9/23/17 10:50 pm
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
[personal profile] skygiants
Thanks to the kindness of [personal profile] aamcnamara in loaning a copy so I did not have to fight through the library line, I read The Stone Sky - third in N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy, following up on The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate - last weekend.

I don't think Essun destroyed any cities at all this book! I'm so proud!

The rest is disconnected spoilery thoughts )
mmegaera: (Default)
[personal profile] mmegaera
To the point where when friends offer to take me places, I can go. I tire really easily, but we've found ways around that. Up to and including my friend Judy, who has a conversion van I can sleep in the back of while she takes me places, so that I have the actual energy to enjoy them when I get there. Is that a wonderful friend or what?

And that last post was the first blog post I've written since I got sick. So yay, me!

I'm settled into my new place, and I feel safe and comfortable here. Also, not having to figure out what kind of food I can eat and just having it there for me has made all the difference. I've stopped losing weight, for one thing [g].

The symptoms are starting to gradually get worse (whatever Power That Be who decided the main symptom of the endometrial part of this would be the equivalent of really bad menstrual cramps all the time needs to be shot in the kneecaps and left to die), but that's just the way it is. It would be nice to have a working internal thermostat again, too, but hey. At least I still have a brain.

I am so grateful to my local friends, who have bent over backwards to help me out. You have no idea. Seriously. And my long distance friends, too, who have done all sorts of things to keep my spirits up. I have the best friends on the planet. Period.

Karin’s sewing machine

9/23/17 07:06 pm
mmegaera: (Much Ado in Montana)
[personal profile] mmegaera

Tonight my friend Tina and I went to a program/exhibit at the Lacey library.  It was put on by the Pacific Northwest Vintage Sewing machine organization.  It was fascinating.  All kinds of antique and vintage sewing machines, as well as a program where several people spoke about them.  Some folks there own more than a hundred sewing machines!

There were also quilts up on the library’s walls from a couple of local guilds, which was nice.

And I got to try a sewing machine about the right age to have been Karin’s sewing machine from True Gold, which was truly cool.

Here are some of the photos I took.

One of the oddest sewing machines I’ve ever seen. 1930s vintage.
I’ve never seen a white Featherweight in person before.
This one’s about the same vintage (if not the same maker) as my old sewing machine.
Some of the quilts on display.
This one looks a lot like the one my mother had.
A 1914 Scottish Singer machine .
Not a very good photo, but this machine could be the one Karin carried over Chilkoot Pass and the Golden Staircase in True Gold.  It’s a vintage 1895-1905 Singer portable.
And the carrying case for Karin’s machine.

Oh, and by the way, this is a photo of the Golden Staircase up to the top of Chilkoot Pass that Karin carried her sewing machine over, and the conditions in which she would have done it.

Mirrored from M.M. Justus -- adventures in the supernatural Old West.

conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
But honestly, I'm not sure I want to. It's harder to cut felt than I realized!

(Is "logo" the right word? Should I say "sigil" or "symbol" or "shield"?)

********************


The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

When growing their penises for the season, ducks bend to social pressure

The Hobbit Was Almost Illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Growing Up Neanderthal

The Banned 1910s Magazine That Started a Feminist Movement in Japan

Millions of new genes in human microbiome

Present-Day Devices as Props

These jellyfish don’t have brains, but still somehow seem to sleep

The mysterious group that’s picking Breitbart apart, one tweet at a time

Getting emotional after failure helps you improve next time, study finds (Who'da thunkit?)

Gene editing of human embryos in UK reveals new fertility clue

How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food

Women Are Spending Years In Prison Because Wyoming Won’t Let Them Into Its All-Male Boot Camp

Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey

How Canada has been secretly giving asylum to gay people in Chechnya fleeing persecution

Thousands gather to protest arrests over Catalonian vote

Spain to send extra police to try to halt Catalan referendum

Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (but Don’t Know It)

Lightning storms triggered by exhaust from cargo ships

Washington Just Sued a Giant Private Prison Company for Paying Immigrant Workers $1 Per Day

These Women Are the Last Thing Standing Between You and Nuclear War

In Battle Over Tax Cuts, It’s Republicans vs. Economists

174 Television Stations Are Being Forced To Air Trump Propaganda Disguised As News

Some forcibly arrested in St. Louis weren't protesting

'Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself' Is in Full Effect

How a federal agent got away with terrorizing his Brazilian ex-girlfriend — even as she repeatedly begged the US government to stop him.

Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For

Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far (Wow. And yet, so not surprising....)

Too late, China and America see North Korea the same way

9/23/17 08:08 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
I was working on a small machining project for work in my workshop, another situation where the commercial version is available with a two week lead for $1K or so, and thirty minutes of work on a scrap piece of aluminum in my workshop will have us the equivalent on Monday. Which is great, when I get paid to run a lathe, until I dropped a tiny setscrew, bent over to pick it up, straightened up, and smacked my head into one of the handwheels on the mill. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say I pulled a crescent-shaped chunk of skin off the handwheel once I stood back up. Now I'm sitting in front of the fireplace with a pounding headache.

