Change of Plans

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:56 pm
wendelah1: (The End)
[personal profile] wendelah1
We're leaving this afternoon for Fontana, no one's favorite vacation destination. Kyle's surgery is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. tomorrow and he has to be at the surgery center an hour ahead. Rather than getting up at the crack of dawn, we're spending the night at the Hilton Garden Inn Fontana. He should be released before noon so we'll be back home by afternoon.

There is absolutely nothing to do in Fontana. There is not a decent sit-down restaurant in the entire city. Their highly rated Mexican hole-in-the-wall doesn't hold a candle to the one in my neighborhood. There is a pool at the hotel. There's a movie theater right down the street so we might go see the latest Spiderman reboot. (Good grief. How many more times will they reboot that movie franchise?) Or maybe we should see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets instead. Basic cable is basic. I'll bring my computer but WiFi is spotty.


I didn't get a chance to finish, let alone post this before it turned into old news.

My husband just aspirated again. The hotel is cancelled. The surgery center doesn't open until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow so informing them will have to wait.

I see a trip to Urgent Care in the near future, as soon as I can talk him into it. He's really scared. This could be bad, like our last December vacation in Hawaii kind of bad. At least this time we're at home.

So Let Me Go

Jul. 23rd, 2017 05:21 am
viridian5: (Still fighting)
[personal profile] viridian5
The heat and humidity here have been making my headaches much worse as well as making a lot of my old injuries hurt--my left ankle, the return of pain in my left shoulder and upper arm, my right knee, the scar on the back of my head--and seriously sapping my energy. This is the worst summer has been to me in a while. I actually ended up just paying for the renewal of AVG anti-virus because I couldn't get my brain, spoons, and self together enough to research other options then schlep my laptop to the library early enough during its operating hours so I could use their wifi to download new software. Uninstalling the AVG would be challenging in my current state as well.

At least I was well enough Friday night--at least it's a bit cooler at nights, though Friday was about 88 degrees Fahrenheit/30 Celsius--to do some driving in Manhattan. The window displays were still seriously lacking, not enough to bother parking and running for (it was too early at night to be more confident about the police not showing up), but I hit upon a tribute mix of Linkin Park songs on 92.3 Amp radio. It's appropriate it was aired on 92.3, since back in the day when it was K-ROCK, an alternative station, Linkin Park was such a common play on it that I'd hear a song or two of theirs every time I drove somewhere and didn't need to buy Hybrid Theory. (I didn't need to buy Tool albums either for similar reasons.) Amp plays a lot of rap and hip-hop, so their mix included a lot of songs from Linkin Park's collaboration/remix project with Jay-Z, most of which I never heard before. It was a trip.

I was in Manhattan earlier at night than usual, 8:30 pm through 11:30 pm, which meant traffic but also reminded me of the joy I get when I outsmart and outmaneuver other drivers in the city.

On the way back, roadwork closed down several exits of the LIE that included mine, so since I had to get off a few exits down the line I decided that Somebody wanted me to get ices at the Lemon Ice King of Corona. Besides, I've been so dehydrated lately. As I sat and ate my banana-flavored ices in a park nearby at 11:45 pm, I watched some locals play bocce, not that I can follow the game intelligently. Some barber shops across the street were still open at midnight.

+++

Nine Inch Nails' new EP, Add Violence, is available as an MP3 album or streaming even though a CD won't be released until September, but I'm holding off on purchasing it until it's been around enough to get more reviews. The review that used the term "laidback" gives me pause, since I don't listen to NIN for "laidback."

Kidlet story

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:23 pm
resonant: Little Red Riding Hood and wolf. Text: "La beta noire." (beta noire)
[personal profile] resonant
New Draco-centric story from the kidlet over at AO3! I betaed. I even offered some comments that were not smiley faces.

I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine (24327 words) by terminally_underwhelmed
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Minor or Background Relationship(s), Pre-Harry/Draco - Relationship
Characaters: Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Black Malfoy, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Blaise Zabini, Luna Lovegood, Arthur Weasley, Astoria Greengrass, more like ace-storia amirite, various OCs, Minor Characters
Additional Tags: Epilogue What Epilogue, War Aftermath, Emotional Growth, Bureaucracy, Pre-Slash, Friendship, headcanon dump
Series: Part 1 of Solitaire/Mercenary
Summary:

They're together when the Dark Lord falls.

Draco is barely aware of his own senses, half-blind and exhausted from months upon months of corrosive fear, and whatever shred of reality is still allotted to him is in his father’s urgent grip on his shoulder and his mother’s hands around his and the way he leans on both of them.

