Pretty Little Liars icons

Jul. 30th, 2014 04:47 pm
meganbmoore: (pll: ot4)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
194 x Pretty Little Liars (second half of season 2) 

plls2-2 35 plls2-2 177 plls2-2 115

here ) .




(no subject)

Jul. 30th, 2014 02:53 pm
skygiants: Rory from Dr. Who in a suit and glasses, standing in front of a blackboard (fake the rest)
[personal profile] skygiants
I feel like I spent so much time cackling to people in person after I read Operation Mincemeat that I completely forgot I hadn't actually written it up on here, like, no, self, describing the contents of the book to at least ten separate people is not in fact the same AT ALL as putting it on the internet. For those who are reading this entry rather than having to put up with me giggling at them in person, rest assured, you are getting a much better bargain.

Anyway: Operation Mincemeat! The amazing true story of one REALLY DETAILED hoax perpetrated by the British upon the Germans. The initial idea seems to have gone basically like this:

Step 1: Obtain corpse
Step 2: Cover corpse with fake British war plans for the Germans to find and be confused by
Step 3: FALL OVER LAUGHING AND ALSO PROFIT

Then more and more in-between steps began to proliferate, such as

Step 7: Figure out how long it is safe to keep corpse on ice before corpse is too gross to use in cunning ruse
Step 13: Obtain real, used, appropriately classy British underwear to dress corpse in, lest Germans be made suspicious by unconvincing undergarments
Step 18: Go on fake dates with corpse's fake girlfriend to obtain real ticket stubs to put in corpse's pocket, for verisimilitude
Step 21: Write forged letter from real admiral
Step 21.5: Fight with superior officers on how many jokes it is allowable to include in a forged letter from a real admiral

...and on and on. All this before the corpse and its TOP SECRET BRIEFCASE even land on the Spanish coast, at which point the British have to play this hilarious game of trying really hard to make it look to the Spanish authorities like they DESPERATELY want the TOP SECRET BRIEFCASE returned before the Germans see it while at the same time making absolutely sure that the Spanish authorities absolutely do not return the TOP SECRET BRIEFCASE before the Germans see it, leading to a lot of "Shit! SHIT. THE SPANISH AUTHORITIES ARE BEING TOO HELPFUL AND ACCOMMODATING. WHAT DO WE DO NOW."

(Spanish official: Hey, British official, we found a corpse with a top secret briefcase! Why don't you just take it back now and save us all time?
British official: Um ... I have ... a deathly allergy ... to briefcases SORRY GOTTA GO)

It seems inevitable that I'm going to keep reading Ben Macintyre books until run out, or until I get tired of laughing about OH, THAT WACKY BRITISH INTELLIGENCE. Which ... may be never? It may very well be never.

(My other favorite anecdote from the book, only tangentially related to Operation Mincemeat: that time the Allies had to rescue a famous French general who hated the British so much that he refused to be rescued by anyone except the Americans. Unfortunately all American submarines were busy at that point or something, so the British sent a sub with STRICT ORDERS to run around faking American accents, waving American flags and shouting "America, heck yeah!" until the end of the mission. They acquired the general, but whether he actually fell for this clever ruse is not on the historical record.)

dropbox

Jul. 28th, 2014 06:18 pm
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Does anyone else use dropbox for multiple personal devices, and if so, have you been having trouble getting files to sync between devices?  Because mine aren't syncing.

I probably wouldn't notice if it were just large files, but we're talking itty little 20kb documents here.

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2014 11:10 am
skygiants: the aunts from Pushing Daisies reading and sipping wine on a couch (wine and books)
[personal profile] skygiants
[personal profile] obopolsk recommended me We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves a few months ago, but refused to tell me what it was about. At that point I did not really have a sense of Karen Joy Fowler as an author, except for a vague impression that she had written a rom-com about a Jane Austen book club and an even vaguer memory that she'd written a short story once that I liked. So I was sort of surprised to find that I couldn't put We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves down.

Now that I've read it I get why [personal profile] obopolsk would not tell me anything about it, just because the book itself makes SUCH a production of not revealing its Big Plot Twist Premise until about a third of the way through. The vague version is that the protagonist Rosemary is tooling around at college, and what you know is that her brother and sister are both completely gone from her family for mysterious reasons that eventually will go to make up the central themes of the novel, and you spend the first third frantically reading to find out what those reasons are.

I have mixed feelings myself about the way the book plays around with its reveal, and some of you I suspect will either be annoyed by the mystery or would like to know going in, so I'll put it under a spoiler-cut )

Games around the reveal aside ... it's a good book. It's a really good book. It was hard for me not to compare it to Boy, Snow, Bird, just because that was the last time a first-person narration pulled me in so completely, but FORTUNATELY there was no greatly offensive narrative betrayal lurking in the last few chapters, so that's all right. Karen Joy Fowler has this amazing sense of witty weirdness. Like, at one point there's an accidentally swapped suitcase that turns out to contain a puppet in a mob cap and knitting needles. The characters name her Madame Defarge and take her out clubbing. Madame Defarge is basically a MacGuffin, and there's absolutely no reason that particular MacGuffin had to be a puppet version of Madame Defarge, but why not? WHY NOT. That's the enjoyment factor, on a micro level -- the wit and the weirdness -- but on the macro level the book has serious weight and heft to it. It's tackling big themes, about family and responsibility and what it means to be human and what human beings do to the world around them, and it leaves you with all the questions that it should.

(no subject)

Jul. 26th, 2014 11:03 am
skygiants: Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing; text, 'there's a double meaning in that' (double meaning)
[personal profile] skygiants
If nothing else, I probably have Snowpiercer to thank for reminding me about reading Railsea, China Mieville's MOBY DICK ON A TRAIN.

