Dark Matter 3x10

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:14 am
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
[personal profile] sholio
I was reasonably okay with the show being cancelled until we started to get into the last few episodes of season three. And now it's killing me. AAAAAUUUUGHHH.

Spoilers are making unwise life choices like usual )

Back-to-the-office mishmash post

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:01 am
umadoshi: (read fast (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I rewrote SO MUCH MANGA this weekend (counting yesterday as part of "the weekend"). Other than a) the amount of time I spent waiting for my GP appointment yesterday morning and b) going out for ramen and having some social time afterwards on Sunday evening, I feel like rewriting is all I did over the past three days.

I also think that can't be as true as it feels, because I also finally finished reading K.B. Spangler's Stoneskin (which was wonderful, and I'm really excited for the [as-yet-unwritten, AFAIK] trilogy it's a prequel to), and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I finally saw the first two episodes of Star Trek: Disco last night.

OTOH, I read most of what I had left of Stoneskin yesterday morning while doing the aforementioned waiting for an appointment, most of which was my own fault. Last month's appointment used up the last of the injectable B12, so I got a new prescription from Dr. Awesome and dropped it off at the pharmacy to be put on file, but then I forgot about it until I was on my way out the door to yesterday's appointment. Fortunately the pharmacy is right next door to Dr. Awesome's office, and I called in to get the new B12 as I started walking, and they got it ready as fast as they could, but it still meant I was late to my appointment (although at least I was able to pop in and say "I'm here! Sort of...").

--I've got a small heap of ST:D reaction posts from all of you tucked away in Memories and was finally able to start sifting through the early ones late last night. I doubt I'm going to do much (if any) commenting on weeks-old posts, but reading them is fun. ^_^


--I'm blanking on another detail about Yuletide logistics. I feel like in previous year's there's been a page (on AO3?) showing all the names of who requested what fandoms (but I think not connected at all to people's optional Dear Yulegoat letters?). Is that right? Am I simply missing it?


--My third year of "only read books (novels, anyway) from my bookcase of purchased TBR or things I've purchased in ebook" is almost up, and the status of the physical bookcase is...dire. I'm not literally out of room to put any more books on it (especially since the bottom shelf has binders of CDs and stuff on it, so the TBR only ["only"] takes up four shelves), but it's not good.

Between that and my wallet, I truly need to buy fewer books. (And relearn the habit of making purchase suggestions for novels with the library, not just anthologies and graphic novels, without getting back into putting tons of things on hold there. No going back to the days of juggling a 300 or 400-item holds list, self. *stern*) Emphasis on the "and my wallet" part, which means not simply switching to buying a higher percentage of things in ebook. (Even if ebooks are usually enough cheaper that doing that also technically means spending less money.)

As is usually the way, I feel like there were other things I meant to mention, but I now have about an hour before I have to throw on proper clothes and head off to Casual Job, and I need to use that hour to proofread some prose. Yes.
havocthecat: amy pond of doctor who with a magnifying glass (dw amy pond investigates)
[personal profile] havocthecat
I usually ignore the salt measurements except when baking, and just salt to taste, but that's because I've been cooking since I've been old enough to drag a chair to the stove and push vegetables around on a skillet. This is potentially disastrous to people who don't know as much about cooking!

Sometimes your recipes call for a specific type of salt - and there could be an actual reason why. Not if it's trendy salt, usually, but if it's "sea salt," Diamond kosher salt, or Morton's kosher salt, there's a specific reason and you should actually pay attention. Who knew?

I mean, I've been cooking for multiple decades and I had no fucking clue before this morning, so if you didn't know, don't feel bad! Hell, Bon Appetit magazine didn't even know until 2013, and they're goddamn Bon Appetit gourmet magazine.

This is going to make a world of difference in my pickling, that's for sure. No wonder my pickled turnips always turn out too salty.

The Kosher Salt Question

Tagline: Prized for its purity and flaky texture, kosher salt has been a home-cooking standard for decades. But the two major brands, Diamond Crystal and Morton, are very different products. Your ruined meatballs can attest.

