Countdown to conversion day

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:44 pm
skieswideopen: (FK: Janette 2)
[personal profile] skieswideopen
I went to see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets today. Cut for negativity more than spoilers. )

For the Forever Knight fans: A friend of mine recently applied for Canadian citizenship, and a few weeks later received an email informing him that the processing of his application has now begun and also providing him with a link to the website where he can download the citizenship test study guide in either print or audio format. Furthermore, the email continued, the audio version is narrated by a group of famous Canadians. My friend didn't recognize any of the names, but I recognized a couple, including one that I thought might be of mild interest to handful of you: Geraint Wyn Davies. If any of you would like to listen to Nick Knight discuss the regions of Canada, you can do so here.

I was reading some advice today on how to improve ease of writing. The first step the site recommended is to write first thing in the morning, before doing anything else, or at least before reading anything else. It apparently doesn't matter what you write as long as you write something; recounting the previous night's dreams or discussing in detail how much you hate the activity are both perfectly valid options. I think I might try it for a bit and see what happens, if I can just bring myself to wake up a little earlier.

I have another week of vacation coming up soon. I should start putting together a list of the things I'd like to accomplish. Bake, definitely; maybe visit the bank; maybe go to the beach. That's a start.

transformation

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:46 am
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore
via [personal profile] laurashapiro -- the third vid is by [personal profile] kuwdora:






"The Power (Sense8)"


Bonus (the original vocal sampled on the song ((at 3:00 in)) before Laurie Penny rerecorded it):

the sequel

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:24 pm
kore: (Prozac nation)
[personal profile] kore
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOUR THERAPY WORKBOOK: //arrives

MOI: //stares at it with mixture of fear, wariness and resistance

//eyes copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn instead

In my shoes, a walking sleep

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:55 pm
kore: (Brain fail)
[personal profile] kore
My memory has been even more blitzed since the news of Bennington's suicide (sorry, everyone I was commenting with) so today, I apparently double-dosed every single med I take. There are quite a few. (Two antidepressants, one mood stabilizer, two acid reducers, baby aspirin, an NSAID, blah, fucking blah....)

A WINNER IS ME.

I guess in a couple of hours, I'll be hypomanic/super-stable, all chronic pain will be totally gone and my sinuses will be extra SUPER clean! XDDDDDDD

(if brains are so fucking important you'd think they'd work right)

this adorable goofball

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:56 pm
sapphire2309: (Default)
[personal profile] sapphire2309
I was rewatching POI 1x06 (aka Zoe's first episode) when I spontaneously combusted from the adorableness of John Reese.

So Harold at one point asks John, "Assuming that [Zoe's] the victim and not the perpetrator, who would want to take her out?" And John responds with, "Who wouldn't?" Except that he's not talking about potential threats, he's talking about taking her out. Like on a date. With food and flowers.

I CANNOT HANDLE THIS HOW DID I ONLY CATCH IT ON THE REWATCH IT IS TOO CUTE.
kore: (Orpheus & Eurydice)
[personal profile] kore
MOI: Hey I feel less soul-crushingly depressed, let's see if I can make it from the bed to the sofa.

INTERNET: GUESS WHAT ANOTHER ADDICTED ARTIST WITH A MOOD DISORDER IN YOUR GENERATION DIED, WANNA GUESS HOW, GO ON, JUST GUESS

MOI: //would set shit on fire if not glued to couch


Everybody's sharing that "Hunger Strike" duet but I can't fucking listen to that right now, although they both look so joyful, it just breaks my heart. Been listening to this on repeat instead.



One promise you made
One promise that always remains
No matter the price
A promise to survive
Persevere and thrive
And dare to rise once more



and this one made me feel a little less crap.

Bingo cards

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:14 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
I actually managed to finish a line on my genprompt-bingo card doing SSR Confidential - I just picked a line and used the prompts in it for inspiration for the various treats I wrote. It worked well. XD I haven't decided if I'm going to go for something more advanced on that card or just post it ...

Anyway, here are all my current cards: my newest h/c bingo one (one square down so far!), genprompt-bingo, trope bingo, and tic-tac-woe (apocalypses).

Cards under the cut )

Note to self: do not sign up for any more bingo cards.

Color-coded versions for prompt picking coming soon ...
selenak: (Default)
[personal profile] selenak
For once, I manage to write my book reviews on a Wednesday.