One More Light

Jul. 20th, 2017 04:23 pm
viridian5: (Aya (Gone))
[personal profile] viridian5
Two voices I loved, gone by their own hands: Chester Bennington committed suicide today, on Chris Cornell's birthday. Cornell committed suicide in May.

Locally

Jul. 19th, 2017 08:22 pm
viridian5: (Rommie blue)
[personal profile] viridian5
Part of the decor at DISH Ridgewood. I'm horrified....
photo )

Wednesday Book Meme

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:44 pm
wendelah1: Sally from Peanuts looking at a shelf of books (book geek)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Because of all of the kids' books and quickie romances I've been reading lately, I am nine books ahead on my Goodreads challenge. I'm going to have to up the ante by ten books, at least, to compensate.

What I've finished

All the President's Men (1974), Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. I began reading it because of (1.) this article in Newsweek: "The Eerie Similarities Between Alleged Trump Scandals and All The President's Men, and (2.) because we'd just watched the movie based on it. (Note that the Newsweek story was published back in March. Imagine if they'd written it this week.) The book is award-winning journalism but honestly, the movie makes for a better story. Go rent the movie. Download it. Whatever. (We checked it out of the library). You will not be sorry. The movie gets five stars. The book gets four stars. These reporters, their editors, and their publisher are all American heroes.

Beany and the Beckoning Road (1959), Lenore Mattingly Weber. Beany believes that she has lost boyfriend Norbett to another girl: Cynthia. She and Johnny plan to drive from Denver to California to return their nephew to his parents and advertise for passengers to share the travel expenses. What a surprise for Beany when she discovers that one of the passengers is Cynthia. What will happen to a mismatched set of passengers with very little money and a tomato plant in the back seat?

This was better than the previous book in the series. Beany flies off the handle one time too many for my taste but whatever. Three stars for retro-charm and that tomato plant. I haven't decided if I'm going to continue on with the Malone family, but this book was funny and engaging.

Girl in the Water (2016), Dana Marton. I took a chance and purchased (I know!) this book because of how much I liked Secret Soldier. The online reviews were enthusiastic, but I was not impressed. Marton tried to weave together three stories, and multiple points of view, and couldn't quite pull it off. spoilers ) I applaud her attempt to write something more ambitious than your run of the mill romance but this didn't work for me at all. I give it one star.

I returned Sugar and Other Stories (1987) by A.S. Byatt to the library after reading just one story. Actually, I didn't make it through the first story. I can't recall the title. It was about an unpleasant little girl, attending an atrocious boarding school, with nasty classmates and an appalling, sadistic headmistress, who I've decided in retrospect might be a stand-in for the writer. Byatt enjoys torturing her characters in much the same way that her headmistress character enjoyed torturing her students. Halfway through, I found I wasn't liking anything about this story. Enough was enough. I skimmed through the next two stories and they were more of the same. No, thank you.

What's next?

I borrowed another book in the time travel porn series from the LAPL. I think this one is called "The Slayer" but it has nothing to do with vampires.

I'm still rereading the series for my kidlit fic exchange, titles withheld.

I unearthed an old novel of Margaret Drabble's which I'd never read, The Peppered Moth.

I'm carrying around Mirror Dance from the Vorkosigan saga in my purse.

There's a stack of time travel novels from the library at my bedside.

Entering Space: Creating a Space-faring Civilization by Robert Zubrin is sitting around somewhere, too. I got it out of mothballs because there is a chapter on mining asteroids, which is relevant to my interests. Speaking of space-faring civilizations, season two of The Expanse arrived yesterday!

black kitty

The episodes that never were

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:12 pm
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
[personal profile] lunabee34 says: "Tell me about the episode (or book chapter) that never appeared in one of your fandoms but should have."

Star Trek TNG: "The Price" is such a god-awful episode that when it leaves those two Ferengi in their shuttlecraft stranded in the Delta Quadrant and doesn't bother to tell us what became of them, that's not even the worst of its crimes. (The worst of its crimes is probably what Crusher and Troi wear to do aerobics.) Anyhow, yes, the Ferengi were acting like jerks, but they didn't deserve to die the kind of death that you'd die stranded in a shuttlecraft 30,000 light-years from home. I think either they should reappear as part of the Borg collective, or the Voyager crew should find them.

Due South: More Ray&Ray. Doesn't everyone want more Ray&Ray? Make RayK go to meet a new informant and discover that it's the Bookman.

