Bookish Stuff

Apr. 26th, 2017 09:44 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
[personal profile] princessofburundi
So I've given up on reading The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly. It's awful. And you know a book is awful when you're avoiding all reading in order to escape from a bad book. This book was a bad rip-off of Jurassic Park, but set in China, and using dragons instead of dinosaurs. I remember how tightly written Crichton's Jurassic Park was and how bad this is in comparison. The dialogue is so bad. I hate not finishing books, but I'm going to pass on completing this one.

Instead, I'm going to read A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, which is the first in a series of urban fantasy novels set in London. I don't always like urban fantasy, but the back of the book really intrigued me, and the clerk in the bookstore was very positive about it; she was reading the second in the series at the time.

I'm continuing to make my slow way forward in The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukerjee. It's fascinating reading. I'm only reading a bit at a time because my brain can only process a little science in one go, but it is excellent, terribly informative without being incomprehensible. I highly recommend it.

My reading trend is to be reading something fictional, with short bursts of non-fiction a few days a week. I'd like to start reading Les Miserables bit by bit in the same way I do with non-fiction, but it's still sitting there on the coffee table gathering dust. I think I might try The Hunchback of Notre Dame instead; I am determined to read all the big fat classics before my eventual death. Hopefully that's decades away because there is so much left to read!

Touch

Apr. 26th, 2017 05:11 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
[personal profile] princessofburundi
Every day I go to odb.org - Our Daily Bread - it is a Christian website that gives daily short articles that prompt the reader to think about their relationship with God. Today's article was about the healing power of touch, focusing on Jesus healing the leper, and I was surprised as touch has been on my mind a lot lately.

Today my therapist hugged me at the close of our session, and I realized that it was the first hug I'd had in a couple of weeks. My mother doesn't hug, neither does anyone else I see, and being bereft of physical contact is something I'm finding very challenging. I'm not sure what the solution is. One of the reasons I miss my son as much as I do is that he is a very physical human being, and I got hugs all day long. I took them for granted; one thing this past six months of my life has taught me is that one should never take any aspect of any relationship for granted.

It's a beautiful day today. The weather is hovering around 20 degrees (70 degrees F), the sun is shining, trees are sprouting blossoms and leaves, and gardens are full of daffodils and tulips and other spring flowers. My little plot out front is bright and cheerful. It's lovely to have the windows open; the cats like that as well. I love spring.

Speaking of cats, I had to lock them in the kitchen last night. Both of them decided that my desire to sleep was unacceptable, and they kept sitting on my pillow and meowing me into consciousness. I don't like barring them from my room, but egads, they were annoying.

Tomorrow I have to mow the lawn. My brother has been over to show me how to use the lawnmower and put gas in it. I am nervous, I've never cut grass before!

Downward Dog Video

Apr. 26th, 2017 03:22 pm
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
As my icons show, I'm a dog lover. This 12-minute video features an adorable mutt named Martin. He's played by a ~40 pound hound mix with expressive ears named Sadie. The video comprises seven brief episodes on topics of deep concern to Martin, including: Friendship, Walking, Driving and One Good Thing. The voice you hear is Martin's; the video's creators expertly manipulate the dog's mouth so I totally buy he's saying those things. To prove that the world is upside down, this web series is being transformed into an actual TV show on ABC (US) in May.
video includes dog illness, but no death )

Belated Birthdaypresent!

Apr. 26th, 2017 10:10 pm
kephiso: Victor from Yuri!!! on Ice in front of the sinking sun on a field close to my home (Default)
[personal profile] kephiso
Sooo, I got some money for my birthday and decided to get myself something for it!

My decision fell on a Wacom Intuos S, which I wanted to get for drawing the diagrams and stuff for Maths.

Box of what I bought

I ended up putting it to a different use: I painted something!

Granted, I merely traced the lines and then filled in, but trust me, this is more art than I've done in pretty much ever, so there's that.

