oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

I think I am in a probably relatively justifiable slump period following last year and the endless treadmill of papers to write and give, articles/chapters to write/revise, trains and boats and planes, etc.

Unfortunately I am giving a paper in a fortnight's time and it's a new paper.

Well, when I say it's a new paper, it's I think going to turn out to be a remix of stuff I've already talked about with a different theoretical angle and with a few bits and bobs from the research files that I haven't used before.

(Yes, I have been having my arm twisted to give a paper to this particular seminar series for over 2 years...)

But, whatever, I am finding it really difficult to motivate myself to sit down and do the necessary cutting and pasting, editing, rewriting, etc.



Jan. 25th, 2015 09:15 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

On Friday, as I decided not to go to the gym in the wake of an hour-long dental appointment, I made Gujerati Khichchari for supper (which had the advantage of being a nice soft thing to eat).

Saturday breakfast rolls: I made the Tassajarra recipe but instead of cinnamon and raisin, experimented with maple syrup and dried cranberries. These turned out okay but not spectacular, and latterly I have been finding that the texture with this recipe is not all that could be hoped and not as nice as it's sometimes been.

Today's lunch: as yesterday involved a Sekkrit Projekt Konklave, partner hunted and gathered the ingredients. There was a whole seabass, which I decided to try salt-baking (not quite that method: no rosemary and a somewhat hotter oven), although I think one probably needs actually even more salt than I had. It did turn out quite nicely, however; the only problem was around the dexterity required to dish it up without getting any of the salt on it (otherwise it is not at all unduly saline). For the cavolo nero I tried this recipe, albeit with dried rosemary and crushed chilli flakes, and it was okay but could possibly have done with slightly longer cooking (or maybe cutting the leaves a little finer?). I roasted the sweet potatoes (cut into think slices) with the chopped Romano peppers in pumpkin seed oil.

No bread made today but probably will need to during the course of the week.

Black Sails 2.01.

Jan. 25th, 2015 05:36 pm
selenak: (Ship and Sea by Baranduin)
[personal profile] selenak
Season 2 is here! (If you need an s1 recap, here's my review.) I was not a little thrilled to hear Bear McCreary's score again.

Pirates, now with flashbacks )

The latest

Jan. 24th, 2015 01:18 pm
masqthephlsphr: (word)
[personal profile] masqthephlsphr
Wanted to thank everyone that gave me feedback on my short story, Home. I submitted an updated/edited version to the Maricopa Community Colleges Creative Writing contest and won an Honorable Mention Winner in the Fiction category. It will be published as part of an annual publication the contest puts out.

In other news, got done a round of epidural steroid shots on my cervical vertebrae. I have some other interventions lined up for shoulder muscle tension and an arthritic lumbar, so stay t00ned for that excitement.

I joined a nearby gym as part of the Wellness Program at my job and have been working on strength training and stretching with a personal trainer. I am also looking into non-inflammatory diets. OMG, I lost five pounds in the last month just eating healthier. Nothing motivates like PAIN.

I got my new orthopedic recliner finally. It's a good chair, but I still have issues that mean I can't sit all day like I used to. I think having to move around more just for comfort reasons contributed to the weight loss.

Finished the second draft of my novel despite my sitting issues, just by letting is SUCK all it wanted to. I needed to move seriously to working on the plot before I spilled any more pixels on the words.

Happy Birthday, [profile] crimsonsenya!!

Happy Birthday, [personal profile] lakrids404!!

I never find this not irritating

Jan. 24th, 2015 05:49 pm
oursin: a hedgehog lying in the middle of cacti (hedgehog and cactus)
[personal profile] oursin

People constantly recirculating that spoof review of Lady Chatterley's Lover ('these sidelights on the management of a Midlands shooting estate') and taking it as a real review in a real periodical.

This keeps coming up on my Twitter feed and yes, people do seem to be taking it at entirely face value.

The peeves, they be agitated.

I am sure that there are similar instances of something that was meant to be a joke being cited as if entirely SRS, further down the line.

Not quite the same thing perhaps, but a similar segue, of recent time I have found myself mentioning the mutation of a story by Arthur Machen (he of the currently threatened library collection which perhaps should have gone in the first place to somewhere that collected literary libraries and archives rather than a public library), 'The Bowmen', which became the urban legend about the 'Angels of Mons'. ('It must be true, I read in the paper', in this instance, The Evening News.)

(One might also invoke here those earnest scholars who allegedly wrote to George Macdonald Fraser begging for a glimpse at the Flashman papers.)

