x_los: (The Books One)
Dirty books reveal secret lives of people living in mediaeval times
The old Irish pound or punt is back in the shops of an Ulster town.
Cult burger restaurant MEATmarket opens
The Superhero Men Don't See: Evidence
Meanwhile Connect: Property Search
Meanwhile Use: Benefits to Landlords
Finding Empty Space for your Project
make use of the increasing number of empty shops
Wilesden Meanwhile Project
Crayon Dragon, Student Film
Creative Space: London
WritingPlan: Empty Shops Network
Doom and Lady Loki: weirdly shippy?
Nigella's White Bean Mash
Children's shows to leave BBC One
When publishing goes wrong…Starring Undead Press
10 Times the Doctor Acted Like a Total Bastard on Doctor Who: Some good points, some not-very-factual statements, some whining
Rise in tuition fees 'did not boost teaching time'
Kate Beaton comic
Kenneth Townsend Robin Hood Series
Paper Towels: You’re Using ‘Em All Wrong
Open a Banana like a Monkey
Frank Miller and the Legion of Whores
Watch Zooey Deschanel’s Hilarious Brother Jooey Push All of Siri’s Buttons
Choose a Board Game Flowchart
Cardboard, Cardboard, Cardboard!
Designing Cardboard Furniture
Lady Loki & Leah
How Do You Get Started: Meanwhile Project
London Pop-ups, Advice & Resources: 2 - Retail Design
The Place Station
Meanwhile Connect Property Search
Interesting snippet of earlier draft of Thor script
SEVERAL reworkings of chunks of the Thor script
Shops on Camberwell Road such as Carnell Motorbikes and part of Butterfly Walk remain empty for as much as eight years.
Properties to Let-->talk to them about the Portas Review/High Street Innovation Fund?
popupspace blog
Check Out the Horrifically Inappropriate Outfit That Got a 14-Year-Old Sent to the Principal’s Office
"RARE DOINGS AT CAMBERWELL" Radical History Walk
How To Embellish Any T-Shirt (With Designer Natalie Chanin!)
Portas review ignites Government innovation fund for high street: "offering a ‘Portas Plus’ deal with a range of measures designed to “help local people turn their high streets into the beating hearts of their communities once again.”"
Happy Anniversary: 10 Magical Moments of Courtney Stodden & Doug Hutchison’s Marriage







Megan Ellison Embodies All You Think You Hate About Lena Dunham’s Privilege
Mark Zuckerberg Added a Life Event to May 19, 2012 on His Timeline
Moscow metro station (lovely)
other Moscow metro station, also awesome
An Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace: review of a cookbook I'm interested in
inside Angers tram, nice design
exterior Angers rainbow tram
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Track Coach Fired After She Went to Prom With a 17-Year-Old Student
Our Obsession with Longevity is Making our Lives Miserable
The Religious Fanatics Who Want to Protect Men From Women Online
Sentiment in Avengers: meh
x_los: (Russian Church)
Badger was over all weekend. Watched most of A:EMH S1, which largely holds up on rewatch. Never sure if Wakanda is doing something cool in imagining an isolationist G8-bitch-slapping world-power African nation that challenges viewers' basic colonialist assumptions, or if Wakanda is simply a weird amalgam of African stereotypes that's simultaneously doing positive and racist things. I think a bit of both, though obviously the second possibility sort of admits the first.

Lost a lot of games, which disappoints me a bit. Normally Katy and I do about equally well, and this weekend we did about equally poorly, both in Carcassone and Tigris and Euphrates. Kind of want to play a game I know I'm fine at to regain mojo and feel generally better. Haven't won anything since Trivial Pursuit like two weeks ago, I don't think, despite since playing 3 games of Carcassone, a game of London, and a game of T&E. This is unusual and more annoying than it should be, given am grown ass woman and, like Dar Williams says, cooler than this. Wish I were generally less twitchy and neurotic about feeling dumb. On the plus side, getting more used to T&E, and may not actually hate it! Still don't know about that Caylus (the game, not the founder of the Klingon warrior code). It seems crap, but might /not/ be, if we played with an additional person.

Cleaned up all the lingering photos on my computer, deleted what I didn't need, and popped anything potentially relevant onto fb. If by relevant you mean 'a picture of Sasa looking unspeakable stupid'.