I had been intending to make a speedometer cable adapter for the Spitfire next, but I think I'll put that off until later.

9/24/17 03:01 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I keep on getting stuck with writing or just imagining
because on some level whatever I want to do I want a story with more me in it
and me in any of these situations would probably just annoy people and then die.

I did not like HR's storyline on the Flash.
It felt kind of familiar and plausible.

I want a better story.

9/23/17 09:48 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott didn't get to bed until 11 this morning and so didn't get up until sometime around 7 this evening. I feel like I've been cat waxing all day, but I reminded myself that I don't have any absolute commitments for projects until UCon in November. I want to write some stories for [community profile] weissvsaiyuki which is having a fanworks battle in October, but if I don't, I won't be defaulting on someone.

Of course, today's cat waxing was scrolling through the Gdoc of prompts for the Trick or Treat exchange, saving off anything that I thought might be fun to write, and then reorganizing my old archives of saved prompts in hopes of being able to find things more easily. I don't know that I ever actually will write any of those, but it's hard to say. I also need to figure out a better way of organizing prompts within fandoms.

The Gdoc for Trick or Treat stripped out the links to letters, and only a few of the requests had had the links added back (I think each person has to ask for it to be done themselves and to provide the url), so there were a lot of things that, based on fandom and characters, might have been things I could write but that weren't enough to give me a different starting place than I'd have just writing something for myself.

I suppose that I should be glad of that as a way of limiting how many prompts I saved off. The full Gdoc was somewhere between 700 and 800 pages. My Gdoc of saved Trick or Treat prompts was only 31 pages. Well, 24 pages once I changed the line spacing, but the line spacing copied over from the original.

I slept middling badly last night. I didn't take anything to help me sleep, so I didn't sleep as soundly and kept half waking from the pain my elbow or unhappiness with my dreams (it's very frustrating to have a dream where I know I'm in a story and know how it will all come out and keep having my efforts to change things simply not work at all).
randomling: A wombat. (Default)
[personal profile] randomling
KJ Charles protagonists by Hogwarts house.

Gryffindor: Stephen Day, Archie Curtis, Richard Vane, Silas Mason, Nathaniel Roy, Jonah Pastern, Simon Feximal

Ravenclaw: Dominic Frey, Rowley Green, Crispin Tredarloe, Saul Lazenby

Hufflepuff: Harry Vane, Lord Gabriel "Ash" Ashleigh, Clement Talleyfer, Ned Hall, Ben Spenser, Martin St Vincent, Robert Caldwell

Slytherin: Lord Crane, David Cyprian, Daniel da Silva, Justin Lazarus, Julius Norreys, Francis Webster, Theodore Swann, Randolph Glyde

Which means we have:

Gryffindor/Slytherin x4, Gryffindor/Ravenclaw x2, Gryffindor/Hufflepuff x2, Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff x2, Ravenclaw/Slytherin x1, Hufflepuff/Slytherin x3
sovay: (Rotwang)
[personal profile] sovay
Happy autumn! Happy Bi Visibility Day! Happy centenary of the invention of Fluff, which explains why the first thing I ate today was a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff cookie: I spent the later part of my afternoon in Union Square with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, [personal profile] gaudior, and Fox, who may or may not have liked their first taste of marshmallow but was really into a crunchy organic juice blend one of their parents was trying to drink. (Eventually they covered themselves in it. It was green. That's the first time I've seen a baby cosplay Howl's Moving Castle.) I am delighted to learn that plasmodial slime molds can share memories. I would definitely watch Dwayne Johnson as Plato. I am faceplantingly tired, but I have cats. It has not been terrible, being awake today.
kaffyr: (NaruOMG)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Well, This is Not What I Had Planned at All

I have now concluded to my unhappy satisfaction, that I am, for the foreseeable future, Off Cinnamon. 

Given the huge place cinnamon has played in our menus, this involves a sea change in the way I approach non-savory recipes. It also requires that I give away at least one of the huge containers of cinnamon that I have. 

The apple harvest cake will be divided, with one half for BB, and the other to be given to FB and Miss Em. Same for the cookies. Both have been pronounced excellent by BB, but both have provoked cinnamon reflux, for lack of a better term, in Your Humble And Culinarily Careless Servant. 

And it's my own fault, for misreading the recipe in the first place. (Or not washing off the apples and starting fresh, instead of trying to make do.)

Damn. 

Hummingbird Grooming

9/23/17 07:05 pm
yourlibrarian: BeautifulDay-no_apologies_86 (SPN-BeautifulDay-no_apologies_86)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian posting in [community profile] common_nature
Yes, some more hummingbird pics. Do you wonder how this hummingbird achieves its bedhead look? Why with a rather long (for a hummingbird) grooming session!

