( This lasts literally four seconds. )
( This lasts literally four seconds. )
To everyone else, I dedicate this post. ( Warning: squee-harshing about to commence )
( Spoilers for Elementary S2 episodes 5 and 6 )
Not to even mention the friendship between Sherlock and Watson, every episode. The theme is partnership and mutual respect, and it's awesome.
I made thermal linings several months ago for my living room and bedroom curtains, and lo, they are good. I also started on new yellow curtains for my sunroom, but shiny things distracted.
The leadlight windows in my bedroom had no curtains, which is bright too early in summer and cold in winter. So with $0.50 of navy polyester from an op shop, leftover thermal lining scraps, tape and hooks scrounged from some dirty old netting curtains, a bunch of salbutamol to resolve the asthma triggered by said dirt, and railings and old nails found in my garage, I spent Saturday sewing and now have:
They make my bedroom super dark, it's fantastic.
On Sunday after church and grocery shopping I peeled, cored and sliced 2kg of cheap apples to throw in the dehydrator, bleached a path across my back porch where I won't have to slip on moss (I'd have bleached the whole thing but I have this habit of stopping work when my exertions start making me nauseous), and bought another 16 metres of curtain tape. Then I spent the rest of the day watching West Wing while sewing the tape onto three of the four curtains for the sunroom.
I went to bed with a slight headache (either bleach or lengthy-sewing induced) but it's Queen's Birthday weekend so I could sleep as long as I like, and accordingly had many cool dreams. The coolest was preparing to fight against a larger force and splitting our rearmost battalion so each member held up flags as if they were a battalion each. Our enemy promptly surrendered. It was fantastic.
Anyway, at the proverbial 2am I was mulling over this dream and thought: "...I shouldn't have sewn the tape at the top of the curtains." This morning I checked and yes, the curtain looks okay hung up as I sewed it, but if I had an extra 6cm of curtain on top of the tape it'd reach to the ceiling and thus block out more light and cold. It's just to do this I'd first have to unpick twice 11.2 metres of seams.
What should I do now?
Unpick 22.4 metres of sewing and resew
Just go ahead as planned
Make the last panel with 6cm above the tape, and leave the others to fix on Some Other Day
Eat some leftover trifle
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries today has ALL THE FEELS, omg. I'm going to have to mop my face before I head off to work.
- Criminal Minds and White Collar are very much going downhill; Elementary isn't bad; Once Upon a Time is currently the best thing on. Around town there are billboards dubbing it "Damsels in Charge" which is exactly what I love about it, and portraying Emma in leather armour that actually covers her entire torso even if it does leave her upper arms worryingly bare.
- The neighbour has finally
scythedmowed their lawn jungle. Hopefully this will reduce the number of biddybids I have to pick out of Boots' fur with sneak attacks.
- Being an adult means when you run out of milk you can melt some icecream onto your cereal for breakfast instead.
- Freezing cheese totally (and totally predictably) borks its structural integrity.
- My plums are almost finished; grapes and peaches seem to be coming along nicely.
- I've been making lots of curtains and doing lots of baking while watching lots of West Wing. I think it's a phase? Also doing bits of coding and fanfic and other writing and adding to my "Awesome projects it'd be fun to do if I had infinite time and parallel selves" list.
It's possible that I swore.
Fortunately it was all too new for her to be comfortable just dashing off into, so I could just scoop her up and deposit her back inside.
In other news, I don't feel like I've got much news. Uni's finished for the year, so I've got until the 4th January to complete the final draft of a journal article, write some more code for the software it's about, finish writing the <counts> four or five fanfics I'm halfway through, create a literal fanvid of awesomesauce, and I bet I'll find some other projects pop up along the way. How do people get bored again?
--Actually I guess I could mention that they'll be finishing up painting after I move back in, which I'm fine with, and I won't have a heat source for a while because when they removed the gas fire (to pull down the cracking brickwork of the fireplace) they discovered it wasn't up to current standards so couldn't put it back in and will have to get some other organisation to talk to me about a replacement, which I'm fine with except I think they should have told me upon discovering it rather than me have to notice an offhand comment they made and ask probing questions. Still, y'know. They're good folk and going above and beyond otherwise. I think they like that I'm easygoing about things (I can imagine other homeowners being stressed) but my philosophy is that I've got water, power, a flushing toilet, and wireless: all the rest is bonus features.