The Princess Bride 2: the story of how Buttercup wound up being the Dread Pirate Roberts.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
- There's a group of people who detest it on principle. Asked to define it, they create a definition that basically sorts everything into two categories: Things I Hate, Which Therefore Belong To the Genre I Hate, and Things I Like, Which Obviously Do Not Belong To the Genre I Hate. (Ask a classic rock fan who hates country about Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Or a classic sci-fi fan who hates fantasy about Pern.)

- Traditionally, about a third of it was worthless due to sentimentality.

- More recently, another third of it is worthless because capitalism endlessly churns it out in identical shiny plastic pieces.

- When it's bad, there's nothing worse.

- When it's good, it captures the human spirit so well that it brings tears to your eyes.

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:01 pm
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
DS9 rewatch:

"Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"

Julian is really invested in the state of O'Brien's marriage, to the point of eavesdropping. That's weird, Julian. As is the idea that Kira is now some kind of pseudo-wife, because she's carrying the baby. We're supposed to be concerned that they're developing feelings for each other, but the complete lack of chemistry torpedoes that. (Poor Keiko. She does not have much to do in this episode.)

Ah, Quark's Klingon ex-wife returns. Not really a storyline I needed follow-up to, but I suppose it's interesting, given the hostilities between the Klingons and the Federation. Or, it's interesting for about 10 seconds, and then the rest of the episode is Worf playing Cyrano for Quark, in between moaning about Klingon opera and Klingon mating traditions.

I guess it accomplishes the main goal, which is getting Worf and Dax together.

"...Nor the Battle to the Strong"

It's a good idea to pair Jake with Bashir in a situation where Bashir is practicing medicine on the front lines. Julian was kind of the baby of the adults when the show started, idealistic about "frontier medicine". Now he's aged into some maturity, while Jake is 18 and still learning how to be an adult. One minute he's fantasizing about something terrible happening so he can write an interesting article, and the next minute he has to confront the reality of that situation.

I am circling back to my theme of DS9 being a show where sometimes, there are no good answers. Bashir's decision to go help means putting Jake in mortal danger. Jake judges a man for injuring himself to get out of battle, but then Jake does something equally as bad, if not worse. These are the wages of war.

The episode title is from the Bible. The verse says that sometimes the fastest person doesn't win a race, or the strongest person win a battle. Sometimes it's just chance, and there's nothing you can do about it.

(no subject)

Jul. 13th, 2017 02:10 pm
nestra: (Garak)
[personal profile] nestra
DS9 rewatch:

"The Ship"

O'Brien is spending a lot of time talking to a Starfleet guy we've never met before. I bet he's going to have a great time in this episode and not die tragically or anything. (Also, in an attempt to give them dialogue showing that they're friends! pals! totally met before today!, the writers kind of slide over into flirty. It's odd.)

Also odd, guy who is certainly doomed is apparently Hispanic, just so he can call out to his Papa and mutter in Spanish while he's dying.

The actress playing the female Vorta does a good job with making her attempt at manipulation completely transparent, but still subtle. It's a good episode that's more about the cost of war than any of the actual things at stake.

&^%$#!@!!!

Jul. 13th, 2017 02:09 am
viridian5: (Still fighting)
[personal profile] viridian5
Okay. Once upon a time, my AVG anti-virus software version was free and worked great. Then about two years ago, I agreed to a free trial of the paid edition for one month. After one month I figured I could return to the free version if I wished, but no, when the paid version expired it nuked everything. I was forced to pay for the paid edition just to get my anti-virus back. So I've been paying for that and for some occasional tech support since.

In March, on the phone, I was given a discount of $50 off if I renewed AVG "Total Care" early, thus $149.99 instead of $199.99. I spoke to two people and was somewhat confused because they were confusing but was given the impression it covered everything.

Not so, because I just got an e-mail that my anti-virus software will expire July 24. Renewing the software for a year is $109. The $149.99 just covered technical support. The $199.99 might have covered both. Maybe. That was the impression I just got over a long phone call with a phone guy and his supervisor. I asked them why the hell I would agree to a $50 "discount" that would only lead to me paying $109 instead later, but they both were insistent that it was explained to me correctly in March and it's my fault I was confused and maybe next year I should do them as one thing instead of trusting their sales people on the phone. The supervisor was absolutely unyielding on any of these points, no breaks or deals offered, just "pay up this year and pay up again next year (and we'll probably game you on tech support again)," and sounded glad to end the phone call. He probably thinks I'm an hysteric.

