies start one per fortnight: which, yes, is better than one a week. But we're getting little babies, five or six months, and they teethe and fall sick and hate their bottles and cry piteously because the Boob has gone and everything hurts oh oh oh. Thus I spend my days patting their backs and rocking them to sleep and am sometimes paid for my labours, and come home knackered.

Possible the fatigue causes brain rot, but in fact I'd had it in mind for a while to call the gas company to ask if I'd booked my furnace check-up and if so, for when. Came home last night from two Long Island Ice Teas and a salad, to several calls on the machine. First from the gas guy to ascertain if I was at home that morning, which I wasn't; then to say he'd have to cancel because his car had broken down; and a third silence, which might have been him or, equally likely, some call centre. Dodged a bullet there, whichever. And now I *must* call the dentist to ascertain if my appointment is Oct 10 or Oct 19, because both are marked on the calendar.
Wednesday )

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:07 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Internet connection went down, though for some reason I'm still connected to the Addiction Solitaire site. For which I am grateful, you understand, but still. I hear there are people who use two thumbs to write on their phones. If *I* do that not even auto correct can guess what I mean. It's middle finger typing all the way, for me.

randomicity

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:46 am
tielan: (Sanctuary - Helen)
[personal profile] tielan
It’s kind of nice to post a humourous Captain Hill ficlet I dug up off the HD last night, forget about it, and then only remember this morning when looking at my works page to discover it has 180 hits, 40 kudos, and 4 comments already.

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.”

*grieves*

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...
moon_custafer: (Default)
[personal profile] moon_custafer

 “Bill,” from the musical Showboat, is kind of a gender-swapped “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun,” describing the beloved entirely in negatives; that works if you’re Shakespeare and the cliché you’re deconstructing is the Petrachan sonnet. I’m not sure what “Bill” is the opposite of – a beautiful man in a Leyendecker illustration, probably (there may be some kind of working-class pride intended in the list of sports he does not excel at being golf, tennis, polo, and rowing.)

 

The problem with this kind of thing is that you’re always left wondering just what the beloved *does* have going for them. Sex, maybe. That’s probably what Shakespeare was implying, and the lyrics to “Bill” date from the early twentieth century and would have to be even more covert. “It’s surely not his brain that makes me thrill.”

 

Given that within the context of the musical, the character is performing the song, but is really thinking about her husband who’s just run out on her because he can no longer deal with the fact she’s mixed-race, I can’t feel too optimistic about “Bill’s” negative virtues, but the song’s been stuck in my head for days and deconstructing the lyrics doesn’t help.

 

My brain, gentlefolk.

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