The weather (90% chance of rain tonight) does not look promising for an enjoyable evening of baseball. Or possibly any baseball. ETA: we got a covered area for tonight!

There's also a possibility of rain for tomorrow night, which is Shakespeare in Clark Park, but I'm still holding out a tentative hope it will happen. It's "Coriolanus" this year, and my friend L. expressed a desire to go as well.

Rainy days are good days for going to (indoor) movies, though. So that's a possibility for Saturday. "Atomic Blonde" will be out, I think.

I tried out a new machine at the gym last night. I think it was an elliptical but it was harder than the ones I usually use; I did fifteen minutes on that, after squats/deadlifts/overheads with barbell. That shoulder issue I was having seems better, and I had chair massage beforehand, which also helped. I did the overheads with the barbell only. That's always been my most difficult exercise, and I've never managed to do more than 65 pounds if I keep it up on a regular basis. For more than one or two reps, I mean. I'm going to stay low for a while until I'm sure that shoulder pain is gone, even though I'm not sure it was related to lifting.

Goal for the weekend: write up my structure notes about Apprentice in Death.
1. A rather funny book review, particularly comments section on Smartbitches -- the reviewer can't remember the names of the characters. I laughed, because this happens to me a lot. It's true of the romance genre, unfortunately, the books sort of blend or blur together. Only a few stand out.

Here's one of the comments that reminded me of conversations I've had with my mother about this:

Everything I’ve read blends together into one big mush. When I pick up my Nook after an hour away, I play a little game where I ask myself, “What title am I reading? Who is the author? Who are the characters and what is going on in the book?” I’m lucky if I can remember any of these even for the most compelling books. I guess my brain is just full.

My mother and I will tell each other about a book we're reading, but when one of us asks the title or the author, the other one has no idea and has to hunt it down. We're lucky if we can remember the characters names.

I've noticed books, movies and television series have this in common...they are only memorable if they really strike a chord in me somewhere. I either have to hate it, find it weirdly different, or adore it to pieces. It does of course help if I've seen it in more than one medium.

Does not help, if the books or series are similar. (ie. all superhero shows, or all romance novels about Dukes).

2. Apparently Star Trek Discovery is doing it's first openly gay romance or gay character romance on a Star Trek ship, portrayed by gay actors, both of which performed in Rent on Broadway. I think the US media has decided to join forces and through counter-programming kick homophobic butt. Fox has chosen to do a live musical version of "Rent". And now, Star Trek Discovery on CBS All Access is doing the first gay couple portrayed by actual gay actors on Star Trek.

3. Sesame Street makes fun of 1980s pop songs. LMAO. Can you guess what songs they are doing?

Sesame Street satirizes 1980s pops songs.. )

4. Remember what I said above about our media and pop culture and if by mutual agreement standing up to the stick in the mud bigots?'s James Corden's, the new host of Late Night, response to the Doofus's latest. (By the way, I'm not sure if his latest will be upheld by the courts or not.)

5. Hmmm... Smart Bitches Lists Several Virigin Hero Recommendations.. -- What is a Virgin Hero? A romance novel in which the male hero or male romantic lead is the virgin in the story or a virgin in the story.

Smart Bitches also conned me into buying another book on sale for $2.99 -- entitled The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, which was the reality or inspiration behind the Scarlett Pimpernel.
It's a historical, contemporary, mystery, romance novel all in one. Yippe..Kai..Ay?

6. Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah Try to Explain What is Happening with ACA in the US Senate or rather what they are trying to do with the Health Care Bill

What we have is three-four factions.
Read more... )
oursin: Photograph of a spiny sea urchin (Spiny sea urchin)
([personal profile] oursin Jul. 27th, 2017 07:45 pm)

No, really, if you return to me a copy-edited article for my attention, and mention that you have made changes to the text (as well as changing the title to one that I think is misleading), please to be sending it to me with your changes tracked and marked up.

For if you are going to insult my ability to write English prose, I think I should be able to see how you have 'improved' my text without having to compare it line by line with the text I sent you.