Sam Bourne: To Kill the President

It was to be expected: the first Donald Trump era thriller (that I've read). Which takes full advantage of the fact that when previously any critic worth their salt would have complained about the one dimensional characterisation of the villains and the lack of realism in the US voting someone like that into power and then the Republican Party falling in line, followed by no checks and balances from any institution after even the Supreme Court caves due to the stolen seat being filled by the new President's choice, now all this looks like, well, realism.

Spoilers from an age where reality beggars caricature )


Philip Kerr: March Violets.

This is the first novel of a mystery series which I heard/read about via The New Yorker. The article in question was enthusiastic enought to overcome my instinctive squick at the premise, to wit: hard-boiled/noir detective novel set in the Third Reich. Basically, what if Philip Marlowe was German? Wandering those mean streets as a cynic with an ethical core takes a whole new meaning if the authories aren't just corrupt but a dictatorship preparing for war and genocide. Our hero is Bernie Gunther, former policeman who quit the force in 1933 for the obvious reason given that the novel positions he has ethics, and became a private investigator instead. Kerr serves up all the usual hard boiled/ noir tropes - untrustworthy millionaire clients, corrupt cops, shady dames -, complete with Chandleresque language, and he did his research - the novel's setting is Berlin in 1936, around the Olympic Games, and in addition to the well drawn Berlin geography, there are some great nods to Fritz Lang's movie M via some of the supporting cast, gangsters (given that Bernie Gunther originally gets hired to recover some diamonds, though of course it turns out it's far more complicated and what everyone is after is something else altogether. The brief appearances by historic figures (Göring and Heydrich, to be precise) are drawn credibly, which is to say their vileness comes across without Kerr employing sledge-hammery moustache twirling; in fact, he uses Göring's bonhommie manners to make him chilling.

As opposed to To Kill a President, this actually is a good novel. But. I still struggle somewhat with the basic premise. This is the first novel of what according ot the New Yorker article I'd read are twelve so far, and already I'm having to suspend disbelief about Bernie's continued survival. There's no reason why Heydrich at the end of this first novel shouldn't have gotten him killed, for example. And since we're in 1936, Bernie would still have the possibility to leave the country, and given what happens to him in this novel, it's hard to wonder why he doesn't, given he has no dependants who'd suffer for it. Yes, the decision to emigrate wasn't as easy as hindsight would have it if you weren't rich and didn't have friends abroad, but again, some truly harrowing things happen to Bernie in this novel which would serve as an incentive to get the hell out of Germany if ever there was one beyond the general situation of the country.

With this caveat, I'll keep reading.

Spider-man: Homecoming (Film Review)

Jul. 18th, 2017 05:43 pm
selenak: (Henry Hellrung by Imaginary Alice)
[personal profile] selenak
Okay, that's it. As Civil War made me suspect, Tom Holland is my platonic ideal of Peter Parker, at least in his teenage phase. Also, while I had liked the first Raimi/Maguire movie and parts of the rest while increasingly disliking other parts of those films, and liked the first Garfield without thinking it needed to exist while extremly disliking the second one, this latest cinematic go at Spidey was a complete delight to me and I love it.

Ramblings beneath the cut )

Wonder Woman, Made of Clay

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:51 am
beatrice_otter: Wonder Woman--Black and White (Wonder Woman)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
Thing I do not understand about what people take away from Wonder Woman: "Zeus and Ares considering Diana to be Zeus's daughter"="Diana was not sculpted from clay by Hippolyta."  It's like, they assume that the whole "sculpting from clay" thing was just a lie to get away with "where the heck did you get sperm on an island with no men."

I mean, the Greek gods were "born" and came to life in all kinds of weird and wacky ways.  Athena, for example!  Athena was Zeus' daughter with Metis (and very similar to Diana of Themyscira, in a lot of ways).  How was Athena born?  She sprang fully formed from Zeus's head!  He was still her father and Metis her mother.  A bunch of Zeus's other children were at least sometimes considered to have been born through means other than sexual reproduction.  (Ares' mom may have gotten pregnant with him by eating the wrong lettuce leaf at the wrong time.  Ares was still considered a child of Zeus.)  The Greek gods just kind of went with the flow.  The people involved in your creation (whether through sex or not) were your parents.