Read more... )
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
[personal profile] kass
...the LEGO Ninjago movie is charming as hell. There's a delightfully meta frametale, plus Jackie Chan, plus bonus points for excellent use of a cat. I think I laughed as much as my kid did, and that's saying something. :-)
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I spent an inordinate amount of time arduously sewing together a Batman logo - only to find at the end that I'd miscentered it!

Welp, it's for a pre-k student, I'm not redoing it. He'll neither notice nor care.

****************


Leather, Grown in a Lab Without Cows

These hermit crabs shack up inside living coral instead of mere shells

The Split Pants That Are China’s Alternative to Diapers

Children of today are better at delaying gratification than previous generations

A Brainless Slime That Shares Memories by Fusing

Hot chicken was the Prince family legacy — then Nashville transformed it into an icon, and now everybody wants a piece

Ultra-light aluminum: Chemists report breakthrough in material design

'Family Matters' House Will Be Demolished, Replaced With Condos

How Books Designed for Soldiers’ Pockets Changed Publishing Forever

Why Did India Have Ten Million Fewer Childhood Deaths Than Predicted?

By ganging up, HIV antibodies may defeat the virus

Conversions From Islam in Europe and Beyond

Black, Jewish And Avoiding The Synagogue On The High Holy Days

Earthquakes are even harder to predict than we thought

Mexico City’s People Power

Broad swath of US deemed environmentally suitable for mosquitoes that transmit disease

Why Wages Aren’t Growing

Governments turn tables by suing public records requesters

4 Disabled People Dead in Another Week of Police Brutality

The Persistent, Wide Racial Gap in Attitudes Toward the Police

Federal government notifies 21 states of election hacking

Trump's 'election integrity' group is waging war on the right to vote

Puerto Rico Puts Its Prisons Near Flood Zones. After Hurricane Maria, thousands of families await news. (Seriously, look at that map!)

Failing dam creates new crisis on Puerto Rico amid flooding from Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico's power system is "basically destroyed", the US Virgin Islands are under a 24 hour curfew

Why Do Border Deaths Persist When the Number of Border Crossings Is Falling?

Border Patrol Arrests Parents While Infant Awaits Serious Operation

The Economic Costs of Domestic Violence

Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte 'dictatorship'

For Decades, Nazis Have Been Germany's Shame. But Is That About To Change?

Southeast Asia's Rohingya Refugee Crisis Reaches a Terrible Peak (Photos)
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
While [personal profile] mother_bones has been looking after Gary while we're away this weekend, she spotted he had a loose tooth. She took him to the vets (after calling me to check which one we use...and to make sure she wasn't overstepping in doing so) and assured me he's fine and she can help pay for the medical treatment he needs if we need to do so up front...I know I asked Andrew to sort out insurance for him so I'm sure it's been done but I couldn't remember the details and he's in Leeds so I couldn't easily ask him. [personal profile] mother_bones said the vet said this could have happened any time so probably happened just now and I don't need to worry that I've been a negligent owner or that he's been in pain, which was my main worry. He had fleas a little while ago and I never noticed them, it took Andrew to see them and I felt awful. If he was just my dog I never would know. I couldn't see them. Then I worried about the money because we don't have much right now but she said she could help with that too if need be. She's so kind but I feel like such a terrible pet owner.

Then Andrew, who's been in Leeds all day for a comic convention and will be again tomorrow, missed his last train back to Brighouse where I've been and where we're supposed to be staying. He can get back to Manchester but at greater expense and inconvenience. I mean, I have everything from his toothbrush to his CPAP machine! And I miss him and I want to talk to him about Gary.

It'll all be fine and I'm around good people but it's all unsettling.

September Patreon Poll

9/23/17 06:17 pm
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
[personal profile] lb_lee
Hey everybody, it's that time again: time to vote for which story gets the Patreon money this month!  Sorry for the delay; prepping Alter Boys In Love and the last-minute trip to Texas took a chunk out of me. But now we're back on track, and the con rush will end after October! I have some bigger stories planned and in process, and we'll have some new stuff for sale!

As always, anyone can vote, but patrons get double weight for their votes.  If you'd like to be a patron and get bonus content, please consider joining up on Patreon!  And if you want to see the blurbs for any of these stories, those are here!  If you don't have a DW and so can't do the poll, that's okay; just leave your vote in the comments below; anon comments are turned on.

Which story gets the money?  YOU CHOOSE, readers!

Poll #18857 September Story Poll!
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 1


Are you a Patreon patron?

View Answers

No
0 (0.0%)

Yes
1 (100.0%)

Which story gets posted this month?

