kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Who gets to read "Riddles in the Dark" when reading The Hobbit out loud. =>

(I thought I was all set to read it to the Pip, since Chad got to read it to SteelyKid! But, foolishly, since chapter 3 is pretty short, I let the Pip talk me into just a little of chapter four last night . . . without checking how much of chapter 4 was left, or asking Chad to save chapter 5 for me.)

(Last time I read even-numbered chapters through chapter 12, then Chad read chapters 13 & 14 together, so I did odd-numbered from fifteen on; which, to be fair, now that we're back on me doing even-numbered, means I get to do the spiders and Smaug again, which were great fun. Still! "Riddles in the Dark"!)

No more cakes and ale (race edition)

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:20 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
I follow an excellent curated list of reporters. Thrown in as the token conservative is Salena Zito. Zito's claim to fame is that she called Pennsylvania and thus the nation as going for Trump early, and she was right. She has positioned herself as the voice of Forgotten Non-Urban America. (This reached hilarious levels when she toured "non-urban America" and counted in, not only a commuter suburb of Gary, Indiana, but people who actually commuted to Gary.)

Today, Salena retweets a 1994 post in which she explained it all to us, race edition. (Save for nausea before clicking.)

Briefly, the essay says that a black family moved into her white neighborhood in 1969. I'll let her explain it.

Race in Pittsburgh, as in many industrial cities, was volatile in 1969. Society was changing rapidly for whites and blacks and, as with most change, some people reacted with fear, others with anger, and many with no brains at all.

In typically horrible timing, government-enforced integration coincided with Lyndon Johnson's “Great Society,” which bulldozed iconic ethnic neighborhoods — tearing apart lifelong experiences, communities and ways of life — in favor of public housing.

It was supposed to compensate for past injustices but it merely punished one community to make amends to another.

No mention that the "iconic ethnic neighborhoods" included black neighborhoods, of course, or the neighborhoods -- almost certainly including Zito's -- whose sale contracts forbade the owner to sell to a black person.  No, that neighborhood just mysteriously grew up all-white.

Thanks to my parents, the Chatmans weren't considered “black people.” They were just new neighbors, and we did what we always did when someone new moved onto the block — baked chocolate-chip cookies and delivered those to their home.
Three months later — after spending our days jumping rope, playing tag and all of the other things that 9-year-old girls do — a brick shattered the Chatmans' front window; another smashed their car's windshield, and the perpetrators, a couple of teenage boys, tried to burn a cross on the lawn.

“Your dad chased those young teens ... he caught all of them, single-handedly, and held them for the police,” Carnisa recalled. “I remember him telling them how ashamed he was of them.”

And everything was okay then! And Carnisa, her black friend,  repaid her by saving her from a black riot in high school! And therefore:

So the solution to our nation's racial discourse should be handled by us individually, one person at a time — and not by exploiting bad deeds done by both sides that only further the hatred.

Note that it never occurs to Zito that Carnisa had to go to school with the brothers and sisters and friends of those boys who burned a cross.  Or that there were other people who put their resentment of "tearing apart lifelong experiences" into words and action.  No.  Zito made friends with Carnisa and they're still close friends and that's what everybody should do!  And nobody (among Zito's friends) considered the Chatmans black, so that made everything better!

You won't read an essay that better encapsulates the belief that individual virtue is better than collective action.   With a triple scoop of  white privilege.

e:  Chaser.  Mother Jones finally does what nobody else is doing and interviews rural black voters.

Turner’s mom, who cleans houses in town for a living, went to work a couple of days after [the election], and her employer, an older white woman, brought up the results of the recent election. The two had talked politics before—Turner’s mom is a Democrat, and her employer is a Republican. “Well, you might as well come and live with me now,” the employer said. “You gonna be mine eventually."

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
 I was playing the admirable game "West of Loathing" when I had to solve a number puzzle where I had to add up pressing buttons with different values (411,295,161) to reach a specified total of 3200.  I button mashed, then said, to hell with this, this is a linear programming equation, plugged it into Wolfram Alpha, and solved for x,y,z.

