Star Trek Discovery neepery

Apr. 18th, 2019 09:02 pm
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
We watched the season ending episode for Star Trek Discovery tonight.  No plot spoilers (in case anyone reading this also watches) but a semi-spoiler regarding series music.

They composed a new closing theme -- which I presume will be used only on tonight's episode.  In my not-professional musical mind, it was magnificent. **SPOILER**  The composer combined the Discovery theme with the Original Series theme.  They blended perfectly! 

I have not composed music, so I don't know how easy this is to do.  I'm guessing he had this in mind all along and had this juxtaposition prepared for just the right moment.  To my knowledge, it has not been used before (although the TOS original theme was used as the Discovery season 1 closing episode closing theme, which was also cool). 

I realize this discussion will appeal to a very focused group, and I'm not sure where else to post it.  Add to that (a) CBS All Access isn't exactly the most popular stream service, and that's the only place Discovery is currently showing in the US, and (b) this was a particularly long episode, so I'm guessing lots of people may tune out before the closing theme.  So I'm likely preaching to myself...which doesn't bother me except I do like to share musical insight.

Quick question for wheelchair users

Apr. 18th, 2019 05:42 pm
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
This is for something I'm writing. The character uses a manual wheelchair. She's visiting an office and is impressed by how accessible it is, unlike pretty much the entire rest of the world. What features can it have that she'd notice?

It's a New York security agency which she's visiting as a client, but she can also notice ways in which it's accessible for anyone who works there as well. None of the current employees are physically disabled, so she'd be seeing the potential rather than noticing someone else navigating it in a wheelchair.

(no subject)

Apr. 18th, 2019 08:09 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing . . .
rachelmanija: (Dollhouse)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Being on crutches, in an apartment up a flight of stairs, has certainly made decluttering more challenging. I cannot take anything to trash/recycling, but have to get someone else to do it for me (and I live alone). Also, it's a lot more difficult to carry things from room to room.

Nevertheless, I persisted!

KonMari has completely changed a lot of household chores for me, from things I hate and avoid to things I actively want to do as a combination of relaxation/meditative activity and geeky hobby. (I still hate washing dishes though). Sherwood and Layla, who have both seen my apartment in various stages, can attest to how much this has changed how it looks.

Here is a set of shelves in my kitchen which had not been decluttered in twelve years. There's a huge space in the back of them which is very hard to reach into. Consequently, when I stash anything there, it tends to drift toward the back, where I can then neither see nor reach it. Otherwise I only opened it to grab a tool from the tool box.

The other day, having hired someone to run some errands for me and also take out the trash, I parked myself on the floor and pulled everything out, a task which at times involved lying flat on my stomach and using a tool to sweep things toward me. I really wish I'd photographed the floor once everything was out, because it was a hair-raising mound of trash and weird junk. I found a half-drunk bottle of Kahlua which had probably been there for twelve years. I found paper towels so old that they shattered like glass. I found a bag of birdseed that was at least ten years old, dating back from when I thought birds would come if I put out food. (They wouldn't.)

I dumped the trash in trash bags and sorted the rest. Here is the end result:


Apr. 18th, 2019 11:39 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“There isn’t much vital imagination, it seems to me, that doesn’t come from this sort of shock, imbalance, need to ‘relive,’ redefine life.”

—Robert Penn Warren, The Paris Review, Spring-Summer 1957, No. 16

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Laurel and Hardy, Ariana Grande, or the Salvation Army Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

comment amnesty

Apr. 18th, 2019 01:16 pm
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
i have rsi flare so 1 hand typing only, will re[ply to ppl later

also hunkerted dowm due to tormado watch lol

styay safe ppl
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Ben and Rose have just gotten married when they receive a letter from Hannibal saying that he's being held prisoner in a Gothic mansion in Mexico where he's forced to play the violin for the delusional owner of the mansion who has regular hallucinatory conversations with Aztec Gods; he can't flee because, among other obstacles, the police want to hang him as the believe he poisoned the owner's son. Ben and Rose to the rescue!

This had a lot of very thought-provoking and sensitive stuff on the historical treatment of mental illness, legal slavery vs slavery in all but name, religion, and Ben's dilemma of never having a place where he can both feel at home and not have to deal with racism. This was all neatly married to a solid murder mystery, a family drama, and tons of adventure and bonding. Hambly is really good at writing established couples who are still madly in love, and I really enjoyed all the Ben/Rose moments as well as the Ben/Rose & Hannibal. The supporting characters were vivid and interesting, as was the new setting.

The climax didn't rise to quite the batshit heights of the last one, but not for want of trying.