Art art art )

and also we have a dog. )

So, that's it from me!
duckmonster: (Default)
[personal profile] duckmonster
TLDR: Do I even really want to fight my way into tech? (My answer looks like "no," but, again: money is nice to have.) CW: vague allusions to microaggressions, brief discussion of alcohol, mention of body weight, some mentions of anxiety/mental health, negative comments about libraries

I have a lot to say )
duckmonster: (Default)
[personal profile] duckmonster
TLDR: I've been giving myself hell about jobs, and I'm going to try to stop doing that and take time to focus on my health, for a while. In six months, I can go back to giving myself hell, if that's the right thing to do. Also, this is a decent rundown of what anxiety (or whatever my mental issues are) is like to live with, if you don't know.

the longer explanation )

The Circle Game

Apr. 26th, 2017 03:41 pm
tealin: (terranova)
[personal profile] tealin
[looks up from piles of black-and-white photos, archival documents, notes scribbled in the margins of books, logic puzzles attempting to place fragments of evidence in a timeline, recollections of academics, collections of academics, disconnected letters, maps, newspaper clippings, webs of causality all leading to tragic consequences, inventories, mysteriously missing accelerants, problematic personalities, suppressed suggestions of betrayal, suspicious deaths, and the conflict between idealistic pursuit of knowledge and self-interested ambition]

You know, sometimes I think about all the mental gymnastics I did over Lemony Snicket in the early 2000s, and wonder when I'll ever find a practical application for those skills.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I just learned that Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, passed away on Monday, at the age of 88.

I've thought for a while that I should tell you about one of the more valuable things I got from ZAMM, which I refer to now as Pirsig's Pejorative Just, and now it seems like a fitting tribute to share the relevant passage:
[...] the English faculty at Bozeman, informed of their squareness, presented him with a reasonable question: "Does this undefined 'quality' of yours exist in things we observe?" they asked. "Or is it subjective, existing only in the observer?" It was a simple, normal enough question, and there was no hurry for an answer.

Hah. There was no need for hurry. It was a finisher-offer, a knockdown question, a haymaker, a Saturday-night special – the kind you don't recover from.

Because if Quality exists in the object then you must explain just why scientific instruments are unable to detect it [...] On the other hand, if Quality is subjective, existing only in the observer, then this Quality that you make so much of is just a fancy name for whatever you like. [...] If he accepted the premise that Quality was objective, he was impaled on one horn of the dilemma. If he accepted the other premise that Quality was subjective, he was impaled on the other horn.

[... regarding the first horn, the objective premise] This horn was the mean one. [...line of proposed reasoning...] This answer, if valid, certainly smashed the first horn of the dilemma, and for a while that excited him greatly.

But it turned out to be false. [...]

He turned his attention to the other horn of the dilemma, which showed more promise of refutation. He thought, So Quality is whatever you like? It angered him. The great artists of history – Raphael, Beethoven, Michelangelo – they were all just putting out what people liked. They had no goal other than to titillate the senses in a big way. Was that it? It was angering, and what was most angering about it was that he couldn't see any immediate way to cut it up logically. So he studied the statement carefully, in the same reflective way he always studied things before attacking them.

Then he saw it. He brought out the knife and excised the one word that created the entire angering effect of that sentence. The word was "just." Why should Quality be just what you like? Why should "what you like" be "just"? What did "just" mean in this case? When separated out like this for independent examination it became apparent that "just" in this case didn't mean a damn thing. It was a purely pejorative term, whose logical contribution to the sentence was nil. Now, with that word removed, the sentence became "Quality is what you like," and its meaning was entirely changed. It had become an innocuous truism.
Now, when I point to a "just" – or an "only", or a "mere", or a "simply", or "but" – and say, "That's a Pirsig's Pejorative Just", you'll know what I mean.

And, if this is the first time you've seen this, maybe now you'll be better prepared to notice them slinking by, in the wild, yourself.

ETA: I wrote a longish comment below, further discussing ZAMM and my criticisms of it, which may be of interest to my readers.

