copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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[personal profile] lynnmonster
I came home kind of late tonight.

When I went to grab the metal cat bowls I use for the kittens' wet food, I noticed that the plastic bases they nest in were a bit dirty and picked them up to wash as well.

Inner metal bowls and plastic outer holders get washed. I put down the wet food in the naked metal bowls while the plastic holders dry off in the rack for a while longer.  

While the kittens are still nomming their dinners, I retreat to my bedroom and close the door.

When I come out again for more than a quick bathroom trip, the metal bowls are gone.

Now, when the bowls are not in their bases, they are lightweight and can be nudged around pretty easily. However, I have a very small one bedroom apartment. 

So I check under every piece of furniture in the rooms they had access to. I check behind doors and furniture and anything else. I check between things and on top of things. I check under the throw pillows on the couch, even though that's ridiculous.

I check the trash, the recycling bag, the sink, the stovetop, and inside the fridge, just in case I wandered around on autopilot and put them somewhere without thinking about it. (I really, really didn't, but I check on the off chance that I am actually losing my mind.) 

People, these bowls are GONE.

What the hell???

________________

7/19 ETA:  Mystery solved -- hiding in plain sight! 
 
They wound up INSIDE the identical metal bowls for their dry food (which don't move around as much since they were properly nested in their outer plastic holders). 
 
Still no idea whether they were put there by me or the cats.
 


copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] sleepyheathen needs to make next month's rent and is selling items, offering commissions, accepting donations, and has an Amazon wishlist up. You can read more, purchase, or reblog here, or donate via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] tony-in-distress is trying to escape an abusive situation and hoping to take her siblings with her. She needs to raise enough money for a deposit on a safe house for her and her siblings to live in. You can read more and help out here.

Anon is raising funds to help a friend cover debt and pay for legal bills after her abusive husband took custody of their youngest son. You can read more and give here; unfortunately due to Australian law apparently they can't provide much information.

Sarah Sadat had to leave her job recently due to stress and is facing mounting medical bills for a failing kidney and previous hospitalization; she has surgery scheduled for next month, and is fundraising to help cover medical and other bills. You can read more and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] ohstephyy was let go from a job three months ago and hasn't been able to get another one; there are also other costs coming up to cover. You can read more and reblog here; a paypal address is available at the post.

[personal profile] laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for [personal profile] kuwdora, a talented vidder who is trying to become a professional editor. She has an opportunity for professional coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but can't afford the expenses on her own. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] tiarasnteakettles who is looking for work as a harpist, including attempting to purchase a harp that would be a massive upgrade from her current instrument and allow her more freedom in performance. You can read more about her situation and reblog here, including links to her Patreon and online store and Paypal donation address.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] wanderlust-anthology, an upcoming anthology of reimagined myths, legends, and folklore based on the theme Quests and Journeys. They are looking for creators for this anthology, which will be a full-color printed book with stories, comics, and artwork. You can read more at their tumblr or at the FAQ here; sign-ups close July 30th.

Housing:

Riel is looking for a roommate in Austin, TX to share a townhouse; she and the other roommate (male) are both grad students, and they do have a cat. Riel is very fandom-friendly. Lease starts in August. You can check out the townhouse here and get in touch at ariellayendler at gmail.com.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

This week in writing, 7/16

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:39 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Still not great, but better than last week! 

WIPs currently active: 5

Words written this week: 3,259

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 104, still inching along. I probably just need to hit a scene break soon, but then I’m going to have to figure out what happens next, so…?

Born in the Blood: 821, and it is distinctly possible that every one of them is terrible, but I haven’t figured out how to make them less terrible so for now I’m just going with it.

Dragon!Bucky/tribute!Steve and Learning to Be a Good Citizen: 490, including realizing that I needed to insert an entire chapter before where I initially started writing. 

All Eternals Deck #2: 598, possibly all getting deleted when I redo the beginning because i figured out that I was doing it wrong…

Slavefic #6: 1,246, DIRELY in need of a POV change. Soon. Yes. 

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[personal profile] copperbadge
A mango mixed jelly freeze from Chinatown is the best decision I have made all week.

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[personal profile] copperbadge
My parents signed me up for Nextdoor, which is like some kind of community-based mini facebook, and I am signed up in their neighborhood, which is (as we have established) The Boondocks.

I don’t mind belonging to their Nextdoor, it means that I will be kept abreast of local news, but also the local news is hilarious. 

The latest messages concern a HEATED DISCUSSION about hoof trimming because someone posted asking if anyone knows a farrier who will trim miniature horse hooves, which apparently most farriers have some kind of BASELESS PREJUDICE against according to this poster. Battle lines are quickly being drawn between the various camps including:

Miniature horses don’t need hoof maintenance the way regular horses do
Miniature horses ABSOLUTELY need hoof maintenance you monsters
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves ain’t shit
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves have their reasons
Miniature horses are some bullshit
Everybody shut up about miniature horses
I Have A Miniature Horse For Sale

I can’t wait to see who wins. I suspect it will be me. 