Read more... )

Grimness quotient: Low, all things considered. There's a visit to an asylum which is awful and tragic, but the man running it is compassionate; it's mostly about how people just had no idea what to do about mental illness then. Some people stuck in miserable nunneries. Poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, but also lots of people just living their lives and managing to make pretty good ones despite it all.

Days of the Dead (Benjamin January, Book 7)

jacey: (Default)
[personal profile] jacey
What a fun fantasy read. Aimed at middle grade readers or even young YA this is the story of Rasim, age 13 and transitioning from apprentice to journeyman in the Seamaster's Guild. His only ambition is to be taken on as crew and to sail with the fleet. He's undersized, and not much of a water witch—in truth he can barely keep a bucket from slopping over—but he's a quick thinker, if a little precocious. He's the Forrest Gump of his guild, always managing to be at the heart of events without really trying, and always coming up with ideas that even his superiors listen to. OK, it's a little far fetched that his 'betters' accept his good ideas, but just go with it. This is, after all, not meant to be realistic for adult audiences. He manages to achieve great things, but sometimes misses the obvious, which is quite endearing.

A Timely Reminder

Apr. 18th, 2019 12:59 pm
malkingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] malkingrey
(Reposted from my editorial blog, in a spirit of shameless self-promotion)

My annual editorial services springtime sale ends April 21. From now until Sunday midnight, all novel-length edits are 30% off. As always, you can purchase a gift certificate for a writer friend, or purchase one for yourself to be redeemed when your work-in-progress is ready for editing.

(no subject)

Apr. 18th, 2019 12:35 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
As is so often the case, people see what they want to see.
sovay: (Claude Rains)
[personal profile] sovay
I couldn't remember the last time I'd watched a contemporary, mainstream, non-genre movie, so I decided to give one an experimental try. I picked Nicole Holofcener's The Land of Steady Habits (2018) because it was on Netflix and starred Ben Mendelsohn, whom I have liked ever since he strode across the rainy black sands of the planet Lah'mu in a dramatically unsuitable cape. I enjoyed it; I may even recommend it. I think I have much more of a framework for talking about film noir.

The title is a double-edged nickname for the state of Connecticut, in whose commuter-line suburbs the action, such as it is, of this astringent, empathic sort-of-comedy takes place. Metaphysically it is the plodding routine out of which our semi-hero imagined he would phoenix when he retired early from a high-flying finance job, divorced his wife of three decades, and moved out of their lovingly gardened five-bedroom into a cookie-cutter condo which he now decorates, quizzically and haphazardly, with retail-store knick-knacks and a superfluity of Christmas ornaments; actually all he did was blow up his life. The first time we catch sight of Anders Harris (Mendelsohn), he's staring with bemused determination at the rainbow-stacked walls of towels that dwarf his lanky, black-jacketed, basket-carrying figure at Bed, Bath & Beyond—a poetically dystopian shorthand for the combination of poshlost and decision freeze that now seems to govern Anders' life as he meanders through his aimless new routine of drinking too much and failing to satisfy the women he appears to meet exclusively while shopping, peering in at the windows of his old life as if not quite certain how he ended up on the outside of it, although his ex-wife Helene (Edie Falco) could tell him in so many words. "That's why we got divorced, right? We were all in the way of your happiness." Six months past her ex-husband's midlife implosion, she's the one blooming, her serious new relationship (Bill Camp) marred only by the disconnected incursions of Anders himself, loose end, loose cannon, loser in general. Did you hear about the time he drunkenly let himself into his old house and almost got conked with a golf club by his wife's new man? Or the time he did a hit off a bong with a bunch of high school kids and didn't even stop to ask if there was angel dust laced into that weed? He can't even summon the responsibility to co-parent his similarly floundering son Preston (Thomas Mann), instead falling into an awkwardly drug-fueled camaraderie with Charlie Ashford (Charlie Tahan), the sharp-spoken, artistically gifted, seriously troubled son of his former neighbors (Elizabeth Marvel and Michael Gaston). The Christmas season is coming on fast, one of those dry green winters we get so often nowadays. The two families chime and intertangle, slant-paralleled by their children whose flameouts are the visible symptoms of their parents' more successfully sublimated ills. Between them swings Anders in greying tardy adolescence, frequently absurd and never totally an asshole; what he is is what we don't know if he'll figure out before anyone else's life blows up to match.

