marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
Fun read, but I'd expected better: the book can't decide whether it's comedy science fiction or political thriller. The SF part is well-handled, but the political stuff confuses me; I briefly considered drawing a diagram while reading so that I could keep up with who was working for whom. One moment you're reading some lovely SF about sheep DNA and the brains of the dead being uploaded into intelligent agents. Then you're suddenly pitched into the middle of a fight scene which looks like it dropped out of a Wachowski film; it doesn't work half as well in print.

But the biggest problem with this book is the sexism. In almost all the story there is *one* major female character, Robin. She and all other women are referred to by their first names; all the men are referred to by their surnames. Robin is described well, as seen by the male viewpoint character, and there's a lot of action *involving* her. But she rarely does anything that affects the situation; for much of the story she's just a McGuffin.

To its credit, it has the best opening line I've seen in years: "Dirk Moeller didn't know if he could fart his way into a major diplomatic incident. But he was ready to find out."

SSHG Giftfest

Aug. 18th, 2017 05:52 pm
kerravonsen: Snape, Hermione: "Believe" (Snape-Hermione)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
It has come around again.

2017 banner 1


I'm torn about whether I will sign up or not.

I made two works for the [livejournal.com profile] sshg_promptfest, and put them up on my Etsy store, thinking that at least somebody in the fest would give them a good home... and not a whisper. I think it was even more deeply discouraging because there were folks who commented on my fest entries (before the reveal) that they wanted them... but obviously didn't want them enough to buy them when I pointed out (after the reveal) that they could...

This is deeply frustrating, because I find it really fulfilling to make wearable art, but since I've run out of friends to give my SS/HG works to (they have said that they now have too much to wear...) then the only other way to give them a good home is to sell them; to sell them at a price that actually reflects what they are worth. But if nobody will buy them, then what is the point of making them, if they won't be worn by anybody?

(sigh)

Hence, I am torn.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:32 pm
alchemia: (Default)
[personal profile] alchemia

  • Deleted my insanejournal account.   I never read the flist there, and there was no way to mass lock old posts.
  • Speaking of which, mass locked all my Livejournal posts.  Paid for a month on Dreamwidth to do the same.
  • Yeah that breaks links on fanlore, boohoo.  When they change their policies to not put site growth before fen's wishes or even safety, I'll reconsider unlocking the relevant posts.
  • If you wanted to read something you can't access (or even use something in a presentation, essay, book, whatever) that is now locked, and your account appears legit, message me.
  •  


Eric Ibraheim Mozarabe

Aug. 15th, 2017 08:26 am
steorra: Illumination of the Latin words In Principio erat verbum (echternach)
[personal profile] steorra
I was just poking at the internet about Asian personas in the SCA. And I came across some discussion of race in the SCA in a book on Google Books. And this anecdote caught my attention:
---
Eric Gardner is a black man in the SCA who formerly went by the name Eric of Huntington. As a squire to Steve Beck/Duke Stephen of Beckenham, Gardner portrayed a European squire of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries at all times until he was knighted. In the West Kingdom knighting ceremony there is a place immediately before the dubbing, appropriate for a rite of passage, where the candidate is asked, "By what name do you wish to be knighted?" Nearly everyone uses the name he or she has always used. However, some people surprise the heralds by announcing a new name (which then needs to be researched and registered before it can appear on the writ that accompanies their knighting). When asked this question Gardner replied, "Eric Ibraheim Mozarabe." The king was Chris Ayers/Duke Christian du Glaive, whose persona is a Norman crusader. A strong proponent of acting "in persona" and maintaining a medieval attitude at all times, he was clearly bothered by Gardner's declaration. He has no problem knighting a black man, but for this crusader knighting a Muslim created an issue. As a compromise he continued the ceremony using both names, saying, "Eric Ibraheim Mozarabe, also known as Eric of Huntington, I dub thee. . . ." What Ayers did not know is that Ibraheim Mozarabe is a Christian name. Ayers had assumed that because it was Arabic that the name must have been Muslim, indicating that Gardner had a Muslim persona. According to Gardner, Ibraheim means "child of God,"[1] and "Mozarabe" refers to a population of Christians living under Moorish rule in Spain after the eighth century."
(Medieval Fantasy as Performance: The Society for Creative Anachronism and the Current Middle Ages, by Michael A. Cramer, p. 40)
---