What I'm trying to say is, everything we are told in the movie could easily be true all at the same time: Hippolyta wants a daughter so she sculpted one out of clay and prayed to Zeus.  Zeus wants a god-killer to take out Ares, and so he obliged her by flinging a lightning bolt her way or whatever, and bringing the baby to life.  The Amazons know this, but what is most important to them?  This is their Queen's daughter, their princess, the only child on the island, their Diana who was sculpted out of clay by her mother.  What is most important to Ares?  That Diana was brought to life by Zeus and is thus his daughter, and therefore Ares' sister, whether or not her birth fits into the standard "mommy and daddy have sex and nine months later a child is born" model that is the only way humans reproduce.  Ares and Diana are not humans.  They are Greek god and demigod.  Ares, in particular, scorns humans, so why would he care about human definitions of parenthood and sibilinghood?  Especially when he's trying to get Diana onside.  "Come join the family" is a lot more compelling than "come join the dude you've been taught to hate all your life for all the horrible things he's done."

As for Diana?  How does she consider herself?  What is most important to her?  That she is Hippolyta's daughter, sculpted from clay.  Yes, she was brought to life by Zeus.  Yes, that means that in the way the Greek gods thought, Zeus was her father.  She acknowledges this tie.  That means Ares is her brother.  But I bet you that when you ask her how she was born, five minutes heart-to-heart with Ares on a battlefield doesn't overturn the fact that she is an Amazon and thinks like one.  And therefore, unless you are specifically considering her role as god-killer, the fact that Hippolyta sculpted her from clay is far more important than Zeus's contribution.

Look at the battle between her and Ares.  She doesn't really ... react much when Ares starts calling her his sister.  She doesn't look, talk, or act like a person having a major identity crisis.  She's just like, "okay, you want to call me sister, sure, fine, whatever, guess that fits too, let's get on with this."  She doesn't react like "OMG, my mom LIED to me, everything I know about myself is a lie!"  It's more in line with "oh, right, yeah, from your POV Zeus's contribution is the most important, whatever."

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 04:05 pm
kore: (Prozac nation)
[personal profile] kore
MOI: Life is a confusing huge chaotic system, the internet is undermining everyone's attention span and especially mine, global politics is a horrible Roman circus, global warming will kill us all, I can't think coherently in sentences anymore

T: ....did you remember to take your sertraline and oxcarbazepine before 3 PM?

MOI: -- MOTHERFUCKEDY


(I should really take one of each in the morning and again in the late afternoon, but LOL I can barely remember to take ALL my pills once a day in a huge bolus, good fucking luck to my continued existence if my body ever depends on taking different medication at different times during the same day)

Doctor Who and Orphan Black 5.06.

Jul. 17th, 2017 02:03 pm
selenak: (Missy by Yamiinsane123)
[personal profile] selenak
Spoilery Doctor Who talk about the big casting spoiler. )

On to Orphan Black. Which was a good spy hijinks hour that moved the plot forward.

Read more... )

omg you guys.

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:21 pm
sapphire2309: (Sara)
[personal profile] sapphire2309
I just received FIVE drabbles/drabble series for [community profile] multifandomdrabble. I am so in love with all of them. Please squee at them with me!

Need by falsteloj (Harry Potter, Draco, Hermione)

Favours by st_aurafina (Person of Interest, John/Kara)

What is Done in Love is Well Done by OzQueen (White Collar, Neal/Sara)

Addition Through Subtraction by PhoenixFalls (Person of Interest, John/Kara, John/Zoe)

Would you jump off a bridge? by lirin (White Collar, Neal/Kate)


Also, I wrote a couple! And I have at least one more planned.

deep red (MCU, Natasha Romanoff)

dog days (Person of Interest, Shaw + Bear)

Versailles (Season 2)