In describing this film to [personal profile] spatch, I asked if it would be rude to liken it to American Beauty (1999) if that movie hadn't sucked on ice. I am afraid it is my major referent for white middle-class suburban angst on film; it is a genre I have consistently bounced off in literature, which means it intrigues me that I didn't hate The Land of Steady Habits. I think it helps that Anders, unlike Spacey's protagonist, does not signal his existential panic attack by setting his sexual sights on a teenager; he meets grotty-cute with fellow divorcée Barbara (Connie Britton) in the neon-pink men's room of a strip club where she groans, accepting the handful of wet paper towels that Anders chivalrously passes her over the top of the stall door, "I haven't thrown up in a club since I was twenty-two." With her, he can demonstrate a chagrined self-awareness that's better than self-deprecating charm, although he can still almost ruin a date just by opening his mouth at the end of it. (He manages to apologize for insulting her self-help book by admitting his own anomie, acknowledging that she does deserve her "best life." She accepts gracefully, settling into the bed behind him: "I know I do. That's why I bought the fucking book.") In terms of age-inappropriateness, it is messier and more interesting that he tries to treat like a rational age-mate an out-of-control adolescent desperately looking for a role model, and it is bracing that the film does not permit Charlie to find one in Anders. "You have the balls to live your life, dude!" the kid exhorts him, a two a.m. gate-crasher carrying a turtle in a blue cardboard Keds box, his wrists still braceleted with hospital ID plastic. "That's what sets you apart from the rest of these fucking zombies! You can't go halfway. You can't be you and stay in favor." Anders still full-body facepalming from the discovery that his idiot moment with the PCP has become the talk of their "really small town" is less than flattered by the proposition. I have seen Mendelsohn so often with violence simmering in his rangy frame, it's fascinating to see him play those same subcutaneous tensions for deadpan beats of comedy and a sympathy that the film never twists our arms to give. Nothing about the mess this character has made of his life valorizes or even emphasizes him past the fact that he's human and he's hurting: as with similar disaster zones played by Van Heflin, either that's enough or it isn't. Jurassic strata of cluelessness can flake off with a sudden glass-blue glance or a twitch of his long rueful mouth, or the density of his gaucherie can bring on its own pang of pity. Or just irritation. That is the other relevant difference from my memories of American Beauty, the possibility that Anders might be, in either the spiritual or the narratological senses, irredeemable, and if so the film would feel sorry for him but move on. We have the younger generation to worry about, so much more of their lives at the mercy of their mistakes. We have women like Barbara with her middle-aged curves and her gingery blonde mane of hair, apotropaically but sincerely worrying out loud that she's scared a date off by showing him photos of her adult kids. Turn the kaleidoscope and she could be the protagonist, or spiky Helene, or Sophie Ashford, gravely and piercingly taking care of the stray child within reach instead of her inaccessible own. In others of Holofcener's movies, I have the sense they would be.

As with Ida Lupino, I may have come into Holofcener's filmography at the least characteristic point: The Land of Steady Habits was her first movie with a male protagonist and her first time adapting and directing from another writer's material, in this case the same-named novel by Ted Thompson. I am not sure which of their faults it is that the film after an hour of gently drifting, colliding character study rather suddenly in the third act develops a plot, but while it's not a bad plot, it is signally less compelling to me than just watching these characters bounce around their lives in Westport, CT (played by Tarrytown, NY, which explains why I thought the downtown looked familiar). At its best it's as unpredictable as Anders and as impossible to look away from, whether trainwreck or grace; the cinematography by Alar Kivilo is mostly transparent prose, but every now and then it gifts the audience with a weird and lingering image like the opening shot of Anders vs. the towels or a boatyard of pleasure craft shrink-wrapped and dry-docked for winter like a flotilla of ghosts. Anders askew on a couch, his face illuminated blue-gold-green-pink by a multicolored tangle of Christmas lights. An open but untouched magnum of champagne being smashed, like a silent melodrama or a ship's christening, by the cowcatcher of an oncoming freight train. There are a couple of shots of salt marsh I'd swear I've seen from the Amtrak regional, the stiff tawny ripple of cordgrass and mirror-grey sea, gull-flecked seawalls, mirror-grey sky. Mendelsohn is wonderful, funny and heart-twisting and utterly natural once I got used to his American mumblecore accent; Britton is not in enough scenes, but she's brilliant in all the ones she gets. Tahan, Mann, Falco, even Gaston whose character is mostly defined by his cigar and his fondness for the word "irregardless" are all precise and recognizable people, types only insofar as the slice of affluent America to which they belong idiosyncratically exists. I'm all right with not living there, but I had a much better time with the parts that weren't salt marsh than I would have expected from a summary of prosperous ennui. This experiment brought to you by my steady backers at Patreon.

Off to Eastercon

Apr. 18th, 2019 04:59 pm
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
Since it was three weeks since I'd last seen the inside of A&E and the "Oh **** I need to get off this med right now" side effect had tailed off a week after that, I decided at the weekend that it's safe to go to Eastercon. I've been on the current second med before in combination with the primary migraine med (although not at the current high dose of primary) so I know what it normally does by way of side-effects, and while they can be unpleasant after a while they have never made me feel like A&E would be A Really Good Idea. So I should be there after lunch tomorrow.

