Norður

  • Jul. 22nd, 2017 at 9:24 PM
It's that time in the summer when I start to dream about being somewhere far to the north, with a view of the sea. To be fair, I also dream about the north in the depths of winter. To be even fairer, the weather here has been cool and rainy, so maybe that's made me think about northern climes.

If I were for some reason forced to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a hotel, I would go to the Fogo Island Inn, off the northern coast of Newfoundland.

Or maybe a less ridiculously posh place with bonus icebergs, the Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat, Greenland.

I remind myself that I've already got a weekend booked in Iceland on my way home to the States in December. And I can sit and enjoy views of the cold sea from a lovely steaming hotpot at any number of municipal pools. And my room probably has a view of the harbor!

But that's a long ways off. I'm pondering whether to plan an August long weekend somewhere in the UK, and whether it would be worth the faff to travel somewhere more northerly, as opposed to just going to Brighton or something. I'm very fond of Scarborough. I also have this weird desire to see the Isle of Man after watching the national road race championships a few weeks ago.

Also worth pointing out that I'm going to Saint Petersburg at the end of August, and perhaps that counts as northerly if not quite with an unobstructed ocean view? I'm rather tempted by Kronstadt...

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Anticipations.

  • Jul. 19th, 2017 at 10:56 PM
Just about packed for the con tomorrow; what's not yet set aside is recorded on a checklist and waiting to be collected. The MP3 player gets loaded up last.

Today at work I learned all over again just how different I am from my coworkers: they never looked inside some of the filing cabinets in the office when they got there. They've been working there much longer than I have, and today was the first day those cabinets got a proper investigation and a full cleaning. They were stuffed with all sorts of office detritus: loose envelopes with office letterhead, computer cables, takeout leftovers like salt packets and napkins, delivery menus, pens, block of staples, post-it notes, lost clothes, medical records that can't yet be thrown out because of federal regulations, shower gel, candy, perfume samples, rubber bands, paper clips...stuff, mostly. Lots of stuff. That I would've cleaned out in days of arrival if I'd been able to, because I would've gone looking to see what's around and figured out what to do with it all. Like, for example, throwing away old delivery menus.

I recognize a fair amount of inertia behind a closed cabinet door in an office where things are always busy. I also wonder why they never raided those cabinets for pens, when pens are a valuable commodity in basically any office environment.

Next week, I'm taking the clothes back with me, washing them, and then dropping them off at an appropriate fabric recycling program. I figure it's the best option available.

Movies & TV, Jan-Jun

  • Jul. 19th, 2017 at 12:55 PM
Might as well post the movie & TV lists while we're here. Last year I did them by month; this year I collected them for longer in part for Festivids reasons and in part because I was embarrassed for a while at the proportion of sources that weren't for the auction vid. But that is chugging along now.

Averaging a little less than two movies per week, and more TV shows than usual, for vidding reasons )

As with the book list, happy to talk about any of these.

Sink into the bay.

  • Jul. 18th, 2017 at 9:24 AM
Waking up without any major responsibilities or outstanding obligations is a rare pleasure. I finished my classwork yesterday afternoon, and I don't have work today, so the most I should get done is to pack and prepare for the con this weekend. Which won't take long. I could've gone to the movies, but since I'm all done with classes for a good few weeks, I'll do that later - since Spider-Man will be playing for a while, but the cherries in the fridge won't last nearly that long.

Baking, cleaning, exercising, packing, and if time allows, writing. I wouldn't want to do this every day, but once in a while, it's nice to luxuriate.

Books read, Jan-Jun 2017

  • Jul. 17th, 2017 at 9:52 PM
Readercon was good -- better than expected. I'm hanging out with [personal profile] deelaundry & family on part of their summer vacation. The DS9 vidlet is 9/10 of the way done; still cranking along on the auction vid. Next week is my birthday. This coming weekend [personal profile] disgruntled_owl and I are at long last realizing plans to enjoy an internet-free writer's retreat.

This post is about none of those things, because it's nearly 10 p.m.

For now, it's time to post the mid-year reading roundup!

7 novels, 2 novellas, 8 graphic novels, 6 short story or essay collections, 3 nonfiction, 1 novel-length fanfic )

Right now I'm reading The Grapes of Wrath and the last Assassin book. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire came in at the library, but I was disappointed to discover it's about Jack and Jill, not the Land of the Dead; given that it's due in two days, it's probably going back unread, for now.

Between regular curiosity and Readercon acquisitions & recommendations, the "check out next" list has grown quite long. Currently of greatest interest are:

- Roadside Picnic - Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
- So You Want to Be a Robot - A. Merc Rustad
- Technologies of the Self - Haris Durrani
- Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
(have all of those in hand)

- Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy - N.K. Jemisin
- Culture series - Ian M Banks (should start before October, for reasons)
- Something by Nisi Shawl, more stuff by Sofia Samatar
- Kindred, Parable of the Sower - Octavia Butler (Parable musical is coming back in October)
- Brown Girl in the Ring - Nalo Hopkinton
- The Smoking Mirror - David Bowles
- Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey, since it was this month's free Tor e-book and people in fandom seem to love it, although I'm not sure it's my style
- Any of the stack of 7 Nebula awards compilations I picked up for free at Readercon

etc etc etc

Jodie Whitakker ... the Thirteenth Doctor

  • Jul. 18th, 2017 at 8:17 AM
I've been sick as a dog for almost a week -- I haven't had a voice since Saturday morning -- so I was "lucky" enough to have coughed myself awake just in time to catch the announcement live via Twitter.

I've really been hoping for a woman of colour as the next Doctor, and I didn't recognise Jodie Whittaker by name, so I felt a weird stab of disappointment and even betrayal when I saw her white hand, coupled with simultaneous excitement that it was clearly a woman's hand.

I still think that a white woman was the easy option, casting-wise, but I've seen Whittaker in a few things -- including the first four episodes of Broadchurch, which I inhaled last night and enjoyed so much I completely forgot about Game of Thrones -- and she's very, very good.

And I also wonder if it would be unfair to an actress of colour, to throw her to the same wolves that drove Leslie Jones off Twitter, while also expecting her to lead a show with (so far) all-white writers. Which is not to excuse the implications of casting a white woman, I just think it might be complicated. Most things are. Whitakker's already been hit with a barrage of misogyny, and I hope the BBC is filtering her mail.

Anyway, I've curated my social media so well that I haven't seen a single friend or acquaintance saying they're opposed to a female Doctor as such.

On the other hand, I've seen a lot of performative finger-wagging, reminding us that this is only a victory for white women (got it, thanks) and that we can't rely on pop culture to save the world (no, really? Good heavens, I had no idea, thank goodness I had you, random Twitter person, to tell us off for being invested in a hobby!).

I guess I'm weary of performative wokeness, and, while everyone's entitled to an opinion, I find a lot of opinions on Doctor Who from people who aren't or haven't been in the fandom ... lack context? Which is sometimes valuable, and sometimes it's just the hot take equivalent of "DID YOU KNOW THAT 'TORCHWOOD' IS AN ANAGRAM OF 'DOCTOR WHO'?"

ANYWAY. Whitakker. I'm looking forward to her run, I'm still holding out hope for Alexander Siddig or Sophie Okonedo as Fourteen (it's never too soon!), people are already complaining that Whitakker is too young and too old, so, like women everywhere, we already know she just can't win.

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