View Answers

Number One and the United Delland Coalition (I
1 (100.0%)

Style over Substance (Durable Medical Equipment)
0 (0.0%)

Starfishing
0 (0.0%)

Death, Will, and the Girl
0 (0.0%)

Bisexual visibility day

9/23/17 05:37 pm
supergee: (teddy bear)
[personal profile] supergee
I can see a whole lot of you, and you are encouraged to wave.

Dept. of Wobbly Cookery

9/23/17 01:47 pm
kaffyr: Princess Jellyfish goes to work (Reporting for duty)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Saturday In The Kitchen

The kitchen is a sugary-cinnamony mess*. Particularly the cinnamon, since, while making my mother's Apple Harvest Cake - which calls for 1T of cinnamon on a bunch of cut-up apples - I misread the recipe and put 3 tablespoons in. 

The cake turned out OK, largely because I separated the apples from the cinnamon sugar mix, and BB assures me the result is really good. But now I have a lot of cinnamon-sugar mix (I added what seemed like a metric shit-ton of sugar to the mix in an effort to balance it out correctly) that I need to make cookies with. I believe it will involve rolled oats, orange extract and chocolate chips. Hush, it will be wonderful. 

Meanwhile, there was so much cinnamon in the air, and in some that I unwisely put in my coffee, along with sugar and milk, that I'm burping up uncooked cinnamon. It has an unpleasantly chemical aftertaste. That doesn't appear to have affected the cake; presumably the cooking process allowed it to become less chemical. But burping the stuff is not pleasant. My stomach agrees, so I had some cold, slightly salted rice, because I'm apparently incapable of leaving my stomach well enough alone. 

(I realize that in reading this, you may recoil from my cooking skills , adjudging them - possibly correctly - as non-existent. You may decide that you will, if presented with an invitation to dine Chez 
[personal profile] kaffyr , politely decline. And you may vow never again to read anything I post about cooking. I am taking that risk, because in this TMI age, you deserve to note my weird-ass culinary stumbles, as well as my equally weird-ass culinary triumphs.)

Once I've stopped burping cinnamon, I'll venture back into the kitchen to attempt the oatmeal cookie-things. Wish me luck.

*Update - I've cleaned the kitchen. It's much more civilized now. 

I Have Discovered Fashion

9/23/17 01:28 pm
elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
[personal profile] elf
I went looking for costume pieces. I'm aware that my chances of finding the kind of costume pieces I want are low, and it's likely to take more than a casual search to find the kind of things I want within my budget. But I wanted to at least get a sense of what's available.

One of the things I want, is a Victorian-esque high-neck long-sleeves full length dress. Doesn't need to be period-accurate at all; just needs to have roughly the right silhouette. So I went to Amazon and searched for a few things; "maxi" is the current term for long dresses, but that gets me a bunch of sleeveless evening gowns. I searched for "long sleeves," which got me a number of pajama-esque looking shirt dresses, which warned me that searching for anything with extra coverage on top was likely to mean they removed an equal amount of fabric from the bottom. And sure enough, searching for high-neck dresses gets a bunch of sheaths that stop at the garter belt line.

And this monstrosity, which I am inflicting on you, dear readers, because otherwise I will have to bear the pain of having seen it alone. I think the... shoes? leggings? tights? ... are a separate article of clothing, and apparently so is the collar. But the full ensemble is stunning.
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
GOP is still desperately trying to get the votes, and we can't give up until they do - this bill would gut Medicaid. Every medical organization has come out against it; they're horrified.

If you've called before, that's great - but call again.

If you have a Dem senator, call to thank them for standing firm.

It really is important. If you're afraid of talking to people, call outside of business hours and leave a voicemail. Call local offices if the DC line is busy/mailbox full.

It matters.

D.O.P.-T.

9/23/17 01:17 pm
weofodthignen: selfportrait with Rune the cat (Default)
[personal profile] weofodthignen
A second day in a row of beautiful blue skies and golden sun, cool enough to do almost anything. Yesterday I felt well enough to blót in thanks for fall and as I did so it reminded me of that beautiful day 16 years ago.

I saw a house all decked out for Hallowe'en fully 2 weeks ago. But the guy with all the inflatables has repoured his porch slab and redone his front yard in xeriscaping - lots of little isolated plants on one side, a small groundcover pseudo-lawn on the other. So no space for the bumptious ghosties, I'm afraid.

Had to go from work for exquisite torture at the hands of the dentist. She opened up my gum where I have had a little abscess for close to two years despite repeated ministrations: and found something that had been in there all this time. Not an alien fetus but probably a bit of popcorn hull. Now removed. As usual, I'm now suffering all kinds of pain whereas the abscess hardly bothered me at all; just another item on the medical bucket list.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Neanderthals, like contemporary humans, had the sort of prolonged childhoods which lend themselves to intelligence. National Geographic reports.

  • The cool chill water of oceans is starting to be used to cool data centres. VICE reports.

  • Brazil is set to embark on a substantial process to restore Amazonian rainforest. VICE reports.