[1] I think this is incorrect. I think it's an Arabic form of "Abraham", which does not mean "child of God".
kjata: homestuck (we are the goon squad)
[personal profile] kjata
14/8/2017 wordcount: 1,574

1.3k was on Kylux RBB and 224 put on a Stony Trumps Hate fill. Would've pressed to force work on my fandom5k continuation, but had to take benadryl to keep my eyeballs in their sockets and that basically killed me for the day. Still managed to get the work done before it knocked me on my ass, though, so hurrah for being up really fucking early because of drama going on outside, I guess?

The fandom5k words is supposed to be my carrot-and-stick. If I get at least a small chunk done on each of my commitment areas-- which right now is the Kylux RBB and the first of my STH fills-- then I will allow myself to put as much work as I can on a project that has no expectations or anxiety attached to it. *pets that story* Yes, yessssss. So good to me, yesss.


From a narrative standpoint, Telltale's The Walking Dead is a lazyass story full of contrived devices that entirely rely on ~~zombies to bring on the drama. I'm not going to give a shit about your characters if the only personal point you give before they die is that they're scared, and then after they're gone you reveal that oh, one of the survivors ~liked~ them. Big whoop, that's been done to death before in everything from soap operas to war dramas you fuckheads.

I'll finish the game because I give a shit about my perfect game score on Steam, but that's the only reason. It's gonna be like pulling teeth, and though my hatred of the comic has died down over the years, it's certainly being rekindled now.


Zuul was making noises last night that he needed to go to the bathroom, so I walked him on a leash out into the pitch so he'd have a chance to not fuck up my kitchen floor. Of course what he really wanted to do was chase desert frogs that are popping up due to all the rain.

Took him back inside after twenty minutes of dicking around, and Tidbit lost her shit. I think she thought I'd taken him away forever or something, because for the rest of the night she placed herself bodily between myself and him at all angles, and if I tried to touch him she'd get up and knock my hand away. HE'S HER DOGGO, NO TOUCHY.

This shit isn't funny, except how it totally is :3
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
Books

Read Megan Whalen Turner's Thick as Thieves, the fifth book in the Queen's Thief series, about Kamet (Nahuseresh's secretary.) I enjoyed this a lot. She does some very cool things with past canon -- I did not see (spoiler) coming, and was delighted. I loved the ending.

spoilers )

Reread/skimmed through most of King of Attolia after finishing Thick as Thieves, to remind myself how much I love Eugenides/Attolia as a pairing. They're so complicated and intense, and their love makes the trauma worthwhile but doesn't make it not exist.

Read Omar Sakr's These Wild Houses. Poetry book by a bisexual Arab Australian poet from Western Sydney. It has a very strong sense of place -- I'm not from Sydney, but Melbourne's West is like that too. Tender poems about his family and the good and the bad there. Wry poems about what he expects his audience to assume about him from his demographic notes. Lyrical poems about landscapes and interiors, the launderettes and mosques and living rooms he knows. I particularly liked 'Call Off Duty', about coming out to his brother.

Started Max Gladstone's Four Roads Cross. That moment, very early on, when I went "IS HE DOING THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS? HE IS, ISN'T HE. fuck" I love this world. It's common in fantasy and SF to make a point of how the zombies and vampires etc are NOT metaphorical, because otherwise the non-genre readers will assume they are and try to find what their exact Real World Analogues the vampires etc Represent, as they were taught to do in eighth grade literature because if the supernatural entities weren't here to teach an Important Moral Lesson about our world then that would be Escapism, which is Bad and Unhealthy. And I understand that impulse, and I do like reading about vampires that are actually vampires, but I do also love that Gladstone's not afraid to get very allegorical indeed.