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[personal profile] copperbadge
I just got home and the apartment REEKS of burnt toast. Which is weird since a) nothing is on fire (I checked), b) I haven’t even MADE toast in like a week, c) it didn’t smell like that this morning when I got home from running, and d) the smell is most intense when standing on my welcome mat just inside the door. 

I think Ghost is mad at me. They often express themselves with smells near the doorway. But I haven’t even done anything! The designated Ghost Drawer in the card catalogue shelf (under G, for Ghost) is open and everything, I checked. 

I cannot order you a pizza tonight, Ghost, I already have grocery delivery coming and I don’t want the Domino’s guy and the Peapod guy to make it awkward. We’ll have pizza on Thursday. 

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(no subject)

Jul. 10th, 2017 08:18 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday! It's a brief one today, which I appreciate given I'm just getting back from vacation.

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more here; they're currently working to add a donation link, so I would bookmark and check back in a day or two.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

[tumblr.com profile] steverogersandhiscyborglovers linked to a survey by the Vatican, which is asking for information about the attitudes and values of 16-29 year olds of all faiths, worldwide; it's available in Italian, English, German, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. This is the first time the Vatican has put out an online survey and it's an opportunity to share your opinions with the church (even if the demographic gathering is a little limited; they only offer "male" and "female" options for gender). You can take the survey here.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

This week in writing, 7/9

Jul. 10th, 2017 01:25 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
(I missed a week there but I also missed a week or more of writing, with all the things finished and going out into the world, so we’ll call it a wash and start fresh, huh?)

WIPs currently active: 6, because I started altogether too many new things while trying to coax myself back into action after more than a week just not writing at all. (It’s a lot for me! It was unsettling!)

Words written this week: 2,280

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 133. This sure is a story in which stuff is happening. I should probably… reread the last couple chapters and try to remember where the fuck I was going with this in the previous geological era when I last worked on it.

Born in the Blood: 389, and hooboy I hope you did not want a lot of detail about [significant lifetime event taking place in this chapter] because the whole thing happened inside those 389 words.

Less-Sad Sequel to “Ring the Bell Backward”: 567, and struggling not to feel like, spiritually jossed by Spider-Man: Homecoming even though this story obviously occupies a fairly drastic alternate universe from canon.

Dragon!Bucky/tribute!Steve and Learning to Be a Good Citizen: 133, haha oh look I started a sequel how did that happen??

All Eternals Deck #2: 308, oh hey look I finally figured out how to start the next Bucky/Bruce story, too! :D

Slavefic #6 (Steve Learns Some Stuff about Sex): 555, picking up literally about three minutes after the end of The Sacrifice Play. :D

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(no subject)

Jul. 8th, 2017 11:28 am
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
For the interested, Netflix just added the cdramas King’s War (more commonly known as The Legend of Chu and Han) and Qin Empire Alliance (Which I THINK is the first of a now 3-part collection of series about the Qin Empire, but I’m not 100% certain-King’s War was easier to figure out because it has Peter Ho, whose series are easy to find descriptions of).


I don’t know who else pays attention to Netflix foreign acquisitions, but I do and it’s been...interesting. They’ve had a ton of Mexican telenovelas for ages and they used to have a lot of major network kdramas, a well as a lot of Taiwanese and Chinese dramas, but those dwindled down to almost nothing a while back. Then I think around the middle of last year, they started adding a lot of Turkish and Indian series-I’ve added some of these to my queue, but all I’ve watched so far is the first 11 episodes of Razia Sultan*, which I really like, but am stretching out as far as I can because there’s a lot more episodes that they haven’t added yet- and they started slowly replenishing their Korean and Chinese series selection, though they’re sadly light on historical and fantasy Chinese dramas, and the only sageuk they had is Tamra, which I’ve never managed to finish the first episode of. The last few weeks, though, they’ve been pretty much flooding the new additions with Chinese and Korean dramas. The Korean dramas are mostly cable network shows, particularly franchises-I Need Romance, Reply and Let’s Eat- and they’ve been pretty steadily adding Naver webseries for a while, so they probably did bulk purchasing from a couple of production companies, though they've also been purchasing exclusive international licensing for several series in recent months. The cdramas appear to be more random and a lot of them are ones I’ve never heard of, but I’m assuming there was similar bulk purchasing involved there. There have been some historical cdramas in the mix, but aside from the 2 I mentioned at the beginning and Ice Fantasy, they’ve been set in the 30s and 40s, and those tend to end up fairly heavy with the political propaganda.


There haven’t been too many series that I want to see added on the cdrama or kdrama front during this recent spurt, but I’m hoping this means more shows that I want to see will be added eventually, especially some of the recent cdramas that neither Viki nor DramaFever got.


*I should mention that there’s a truly cringeworthy quest arc at the beginning that I probably only got through because I’ve encountered far worse in anime and some cdramas, and the villains are sadly cartoonishly one note, but otherwise, it’s quite enjoyable.
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