L keeps saying she has a good feeling about this, but I had a good feeling about the other one right up until I didn't, so I am not doing any premature celebrating at this point. I mean, I think last time everything went so smoothly and I was basically carried along feeling incredulous and lucky and we saw how that worked out so. Back to cautious optimism and trying to manage expectations. And looking at potential furniture and paint colors, of course.
Gosh, the carpeting is so bad. I mean, first of all, I don't like carpeting but secondly, why white shag? why brown? These are not appealing (to me, and given that the apartment was still available when I got to it, to a lot of other people). If you are trying to sell your apartment, maybe make better aesthetic choices! Don't even get me started on the number of really terrible photos I've seen. I realize that taking pictures is a skill, so if you don't have it, find someone who does to take your pictures and then - protip! - upload them in the right orientation. I closed out of so many potential listings because the photos were a. terrible and b. rotated 90° counterclockwise, making them impossible to parse without a lot of neck craning. Don't do that!
I mean, re: the ugly carpeting: I'll have money left to rip it up and sand/polish/seal the wood floors beneath, but I've seen apartments in the same neighborhood and price range that already had that done, and they look so much nicer. *hands*
Anyway, now the seller just has to sign and we can officially be "in contract" and move on to the next step in the process.
I'm so sleepy. I want to go home. All day I've thought it was Wednesday and that I would be off work for 6 days (I'm taking Thurs/Fri/Mon/Tues off), but no, it's only Tuesday. Stupid Tuesday. Always the worst.
I still have not seen the orange kitten I was warned could be an issue. It's afraid of people but likes to tussle with older cats. I expect Ibid will like this and Fig will not.
"Tatiana Maslany Says Goodbye to 'Orphan Black'". [series finale spoilers]
Sarah Rees Brennan wrote "Our Winged Brains: The Appeal of Winged Creatures in Genre Fiction" for Tor.com.
seananmcguire wrote a fantastic Twitter thread about the awesomeness of In Other Lands.
"'Atomic Blonde' Doesn’t Pretend Women Fight Like Men, And The Result Is Awesome".
Via recessional, a Tumblr post about Atomic Blonde...which is really hard to describe without spoilers. It has to do with a plot point that many people have warned others about in advance of their seeing the film (a warning for which a lot of people have been grateful, whether or not it dissuaded them from seeing the film themselves), and offers a take on why the "this horrible thing happens [so the movie failed us/is bad/perpetuates the same bad things that always happen]!" warning is misleading and the event is in fact genre appropriate.
"Doorways to Fantasy: Rovina Cai Illustrates Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children". [Tor.com]
"You're screwing this up: An open letter to Hollywood from your mortal enemy (the female comic fan)".
"N. K. Jemisin’s New Contemporary Fantasy Trilogy Will “Mess with the Lovecraft Legacy”". [Tor.com]
"Library of America Recognizes Ursula K. Le Guin (and Science Fiction)". [Book Riot]
"Robin McKinley: A Pioneer in YA Fiction". [Book Riot]
"The masseuse who pulled my arm out". [BBC] "Life with a disability can sometimes give rise to unspoken questions and sensitivities, but amid the awkwardness there can be humour. The following is an edited version of a sketch by Angela Clarke who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, delivered for the BBC at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival."
"Confessions of a Costume Curator: As a fashion historian, my job is to learn from other people’s clothes—a task that is challenging, messy, and often spooky".
I think I may've linked this before--it's from last year--but I came across it again and still really like it: "24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear".
"Swan, Late: The unexpected joys of adult beginner ballet". [Note: the writer frequently uses the term "oriental dance" when talking about bellydance; I'm not sure if that's a standard term in those circles? It pings me uncomfortably, so I figured I'd note it.]
"‘Kids are gross’: on feminists and agency". "What I’ve come to suspect is that many feminists’ failure to recognise the autonomy of children is, at least in part, symptomatic of the way children have for many feminists become symbols of oppression. But when we are unable to separate the systematic discrimination that makes mothering a ridiculously difficult and often oppressive role from the fact that children are sentient, autonomous human beings who deserve dignity and respect, we are in danger of allowing glaring hypocrisies to creep into the way we construct and use feminist principles and ideas."
