(I did not make it to the Brattle's screening of A Matter of Life and Death (1946), so the question of whether I find David Niven as beautiful in that movie as Andrew Moor does will have to wait for another time.)
Chapter 4 is broken into two parts (and we're going to handle both parts in this post, no I'm not deliberately padding these things). The first part focuses attention on Lenina Crowne's perspective. She walks through the lift room, noting the various men there, having spent the night with most of them at one point or another. (Although, it should be noted, if she spent one night with all of them, that's okay and it's not like this sex-mandating purity culture would object. I just note the possibility as something Huxley probably didn't imagine.) And, she has her own aesthetic concerns on any of them.
( Read more... )
Warning: This poem contains some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features multiple references to past child abuse and neglect, social anxiety, financial anxiety, extreme body modesty, jealousy, shame, sex/gender diversity, creepy mannequins, visible scars from past abuse, unwelcome attention from Dr. G who quickly extrapolates the origin of Shiv's scars, unwelcome touching of Shiv by Edison who is too young to have learned better, lingering awkwardness from Halley's prior violation of Shiv's boundaries, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. However, this is the beginning of the whole beach thread, so you need it to make sense of the later poems and the story "Family Stories" by dialecticdreamer.
( Read more... )
There’s a great quote from Canha that gets to the heart of what this is about:
I had to think about what I was going to do to show my support for Bruce, for 20 minutes. Even then, I was hesitant to do it. I thought about Colin Kaepernick. It’s like, geez, I love baseball. I want to play baseball. I love my job. I love everything about it. I love this country. I want to be part of this country. But to live in fear, just the fact that I had that small amount of fear, that small amount of hesitation, speaks volumes about that we need more change.Full interview here: A’s Mark Canha speaks out on Bruce Maxwell’s protest and whether others will follow
The A’s have been rebuilding. This is a very young team. But they have lots of confidence. I like their character.
Around the time I got home, Lisa was ready to start work on today's bout of home projects, which involved her putting herself in harm's way up on the roof on a necessary project that will make things better when it was done. My job was to fetch supplies and tools to her and to call 911 if she fell off the roof, which fortunately she did not. The roof work is perhaps 25% complete, and we'll do more as time, weather, and energy permit.
When we quit for the day, we had an early dinner and then went out for a walk. This is one of the best times of the year for that. The days aren't too short, but the weather is comfortable.
Last year, for my birthday, my parents offered to take me down with them this year. As I hadn't been down since before I was employed (and even longer before that trip), I of course said yes.
We left Sunday, and took our time going down. We left Seattle around 11-ish, and got down to Portland shortly before supper time. We wandered around and found the world's smallest park, Mill Ends Park. Afterwards, we wandered around until we found a place to eat, then headed off for Powells, and spent the rest of the evening there.
Monday morning we got up, had a small breakfast, and then went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, which had the Pompeii exhibit going on.
( Some shots from the exhibit )
Drove down to the Oregon Outlet mall and shopped that day, then drove again to Eugene, where we stopped at Smith Family Bookstore, then went to the Oregon Electric Station for dinner. We stayed across the freeway in Springfield that night.
Then Tuesday morning we got up, drove down to Medford, and picked up a scooter for mom to use in Ashland. And then we were on our way to Ashland.
( Recap of my time in Ashland )
The next morning, we packed up and went home. We stopped in Cottage Grove for lunch and found a place with great pub food and a craft soda menu. I went with something called "Dang That's Good Butterscotch Rootbeer." It was delicious. We got back to Seattle sometime after seven, had supper, and then they dropped me off, whereupon my cat began to complain at me that I had been gone for a whole week. And has only finally calmed down today.
It was a great trip, and I really want to go back next year because they're doing Othello, which is my favorite play, and also the Book of Will, which is about the making of the first folio. We'll see if it happens. Maybe I'll try to talk sis into it, just the two of us, or something.
Well, it's done now. Thankfully, I expected errors and bought a lot of extra felt.