Also I could mention that my choir sang in a small concert in a town that a week later got its own state of emergency due to sudden flooding (I disclaim all responsibility) and in a couple of church services in which I got a solo in a verse of Gabriel's Message. So that was my minute of non-fame. It's absolutely fascinating how I can sing three verses in chorus absolutely fine, but the moment I'm by myself singing the exact same tune and words I've known by heart for years I completely tense up which makes my voice crack; so all my rehearsals were me trying to figure out how to stop doing that. Adequate success.
And finally, some plugs for TV shows that pass the Bechdel test flyingly:
- I've mentioned Covert Affairs, which is full of awesome blonde spies (and a blonde sister homemaker). Ordinarily it's candy floss (fun but no there there), but has recently started having the occasional episode with a bit more kick; I hope they keep at it.
- Recently one of my siblings has turned me on to Lost Girl which is full of awesome brunette fae (and a brunette thief sidekick). Like Covert Affairs it suffers from Ms Protagonist being required to have the hots for Mr Male Love Interest but I think that can be ignored for the plots, which so far (I've seen 2 episodes) include Ms Protagonist is... possibly not bisexual, but bi-whatever a succubus is. Bi-hungry? Ms Sidekick insists that she's straight but that's never stopped slash before.
- And another sibling has turned me on to Once Upon a Time which has a mixture of awesome blondes and awesome brunettes. I think there's a Mr Male Love Interest again but it's developing more slowly and less obnoxiously (again, I've just seen 2 episodes). Prince Charming is in a coma and will hopefully stay there, because he was every bit as smarmy a hero as you'd expect Prince Charming to be. In a brilliant move, Ms Protag is introduced to the strange new world not by a wise elderly male mentor, but by her son who she put up for (closed) adoption ten years ago; this makes the dynamics instantly so much less skeezy.
Late afternoon today Dad picked me up and we went shopping for a new television, after ascertaining that the reason there's a gap in my bedroom floor is that the house has probably shifted 1cm or so on its foundations.
Despite the fact that (for some obscure reason) shops seem to be selling out of TVs at the moment, we found a nice new one. In the store it looked tiny because of course it was surrounded by all the big dollar ones, but being a 26" LCD screen it's a significant upgrade on my old second-hand CRT monster (now occupying the cat's armchair for insurance purposes) and will fit nicely in the space I have when I get around to securing it there. This might be some months because it's the space next to the living room brick fireplace which is also not exactly where it used to be and needs to be either repaired or pulled down and in the meantime is rather dusty. So while waiting 4-6 months for an assessment and probably more months for actual action, the TV is sitting safely on the floor, in front of some cupboard doors, one of which is stuck open and the other of which is stuck closed.
We got everything connected up and proved that the DVD player and hard drive recorder are working. So over dinner I played the episode of Queen Seondeok that I recorded on the 21st February. Have located the remainder of the series (which I calculate would have finished airing here last night) online, but looking at the size of the files I'll have to watch my bandwidth and eke them out a bit.
In the meantime, I can watch all the DVDs! I'll just have to pick them up off the floor first.
Goodness, if I spend any more time in this room, I might really start tidying it up. That'd be perilously close to moving on.
I'm being encouraged by Sisters In The Know to apply for a Red Cross hardship grant on account of how I had no water for a week. Originally I'd planned not to since, while this certainly resulted in hardship, it didn't involve any financial hardship and I thought they should keep the money for people who did need it; all I'd do with it would be to redonate it to charity, which seemed needless paper-shuffling. But apparently due to the amount of money they've raised and the ways they get audited and so forth it is not at all undesirable to apply for it and even makes sense to be a conduit to funnel money from that fund into some other fund that's able to help people more seriously affected.
(If I apply I'll almost certainly get it. My Sisters In The Know reckon even if I ticked every box "no" I'd still get it simply on the grounds of living in the suburb I live in. That actually makes sense whether this is how they mean it or not: due to all the cheaper grocery shops nearby being closed, the cost of food here is up.)
Oh Boots, if you chew the powercord to the new television I will be quite unhappy with you.
I've nearly finished weeding the cracks in the bricks that run a path around the roses in my back garden. Granted the cracks I weeded first are now sprouting new grass again, but in the meantime I've discovered bricks I didn't even know existed for being buried under the encroaching lawn. Also in the meantime the plums, peaches, and grapes are ripening - I even ate a particularly early plum yesterday. But it got to 32 degrees outside (my thermometer claims 29 inside) so even my usual practice of going out for a few minutes then coming back in seems insufficient to avoid sunstroke.
(A flannel with cold water helps, though it dries amazingly quickly.)
