(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2014 02:26 pm
skygiants: Drosselmeyer's old pages from Princess Tutu, with text 'rocks fall, everyone dies, the end' (endings are heartless)
[personal profile] skygiants
The official last physical book I got out of the New York Public Library was called Landmark Yiddish Plays: A Critical Anthology, which has been sitting on my shelf for several months since the petering-out of my last Yiddish-literature binge, and which was a DEFINITE level up in the bizarre/fascinating realm from my last foray into Yiddish literature.

Silliness and Sanctimony: So this is a drawing-room comedy of manners from the 18th century -- contemporaneous with (and influenced by), like, Moliere -- and the author was a major figure in the Jewish enlightenment who was very pro-secularism and assimilation, and anti-Hasidism. It's ... really not hard to tell.

A RICH JEWISH FATHER: So I am arranging my daughter's marriage to this Hasidic scholar I have hired to study Bible with me.
EVERYONE ELSE IN THE FAMILY: That is ... the worst. Just the worst idea ever.
THE HEROINE: Ugh! I'm running away with this goy nobleman!
EVERYONE ELSE IN THE FAMILY: That is ... also not a great idea, but we're all agreed that it's basically your dad's fault, for being a dick.
THE HEROINE'S UNCLE: So I found your daughter in a brothel! Don't worry, she's fine, no harm done really. Guess who else I found in that brothel? YEAH. YOUR FAVORITE religious scholar. Are we all agreed now that religious Jews are stupid hypocrites, arranged marriages are terrible, and we should all embrace the Enlightenment?
EVERYONE ELSE IN THE FAMILY: Yeah! Yeah, I guess we are!

Serkele: This a pretty straightforward domestic comedy/Cinderella story about a hypocritical hypochondriac who steals her disappeared brother's inheritance and takes advantage of her sweet, beautiful niece, who really just wants to believe that her aunt is a nice person! Add a con artist who wants to marry into the family, a noble young student who's in love with the niece, a cute romantic subplot about a couple of the household servants, a ~*~mysterious stranger~*~, and a chorus of police officers wandering around pointing and laughing at everyone, and this is all pretty generally enjoyable.

The Two Kuni-Lemls: One of the very first plays of the Yiddish theater boom period around the turn of the century, this is another variation on Silliness and Sanctimony's theme of "ugh, who wants to marry a Hasid?" except wackier, and also, a musical! Basically the plot revolves around the heroine's boyfriend disguising himself as Arranged Match Kuni-Leml so that he and the heroine can get married, which leads to a lot of mistaken-identity hijinks -- as when, for example, the heroine accidentally starts making out with the real Kuni-Leml because she thinks he's her boyfriend in disguise, and he's like "OH GOD NO, SINFUL GIRL PARTS, GET IT AWAY!" INCLUDING a full chorus of chipper young med students pretending to be ghosts.

(Super ablist, though. It's not enough for poor Kuni-Leml to be an easily scandalized religious Jew who is no match for the heroine's dashing young med student boyfriend; he also has to have a limp and a stutter, which are not treated kindly.)

Miriam: I expected this one to be dull and depressing -- it's the sad story of an innocent young seamstress who is seduced by a rich boy, and ends up as a prostitute -- but actually I thought it was good? Lots of scenes of the family that Miriam lives with being like "NO MIRIAM THIS WILL NOT END WELL" and Miriam being like "YOU'RE NOT MY REAL MOM!!!" but, I mean, the dynamics between Miriam and her adopted temporary family are really interesting. The final scene is Miriam and two other prostitutes locking themselves away to have a girls' night and rant, with remarkably little judgment on the part of the author.

The Duke: OK. The Duke is about a rich Polish nobleman who converts to Judaism, but -- no, I'm sorry, I have to summarize this in full. )

I genuinely can't tell how we are supposed to take most of this. Is it a commentary on cultural appropriation? A genuine indictment of the Jewish people for being sad and depressing and uncool? A satire on class distintions? All of the above? Do the bear trousers ... symbolize ... something ....? WHO CAN SAY? Certainly not me, but I spent the whole text completely fascinated, that's for sure.