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Jan. 24th, 2015 03:31 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Money Lies , Spike/Xander by [personal profile] forsaken2003.

Voting is open at the Headline Awards .

Mindrobber podcast of Tough Love & Spiral, as well as Belonging & Over the Rainbow .

DenofGeek includes Faith, Anya and Fred in their "16 Late Arrival Female TV Characters We Can't Live Without". "Faith took a power-crazed, reckless and largely conscience-free approach to her mystical inheritance, getting her kicks and killing whomever got in her way. But deep down, she was really just a girl, standing in front of a giant mayor snake, asking him to love her...Emma Caulfield proved herself a great comic performer over her time in Buffy, with Anya’s winning combination of demonic experience and naiveté about the human world. Like Tara and Faith, she may have arrived late to the party, but we couldn’t imagine Buffy without her...she was cleverer than the rest of them put together, often funnier, and broke our hearts with not one, but two Angel Investigations romances. We’re forever grateful that the handsome man saved her from the monsters".

Wolf Hall 1.01. Three Hat Trick

Jan. 23rd, 2015 07:45 pm
selenak: (Young Elizabeth by Misbegotten)
[personal profile] selenak
So far, so well done. They kept the jumping between eras of Mantel's first volume - but imo at least, it was not difficult to follow which time period we were in at which point - , and for the first episode, focused on the fall of Wolsey as a unifying theme, with Cromwell not meeting Henry (as in, actually talking to him) until the very end. Naturally, there's a lot of exposition - this is where everyone gets introduced - but the only time it came across as "as you know, Bob" clumsy to me was when Wolsey summed up Henry's marital history with Katherine for Cromwell. All the other times the information felt like a natural part of the dialogue.

Mark Rylance is very good as Cromwelll, getting across the man's intelligence and constant observation of everyone else. Not yet the ruthlessness because at this point he hasn't had a chance to exhibit it yet, but the toughness. The first episode's main emotional emphasis was in his relationship with Wolsey (and they kept the flashbacks to Cromwell Senior's treatment of him until we're two thirds in, so the audience is allowed to conclude Wolsey is Cromwell's replacement father on its own before that) and with his wife and daughters. (If you've read the novels, the younger daughter wearing her angel wings willl make you wince for more than one reason.) By contrast, the various courtiers and later players are briefly sketched. Mark Gatiss wins for character with only a few lines yet completely getting the personality and type of relationship with Cromwell across, very memorable. (He plays Gardiner.) Damian Lewis is no slouch, either, in that last scene as Henry VIII., whom everyone keeps talking about in the course of the episode, so basically he's the Harry Lime of Wolf Hall with the heavily delayed entrace. Said scene paints Henry as intelligent, still having some residual affection for the Cardinal but also no intention whatsoever to save him, and quickly deducing Cromwell can be useful.

Scenes only of significance if you either are aware of history or have read the novels: Mark Smeaton (though the last name hasn't been spoken out loud yet). "You may not think of us, Mark, but we think of you" indeed. I wonder whether anyone is watching it unspoiled by both und what they make of them?

They've cast Thomas Brodie Sangster as Rafe, and he's adorable (again); I've never had much investment in Rafe in the novels, so that was welcome (considering Rafe is one of Cromwell's most constant dialogue partners in upcoming events).

Lastly, the look: is gorgeous. All the candlelight minus electricity when filming certainly paid off. The costumes certainly look authentic (especially when compared to, err, certain other productions set within the same era). Oh, and bonus points for a Katherine of Aragon who isn't black haired but auburn (which according to all descriptions she was). She still speaks with a Spanish accent, though, which personally I doubt she still did at that point of her life (I mean, the woman has lived in England since she was 16, now it's more than two decades later).

Past its sell-by date?

Jan. 23rd, 2015 01:25 pm
oursin: Early C19th engraving of a hedgehog with its spines shaved off (naked hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

I perceive that somebody has perpetrated a movie based on Kyril Bonfiglioli's Charlie Mortdecai thrillers - about which there was once some slight discussion in these here parts.

(I realise that these belong on the shelf alongside my collection of Flashman books and the works of Simon Raven as not exactly guilty pleasures, but ones that may seem counter-intuitive along with the Kipling-luv? Ability to read as sexist privileged male possibly inculcated at early age? Or, actually, damn-fine writing which is pretty knowing about the tropes it is toying with.)

Anyhoo, seeing posters for this forthcoming movie on the sides of buses did not fill me with eager anticipation.

