Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:05 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Have been hoping for the last five years that Kate Griffin would do something that came up to the mark of the Midnight Mayor series, but she hasn't, either before (Horace Lyle) or since (Stray Souls). Kitty Peck is also something very different and, either because it's July or just because, I found it too Hannibal-ish Grand Guignol for my taste. Someone on someone else's FL said her sticking point was violence against women and rape, and I think I agree. Is why I can't read that staple of the mystery genre, the serial killer of young women. Yes it happens; no it is not entertaining.

(Jack the Ripper has much to answer for. Before that, I seem to recall that mysterious mass murders were of families. But that lacks the necessary sexual thrill.)

Which said, I might have gone on to volume two if the library had it in anything but e-form on its clunky incomprehensible e-form platform. Even with a tablet or (unlikely) an e-reader I can't see me going for it. Pity because it does have its points.

Otherwise, my acupuncture studio has had another flood that will close it down, hopefully *not* for a month as in 2015, because at the end of that month I was a cripple with ramifications that went on for the next two years. With exquisite timing, I rescheduled Thursday's cortisone shot/ knee assessment for two weeks from now, thinking I wouldn't be sufficiently recovered from the current internal shenanigans to make it. Ah well, keep exercising and stretching...

July seeps away

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:52 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Layabout weekend. Succeeded only in changing the shower curtain liner and vacuuming the downstairs, but that will do for a start.

I love avocadoes so am eternally grateful to whoever told me the apple trick. Take quantum sufficit of rock hard avocadoes. Put them in a paper bag with an apple- variety unimportant, I am given to understand, but I feel red is better than green. They will not be soft the next day, as I was promised, but they'll be perfect the day after, and then you can put them in the fridge to prevent rotten ripeness.
lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)
[personal profile] lebateleur
...and so they are here. I wrote a big tl:dr post outlining the decade of WWE storylines that culimated in Tuesday's squee, but realising that that was a little much to inflict on the unsuspecting, here are the Cliff's Notes. )

これで以上です。
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Dropping in to BMV the other day (*which* other day is now lost in the mists of July) a cauldron of unholy lusts sang about my ears...* Well actually no, the siren song was muted this time: I think I've finally come to the realization that time is, after all, finite and an endless future of somedays does not in fact extend before me.

Nonetheless they had reissues of some of Zora Neale Hurston's works, so I bought the one about voudoun which I was sorry not to have finished last year. Tempted and fell, also bought Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and Fantasy, another doorstopper. Kipling is an impeccable short story writer and I maybe don't appreciate his stories as much as I should just because they are so impeccable. Not counting the Puck and Mowgli stories of course, which are much more on my level. But English soldiers going spla in India doesn't rivet me the way it did someone who'd watch them go spla. Good riddance, I tend to think.

* a singing *cauldron*, Gus? Cauldrons don't sing. Choruses, yes; tea kettles, yes; but I suppose 'a tea kettle of unholy loves sang about my ears' sounds silly. Supposing Carthaginians had tea kettles to begin with.

Otherwise have decided Daisy Dalrymple is not for me- much too pip pip and toodle-oo, which style works only when Wodehouse does it and tires quickly even when Wodehouse does it. Happily returned two vols to the library, a load off the conscience.

My suspicion that AC defeats malaise seems to have been correct. Slept like a baby and awoke feeling fresh. Did not /stay/ fresh because the day is as muggy-humid as one might expect, interrupted only by glaring sun. Is now set to rain all tomorrow and my shoulder aches again. This summer doesn't deluge the way other rainy summers have, but five days out of every seven are forecast to rain or look as if they'll rain or do rain, and in the end it's simply *wet*. (Like, I don't remember April and May being especially wet, but the Islands flooded all the same.)

Malaisey

Jul. 21st, 2017 09:02 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
I never used to have malaise, I grumble, but then I remember I had muscle-knot migraines instead. Not sure which is preferable. Malaise has no boundaries or definition so you never know when it will end; migraines have a definite progression and symptoms but are much more debilitating. The malaise might go away if I turn on the AC (we are such wimps here: it's only 25C) or it might be caused by cool air blowing over me at night (from window fans, meaning muggy dirty air.) It might be allergies; it might be a subluxed vertebra; it might be the humidity; it might be all of the above.