A Cold, and Blood

Apr. 25th, 2017 09:22 pm
[personal profile] ndrosen
I've had a cold the past few days; I think I'm now recovering, but we'll see how it goes.

I donated blood Friday morning, when I was feeling well, and then Saturday evening I called and left a message, identifying my donation number, and saying that I now had a raspy throat. (There were instructions to let them know within 48 hours if one felt ill, so it may be that the blood is kept for that long before actually being transfused into anyone else.) I hope I didn't pass on a cold via my well-intentioned donation.

Reading Tuesday

Apr. 25th, 2017 04:15 pm
jesse_the_k: Two bookcases stuffed full (with books on top) leaning into each other (books)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

Past imperfect : history according to the movies edited by Mark Carnes

4 of 5 stars )

Truevine by Beth Macy

4 of 5 stars )

Chenoo by Joseph Bruchac

3 of 5 Stars )

A Life Discarded by Alexander Masters

3 of 5 stars )


  1. discovered in my Cumberbatch-completist mode ↩︎

DW and AO3 Stats Meme

NSFW Apr. 25th, 2017 08:54 pm
kephiso: Victor from Yuri!!! on Ice in front of the sinking sun on a field close to my home (Default)
[personal profile] kephiso
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )

I'm running a WisCon Workshop!

Apr. 25th, 2017 01:36 pm
were_duck: Ellen Ripley from Alien looking pensively to the right in her space helmet (Default)
[personal profile] were_duck
Friends! I have been suckered into running a workshop at WisCon! If you are attending, please consider signing up! I promise it'll be a good conversation and not too much prep!

If you are a writer-type who usually does a Friday writer's workshop, never fear--since mine is on Sunday, there is no conflict with other workshops. Panels are another story. Here's the info:

How to Read Tiptree Winners as Models for Resistance — Sunday, 4-5:45pm

Resistance is so vital to our survival right now. Join this session to participate in a discussion of how stories — specifically, Tiptree-winning stories — can serve as a lens for how to enact resistance. Let’s keep each other alive. This session will accommodate 8 people.

There's plenty of room, and signups end today! Please check to make sure you're registered for WisCon, then email the coordinator at workshop@wiscon.net to reserve a spot.

Testing - moving to Dreamwidth

Apr. 25th, 2017 02:11 pm
netmouse: (koi)
[personal profile] netmouse
Hello folks at Dreamwidth! I am switching my posting to here.

This is due to the recent change in terms of service at Livejournal. I have had this account here on DW for a long time, but I haven't really used it much. I am hoping there will be a resurgence of use and enough of a community here to support my being active on Dreamwidth.

I have imported my content from LJ (in DW, under Organize->Import Content) and will be cross-posting to LJ from DW automagically.

This post is partly to see if that is working.

Bought a Pack for Backpacking.

Apr. 25th, 2017 06:06 pm
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Oh good, I needed some new madness. Being fair to me, it was a chance to buy a nice $200 backpacking pack for $40. (It’s second-hand but all the wear I saw was cosmetic. It just needs a bath and a few minutes with some strong twine and a needle.)

I got the idea because REI has this program where for $250 they take you backpacking for a weekend, and I looked at that and thought, I’m a cheap asshole but I bet between what I’ve already got and a $250 budget, I can almost completely kit myself out for an entire month of weekends of camping if I so desired. 

$210 to go. Fortunately I have most of the activewear I need, and since I’m only looking at overnighting right now, I won’t need cooking supplies just yet. And my stepdad’s giving me his sleeping bag, so there’s a chunk I won’t have to spend. 

The tent will almost certainly be the only other significant expense, and I can wait a while on that – I have several recon trips planned to the campground before I’ll even be overnighting it. If I get that far this summer, my weekends are filling at an alarming rate. 