I may possibly have dumped my bibliography on this editor's head...

maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
([personal profile] maju Jul. 27th, 2017 12:42 pm)
I love online chat helplines! So much better than trying to talk to a customer service person on the phone. I've just chatted with somebody from the car rental company who said she has removed my phone number from the reservation and the fax attempts should stop within an hour. (An hour might be a bit long at the rate they've been calling, but at least they should stop eventually.)
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
([personal profile] maju Jul. 27th, 2017 11:56 am)
Argh, I'm being phone bombed by somebody trying to send me a fax! Who even faxes anything these days? I've just booked a rental car for when I'm in Perth, and the online form inexplicably requested a fax number as part of the booking process. Maybe I should have moved right along to a different car rental company, but this one was the cheapest as well as being a familiar brand, so I just put in our home phone number not expecting that they would try to fax me something. After the booking was complete they sent me a confirmation email which I will print out before I leave, but now they keep trying to fax me something as well. I think they've tried about half a dozen times so far. I answered a couple of times thinking that would make them think the fax had gone through, but it didn't work. Now I'm just ignoring it, while hoping that my booking will still be valid if I don't get their fax. Oh well, I could probably just front up to any of the car rental counters at the airport when I arrive and get a car if it comes to that.
oracne: turtle (Default)
([personal profile] oracne Jul. 27th, 2017 08:46 am)
1. I earned $25 this week from behavioral testing. I used part of it to buy a Faye Kellerman mystery for my e-reader, recommended on someone else's journal. I've never tried that author before, and I've been looking for a new detective series for a while. Recs welcome for series with an interesting lead character.

2. Due to evening dayjob-related events this week, my gym schedule is weird. I went Monday for elliptical, consisting of intervals and then a relatively steady pace for a total of three miles in forty-five minutes. Tonight, I will do something with weights or push-ups/squats, and then more elliptical if I am not exhausted. I've had a lot of gym irregularities this summer, what with softball, injuries, and events, but some gym is better than no gym.

3. Dayjob-related tailgate/baseball game is Friday night. Phillies are playing the Braves! Except I am too lazy to dig out my Braves cap. Alas, thunderstorms are in the forecast, so I'm not sure how that's going to work out. On the good side, we dress down for the annual game, so I can wear Chucks or running shoes to work, and we get to leave early.

I never did get into the Phillies despite living here since 1992. Besides, my dad was a Braves fan.
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
([personal profile] maju Jul. 27th, 2017 10:05 am)
Found here

Bedroom: what’s your sleep schedule? Go to bed at 9:45 pm, wake up with the alarm at 5:45 am.

Kitchen: favorite comfort food? Probably toast with marmalade accompanied by a cup of tea.

Washroom: showers or baths? bubbles? bath bombs? Showers, always. No soap of any kind, including bubble bath/shower gel/bath bombs/any of that stuff.

Closet: sum up your style in a few words. Super casual. Shorts or long pants with t-shirts and warm shirts, depending on the season.

Parlor: favorite party or board game? I enjoy word games but don't really have a favourite.

Living room: what do you like to do with your family? Chat, play board games.

Dining room: favorite special occasion food? A good rich fruit cake with fondant icing over a layer of marzipan.

Garden: favorite tree? flower? I love crepe myrtles and dogwoods, and one of my favourite flowers is the hydrangea.

Attic: what’s one thing you have a sentimental attachment to and you will never throw away? My 1969 Bernina sewing machine which I left in Australia with one of my daughters.

Library: favorite book genre? It's a toss-up between psychological thriller as written by Ruth Rendell and family drama as written by Joanna Trollope.

Office: if you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Something to do with computers.

Guest room: have you been to a sleepover? if so, when was your first? do you like them? I went to a few when I was around 10 to 12 years old. They were fun. The most recent "sleepover" I went on was when I shared an apartment in Vancouver with my sisters and brothers in law last year for a week; I slept in the living room on a couch so it felt a bit like a sleepover.

Foyer: do you like small gatherings, large parties, or one-on-one meetings? Very small gatherings or one-on-one meetings are equally good.

Pantry: favorite meal to make? That would be none. I don't like cooking. However, anything that can be thrown into the slow cooker is ok with me.

Laundry: favorite and least favorite chore? Doing the washing and hanging it on the line is definitely the least objectionable chore there is and most of the time I enjoy it. All other chores are my least favourite.

Garage: favorite mode of transportation? favorite car? Walking, cycling, or taking public transport are all equal favourites for me. I don't have a favourite car but I definitely prefer manual transmission over automatic.

