Six Wakes

Aug. 18th, 2017 08:16 pm
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (Default)
[personal profile] psocoptera
Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty. I'm a huge sucker for this kind of thing - six clones wake up on a spaceship in deep space, their previous iterations murdered, what happened. The combination of the train/island murder mystery and the amnesia hook, And Then There Were None, They Were Eleven (which I hardly remember now, except that I was into the premise), the first season of Lost where they figure out that someone wasn't on the plane - and a couple of y'all may recall that I once ran a one-shot along similar lines. :) It's hard to say much else without undercutting the suspense, when part of the suspense, I think, is "is this well-constructed, is it going to be satisfying". So I will just say that it reminds me a lot of what it seemed like Lost wanted to be, with backstory character-revealing flashbacks and a foreground mystery, but is a nice standalone book instead of six seasons of inconclusive ad hoc bullshit, how about that?

Three sentences about 2017-08-16

Aug. 17th, 2017 01:29 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
Had a somewhat crazy morning with the kids, I've now helpfully forgotten the details but I think they just would *not* stop pestering each other. At work, a big Omni design breakthrough (no base images) was great, pizza at lunch was tasty but probably a mistake, and I then wasted the rest of the afternoon banging my head against something stupid that I should have approached in a much less stupid way. I also snacked too much in the afternoon -- eating at work is really not a good idea for me, from a not-overeating perspective. Anyway, came home and made fish sticks and sweet potato fries for dinner, wrangled some baths and bedtimes, and went to bed nice and early -- and then stayed up until midnight in bed, because did I mention idiot? Sigh. There's a reason it's not called GTFT*B*!

gap-filling reading

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:15 pm
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (Default)
[personal profile] psocoptera
Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood. My note on my to-read list was just "prioritize this already", one of those must-reads I just kept not getting to. It is very powerful and well-done but I can't exactly say I *enjoyed* it; I admit I like the plucky survivalist fantasy of "fun" takes on the apocalypse like David Palmer's Emergence (a longtime favorite) much more than Atwood's realistic squalor. The world is too bleak right now to read anything this remorselessly non-escapist. Dubious choice, me.

The Human Division and The End of All Things, John Scalzi. I had read the rest of the series and always sort of intended to finish it, and I ran out of library ebooks and I had them on my phone because Josh had bought them, so. Scalzi is very, very good at writing books that keep you turning the pages, and then at the end you think, sure, that was fine, I would buy another one of these. I don't mean this as a criticism, I really admire Scalzi's professionalism and skill in producing A Satisfying Reading Experience. He - spoilers - did something so interesting in the Old Man's War universe, creating the United Federation of Planets and not letting humans be part of it - I can think of lots of stories where 20th century humans find out there's a League of Planets out there, judging them or whatever, but not a lot of future-set stories where aliens are doing the big good thing and spacefaring humans are left out or the enemy. Creates a good built-in tension to the world, that things are not how we would want them to be, and yet ultimately he has to either undermine that premise or leave it unsatisfying. I felt like in the end he tried to split the difference and it was kind of a meh ending. (Also, whatever happened to the whole "Special Forces want more rights/recognition" thread? I kept expecting that to come back in but it was just dropped.)

It's sort of funny, I was thinking of Oryx as a classic from quite awhile ago (I would have guessed the 90s) and the Old Man's War books as "recent", but Oryx is actually from 2003 and OMW from 2005. Of course Human Division and End are more recent, 2013 and 2015, but the world is still pinned down by the worldbuilding from 2005... I wonder if more "literary" works automatically seem older to me, hmm.

Insomnia Post

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:18 am
tablesaw: Charlie Crews, in a dark suit, rests his head on his left hand (That's Life)
[personal profile] tablesaw
I really wish i were better at typing on my phone because i can't sleep but i don't want to get a laptop while I'm in bed.

