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.

Wynonna Earp 2x07

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:15 am
monanotlisa: (dolls & wynonna - wynonna earp)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
As everybody reading this knows, the most curative thing during recovery is binge-watching a television show. Recall my earlier brief notes on iZombie Season Three? One down; four to go: The 100 (still on Netflix, I hope); Orphan Black; Killjoys; and Wynonna Earp.

I looked at the latter two and chose Wynonna Earp. Why? Guess I was feeling Western rather than Westerly, feeling like two sisters as the leads rather than two brothers.

Just three bulletpoints on Wynonna Earp, up to & including 2x07 ''Everybody Knows'' )
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
For anyone who might be interested, Pixar has Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy.

It's primarily directed at film writing, but I think it can be used for all types of narrative storytelling. I've been listening to The Art of Storytelling video series.

It starts out with "We are all storytellers," (I'm there still) which I think is an admirable point and has a number of their creators talking about their amateur efforts and how they got started, like Betty and Veronica fashion fanart. :)

It leads to characterization and story structure, and while I don't know that visual language is going to be terribly helpful to us print writers, it might give good ideas for descriptions of scenery to go around dialogue. There are also lessons and activities that you can do, should you choose.

(I can't find closed captions on Khan Academy, though. That's my one quibble thus far.)

One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is still this graphic: Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.

No, I'm not saying they have to be YOUR rules too. I'm just saying I find the list as a useful set of way to help me go through one of my stories and figure out what's not working and what I need to do to make it work. Or sometimes, for me to just let go and stopy worrying at something, and maybe come back to it later.

Take that, reproductive system.

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:28 am
monanotlisa: (scrubs! - duh)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Surgery itself went well...though complications then kept me in the hospital for not the planned 2-3 hours but for about 12 -- and it's all a bit ongoing, shall we say. I'll post more, but despite my three-hour nap after we came home, I'm beat. And my brain still isn't working properly.

Shout-out to the folks working at UCSF Mt. Zion -- they've all been both both friendly and competent medical professionals (the super-enthusiastic residents were THE BEST. One of them bounced little on his feet, holding the clipboard for consent signing out to me).
monanotlisa: Sam Wilson in Falcon gear, in profile, looking fabulous as ever. (falcon - captain america)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (www.blackalliance.org) is having two webinars on the State of Black Immigrants. Part 1 is July 18, tomorrow, at 5pm; part 2 is July 25, both 5 pm EST.

Registration: goo.gl/u8Eckc.
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
ETA: Logged out and gone to sleep. Good night, all!

I'm going to be trying to figure out what city I should be setting my urban fantasy in. (Or at least, what it should be an analogue to, geography-wise.)

I'll be on Discord for a couple of hours, if anyone wants to join me:

https://discord.gg/w9PK3Yg

(This time I'll remember to edit the post to say when I log off Discord!)

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

Doctor Who (and St. Trinian's)

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:59 am
havocthecat: polly (red-haired geek with glasses) and celia (blonde loner) of st. trinian's (st trinians polly/celia)
[personal profile] havocthecat
The best part of the Doctor Who casting announcement is that it opens up EVEN MORE amazing possibilities for horrifyingly beautiful St. Trinian's crossovers.

"Oh, Beverly!" called Miss Fritton from her office, leaning over and waving one hand. Beverly could see one her out of the corner of one eye.

"Yeah, miss!"

"What's that little knobbly thingummy you're pointing at the door?"

"It's a sonic screwdriver, miss!"

"What's it for?"

"Nothing, miss!" There was Dalek invasion and the First Years were busy lobbing explosives from the tower while Beverly - the Doctor, really, but she'd been undercover for years and thought of herself as Beverly still - remodulated the alarm system to broadcast a frequency that would short-circuit their disruptor beams. The Daleks, not the First Years.

Though Beverly privately thought the First Years infinitely more dangerous to let loose upon the human race than the Daleks, but she did have standards after all, and centuries of enmity with the Daleks to uphold.

"So what you're saying," said Miss Fritton, appearing in her doorway with an empty bottle of vodka in one hand, "is that we're out of vodka and you forgot to stock up, is that it?"

