You have to be registered by the 22nd May to vote in the election on the 8th June.
A lot of people, especially young people, seem to be registering. This is a good thing.
A reader writes:
I applied for a job that I thought I’d be a good fit for. I clicked with the external recruiter immediately, and he said he wanted to introduce me to on-site recruiter at the client. When I met the second guy, he said he would definitely like to introduce me to the owner/director of the business. I met with the owner/director, and we talked for over an hour.
Then the first recruiter got back in touch and said that she would like to hear me explain what I can offer the company and how my skills can help move it forward. I decided to compile notes on all areas… sales, communication, people, costs, then round off with talking through the words people have used to describe me in feedback I’ve had throughout my career. I thought we had covered this already and in detail.
I did yet another interview this morning. At the end they said, “We’ll get back to you on Monday, we think. We might need candidates at this stage to complete a personality test. We’ve hired badly in the past and we don’t want to make mistakes again.”
Meanwhile I’m thinking, “This is the fourth interview I’ve had regarding this. I’ve been very open and honest and I think I’ve given a full picture of who I am and what I can do.”
They kept talking about avoiding a bad fit, but as far as I was concerned I had decided I really wanted to work for them after interview #3 and told them that. So I guess my quandary is… getting a second interview is a signal that they’re really interested, and getting a third one should be even more positive, right? But a fourth or a fifth? I just do not know what to make of this; my head is buzzing.
I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.
I hate it when I get the advice from medical professionals or massage therapists to not run, not push it, perhaps take it easier - I found the right mix of body work with an acupuncturist. After a few months of work with her, and on my own (stretching, rolling muscles, and pushing tennis balls into my trigger points at home), I'm now able to do some walk-running, body weight exercises, and the occasional short dyno at the rock gym. I also got outside to lead a few easy sport routes over Easter weekend. I used to be too proud to mix running into my walking, wouldn't climb routes I thought were beneath me, and didn't think strength training had a place in improving my climbing (totally bought into "if you want to climb, then climb!") In short, I was holding myself back with standards that my injured self couldn't meet, standards that were arbitrarily set. After letting them slack a bit, I realized how much I really can do after all, and that I'm on the road back to where I want to be.
What are your stories of breaking and rebuilding? What personal myths did you need to overcome?
What I Just Finished Reading
Penric’s Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Grover Gardner
Another enjoyable outing, though the plot of this one didn't grab me as much as the first two. I enjoyed the new PoV character and liked meeting her and her family, and watching their relationship with Penric and Des grow. Penric is frankly getting a little over powered at this point. There doesn't really seem to be much he can't do, as long as he can figure it out. Still, I love Des, and the stories continue to be light and funny.
Terror in the Starboard Seat by Dave McIntosh
(Memoirs of an RCAF Mosquito navigator in WWII, who very much wanted to survive the war and go home, while his Jewish-American pilot wanted to kill as many Nazis as he possibly could.)
Highly entertaining, which makes the tragic parts even more of a punch. Both the author and his pilot never seem to miss a chance to tell a joke at each other's (and their own) expense. For all that McIntosh played up the battle to stay out of the line of fire while his pilot put them in it, they seemed to work pretty well together. The accounts of base life and interactions with the other pilots and the English were probably the funniest parts.
Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann, narrated by Christopher Lane
This ended up being something of a guilty pleasure. The style is way over the top and pulpy that I expected it to have been written in the early '50s, but that in itself circled back around to being charming despite itself. I don't know enough about the period to claim authorial bias one way or another, but all the characters were well introduced and easy to follow. Likewise I have no idea if the mystery solution is plausible, but the case was well made. I need to read more silent-era Hollywood books.
Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812 by James Laxer
It certainly a decent outline of the war, and I appreciated that it had more focus on the native American storyline than a lot of books do. However since both the title characters died very early in the war, it somewhat floundered for a theme in the latter third. (It eventually settled on minimizing American accomplishments, in a charmingly chippy way.)
The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
Still 100% soapy nonsense, still pretty fun, still needs more lesbians. Got pretty melodramatic at the end there. I don't see why love triangles never seem to end in threesomes.
What I'm Reading Now
Library: A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby with Mary Louisa Plummer. Um. Yeah. HOLY FUCK THIS WOMAN'S CHILDHOOD.
Audio: The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien. It's read by Chris Lee, which is pretty much all you need to know.
What I'm Reading Next
Probably a book about North Korea from the library. Not sure on audiobook.
A reader writes:
Every spring, the company I work for hires interns. This year I was assigned an intern to train and manage for the first time. Two days ago I had a project meeting at another site and my boss said I should bring my intern as it would be a good experience for him. Up until this point, my intern’s behavior had been nothing but professional.