Made pizzas with Robin. She did nice bases, but must remember these take longer to cook through than plain Morrisons cardboard wafers, and as such need like 18 min, perhaps. Also made meatloaf with roastinis and optional mushroom gravy on the side, combining Nigella's technique with the Joy of Cooking 'making it actually taste of anything'. For Nigella's bacon wrap, I have GOT to remember to use more bacon than I did, and to actually swaddle it around the sides/top it generously, so things don't curl up in this niggardly fashion.

Today I applied for like 6 McDonald's level food service jobs. Modified my food!CV and wrote individual cover letters. Created a profile on a childcare site and addressed a question to a specific job-poster. Doing half and half hours-long academic admin and quicker basic NEED SOME MONEY TO LIVE!! job aps now.

Also finished edits for P4 and asked Katy to shift scenes around according to her editoral whim. Reading it through tomorrow, so she can do the same, I can make last changes, and hopefully we can have the draft out to people late Monday night, so they'll have some time/two days before the readthrough to look it over.

Showed the house Friday and today. Have another person tomorrow. Put up everything possible for ebay free listings. Cleaned the hell out of the house Friday, and did some more today.

I listened to all the music mock-ups the composing staff have done for the radio plays last night, and some of it was awesomely good. One of the main character themes sounds sooomewhat like American McGee's Alice's soundtrack. I'm on the whole really impressed with the professionalism, and with the sort of--reality of the project? Composers!! We met with them, I gave feedback, they worked MAGIC!! with scores and bullshit, I gave feedback, music baby was formed. It's part power and also like, part kind of--awe? It's a fanproject, I know, but there's something awesome
about like, a total thing coming together, and being made where there was nothing, and developing it cradle to grave.

Wrote people about council tax, job ap writing (the QM job centre), the Jubilee event (which Cambridge House no longer wants to do, so I'm left with THREE WEEKS to hook up with other people, plan my own from scratch, or find something else good to go to--thanks a /lot/, guys), book requests for Tor, the music, upcoming social plans, etc. Updated calendar and flatmates spreadsheet, cleaned out emails, etc. Kind of productive weekend despite the heavy social aspect.

THOR!!

Jun. 6th, 2011 03:47 pm
x_los: (On A Ship)
Thor was pretty good, but Nadja's I LOVE IT hyped me up for like, another Dark Knight or Iron Man, and what I got was: nice!, but like, wtf that romance plot.

I love how cheerfully dim everyone is in Asgard. These should have been Loki's first clues he wasn't wholly a local boy:

a) the fact that his default expression is not :D, and/or
b) that his default thought is not GLORY! MEAT! OH, A FRIEND! HI FRIEND!! HIIIII!!!!!!

Alex pointed out that the CGI was well gorgeous, as was the costume design. I agree, this is attractive stuff.

Loki was pretty good as an ambiguous villain. Like Alex, I'm liking his long term planning mixed with fluidity. Though Katy was like "I do not believe this guy has "always been a mysterious trickster," he seems to have "always been a sulky emo bitch." The complexity of his relationship with Thor and Odin was interestingly alluded to, so that was all right. The ending got odd. He had to have known Odin would think elements of these shenanigans sucked donkey balls, and a relatively gentle 'nope' is really... better than he might have expected. Not THIS *LITERALLY* PUSHES ME OVER THE EDGE!! material. Also the MAYBE I WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR LADYFRIEND, THOR, EH, EH?! was a bit weeeak. Loki's Ice Giant heritage: pretty inventively dealt with, I like it.

I rather like this slightly twisty Odin. Given that myth!Odin is WELL crazy, though, if anything he was NOT MAD ENOUGH here. Because myth!Odin is fucking, fucking nuts, and this Odin was like, a light sprinkling of nuts atop a salad of sanity.

Generally I love that Gate Keeper. And the rainbow bridge was 100% less stupid than I'd thought it would look on-screen from having read the myths.

Natalie Portman could not have been more Just There, and all the stuff on Earth felt oddly contained and small. Kept expecting the script to dovetail, and for these characters to GO somewhere or DO something or even leave the Craterville Metro Area, but noooo. SHEILD was more MIB than UNIT!American Division this week, and thus less fun.