Jul. 16th, 2017 04:09 pm
selenak: (Max by Misbegotten)
[personal profile] selenak
Since the other Borgias left me in the mood for over the top historical melodrama, and since it was available, I marathoned the second season of Versailles. (My first season review is here.) Aka, the show with the general accuracy of The Tudors (which is to say more than than the all around anachronistic crack like Reign, but generally not that much, though the occasional clever use of historical fact actually happens), produced by Canal just as Borgia, with the main selling point to internet fandom that there’s canon m/m prominently featured, courtesy of Louis XIV.’s brother Philippe d’Orleans, aka Monsieur, played by the increasingly gorgeous Alexander Vlahos. The second season tackles the affair of the poisons, one of the most notorious events in the reign of Louis XIV., but just as it did in the first season with just about any historic event fictionalizes the hell out of it, including, mystifyingly, changing the name of the main supplier of the poisons in question. Instead of La Voisin (first name Catherine), we have “Madame Agathe”. (Otoh the black mass celebrating renegade priest gets to stay Father Etienne Guibourg, which means the first time he is introduced in a seemingly benign undercover identity, the more historically versed parts of the audience know who he is and what he’s infamous for.) In terms of historical characters, we also get introduced to the delightful Liselotte von der Pfalz, the Princess Palatinate, and may I say that I was hugely relieved the Versailles version is great, because the original is one of my favourite figures of the era, due to all those vivid letters she penned for the folks back home, and as Versailles’ first season unfortunately reduced Monsieur’s first wife Henriette to a very passive, agenda-less character, which the original definitely was not, I was a bit afraid something similar might happen to Liselotte, the second Madame. But no. She’s blunt, no-nonsense, determined to make the best of a bad situation, as all versions of Liselotte should be. (Mind you, this show still obeys the Hollywood rule of plain and beauty, so when Monsieur’s lover, the Chevalier de Lorraine, ridicules Liselotte’s fashion and looks, it’s not clear what he’s on about since the actress is pretty – whereas historical Liselotte cheerfully admitted to her plainness in youth and weathered stoutness in age, comparing her looks as a middleaged woman to a roasted pig – and so is her wardrobe.)

On to more spoilery musings beneath the cut. )

Nominations and observations

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:32 pm
selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
[personal profile] selenak
Emmmy nominations: as a fan of The Americans, I'm pleased that Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Alison Wright were all three recognized at last. Will root for them accordingly, which is all the easier since frustratingly, Bates Motel' final year went without an Emmy nomination again. Freddy Highmore has been fantastic throughout, and especially in this last installment where the show had to at last enter the same narrative territory as Psycho, and succeeded with flying colours, very much because young Highmore has managed to make an iconic role his own. (Very Farmiglia would have deserved nominations in all preceeding years, but I can understand she didn't get one this year, since she played "only" Mother, not Norma anymore.) My loyalties might be slightly split for best actor because of Bob Odenkirk for Better Call Saul, and I'd be happy if he wins, too, but if I had to decide and push came to shove, I'd go with Rhys over Odenkirk. Speaking of Better Call Saul, I call fail on the nomination of Jonathan Banks for best supporting actor over Michael McKean (Chuck). Or for that matter Michael Mando (who plays Nacho). Look, I get the Mike cult, and Banks is always solid, but Mike really did not have all that much to do this season. Whereas Nacho got core emotional dilemma stuff, and the actor rose to the task. And McKean may have played the most disliked character on the show, but I don't think the most fervent Chuck hater on the planet would dispute he did so amazingly, and this season, it was a lynchpin performance, with Chicanery and the s3 finale as the two particularly outstanding episodes in this regard. As for the utter lack of nomination for Rhea Seahorn as Kim, don't get me started. Though, again: makes it easier to root wholeheartedly for Keri Russell and for Alison Wright in their respective categories.

_____

Yesterday there was a lengthy interview with Christopher Nolan in one of my regular papers, apropos his upcoming movie Dunkirk. Two issues caught my particular attention: a) he mentions having written the script for a movie about Howard Hughes, only to be foiled by the Scorsese/Di Caprio movie "Aviator", which made it unlikely for a few years studios would finance another movie about Hughes, and now when the time would have been right again, Warren Beatty struck first and made Hughes a non-subject for a few years more. But, quoth Nolan, he hasn't given up and swears this script is the best he ever wrote. To channel some writerly frustration, he added, he put some of his Howard Hughes characterisation into Bruce Wayne in his three Batman movies. And suddenly Bruce's utterly self indulgent hermit phase between movies II and III as well as his bizarre rewriting on why things didn't work out with Rachel in I as voiced by him in II appears in a new light. :) Or maybe Howard Hughes' decades in Las Vegas hotel rooms do - clearly the cover for a secret vigilante identity. Come to think of it, old Hughes sueing unauthorized biographers does resemble the Frank Miller version of Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Returns somewhwat, no?