Comics

Dumbing of Age: I am so with Carla on this. Yeah, enemies-to-lovers worked for Ruth and Billie, but that doesn't mean Carla should put up with Mary's bullshit. They're totally incompatible. If they were X-Men supervillains, Carla would be Arcade and Mary would be Senator Robert Kelly... okay, that metaphor might not be very helpful, but my point is, even their flaws aren't compatible. (Since then, Carla/Mary got jossed, to Carla's great relief. Also Mary used Revelation 3:16 on Joyce -- that's gotta sting, since it's probably something past-Joyce would have believed about now-Joyce.)

(Side note: I had to wiki-dive to find the names of the supervillains I was thinking of. Along the way, I learned that the villain Jay and Miles were talking about in the X-Plain The X-Men episodes I've been listening to before falling asleep, whom I thought was named Nastier, is actually spelled N'astirh. And to think that people tease J.R. Ward for having characters named Vishous and Tohrture!)

Questionable Content: Winslow's body-shopping is making me so happy and also so envious. I want a robot body!

TV and Movies

Watched the first episode of Cleverman season 2. The season 1 finale left them with a problem in terms of where to go from there. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate what a plausible Australian dystopia this Australian dystopia is? The white Australian dudebros who get stuck into Waruu (who, btw, does not appear to have learned anything at all from the previous season) are drawn entirely from life, as is the detention centre, the politicians, and the news people.

Music

Listened to clipping.'s midcity, the second album of theirs I've listened to. It hurts a lot worse than Splendor & Misery, and not just in the sense that they're deliberately making the noise really painful sometimes. (Sometimes having sensory integration stuff is helpful with an album like this. I know how to listen to painful sounds, and how to like sounds that aren't traditionally musical or beautiful.) For example, there's a track where they replace the swear words with more and more censor bleeps until the bleeps are just one steady piercing tone.

Not a good one to listen to in the car (I have a bad habit of classing albums I listen to along the good for car/not good for car binary.) ...I typed that, and then heard Daveed Diggs rap, in a tone of deeply amused incredulity, "They say they want that raw shit, that raw shit / That turn that beat up in your car shit, your car shit [...] They say they miss them old school gangstas..." And yeah, that might be this album's thesis statement. This album gives gangster rap a long, hard stare. If I were gangster rap, I would look away first. (I am not gangster rap. But then, neither is gangster rap.)

Listened to Ghoul's Dungeon Bastards. Thrash metal. This, by contrast, is good car music. Or if the site you go to for housekeeping advice instructs you to "put on some peppy music" and you don't do peppy but do need something energetic to clean to, this might be your go to album for that. I could say something about how this album expresses themes of nuclear anxiety and rebellion squarely placing the songwriters in Generation X, but I couldn't do so with a straight face.

Listened to clipping.'s CLPPNG. cut for length )

Games

Played Dream Daddy, the queer dad dating sim. Access note: you know that effect some visual novels have where the screen suddenly shakes back and forth? It overuses that really badly. I had a headache by the end of it (it's less bad, but still not absent, if you choose the lowest graphics option.) Apart from that I liked it. My first playthrough, I was a good dad to my daughter Amanda, and she got the happy ending. I tried to romance Mat the barista-musician, but he wanted to just be friends, probably because I was so bad at the piano minigame. (Later I found out that you're meant to sing into the microphone. The what? I don't have a microphone.) Second play-through, I romanced Damian Bloodmarch, goth dad and closet animal shelter volunteer.

There was wank on Tumblr because of this game, and yeah, I am calling this fandom wank not Discourse because no, fuck you, not even. So... like a lot of visual novels, notably Hatoful Boyfriend, Dream Daddy has a goes-to-eleven ridiculous dark route. Or had -- it's not playable. It was gonna be a Halloween special or something. But some players found it anyway and got very angry because it's problematic or homophobic or something for one queer character out of seven to turn out to be evil. Or something. I read the script for the unplayable bad route, and I liked it. It's fun, it's entirely genre-compliant, and omfg if that's too dark for you, please never play Hatoful Boyfriend.