Pull The Football - Save the World

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:25 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Via [personal profile] rachelmanija

Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

How do I contact my representatives?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

I've contacted everyone. What now?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

What do I say?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

Democrats to contact:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

Republicans to contact:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344) warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Rep. Walter Jones (202) 225-3415 is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.)

I believe Republican Senator Bob Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.

Weekend Accomplishments

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:14 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Sorry no post yesterday; I woke up feeling nauseated, so I stayed home from work and slept and read all day.

1. Laundry! Two loads.

2. Attended two concerts, one Friday night, one Sunday afternoon.

3. Finished watching Defenders and helped a friend out with some stuff.

4. Bought a new black rayon shirt for choir, and hand-washed it in preparation for Wednesday night's concert.

5. Laid out clothes and chose makeup and packed my bag with choir folder and such for Tuesday and Wednesday, so I wouldn't have to do it in the mornings.

Dress rehearsal tonight; am currently eating oatmeal, and hoping this stomach unpleasantness has fully gone away.
umadoshi: text: "Aw Rachel, don't be scared of ghosts! They're only dead people." + "I know people. That's not helping." (AGAHF - ghosts)
[personal profile] umadoshi
[dreamwidth.org profile] mini_wrimo is open for signups until October 30!


Fannish/Geeky Things/SFF

"Hero-Princess-General Carrie Fisher Once Delivered a Cow Tongue to a Predatory Hollywood Exec". [The Mary Sue]

"Carrie Fisher Insisted That Leia’s Last Jedi Arc Honor All The “Girls Who Grew up Watching Star Wars”". [The Mary Sue]

"Who are Tessa Thompson’s LADY LIBERATORS?" "The Marvel Cinematic Universe has realigned how Hollywood thinks of blockbusters, franchises, and comic book movies. Though the films have been groundbreaking at the box office, it’s been nine years since Marvel Studios began the MCU and they’re still two years away from having a solo female led movie on our screens.

But if Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson has anything to do with it, that’s not going to stand. During a recent press conference for Taika Waititi’s much anticipated Thor film, Thompson regaled us with a rad story about confronting Kevin Feige with the possibility of an all-female Marvel movie."


A discussion on N.K. Jemisin's Facebook about the "magic system" (scare quotes hers) in the Broken Earth books. Spoilers!

Abigail Nussbaum on N.K. Jemisin's The Stone Sky.


Cute Stuff

"If You Ever Feel Sad, These 10+ Highland Cattle Calves Will Make You Smile".

September LaPerm pics from [dreamwidth.org profile] naye. These posts are always great, but I think this one is even better than usual.


Miscellaneous

"We Don't Do That Here". "I have a handful of “magic” phrases that have made my professional career easier. Things like “you are not your code” and my preferred way to say no: “that doesn’t work for me.” These are tools in my interpersonal skills toolbox. I find myself uttering phrases like, “right or effective, choose one” at least once a week. This week I realized I had another magic phrase, “we don’t do that here.”"

Brian Fies' "A Fire Story" is a short comic about him and his wife being burned out of their home in the wildfires.

"Art Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities". (I haven't read the book, but the art is really neat.)

"Photographer Gets Bitten By A Deadly Black Mamba, Still Manages To Finish The Photoshoot". (Many beautiful snake photos!)

"Native-Land.ca: Our home on native land". Searchable map of North America's First Nations territories and pre-colonial histories. "There are over 630 different First Nations in Canada (and many more in the USA) and I am not sure of the right process to map territories, languages, and treaties respectfully - and I'm not even sure if it is possible to do respectfully. I am not at all sure about the right way to go about this project, so I would very much appreciate your input."

"Creating Gender Liberatory Singing Spaces: A Transgender Voice Teacher’s Recommendations for Working with Transgender Singers".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "Pumpkin Spice and Needles: Bookish Autumn Cross Stitch Patterns".

"Video game developers confess their hidden tricks at last".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] alisanne, "Why Do We Cook So Many Foods at 350 Degrees?" [Mental Floss]

uncomfortable thought

Oct. 16th, 2017 04:25 pm
coyotegoth: (Default)
[personal profile] coyotegoth
When the Weinsteins left Miramax to form The Weinstein Company in 2005, I vaguely recall hassles with (Miramax owner) Disney over distribution of Fahrenheit 9/11 being given as a primary reason for the break. Now, I'm wondering if other factors may have encouraged the split with family-friendly Disney.