But whatever, is the weekend and I can be as malaisey as I want until Wednesday.

Shall note that I have three months worth of one-a-day lenses, which are unconscionable in terms of packaging but oh! so kind to dry summer eyes.

Ah, lassitude

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:59 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Verging on hot (ie 30C/ 86F) so I succeeded only in picking up my disposable lenses, and finding a case for my foreign cell phone. Made in China universal size (meaning I can't recharge with it in) and probably a rip-off: when people say the price is 20 bucks flat with no mention of sales tax, well...

What I wanted was a stylus because my last one came unscrewed, leaving only the rubber end stuck in the phone. Got two more from the box at Factory Direct, clerk took them and went rooting through box again, then said 'I'm sorry, all these are broken.' Somehow all the rubber tips had vanished from the ends. If I'd been thinking I'd have realized that was exactly what I wanted, but thinking is an activity unknown in July. So, well...
Wednesday )

What Am I Reading Wednesday: July 19

Jul. 19th, 2017 07:26 pm
lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)
[personal profile] lebateleur
What I Just Finished Reading

The Seeing Stone – Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
This book is much better as a full volume than divided into two as Goblins Attack and Troll Trouble, mainly because the fey we meet in the second half are far more engaging than anything we encounter in the first.

The Hacking of the American Mind – Robert Lustig
Lustig is genuinely dedicated to improving health outcomes, but his argument suffers for his devolving everything down to sugar intake. I agree with him that global sugar consumption is far too high and that dopamine reward systems are at the root of this problem. But I'd argue that how corporations use psychology to drive people's behavior, marketing to inflame their insecurities, and data analytics to customize approaches to drive individuals to consume more is a problem that extends far beyond sugar, and that any volume called “The Hacking of the American Mind” needs to delve into these issues to merit the title.

The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry
The best novels make it hard to pick up another book when you've finished reading because you just want this story with these characters to continue. The Essex Serpent is very well written and I enjoyed the ride, but it failed to grab hold of me the way the best novels do. I think some of this is to do with the fact that Perry devoted less of the narrative to the characters who intrigued me most. But the ending was satisfying indeed, and I adore how Perry avoided the pat and predictable outcome every. Single. Time. I'll be reading more by her.

India – Becky Stephens
This book was a good, albeit superficial introduction to the country, although it did try at times to put too much of a good spin on its major social ills.


What I Am Currently Reading

The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander
When I read this as a kid, Gurgi and Eilonwy drove me nuts. They both still do, but all these decades later I have such affection for them it makes for an easier read.

The Infidel Stain – MJ Carter
Still truckin.' I still find it hard to believe Avery's opinions on the social order could have remained so retrograde after all his time in India and Afghanistan, but this somehow irritates me less this time through.

Preacher: All Hell's A-Coming – Garth Ennis
Herr Starr is such a glorious villain. And jesus christ, I'd forgotten how horrible Cassidy is, and how groundbreaking it was for Ennis to portray this stuff way back in '98 and '99.

The Tarot: History, Mystery, and Lore – Cynthia Giles
Hands down, still one of the best volumes on the cards out there. Why it isn't at the top of recent lists on the subject perplexes.

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet – Charlie Holmberg
With an additional fifth of the book under my belt, I'm less certain I've figured out the big reveal. The writing continues to sparkle, and Holmberg continues to write some of the freshest riffs on YA fantasy out there.

The Souls of China – Ian Johnson
Still truckin'.

Clariel – Garth Nix
Finally, rainstorms, and I could read more of this book. This week's chapters featured a ripping battle with a Free Magic spirit, and for personal reasons, Nix's portrayal of Clariel's affectionate but clueless and spineless father hurt. Also, it looks like everyone has an angle, and it is glorious.

Captive Prince vol.2 - CS Pacat
For reasons.