Three sentences about 2017-08-15

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:56 pm
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Had a dentist appointment this morning, all seems generally well. Got to work not too late, made some progress on some Omni stuff; mostly in the form of design discussions, which is sort of good because we need to design the thing we're discussing, but sort of not as good because we sort of thought we were done designing this thing last week. Story of this project in some ways, which is good in some ways because it shows that we're learning a lot, and revising our ideas as we learn, but still. Amy made salmon burgers and corn on the cob for dinner, yum. Kids were having a hard time not getting in each other's faces, but they managed to calm down a little by the end of the evening. I played a couple of games of BRAWL with Q (which I won, which frustrated him), and a game of memory game (which he won, which pleased him), and now they're in bed and I should be too. (But I did catch up on posting some stuff to Facebook, which I'm glad of.)

Anyone have local ghost stories?

Aug. 15th, 2017 04:23 pm
wickamuff: (Default)
[personal profile] wickamuff posting in [community profile] davis_square
Hey neighbors! I'm in an R&D phase of a podcast I'm working on and am currently collecting stories of people's odd experiences with "ghosts". I approach this topic with a healthy amount of skepticism, but find it fascinating that many people have had unexplained encounters!

If you think you may have had a run-in with a ghosts around town, I would love to hear about it. Feel free to PM me.

Example of a local legend : around the Powder House tower there have been reports of mysterious blue lights and what sounds like a man yelling for his daughter to stop necking with a neighboring farmer (but I've never spoken to anyone who has experienced this personally, just rumors I've seen online).

Thank you!

Three sentences about 2017-08-14

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:13 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
Monday, back at work! Tired after not getting enough sleep over the weekend, having a little bit of trouble staying focused. A little progress on Omni, a couple of meetings, meh. Shopped on the way home, made mac & cheese for dinner, enjoyed irresistible leftover cookie-brownies, baths and bedtimes, and now it's bedtime for me. (I want to post more about Nazis at some point, but not tonight.)

Approximately weekly diet report )
ceelove: (Default)
[personal profile] ceelove posting in [community profile] davis_square
UPDATE: This event is a no-go! Many thousands of people expressed interest in counter-protesting, most of the speakers cancelled, and Mayor Walsh released a statement that the event was not welcome here.

I expect there will still be a rally against Nazis and white supremacist terrorism that day, and also there are related things like a "teach-in" (presumably about direct action and safer protesting) referenced in links in comments.

-------------------

Some of the same groups that fomented white supremacist hatred and terror in Charlottesville today will be in Boston next Saturday.

https://www.reddit.com/r/TheNewRight/comments/6r4e3h/boston_free_speech_rally_august_19th/
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[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
From the city: https://twitter.com/SomervilleCity/status/897160515134377984

Join us for the Our Ville Stands with Your Ville: Charlottesville Vigil this Wed., 6pm, in Davis Square. More info: http://ow.ly/a3Y030eoWdK


6pm Wednesday, August 16 2017, Davis Square statue plaza

YA YA

Aug. 14th, 2017 01:07 pm
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (Default)
[personal profile] psocoptera
I'm not sure if that's funnier if it's like "yeah, yeah" or like "get your ya-yas out". Or neither. Anyways, books.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Mackenzi Lee, is a 2017 gay teen historical romance, written by someone who I would be shocked to learn was not in/formerly in fandom somewhere. Not that these particular characters ring a bell as fileoffs of any particular fandom; maybe it's just that it seems impossible that a person who likes this sort of thing wouldn't have discovered fanfiction. A young man pining for his best friend has his Grand Tour of Europe take an adventurous turn when he gets caught up in a plot that requires them to travel through various locations and action sequences, accompanied by bookish little sister and ultimately culminating in personal growth etc. Good stuff, recommended if you like Courtney Milan (Lee is doing some similar stuff with writing non-whitewashed historicals that don't erase race/disability/queerness/etc), or possibly, hm, I'm less sure about this comparison, but the Assassin's Curse books, or Meg Cabot? Meg Cabot did a couple of teen historicals I remember liking... anyways, I suspect that most people were either like "gay teen historical romance YES" or "nah", so I won't keep on. There is one minor speculative element, but I wouldn't call it enough to consider this an SFF work - it's more like the way some romance novels happen to have a helpful ghost, or the way Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has minor supernatural elements but is mostly action-adventure. (... although it turns out both Raiders and Last Crusade won the Hugo Dramatic in their years, so, gah, maybe this is an SFF work after all. Genre is hard.)