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2014 01:50 pm
meganbmoore: (galilei donna)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 Uhm, did something happen to mangatraders?  I haven't checked it in a couple months because I've been reading One Piece, but I went by earlier  to check for new volumes of 7 Seeds/any completed unlicensed series, and it appears to be gone.  (If it is gone, where does everyone else go to get their scanslations?  Downloads preferable so I can load them in an ereader.)

Also, did all the Flight Rising folks enjoy the rather intense dominance battle this week?  It was something else.  

Wednesday Reading Meme

Sep. 10th, 2014 10:20 pm
meganbmoore: (lucy loves this book)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
What are you currently reading

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering. Country house murder mystery set in the 30s, with a mystery novel fanboy for the protagonist. So far it's fairly standard for the genre, but enjoyable.

What did you recently finish reading?

One Piece Vol 46-48 by Eiichiro Oda. The first three volumes of the Thriller Bark arc. TBH, I'm finding this arc a bit dull. It's not a long one, though, and the arcs after it sound much more my thing.

Saga Vol 3 by Brain K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I still really like this space opera, though in this volume, I was more interested in what was going on with Gwendolen and The Will and Co than in the mains. But I could really, really do without the series using "cunt" as t he worst thing you can call a person. It tends to sour me for a while and make me put the book down every time. I still get a kick out of a romance novel being a revolutionary text.

I attempted to read another Nancy Drew nonfiction book, The Mysterious Case of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys but it kept assuring me that Nancy Drew and Mildred wirt were Not Like Other Girls, and actually kinda masculine and really, part boy. Pass.

The first two books of Fate/Zero by Urobuchi Gen. I was watching the anime (after watching Fate/Stay Night) and baka-tsuki took down the A Certain Magical Index book I was reading, so I switched over. I was pretty into it, until I got to the part in the anime with all the choking, and lost interest int he books, though I did finish the anime. (Urobuchi is also fascinated by certain aspects of the human psyche that I just don't enjoy in my fiction, which also played a big part in earlier parts of the series.) I am looking forward to the new Fate/Stay Night anime, as it seems the first series went down the least interesting of the three possible paths of the VN.

What do you think you'll read next?

Not sure. I received I think 12 arrived hold notices from the library, so we'll see. More One Piece once the next volume arrives, and probably more Sparkler Monthly stuff.

meme taken from traitortoheaven

Sep. 10th, 2014 02:26 pm
cypsiman2: I still believe in my dreams (Default)
[personal profile] cypsiman2
Pick a number and I'll give you my top five women in that category.

1 - Protagonists
2 - Villains
3 - Superheroes
4 - Magical Girls
5 - Queens/Empresses/Royalty
6 - Who are adorable dorks
7 - That I'd invite to a sleepover/dinner party
8 - That I'd want to go on an adventure with
9 - That I'd want to be friends with
10 - That I'd want to kiss
11 - That I will love till the end of time
12 - Who I think deserved better endings
13 - That I wish had better development/writing
14 - That I wish had better a love interest(s)
15 - Who I want to rescue from their horrible narratives

(no subject)

Sep. 8th, 2014 09:16 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
I feel kind of stupid posting this right now, but I haven't been checking stuff online even though I was posting the daily happiness posts, and I just found out about [personal profile] delux_vivens.

I met her online when I was first figuring stuff out about race and racism, and she and Dead Bro Walking opened up so much to me and introduced me to so many people. She took me to my first powwow and shared a fry bread taco with me and laughed when I insisted on getting another fry bread for dessert (she was right, that was a bit too much fry bread for my stomach...). She shared details about her regalia and her beading projects and braved the dread lack of transportation to have craft circle in South Bay and meet CB. I was really nervous around her at first because I wanted so badly to not look stupid, and I felt she kind of took me under her wing and watched out for me. I hadn't seen her for a while, even though CB would sometimes ask, because he only met her once but thought she was awesome, and now I wish I had reached out more.