Before the meeting started, when people were still arriving and getting settled in, my intern told someone he was speaking with a tasteless, disgusting joke (about people jumping from buildings on 9/11). He said it with a normal level voice and everyone around him heard, including me. I immediately told him to stop talking. The person sitting next to him went off because she had a family member who died on 9/11 and may have been one of those who jumped. She had to be pulled out of the room by three of her colleagues in tears and still yelling at him over their shoulders. No one could blame her for her reaction.
My intern was kicked out of the meeting and took a cab back to our office. I texted my boss to let him know what happened and profusely apologized to everyone on behalf of the company. There were people from two other companies and the government at this meeting, and they were all appalled. The intern was fired and at least two complaints have been filed against him to the association that governs those who work in our industry. Multiple people from the meeting have called my boss and other higher-ups to complain.
I am worried that my intern’s behavior will reflect badly on me. I think what he did was disgusting, but he was here for a month before this happened and he was nothing but polite and professional. I was so embarrassed at the meeting.
My boss and the higher-ups are furious and doing major damage control. Should I say something to them or try to explain I had no idea he would do anything like this? Should I apologize again? I’m afraid to show my face at the next meeting because I am so embarrassed.
You aren’t responsible for someone else’s offensive joke.
Actually, I’ll caveat that: If you’d seen earlier evidence of problems with him and not addressed it, then sure, you’d have some responsibility here.
But that’s not what happened here. You’d seen nothing but professional behavior from him previously, and you had no way of knowing that he was about to bust out a horrible offensive remark.
When it happened, you immediately told him to stop talking. You apologized profusely to everyone who was at the meeting, and you alerted your boss to what happened. Those are all the correct actions to take.
Sometime people turn out not to be who we thought they were. As long as you don’t pretend you’re not seeing/hearing it and as long as you don’t let bad behavior continue, that’s not your fault.
I don’t know what you’ve said to your boss and other higher-ups so far, but if you haven’t told them how appalled you are and that you’d seen no signs of problems from him before, tell them that now. Emphasize “appalled.” Also, tell your boss that you’re really embarrassed and ask for her advice about whether there’s anything else that you should be doing.
But really, this sounds like an intern who ran amok in a particularly awful way. Sometimes that happens. You deal with it, you apologize to anyone impacted, and then you get to move on.
my intern told a horribly offensive joke at a meeting with other companies was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
And, as promised, a list of SPF values for oils, from 'How to Make Natural Sunscreen Lotions' by Miriam Kinai.
I am assuming the range of numbers for any one oil/substance has to do with differences in processing. ( for length, behind cut )
The urgency of ethnic nationalism.
Fairytale princess by choice: Melania's photography says more about her than she might expect. An analysis of her shared photos in the past few years. Has this woman ever sat under a tree, or taken a photo that wasn't through a window? And what's with the masterpiece professionally built sand castle for Barron -- when he was 6, why didn't anyone let him build his own sand castle?
That shirt's not from Adrienne Vitttadini Studio: it's one of Ivanka's, sold under another name to a larger retail store where a customer spat on one that was in her own name.
The EPA wants to know: what do you think about scrapping air quality and radiation rules? Tell them. There are links.
Trump wants to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities -- judge says no way. Note that there are few to no Democratic judges any more -- these are Republican-appointed Republican judges standing up to him.
Is this the end of foreign aid as we know it?
The media bubble -- what it is, where it is, why it is, and more.
How do you find a prospective spouse if you're Muslim? Halal dating.
It's not everywhere -- it's not in enough places yet -- but here's a start to changing building codes to suit tiny houses.
The Axis and the Sycamore. I cannot tell you how much I love this article that connects the earth, ecology and the Axial Age when ideas sprang up and spread -- because we are in a second Axial Age now.
And howevermuch I might complain about rain, the desert is blooming.
"A very faint scent of her clung to my shirt from her brief embrace, and I agonised over whether to wear the shirt that day, to carry the scent with me, or to set it aside in my clothing chest, to preserve it."
I laughed because in the last chapter a weasel vomited on his shirt. (This is a bit unfair - on careful review, he does spend a sentence changing clothes "hastily", but wouldn't he still be a bit weasel-vomity?)
More seriously, it's not as good as her other stuff. The youngest prince forms a murderous plot, they thwart it, inexplicably they decide he's learned his lesson, rinse and repeat. The protagonist has trained as an assassin, so after a few rounds of this, really, you had one job, Mr Protag. Kindly stab him up so we can get on with the zombies^W Forged ones.
ravenclawsquill asked question #3 about Nine Ways of Looking at a Book, a Minerva/Hermione fic from last year's Kinky Kristmas.
3: What's your favorite line of narration?
To hold hands with Minerva is perfect, like an illustration in an illuminated manuscript. They walk on, observed only by the round, yellow eye of an insomniac owl.