Panic room: what was the most nerve-wracking experience you’ve had? This question reminded me of a sleepover I went to when I was in my twenties. I was a Bible college student and a group of us (about a dozen I think) went to the farm of one of our fellow students for a weekend. We had to sleep in a shed because there were so many of us. (There were beds - I guess it was shearers' quarters or something.) The hostess was sleeping in her own bedroom in the house with her sisters. After we'd all retired for the night we started hearing strange noises outside, as of somebody possibly drunk bumbling around trying to get in. It was terrifying, but apparently I stayed calmer than everybody else and helped some of the other girls to not completely panic, but some were almost in hysterics. The noise turned out to be our hostess and her sister playing a prank on us, and they were extremely contrite when they discovered how much they had terrified us. (Most of the group were city girls and didn't know what you might encounter on a farm miles from anywhere.)

Powder room: do you wear makeup? if so, what one item can’t you live without? what’s your favorite look? Nope, no makeup. It's about 40 years since I last wore any.
oursin: Illustration from the Kipling story: mongoose on desk with inkwell and papers (mongoose)
([personal profile] oursin Jul. 27th, 2017 01:46 pm)

While I was away I noticed on, I think, Twitter, which I was scrolling through while waiting at a bus stop/train station/whatever, somebody getting into a froth over somebody deleting their tweets upon mature reflection, and how this was The Death of History.

To which my own reactions were:

a) Archivists have been thinking about the problems posed by the fragility of the digital record for a good couple of decades plus, this is not something no-one has noticed before. (Wasn't the Library of Congress archiving Twitter, and presumably there are some measures against tampering, if so? - hah, I see that there have been problems of processing and it's not actually accessible, or wasn't as at last year.)

b) Quite apart from the dangers of fire, flood and insect or animal depredation to which records in the more traditional forms have been exposed, there has been a fair amount of deliberate curating of the record over the centuries, by deliberate destruction or just careful concealment (whether it's the Foreign Office secret archive or the concealment of Turner's erotic drawings under a misleading file title).

c) While you can delete or destroy a particular record, you cannot always get rid of the information that it did exist - presumably it was other people commenting on the now-deleted tweets or retweeting them that led to the decision to delete them, but that doesn't eradicate the fact of their existence. This may even draw attention to the deleted record: this is why when I was still being an archivist we used to persuade donors not to ask for closures apart from those mandated by Data Protection, because the idea that something is *CLOSED* causes some people's ears to prick up in a supposition that there will be *HIDDEN SECRETS* (this was very, very, seldom the case).

I might also invoke the case that came up in Prince of Tricksters, where Netley Lucas under one of his identities was communicating with different officials and departments, possibly, it is suggested, as a means to confuse his trail: but, due to the growth of bureaucracy, as well as the social networks they belonged to, could also communicate among one another to discover that this was all the same guy.

There is also the phenomenon that I have mentioned to researchers, that yes [organisations of a certain ideological bent] have been very coy about placing their archives anywhere where people might do research in them; BUT the organisations and people they were against kept tabs on their activities, collected their literature, etc.

Also that if person/organisation's own papers do not survive, you can find out a good deal from the surviving records of those they interacted with.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Jul. 27th, 2017 09:23 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] fjm and [personal profile] wildroot!
shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 26th, 2017 10:08 pm)
Why is it I'm wide awake and raring to go, now, but want to sleep between 6 -10 am, and 1-3PM?

Sinuses are bugging me a bit. I feel like I have a catch in my chest or some congestion. Probably combination of allergies and chemicals (paint and pesticides ie. Raid).

Off and on over the past few years, I've been discussing children's television programming with Doctor Who fans. Who keep telling me that Doctor Who is a treasured British children's series, and they didn't have much children's programming.

Culture shock. Television more so than movies depicts some of the cultural differences between our countries. For one thing when I visited France in the 1980s, I was surprised to see US series in French, same with Australia (they had US television shows, but not the new ones, reruns from five years ago). As did Wales and Britain. Actually, I found watching television during the summer in England and Wales to be a painful experience in the 1980s...not that I had reason to do it that often. Did see a lot of Fawlty Towers.

Anywho...I thought I'd skip down memory lane in regards to kids shows.