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo is unambiguously not speculative at all, just a teen contemporary novel. Trans teenager finally living as herself explores friendship and romance in the American South. Definitely felt like an "issue book", there's a lot of stuff here about What It Is Like for this girl to be trans, which, while very well done, felt more like it was aiming for people for whom this might be their first encounter with the topic. Given my personal areas of ignorance I actually felt like I learned more about stuff like what "mudding" is and the interior layout of a trailer home (... yes, my privilege is blinding) than the trans stuff. But, you know, put it in every school library in America and it might end up in some hands that could really use it. Well done and there was some good chemistry in the romance. Content notes: suicide attempt, forced outing, violence and threatened sexual violence against trans characters.

(I realize I didn't feel obligated to do a content note for the other one. Uh, period-typical attitudes? Genre-typical violence?)

Three sentences about 2017-08-13

Aug. 14th, 2017 11:52 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Sunday on the Cape! Q was still cheerful and chipper in the morning, and not feverish at all, so we headed down as planned. Traffic wasn't too bad, and we got there a little before lunch. Had some lunch, then headed down to the pond to boat and swim and stuff. I took out the two-person kayak, paddling from the back seat, first with Q sitting in the front seat while Junie perched on the bow, then with Q on the bow and Junie on the back. Q was done with boats after that, but Junie wanted some more, so I switched to a solo kayak, and paddled out somewhat deeper with just her, which was fun. When we got back from that, she took a turn paddling the solo boat, which she had basically no idea how to do, but picked up quickly with some coaching. :^) Q meanwhile had gone out with Sean on a boat he (and a friend? forgot what he said exactly) put together, with crew-style rower mounted in a canoe hull, which he enjoyed, and then Junie took a turn in that. I meanwhile set up the hammock between a pair of trees, their place having plenty of same, and took a very nice nap there, discovering in the process that the hammock is a lot more comfortable hanging from trees, where it can be hung higher but looser and thus sit lower, than it is on our deck, where it can only be a few feet off the deck and thus has to be as tight as possible to keep from hitting the ground when occupied. In the latter case, in particular, the sides are much more squinchy, to the point that I was sort of wondering how anyone could possibly sleep overnight in one of these things... Way better when hung higher and looser! My interest in finding a way to hang it similarly at home may be up again, although we still don't have any really great and/or easy options. Anyway, we then had dinner, a delicious feast of scallops and tomatoes and zucchini and peppers and onions over spaghetti (with hot dogs instead of the scallops etc for the kids), and a pan of cookie-brownies for dessert, which I personally ate only about ten or twelve of, because dang but those things are delicious. Headed home after dinner, there was about a fifteen minute slowdown at the bridge, but pretty smooth after that. All in all, a very nice day. :^)

Three sentences about 2017-08-12

Aug. 14th, 2017 11:33 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
A pretty relaxing Saturday, with some ups and downs. I was pretty tired after staying up too late, but slept in a little, which helped. Q was sniffly in the morning, so he skipped shotokan and I just took Junie, and shopped at TJ's during her class because she is Big and does not mind if I am mostly not there. :^) When we got home, Q was in pretty bad shape, with a fever of 102 or so, poor guy. :^( We'd been talking about watching a movie in the afternoon, and he still wanted to do that, so we watched The Princess Bride with the kids (the first time for them), which was fun, although they didn't love it as much as Amy and I did. Perhaps unsurprisingly -- it's a bit dated, a lot of the humor is fast-paced dialogue (which is hard for Junie to follow, and impossible for Q), and the only female character of note does basically nothing but get dragged through the movie like a prop by men, which Junie is a good enough feminist to find somewhere between uninteresting and objectionable. And lines like "where I come from, there are penalties when a woman lies" (and that whole scene) are just cringeworthy. :^P We didn't talk much afterwards about why he's such a dickhead to her in that whole scene, and probably should have (or still could). Anyway, Q was pretty zonked after the movie (I don't actually remember now if we checked his temperature before or after), so we gave him some tylenol, and he and I headed upstairs for a snugglenap, which was nice. Especially nice because his fever basically broke entirely, and he was chipper and cheerful again when he got up, so hopefully we'll still be able to head down to the Cape to visit Grandma Betsy & Sean tomorrow! I did not make my life easier by staying up way too late again, but I got a Button Men thing done that I've been meaning to work on for weeks, and it'll actually lead to me spending less time on tedious Button Men tasks in the future (auto-creating games for one of the ongoing events I run), so that's nice. But this is not turning into a good weekend for sleep. :^p