I didn't renew tonight since I have a few more days before I have to and I am way too upset to throw more than another hundred dollars at these people right now, especially given my luck with them over the phone. What are you guys paying for your anti-virus software?

A Number of Different Ways

Jul. 13th, 2017 12:17 am
viridian5: (Collide (kaRIN))
[personal profile] viridian5
The swelling is almost completely gone from my left ankle and I'm mostly walking without a brace, which is especially great because it's rough wearing braces or orthopedic boots in weather this hot.

I had a nice July 4th, though it figures that the one year I don't go to the roof of Rentar Plaza to see the Macy's fireworks show is the one year where they actually do have amazing new fireworks to display. I caught the end of that show later on TV. I did end up watching part of a fireworks display in one of the most Queens way possible: parked in my car on a deserted street between a graveyard and an industrial warehouse and looking off over the graveyard to see the fireworks going off near a factory. I had a great view.

Also a rather Queens way to see fireworks: a few blocks from my house as I was driving around looking for a parking space that night local guys were setting off trays of illegal fireworks and asked me to stop my car since they'd just lit the fuse. I was fine with that, especially since I got to see some cool fireworks up close. A minute after that I heard a very classic Italian-style Queens accent yell out, "The Five-Oh! The Five-Oh!" and everyone picked things up and scattered.

+++

In all my talk of the recent acceleration of old NYC being torn down or disappearing because it can't afford the rent, I didn't even consider or worry for a moment about a favorite store that had always just... been there, Strawberry at Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street. I was naive, because now it's long gone. The bit I could see through the window was stripped down to bare white wall, and I have no idea what the massive back section looks like. I say this because this Strawberry was far larger on the inside than it appeared from the outside. Between that and its arrangement, decor, and stained glass (of trees and flowers), I long joked that it was actually a TARDIS. You can get some small idea of what the interior looked like from this 2007 entry. The photos don't really give you a look at the circular ceiling sections painted to look like sky. This was a discount clothing store!

And now it's gone. I hope the stained glass panels found a nice home but I doubt it.

(There are other photos in the entry, and if anyone looking at them is saddened by the shots of grimy decrepit sculpture, click on the "i. miller building" tag at the bottom of the entry to see the recent beautiful restoration.)

+++

Between my limping laptop and the lack of fan conversation, I haven't been going online every single night. I never realized before how much of my participation in fandom required nightly live conversations to be worth it to me. It doesn't help that it's summer and thus quieter than usual.

+++

Several years after I wrote that arc, I've discovered that "Doppelgänger I love you" by Zeromancer is a great song for the Austria section of "Glass Houses." I still think about this stuff.

(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2017 03:02 pm
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
DS9 rewatch:

Season five! Thankfully starting with a recap of season 4, because it's been a while.

"Apocalypse Rising"

I love Kira's maternity outfit.

Plot of this episode: let's go steal an empire. And their plan is a little shaky, to be honest. And requires the help of Dukat. Poor Damar tries to be the voice of reason. Don't hold your breath, Damar.

OMG, Odo makes a hilariously bad Klingon. Avery Brooks digs into it as deeply as possible. Like, you can see the dirt flying as he works those bad teeth and that wig. Frankly, it seems like it would be exhausting to impersonate a Klingon for any longer than 5 minutes.

A decent, if not thrilling, season opener.

Books Wednesday

Jul. 12th, 2017 07:51 am
wendelah1: quote: take these broken wings and fly away (take these broken wings)
[personal profile] wendelah1
If I seemed overwhelmed and overwrought yesterday, I was. I am. I hope and pray that the democratic institutions in my country are strong enough to withstand the onslaught of avarice and deceit that has been set in motion by this corrupt, incompetent, evil administration and its supporters. Democrats are patriots, too. Believe me, this is the last thing I wanted to be told, the last thing I expected to have happened during the last presidential election.

Okay, so, books. I read more books than usual last week because of my quest to find a suitable romance blurb on which to base my Timeless story for [community profile] unconventionalcourtship.

Before I stumbled onto that treasure-trove of scifi porn, the Time Raiders series, I looked at a number of possible choices.

Secret Soldier by Dana Marten

Read more... )

Sundial by Carrie Lofty

Read more... )

I checked out three of the nine books from the Time Raiders Series.

Read more... )

Leave it to Beany by Lenora Mattingly Weber

Read more... )

This week needs more cats. Did you know that there is a Pinterest board devoted to books and cats?

Cat sitting on a bookshelf

This is Bartleby who resides at my favorite bookshop in San Diego, California.
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