It seems I was right. The rather uneven columnist Sam Leith comes good on the subject: The Charlie Mortdecai thrillers are darker and stranger than any film of them could be and in today's Guardian reviews section it gets 2 stars and Peter Bradshaw, while copping to 'one or two daft laughs', is not kind.

Gwyneth Paltrow as Johanna, who in the first volume mounts Charlie wearing riding boots and gallops him to climax (while, as I recall, married to another man)? (also, in the books, the cop turned out to be her brother, not a backdoor man).

I'm not sure these are entirely filmable, as with anything where one of the major pleasures of the text is the narrative tone, but I do wonder if they missed the right date for the attempt even to try, which would have been some time in the 1970s.

There are probably similar critical dates for adaptations of other texts, or even just for Big Ideas That Would Make A Great Movie. (And by 'critical date', I don't mean, fits in with current WW1 centenary obsessions.)

Elementary 3.11

Jan. 23rd, 2015 11:32 am
selenak: (Holmes and Watson by Emme86)
[personal profile] selenak
In which Gregson must have an odd sense of deja vu in more ways than one.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Jan. 23rd, 2015 03:39 am

I am getting too old for this game

Jan. 22nd, 2015 08:52 pm
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

No, honestly, I am getting too old for this.

(This being a prolonged and strenuous day sorting out and packing up archives on site, which is a situation in which one may permissibly invoke the term 'dusty'.)

Also, it is rather dating to discover that the sampler ebook of Feminist Radical Thinkers being offered to me by Verso consists of excerpts from works that I bought when they were shiny new things.

(no subject)

Jan. 22nd, 2015 07:38 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] amara1783 and [personal profile] ruthi!
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

(Besides Sekkrit Projekt #ifitoldyouidhavetokillyou.)

Hostage, which was wonderful, an edge of the seat read that made me prioritise Finding Out What Happened over various other things I should have been doing. I was just slightly disappointed that we didn't really have anything in the Felicite arc, but can quite see that this was all a story in which she played a relatively peripheral supporting role (perhaps supporting is not quite the word...).

Simon Brett, The Shooting in the Shop (2010) - while I thought the murderer was rather telegraphed, that could be from months of reading Miss Marple and therefore being very suspicious of somebody who so ostentatiously couldn't possibly have dunnit.

Ursula Le Guin, The Birthday of the World (2002) - reread - shocking how little I remembered these stories, which are amazing.

On the go

Megan Whalen Turner, A Conspiracy of Kings (2010), another reread: it is apparent that at the moment (what with SP still on the go) that I am very much into a phase of rereads or reading trusted favourites.

Up Next

And in the realm of trusted favourites, I note that it is actually this week, and not last, that The Just City is due out in the UK.


And Dept of Am I Being Unduly Snarky When I Read This Kind of Thing:

But I knew the second I finished reading my 1,000th book because I have been watching this day creep closer for four years. Four years of diligently maintaining my Goodreads account, including two afternoons carefully uploading every book I’d read since childhood.
On internal evidence the author of this piece must be around 30:
Assuming I live into my 90s (which my penchant for pasties and panic attacks suggests is unlikely), I will read just over 3,000 books in my lifetime – which doesn’t seem like an especially high number.
To some extent I feel here what I felt when contemplating, with a feeling of slight nausea, the '50 Books in a Year' challenge on Goodreads, that it all rather depends how long the books are and how easy to read, and whether you ever reread anything, whether you are going to make this sort of arbitrary target.

And I know that I am coming to this with a significant amount of Fast Reader Privilege, not to mention having had Library ticket from an early age, general encouragement for reading, etc.

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Jan. 21st, 2015 03:40 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Across a Crowded Room , Spike/Buffy by [personal profile] slaymesoftly.

The Kids are Alright , Tara/Dawn by [profile] kwritten.

A New Low , NC-17 Spike/Riley by [personal profile] ash_carpenter.

Condemned , Buffy by [personal profile] badly_knitted.

The Treatment , Spike/Angel/Xander by [personal profile] lit_gal.

Chapter Thirty Four of Shattered Remains by [profile] xspike4evax.

Chapter Three of Answering Prayers by [personal profile] velvetwhip.

Thinky thoughts on the relationship in Season Six between Spike and Buffy by [personal profile] the_moonmoth.

Cool Spike/Buffy artwork from Etsy. Thanks to [personal profile] kassto for the link.

Cross Whedonverse universal Slayer Theory .

For those who were discussing leaving our online lives after death, here's another story .


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