Three sentences about 2017-08-11

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:51 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Finally got a chance to focus on one of the most me-specific parts of the Omni project today, the bit that will involve deploying our containers into the Swarm. Got a pretty good first pass of it done, and now need something I can test with. :^) Other folks are working on that, so perhaps over the weekend or on Monday. We also finished our latest desk move; we're shuffling things around to use the office space as a whole better, so my group moved around the corner, my personal new location is basically equivalently nice. In the evening, I went to Boston Frisbee pickup for the first time in nearly a year! It was fun, although slightly marred by one Bro-ish guy on our team, who had the annoying combination of talking a lot about how he'd like us to do things better (including things that are explicitly not how Boston Frisbee does things, like zone defense), while simultaneously playing a goofy loose style that included a lot of throwing discs away when he could've made a good pass if he'd taken half a second to stop and aim rather than just chucking it in a flashy look-at-me-I'm-so-cool-and-casual way. It was all right even so, and some good running around; I hope to go back. I did, however, stay up way too late, and overeat afterwards, including the entire box (minus one, which I shared with Amy) of eight caramels we'd each gotten as part of the desk move. Might need to think about some techniques for not doing that sort of thing after exercise, especially if I'm going to play once or twice a week for a while.

"Free" Speech rally next Saturday

Aug. 12th, 2017 07:51 pm
ceelove: (Default)
[personal profile] ceelove posting in [community profile] davis_square
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE

Saturday appears to be sunny with a high chance of Nazis. Many more counter-protesters than "free speech" advocates, though. You may be searched for weapons if you go (I am relieved to learn).

----------------------

UPDATE: This event is a no-go! Many thousands of people expressed interest in counter-protesting, most of the speakers cancelled, and Mayor Walsh released a statement that the event was not welcome here.

I expect there will still be a rally against Nazis and white supremacist terrorism that day, and also there are related things like a "teach-in" (presumably about direct action and safer protesting) referenced in links in comments.

-------------------

Some of the same groups that fomented white supremacist hatred and terror in Charlottesville today will be in Boston next Saturday.

https://www.reddit.com/r/TheNewRight/comments/6r4e3h/boston_free_speech_rally_august_19th/

(I'll be counter-demonstrating at noon, myself. Possibly with a sign saying either "Proud Race Traitor" or "Go back home to 1945" unless I determine it's more likely to get me killed.)

2017 Hugo Winners!

Aug. 11th, 2017 05:03 pm
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (Default)
[personal profile] psocoptera
See the winners and links to detailed results here.

Overall, I think it was a strong ballot and I'm pretty happy with most of the results. Disappointed about Splendor&Misery, but as we'll see in the detailed results, I think the answer to "can an album compete with series television" is "I guess not".

So, yeah! Analysis and reactions, behind this cut for length! Read more... )

Three sentences about 2017-08-10

Aug. 11th, 2017 06:54 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
More Omni at work, just chugging along; also a bunch of helping folks with another Docker-related project, one which will improve another big area of suffering (content management). Shopped on the way home, and then cooked up a can of jackfruit that I'd bought to try out; it was ok, it did have a mouth feel somewhat like chicken, but it was still recognizably vegetable, and I wasn't really into it. Made orange chicken and carrots and broccoli for real dinner, baths, and to bed.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (Default)
[personal profile] psocoptera
Yeah, so when they said "great visuals, bad writing", that was not anti-SFF snobbery talking.

Let me complain at length.

But first! Previews! I got the Wrinkle in Time preview and I can't believe the world has to not blow up until *March* for us to get to see it, augh. Looks so good. I am also tentatively interested in the romantic comedy where Reese Witherspoon plays a 40-year-old mom who trades in her husband for a small harem of twenty-year-olds... ok, I'm sure in practice it will be terrible, but I want to see what fandom can make of it? Like there's some interesting stuff there with interplay of Mom Identity and sexual identity, where she's momming two of them and fucking the third, and it's nice to see films with middle-aged ladies getting to Renew Their Lives With Youth(s), a traditionally dude-dominated genre.