Anyway: b) the other particularly interesting-to-me Nolan statement was that in preparation for Dunkirk, he watched All Quiet on the Western Front (classic 1930 film version of Erich Maria Remarque's WWI novel, directed by Lewis Milestone) and was amazed such a movie was possible in 1930. But, says Nolan, it probably only was because it was an American movie based on a German novel, because an American director would never have presented American soldiers in this way, and the Germans wouldn't have made the movie to begin with, "so hooray for one culture speaking for another in this case", ends Nolan. Thinking about it, I concluded he was right that the German film industry would not have made All Quiet on the Western Front in the early 1930s - the book had been a big bestseller in Germany, but the movies were utterly dominated by the UFA by then, and the UFA was owned by Alfred Hugenberg, hardcore conservative who'd go on to support Hitler in his 1932 and 1933 election campaigns. As it was Goebbels orchestrated an anti All Quiet on the Western Front campaign when the movie was released in Germany - SA guys loudly protesting in the cinemas, white mice released, I kid you not -with the result that the movie was quickly withdrawn and most Germans saw it only once the Third Reich had come and gone. (My paternal grandparents back in the day did see it in the cinema, but they had to travel to Belgium to do so, which they did because not only did Granddad own the book, but he regarded it as a matter of local pride - he was born and raised just a few streets away from where Remarque, the author, had been born and raised in Osnabrück. And my grandfather, who'd lost his father in WWI when he, Granddad, was still a toddler, always regarded the book as a way to figure out what his father might have been like.)

Last year, when I heard a lecture by Elizabeth Bronfen on war movies in Zurich, she compared the aesthetic and thematic treatment of All Quiet on the Western Front with what WWII movies and news reels quickly established as standard in US movies, and it really is strikingly different. Not being an expert on war movies, my lay woman opinion would be Nolan is right in the American part of his statement as well, that an American movie about US soldiers like All Quiet on the Western Front at the time and for some time to come would never have been made. Probably not until the genre of Vietnam movies started, and that came and went again; more recent US movies, no matter about which war, which present US soldiers being lured into a war by propaganda and then fighting pointless battles and dying with no heroic justification or reward whatsoever (i.e. not even saving a comrade's life or turning a battle, or getting an epilogue declaring that their cause lives on or their sacrifice is remembered or what not), don't come to mind, either. Or am I missing something?

Catch of the Evening

Jul. 14th, 2017 09:40 pm
silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
[personal profile] silverr
Microsoft OneNote.

Between speech recognition and the cloud, I can mumble all the thoughts that swirl up as I'm falling asleep into my phone, and in the morning I can go to my computer and they are THERE. I don't have to transcribe them from incoherent texts to myself, or by listening to my crony voice.

(Proper names are generally not done properly, but that's no big. Current mumbles involve Blue and Red.)
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
One of the things we fans love is our Woobbie Heroes, the guys (like Daniel Jackson or Bucky Barnes) who suffer so beautifully.  Hurt-comfort, we loves it, precious.  (And oh, I am dating myself with those terms.)

Anyway, there are a lot of fics about, say, Bucky recovering from torture, or where his psychological recovery is a large part of the story.  And one thing I've noticed is that the treatments for PTSD that people normally use are behind the times.  Like, they'll have talk therapy, and maybe a therapy animal or journaling--and these are good and helpful--but there's been a LOT of research into trauma disorders and recovery in the last two decades, and a lot of developments of new treatments.  Talk therapy is not the gold standard of what a cutting-edge therapist recommended by Tony Stark would use.  It might well be part of the therapy, but not the whole of it.  And Sam Wilson, working at the VA, would certainly know this as well.  I am not a professional, but I have read enough of the top books on trauma to have some feel for the subject.

If you would like to incorporate some more current research, understandings, and techniques, the best place to start is The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk.  He's got decades of experience and research dealing with combat vets, survivors of childhood abuse of every kind, and every sort of trauma you can imagine.  The book is well-written and interesting and suitable for a non-specialist to read, and it covers the history of trauma in psychology and how we learned what we know today, along with some very interesting case studies.  Best of all, the last few chapters are overviews of what he's found to be the most effective forms of treatment, including a brief overview of what the treatment is and their best guesses as to why it works, and then some examples of what's happened when he has used it or seen it used.  (Also, it's fun how he burns the DSM-V and some of his colleagues.  Like, there is SO MUCH SHADE, OH MY GOD.)

If you want some medical jargon to use in your fic, the place to start would be The Body Bears the Burden by Robert Scaer.  Scaer is a neurobiologist, not a psychologist, and boy howdy can you tell in his writing.  This one is a little more challenging, but it has a lot of medical stuff if you want to use that in your fic and wikipedia isn't doing it for you.
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