"INFOGRAPHIC: A world of languages - and how many speak them".
"N.K. Jemisin’s #AntiFascistSFF and Gail Simone’s #ComicsHateNazis Are the Inspiration You Need on This Monstrous Day". [The Mary Sue] (From earlier this month.)
"Eisner Nominee Renae De Liz Shares Short Guide for Artists on How to De-Objectify Female Characters". 
"A Sweet Valley High Movie is Coming (from the Writer of Legally Blonde!)" [Book Riot]
"How to Keep a Roomba Vacuum Cleaner From Collecting Data About Your Home".
"A New Canon: In Pop Music, Women Belong At The Center Of The Story" and "The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women". [NPR] (Tori's Little Earthquakes is #27.)
I found this wonderful dancer with a hoop--and this young man doing same..
Not our cable! Because we'd know if we owned something like that. But no. Clearly this is something that's up to debate rather than a fact - and my SIL is not planning on losing a debate with her little sister. It went something like this:
SIL: You forgot this cable. Should I send it?
Wife: That's not ours.
SIL: It is yours.
W: No, it's not.
SIL: Well, my son saw you use this cable, so it must be yours.
Wife: No, we used a cable with the same color that we brought back home with us.
SIL: Oh well you must've grabbed it from the cabin.
Wife: We really didn't.
Me: What is happening.
SIL: It says 'Beats'
Wife: We don't have any white Beats cable.
SIL: (We'll see about that. *hands over*)
11-year old nephew: HI THIS IS YOUR PS4 CABLE WE'RE SENDING IT NOW
Me: What. Is. Happening?!?!
Wife: *shrug* Welcome to my family this is a thing here.
I did indeed press on, bracing myself for a spoiler. (And now I'm completely up to date on the comic; yesterday was the first new installment I read as a Caught-Up Reader. I think the only material I have left to read now is the handful of mixed comics/prose shorts on Spangler's store site, and I've made it as far as buying them all.) And many things happened, because there'd been a five-year timeskip since the first act of the comic, and I thought, "Okay, I don't know which of these things is the spoiler davidgillon mentioned, but many things happen very early in Act 2 that leave things in a very different place than they are as of the published Rachel books, so presumably it was one of those..."
Except then I read all the way back through the posts at agirlandherfed, and due to a couple of Asks there, the nature of the early-Act 2 spoiler was spelled out.
It was an offhand reference--a panel's worth of mention, at most--and so far the comic hasn't mentioned it again, and I completely failed to process it for what it was. But now, belatedly, I know.
And my heart broke a little.
It took us about four hours to return when it had taken us maybe an hour to get to our viewing spot, but we had plenty of snacks and the new Kesha album to keep us happy. We ate peach pie for dinner, because we are grownups.
We didn’t make it down to see totality, but my part of Michigan got about 80% eclipse coverage today, which was still pretty sweet. My son and I went to a library presentation this morning, where I was reminded about pinhole viewing, which led to this:
I’d ordered a solar filter for the 100-400mm lens on the camera. We also had some eclipse glasses from Amazon from a few weeks back.
I took a little over a hundred pictures, and was able to stitch some of the best into an animation.
Those black spots are sunspots. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out!
I also stitched together a static time-lapse, and added back a bit of color the filter stripped out. (Click to enlarge this one for a much better view.)
Didn’t get much else done today, but I’m okay with that. And maybe for the 2024, we’ll be able to make it down to see the total eclipse!
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
If you like that, you will like this book. It's one of those slim but pithy volumes that precisely captures a time, a place, and a state of mind.
I've always had a fascination with ballet, ever since my second-grade teacher offered a trip to see the Nutcracker Suite (it was at least ten years before I realized that the second word was not "sweet") to her top three students. I had no idea what that was, other than that it was clearly desirable, so I went all-out to make sure that I'd get the prize. I was sufficiently enchanted with The Nutcracker and the general air of specialness surrounding the entire experience that I begged my parents for ballet lessons, at which I lasted something like three sessions. I don't recall the exact problem, but based on my age I'm guessing that there was too much standing around.