God bless technology.

P.S.  If you enjoy puzzle games, silly humor, and combat that can be dialed back so that even the slowest-trigger-fingered in the West -- that would be me -- can play it, try West of Loathing.  I find it engaging, focusing,  and soothing, in times that need some soothing.

links dump

Aug. 13th, 2017 12:16 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
A Twitter thread of "good Charlottesville-based nonprofits those Nazi jerks would really hate"; donate and/or share to the extent you can.

Correctives to an article that, I admit, I shared at first: smartphones aren't destroying a generation from Slate and Psychology Today.

Oops, this mobile puzzle game Humble Bundle only has a day left: I've played and liked klocki, Hook, and Deus Ex GO, and I'm in the process of playing Zenge.

The Secret Life of the City Banana at the NYT; I love logistics-heavy looks at ordinary things like this.

Tag yourself, I'm X (that's a legible text version of this tweet).

A minute's worth of zoo animals escaping the heat; I think the last bit is my favorite.

a vid daydreaming post

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:59 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So the stuff in the prior post reminded me that I've always thought of Bruce Springsteen's "Livin' in the Future" as a Dark Tower song, and now that the movie is not good, I was daydreaming what a constructed trailer for the . . . TV show, probably . . . that we should have got would look like.

This is almost certainly impossible because of the footage that would be needed to be created from whole cloth, so this is just for fun.

spoilers for all of The Dark Tower series )

Someone give me a bazillion dollars and I'll make it happen.

a vid rec post

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:38 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Here is a wonderful Steven Universe vid by [personal profile] skygiants, which is about loving and being together even if the world might end. Disclaimer: I introduced this song to her as part of a "cheerful apocalypses" playlist called "(and I feel fine)", which you can listen to via YouTube, and I am unreasonably pleased by that. But it's still an amazing vid, it packs so many character arcs and has such great bouncy movement to match the bouncy song. If you're up through . . . I think the latest thing I recognized was S04E16, "The New Crystal Gems", you should definitely watch it.


Clean Light_ from skygiants on Vimeo.



If you like, here are links for feedback: skygiants' DW, AO3, or click through for Vimeo.

Also, I can't remember if I've recced this already, but I made the playlist before I knew about "Dance Apocalyptic", so here is another fabulous vid, this one multi-fandom, by [personal profile] eruthros and [personal profile] thingswithwings:



Comment at thingswithwings' DW or click through for YouTube.

trailers with The Dark Tower

Aug. 10th, 2017 12:02 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Geez, I almost forgot. Which is impressive considering how many of them there were.

FYI: I link to IMDB because it's stable, but on some of these, it adds these few seconds at the start that weren't in the theatrical version? So if there's a title screen that included "Official Trailer," what was in the theater started after that.

Flatliners: it is too! soon! for a reboot!

Only the Brave: I could have sworn this had a different title. Crushingly obvious-looking "inspired by a true story", about a forest-fire-fighting unit.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: I know the first of these has some devotees in fanfic fandom, but I don't go for mentor/mentee, and this just screams "trying way too hard" to me.

It: that looks pretty good! I don't do horror so I'm not getting near this with a ten-foot pole.

Birth of the Dragon: quasi-Bruce Lee biopic, which possibly has been recut to focus less on a white dude, whose presence still seemed weird and out-of-place in the above trailer?

The Hitman's Bodyguard (the version we saw had fewer swears and not the end bit either): okay, I may have been pummeled into submission by this point, but I did actually smile. Not going to see it, mind.

The Dark Tower (2017 movie)

Aug. 9th, 2017 11:18 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So . . . that was a thing.

Okay, it is actually shaped like a movie. It required (at least) one explicitly-acknowledged "just because" in order to make the plot work, but by and large it was shaped like a movie and, as far as I can tell, got its exposition across—very obviously, granted, but I'm starting to think smooth exposition is no longer something movies care about? (Feel free to provide counter-examples.)