In the 1970s, I watched the following television shows as a child, near as I can remember. And my brother and I loved Saturday morning cartoons. We'd eagerly await the new cartoons...which premiered the third Saturday in September. They were on from 7 am to roughly 12 noon, on all the networks. We only had four networks and UHF back then. Prior to showing up on Saturday morning, the networks would air a preview of the upcoming series as a sort of advertisement on the Friday night before. So you could plan which ones to check out.

* Hong Kong Phooey -- sort of a take on Superman and Mighty Mouse. Except with a mild-mannered dog.
So imagine cartoon dogs playing all the roles in Superman.

* Sid and Marty Krofft's HR PufnStuf (aired from 1969 - 1971). I loved this show, but only vaguely remember it. (I was born in '67). A young boy named Jimmy has in his possession a magic flute named Freddie that can talk and play tunes on its own. One day he gets on a magic talking boat that promises to take him on an adventure. The boat happens to belong to a wicked witch named Witchiepoo, who uses the boat to kidnap Jimmy and take him to her home base on Living Island, where she hopes to steal Freddie for her own selfish needs. Fortunately Jimmy is rescued by the island's mayor, a six foot dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf, and his two deputies, Kling and Klang. Then his adventures begin as he attempts to get back home.

* Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids -- hosted by Bill Cosby (this was in the 1970s, when Cosby was still a cool guy, before all the allegations came out against him. And before you say anything about Cosby, keep in mind the same allegations came out about Trump -- actually they were worse, and people elected him President. Lando wouldn't let me hear the end of it. He's not wrong, we are a racist society. Sexist and racist. Just not bloody sure what I can do about it.) The show however was pretty good -- it was about a bunch of black kids in the inner city learning how to help each other and stand up to bullying and racism.

* Battle of the Planets (1978) - adored this cartoon

* The Muppet Show -- basically a light children's satire on variety shows and various cultural and political issues of the time, starring the Muppets.

* School House Rock - 1973 - 2009 (Schoolhouse Rock! is an American interstitial programming series of animated musical educational short films (and later, videos) that aired during the Saturday morning children's programming on the U.S. television network ABC. The topics covered included grammar, science, economics, history, mathematics, and civics.) -- this was the result of the Children's Television Act of 1969, which was updated in 1996.

* The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty (which was an illegal adaptation of the Secret Lives of Walter Mitty starring cats and dogs...and got into trouble with James Thurber's estate, for well doing it without permission)

* Sesame Street (1969)

* The Brady Bunch (1960s, early 70s, mostly in reruns)

* The Monkeeys (1966 show, in reruns in the 70s)

* Batman (1966 -- in reruns in the 70s)

* The Addams Family

* The Archie Show (1968) -- became Archie Funnies in 1970s

* The Flintstones...

* The Jetsons

* Lost in Space - 1965 (A space colony family struggles to survive when a spy/accidental stowaway throws their ship hopelessly off course. This is basically the American version of Doctor Who.)

* The Pink Panther (1969) -- a cartoon based on the Blake Edwards films, except without the adult content.

* Tom & Jerry

* The Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show

* The Hannah Barbara Hour

* Sid & Marty Krofft Super Show

* Free to be You and Me

* ABC Afterschool Specials

* Reading Rainbow

* Kimba - the White Lion (basically the story that Disney co-opted for The Lion King, except he didn't grow up and we just followed Kimba's adventures as he eluded his evil uncle, Scar.)

I googled and UK had kids shows.

See here: Classic Kids TV Shown in the UK in the 70s and 80s

We actually had some cross-over. But Tarzan the cartoon never to my knowledge aired in the US, nor did Book Tower, we had Reading Rainbow instead.
shadowkat: (work/reading)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 26th, 2017 09:12 pm)
1. What I just finished reading...

Lord of the Fading Lands by CL Wilson -- this is an "epic romantic fantasy series" that sort of clobbers you with fairy tale and romance novel cliches. And spends fare too much time on setting things up, and not enough on character. Also it's extremely repetitious. By the halfway mark, I was slugging my way through it. Do not recommend.

Not sure I'll bother reading the sequel, even though I do own it. Unfortunately, I bought it before I realized I didn't like the writer's style.

