(one month after last such post edition)Books
Read Sacha Lamb's 'Avi Cantor Has Six Months To Live'
, which is a very sweet YA boy-meets-boy short story about transness, Judaism, single parents, same sex parents, found family, suicidality, witches, and demons. My reaction amounts to: yes, good, more like this please.
Read that interview by Paul Chance with Ivar Lovaas. You know the one.
(If you don't: tw for ableism and graphic descriptions of child abuse from the self-congratulatory perspective of the perpetrator.) All I'd read of it before was that one paragraph that always gets quoted. It is not any better in context. I didn't expect it to be. I don't know what I was expecting to get out of reading this, only that I had to know. In summary: Dead Dove, Do Not Eat.
Finished Max Gladstone's Four Roads Cross
, which took me an unreasonably long time considering how good it was. I love Tara so much. The big battle was amazing, and I don't even usually care much about big battles, but this one pulled together so many narrative threads and had so many twists and emotional resolutions and it was just really satisfying. Also, I liked the cameo by Ashleigh Wakefield from Choice of the Deathless
. (Ashleigh is male or female in that game depending on your character's orientation. In Four Roads Cross
Ashleigh fights all the way through a major supernatural court case without being hit by a single third person pronoun. Role model.)
An actual sentence from this novel: "Umar's face looked like saws fucking." Context is that there were serrated patches of light shining on him, but who needs context?Fandom
I missed the deadline for trickortreatex
, but there are plenty of fandoms there that I like enough to request or offer, so that's good. Yuletide nominations are open now, and I'm determined not to miss that
's long-awaited Sentinel AU Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
(Person of Interest
, Finch/Reese, Root/Shaw). Worth the wait. I really liked the worldbuilding, always one of my favourite parts of fusion fic -- figuring out how Canon A works in Canon B's setting is so much fun.
Goat fandom: pipistrellus
(who has awesome goats) opened my eyes to how sometimes livestock classifieds are hilarimazing rather than just depressing or enraging. From an ad on Gumtree: "free goat, male, Railton, Tasmania. can be tethered, very friendly. He ate all the blackberries and now I don't have any use for him." It's poetry. Goat poetry. Goatry.Theatre
Decided I want to do Fringe this year. Went to the website and opened a tab for every event that looked interesting. From there I longlisted 39 events. From there I medium-listed 25 events. Reminded myself firmly that Fringe is 21 days, therefore the maximum practical for a person who can
do one big outing per day is 21, and I am not such a person, not to mention budgetary considerations, NOT TO MENTION that I have volunteer commitments and housekeeping and cats and friends and am currently not even managing to get through one book a week, and that doesn't require going anywhere at a given time and then staying there the full time.TV and Movies
Finished watching the BBC Watergate documentary, which took forever because my TV stamina lately has mostly been limited to very small bites. It was so good, and a great relief from present day politics.
Watched the second episode of Black Sails
, then gave up on the grounds that the DVD set was seriously overdue and I don't want to think about what my library fines are going to be like. I have heard such
good things about the relationships in the second and later seasons, but right now I have lots of other things to watch/listen to/read and am putting this aside.Music
I made my first ever mash-up
Listening-wise, re-listened to some albums I already owned and hadn't played in a while. The Opera Australia highlights CD of Julio Cesare with Yvonne Kenny as Cleopatra, the Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs
, and the soundtrack of Keating!
the musical. I now have 'The Arse End of the Earth' lodged very hard in my head. (There's only 50 seconds of it on YouTube
, and it doesn't really get the flavour of Gareth Evans' verses
, although at least it includes the ABC bit. (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our equivalent of the BBC, used to have this little three note motif, do'-fa-sol, at the end of its ident (here's an example from the early 90s
) and if you watched public broadcasting here in the 90s then just hearing it probably made you draw the ABC logo in the air with your finger. It was iconic. The guitarist quotes it after Gareth mentions them.) (I cannot emphasise enough how odd and wonderful this musical is. It's a musical
. About Australian politics in the 90s. How.)Games
Mini Metro was at half price on Steam, so I yoinked that. It's hard
but very soothing (minimalist visual design, and the sound is limited to quiet sound effects, no sountrack.) The object of the game is to design an efficient public transport system. There are eighteen different maps, each of real places (just the basic geographic features, not the town etc. Pretty much just rivers and lakes.) The stations randomly appear. They come in different types, representing different passenger needs (e.g. some passengers arrive at a square station and want to go to any circle station, some passengers start at a circle station and want to go to any triangle station. Some stations are stars or rhombuses and there's only one of them, so if your line doesn't connect to it, the passengers can't get there.) You get a limited number of tunnels/bridges, lines, locomotives and carriages, with a new carriage or locomotive every week (different places have different resources, like Osaka has the Shinkasen as well as regular trains, and places with lots of water have more tunnels.)
For some reason Melbourne's map is the tramways, not the trains. irl Melbourne's train map is reasonably logical, but its trams... well, they look like someone was playing Mini Metro and wasn't very good at it and also had a huge Eastern suburbs bias and hate poor people.