Finished all the Hexcells Infinite achievements.

Started playing Super Star Path, which is an arcade game where you're a rocket pilot who shoots aliens (with the goal of re-stealing the technology we stole from the aliens, which the aliens have taken back.) The boss fights are very danmaku/bullet hell, and the missions before the boss fights are a maze that can be rendered unsolvable very, very easily. I'm dying a lot.

[community profile] hexarchate_rpg is going to some interesting places. One of us has just made first contact with the sentient enslaved alien powering our ship. Another character's just discovered yet another character's real identity, although she doesn't know what she knows yet. Most of the rest (including my character) are making polite conversation with a scientist and a diplomat who may or may not be trying to entrap us into confessing to heresy. I'm holding a tray and asking the scientist about his research. It's a heavy enough tray that my definitely not-a-fighter character hopes to use it as a shield if things go badly enough.

Other

Tried out a recipe for homemade laundry powder I found on Tumblr. (Recipe is here, but all you need to know: grate a bar of plain soap, combine with one cup of 'lectric soda (sodium carbonate, aka washing soda, aka soda ash) and one cup of borax. Add some essential oil if you really want. Use 1-2 tbsp per wash.)

It worked fine. The only part that didn't go as usual was that when I changed into my freshly laundered pyjamas, opened the closet, and threw the day's clothes into the laundry hamper in there, the thud of the clothes was followed by a sudden meow from inside the hamper. The closet door had been ajar, but so close to closed I wouldn't have thought anyone could get in there.

Got around to installing Audacity and recreating a ringtone/alert sound I had back when I had an iPhone (iOS uses m4r for ringtones. Android uses mp3 and doesn't know what an m4r is.) It's the first couple of bars of the Indigo Girls' 'Galileo', that little marimba (xylophone?) riff. Neatly trimmed so it repeats properly. I like it, and I like that it's so possible.

Cats

Beatrice's x-treme grooming continues: Dorian's temples are completely bald. I should have called her Barbara.
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
[personal profile] vlion
Looking for jobs in EU West Europe now. Not aggressively, but seriously. Focusing on Germany and France. Others I know less about, but am interested in.

I can execute in a senior software engineer position or a early-stage lead SW engineer; interested in doing the management gig too. Dev skills are backend, devops/sre, embedded. Linux very strongly preferred; preferred technology stack would be statically typed.

I typically multitask with a wide variety of ongoing projects. Soft skills including gathering ad-hoc cross-functional teams with an intense focus on total user experience and delivering quality within conflicting multistakeholder environments.

Master's in CS. 20 years of coding, over 13 years getting paid for it (academia, industry).


Companies of interest would be stable and profitable; government or academia would be more than acceptable as well.

Native English speaker, two years college German, self-teaching French.

US citizen, no convictions, need visas for self, spouse (also no convictions, has grad degree), young child.

Contracts no shorter than 2 years are fine. Estimated preferred duration of stay somewhere in the 3-7 year term.
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
[CW sexual assault]

I met a a guy yesterday who was fired from his delivery job because someone had been raped and he sat with them for half an hour. Gross misconduct, apparently. But he says he's better off not having a job at all than working for that company. I told him he did the right thing. I admire him for that.

Keep them busy and poor

Aug. 8th, 2017 06:53 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel

There was a protest against austerity in Piccadilly Gardens, in the centre of Manchester, last year. A friend of mine was on a bus and heard someone say, “I wish these people didn’t keep protesting all the time, I need to get to work!”

Keep them busy and poor, and they won’t have time to think about revolution.

When I was a small kid, I was always hearing about politically active students. But that was when students routinely got grants, and before college tuition fees. Most students didn’t have to work. Now I don’t know any students with spare time to speak of.

Keep them busy and poor, and they won’t have time to think about revolution.

Every time the railway workers go on strike, I hear people saying “I get paid less than them for longer hours. They’re so selfish, asking for better conditions.” They never seem to figure out the cause and effect, but they’re too desperate to keep their jobs to even think about strike action.

Keep them busy and poor, and they won’t have time to think about revolution.

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