Tenacious ice

Apr. 18th, 2019 08:00 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 29 F early, warmed up to 35 now. Near calm with a light south breeze, high thin clouds. We still have some snow tucked in next to South Neighbor's house under the rhododendron and cedar.

Interesting Links for 18-04-2019

Apr. 18th, 2019 12:01 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
rosefox: My feet on a pebbly beach. (travel)
[personal profile] rosefox
Sunday of our trip was just as delicious as Friday and Saturday.

So delicious! )

Kit was asleep when we got in, and X was glad to see us but also wiped out from a tiring weekend of solo parenting. We scavenged food and went off to our separate rooms, deeply contented from an excellent vacation.

Coda 1: I did indeed try using the shoe boxes for a bit of shelf organization. I think I prefer cloth drawers, though. Marie Kondo can get her kicks from efficiently using whatever she has handy. I get mine from everything having a unified look.

Coda 2: On Monday, I picked Kit up from school (they were SO HAPPY to see me). When we got home, they didn't want to go inside, so we hung out on our front patio for a bit. While watching them run around, I stuck my hand in my coat pocket and found the half-empty pack of almonds. Kit demanded a tithe, so I gave them a few and ate the rest. I loved having that little vestige of vacation still with me as the daily routine resumed.

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2019 10:14 pm
yhlee: Animated icon of sporkiness. (sporks (rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 56

How many of you hated The Giving Tree and/or that horrible book with the fish that has to give away its scales?

View Answers

49 (87.5%)

No, and I will tell you why in comments.
4 (7.1%)

Let me tell you about another popular children's book I hated!
2 (3.6%)

Ticky the tiki bar
18 (32.1%)

Something else I will explain in comments
2 (3.6%)

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2019 10:46 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I didn't do much yesterday except dishes and getting the trash out. The second chore, I only half finished because there was a car parked where the second bin needed to go. Scott ended up taking that one out to the curb later.

I've got five audiobooks out via Overdrive. They all have long waitlists, so I won't get another chance at them for months. I'm trying to prioritize them. I have one library DVD that can't be renewed, but I'm at least 80% sure, without having played any of it, that it's terrible (Kim Possible live action). It might make decent background noise for writing, though.

All three of us are having seasonal allergy issues. We're in that bit of spring when it's too warm for the heat but not yet hot enough for the AC. My current plan is to turn on the furnace fan and see if running the air through that filters anything out. Those filters are a big reason we actually use the AC.

At this point, I'm thinking that daily propranolol is over-all helpful. I just can't figure out a way around the problem of sudden spikes of crushing depression and/or panic whenever life throws something unexpected at me. The 'unexpected' part means no warning, and it's a thing that could happen any time. I could forget my glasses at a restaurant. Cordelia could dislocate her knee again. Scott could get six calls from third shift while we're trying to sleep.

It's a hard call because the difference in pain levels isn't vast. It's not a suddenly all better. It's-- at most-- maybe a point on the pain scale, and it doesn't help with the functional pain issues with my hands and neck. Is the difference between a 7 and a 6.5 or a 6.5 and a 6 worth an occasional few hours of mental non-functioning?

I do know that I'll need to not take it Sunday this week because of Easter related family gathering stress. Curling up in a corner and crying during dinner at my SIL's would be awkward. Why is embodiment so difficult?


Apr. 17th, 2019 08:22 pm
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
[personal profile] yhlee
Jane Portal's Korea: Art and Archaeology, in summing up the Imjin War, repeats the inaccurate old saw about how the deciding factor in the naval battles was the geobukseon (turtle ships). There were never enough of the damn things; the fleets were mostly paneokseon. Really, besides the paneokseon, it was superior naval doctrine and tactics that made a difference I WILL SHUT UP NOW BUT THIS BOOK IS WRONG ABOUT SOMETHING I CARE ABOUT AND IT IS DRIVING ME NUTS. I suppose it's too much to expect an art historian to care about Korean naval history.

this is my own fault

Apr. 17th, 2019 04:36 pm
yhlee: Animated icon of sporkiness. (sporks (rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
Hundred Words just lost all 1,000 words of today's writing because of a bug I'd known about. I just hadn't realized it was that bad. If you Hide (command-H) the app, new text disappears. Last time I was able to recover it; this time I wasn't.


I guess I...start over, and return to using Scrivener for production work until I figure out where in tarnation that bug is coming from.


I was halfway done with today's writing, and now I'm back to 0. I guess I'll try to recover the 1,000 words and call it a day. This is just demoralizing. *sob*



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