This whole scene is my favorite, and the first one I wrote (I rarely write in order). I'd already had the idea of doing a sort of tribute to Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird and I was looking at the first stanza, trying to write something that communicated the way I felt reading it. That gap where the reader's attention turns from human experience to the bird in its environment — that's where the poem lives. I tried to put that into these lines, and to me it seemed successful.
Naturally it's the time to have a bit of an existential nitpick.
So, today I've had:
- a large cup of coffee
- a large cup of cocoa with a dash of coffee
- a large cup of cocoa
For quite some time now, I've been saying I'm having a tea instead of I'm having tea.There was one day last week when I've had, like, 5 cups of tea in twelve hours. Because I have turned into a deplorable caffeine bot. I have been since I was 13 when I succumbed to the potent combination of perfectionism, I'll-forever-deny-it competitiveness in school, and having my eye on a really great uni.
I got into the uni, and along trailed my constant friend the caffeine cup. The caffeine cup has me by the heartstrings. I'm told by the doctor that heart palpitations are not healthy. So far I've had none. *cheers*
You know, sometimes I think about all the mental gymnastics I did over Lemony Snicket in the early 2000s, and wonder when I'll ever find a practical application for those skills.
Same with Agents of SHIELD. At the same time the white supremacist owner of Marvel comics is making Cap a Nazi (by the way, fuck you), the TV show is also calling out the current White House as a bunch of Nazis. And they are literally saying Nazi, bless their cotton socks. Because Hydra are fucking Nazis, even in Ada/Ophelia's dream world look at what the fuck they are wearing.
In fact many of my US shows are doing this. May you win your current fight, writers, comrades.
And now a music meme I picked up by way of st_aurafina
1.A song you like with a colour in the title: ( Blue Moon Revisited - Cowboy Junkies )
( music meme topics )
Sean admires Elijah's photograph of a buck.
Words: 71, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English
Series: Part 6 of Sanctuary Singles
Elijah knows a former lover wouldn’t understand his enjoyment of a backyard garden.
Words: 101, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English
Series: Part 5 of Sanctuary Singles
What I did do last night was make some more lip balm, this time a variation on this recipe, substituting mango butter for coconut oil, and a tablespoon each of castor oil and apricot kernel oil for the sweet almond oil, and two drops each of the essential oils, plus 1/2 tsp of vitamin E oil, 1/2 tsp of zinc oxide for sunscreen purposes, and 1 tsp of rose gold mica powder to make it a lovely pink. Which makes for a nice, rich lip balm. As in that recipe post, I also used slidey lip tins though they are super tiny - the amount of lip balm this recipe made filled all ten tins I bought plus four chapstick tubes. I guess because I originally bought 1 oz tins, I'm used to only getting like four or five tins worth of stuff each time, but it goes a lot farther when your tins are smaller.
I also bought a bunch of these adorable daisy pots but I haven't filled them yet. I'm excited to try, though.
In other news, writing continues to happen in fits and starts - work is too busy, evenings I'm too tired, etc. but I poke around here and there and hope to finish something every once in a while. And since I mentioned my wip list the other day, here it is:
- after he took from you everything he could steal, the utterly self-indulgent id-fic, featuring suitless Vader and lady!Obi-Wan having copious amounts of deeply unhealthy sex. With snacky's help, I've figured out an ending that doesn't include murder/suicide, so now I feel like I can keep writing it. *snerk*
- nobody move, nobody get hurt and the movement and the spin, aka, Thing One and Thing Two, which I might as well admit at this point are also AUs where Obi-Wan is a lady, but much kinder to both her and Anakin. Probably too kind. Ah well, we all write our own kinds of fix-its, and mine involve genderswap (cisswap?) and a lot of hilariously awkward teenage pining while Obi-Wan mostly pretends to be oblivious because she's not the socially awkward one. *hands* And then one day, when he's no longer her padawan, nor a teenager, maybe, she thinks to herself. Maybe. So, you know, two stories, two POVs, but the stories go together.
- Drive It Like You Stole It, the Han/Leia PWP that needs attention.
- Half-Truths and Hyperbole, the Obi-Wan/Satine Regency AU.
- Well Did You Ever?, the Obi-Wan/Satine Thin Man AU (with a special guest appearance by Anakin as Asta).
- Talking Points, Luke and Rey and trying not to make the same mistakes past generations did.
- how strangely my life is curved, aka, Ahsoka unfrozen in the future and Steve Rogersing her way through the Resistance.
- Night Five, Anakin/Ahsoka trope fic ("there's only one bed at the space hotel!") for silveronthetree.
- Someone else to catch this drift, the single dad Anakin AU which features both Anakin/Ahsoka and Anakin/Obi-Wan
- the Obi-Wan/Ventress frenemies-with-benefits one, fittingly titled Frenemies with Benefits
- the untitled story where Force ghost!Obi-Wan haunts Darth Vader and Darth Vader is just like, "I already have an Obi-Wan in my head criticizing everything I do! What fresh hell is this?" also for silveronthetree.