So I read more than usual today, lounged on the bed in the coolest room in the house while the cat attempted to aestivate on the windowsill. I finished two books (an easy and fun YA and a classic that alas didn't have a plot to my taste but nevertheless told its plot extremely well) and... well, one gets tired of reading. Especially because holding the pages open anything less than carefully actually places a certain strain on one's wrists which one doesn't notice when one isn't battling RSI.
And unfortunately today I ran out of Boston Legal DVDs (need to visit my sister to borrow the next season) and the TV's marathon of Queen Seondeok has expired so I only get one hour a day instead of four. (I could rave about both series but even with my microbreak software on high my wrist is protesting.)
I would also love to be writing right now, but, well, I may have overdone it a bit yesterday.
[Software-enforced break during which I make the bed]
<remembers some video files my brother copied for me>
<on reflection, turns microbreak software up even higher>
The channel also has a learn-Chinese segment at 2:40pm which is... actually way too advanced for me: I've never been at a stage where the words for "pumice" and "sinkable wood" and various east Asian trees are the most important gaps in my knowledge and I couldn't follow the conversations at all. The 这是不是。。。呢 and 这会不会是。。。呢 structures they briefly touched on were more my level. OTOH it does bring back a few of the words I learned at uni, so. I'll probably keep watching for the rest of my holiday, but don't think I'll bother recording it after that.
After that segment is over, I change the channel to Māori TV for their 3pm learn-Te Reo segment, which is just about perfect for my level. At one point they mentioned homework and going to the website; I went to the website and couldn't find the homework, but I did find the video summaries of the previous 200+ episodes of the series, and I'm now downloading them to my iPod for revision (one by one; there doesn't seem to be an rss feed; oh well). Yesterday I also watched Te Kaea (news) which is in Te Reo with English subtitles. (Oh, and a bit about the building of the marae at Waiariki Polytech, which ditto. And sidebar: I'm now trying to work out what the excuse of the opposition was for resisting the addition of a kitchen. I'm not surprised that there was Pākehā resistance in the slightest, but what excuse could they possibly come up with? A marae without a kitchen seems to me like a building without a doorway. When you welcome people onto the marae, you have the pōwhiri and then you eat. If the marae didn't have a kitchen, how would the tangata whenua feed the manuhiri? Does not compute!) This is also about right for my level: it keeps me following along enough to familiarise me with the words I just recognise, and confirm/correct my understanding of their meanings, whereas without subtitles I wouldn't know what was happening so would get bored and tune out.
In other learning-something-new-everyday news, I've taken up scambaiting again. (It's a lot more convenient now that Google lets you be logged into three accounts at once. Also I'm on holiday, so I don't know how long I'll keep it up once I'm back to work, we'll see; though I hope I can, because the first week of a scam hardly wastes any of their time since they're just running off a script still anyway.)
Anyway this morning I got an email stating that:
my sister [...] will be coming with me to your country because i am her father and the only family she has nowwhich, once I switched out of the "mock the mugu" headspace that makes fighting crime so much more efficient, I decided must mean something like "male head of household / legal guardian" or somesuch.
The only problem with the Freeview digital decoder is that when it's on standby it makes a quiet whirring noise which sometimes you don't notice and sometimes you can't not notice it and it drives you up the wall.
What it doesn't do is muffle the sight of the upright piano swaying back and forth.
I went to fill out the Geonet "felt earthquake report" and found it hard to convey my impressions accurately. No, it didn't knock any ornaments off shelves, because these days all my ornaments are held down with liberal quantities of blutack. At least they have an "other notes" box where I could mention the piano.
The plan was to finish the vacuuming before the installation folk came around to set me up with Freeview (new digital version of the existing free-to-air service, but with additional channels - for bonus points they're fixing up the weird connection to my aerial so I don't have to rely anymore on the bunny-ears, which incidentally fell in the Sept 4th quake) but I was still catching up with other Cantabrians online when he got here so oh well, I'll finish it once he's gone. At least the part he's working in is sightly...
But today I was watching the first episode of Covert Affairs (thanks to discussion here) which may be my new post-"Oh Leverage no" love. This is mostly because, in the pilot episode two of the three main characters are women and the third is blind. (Sadly unsurprisingly he's played by a sighted actor.) And there's Tropes there, particularly around Our Heroine's motivations for joining the CIA, but mostly it's pretty awesome fun and maybe in episode 2 she'll have got over First Day on the Job syndrome and won't have to be saved by a man. Anyway, about halfway through the episode we get a good look at Our Heroine's boss's eyes and they are really startlingly green.