After that I confined myself to reading ballet books, which was more fun that actually doing it. Had I tried when I was older, I might have stuck with it for longer. Based on Bentley book and everything else I've read about ballet dancing, it has an austere, stoic, boot camp, push your limits atmosphere that would have really appealed to me if I'd been three to five years older. And then I would have gotten my heart broken, because I am not built to be a ballerina.
Winter Season beautifully depicts the illusion shown to the audience and the reality experienced by the dancers, and how the dancers live the illusion as well. It's got all the fascinating details of any good backstage memoir, without bitterness or cynicism. Even as it ground down her body, Bentley never stopped loving ballet; she seems to feel that she was lucky to have the chance to live the dream, just for the opportunity to spend a few minutes every day being the perfect expression of her body and the choreographer's art.
Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, with a new preface
And I will place the next bit under a cut in case you just want to read about Winter Season. As opposed to ass. ( Read more... )
Anyway, we had it set up on a screen here in the conference room, so people could wander in and out, rather than having 400 people trying to stream it individually. I was outside in the beginning of it, but it didn't seem to be getting darker or anything (we didn't get the totality here), and I had no glasses or pinhole viewer, so I just came back inside and ate my bagel.
The only real downside is that I have had "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in my head for at least a week. Even listening it to a few times hasn't cured the damn earworm. That video remains super creepy.
In other news, last night, I finally watched Lego Batman, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I'm always a sucker for Bruce learning to be a good Batdad to his Batkid(s). The one thing I didn't care for was the Bruce/Babs insinuations, but at least she didn't seem into it, so that was fine. (Also, yay for Rosario Dawson, bridging that MCU/DCU divide!)
We watched the crescent, came back in, and people on TV in Oregon were watching the sun shadow retreat. I came up to get back to work, reflecting that it was so very nice to pass through the kitchen and tv area and not be hearing the words "terrorists" "Nazis" "Republicans" or "Trump." So very nice.
First, let me add basically all the late night TV hosts:
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Late Night with Seth Myers:
Jimmy Kimmel Live:
The Daily Show, alas, is off this week.
David Rothkopf at the Washington Post: President Trump Must Go.
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin), joining Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California), and Rep. Al Green (D-Texas).
So far this is pretty usual-suspects. But if I find any others, I will add them on.
Also, 40% of Americans in this poll want Buttercup impeached. And it was conducted BEFORE Charlottesville.
And we can add Al Gore, who called for Buttercup to resign in an interview published today:
And we have our first Republican! Not Congressional Republican, sadly. But a minor right-wing media celebrity, a Tea Party talking head, a Friend of O’Reilly. I bring you, from Federalist.com,
Robert Tracinski, “Donald Trump Needs to Not Be President Yesterday”
Read it. It’s pretty well written and very satisfying. I don’t think Republicans can ever loathe Buttercup the way we do; but Tracinski’s bitterness is pretty pungent:
‘So this was a Nazi march from the beginning, planned by Nazis, for Nazis. As to whether any hapless moderates strolled in there thinking this was just about the statue—well, I live in this area and used to be active in the local Tea Party group. I know people who are not white nationalists who oppose the removal of the statues based on high-minded ideas about preserving history. None of them were there, and if they had been, they would have bolted the moment they saw a bunch of guys with torches chanting “Blood and soil.”
It’s time to stop looking at the latest Trump statement in relation to how bad you think the alternative is on the Left, or how biased the media is, and instead to compare it to what we should actually expect from a president.’
We can now add Frank Bruni at the New York Times:
As with a lot of NYT opinion columnists, I kind of hate Frank Bruni. They’re all so smug, and so pleased with their cosy relationships with the movers and shakers, and so often wrong. I spent the entire Iraq war wishing that Thomas L. Friedman would win the lottery and move to a tropical island and never write again. I don’t even like Maureen Dowd. Nevertheless, the reasons that I dislike NYT’s opinion-makers are the same reasons that richer, more moderate, more establishment-friendly people like them. A lot more people listen to them than listen to me.