The funny thing is that all his classmates, their families just drew on the bags with Sharpies. His mom asked me to do it due to lack of time, but I can't draw! I even had somebody else do the stencils for me! So now it looks like I put in way more effort than anybody else (despite the fact that I can see all the errors glaring out at me), but really, I just can't draw. Cutting and sewing is a LOT easier for me.
This is a 10,000-year rabbit hole!
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was designed to store radioactive waste in Nevada. The storage area would not be safe to enter until 10,000 years had passed. Several groups of smart people came together to design warning messages that could outlive our civilization and protect future explorers. These designers knew they couldn't rely on any current language surviving that long, so they worked on landscape designs that project "this is toxic waste, don't mess!" ( audio/text background and four fanfics )
One of the forbidding-landscape proposals is incorporated into California, a meh dystopian novel published by a non-genre writer in 2014. If the WIPP project follows up on the experts' suggestions, elements of those proposal should be showing up in pop culture for millennia.
It is so rare that I like a sitcom, but this one is smart and funny, and the actors terrific.
My birthday was great. My parents took me down to Ashland, Oregon, to the Shakespeare Festival there. It was fabulous, and I will make a post on that shortly (have to go through the few photos I have so I can share them with you all without showing people, because I do try to separate my fandom and personal spaces). Got back to work Tuesday and had a ton of great gifties from co-workers (mostly chocolate, which I made myself sick on), and have been trying to catch up on all my sites ever since.
I also got my Loot Crate box this week, which I finally picked up on Friday, so I will share those shots with you now, because I loved this box.
( Many images of Loot Crate Goodness behind the cut )
As I said, this is definitely one of my favorite boxes. :)
Stay tuned for photos of my trip down to Ashland, and some of the places I went and a list of all the plays I saw. :)
1. Thank you, question mark, Facebook, for pointing me toward this teeth-grinding article: Zoe Willams, "Yes, yes, yes! Welcome to the golden age of slutty cinema." I was a little wary of the opening, but then we reached the following claim—
"On the big screen, we look to the 1930s and 40s – rightly – for an object lesson in how to make a female character with depth, verve, wit and intelligence, but to expect those women to shag around would be unreasonable, anachronistic."
—and I blew a fuse. Can I chase after the author screaming with a copy of Baby Face (1933)? Or the bookstore clerk from The Big Sleep (1946)? Pre-Code cinema in general? A stubborn and sneaky percentage of Hollywood even after the ascendance of the Production Code? "It is a radical act," William writes, "which every film generation thinks they are the first to discover: to create characters who are not good people"—well, apparently every generation of film critics thinks they discovered it, too. I wrote on Facebook that I was reminded of the conversation between an ATS driver and her prospective mother-in-law in Leslie Howard's The Gentle Sex (1943), where the younger woman declares proudly that "for the first time in English history, women are fighting side by side with the men" and the older woman quietly lets fall the fact that she served as an ambulance driver on the front lines of the last war. Just because the young women of the rising generation don't know about the social advances of their mothers doesn't mean they didn't happen. Just because the author of this article lives in a retrograde era doesn't mean the onscreen representation of morally ambiguous women is some kind of millenial invention. It's so easy to think that the past was always more conservative, more blinkered, more backwards than the present. It's comforting. It's dangerous. It permits the belief that things just get better, magically, automatically, without anyone having to fight to move forward or hold ground already won. Once you recognize that the past, even briefly, got here first, it's a lot harder to feel superior for just being alive now. We can't afford it and anyway it isn't true.
2. Apropos of nothing except that I was listening to Flanders and Swann, I am very glad that I discovered them before reading Margery Allingham, otherwise I might have thought she invented "The Youth of the Heart." It's quoted in a scene in The Beckoning Lady (1955)—correctly attributed, but her books are so full of fictional artists and musicians that when I read of "Lili Ricki, the new Swedish Nightingale, singing Sydney Carter's lovely song against a lightening sky," I might have easily had the Avocado of Death problem and assumed she made them all up. As it is, I know the song from a recording of Swann performing it solo as part of At the Drop of a Hat in 1957, since he wrote the music. And I was reminded of Allingham because there's a copy of Traitor's Purse (1941) on Howard's bookshelves in Howard the Duck (1986). I assume someone in the props department was a fan.