Twisted: Season 1

Sep. 7th, 2014 04:18 pm
meganbmoore: (pll: ot4)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Danny Desai spent 5 years in juvenile detention after killing his aunt when he was 11. His best friends, Jo and Lacey, were in his backyard at the time, and the first ones to see the body. The series starts with Danny returning home to live with his recently-widowed mother, who was unable to sell their house so that they could move to a new town. Danny is universally hated in town but tries to reconnect with people, including Lacey and Jo, who stopped being friends shortly after Danny left-Jo is now an outcast nerd, while Lacey is an It girl. Things get worse when, right after Danny returns, one of Lacey's best friends is murdered, and Danny becomes the prime suspect.

I was really, really into the first half of the season, then a plot development happened that made me very uncomfortable in terms of narrative priorities, and then as soon as the show moved on from that, it kinda...got completely lost. Watching it, I think it was conceived as a 12-13 episode season but ended up being longer, and it feels like they're making things as they go along at times in later episodes. I still liked it, though, and plan to watch season 2 (If there is one? I haven't seen anything either way.) and it's pretty easy to see why it's been recced as something to check out if you like PLL, even if it isn't as female-friendship focused.

spoilers )

(no subject)

Sep. 5th, 2014 11:49 pm
skygiants: Betty from Ugly Betty on her cell phone in front of a cab (betty on the go)
[personal profile] skygiants
Tonight I dragged [personal profile] nextian with me to see The Winter's Tale: A MUSICAL starring A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE OF NEW YORK, because a.) last year's Tempest Starring A Significant Percentage Of New York WAS AMAZING and b.) tonight is actually my last night for at least a while as a resident of the city, which is really weird, and going to go see the city celebrate itself seemed like an appropriate thing to do.

Anyway, Winter's Tale was not quite as good as last year's Tempest, which was just, like, mind-bogglingly wonderful, but it was still pretty delightful! The ballerinas had significantly less swagger, but on the other hand, a swing band on stilts. Also, still on the other hand, SESAME STREET.

If you were wondering if Sesame Street is just as good live: yes. Yes they are. )

I got like three hours of sleep last night so I'm going to go fall over now, but I'm really, really glad this is how I decided to spend my last night in New York. Tomorrow I move to Boston? TOMORROW I MOVE TO BOSTON. File under: things that I still haven't fully internalized yet.

DNS change today

Sep. 4th, 2014 02:14 pm
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
[staff profile] mark posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance

Hi all,

We had a brief outage this morning. The cause was an (unexpected) policy change by our DNS provider, Dyn, deciding to shut us off. They had to roll back the change for unrelated reasons so we were back online, but it does mean that we need to migrate off of their service.

ETA: The policy change was that, for about 10 years now -- as long as I've been using Dyn! -- they had no usage/quota limits on their DNS service. Given that DNS requests are tiny and easy to serve, this made sense. They made a business decision recently to establish some (rather tiny) quotas. We're ... quite in excess of them (by some 15,000%) and we don't want to pay in excess of $500 USD/month for DNS service. Amazon's price is 10% of that. They probably tried to contact us, but I don't recall seeing any emails. Anyway, that's it; it's nothing particularly nefarious.

We will be moving our DNS service to Amazon's Route53 service. This kind of migration is fairly easy technically, but if there are problems it will probably mean Dreamwidth will be offline until they can be resolved. And, given the nature of how DNS works, it means that any outage will probably be measured in hours rather than minutes.

I've done my best to ensure that the changeover will go smoothly. If anything happens, though, we'll be on our [twitter.com profile] dreamwidth account to keep everybody apprised of the progress.

The switch will be flipped around 3:30pm PDT / 2230 UTC today, this is in about 90 minutes.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Sep. 3rd, 2014 08:11 pm
meganbmoore: (lucy loves this book)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
What are you currently reading

I'm going to be trying out Sparkler Monthly (which I hadn't actually heard of until a couple weeks-or at least, I hadn't noticed people talking about it) which is a monthly online magazine with fem-focused content, much of which appears to be shoujo-esque. In preparation, I downloaded their sampler, which has the first chapter of various works, (and is free) and am working my way through it.