Any time Thor encounters Human Norms is guaranteed stupid fun. Throw that coffee cup down! Sneer at the medical orderlies! Tell them of your literally godlike prowess! Bless.
x_los: (Japanese Pretty)
If a writer's first book comes out and you really like it, and then the subsequent books are less good, you begin to distrust your good opinion of the debut novel. Its goodness begins to seem almost accidental. A book is not an object in and of itself, but an interconnected synergy of authorial intent and reader effort--a different experience for every reader. If the author's successive books are poor, you wonder how much of the stuff you loved in the earlier book was all stuff you'd brought to the table. You start to feel like you invited Audrey Niffenegger to a pot luck, and you were impressed by the HUGE TUPPERWARE she brought, only later to discover that inside that tupperware there were like three rice crispy treats. The store-bought kind in the blue metallic wrappers. And you eat those because you're hungry and they exist and only taste a /little/ of despair, but no one's ever been like 'oh, fuck homemade rice crispy treats, I long for those sweet bastardized Rice Krispies!!"*

So anyway, I read Audrey Niffengger's "The Three Incestuous Sisters."

To begin with, if you were hoping for some Steamy Incestuous Lesbian Action!!! this is not the book for you. In fact I am not 100% on what definition of 'Incestuous' Niffenegger is working off of, but whatevs, if I wanted female family bonding with creepy incestual overtones I'd just call up Danny and ask if we could bi-continentally watch the Gilmore Girls.**

It is, instead, a large, well-bound 'visual novel' (Niffenegger's term). Someone on goodreads here, who's a big fan of the artwork, says "A book like this demands excellent illustration, and Niffenegger has provided that in spades. (The description she gives of how the illustrations were made is truly daunting.) These are pictures that draw the attention like few others in recent graphic novels; they ignore current trends in graphic novel design, instead going for a modern-primitive approach. It's amateurism, but it's inspired amateurism (think Louis Wain here, perhaps), with spare, almost unformed human figures that play out the story against backgrounds that are richly-detailed and show great artistry. There is much to be said here about the juxtaposition; I am, however, not the person to say it."

Niffenegger's description of the detailed aqua-tinting process, this person's favorable, insightful comments on the art style, and Katy the Estimable Girlfriend's own affection for the rough illustrations all sway me positively. In the end, though, for all it's lightly eerie and intriguing, I cannot love the art which is so vital a component of this book.

The sparse prose style evokes artistic vagueness. I hate that as a trend in fiction--pretty detachment that never quite exposes or commits the author to anything definite and damning. Artistic vagueness seems unimpeachable and feels soulless and a bit craven. I like my prose and my art to be fully explored, dense, rich, not--not sketched, because what is a sketch but potential you were too afraid to ruin and so never explored the promise of?

I could have loved this novel, or been enchanted by this rich picture book, but the in-between visual novel product is a bit hamstrung.

John Scalzi, though, once gave a talk at Prairie Lights in Iowa City about "The Sagan Diary," which forms a part of his "Old Man" novels' universe. As he described it, "The Sagan Diary" is a prose poetry character exploration of a woman who was a protagonist (but not a POV character) in the series proper. He said it was important to him to publish this. While he recognized that its audience was limited, he felt there was an audience for it. Commercial success on another front gave him a platform, and fostered the publisher-trust necessary for this unusual book to see publication. It's good to see successful writers using that success to publish unusual, innovative, personal books with limited commercial appeal. What is artistic success for it not to enable you to push further? No one puts a safety net under you so you can sit in an arm chair: it's there so you can learn a trapeze act.

Ultimately if I don't like the book, I love the idea of the book. And it's not without some real charm: 'the naming of things' is a great pannel. 'Ophie, horrified' and 'Clothilde, horrified' have really gorgeous composition. I was intrigued by Clothilde and her nephew's psychic connection. But there's something a bit obvious about Bettine The Pretty One getting the guy and Ophie The Smart One never having any opportunity to be anything but stupid about a boy and jealous of her pretty sister, throwing their long and apparently 'incestuously' close relationship over for some unrequited angsting the minute the new Lighthouse Keeper shows.

* Whenever I read Richard Lawson's hilarious Gawker recaps of hideously bad shows I read the recaps to but do not actually watch (TRES SAD), I end up sounding like him for a day. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. God David Tennant's Doctor has ruined me for any actual earnest contrition ever.
** I will never do this. Sorry Danny. Put down the popcorn and remove that look on tentative hope from your face. It's never that day. It's never Cookie Time.***
***But when you get internet if we could arrange for more HIGHLANDER THE SERIES!!1! you know, I just might be willing. Maybe. Maybe.
x_los: (Japanese Pretty)
If a writer's first book comes out and you really like it, and then the subsequent books are less good, you begin to distrust your good opinion of the debut novel. Its goodness begins to seem almost accidental. A book is not an object in and of itself, but an interconnected synergy of authorial intent and reader effort--a different experience for every reader. If the author's successive books are poor, you wonder how much of the stuff you loved in the earlier book was all stuff you'd brought to the table. You start to feel like you invited Audrey Niffenegger to a pot luck, and you were impressed by the HUGE TUPPERWARE she brought, only later to discover that inside that tupperware there were like three rice crispy treats. The store-bought kind in the blue metallic wrappers. And you eat those because you're hungry and they exist and only taste a /little/ of despair, but no one's ever been like 'oh, fuck homemade rice crispy treats, I long for those sweet bastardized Rice Krispies!!"*