Okay, that is a lot more than I expected. I like having a list though. It makes me feel accountable. And also accomplished when I can take something off of it. And maybe I'll actually have something to post next week on May 4. Who knows? Anything could happen!
Fire on the Cuyahoga
by Cheryl Snell
The river burned only a few times,
but nobody here forgets it.
You'd think they'd keep the place up a little better—
look at the candy wrappers, empty bottles, rubbers.
Who knows what else is dumped after dark?
Beauty is as beauty does, I suppose, and of course
all rivers should be beautiful, not necessarily
the untouched beauty of a head cheerleader
at her beginning of things—
but more like the worn kind of beauty she'll grow into,
after she runs off with her married man,
bringing back the three kids, one of them always sick,
and her working minimum wage at the KMart,
the new boyfriend with raw hands and grimy fingernails
out back building a barbeque pit, trying to start
the fire that will stun her into loving him.
It is great to see so much posting on DW these days. I haven't deleted or locked my LJ, but I also still haven't logged in to the new TOS, so I can't crosspost at the moment. But anyway, deleting what's there does seem counter-productive, although it was all imported here not too long ago. I spent a while looking at old fanfic and realized that I have vast quantities of stuff that never made it on to AO3, and I should probably get onto that. Much of it is still on my old personal website, which I can't even remember how to update. Ah for the days when we could all crochet our own websites!
I feel out of touch, although I read things here all the time. It is hard to talk about myself, or about what I think about things. Sometimes I feel like there's something actually weighing down my tongue to keep me from speaking, and there is something similar going on with writing as well. What do I have to talk about? I don't really know.
Here is a sample of what I have to say for myself these days, so you can all see what you've been missing. Spartacus passed into the second swimming level yesterday, a year after starting. This happened only because I needed to change his class -- it turned out that they were keeping his group together to move up as a whole class, and he was perfectly capable of moving up before this. Why am I grumpy? Because the class has two older children (S and a girl about his age) and the rest are about 3 years younger than them. So he could easily have been moved up months ago if they'd bothered to push him along a bit, instead of holding him back, and it's actually been bothering him that he's taken so long to move up a level. Physical things don't come easily to him in the first place, and it really upsets me that this was made to seem even more difficult for him than it was.
(Also, these classes cost money! I feel vaguely scammed. And my thoughts on how long he will need to stick with swimming classes have definitely changed because of this.)
Perhaps it will not be months before I update again, who knows?
Author: Beren (aka Tasha)
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story is canon compliant until the end of Order of the Phoenix and then goes AU. None of the HBP or Deathly Hallows plot will be used, or the Horcruxes for that matter since this story was planned before we knew the details about those things, and hence has it's own fanon. This includes birthdays and other information that have since been revealed on Pottermore and in further productions.
Summary: The threat of open war in on the horizon. The Order and the Ministry are of one accord and both know that where Harry Potter is, Voldemort will eventually be. Preparations are being made and this time the side of the light will not be caught unawares.
Summer classes, sabotage, revelations about Draco's father, teaching and the final showdown with Voldemort all await Harry and Draco in this exciting sequel to Gold Tinted Spectacles (LJ | AO3 | Wattpad).
Author's Notes: This is the second story in the Hecatemae universe. It starts up just after the end of the first instalment and I advice reading that one first so you understand the premise. Thanks go to my sister Sophie for the beta reading.
It has taken me 12 years to finally get around to finishing this, I very much hope everyone enjoys it.
Links to CH45: LJ | DW | AO3 | Wattpad
Link to other parts: LJ | DW | AO3 | Wattpad
New chapters will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
I was imagining a person who had the fingerprints of a mountain peak. sovay asked who would have these. I'm not sure, but I can imagine an egotistical jewel thief or other flamboyant criminal who would mask their own fingerprints with the prints of a mountain.
Which one though?
Mout Rainier looks good:
How about K2?
The volcano Popocatépetl has a beautiful fingerprint:
Fingerprints for the Matterhorn and Mt. Fuji are in comments (Dreamwidth comments) in the previous entry. Do you have a favorite mountain? Check out its fingerprint. You can see the fingerprint of Nyiragongo, the volcano in my icon, here.
What I read
Down the JA Jance Ali Reynolds rabbit hole: Fatal Error (2011), Left for Dead (2012), Deadly Stakes (2013). I did start the novella A Last Goodbye, but am now holding off until I get to the right place in series internal chronology.