...ok, Moby Dick on many trains. Moby Dick in a land where NO ONE HAS BOATS. There are only trains. And giant whale-moles that prowl the vast expanse of earth over which the trains roll , biting people's legs off. If you think 'but that doesn't make worldbuilding sense!' - yeah, OK, it kind of doesn't, but you roll with it.

I had a hard time getting into Railsea at first, in large part because of Mieville's decision to replace every 'and' with an & sign as part of his internal worldbuilding, which felt incredibly cutesy and jarring to me for about the first hundred pages.

But then we got to the part where the narrator explains that all the greatest moling captains on the great railsea spend their lives pursuing a giant animal, generally one that has bit of an extremity of some kind, and this animal is known as their PHILOSOPHY and they spend the time that they're not obsessively pursuing the animal sitting around in bars expounding on the DEEPER REPRESENTATIVE MEANING OF THEIR PHILOSOPHY, and OK, Mieville, you got me, I can't resist that level of straight-faced meta parody. YOU GOT ME. Captain Genn's Ferret of Unrequitedness! MOCKER-JACK, THE MOLE OF MANY MEANINGS.*

Also, Captain Naphi herself, with her charisma and her obsession and her facility with a spin story, is 100% fascinating and I love her entire terrifying narrative arc.

Captain Naphi is not the protagonist, and the Mocker-Jack strand, while important, is not actually the primary plot of the book; our protagonist is Sham ap Soorap, trainboard doctor's assistant, who gets swept up in a Great Adventure when he accidentally stumbles over evidence of the edge of the world (or at least the world as they know it.) I kind of expected Sham to bore or annoy me, but surprisingly he didn't! I became immensely endeared to him from the moment he rescued a pet daybat and named it Daybe. DAYBE.

And then: train pirates! kidnappings! ancient salvage! giant mole attacks! mutiny! angel trains! wildly playful worldbuilding and prose! a sudden hilarious left turn into 'BY THE WAY CAPITALISM IS THE WORST' because it's China Mieville and he can't resist! a total lack of crushing depression at the end!

This may be my new favorite of Mieville's books? No, actually, it is my favorite, no question. Though I still have Embassytown left.

* Sidenote: Actually I've never read Moby Dick. I know! I will! Someday! But Railsea was still deeply hilarious to me.

Insurance recs?

Jul. 22nd, 2014 04:56 am
inkstone: One Piece's Nami after the time skip (Default)
[personal profile] inkstone
So I'm shopping around for new car and homeowner's insurance. Usual reasons -- my current insurance provider (Liberty Mutual) raised my rates so much for no reason. (I haven't made any claims.)

Got any recs and/or advice for me?

icons: Silver Spoon

Jul. 21st, 2014 06:50 pm
meganbmoore: (7 seeds: hana/natsu)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 95 x Silver Spoon: Season 2

silver spoon s2 17 silver spoon s2 77 silver spoon s2 13

here )
nenena: (Default)
[personal profile] nenena
Summer is the time when I always try to catch up on all of the shows/books/movies that I don't have time to consume during the rest of the year, and this summer I decided to buckle down and marathon the one show that nearly every single person that I know IRL already watches: Game of Thrones.



Now I have to admit, before I even started my marathon of all four seasons back-to-back, I wasn't exactly coming into this experience as an unspoiled virgin. Like I said, nearly all of my friends watch this show, and I already knew quite a bit about it from simple social and pop cultural osmosis. I knew that I was going to have to brace myself for a lot of rape and incest; I was already spoiled for the Red Wedding before I even started watching the first episode; and I knew more about author George R.R. Martin's astoundingly tin-eared, sexist defenses of, well, the rampant sexism and misogyny in the books than I ever cared to know simply from reading about the internet wank that resulted every time he opened his mouth. In fact, I even tried to read A Game of Thrones once, waaaay back in 1996 when it first came out, but I quit halfway through the book because it was too much of a sweaty neckbeard fantasy even for 13-year-old me to tolerate, and that's really saying something because 13-year-old me uncritically devoured a LOT of terrible fantasy books without really picking up on any racist or sexist content that was in any of them.

But yes, despite not liking the first book when I tried to read it many years ago, I was still tired of being left out of This Supposedly Awesome TV Show that most of my friends were absorbed in, so I did it: I watched every single episode of Game of Thrones.

And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Even though it was kind of terrible. And when it was bad, wow did it get bad. But when it was good... WOW was it good.

A very, very long review under the cut - with the obligatory warning for spoilers, of course. )

So, Hemlock Grove...

Jul. 20th, 2014 12:03 am
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 AKA "the Netflix horror series with Famke Jannsen and...other people."

Heard good things about it.  Started watching it on a whim today.  Got pretty into the mystery and a number of characters (basically, most of the main characters except the actual lead, Roman, who I found alternately boring and annoying, and pretty misogynistic) despite some MAJOR "women's bodies as objects issues" (sex scenes had women nude, men shirtless at best, lots of returning to and emphasizing mutilated female corpse, sole male corpse is very "clean"_ and then I got to episode 7 and...

spoiler )

Free!

Jul. 18th, 2014 05:49 pm
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 No, not the anime, but I have returned home from spending the week with my parents and nephews.  Now, I'm not celebrating not being with them anymore, but the fact that I am escaping forced exposure to Duck Dynasty and FoxNews.  I love my family, but I do not love my family's choice in entertainment, and at my parents house, if the TV is on, it probably has one of those two things on.  My father is one of those people who just leaves FoxNews on ALL DAY LONG, regardless of whether or not he's in the house watching it.


My brain needs so much detoxifying right now.  (I guess i'll start with Summer anime and Honey West.)

I think I had more to say, but oh well.

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