Okay, now Valerian spoilers. Read more... )

So, yeah. Cannot recommend, alas. I always want the big SF films to be good but... too many of them are not. :(

Three sentences about 2017-08-09

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:31 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
More good progress on Omni stuff at work today, although I got stuck again at the end of the day trying to finish something complicated. Got it done, and got home not too late either, so yay. Q was having a real hard time after dinner, and I finally lost my temper at him, which I'm sad about, but jeez kid you gotta every once in a while listen to literally anything I'm saying. :^( The thing where he just ignores me is so vexing. He really wants more control over his own life, and sometimes we come up with good ways to get him that but sometimes, like last night, well, we don't. Always an ongoing project. :^) On the plus side, his reading has really taken off this summer -- he still gets frustrated with long words that take more than a moment to sound out, but he recognizes a bunch of words by sight, more every day, and seems to enjoy it too, or at least to not want to give up. :^) Junie is chirping along ok; she doesn't seem to have been having as much fun at camp this week, not sure why exactly, seems to have at least some to do with not getting one of the named parts in the show they put on at the end of the week. Which, on the one hand, sure, disappointing; on the other hand, twenty or so kids, some of them a couple years older than her, six named parts, she's not necessarily likely to get one. She's just been sorta glum and subdued all week, though, poor kid. Anyway, baths and bedtimes, finished and SDME set, and headed to bed not too too late myself.

Three sentences about 2017-08-08

Aug. 8th, 2017 11:05 pm
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
I actually managed to get to bed last night, and slept well all night, and felt much more on top of things all day. Spent a lot of the day helping people with stuff and/or trying to figure out why the hell things were changing unexpectedly out from under something I was doing, with only some resolution in the latter case, may need to talk to some people tomorrow about that. Got stuck late at work finishing things along those lines but made it to Chaos's for dinner and gaming, the former of which was India Palace (yum), the latter included: Subbing in for Amy as Q's teammate in a game of Genial (after she took Junie's seat, when Junie decided she was too hungry to enjoy the game and needed dinner, which had arrived mid-game -- I had arrived shortly after the game had started); King Of Tokyo with Junie and Gavin, which I almost won when I hit 19 stars, but was knocked down to 1 heart in the process, and was killed before I could get that last point; Dominion with Chaos, Gavin, and Viva, which was super close, final scores like 27 - 26 - 24 - something, with Chaos winning while I had the 26; and a game of TTR Switzerland that took way longer than it should have, but was still pretty fun (and which I won by a mile). Home, a bit of logistics, and now it's (past) time for bed.

Three sentences about 2017-08-07

Aug. 7th, 2017 09:29 pm
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
A whole new week! Both kids are at Arlington Center For The Arts this week, so there was some of the usual confusion about who exactly needed what in their lunch (yes), are nuts allowed (no), do we need sunscreen (yes), etc (no). Somewhere in there I managed to sign them up for the fall session of circus class at Esh, which they're excited about; doesn't start until September, but should be fun. Their activities this fall will be more different than previous: Circus on Saturday, shotokan on some combination of Wed and/or Thu, and new things basketball (for Q) and LEGO robotics (for J) on Tuesday. It all sounds fun, I hope it all works out well. :^) Anyway, today, some flailing around in the morning about what exactly I should be doing next on the Omni project, but some good conversations in the afternoon led to some clarity there, and I feel like I'm ready to dive in tomorrow. Shopped on the way home, and made hoisin chicken for dinner, although not like mom used to make, because I was vastly lazier, using precooked chicken, carrots, and peas, rather than various more labor-intensive ingredients. Junie loved it, Q seemed to like it, Amy thought it was a little too sweet for her taste, so I'll probably do it again, but maybe not all the time again. Baths and bedtimes, and I am feelin' pretty ka-thunk myself, so hi ho hi ho it's off I go.

Approximately weekly diet report )

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