So anyway, I read Audrey Niffengger's "The Three Incestuous Sisters."

To begin with, if you were hoping for some Steamy Incestuous Lesbian Action!!! this is not the book for you. In fact I am not 100% on what definition of 'Incestuous' Niffenegger is working off of, but whatevs, if I wanted female family bonding with creepy incestual overtones I'd just call up Danny and ask if we could bi-continentally watch the Gilmore Girls.**

It is, instead, a large, well-bound 'visual novel' (Niffenegger's term). Someone on goodreads here, who's a big fan of the artwork, says "A book like this demands excellent illustration, and Niffenegger has provided that in spades. (The description she gives of how the illustrations were made is truly daunting.) These are pictures that draw the attention like few others in recent graphic novels; they ignore current trends in graphic novel design, instead going for a modern-primitive approach. It's amateurism, but it's inspired amateurism (think Louis Wain here, perhaps), with spare, almost unformed human figures that play out the story against backgrounds that are richly-detailed and show great artistry. There is much to be said here about the juxtaposition; I am, however, not the person to say it."

Niffenegger's description of the detailed aqua-tinting process, this person's favorable, insightful comments on the art style, and Katy the Estimable Girlfriend's own affection for the rough illustrations all sway me positively. In the end, though, for all it's lightly eerie and intriguing, I cannot love the art which is so vital a component of this book.

The sparse prose style evokes artistic vagueness. I hate that as a trend in fiction--pretty detachment that never quite exposes or commits the author to anything definite and damning. Artistic vagueness seems unimpeachable and feels soulless and a bit craven. I like my prose and my art to be fully explored, dense, rich, not--not sketched, because what is a sketch but potential you were too afraid to ruin and so never explored the promise of?

I could have loved this novel, or been enchanted by this rich picture book, but the in-between visual novel product is a bit hamstrung.

John Scalzi, though, once gave a talk at Prairie Lights in Iowa City about "The Sagan Diary," which forms a part of his "Old Man" novels' universe. As he described it, "The Sagan Diary" is a prose poetry character exploration of a woman who was a protagonist (but not a POV character) in the series proper. He said it was important to him to publish this. While he recognized that its audience was limited, he felt there was an audience for it. Commercial success on another front gave him a platform, and fostered the publisher-trust necessary for this unusual book to see publication. It's good to see successful writers using that success to publish unusual, innovative, personal books with limited commercial appeal. What is artistic success for it not to enable you to push further? No one puts a safety net under you so you can sit in an arm chair: it's there so you can learn a trapeze act.

Ultimately if I don't like the book, I love the idea of the book. And it's not without some real charm: 'the naming of things' is a great pannel. 'Ophie, horrified' and 'Clothilde, horrified' have really gorgeous composition. I was intrigued by Clothilde and her nephew's psychic connection. But there's something a bit obvious about Bettine The Pretty One getting the guy and Ophie The Smart One never having any opportunity to be anything but stupid about a boy and jealous of her pretty sister, throwing their long and apparently 'incestuously' close relationship over for some unrequited angsting the minute the new Lighthouse Keeper shows.

* Whenever I read Richard Lawson's hilarious Gawker recaps of hideously bad shows I read the recaps to but do not actually watch (TRES SAD), I end up sounding like him for a day. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. God David Tennant's Doctor has ruined me for any actual earnest contrition ever.
** I will never do this. Sorry Danny. Put down the popcorn and remove that look on tentative hope from your face. It's never that day. It's never Cookie Time.***
***But when you get internet if we could arrange for more HIGHLANDER THE SERIES!!1! you know, I just might be willing. Maybe. Maybe.