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 04:23 pm
coyotegoth: (Default)
[personal profile] coyotegoth
The definition of unthinking male physical privilege: when you catch yourself thinking, "Hey, that time I was groped, but immediately decided that I'm bigger than him and in no way felt actually threatened or invaded, so just ignored it and didn't even think of it again? Naah, I was safe- didn't feel like sexual assault to me." And then I put it from my mind, turned my back on him, and walked away, unstressed. The privilege of being male, and relatively large and strong, and able to police my personal space

(By contrast, I can remember adults touching me when I was a child- in no way were the touches sexually invasive, or even socially unacceptable- many of them took place in the church I attended at the time-but they were *emotionally* invasive enough to child me, unable to effectively police my own boundaries- a capability I unthinkingly take for granted now- that I remember them with far more discomfort.)

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 12:09 pm
coyotegoth: (Default)
[personal profile] coyotegoth
Emotional health seems to be- slowly- turning a corner; I suspect Dad's health, money issues, the gravid, red sun in the cough-inducing sky, and many other elements have been working together to create a perfect storm in my subconscious. Things seem to be on an upswing, all in all; we shall see.

Anita Brookner - A Misalliance

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:43 am
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
Lately I've started reading Anita Brookner, and the experience was a little like reading Barbara Comyns -- thinking at first that I didn't really like her novels, but then realizing they yielded more as I thought about them -- that they were less like literary gardens, already prepared for my wandering pleasures, and more like those paper seeds you drop into a glass of water, where they unfold slowly into complex blooms.

Impatient reading is dangerous reading.

Brookner's gift is for taking the humiliating social situation, the mismatch of desires between the protagonist and those she loves, and making of it something more profound. The crisis becomes an occasion for insight that rescues these books from simply being torture chambers for the extra-sensitive spirit. I find I usually have to put each book down multiple times during an awkward scene because I don't want to live through the whole agonizing experience -- and she does tell the whole thing through -- but Brookner, I've found, can be trusted, and she always makes something more of these scenes; the protagonist, no matter how unhappy, always gains from the loss.

A Misalliance
shares the arc of many Brookner novels, or at least the ones I've read so far...

Spoilers, but only if you've never read any Anita Brookner novels )

{rf}

(Cross-posted from Goodreads)

Dark Matter 3x08 and 3x09

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:41 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
I need to catch up on comments (I did forget what a timesink comment-answering on DW can be), but we watched 3x08 and 3x09 tonight! Only 4 more episodes, noooo ...

Spoilers are doing unwise things with experimental technology )

(no subject)

Oct. 15th, 2017 07:45 pm
coyotegoth: (Default)
[personal profile] coyotegoth
"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. 'Plastics,' he said."

+1 Goth level

Oct. 16th, 2017 12:10 am
dhampyresa: (that's high profile)
[personal profile] dhampyresa
I'd been feeling like I wasn't goth enough for a while, but this feeling is gone since this morning.

I had a really weird dream last night in which I was, for some obscure reason, taking part in a baking show presided over/judged by the Raven Queen, the Goddess of Death in Critical Role (and DnD -- but this was definitely a Critical Role thing). Then I blew my fuse because we were supposed to cook with unsalted butter and WHAT KIND OF HERETIC etc. I'm pretty sure I was overdoing it to gum up the works for some reason? But in any case, shouting at the Raven Queen made me level up, so obviously I took that level in Goth, which she thought was hilarious, appropriate and well-deserved.

Clearly I am goth enough. The dream argument I had with a death goddess over baking ingredient says so.


Also, I finally wrote prompts for my yuletide letter. Sorry for the delay to anyone waiting on it.

I'll do the linking in appropriate places tomorrow.

sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
So the comments to the previous pimping/recruiting post are getting steadily more spoilery, and even as a spoilerphobe myself, I'm basically THE WORST at not talking about spoilers with people I'm trying to recruit into a thing (I told [personal profile] rachelmanija something about the show in email last night that I really wish I'd kept my mouth shut about), so let's do a post for ALL THE SPOILERS.