Off*Beat is something I've actually seen some people refer to a few times. The setpu is...basically a boy who starts stlking the boy who moved in across the street. MC boy is extra bright-seems to think he's smarter than everyone else, TBH-and the other boy is mostly introverted and hopefully aware that he's being stlaked. I...have no opinion so far, really.

Windrose is another comic. Set in the 17th century, Danielle is a young Spanish lady who receives a letter from her merchant father that goes along the lines of "I'm sending you this MYSTERIOUS OBJECT in a SECRET COMPARTMENT and you must hide it until someone comes along with the SECRET CODE and then give it to them. Oh, and I might be dead by the time you read this. Love, Dad." danielle, of course takes this to mean she must leave for France to look for him IMMEDIATELY. On the ship to Marseilles, she metts a pair of dashing "siblings"-a swordswoman named DAnielle, and her hunky brother, Leon, who may not be as wholesome and chivalrous as they initally appear. I'm really not thrilled that it falls into the common narrative trope of "the absentee father is beloved and admired but the mother who stays with the child and has to actually DEAL WITH the child is resitrictive and just doesn't understand," but I think the narrative, at least, doesn't idealize Danielle's father as much as she does, so I have hopes that maybe it won't go the normal routes. Anyway, I'm easy when it comes to this stuff, so I loved it.

Tokyo Demons: A novel about various kids with troubled backgrounds (some moreso than others) starting at a new school. This first chapter was largely introductions, but it drew me in, and i'm interested in seeing where it's going.

Awake: This is a transcript of an audio drama (the audio file is also included in the sampler, I think, but I haven't checked the audio files out yet.) it's a science fiction series about ships sent out to colonize other worlds. Each ship has thousands of people who are cryogenically frozen. To help pay for passage for themselves and loved ones, certain people are woken up for "shifts" that last several years, but are never awake at the same time as their loved ones. I wasn't very into it (most likely mostly because I was reading a transcript) until it had an interesting plot twist at the end.

I've read a couple pages of Dead Endings, about a girl who's a ghost magnet, but not enough to form and opinion of it yet.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Nancy Drew Scrapbook by Karen Plunkett-Powell. Light but entertaining non-fiction book about Nancy Drew. A lot of the material is a slimmed down (and so, to me, less interesting) accounting of the same material as Melanie Rehak's Girl Sleuth, but if you want the basics of Nancy Drew's publishing history and the changes in it but don't want to go through over 300 pages worth of information about the Stratemeyer Syndicate and all things related to it and Nancy Drew's publication, you might prefer this. Unlike Rehak's book, though, this one does get a bit into changes in characterizations and character interactions over the decades, which I enjoyed, and has a very entertaining account of all Nancy's automobile accidents (though, sadly, doesn't really get into the significance and liberation represented by a teenaged girl in the 30s who owns and drives her own car) presented in the form or a rejected car insurance application. I also didn't know, until this book, that there was going to be a TV series in the 80s that brought Nancy's mother back, and Margot Kidder was going to pla Nancy's mother, with her real life daughter playing Nancy. Apparently, Kidder was injured while they were still filming the pilot, and by the time she could work again, the network wasn't interested anymore. i feel a bit robbed.

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan Mcguire. about a ghost named Rose, who died on her prom night in the 50s. Rose is a hitchhiker ghost, and sometimes accompanies people who are destined to die so that they won't be alone, and can go home one last time, while also trying to avoid another road spirit who wants to take her soul. It's told non-linearly, and parts of various stories overlap with others. Very enjoyable, though not easy reading in a few places. My favorite part is how Rose's story gets told and retold and keeps changing, and ho other urban legends get folded into hers. Meta about storytelling within stories can go very badly (or it can be like the bit in that one water movie by M. Night Shyamalan and be THE DULLEST THING EVER) but when it works, it really works.