In retrospect, I always had a huge fascination with the constantly changing eye-colours of Due South's Fraser and ST: Voyager's Kes.
--Moving on, or rather back to casting, because Wikipedia notes that in episode 2 of Covert Affairs, we start to get Sendhil Ramamurthy as Jai Wilcox (replacing a rather whiter character). And I remember when I first went back to watch the pilot of Criminal Minds I noticed that JJ wasn't in it - she only appeared in episode 2. Which makes me wonder which is happening:
- are producers saying, "Okay, good pilot, now you can have your series but, um, maybe a tad diversity, huh?" or
- are directors/writers saying, "Whew, now we've got the conservatives to greenlight us we can slip in some non-WASPs"?
Also I like the title because, haha, it's a pun, see? I'm easily amused by puns. But I hope they don't expect me to be surprised when it's revealed what Our Heroine's boss's husband is really up to because that's kind of obvious, narratively, and fun as the show is I don't expect any really subtle twists per se.
(ETA: One problem with the show is that the music's too loud and at times obscures what's actually being said. If I keep getting the feeling that I need closed captioning then... well I sure hope it gets closed captioning when it screens live.)
Today I got home to the cat miaowing pitifully because she was starving.
Also, today Megan Whalen Turner's A Conspiracy of Kings arrived at the library for me, so I read that and enjoyed it a great deal. (I'm not sure yet whether it's quite as good as the others. Part I felt to be a bit slow; other parts I wanted people to do things which they didn't do. I can't exactly argue with what they did do, but. I just. --But anyway, is she writing another one and when does it come out?)
And then I got on my computer to check email before I went to bed and discovered that this is one of those weeks that Criminal Minds manages to have a new episode. The first time I accidentally glimpsed a spoiler I grimaced and decided I'd just have to watch it tomorrow. I cleverly avoided reading any of matociquala's post, saving it for tomorrow. But then I saw a third reference to the episode, so I guess I'm going to bed again late tonight.
If this download ever finishes.
Wait, I mean: Download, what download? <whistles innocently>
Also this morning I got an email from the city library to tell me my request for "Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (a novel)" was available. So then I spent the day reading that. Which is also full of resurrections, starting with Biff and some lizards, and then various attempted, partial, fake, and attempted fake, through to... Well, this is Christ, so y'know. The author treats Jesus completely as the Son of God and completely as human, and the Gospels as pretty much true just with certain omissions. Like the thirty years between Jesus's birth and his ministry; Biff fills in the gaps by describing his childhood and then his quest to learn from the three wise men how to be the Messiah. Fundamentalists would hate it. I loved it.
From the afterword, the author talking: "to remain historically accurate, I would have had to leave out an important question that I felt needed to be addressed, which is, 'What if Jesus had known kung fu?'" Other than that he says he tried to be faithful to his research, though I have certain doubts about relying so heavily on the "eyewitness accounts of [the festival of Kali] from nineteenth-century British soldiers" cited in Joseph Campbell's Oriental Mythology. I haven't read Campbell or the soldiers in question, but it seems to me that there's a certain potential there for bias to creep in, y'know?
But anyway, from the actual story:
Joshua [aka Jesus] reached across the table and took the old man's hand. "You drill us every day in the same movements, we practice the same brush strokes over and over, we chant the same mantras, why? So that these actions will become natural, spontaneous, without being diluted by thought, right?"
"Yes," said Gaspar [aka one of the three wise men aka the anachronistic pseudo-Bodhidharma].
"Compassion is the same way," said Joshua. "That's what the yeti knew. He loved constantly, instantly, spontaneously, without thought or words. That's what he taught me. Love is not something you think about, it is a state in which you dwell. That was his gift."
Maggie (aka Mary the Magdalene) talking to Joshua about the disciples: "Every time you give them a new metaphor for the kingdom they see the metaphor, a mustard seed, a field, a garden, a vineyard, it's like pointing something out to a cat -- the cat looks at your finger, not at what you're pointing at." (In context she's saying that this doesn't matter because faith's more important than intelligence, but I just love that simile, because I keep trying to point things out to Boots and she keeps wondering what's so interesting about my finger.)
In summary: Awesome book. (ETA: Er, other than that whole cultural appropriation thing - there was besides what I already mentioned the whole exotic oriental magician thing, plus a certain amount of "Yay, Chinese concubines!" on the parts of Biff and the author. But besides that, if that's the kind of thing you can put aside.) I must recommend to the library that they not put it back into storage, especially seeing as how someone else was reading it when I requested it so it's clearly not as unpopular as they thought.