... well. Some of the spoilers. The thing is, I haven't seen past 3x07 yet - the Six-focused one. I've slowed way down on my watching speed because the last few episodes of season three are ALL WE'LL EVER HAVE *cries* and I want to make it last. So I would really like to remain unspoiled as possible. Under the cut are the things I particularly want to be unspoiled about (cut because the questions themselves are spoilers for season three):

Spoilers start here )

So yeah, bring out your spoilers. :D

And in conclusion

Oct. 14th, 2017 10:14 pm
sholio: man chasing flamingo (Flamingo)
[personal profile] sholio
Other stuff I'm up to lately:

- Still writing paranormal romance
- Webcomic
- Failing spectacularly at Inktober (go me)
- Posted my [community profile] trickortreatex fic today! \o/ (Reveals aren't until the end of the month, so I'm early.)
- Almost there on several bingo lines

I would love some icons for Dark Matter or Stranger Things. Does anyone know where I might find some?

What I'm into: Dark Matter

Oct. 14th, 2017 09:27 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
No spoilers past mid season three, please! I'm not caught up yet!

So here's the other thing that's eaten my heart/brain/soul over the last week or two: Dark Matter

dark_matter_cast

What is it? It's a 3-season Syfy spaceship show, by some of the same people who did Stargate. All of it is streaming on Netflix.

What's it about? Six people -- seven counting the ship's android -- wake up on a spaceship without their memories. Evidence suggests one of them is a traitor. Further evidence suggests they're part of a galactic conflict they can't even remember. They have to figure out who they are and who they can trust before their pasts catch up with them. Basically this turns into found-family on a spaceship, as it does. (Also, to make it less confusing if I end up making more posts about this show, most of the main characters have numbers for names, because they don't know their real names for awhile and adopt numbers as shorthand.)

Why is it awesome/why might I want to try it? FOUND FAMILY ON A SPACESHIP. I've really missed having a spaceship show in my life, and this one hits my team-love buttons like few things have since Stargate.

It’s got femslash, slash, and het potential. It’s got a ton of interesting character relationships, including kid-mentor ones and sometimes-enemies learning to trust each other (”Stop saving my life. … Now you’re just doing it on purpose”) and a relationship that’s a lot like Janeway/Seven of Nine in which one is a woman of color. It’s got canon h/c and teaminess and all the sci-fi tropes (e.g. the characters meet their evil alternate universe doubles, trapped on a prison world, taken over by mind-control goo, on a spaceship fulla zombies, time loops, etc). It has redemption arcs and snark and themes about the meaning of life/what it means to have a soul and characters running around doing action stuff in long coats and leather jackets while rock music plays in the background. It's got several Stargate actors in recurring roles, including David Hewlett playing a character who is basically Rodney McKay as a seedy fixer, and Evil Elizabeth Weir.

It has a female Asian captain, a cast that (depending on the cast makeup from season to season) is frequently at least half female and less than half white, and multiple recurring female villains for your foe-yay needs. Plus a number of different characters being incredibly hot in black leather, and actually some pretty cool sci-fi worldbuilding, such as travel-via-cloning in which instantaneous intergalactic travel is accomplished by animating a disposable clone of yourself in a different location, and a galactic milieu with a higher-than-I'm-used-to level of background multiculturalism; they really do a pretty good job of making this feel like a plausible hundreds-of-years-in-the-future Earth-colonized galaxy, at least I think so.

It also contains an episode that has managed to make the coveted "[personal profile] sholio's All-Time Favorite H/C Episodes" list. :D (Er, this list does not exist in reality. But now I think it's a list I should make. And post.)

What might turn me off? There are some questionable writing/casting choices (my least favorite of these is that one of the main characters is basically Space Samurai from Space Samurai Planet, and he doesn't really have a whole lot of characterization other than that). In general, since it's by the same people who did SGA and Stargate Universe, it unsurprisingly shares some writing weaknesses with earlier Stargate shows. I'm watching it with my husband and I get the impression that the handwavy science and occasionally WTF plot resolutions are driving him crazy on a regular basis. I personally could not care less because I am there for FOUND FAMILY IN SPACE, but ymmv.