3. The Somerville Theatre has announced its repertory schedule for October. I am sad that the double feature of James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is the same night that rushthatspeaks and I already have plans to see William Wellman's Beggars of Life (1928) at the HFA, but I am looking forward mightily to the triple feature of Psycho (1960), Psycho II (1983), and Psycho III (1986), because it is the Sunday before my birthday and five and a half hours of Anthony Perkins seems like a good preemptive birthday present to me. I have never seen Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963), either, or Anna Biller's The Love Witch (2016), and I always like Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead (2004). I know Brad Anderson's Session 9 (2001) was shot at the derelict Danvers State Hospital before it was demolished for condos, a decision which I hope is literally haunting the developers to this day. Anyone with opinions about the rest of this lineup?
I am off to write letters to politicians.
Down the Garden Path (and what Alice found there) (4517 words) by El Staplador
Fandom: Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
Additional Tags: Dreams and Nightmares, Dreams vs. Reality, Non-Linear Narrative, Board Games, Pastiche, Poetry, journeys, Nursery Rhymes, Werewolves
Alice throws a six, and finds herself on the square of the hypotenuse. But she's been here before, and she'll be here again, and perhaps she's already here...
- which I feel is rather obviously mine, though not in a fandom I'd previously attempted.
(Why do I not have an Alice icon?)
I am willing to extend the quarter-price option for "Branded in His Memory" beyond the sale proper if people have confirmed their intent to sponsor it. These mega-epics are so big, they rarely sell at full price, so it's to everyone's benefit to catch them in a sale. If you're looking to shop in the sale but have not yet done so, here's a great opportunity to get the most bang for your buck. The one person who's seen this piece so far is raving about it.
"Antarctica" (mp3) is what happened when I got Toto's "Africa" and Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" in my head at the same time. I'm a little surprised by how much of the original song I was able to keep. I also have dim, far-off plans to write "Antarctica" ttto "America" by Paul Simon and possibly "Antarctica" ttto "America" from West Side Story.
"When Windmills Return" (mp3) features a bygone hero awakened from long slumber to once again fight for justice against impossible odds. And since his foe is global warming, what more natural allies for him to summon to his aid than... windmills! Ah, windmills, whose prowess he knows all too well, for our hero is none other than— but I'll let you discover that for yourselves.
"The Highlands of Fra Mauro" (mp3) are where Apollo 13 was supposed to land, but they never got there, just like the captain of the Nightingale never got to Bermuda in Stan Rogers' "The Flowers of Bermuda". And, likewise, they had just one craft available as a lifeboat, but the number of crewmen to be saved exceeded (by one) the designed capacity of said lifeboat. Only, in the case of Apollo 13, NASA engineers and a roll of duct tape were on hand to make sure everyone made it safely home.
The "Goldilocks Zone" (mp3) is not too cold, and not too hot, but just right — you want your porridge to be in the Goldilocks zone, and you want your planets to be there too, if you want your terraforming to be a success.
What's "Brighter than the Sun" (mp3)? A supernova! I got that popular earworm in my head and this was the only way to get it out.
"B-Tree Nodes" (mp3) is about one of the essential elements of database architecture, the B-tree, a kind of index that allows fast access to rows of a table as long as they can be sorted into a definite order.
"The Wonderful Thing About Triggers" (mp3) is not about the things you pull on to fire a gun, nor about the things that remind you of past trauma, but (again!) about a piece of database architecture. In databases and other systems, "triggers" are subroutines that will run whenever a certain thing occurs. And that's a wonderful thing — unless you're stuck debugging them.
"Little 3D-Printed Boxes" (mp3) is about 3D printing! The wonderful thing about 3D printers is that you can print a hundred little twisty things, all alike, and then turn around and print a hundred little twisty things, all different. This makes an interesting contrast with Malvina Reynolds' "little boxes" and universities from which people come out "all the same". The specific reference to twisty puzzles is inspired by YouTuber OskarPuzzle.