Alexis Hall, How to Bang a Billionaire (2017). This is a book that one would think had a lot of my NQOSD things all over it - at first glance it was the m/m version of 50 Shades, but I looked at the preview just to see, and okay, it still has a lot of things that are not my usual things, like it is All About The Relationship, at least so far there are no other stakes in place (but there is a sequel forthcoming), and the billionaire thing means a lot of plain practical difficulties do not operate. The title is a bit misleading, on account of the billionaire character is what in a woman would be considered pretty much stone butch - does but will not be touched or done to - it's more 'banged by the billionaire'. The narrator is a somewhat hapless and gauche, though at least not completely naive, gay guy just on the cusp of graduating from Oxford. The billionaire is pretty much on the Violet Winspear romantic hero template:
I get my heroes so that they're lean and hard muscled and mocking and sardonic and tough and tigerish and single, of course. Oh and they've got to be rich and then I make it that they're only cynical and smooth on the surface. But underneath they're well, you know, sort of lost and lonely. In need of love but, when roused, capable of breathtaking passion and potency. Most of my heroes, well all of them really, are like that. They frighten but fascinate.But, dr rdrz, I could hardly put it down.
On the go
The end is almost in view with the Inchbald biography!
I am on the edge of my seat in re The Course of Honour
Well, the thing for review I intend to read on the train.
And new Sara Paretsky VI Warshawski!!!
First trailer for the sequel, again directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Layer Cake). This time our heroes face a new challenge. When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents' strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that's becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy (Taron Egerton). Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Sophie Cookson also return. Cast additions are Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Sir Elton John.
Wakefield HD720p 11MB
Darkly comedic drama in which a man wonders what his life would look like without him in it. Outwardly, Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston) is the picture of success. He has a loving wife (Jennifer Garner) and two daughters, a prestigious job as a Manhattan lawyer, and a comfortable home in the suburbs. Inwardly, though, he’s suffocating. One day, something snaps and Howard goes into hiding in his garage attic. Leaving his family to wonder what happened to him, he observes them from the attic window - an outsider spying in on his own life. As the days of self-imposed isolation stretch into months, he begins to wonder: is it even possible to go back to the way things were? Directed by Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club).
The Bad Batch Tsr HD720p 17MB Tlr HD720p 16MB
Teaser and trailer for this savage dystopian fairytale set in a Texas wasteland where society’s rejects are just trying to make ends meet. A girl (Suki Waterhouse) is one of thousands of Americans deemed unacceptable to civilized society. While wandering in her desert exile, she is captured by a community of cannibals. She manages to escape, soon ending up at a very different enclave of outcasts. Our heroine is safe here, but still does not quite feel that she has found her tribe. On an excursion beyond the gates of her new shelter, she encounters one of her former cannibal captors (Jason Momoa), who ends up requiring her help. Can she trust him? Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna and Jim Carrey are also part of the cast, though the latter three have mainly cameos. Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)
One Week and a Day - Shavua ve Yom HD720p 96MB
Low-key comedic drama from Israel that follows a middle-aged Israeli couple as the one-week ritual mourning period (shiva) for their cancer-stricken adult son comes to an end. The mother is all for returning to normal life asap, but the father is at a loss. After visiting his son's hospital room - and coming away with a bag of medicinal marijuana - he lets his neighbors' stoner son teach him how to roll a joint. Soon, the two men embark on a series of weed-enhanced encounters.
There's also an even funnier trailer from Europe, but I suspect that one's strongly overemphasising the comedic aspects: HD720p 15MB.
Score: A Film Music Documentary HD720p 93MB
Documentary that brings some of Hollywood's elite composers and directors together to give viewers a privileged look inside the musical challenges and creative secrecy of the world's most international music genre: the film score. Among the contributors are Hans Zimmer, James Cameron, Danny Elfman, John Williams, Quincy Jones, Trent Reznor, Howard Shore, Rachel Portman, Thomas Newman, Randy Newman and the late James Horner.
Tuesday: go to work at 7am, leave at 11:30pm
Wednesday: go to work at 5am, leave...?
boss and I actually stayed at coworkers house nearby. i slept on the couch with their very adorable and fluffy and friendly cat. we were going to get hotel rooms on the company's dime, but literally all of the hotels nearby are booked solid, probably for the same event we're fucking doing all the signage for. and the event starts at 8am, and I'm still printing the programs which we only got approved at 9pm last night.
i have a headache of the type where there is a small intermittent ice pick being rammed up into one spot at the base of my neck, angled up into my head and bottoming out behind my right eye. it's not constant, it's not regular enough to be called throbbing, it just sort of spasms periodically (frequently) and makes me flinch. lacking drugs (including all my normal meds) I am heavily self medicating with fucktons of water and coffee.
and there's no break in sight, because as soon as this event launches and we can legitimately say we've done all we can for it, we have to hit the ground running to try to make some progress against the avalanche load of stuff that's backed up in the normal queue. we already reached the point yesterday of turning clients away because no, we can't promise a damned thing, not anything, not for the rest of the week, definitely not for same day fuck all anything.
thank god work only explodes like this once every handful of years. >_
- Discussion, Reactions, Reviews and News -
- Mr Men/Doctor Who mash-up stuff:
- Michelle Gomez Reads Doctor Twelfth and narrates a special episode of Doctor Who: The Fan Show about it, which also features an interview with the author/artist Adam Hargreaves.