Also, it got unexpectedly cancelled after season three. I suspect (though I don't know for sure, since I'm not there yet) that it's going to end on a forever-unresolved cliffhanger.

Anything else? Based on what I remember from the last time I posted about Dark Matter when I watched the first season, there are people following me who dislike Three. Which is fine, but keep that to yourself around here, please, because Three is AWESOME and no one can tell me different. :D (Although it's tough to pick a real favorite; as of season three, I think the entire cast is my favorite. It's one of those shows.)

ETA: If you haven't watched the show, beware of spoilers up to early season three in the comments!

What I'm into: Stranger Things

Oct. 14th, 2017 08:51 pm
sholio: Jack-o-lanterns (Halloween-jack-o-lanterns)
[personal profile] sholio
I've gotten into a couple of new shows in the last month or so, and since I'm making another stab at getting back on DW for awhile, I thought maybe I'd open up by telling you what I'm into these days and why they're awesome so you can try them too, if you want. :D

First of all: Stranger Things



What is it? It's an 8-episode miniseries on Netflix, a period horror/suspense show set in 1983. The first season aired last year as a self-contained miniseries - there's a sequel hook at the very end, but otherwise it wraps up all its storylines in a satisfying way - and it got renewed, so there will be a new 8-episode season dropping on Oct. 27. TWO WEEKS!!!

What's it about? It's obviously inspired by Stephen King, ET, and kid/teen movies of the 1980s in general. The basic concept is Plucky Kids Fight Monsters. There are three different sets of characters - the little kids, the teenagers, and the adults, each of whom have their own storyline as they separately investigate different aspects of creepy goings-on in small-town Indiana in 1983, picking up different pieces of the puzzle that finally come together at the end.

Why is it awesome/why might I want to try it? If you're in a mood for 80s nostalgia, the period feeling is basically perfect, from the clothes and hairstyles to the music and even the camera angles. It's such a good period show that I kept trying to calculate how old the actors were in the modern day and then going "Wait, no, this show was filmed last year!"

But even if you couldn't care less about period nostalgia, it's a very solidly written show with fantastic child actors, well-constructed storylines full of twists, A+ use of All The Tropes (from eerie psychic kids to mysterious top-secret government facilities to creepy supernatural things happening with ordinary household appliances). I loved the characters, and there's a very shippable OT3.

Plus Winona Ryder's in it.

What might turn me off? Well, demographically speaking, it's very true to the source material, which is to say - mostly white cast, all het romances, etc. (The OT3 isn't canon, alas.) There's also the fact that it's horror, although it's not extreme horror. The level of gore/creepiness is similar to Supernatural, so if you can handle that, you can probably handle this.

Anything else? NEW SEASON! OCTOBER 27! THEY'RE GOING TO KILL ALL MY BABIES AND BREAK UP MY SHIPS AND I WILL DIE!! Okay, hopefully not.

There's also a really cute and addictive phone game with adorable retro graphics (similar to a 1980s run-and-jump-on-things arcade game, e.g. Legend of Zelda or old-school Mario).

A small mishmash update

Oct. 15th, 2017 12:47 am
umadoshi: (ocean 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
I took a stab at catching up on replying to comments, but I suspect I'm not gonna get completely caught up. *stares grimly at browser* I did at least manage to get back under 100 open tabs. That's something, I guess.
Oh-so-mercifully, I don't have Casual Job work on Monday, which means I'm merely very stressed about my freelance deadlines for the coming week, where before yesterday (when we found out about Monday) I was closer to "I'm only managing to not panic because I know it won't help".

Our odds of getting bulbs in or getting any other garden work done this weekend (basically everything else falls under "fall cleanup", I guess?) still seem low, though. Dear ground: please, please do not freeze solid this month.

I keep finding myself trying to think of how long it's been since I wrote any words at all. It may be just as well I haven't figured it out yet. Even trying to piece it together is disheartening.