  • The Dawn probe found evidence of subsurface ice on rocky asteroid-belt protoplanet Vesta. Universe Today reports.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • A Canadian proposal at the NAFTA negotiations to liberalize migration across borders got shot down by the US.

  • Latin American governments have recently called for a radical liberalization of migration law worldwide.

  • Canada is in a potential position to take advantage of the DREAMers, if they are forced to leave.

  • Québec premier Philippe Couillard wants to encourage Anglos to move back to the province. Global News reports.

  • The resettlement of LGBTQ refugees is especially complicated. VICE reports.

beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Soooo... *big sigh*

This was weird because I like the solution they stated out loud, but I didn't like pretty much any of the steps they took to get there, and don't feel like their ending matched their statement.

Two episodes though, so, start with
Snart.
And heist movies.

Read more... )


HR and Savitar and The End.

Read more... )


Very busy last episodes, some clever bits but some bits I found confusing all year.
I'm going to find bits to like but it takes more work than I'd like.
I hope they simplify next year and have the heroes regularly do heroics.

CLOTHESPINS

9/23/17 03:05 pm
klgaffney: a child's drawing of a house featuring text reading "home" (home prattle)
[personal profile] klgaffney
Being semi-domesticated has its moments of conflict. There are certain things I learned to do as a kid doing chores, and they involved certain tools. One of these things is hanging clothes on a line. Given the popularity of clothespins for cutesy farmhouse crafty stuff these days, I figured I should be able to get some functional ones, but NOPE.

The spring ones I saw looked like suspiciously flimsy crap and I refused to buy them. That was okay because I initially learned to hang clothes with the wooden round ones (that doubled as dolls for me sometimes with tissue paper dresses). I was initially pretty excited when I pulled them up on amazon. Except I noticed the ones they're making now are rough raw soft wood with a slit up the middle that can't possibly accommodate a clothesline and clothing. The annoyed comments from people that wanted to use them for their original intended purpose confirmed that. I need to be able to hang up my jeans, yo.

So I went on eBay and found someone selling real clothespins that wasn't asking for an arm and a leg in exchange. That's right, I went and ordered myself some damn functional old school round clothespins. The slit is wider and the bottoms flare out in a curve. Those are the real working clothespins that will hold your stuff on the line even if the wind blows.

20170923_141715

MY CLOTHESPINS HAVE ARRIVED. I AM SO FUCKING HAPPY ABOUT THIS. ABOUT CLOTHESPINS. YEAH THAT'S RIGHT. REAL CLOTHESPINS. LIKE MY GRANDMOTHER'S. AND MY MOM'S BEFORE MY MOM MOVED TO A FANCY COMMUNITY THINGY THAT'S TOO GOOD FOR CLOTHESLINES (TBF THEY ALSO LIVE ON THE SIDE OF A RAVINE NOW SO A CLOTHESLINE WOULD PROBABLY BE A LIABILITY)

I'm going to go hang up whatever of my Victorian gear and 50's swing dresses that didn't get ruined at MiL's. BYE.

[ SECRET POST #3916 ]

9/23/17 03:29 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3916 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 43 secrets from Secret Submission Post #561.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
[ SECRET SUBMISSIONS POST #562 ]




The first secret from this batch will be posted on September 30th.



RULES:
1. One secret link per comment.
2. 750x750 px or smaller.
3. Link directly to the image.
- Doing it RIGHT: http://i.imgur.com/KuBug.png
- Doing it WRONG: http://imgur.com/KuBug

Optional: If you would like your secret's fandom to be noted in the main post along with the secret itself, please put it in the comment along with your secret. If your secret makes the fandom obvious, there's no need to do this. If your fandom is obscure, you should probably tell me what it is.

Optional #2: If you would like WARNINGS (such as spoilers or common triggers -- list of some common ones here) to be noted in the main post before the secret itself, please put it in the comment along with your secret.

Optional #3: If you would like a transcript to be posted along with your secret, put it along with the link in the comment!

[syndicated profile] seattlereviewofbooks_feed

Seattle Writing Prompts are intended to spark ideas for your writing, based on locations and stories of Seattle. Write something inspired by a prompt? Send it to us! We're looking to publish writing sparked by prompts.

Also, how are we doing? Are writing prompts useful to you? Could we be doing better? Reach out if you have ideas or feedback. We'd love to hear.

When they first constructed this 50 story black obelisk in downtown Seattle, it was the tallest thing around. It dwarfed Smith Tower, and edged out the Space Needle by just enough that it was nicknamed "the box the Space Needle came in." Wikipedia will tell you that it was the first modern Class-A office building in Seattle, but that doesn't tell you how gorgeous this building is.