Beat the second-last boss in Super Star Path
. Getting this far took eight hours of gameplay, and there are only six levels, and they're not long. Suffice it to say I'm not great at shooters.Podcasts
Listened to episode 1 of Dylan Marron's Conversations With People Who Hate Me
. Dylan Marron is a social justice podcaster (and a gay white cis man), and this is a project where he interviews people who've sent him hate mail and tries to have serious, productive, good-faith conversations about their differing opinions.
...Yeah, I'm not going to listen to another episode. Not soon, anyway. It's a very brave thing he's doing, and I agree with it in principle, and I think that the people he's interviewing are most likely to change their minds incrementally, one careful, kind, gentle conversation like that
at a time, but if I listen to said conversations I'm gonna burn out even faster.Perfume
The BPAL imps I bought from kaberett
arrived. I'm spacing them out, but have smelled two so far. ( cut for length )Crafts
Got around to putting my yarn in ziplock bags within the knitting bag, so they don't all tangle together. This has the advantage that everything isn't a tangled mess in there, but the disadvantage of sorting through a maze of plastic bags all alike in order to find the one specific ball I want. I am a slow knitter, and it takes me an hour or more to knit one 15x15st mitred square. My mitred square blanket is now an 8x8 block of these squares (it's been I can't remember how many years, but looking through this tag, it was 6x6 around this time in 2014. So, it... nearly doubled in size in 3 years?)Food
Baked brownies (the Alton Brown cocoa brownies recipe.) Made a large quantity of red lentil dhal (winged it, but bothered to dry-fry the spices instead of just dumping them in with the oil and onions, or worse, in with the water, like I have in the past. It made a huge difference. Am doing it this way from now on.) Baked bread. This recipe
, which I've tried before with success. This time I tried a variation, swapping wholemeal flour for one of the cups of plain flour, and honey for the sugar. It was too dry after I added the water (not all of the flour would mix in) so I added half a cup more water, and that must have been too much, because it was gummy. Alas.Other
I've been having fun with tech.
So. I'd been thinking about wanting to watch DVDs in bed (as opposed to ripping DVDs and putting the file on my phone/tablet, the problem with which is that it adds another step every time I borrow a DVD from the library, not to mention all the DVDs I own and am not using because I haven't bothered to do that yet.) I thought about various solutions to this (small TV screen and DVD player, cheap secondhand portable DVD player, cheap-ish secondhand laptop, somehow figure out how to get my phone or tablet to connect to my external optical drive), and then realised... I have a RasPi. I could connect that
to the external optical drive, and make it my media centre. The only component I don't already have is a spare monitor. And guess what? My local Linux-based computer recycling organisation sells those at a price I can afford.
As a proof of concept, I downloaded OSMC, flashed it to an SD card, and tried booting the RasPi up on my actual TV (which I have not used in literally years and should probably donate or sell.) I managed to remember: a) how to power on the RasPi, b) where to plug in the TV so it can connect to an external antenna. I did not manage to get the TV to display the RasPi, and remain unsure whether the RasPi is booting at all or not. I know I got it working back when I got it, but I can't remember if that was with the TV or if I have an HDMI to DVI converter somewhere and can't remember where (my computer monitor doesn't have HDMI, and the RasPi doesn't have DVI.)
But while I was hunting for RasPi components, I found where I'd put my old EeePC. The one I got in 2009. The keyboard doesn't work, but that's what USB keyboards are for. Long story short, I installed Crunchbang++ on it, and now it's usable again (except for the keyboard.) It plays DVDs. And now I have something I can take to NaNoWriMo write-ins this November.Cats
Dorian's been making fetch happen again. He's discovered that I will throw the toy for him to retrieve many more times if he jumps up onto my knee with it in his mouth and then drops it in my hand, rather than drop it on the floor near me and wait expectantly. This is fun for both him and me, but does have the slight downside that he then launches himself off my knee after the toy as though rocket-propelled. And, not in fact being rocket-propelled, uses his claws and my leg for the traction needed to achieve lift-off. The scratches are quite impressive. I am sufficiently insensitive to that kind of pain, and sufficiently lazy, that I'd still rather he did it that way than wait for me to bend down and pick up the toy every time.
Beatrice has been grumpier than usual, and instigated enough cat fights with Dorian that I took her for a vet checkup. The verdict was that she seems fine but if problems persist bring her back for bloodwork.
Dorian's been digging... okay, that needs a little unpacking. As mentioned before, Dorian enjoys the water feature in the smallest room in my apartment. Keeping the lid down whenever I am not using said water feature myself seems to have put a stop to this where closing the door did not (he learned to jump up and turn the handle) but he still tries to get in there whenever possible. And I have a little pot of cacti on the windowsill in there, that being the one room I thought the cats would not get into. So yeah, yesterday I walked in there and found Dorian standing on the cistern with his front paws up on the windowsill, investigating the cacti.