- The Grauniad a feature about it too.
- Blogtor Who have a contention that Blink proves that a female Doctor can work, a a preview of Titan Comics Twelfth Doctor Year 3 # 2, and a report about the Doctor Who Experience classic monster restoration project.
- Doctor Who News has a round up of the publicity items and broadcast times for Thin Ice
- Whovian Feminism reviews Smile.
- The Gallifrey Times has a full team review of Smile.
- purplecat reviews The Pilot
- Podcasts and Audiovisual Discussion -
- Travelling the Vortex (audio podcast) Episode 327 discusses Smile.
- Night of the Living Geeks (autoplaying audio podcast) episode 88 also reviews Smile.
- Voice of Gallifrey (audio podcast) #93 "Soft Reboot" appears to be in Russian...
- Starburst Magazine's Blue Box Podcast (audio podcast) reviews The Pilot and Smile
- The Watch-a-thon of Rassilon (audio podcast) Episode 54 covers Inferno.
- The Old Doctor Who Podcast (audio podcast) Episode 41 is about The Visitation.
- Mostly Harmless Cutaway (audio podcast) Episode 146 reviews Smile.
- Who's Doing What Now? (audio podcast) Episode 50 discusses Planet of the Ood.
- Via Mashable (YouTube channel) a corgi dressed as 13 Doctors (his Colin is ADORABLE)
- Eyes of Harmony (YouTube channel) reviews Revelation of the Daleks part 1.
- The Who Addicts (YouTube channel) preview Thin Ice
- Challenges, Prompts and Announcements relating to Fanworks
- Fanworks -
Fic: (rating; characters/pairings)
GIFsets, Caps, and Photosets:
- Stephadoo compares cyrogenics chambers.
Podfic and Fanvids
- Five Who Fans (YouTube channel) have Alternative Doctor Who: Smile.
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The story sounds like the set-up for a joke: three soldiers from the Dominions all meet at Nelson's Column, where two of them are looking for a pub and the third is sightseeing. Specifically, he is taking a picture of what he dryly terms "Typical scene of London air-raid panic"—four Londoners on a park bench in different attitudes of total unconcern. Embarrassed by the effusive patriotism of a woman who rushes up to praise them for "coming all those thousands of miles to answer the Motherland's call to arms . . . splendid fellows!" the soldiers are rescued by the drawling interruption of one of the park-bench Londoners, the one who was smoking with his hands in his pockets and his hat knocked over his eyes. He is credited as "A Passer-By"; he is Leslie Howard and he knows where to find a pub.1 Over pints all round, he quizzes the soldiers on their reasons for joining up, each of which furnishes a miniature flashback. Corporal W. Atkinson of the Australian Imperial Force co-owned a bicycle shop in Sydney; he made his decision after catching his business partner in a newsreel, marching to the troopship with the rest of the new recruits. Private J. Johnston of the Black Watch of Canada hails from a farm outside of Vancouver; his father was killed at Vimy Ridge and he not entirely jokes that he ought to finish his job. Private R. Gilbert of the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force was a law student in Auckland, finishing up his degree when he wondered suddenly if common law would mean anything in the event of an Axis victory; he walked right out of his exams and into the recruiting office next door. They may be standing in for their respective countries, but they are also real-life servicemen playing versions of themselves, and they bridle when Howard professes himself unsatisfied with their answers. "Kick[ing] Hitler in the pants" may be an admirable goal, but what makes it so? What are they really fighting for? If not the Empire ("That's a lot of hooey!"), what have they left their homes and families to defend?
Like the academic he so often played, Howard takes it on himself to answer his own question. He brings the three soldiers up to the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral—itself already a vivid symbol of national resistance—and gives them a bird's-eye crash tour of London, pointing out its landmarks and sites of interest, tying each to a resonant moment of English history. Kingston, where the coronation stone of the Saxon kings still stands in the market square. Runnymede, the signing of the Magna Carta which formed the heart of all the Commonwealth's laws. For the Canadian Johnston, he points out St. Peter's Church in Petersham where Captain George Vancouver is buried. For Oceanians Gilbert and Atkinson, Greenwich Hospital because "Captain Cook had a job there once." When he shows them Bankside, he stresses that the audiences of Shakespeare's plays would have included far-flung soldiers on leave just like themselves. "And that's where your fathers and my fathers stood when we were threatened with the Armada and invasion," though most of Howard's forefathers in 1588 would have been somewhere quite different from Tilbury.2 Finishing up at the House of Commons allows him to (optimistically, in June 1941) include the Americans among the inheritors and defenders of their shared ideals. "Well, it's all yours," he concludes, "all part of London and part of ourselves . . . Yes, it's all there—British city, Roman city, Saxon, Dane, Norman—English." All the while he was talking, I was thinking that I had heard something very like it before, the visionary, scholarly, slightly laughing and slightly otherworldly voice layering time through itself and rooting it in the present day, spellbinding its listeners and waking them up to their history and inheritance, and the moment I made the connection I was seized with a desperate and conflicted longing because Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale (1944) is the reason I love Eric Portman, but I would love too to know what the movie would have been like with Leslie Howard as Thomas Colpeper, JP.