Once again, NBBJ comes to the front as the architect of choice for unique buildings. Its large two-story lobby (go in and look around sometime if you never have) surrounding austere white marble clad elevator banks give the inside an airy lightness that works nicely against the dark exterior. The escalators in the back of the building lead down to the lower lobby on 4th avenue, which is a nice mid-century modern spot to sit and eat on a rainy day. The front of the building is dominated by the glassine latticework of the Central Library.

There's a story about that library, possibly apocryphal. After the old building was demolished, Rem Koolhaus, recently commissioned, had come to Seattle to inspect the site, and glean inspiration for the new design. Standing on the mound, he looked down into the lobby of Safeco Plaza, and saw, through the windows, a painting by Sam Francis. It was a massive abstract whose canvas dominated the space, filling up the expanse of wall behind the guard stations. That painting inspired Koolhaus's exterior pattern of the library (which, incidentally, then inspired our logo).

The painting — and also the sculpture out front of the building on 5th Avenue by Henry Moore, titled "Vertabrae" — came from the collection of Seafirst Bank (née Seattle First National Bank), who were the original commissioners of the building we're talking about. Seafirst had an impressive art collection which was passed along to Bank of America when they bought the nearly insolvent Seafirst in 1983.

But Bank of America had no such regional affection for art. When they sold Safeco Plaza in 1986, they also sold the Henry Moore sculpture to Japanese investors. It caused such an outcry locally that Bank of America repurchased the sculpture and donated it to the Seattle Art Museum, who maintain it to this day. But that didn't stop them, in 2010, from relocating the Sam Francis painting to their own art gallery in North Carolina. That austere marble is, perhaps, now a bit too austere, missing its centering artwork.

At the top of the building is a helipad (one of two atop commercial buildings downtown), which is rarely used thanks to rezoning, and then judicious public safety caution after the accident at KOMO in 2014 that killed two and injured one. I've seen a helicopter land there, from the observation deck of Columbia Center, but that doesn't seem to be a very common event anymore. Imagine the day where important bankers were whisked away to make important deals.

Aw hell, we don't have to imagine them. We're writers. Let's create them.

Today's prompts
  1. "The helicopter is approaching, Mr. Brown," said his secretary, Pam. He pulled on his overcoat, loathe to leave the grand view on a day like today, where the Olympic mountains looked close enough to lick, like a snow cone. He rode the elevator up, and then waited on the staircase under the hood for the chopper to land. Ducking against the wind, he ran to the door. He was in and his belt was on when he noticed the pilot was new. He secured his headset. "Where's Frank?" he asked. The pilot, lifting off, didn't look at him. "Now, now, Mr. Brown. Let's now worry about Frank. Frank will be just fine. Let's you and me worry about other things. For example, let's worry about you surviving the next two hours."

  2. It was the bum knee that got her. Couldn't climb worth a damn, and the whole city being hills meant she couldn't get around. No buses went from where she was to where she wanted to be. Couldn't afford a cab, even if she trusted them. Getting from Pioneer Square up to the library was tough. That mean, no books that week. Overdue fines. No checking her email. But then a buddy tipped her: starting on First, go into the Norton Building, and ride their escalator up. One block north to the Wells Fargo Tower, and you can ride those escalators up to third. Walk up to Safeco Plaza, and take those escalators up to Fourth and you'll be dropped off right across the street from the library. But then, entering Safeco Plaza on third, she heard a voice "Hey there mom, let me help you out," and a young man took her arm. She was already winded from the walking she already had to do, so she was slow on the uptake. But looking up, there he was. It couldn't be, but it was him alright. Her own Johnny. And he looked good as the day he died thirty years past.

  3. One little slip of paper. How much it weighed. It pulled at her, like a lead blanket around her shoulders, pulled at her and made her walk slow and heavy. The elevator on the way up to her lawyers office even creaked as she rose, high above the streets of Seattle. Then, later, after some small talk and pastries, and some ceremony of signing, she handed over the check and it was gone. The whole thing was done. Years of struggle, of uncertainty, of pain. The choice was made, the money was drawn, and now she was free. And she knew exactly what the first thing she was going to do was.

  4. On lucky days he rode the elevator with her. She was always holding a library book. Last week it was Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. The week before it was Bad Feminst by Roxane Gay. It would suck, being bothered on the elevator, by a strange dude, so he didn't act on his intense desire to talk to her. Until she started reading kids books. First, The Westing Game, and The Phantom Tollbooth, which made him want to talk to her so bad, and then finally, he had a moment when he saw her holding Bridge to Teribithia. A moment where he got choked up and his eyes watered and he stifled a sob. "Are you okay?" she asked, the elevator stopping to let a man in a gray suit off. He nodded, then, when the doors closed, said "I named my cat Leslie when I was ten." — "Oh," said the woman, not unsympathetically. And the other part he could only say in a whisper. "It was horrible. She drowned."