In "Kas is tremendously awesome" news, a week or so ago Ginny brought a piece of a recent Kas-made lemon loaf to the office for me, and it was wonderful, and in my happiness I mentioned that it'd been a while since I'd had his lemon loaf and so it was delightful to have a piece. (He used to make it quite a bit, but has been tending to bake other [also excellent!] things for the last while.) Ginny relayed that to him, and next thing I knew, Kas had made me a lemon loaf. *melts*
coffeeandink: (Default)
[personal profile] coffeeandink
These are very gossipy shallow reactions, but maybe I will get back into the swing of posting, who knows.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S03E01 )

Jane the Virgin S04E01 )

Duma Key, by Stephen King

Oct. 14th, 2017 11:39 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Of all the new-to-me books by Stephen King that I’ve read in the last year, this and the middle Dark Tower books are the ones I’ve re-read the most. I’ve re-read Duma Key three times in the last two years, and I can tell it’s a book I’ll keep coming back to. Here’s the first page:

How to draw a picture


Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.

How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I’ve come to believe.

Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon-line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through.

Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil ... hesitating ... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice. Pictures are magic, as you know.


On the one hand, this is my favorite prose passage in the book. On the other hand, the entire book has that same atmosphere and themes: the magic of art, the bleakness of loss, the terror of opening a door into darkness, human empathy and connections, and, always, how making a mark on paper is both simple and difficult, the dividing line between nothing and everything.

Unusually for Stephen King, Duma Key is set in on the Florida coast – an incredibly vivid and atmospheric Florida, which becomes enough of a character in its own right to make the book a very satisfying sea-soaked, sunset-lit Gothic.

I am pleased to say that this is one of the least gross King books I’ve read, bar a rotting ghost or two. It’s also one of the scariest, in a very classic “terrify by keeping the scary stuff mostly off-page” manner. The Big Bad is never quite seen directly, and is one of King’s creepiest and most mythically archetypal figures.

It’s also one of King’s most heartbreaking books. Almost all the characters are really likable, and if not likable, than still very human. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon opens with, The world had teeth and it could bite you with them any time it wanted. Duma Key is about the beauty and magic and redemption of the world, but also about the teeth.

It begins with a wealthy self-made man, Edgar Freemantle, getting into an absolutely horrific accident while visiting one of his job sites. He loses an arm and gets some brain damage; he’s barely out of the hospital before his marriage has ended, his life as he knew it has ended, and he’s on the brink of suicide.

After some talks with his psychiatrist, he ends up taking up art, which he’d enjoyed as a boy but never pursued, and moving to a cabin in the Florida Keys. There he meets a chatty guy, Wireman, who’s the caretaker for Elizabeth, an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s – both of whom have pasts which slowly, heartbreakingly unfold over the course of the book. Edgar finds that painting is his new passion and genuine talent… but his paintings are odd. Eerie. And they can change things…

The first half of the book follows Edgar as he recovers from his accidents, explores his new talent and gains critical and commercial success, and loses some old friends and gains some new ones. The emotional and physical recovery from the accident and its fallout (which doesn't mean he'll ever be the same as he was before) was incredibly well-done and vivid. I don't know if it was technically correct, but it felt very believable.

In classic Gothic fashion, there’s creepy stuff going on simultaneously, but it’s comparatively subtle. I found this part of the book hugely enjoyable even though tons of scenes are just Edgar painting or eating sandwiches and shooting the breeze with Wireman. On the one hand, it probably could have been shorter. On the other hand, I could have happily gone on reading just that part forever.

And then the creepy stuff gets less subtle. A lot less subtle.

This has an unusual story arc. I’m putting that and other huge spoilers behind a cut, but I’ll also mention that even for King, the book has some very tragic aspects— ones which he’s explored before, but there’s one I’ll rot13.com (feed into the site to reveal) because it’s a specific thing that people may want to avoid. Gur cebgntbavfg’f qnhtugre vf xvyyrq. Fur’f na nqhyg ohg n lbhat bar (n pbyyrtr fghqrag) naq irel yvxnoyr, naq vg’f gur ovttrfg bs frireny thg-chapurf va gur fgbel.

If that’s not a dealbreaker, I suggest not reading the rest of the spoilers because even though if I’d sat down and tried to figure out where the story was going, I probably could have, the experience of reading it feels unpredictable; you can guess the outlines but a lot of the details are unexpected.

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