"David of the FTC" (mp3) was written in honor of my father's retirement. He worked for the Federal Trade Commission on antitrust and consumer protection for nearly his entire professional career, and his stories were an inspiration to me even when I was too young to understand the legal details. Nicely done, Dad. And yes, there was a case involving caffeinated leggings.
"Philosophiae Doctores" (mp3) imagines the scholars of the Renaissance restoring the foundations of what would become modern academia. This song was written a long time ago, but I felt at the time that I should hold it in reserve until I earned my own PhD, which at the time seemed likely to happen eventually. Since I'm no longer working towards a PhD myself, I offer this song in tribute to all of my friends who embody the best of the academic spirit.
Video game songs
The "Materia Girl" (mp3) is Final Fantasy VII's Yuffie. Materia are mysterious orbs that are FF7's magic source, and Yuffie wants to steal them all.
"Cid's Song (The Magitek Factory)" (mp3) is another Final Fantasy song, this time from FF6. I wrote this song a long time ago and thought it was finished, but there were some plot gaps, a too-abrupt tone shift, and an instrumental bridge I could never get to work, so I rewrote the end and I think it's much better now. The Magitek facility, of which Cid is the chief engineer, is devoted to the scientific study of magical beasts. Unfortunately, its chief discovery so is that energy drained from said magical beasts (ultimately at the cost of their lives) can be used to power the Empire's deadly war machines... The tune here comes from the background music heard inside the facility.
"Chicken to Ride" (mp3) was written yesterday, after hearing "Ticket to Ride" on the radio — Sarah started singing "she's got a chicken to ride," and reminded me of a long-ago conversation about a possible Baba Yaga parody, but all I could think of was the scene early in Final Fantasy VI when Terra and her companions escape from Kefka's troops on chocobos (basically, giant chickens that you can ride on).
"Triforce Invocation" (mp3) is an incantation invoking the power of the Triforce, the relic holding the powers (wisdom, power, and courage) of the three goddesses of the world of The Legend of Zelda. Such an incantation might be used by the sort of eclectic pagan who would be so silly as to build a ritual around a theosophical system that was invented solely to sound cool in a video game. Know anyone like that? The melody here comes from the intro of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
"Every Inch of This Thread" (mp3) is another invocation, this time of the Spinner of Fate. In a number of mythologies, Fate is spun as thread by one or three women, who are usually regarded with an awe tending towards dread — the idea that our end is fated is an uncomfortable one. But thinking of this myth, and of that parable about the footprints in the sand, and of having seen for myself the tender care with which a spinner must handle every inch of thread, put me in mind of looking to Her with an awe tending more towards gratitude.
"Paradise Revisited" (mp3) is a journey through "paradise", which means literally "orchard" but also refers to the world of mystical experience. It can be confusing up there — as you stroll through the orchard, depending on how you turn your head, you may see one tree, or many, or none. And you may notice, or the snake may remind you, that the tree has two sides. Just be sure to remember the way home.
"Thirteenth Birthday" (mp3) is a filk of Vixy & Tony's Thirteen — a mystical number, a number of thresholds, such as (in the Jewish tradition) the threshold of being recognized as a fully responsible member of the religious community, a bar mitzvah. But what does that mean when you're not sure what your religion means to you? When you're pulled between a commitment to reason on the one hand and, on the other, a budding half-formed mystical sensibility, and your teachers aren't (yet!) giving you the tools to reconcile them?
"David, Beloved" (mp3) is an invocation (lots of those today) of the archetypal figure of the Biblical King David (lots of Davids today, too). David is a fascinating character, both in the Biblical narrative and in later more symbolic, archetypal, and mystical traditions. Warrior, peacemaker, songwriter, doing good and yet still making mistakes, and intriguingly, although male, closely associated with the divine feminine. Definitely someone I'd like to get to know.
"Vatikach Miryam" (mp3) is a setting of a verse (and a half) from Exodus (15:20-21), which may be more familiar as the source for Debbie Friedman's Miriam's Song.