Eh, for a more in depth review, here's what I wrote on Good Reads:

Read more... )

2. What I'm reading now?

Americanah by by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - which is about two Nigerian former lovers. One, female, Ifelemu, who moves to America for two years, and then decides to return to Nigeria. The other , male, Obinz, who went to seek his forturn in Great Britain, and has returned to Nigeria, gotten married and has a daughter.

I'm currently in the section in which each is relating their past or what came before. How they lived in Nigeria, going to University there and school, and their families. Obinze's mother is a University Professor. And Ifelemu's mother is an administrator, while her father had a government job before he was summarily fired, for not calling his boss, Mummy.

The woman are exceedingly strong in this book. More so than the men. Which is interesting.

It's not a romance (Obinze is unhappily married), more a literary coming of age tale about what it is like being Nigerian in this world.

The British, Americans and the Northern Europeans, basically the entitled white people who attempted to colonize and raid Africa, do not come across well. I hate to say this but if you go around colonizing other countries, thrusting your imperialistic might, and enslaving or undermining their are bound to be portrayed by the inhabitants of those countries as irredeemable entitled assholes many years later. *cough*Karma*cough*

It's a fascinating novel, but somewhat depressing. So not sure how long I'll be able to stick with it. It's over 600 pages. And small type in a paperback. My aging eyes prefer ebooks, where I can increase the print size. Otherwise I have to wear reading glasses over the contacts. Like I'm doing now as I'm typing this.

Compelling yes. Uplifting and funny, no.

I don't know why literary novels, for the most part, are so depressing. There are a few funny ones here and there. But most are these poetic dirges of middle-class malaise. Either bad marriages, unsatisfying romances gone sour, bad friendships, dysfunctional families, etc.

Almost as if the only way you can be considered worthy by the esteemed academic literary canon is if you are depressing. (Well as long as you do it poetically at any rate.) I actually saw people condemn a novel for having a happy ending. As if a prerequisite for quality is well not ending happily.

I have no interest in writing depressing novels. It's not that I can't do so...I can. But seriously, why? Life is hard enough at it is.

Hmmm...on a poetic front, are there any witty poets wandering about?
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
([personal profile] maju Jul. 26th, 2017 05:16 pm)
I didn't sleep very well last night - had trouble falling asleep and kept waking up every hour or so - and I think it was because we were sleeping with the windows open for the first time in ages, so it was both noisier and lighter than I've been used to lately. I love it when it's cool enough in summer to keep the windows open overnight because I love the feeling of the cool air wafting over me and I really like to hear all the night noises of cicadas, crickets, etc. (I don't so much enjoy the freight trains which pass by within a mile of us but I'm used to them and barely notice them any more.) It's easier to sleep in a darker quieter room but I'm willing to make the trade-off to have the windows open when I can. Last night we had a minimum of 63ºF/17ºC, which is perfect for sleeping and far far more pleasant than the ten-degree-higher overnight temperatures we've been having.

Today I had a pleasant surprise at the archives. It wasn't a complete surprise as I'd been told about it before we went to California, but I'd forgotten so it was sort of a surprise. A woman associated with the archives (I think she's a board member but I'm not sure) threw a picnic lunch party for the current volunteers, which was held in the park area outside the archives/post office building. Luckily it was a very mild day and most enjoyable sitting outside. The main volunteers for the last three or four years have been a small group of autistic young men (I've never seen any young women in the group) who come with their supervisor every week for up to three mornings and help with digitising and cataloguing. At the moment the archives are only open one morning a week because there is no paid archivist (someone is being considered for that position right now), but in the past it's been open three or four days a week so they have been able to accept more volunteers. It's a very small space so it gets crowded if there are more than two or three volunteers there at one time. Anyway, I had a delicious lunch and was sent home with some leftover chocolate cupcakes.

This afternoon I've made a couple of pairs of cotton pyjama pants for William using fabric printed with dogs because he loves dogs so much. (I showed the fabric to Violet's mother over Skype and she asked me to make some pants with cat fabric for Violet because Violet adores cats.) William has a long torso and proportionately short legs which is why his mother asked me if I'd make him pants. Any long pants she buys him have to be rolled up a couple of inches. So I made these little pants with about 8 inch inseams and an outer leg measurement (waist to foot) of about 14 inches which seems ridiculously short, but I measured William myself just last week and I know that's how long (short) his legs are.