But I have my backpack! Now I get to fill it. 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2phZodm
via IFTTT

Weight loss

Apr. 25th, 2017 09:10 am
[personal profile] jptb
Weighed 253 on Monday. I weigh myself once a week. The week to week variations don't mean much; it's the trends I'm looking for. Depending on exercise, food, and other inputs, I can swing my weight by up to 10 pounds in a day. I try not to weigh myself on those days.

I did not do as well as I wanted to, candy-wise. Easter candy was too tempting. I do not have any this week, so I hope to see a 2 pound loss.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
(Click any photo for a larger version!)

Hello, internet! I'm Thea. Here I am in my favorite spot (somebody's lap):

Thea in my lap looking up at the camera sleepily

I'm a female dilute calico, and the vet and the vet dentist think I'm about five years old. I grew up on the streets of Baltimore, but it's cold and lonely out there and I like people too much, so now I need a forever home! I'm an absolute sweetheart who'll be in your lap or draped over your shoulder the minute I meet you, but there's one catch: I need to be an only cat.

Thea asleep up against my legs

More about me! And more pictures! )

Does it sound like you could be my human? If so, leave a comment with your email address, and the humans will get in touch with you. (Or, you can email [personal profile] synecdochic at synecdochic@dreamwidth.org.) Anonymous comments are allowed; you don't need a Dreamwidth account. I'm in Baltimore right now, and the humans would prefer somebody within a few hours' drive or somebody who's willing to come pick me up themselves, but if you're the absolute right person to take me in, they're willing to talk about flying me to you, especially if you can pay for some or all of the costs. (Having all my teeth pulled wasn't cheap!) [EDIT: The humans have a friend who might be able to put a flight on frequent flyer miles for me, so they're willing to escort me outside the immediate area for the right home!]

I'm looking forward to finding someone I can help with everything, drape on top of, and sleep on!

(Please share this with your friends! For the first round of looking we'd prefer not much further than friends-of-friends, because we'd like to know the people she's going to or know someone who knows them, but if the first efforts don't pan out, we'll try again with a wider reach. We also already know the rescue organization we'll turn to if we can't find her a home through word of mouth, so you don't need to research rescue options for us!)
starlady: Uryuu & Ichigo reenact Scott Pilgrim (that doesn't even rhyme)
[personal profile] starlady
I'm inaugurating a new movie rating system: did these movies engross me enough to make me forget about Trump for the length of their run time? 

Both these films were a resounding yes.

Colossal, dir. Nacho Vigalondo

The director is an avowed hater of romcoms for the way they degrade women's agency and posit that if the man is just enough of a stalker, he'll wear the woman down into saying yes. I figured it was worth seeing for that alone, and I was right: although 30-something Gloria by no means has her life together, moving back home to her parents' empty vacation rental when her boyfriend Tim kicks her out of their unbelievably nice New York City apartment, that doesn't mean it's okay for her childhood friend Oscar, a certified Nice Guy™, to try to pressure her into dating. The movie knows this. It makes it clear by a device whereby when Gloria and Oscar walk through a certain park in their town, they turn into a giant monster and a giant robot that lay waste to Seoul. I had questions about this premise, but notably, the film in fact turns on the question of the innocent urbanites: Gloria actively cares about them and tries not to cause further damage once she realizes what's going on. Oscar, by contrast, is perfectly willing to hold those innocent lives over her head to get her to do what he wants. Notably, ex-boyfriend Tim is not a catch either; he's not a Nice Guy, but he's also perfectly willing to try to neg Gloria into living the life he thinks she should have. The ending was extremely satisfying on all counts.

The Fate of the Furio
us, dir. F. Gary Gray

I think on the infographic this one is more furious than fast, alas; my one friend actually peaced out at the 1/3 mark because there was too much Vin Diesel having feelings and not enough explosions. She missed Helen Mirren, and Jason Statham holding a baby while killing a bunch of guys, definitely my favorite sequence, with the soccer haka close behind. For those that like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you'll like. I hope they go to space next. Relateldy, I approve of Charlize Theron's mid-career turn to action hero stardom and eagerly await Atomic Blonde.

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