"Get the gin, miss," said Beverly, holding back a sigh.
monanotlisa: (studying!)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
I have also managed to...well, let's call it "consume books" during commute hours, dead wait times, or long drives -- audiobooks, often in combination with the written Kindle version (you can buy a combo package that lets you pick up reading or listening at the point you left off; it's one neat function). After the breathtaking Rivers of London series by Ben Aarononovitch, I was looking for urban fantasy of a similar vibe: witty, well-written, and featuring diverse protagonists.

My choice fell onto Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series -- the first two novels feature Verity Price, a cryptozoologist-slash-ballroom dancer in New York City; I like them for the setting, frankly, and the richness of this imagined world of non-classified monsters in our midst.

The following doesn't spoil plot points, but it does give an outline of characters and places.

''Discount Armageddon'' & ''Midnight Blue-Light Special'' )

''Half-Off Ragnarok'' & ''Pocket Apocalypse'' )

Ultimately, these are entertaining, so I may stick with the InCryptid series because of the dearth of diverse urban fantasy (true fantasy has gotten much better on that vector these days; read Ancillary Justice or The One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, or or or). Again, if anybody new is reading this who has recommendations for books or series similar to Rivers of London by Ben Aarononovitch, please let me know!

iZombie Season Three

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:14 am
monanotlisa: (advice)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Full disclosure, I haven't had the time to watch a single new show I'd waited for and subscribed to on iTunes: The 100; Orphan Black; Killjoys; Wynonna Earp.

The one show I managed to finish is iZombie. And I do recommend it.

Zombie S3 )

The question this show poses about humans and zombies is: Can't we just all get along? The answer potentially being, OH HELLS NO! But...not necessarily.

Doctor Who

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:32 am
monanotlisa: (adventures! - dw)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
The Doctor Who news out of the UK have made me unexpectedly emotional. Doctor Who Casting )

Because I so loved Doctor Who for its undying sense of wonder.

The last show that conveyed the incredible, the vast strange beauty of the universe that well had been Farscape -- a different show, of course, heavy into the psychedelic, with even more whump and the personal perk of never taking itself seriously. But then Russell T. Davies' New Who came along, and finally I understood what all these other nerds and geeks with their t-shirts and telephone boxes had been about all along.

You already know the below if you've been following this blog; I'm just summarizing my experience with Doctor Who in the past and looking to the future )

So yes, I'm back to Doctor Who. Buckle up, companions.
havocthecat: wagon tracks in the midwest (places landscape midwest)
[personal profile] havocthecat
The thing I like about this is Lifehacker article is that it explains the various problems with gluten that people have, and also it lies heavily on the "don't be a jerk if you think someone is a 'faker' with their gluten sensitivity" principle. Which. DON'T BE A JERK ABOUT PEOPLE'S FOOD ISSUES. Whether you think they're faking it or not isn't really the important thing.

Also it's just a really good article that's in the Celiac 101/Gluten 101 vein.

Here's the Deal with Gluten
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Glow is getting less attention than Wonder Woman, but this article is reminding me a lot of the articles about the Amazons working in the background of Wonder Woman - or what would have happened if they'd hired non-athletes and trained them to be athletes for Wonder Woman.

'Glow' Star Betty Gilpin: What It's Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence With Watermelon-Sized Boobs

Anyone seen it? What do you think? Alison Brie is in it, and I loved her in Community.
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Wonder Woman Wrap by Carissa Browning

The pattern is free (and color-coded for each section, which is awfully nice), so even if you don't make it, you should either save it to your Ravelry library (if you have one) or download it for future planning purposes JUST IN CASE. It's pretty simple, and should you be looking to learn short rows, this is a good one for that.

It was also translated into French, should you be a native French speaker or wish to practice your French or French-based knitting skills. (I don't believe Ravelry pattern writers turn down translations of their patterns, should you wish to donate your time to spreading the fandom love, but if you are interested, the comments section on the pattern post is here, and my experience on Ravelry's comments has been generally pleasant.)
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
[personal profile] ziparumpazoo
Have one of my kitty in a kayak from this evening

A cat in a life jacket in a kayak





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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