What I read

Finished Moonbreaker.

A novella by Heather Rose Jones, Three Nights at the Opera (2014), prequel to Daughter of Mystery.

There was indeed a new Catherine Fox, Realms of Glory, delivered to my Kobo well in time to beguile my journeyings. Very good.

Alex Hall, Glitterland (2013): m/m contemporary romance, which was an absolute page-turner and I will even give it a degree of pass on the phonetic rendering of Estuarine speech, on the grounds that this might be down to the first-person narrator's attempt to depict Difference.

Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky (2016): I had a bit of a problem with the rather gender-stereotypical allocation of science vs magic, and also with the way that both of them, in particular Patricia, are shown as coming to their powers as a result of familial dysfunction and school bullying (are US high schools really quite so generally toxic as literature would have me believe?), which is not that dissimilar in its rather Spartan overtones to the ethos of the military school to which Laurence is briefly sent. But I read on.

Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Djinni (2013) - there were parts where I thought this was a bit slow, and possibly about showing off the author's research, but then it all came together with all the threads meshing at the end.

On the go

The end is almost in sight with Prince of Tricksters. Also continuing with Rejected Essays and Buried Thoughts, as and when.

Up next

Well, I have lately had delivered to my Kobo Kate Elliott's Buried Heart (2017), conclusion (?) to the Court of Fives series. But I've also, finally, received Monica Ferris's cozy mystery, Knit Your Own Murder (2016), at last a) out in paperback and b) actually in the mailer received from the seller.

oracne: turtle (Default)
([personal profile] oracne Jul. 26th, 2017 09:27 am)
I did a fair amount of reading over the weekend, and early this week.

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott was too nerve-wracking and painful for me to read right now; I finished it, but the sequels will definitely have to wait. The race and class issues were very well-depicted, I thought, and the suspense was excellent. I am just too stressed about the world to handle this sort of thing in fiction right now.

The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch was, alas, much shorter than I had hoped. Abigail was so great! I want all the Abigail stories!!!

I was happily surprised that Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb, 43rd in the series, was much better than several of the previous volumes. There were a lot of twists and barriers to solving the mystery, capturing the perpetrators, and bringing them to justice, and remarkably little checking in with the huge recurring cast, which can become tedious. I read this partly because mysteries are comforting (justice wins!) and partly for purposes of analysis. I need to write down notes on its structure and character types and things like that.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Jul. 26th, 2017 08:59 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] el_staplador and [personal profile] mrissa!
shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Jul. 25th, 2017 09:27 pm)
1. Apparently Stephen Moffat doesn't think there was any negative fan backlash regarding the announcement of the New Doctor Who, and everyone was happy with the idea.

LMAO. This made me laugh for fifteen minutes. If you want to know why, eh, go find the numerous posts in which I discussed said backlash.

It's interesting, on a side note, I'm reading Americanha and in that novel, the female protagonist describes her mother as an individual who refuses to see the world as it is, only as she wishes it to be. This article reminded me a bit of that.

There is of course something to be said for doing focus on the positive and ignore all negativity. Unfortunately my brain isn't wired that way.

2. Daniel Craig is stuck playing James Bond for a fifth time, after saying he'd rather die than play the role because the character is so misogynistic

He's not wrong.

The books actually aren't misogynistic. I read the books. They aren't like the movies at all. Nor is the character anything like the movies. There's less gadgetry for one thing. The only film that reminded of the books was Doctor No and Casino Royale. Everything else, nope, not like the books.

The movies however...have become increasingly misogynistic and unsettling. (Having seen all them, except for Spectra, I can say that with some credibility. I don't believe in critiquing things I have not read or seen. Or tried to read or watch.) That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the films. Yes, I've enjoyed insanely misogynistic and sexist fare in my lifetime. (Points at Westerns and Noir films and books). I have a tendency to ignore it, also I like strong male leads in things. But, I'm also critical of them. And I tend to see them as representative of certain aspects of our culture...

That said? After 25 Bond films...and counting...

Time to cast a female Bond.

Just saying.

3. Midnight Texas -- it's not True Blood. It's sort of like a weak, third rate cousin to True Blood. Co-worker liked it. And it's likable I guess...just, I'm used to better fare. This feels like a B horror movie.