X-Men: Primer by Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel. I feel rather awkward reading this after some of the stuff that came out about Wood a few months ago, but was promised Jubilee/Kitty interactions without the narrative having a "who's the better sidekick?" tone to it. Which I did get, but not very much of it. I enjoyed it, even though most of the plot revolved around events that I'm not familiar with. (Aside from "Jubilee becomes a vampire" and some Jubilee/X-23 stuff, the only X-stuff from recent years that I know is by fandom osmosis.

spoiler )
Bride of the Water God Vol 15 by Mi-Kyung Yun. I'm still reading for the pretty, and to see what Drama the manhwaga comes up with next. (Sadly, the current main drama is uninteresting love...triangle...shape....things. I think she sat down and watched a lot of late 90s/early 2000s kdramas while writing this part. But other ,much more interesting Drama things are going on on the side.)

What do you think you'll read next?.

The rest of the Sparkler Monthly sampler, more chapters of certain things depending on when I get my trial going, more One Piece and A Certain Magical Index. Whatever else I have from the library.

August 2014 media log

Sep. 2nd, 2014 09:30 pm

(no subject)

Sep. 2nd, 2014 08:39 pm
skygiants: Jane Eyre from Paula Rego's illustrations, facing out into darkness (more than courage)
[personal profile] skygiants
Why did I feel compelled to read Death of a Schoolgirl, aka Jane Eyre Solves Mysteries v. 1? Well, I will tell you why:

1. the mystery involved Jane going to help Adele in boarding school and I have always been vaguely resentful that Adele did not show up at the end of the book
2. the back description seemed to indicate that Mr. Rochester was basically not in it AT ALL because Jane was gallivanting around solving mysteries and had no time for him, which is perfect as a concept for a Jane Eyre sequel. All that should ever happen in Jane Eyre sequels is Jane running around doing a million useful things while Rochester stays home and pines. A+, completely true to the spirit of the book.
3. the idea of Jane Eyre using her accomplished sketching skills for the purpose of CRIMINAL FORENSICS is, like, the best thing ever. Let's not lie. It's amazing.

...unfortunately, despite all these points in its favor, the book was not particularly good at capturing any kind of sense of Jane Eyre-ness. I feel bad saying that because the introduction explains that Jane Eyre is very personally meaningful to the author. Jane Eyre is personally meaningful to me too! I just do not think Joanna Campbell Slan's personal Jane is much like my personal Jane. This Jane, well....

JANE: Oh look, a letter from Adele! Who has been stuck at school without seeing anyone for over a year due to FIRE AND DOOM plus new baby! ... I am pretty seriously offended she hasn't congratulated me yet on the baby, I cannot IMAGINE why she wouldn't be happy about this.
JANE: This is mildly concerning, but probably no big deal? Everyone knows Adele is basically a dramallama.

However even though Adele is PROBABLY just being a dramallama, Jane wanders up to London anyway, where she promptly sees the body of a schoolgirl being carried out of Adele's school.

ADELE'S TEACHER: Heyyyyy yeah so Adele was freaked out about the dead girl so we gave her some laudanum and she's been passed out most of a day? It's cool, it's cool, kids get hysterical about this kind of thing!
JANE, whose backstory trauma is literally ALL ABOUT DEAD SCHOOLGIRLS: Well, all this is startling, but, I mean, you know the French and all! Definitely still not ruling out a plain case of dramallama!

So Jane wanders off again. She makes a new society lady friend. She thinks about pretty clothes, because clothes descriptions are obligatory in historical mysteries. She ponders her new social responsibilities as mistress of the manor and decides she needs to do more charity. Eventually she gets convinced to go undercover as a German teacher to solve the mystery of the dead schoolgirl, so she does that, and then does solve the mystery, which mostly consists of discovering that the victim was a horrible monster that everybody hated, because having us feel sorry for a dead teenager would be too easy, I guess.

At no point in time does she do anything that particularly reminds me of Jane Eyre. But, like, I'm trying not to judge, Jane Eyre fanfiction is super hard to write. I don't think I could pull off the quality of Jane Eyre-ness either! The thing about Jane Eyre -- or at least Jane Eyre as she is meaningful to me -- is that she's fierce and difficult and self-reliant and weird, like, HELLA weird. And how do you throw all that fierce weirdness at the Standard Historical Mystery London and make them interact? It's an interesting question but sadly I do not buy this book as an answer.


the_sun_is_up: Panty from PSG wearing glasses. (Default)
Sing me a bawdy song, make me merry

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