Let me be clear: I don't think the Archers could even have approached him for the part. He was already under the Bay of Biscay when shooting began in August of 1943, and in any case their first choice for the magistrate of Chillingbourne had been Roger Livesey, whom I will always thank for turning them down. He found the role "off-key." He wasn't wrong. Colpeper is a deeply peculiar character, as difficult to pin down to a single interpretation as his signature wrongheaded act. He has the vision of a poet and the blinders of a missionary, the superiority of a judge and the guilt of a penitent; he gives mesmerizing lectures on local history and keeps breaking the slide projector. He loves his country and its deep, distant past that to him is as immediate and tangible as the warmth of the sun and the smell of wild thyme and he does some very silly, very dangerous things to try to fix history right where it is, not yet understanding that the earthquake of modernity will not erase the echoes of his beloved Kentish village any more than the last two thousand years have washed the Roman road away.3 He's a crank and a trickster, a magician and a fool, and like the other characters he's trapped until he gets his miracle, which comes in the last form he expected and the first he should have known to watch out for. He's not unsympathetic. He's never quite safe. I'm not knocking Livesey as an actor—he made three films with Powell and Pressburger and in all of them he was exactly what the part required, a tragicomic English archetype in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), an unforeseen romantic alternative in I Know Where I'm Going! (1945), and an adroit and skeptical advocate for science and love in A Matter of Life and Death (1946). Someday I'll even see him in a film by some other director and I expect he will continue to be very good. But I think he was right to refuse Colpeper: he would not have been weird enough for him. Portman was. And as Howard had proved almost from the start of his stardom, he would have been, too.
( That's the trouble. You believe in miracles. )
This is fantasy casting at its finest. If any practical link existed between Leslie Howard and A Canterbury Tale, given my interest in both of these things I can't imagine I wouldn't have run across it before now. I believe what I'm seeing is a case of parallel evolution, drawing on the same shared resonances of myth and literature and national archetype like a collective unconscious of the country, and I have neither the scope in this post nor the professional credentials to diagnose exactly what that is. I just can't believe I didn't see the fit before. Howard had even worked with the Archers once before, playing one of his disarming intellectuals for 49th Parallel. I'd love to know what either of them thought of Pimpernel Smith, since I stand by my assertion that it comes the closest of any other British war picture to the off-kilter numinous of their work in general and A Canterbury Tale in particular; I've found nothing in the two volumes by Powell that I own. I need to get a biography of Pressburger sometime. To get back to the short that started this whole megillah, From the Four Corners is not A Canterbury Tale or even Pimpernel Smith, but it served admirably as a celebration of Howard's hundred and twenty-fourth birthday and an antidote to a really depressing evening and you can watch it yourself thanks to the good offices of the Imperial War Museum. I apologize about the watermark. I got used to it after a few minutes of dialogue, but it interacts unfortunately with the opening titles. Anyway, it'll take you less time to watch than this post did to write. The version where I actually did all the research I thought about would have gone on for even longer and run the footnotes off the bottom of the screen. At least I didn't pour glue in anyone's hair. This monograph brought to you by my transcendent backers at Patreon.
1. Honestly, in a film of this era, I feel it may be safe to assume that any angular, pipe-smoking person looking especially careless in public is Leslie Howard. If he's wearing an overcoat and has a tendency to lecture about abstractions, that clinches it.
2. Although the character is explicitly identified as the actor himself—glossed for non-British viewers who might not recognize the name by Atkinson's description of the local weather as "too Pygmalion cold"—I found myself thinking of him as Howard's Passer-By, like Dante's Pilgrim. He can say the line about his fathers at Tilbury (our fathers of old) and mean it literally. He's autochthonous.
3. Powell and Pressburger use it for wonder rather than horror, but the way they conceive of history leaving its imprint on time is interestingly close to the idea of residual haunting that Nigel Kneale popularized with The Stone Tape (1972) or the endlessly reenacting myth of Alan Garner's The Owl Service (1967): once a thing has happened in a place, it is always on some level happening there, echoing forever in the land. Where it happened transcends when. "And when you see the bluebells in the spring and the wild thyme and the broom and the heather, you're only seeing what their eyes saw. You ford the same rivers, the same birds are singing. When you lie flat on your back and rest and watch the clouds sailing as I often do, you're so close to those other people that you can hear the thrumming of the hooves of their horses and the sound of the wheels on the road and their laughter and talk and the music of the instruments they carried."