It's about this hipster guy (beard, twenty-something, skinny, fluffy hair) who is a psychic. Most of it is fake, except of course for his ability to commune with the dead. And the ghosts appear as beaten up corpses. They are fussy, nasty, and attempt to possess him. Anyhow, since he apparently owes money to someone nasty, he flees Dallas for Midnight, Texas. His dead grandma told him he'd be safe there.

Midnight, Texas is inhabited by supernatural freaks. There's an energy vampire (the most interesting character in the series), a witch, a talking tabby cat (which I found sort of funky), a female assassin who has an interesting co-dependent relationship with the energy vampire, a seemingly normal waitress with an over protective Daddy, and ...a pawn shop owner, who appears to have a few secrets of his own.

Unlike True Blood, the writing is no better than the books, which is not a good thing. The dialogue sort of falls flat. And the acting is rather awkward and stiff, making me wonder about the direction.

It just doesn't have the production value that True Blood did or for that matter Supernatural and Vampire Diaries. Heck, Buffy's production value was better.

I may continue watching it to see if it gets better. But I can't help but wonder what my co-worker was smoking.

Then again, I may be overly picky. I've been watching better fare lately.
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
([personal profile] maju Jul. 25th, 2017 06:21 pm)
Yay, [personal profile] pondhopper had the brilliant idea of trying to open LJ in a different browser, and lo and behold, it worked. I don't know why Chrome suddenly can't display my journal correctly, but I'm happy to be able to see it properly again anyway. I changed the theme while I couldn't see what was happening, in the hope that that would solve the problem. It didn't, and when I *could* see my journal again I didn't like the new theme so I've now been able to change it to something more pleasing to my eye.
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
([personal profile] maju Jul. 25th, 2017 02:29 pm)
I'm very happy that we've had a wonderful cool change today - it's at least 10 degrees cooler today than yesterday, at about 77ºF/25ºC, and overnight it fell to 68ºF/20ºC, the first time it's been below about 72ºF for the last week. I took advantage of the slightly cooler conditions to go for a good run, covering about 7 km/4 miles. (I'm looking forward to running in Perth next month because it's winter there.)

When I got back, as it was still comfortably cool outside I took the opportunity while I was still all sweaty to spread some of our home-made compost around the dogwood tree that gets stressed so easily. S and I have a very unscientific method of making compost - we just dump food scraps, garden clippings, and twigs and small branches that fall off trees in a pile down at the back of our yard, and whatever doesn't get eaten by animals eventually turns into compost. We don't do anything you're supposed to do like turning it regularly or layering things efficiently, so I was quite surprised at how beautifully rich it smelt when I dug down a bit. Obviously our method works although it's slow, so I hope the tree benefits.

I noticed - flitting past me on Twitter the other day - somebody eyerolling at, if not codfishing, some bloke's plaint that watching Dunkirk had made him realise that The Modern Man does not have these Manly Challenges To Rise To -

And being a historian, I thought that, actually, there have been long generations, at least in my country, where most men were not being called upon to take arms and fight, and the general attitude to the soldiery was summed up by Kipling in Tommy.

And that thing about Challenges to Rise To always tends to be seen in a context which leads to e.g. the Battle of the Somme, rather than to being a despised Conscientious Objector, a decision which history may read entirely differently -

Which possibly links on to that thing I also saw flit past me on Twitter apropos of alt-history narratives which allow the viewer to believe that they would be The Resistance, which reminded me of that nasty piece of work Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger going 'where are the good brave causes?', and really, one can think of a few relevant to the 1950s, not to mention, we do not, ourselves, envisage J Porter going off to Spain in the 30s.

And the whole notion of Heroic Actions and somehow, not here, not now.

And I thought, did not my beloved Dame Rebecca say somewhat to this point in Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, and while this has the rhetorical universalisation and generalisation to which she was (alas) prone, it does seem relevant to this notion of some kind of masculine Rite de Passage:

All men believe that some day they will do something supremely disagreeable, and that afterwards life will move on so exalted a plane that all considerations of the agreeable and disagreeable will prove petty and superfluous.

As opposed to, persistently beavering away at the moderately disagreeable in the hopes that it might become a little more agreeable.



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