  5. "That thing? It's huge." — "I know. It's like I told you." — "It's bigger than you said" — "Be that as it may, we still have to get it down" — "We can't crate it. Not that size. Won't even fit in the truck" — "We could take it off the frame, roll it up. Take the frame apart." — "That seems dangerous. Maybe they should have hired real painting people, you know? The kind that work in museums? Have white gloves?" — "Well, there you have it. You think that, and I think that, but apparently, they didn't think that, and them's the ones doing the hiring." — "What if we mess it up. They insure us?" — "Dunno. Can't say I have a bond on me, you?" — "Nope." — "Are we going to politely inform them that the job is above our capability?" — "I am planning to do no such thing." — "Nor I. So, maybe we start with getting it down. Then we can talk about how to remove it and then we can figure out how to transport it." — "Sounds like a plan. How much you think it weighs?" — "Dunno. How much can you press?" — "Never measured in paintings. I guess we'll find out."

rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • CBC notes that the Yonge and Dundas street artist scene is closing down under city regulations, including permits.

  • Emily Mathieu talks about how she conducts her journalism with some of Toronto's most marginalized as subjects.

  • The Globe and Mail notes the local controversy over having police officers permanently stationed in schools.

  • The idea that police who actively undermine the Special Investigations Unit should be seriously punished seems obvious.
  • Veteran NDP politican and LGBTQ rights advocate Cheri DiNovo is leaving politics to become a minister in church.

  • Finally, the Dundas West TTC station will be connected to the GO Transit hub less than 300 metres away!

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

But nonetheless there has been sightseeing.

I already mentioned Rynek Underground.

The Mehoffer House, which is an artist's house, pehaps more interesting for the interiors than the art, but with an ace cafe, the Meho Cafe.

The National Museum - there are lots of branches, we went to the main building, which seemed mostly arts and crafts + the Lady with the Ermine.

There is probably more to see than we saw at Wawel Hill, but we did the State Rooms and the Royal Private Apartments of the Royal Palace, and the cathedral. Must remark that dwelling in marble halls, or at least spending several hours walking/standing on floors of that substance, does my lower back thing no favours.

We did an organised tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mine: very impressive. (Much more spectacular than the one in Cheshire which is now an archive store.)

Today we went to Kazimierz, which on reflection, was not, being Saturday, the ideal day to do so - had intended going earlier in the week but ran out of time/energy.

There have also been visits to a number of churches, which after a while tend to run together - lotsa baroque.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Which is creating the Amazon and Chapters links for the book being review, I know one particular book is $19.19 if you buy it from Kobo and $11.71 from Kindle....

What I've Been Watching

9/23/17 01:21 pm
lost_spook: (Dracula)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Now I've finally finished my Thriller (Part 1) review/picspam post, I am behind again. Let me talk about what I have been watching over the last couple of months (or more), other than the first 5 discs of Thriler.

1. I finished Secret Army. I did mostly enjoy it, although I got impatient with it again at the end. Terence Hardiman as Reinhardt (who doesn't give a damn about anything since they've lost the war and most of his friends have just been executed in the wake of the assassination attempt on Hitler) did liven things up, though. He was great, and not even actually evil, either. (Particularly his exit when Spoiler ) Kessler is rightly both awful and complex, of course, and Clifford Rose was very good in the role.) Bernard Hepton spent most of the last series in prison, on film, but he did eventually escape and return to the studio, and I gave it a lot of plus points for what eventually happened with Monique, too. Anyway, I watched it! I now know where 'Allo 'Allo is coming from.


2. I skipped ahead briefly to watch Suzanne Neve's second Thriller, and while I'll cover it in its turn, I can report that she is better at terrorising innocent Americans than James Maxwell: she sticks them in her underground pottery kiln and bakes them, no angsting required. 1970s Suzanne Neve is so far a lot more evil than 1960s Suzanne Neve. (I would side-eye the ending of the 1968 Dracula here, but personally, I blame Ed Bishop for throwing her down the stairs in UFO.)


3. I finally got to the E-Space trilogy (DW), watching Full Circle and State of Decay (before an appropriate break for the BBC 1977 Dracula). Full Circle has a good SF idea at the heart, but nothing else much with which to pad it out. Except Adric, but, er, well...

I enjoyed State of Decay a lot, though, especially in comparison to Full Circle (it's good to see that future spaceships will go on with BBC Acorn computers on board!). Plus, the whole Time Lords and Vampires mythology backstory is potentially fun to play with and Romana gets two great costumes, while Adric spends at least an episode unconscious, and it has a great look, particularly for that era, especially the location scenes. What more could I ask for? (I'm sorry: Adric wasn't bad in this one! I'm mean, I know.)


4. And so, then, what more appropriate than that I pause to watch the TV show that caused State of Decay to be postponed for 3 years and gave us Horror of Fang Rock instead? (Accidentally; my viewing is not really that well planed!)