Writing

May. 22nd, 2007 01:37 am
x_los: (Default)
*If anyone needs me, facebook or lj me, as my phone's died and I can't find the charger*


When you edit something, any creative writing work, there's Hard Edit and Smooth Edit. Hard Edit does the rip-the-guts-up work, where you get under the project and just fuck around down there like you're a bored Latino mechanic toying with an El Camino on cinderblocks that will never run run again anyway, with that kind of skilled wanton desire to rip the shit out of the frame and shove something that will turn over in there. Smooth edit is when you come in the day after than and Emily Post it so that all it's little rough edges are soothed down and the writing is toped with pink bows, which people notice because they're bows, usually not getting that the real work that makes everything function is something below that, which is fine because good writing is so impregnable that it's hard to figure out exactly why it's working.

I edited a nonfic piece Mexican Mechanic style tonight, after a workshop in which I droped the ball, and it felt good. It went from two pages to six, but that's okay. I cut things and gave it the thematic equivalent of whitewall tires and a door that does not open out, but slides up on rails.

Molly, Therese and I got the first half of Vaguely in the scripted form we're handing out to workshoppers.This is vital, because in order for Therese to start paneling the script has to be adamantium solid. I almost want to finish writing the comic before sending out the first issue, to avoid continuity issues of any kind, but it's not practicable, and besides, should the comic even be moderatly sucessful that kind of thing can be knit together in re-issue without the world ending.

Sam suggested 'Circus' for tonight's sonnet topic (Project One Sonnet A Day goes excellently, 10 new ones so far (I missed three days with new classes and am catching up on that still by two a day-ing, which is kind of demanding). Thanks to Sam, because I'm really happy with it. It's about the death of a trapeze artist named Elise because her partner purposefully didn't catch her. I'm thinking of doing several that have a narative thread which focus on a circus. That's a little Meghan Donner, but I think we have different enough voices and theme-interests for me to avoid treading her ground.

First Spanish class was easy, and I felt like a shit. Am meeting with the department head tomorrow morning to transfer into intermediate one if possible. Then I'll finish intermediate one and two during the summer, take conversation classes during the year, and pick up my Spanish minor like a charm. STFU mom, once I have two minors you can't bitch about me droping history. If I end up doing that. Yeah...

Productivity. Maaaaaaaaaah.

Writing

May. 22nd, 2007 01:37 am
x_los: (Default)
*If anyone needs me, facebook or lj me, as my phone's died and I can't find the charger*


When you edit something, any creative writing work, there's Hard Edit and Smooth Edit. Hard Edit does the rip-the-guts-up work, where you get under the project and just fuck around down there like you're a bored Latino mechanic toying with an El Camino on cinderblocks that will never run run again anyway, with that kind of skilled wanton desire to rip the shit out of the frame and shove something that will turn over in there. Smooth edit is when you come in the day after than and Emily Post it so that all it's little rough edges are soothed down and the writing is toped with pink bows, which people notice because they're bows, usually not getting that the real work that makes everything function is something below that, which is fine because good writing is so impregnable that it's hard to figure out exactly why it's working.

I edited a nonfic piece Mexican Mechanic style tonight, after a workshop in which I droped the ball, and it felt good. It went from two pages to six, but that's okay. I cut things and gave it the thematic equivalent of whitewall tires and a door that does not open out, but slides up on rails.

Molly, Therese and I got the first half of Vaguely in the scripted form we're handing out to workshoppers.This is vital, because in order for Therese to start paneling the script has to be adamantium solid. I almost want to finish writing the comic before sending out the first issue, to avoid continuity issues of any kind, but it's not practicable, and besides, should the comic even be moderatly sucessful that kind of thing can be knit together in re-issue without the world ending.

Sam suggested 'Circus' for tonight's sonnet topic (Project One Sonnet A Day goes excellently, 10 new ones so far (I missed three days with new classes and am catching up on that still by two a day-ing, which is kind of demanding). Thanks to Sam, because I'm really happy with it. It's about the death of a trapeze artist named Elise because her partner purposefully didn't catch her. I'm thinking of doing several that have a narative thread which focus on a circus. That's a little Meghan Donner, but I think we have different enough voices and theme-interests for me to avoid treading her ground.

First Spanish class was easy, and I felt like a shit. Am meeting with the department head tomorrow morning to transfer into intermediate one if possible. Then I'll finish intermediate one and two during the summer, take conversation classes during the year, and pick up my Spanish minor like a charm. STFU mom, once I have two minors you can't bitch about me droping history. If I end up doing that. Yeah...

Productivity. Maaaaaaaaaah.

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