In other news, spoilers for season 6 episode 2 of House:( Read more... )
I note with interest that the episode acknowledges the fact that someone can be in a het relationship but still be bisexual. Okay, they acknowledge it in rather offensive ways, but, um. It's something?
Other than that -- well, other than that and the occasional Hallmark sentimentality; that romance was so pasted on I kept thinking "Could she be an undercover doctor? Oh, she just kissed him, I guess not. Could she be a hallucination? Oh, she's having an effect on others around them, I guess not." -- that was a fun episode. Because I love me some mind games. House manipulating an entire mental hospital is fun; and the mental hospital manipulating him right back is just, mm-mm. I love me some peripeteia.
The other thing that amused me about this episode is that it felt like an interactive fiction game. House is the player character, trying to solve the puzzles in order to win the game.
> attack alvie
You punch Alvie and he punches you back. You wish being Machiavellian didn't hurt so much.
The nurses rush into the room with a sedative.
> take sedative
You tuck the sedative under your tongue. The nurses seem fooled. Fools.
What, and miss all the fun? You let your eyes drift shut and your body hang limp. It makes it heavier for the nurses to carry you to a quiet room and heave you onto a bed.
Your eyes are shut, but you bet the view's not much more interesting with them open.
"Psst! Did you get it?" You crack an eye open and see Alvie vibrating into the room.
> trade sedative for phonecard
You spit out the sedative and give it to Alvie, who gives you What's-his-name's phonecard in exchange. This is just too easy.
You peer into the hallway, looking both ways in case you get caught. Fortunately everyone's off playing doctors and nurses.
A stretch of institutional boredom. You see a phone here.
> phone wilson
You limp over to the phone and dial Wilson's number. He hardly even lets it ring before answering. You wonder idly whether his life is so empty that he's just waiting for the phone to ring, or whether he had some particular female reason for expecting the phone to ring. But you have more important things to think about right now.
> tell wilson about license plate
"Wilson, I need you to run a license plate for me. The number is--"
"House, stop," he interrupts. "Nolan already talked to me. I'm sorry. I want to help you, but the only way I can help is... not to help."
He hangs up. You knew this was all too easy.
But, this being (within the conceit of the show) 'life' rather than a game, it's only when he acknowledges that it's not about winning that he wins. --Damn, now I'm going all Hallmark.
Speaking of interactive fiction, I probably ought to finish that Huis Clos game that I got to act 4 of. Problem is that right now I'm much more intrigued by a game that involves brainwashing the player character into becoming an assassin for the main NPC, and I'm debating the psychological implications on the reader/player and consequent ethics of actually unleashing this on the world.
(I've watched more Korean historical drama than I normally would in a month.)
- A TV episode is approximately 385MB, call it 400MB to allow for overhead.
- There are 2 more episodes in the Iljimae series I'm watching.
- There are 2 more episodes of Criminal Minds before the 11th October.
- Being able to talk about a TV programme with USans on the day it airs is infinitely more fun than coming to the conversation 3 months later.
- Watch Iljimae now and delay on at least one of the Criminal Minds episodes?
- Watch Criminal Minds as it airs and delay on Iljimae?
- Watch Iljimae and Criminal Minds and switch to text-only browsing for everything else for the rest of the month?
- Pay some stupid amount to add another 5GB to my monthly allowance, of which I'll probably only end up using 100MB anyway?
(But Iljimae! And Criminal Minds!)
Spoilers follow for Dae Jang Geum, Damo, and Iljimae
The main thing these three series have in common -- aside from the reason I selected them, which is that they're all set sometime in the Chosun dynasty -- is that they all involve plot arising from Corrupt Government Officials messing with the hero(ine)(s)' parents; and people going into hiding; and the resultant identity tangles. Also, apparently, a firm belief in the "What's the worst thing that could happen to my protagonist right now?" method of plotting.
( Spoilers for Dae Jang Geum )
Damo and Iljimae begin with a flash-forward, then go back to the noble parent being killed by Corrupt Government Officials, then slowly work their way forward through the tangle of long-lost siblings. So much potential for comedy, so much potential for tragedy.
( Spoilers for Damo )
( Spoilers for Iljimae )
( Cut for spoilers; plus warnings for racism, domestic violence, sexual sadism, and the appalling treatment of rape survivors. )