I'm not really sure why the BBC were so nervy about this version of Dracula that they thought DW doing vampires at the same time might make them look silly, but apparently they were. They had no need: this is lovely. It's unlike most of the old TV I've been watching - it was 1977 doing glossy event TV with a 2 1/2 hr feature-length version of the novel that's probably the most faithful adaptation still. (Although there are some changes, of course.) It was very good! I recommend it even if you're not usually into old TV, but are into Dracula. (I believe it is up on YouTube, and I got the DVD pretty cheap anyway.)

Cut for further Dracula rambling )


6. I then decided that I should stop being wimpish and watch the rest of Mystery and Imagination. I'd already seen "Dracula", the Ian Holm "Frankenstein" and "The Suicide Club" (the one with David Collings and the cream tarts and the invisible hyenas and Major Geraldyne, because obv. that is the one that David Collings would be in). The Freddie Jones "Sweeney Todd" was out because I Do Not Do Sweeney Todd, which left me with "Uncle Silas" and "The Curse of the Mummy" out of the Thames adaptations, so I watched "The Curse of the Mummy." More about 1960s TV Victorian horror ) After that, I thought I'd had more than enough horror for a bit and left "Uncle Silas "unwatched and returned to Doctor Who and E-Space.


7. Warrior's Gate was very weird and also had Clifford Rose being excellent again. It was definitely the good weird, though, in that way only Classic Who is every once in a while. I mean, it looks like the stranger kind of 80s pop video (one that would definitely get nominated for Yuletide), so it wouldn't be for everyone, but still: the good weird/meta, I think, with bonus believably mundane, petty villains and random lion people. (It must be Doctor Who. <3)


8. I recorded Mrs Miniver off the telly, and the main thing I have taken from this is that Julian Fellowes stole the flower show plot for Downton Abbey. And given that I already know that he stole two plotlines/backstories and a minor incident from Duchess of Duke Street (as well as acting in it), I am now wondering with some interest and amusement, where exactly he swiped everything else from. (Anything from Upstairs Downstairs, maybe?) It's kind of engagingly blatant swiping, though. And gives us May Whitty vs Maggie Smith! Oh my. (I did like it, but it was made mid-WWII and so is very patriotic etc. But well done! There were some really good scenes, and Dame May Whitty as well as Greer Garson, and it was very watchable still.)


9. I also recorded the next old series Drama was offering as well, which is When the Boat Comes In. It stars Jack and Esther from New Tricks (James Bolam and Susan Jameson, who are married in rl, and going out in this). It is early 20th C Tyneside and the first episode was grim about shellshocked returning soldiers, the second had a poor orphan shipped off to Australia alone, and then the continuity announcer went, "And next, things get even harder..." It is, as they say, grim oop north. It seems good so far, though. And maybe one day the boat will come in; there are at least 40 eps on my DVR already and they may not all be equally depressing...


* I don't know if this is really a downside, though. It is very funny.
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
Sometimes I really need to escape from the news, which seems more horrific every day. And my escape needs a dose of blithe fun.

So I trundle out photocopies of student papers, missing chapters from Robin Hood, as gleefully penned by eleven year olds.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Hope Not Hate have an excellent blog post explaining who they are and why they're going international.

We are coming to the United States because we have to. In our increasingly interconnected world, what happens here impacts on Europe. What happens in Europe has an impact on what happens in the United States.

Last year Britain voted to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit). This would not have been possible without the intervention of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Likewise, Brexit gave Donald Trump a huge boast and convinced him and his supporters that anything was possible.

One of the main protagonists behind the Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories was Paul Joseph Watson, a 32-year-old man who lives in a flat in London. More recently, the ship charted by far right activists from across Europe in the Mediterranean was funded primarily by Americans.


From last year -- here's a Guardian piece on a Hope Not Hate workshop:

The Guardian: What does Hope not Hate actually do?

In November, I went to a Hope not Hate event at a mosque in Cardiff – a three-hour workshop on how to challenge and discuss anti-migrant and prejudiced sentiments. It drew a crowd of around 20, one or two of them local muslims and a few with migrant backgrounds, but the majority were white Welsh, many of whom had not previously been in a mosque. The organiser, Jonathan, began the session by asking what had prompted people to attend. Many described feeling worried, frustrated and in need of a toolkit for discussing race and immigration with family, friends and colleagues.

Their undercover reporter [twitter.com profile] patrik_h -- looks like a cinnamon roll, will secretly infiltrate your international white supremacist network:

https://twitter.com/patrik_h/status/910245564780081152

Dagens Nyheter: The Swede who infiltrated American Nazis

”He offered me to speak at the opening about my thesis topic: how the left has infiltrated the right. I spoke in front of 75 armed white supremacists.”

The Local.se: Meet the Swede who went undercover for a whole year with the alt-right in the US and UK

Of course, then I was scared. I mean, there was this combination of a group of young men with guns and a violent ideology. That's not a great combination.