What I'm Reading Next
I'm about 1/7 of the way through my read-these-first shortlist, and will continue to pick volumes off in the coming week. Black and DiTerlizzi's Lucinda's Secret is currently at the top of the list.

これで以上です。
lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)
[personal profile] lebateleur
...the first 13 minutes of last night's Raw.

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. I have been waiting almost half a decade for this story arc and I did not think it would ever happen and it did. And it not only did it happen, but it happened as if ficcers had scripted it.

Oh my god. My little fangirl heart. It may not be able to take this.

これで以上です。

Household hint

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:47 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Never cared for facecloths. They get sopping wet, they rarely dry out properly, they go moldy in every season but winter and sometimes then, and they don't exfoliate. Scratchy Japanese bathcloths are far preferable, if you get the 'haado' version, but even the soft ones do the reverse of facecloths. (Periodically I remind myself to throw them in the laundry to get rid of Toronto's hard water deposits but that's the extent of the care.) Nonetheless the best purchase I've made recently was a bunch of violently coloured facecloths from the dollar store- because I treat them essentially as one use.

Come home sweaty from work. Don't want to undress and shower and dress again, so I remove damp tshirt, wipe down exposed skin with cool facecloth, and acquire dry top. Facecloth goes over railing in upper hallway. Later I undress, have shower, rinse out bra (a necessity in summer), towel dry and into sleep shirt: and then fetch still damp facecloth and wipe down tub walls and sink, which accumulate shocking amounts of dust and grunge on a daily basis. Put to dry over rail again, throw in laundry basket next day, wash with whatever else requires the dryer. So there you are: half washcloth and half duster, and the better part of both.

Mouse problems

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:11 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Computer, not domestic. Mouse gets hyper in summer and double-clicks everything, so I can't check boxes or back-click to my last page or insert the cursor inside a word without highlighting everything. Have taken to clicking with my middle finger which evidently doesn't twitch the way my index does.

100 Demons is indeed ideal summer reading, as several people noted on the last post, but Judge Dee is even better, being written in my own language. Block's burglar books go down easily- finished two this weekend- but lack the same heft and oomph. In spite of protag's lesbian best friend and her string of girlfriends, more than the protag has. I'd thought from the first book it'd be the other way round.

Everybody has a hungry house dep't:
Friday evening I went to put my Birks on but couldn't find them. Not in the hallway, not by carpet where I drop them when I go to sit on the couch, not in the mudroom ('did I go out to the back yard?'). Couldn't think where I might have put them when I came home. Rousted out old pair, the ill-balanced ones that twinge my tendons, started out and found Birks by the front door. Where I left them when I'd decided to wear my walking shoes against the forecast downpour.

Then that night my knee was twitching so decided to wear a brace to bed. I have two of them and wore both during the day but could find them nowhere at night. Not on the couch (best bet) nor in the sideroom (second best) nor the bedroom nor the kitchen table. Rousted out an old narrow knee brace and used that instead, wondering why my house had become a devouring monster. Saturday, quite by chance, found them atop the printer by my computer table. Now if only my phone stylus and phone case would reappear from the Dungeon Dimensions they dropped into so many months ago...
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
...though it's barely half past July. It's not just the cherries: I observe certain trees going yellowy and Florence's copper maple down the street dropping its leaves in clumps as it usually does when sulking. (Florence planted it some 40 years ago; she just moved into assisted living last month, but was assiduously gardening up to the end.)

Not surprising if the trees are confused. Had the AC on for the last two nights because yesterday's high of 27 happened at 10 pm and its low of 16 at nine this morning: since which the temps have barely budged and we've revelled in (if you're me) or suffered through (if you're everyone else) a grey October day. Back to 28 on Saturday, with thunderstorms, again.

I was awake at 5:30 this morning, unnecessarily and unwillingly, and have been sleep-stunned and eye-achey all day. Partly due to the stress of losing a gold crown on my molar last night and having to get it replaced mid-day, but at least it got recemented where it belongs. Would happily go to bed early and forget clocks, but I have acupuncture tomorrow morning and must be up at an uncivilized 10 am. Never mind being invisible or able to breathe underwater, the superpower I want is to be able to fall asleep whenever I want and wake precisely when I tell myself I will.