As a standalone movie, it's . . . unexceptional? I thought some of the special effects were oddly shoddy and uninspired, but it does contain gunfights, Idris Elba being grizzled and badass, and Matthew McConaughey waving his hands around, so if that's a thing you wanted from seeing the trailers, then you'll get it. I'm not sure that it would particularly zing or feel fresh, but it does generally provide what it promised, though there's a lot more of the kid, Jake, than one might expect.

(This review has movie spoilers but amused me and seems about right: The Dark Tower Is Not That Terrible — But It Does Feel Like a Copy of a Copy of a Copy, by David Edelstein at Vulture.)

As an adaptation, it makes some interesting choices, most of which I did not like.

all the spoilers for the movie and the entire book series, so many spoilers )

Summer cleaning 2017

Aug. 9th, 2017 09:32 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
 Found in junk drawer while searching for Ex-Acto knife:  one pair of rounded-tip plastic Safe-T-Cut child's scissors.

My offspring are 26 and 23.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Aug. 6th, 2017 10:11 pm
loligo: Scully with blue glasses (Default)
[personal profile] loligo
This is not a review, per se. This is just a post to tell you how hilariously wrong I got this movie.

Usually when I bother taking the time to see a movie, I already know exactly what I'm in for. But I ran into the mom of one of Chuckles's friends at the farmer's market, and she said, "Hey, we should get the girls together to practice their French this summer! I've got a whole Jacques Demy box set!" And I said, "Sure! I've always wanted to see The Umbrellas of Cherbourg!"

Because I've always liked movie musicals! My mom and I watched tons of them together when I was a kid. And I'd always heard that Umbrellas was a good one, and I'd seen beautiful candy-colored stills from the movie.

So I was expecting, like… a movie musical? Like Kiss Me Kate? Or On The Town or something?

Instead I got teen pregnancy, creepy rich dudes, PTSD, prostitution (briefly), and an ending that was basically a tumblr post going, "Ugh, TFW when you run into your baby daddy in your old home town and it is SUPER AWKWARD…"

I'm not saying it was a bad movie! It was actually really good! But I was seriously befuddled along the way.

(The last time I got a movie this wrong was when I went into Black Swan expecting a shoujo-esque drama about rival ballerinas falling in love. Damn it, I still want to see the movie that I thought I was going to see!)

a tolerable non-dairy yogurt

Aug. 5th, 2017 01:48 pm
loligo: Scully with blue glasses (Default)
[personal profile] loligo
Before acquiring my bizarre allergy, I used to eat a fair amount of plain Greek yogurt -- sometimes with muesli in the morning, but more often in salads, soups and stews. I tried one brand of non-dairy yogurt early on in the allergy (it might have been Silk?) and it was completely repulsive: chalky and weird and sour in a not-good way. After two bites I just threw it away.

More recently, our local co-op added Daiya brand yogurt. I was in no rush to try it. Daiya cheese substitutes have been endlessly disappointing, so I had no reason to suspect they were any better at yogurt. But the fruit flavors were on big sale last month, so I bought a little container of Black Cherry, and it has been sitting in my fridge for a month now, daring me to eat it.

I was cleaning out the fridge this morning, so I decided to finally get it over with. And you know what, it was not bad. It had a bit of that cough syrup bite that cherry-flavored things often have, but the yogurt base had a very pleasant texture and a clean, yogurt-y tang. It's coconut-based, with pea and potato protein added for thickening.

I love cooking from Vegan Richa's Indian Cooking, and she's got a number of recipes that call for non-dairy yogurt. I feel confident that I could use the plain Daiya in any of them and end up with something I would happily eat.

Looking through my food tag, I see that I never got around to writing that exhaustive review of non-dairy ice creams that I had planned. Too bad, because now I can't remember all the individual failings of the brands that I didn't like. But I can tell you the take-home message: Coconut Bliss is head and shoulders above all the competitors (including Ben & Jerry's new non-dairy offerings).

And I did post about my fave cheese substitutes: Chao and Heidi Ho. In the two years since that post, I still haven't found any better (and I have spent a ton of money on Heidi Ho to make sure the co-op keeps stocking it).

So there you have it, a full spectrum of non-dairy recs.

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