4. It is completely not Howard's fault that I flashed on The Magician's Nephew (1955) when I hit the line "Most of you, I'm sure, will know what I mean when I speak of the curious elation which comes from sharing in a high and mysterious destiny," especially since he meant just about the opposite from Andrew Ketterley by it. It does kind of make me wonder if Lewis heard the broadcast. If so, I guess he wasn't impressed.
5. It took me an absurdly long time to realize that none of the blessings received by the four modern pilgrims of A Canterbury Tale has to do with things changing for the better: each has to do instead with seeing things as they truly are, not as the characters have feared or convinced themselves they were. They are revelations, realizations. They are like archaeology. Nothing of the beloved past has been lost, not a girlfriend, a fiancé, or a vocation; things believed not to exist have come as naturally to light as an old coin in a field, reminders that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. They prove the constancy of time.
6. There is a tangential question here which I am not sure I am qualified to engage with: the degree to which it is possible or useful to read Howard's intellectual heroes as neuroatypical as opposed to merely very smart, knowing there's a significant Venn diagram of the two in popular representations of intelligence. Certainly I feel as though a case could be made for several of the characters discussed here, but I've seen Howard in seventeen movies and IMDb gives him thirty-eight acting credits; I don't think I have enough data. I also feel this study should be conducted by someone with a better idea of what "normal" behavior looks like. When Atterbury Dodd says, "I don't like parties. I don't know what to say to people. I just sit in corners and wish I might go home," I mean, that was me and socializing for years. All that changed was I started getting invited to a better grade of party.
7. I have appreciated for years that Howard, national treasure that he was, never had too much vanity to play against audience sympathy for as long as a script required. Smith may have some cold, abrasive moments on his way to rethinking the primacy of Aphrodite, but Higgins carries scientific detachment to the point of being a stupendous jerk; it is one of the reasons I suspect so many people, myself included, find the ending of the 1938 Pygmalion and its immediate descendant My Fair Lady more satisfying than the impervious curtain of the original play: he gets absolutely kicked in the ass by his own human susceptibility and he never sees it coming. Dodd is never deliberately insensitive, but he has to learn how to see people—including himself—as people, three-dimensional, fallible, worthwhile, not just numbers or functions. Even the narrator of The Gentle Sex, while he understands and appreciates intellectually that women will be part of the war effort, so repeatedly underestimates the extent and the impact of their contributions that by the film's end he's had to give up trying to predict what they'll do next and simply trust that it'll be all right. Alan Squier, let's face it, is a really charming trash fire.
He was a kind man. Brilliant, playful, curious, funny, generous, loving — and kind. He loved to laugh and he loved to share, and his love for Amy shone out of him. He was so open to and enthusiastic about anything that made her happy — even if I hadn’t loved him for himself (and I did), I would have loved him for that.
I know he wanted to be remembered for who he was before the last few months of his life. The lively, silly, driven man who raced his small daughter down corridors (feinting the wrong way and giggling as she followed his misdirection), who trekked the world for charity, who took beautiful photographs, loved music, cooked and ate with gusto, and took great pleasure in so many things. But I’ll also remember how, at the end, he kept his kindness and kept his warmth. Every time we visited, I was struck again by how clearly he wanted Amy to feel welcome, to feel loved.
I was so lucky to have him in my life for the last few years. I'm far from the only one who'll be carrying him in my heart from now on.
Speaking of which, is there a place I could post my Black Tapes genfic? A general fandom genfic comm? I couldn't find a specific Black Tapes comm, but in searching, I did find that there's an option for DW to add that topic to your interests. (Which is awesome.) And then through that, I found addme_fandom, which is like addme, but fannish.
Meme with me? (as seen everywhere, probably because it's a good meme!)
1. the character I least understand
2. interactions I enjoyed the most
3. the character who scares me the most
4. the character who is mostly like me
5. hottest looks character
6. one thing I dislike about my fave character
7. one thing I like about my hated character
8. a quote or scene that haunts me
9. a character I wish died but didn’t
10. my ship that never sailed
Also, from yohijideranged, a music meme!
1. A song you like with a colour in the title.
I have three, because how do you choose these things?
( Under this cut: Birdy, Lorde, David Bowie )
Youtube, why do you do that massive gap thing with your embeds? Why?
( The rest of the topics )
2. Today's meeting was long and pretty boring but we all went to dinner afterwards (paid for by the company) at a fancy restaurant and the food was good and I had a good time. And we were finished around nine, which meant that there was no traffic coming home, whereas if I'd come back right after the meeting, it would have been right smack in the middle of rush hour.
3. Look at this cutie Molly cat!