A Lack of Definition

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:54 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Weather this warm induces a pleasant mental fog that reminds me of that 100 Demons summer story where Ritsu, drowsing in the heat, sees a visitor coming to the house looking for his grandfather, and recalls that she came ten years ago on a similar hot day. At that time Ritsu's grandfather put her off for a decade, and the story goes on in ways I forget. But at the end Ritsu realizes that even ten years ago his grandfather was already dead and couldn't have been nogotiating contracts with youkai or ghosts or whatever the woman is. Or couldn't except he's Ritsu's grandfather and does. But as in that story, if you start reading a book in this heat its reality slops out of the covers and takes over your own for a bit. Not a bad thing, depending on what your reality is like currently and what the reality that replaces it is.
Wednesday meme )

What Am I Reading Wednesday - July 12

Jul. 12th, 2017 10:00 pm
lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)
[personal profile] lebateleur
What I Just Finished Reading

10% Happier – Dan Harris
My opinion hasn't been changed by a second read-through: this is an excellent book that does a damn good job of introducing Buddhist concepts without resorting to anodyne BS.

Tarot 101 – Kim Huggens
This book is ultimately good as a reference for learning what sorts of systems and symbolism might be incorporated into any given deck; I was frustrated by how superficial most of the descriptions for any given element were. Perhaps I'm being unfair given that the book is titled Tarot 101, but I also feel there are other authors (e.g., Giles, Kaplan) that do a better job of actually providing basic introductions to said elements, versus saying “these elements exist” and never moving beyond that statement.


What I Am Currently Reading

The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander
God. God. Alexander isn't using big words, or complex sentences, or pages of descriptive text. So how is this book so good? Whenever I reread him (or Katherine Paterson or Scott O'Dell or Jean Craighead George) I realise how much utter shit is out there, and how high my tolerance for it as grown.

The Seeing Stone – Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
Early days for this one, but I'm enjoying the artwork.

The Infidel Stain – MJ Carter
Only read a few chapters this week.

Preacher – All Hell's A-Coming – Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon
Some of the humor is quite dated; I doubt as many people today would find “men had gay sex!” or “feminists exist!” to be guffaw-inducing punchlines as did in the late nineties. But the serious plot elements that pivot on gender roles are touching and pretty damn transgressive given how old this series is.

The Souls of China – Ian Johnson
Still truckin'.

The Hacking of the American Mind – Robert Lustig
Lustig is an entertaining writer, which is good, because he has a hobbyhorse—sugar—that he is flogging to death. That said, the science he uses to back up his concerns seems sound, and he does a better job than most pop science authors of explaining complicated phenomena in layman's terms. That said, I find myself wishing I'd retained more of all that stuff I learned in undergrad, because it would help me to evaluate his claims. I sense the thesis is going to be that corporations have used sugar (and possibly electronics) to addict people to consumerism-driven quick hits of pleasure at the expense of deeper, yet less exciting contentment, but I haven't made it far enough into the volume yet to be sure.

The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry
I'm still enjoying the book, but several major plot developments are being telegraphed from miles away, and I have the sneaking suspicion that the climax is going to be little more than “here is what happened to this group of characters over the course of a year.” Which isn't to say it's a bad or unentertaining book by any means, just that I though it would be something more, or else. I'm not exactly sure how to put it into words.

India – Becky Stephen
A quick easy read, but there's quite a lot of putting lipstick on pigs when it comes to issues of caste and treatment of women.


What I'm Reading Next
Because ongoing reading has gotten a bit out of hand, I have instituted a “complete this first” list that includes the seven “reading now” books above, plus Black and DiTerlizzi's Lucinda's Secret, Naomi Novik's Uprooted, and Alexander's The Black Cauldron. I also have The Strangler Vine and Midnight Riot going on audiobook, because why not?

これで以上です。
Page generated Jul. 26th, 2017 04:40 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios