Read Megan Whalen Turner's Thick as Thieves
, the fifth book in the Queen's Thief series, about Kamet (Nahuseresh's secretary.) I enjoyed this a lot. She does some very cool things with past canon -- I did not see (spoiler) coming, and was delighted. I loved the ending.( spoilers )
Reread/skimmed through most of King of Attolia
after finishing Thick as Thieves
, to remind myself how much I love Eugenides/Attolia as a pairing. They're so complicated and intense, and their love makes the trauma worthwhile but doesn't make it not exist.
Read Omar Sakr's These Wild Houses
. Poetry book by a bisexual Arab Australian poet from Western Sydney. It has a very strong sense of place -- I'm not from Sydney, but Melbourne's West is like that too. Tender poems about his family and the good and the bad there. Wry poems about what he expects his audience to assume about him from his demographic notes. Lyrical poems about landscapes and interiors, the launderettes and mosques and living rooms he knows. I particularly liked 'Call Off Duty', about coming out to his brother.
Started Max Gladstone's Four Roads Cross
. That moment, very early on, when I went "IS HE DOING THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS? HE IS, ISN'T HE. fuck" I love this world. It's common in fantasy and SF to make a point of how the zombies and vampires etc are NOT metaphorical, because otherwise the non-genre readers will assume they are and try to find what their exact Real World Analogues the vampires etc Represent, as they were taught to do in eighth grade literature because if the supernatural entities weren't here to teach an Important Moral Lesson about our world then that would be Escapism, which is Bad and Unhealthy. And I understand that impulse, and I do like reading about vampires that are actually vampires, but I do also love that Gladstone's not afraid to get very allegorical indeed.Comics
Dumbing of Age: I am so with Carla on this
. Yeah, enemies-to-lovers worked for Ruth and Billie, but that doesn't mean Carla should put up with Mary's bullshit. They're totally incompatible. If they were X-Men supervillains, Carla would be Arcade and Mary would be Senator Robert Kelly... okay, that metaphor might not be very helpful, but my point is, even their flaws aren't compatible. (Since then, Carla/Mary got jossed, to Carla's great relief. Also Mary used Revelation 3:16 on Joyce -- that's gotta sting, since it's probably something past-Joyce would have believed about now-Joyce.)
(Side note: I had to wiki-dive to find the names of the supervillains I was thinking of. Along the way, I learned that the villain Jay and Miles were talking about in the X-Plain The X-Men episodes I've been listening to before falling asleep, whom I thought was named Nastier, is actually spelled N'astirh. And to think that people tease J.R. Ward for having characters named Vishous and Tohrture!)
Questionable Content: Winslow's body-shopping is making me so happy and also so envious. I want a robot body!TV and Movies
Watched the first episode of Cleverman
season 2. The season 1 finale left them with a problem in terms of where to go from there. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate what a plausible Australian dystopia this Australian dystopia is? The white Australian dudebros who get stuck into Waruu (who, btw, does not appear to have learned anything at all from the previous season) are drawn entirely from life, as is the detention centre, the politicians, and the news people.Music
Listened to clipping.'s midcity
, the second album of theirs I've listened to. It hurts a lot worse than Splendor & Misery
, and not just in the sense that they're deliberately making the noise really painful sometimes. (Sometimes having sensory integration stuff is helpful with an album like this. I know how to listen to painful sounds, and how to like sounds that aren't traditionally musical or beautiful.) For example, there's a track where they replace the swear words with more and more censor bleeps until the bleeps are just one steady piercing tone.
Not a good one to listen to in the car (I have a bad habit of classing albums I listen to along the good for car/not good for car binary.) ...I typed that, and then
heard Daveed Diggs rap, in a tone of deeply amused incredulity, "They say they want that raw shit, that raw shit / That turn that beat up in your car shit, your car shit [...] They say they miss them old school gangstas..." And yeah, that might be this album's thesis statement. This album gives gangster rap a long, hard stare. If I were gangster rap, I would look away first. (I am not gangster rap. But then, neither is gangster rap.)
Listened to Ghoul's Dungeon Bastards
. Thrash metal. This, by contrast, is
good car music. Or if the site you go to for housekeeping advice instructs you to "put on some peppy music" and you don't do
peppy but do need something energetic to clean to, this might be your go to album for that. I could say something about how this album expresses themes of nuclear anxiety and rebellion squarely placing the songwriters in Generation X, but I couldn't do so with a straight face.
Listened to clipping.'s CLPPNG
. ( cut for length )Games
Played Dream Daddy
, the queer dad dating sim. Access note: you know that effect some visual novels have where the screen suddenly shakes back and forth? It overuses that really badly. I had a headache by the end of it (it's less bad, but still not absent, if you choose the lowest graphics option.) Apart from that I liked it. My first playthrough, I was a good dad to my daughter Amanda, and she got the happy ending. I tried to romance Mat the barista-musician, but he wanted to just be friends, probably because I was so bad at the piano minigame. (Later I found out that you're meant to sing into the microphone. The what? I don't have a microphone.) Second play-through, I romanced Damian Bloodmarch, goth dad and closet animal shelter volunteer.
There was wank on Tumblr because of this game, and yeah, I am calling this fandom wank not Discourse because no, fuck you, not even. So... like a lot of visual novels, notably Hatoful Boyfriend
, Dream Daddy
has a goes-to-eleven ridiculous dark route. Or had -- it's not playable. It was gonna be a Halloween special or something. But some players found it anyway and got very angry because it's problematic or homophobic or something
for one queer character out of seven to turn out to be evil. Or something. I read the script
for the unplayable bad route, and I liked it. It's fun, it's entirely genre-compliant, and omfg if that's too dark for you, please never play Hatoful Boyfriend
Finished all the Hexcells Infinite
Started playing Super Star Path
, which is an arcade game where you're a rocket pilot who shoots aliens (with the goal of re-stealing the technology we stole from the aliens, which the aliens have taken back.) The boss fights are very danmaku/bullet hell, and the missions before the boss fights are a maze that can be rendered unsolvable very, very easily. I'm dying a lot.hexarchate_rpg
is going to some interesting places. One of us has just made first contact with the sentient enslaved alien powering our ship. Another character's just discovered yet another character's real identity, although she doesn't know what
she knows yet. Most of the rest (including my character) are making polite conversation with a scientist and a diplomat who may or may not be trying to entrap us into confessing to heresy. I'm holding a tray and asking the scientist about his research. It's a heavy enough tray that my definitely not-a-fighter character hopes to use it as a shield if things go badly enough.Other
Tried out a recipe for homemade laundry powder I found on Tumblr. (Recipe is here
, but all you need to know: grate a bar of plain soap, combine with one cup of 'lectric soda (sodium carbonate, aka washing soda, aka soda ash) and one cup of borax. Add some essential oil if you really want. Use 1-2 tbsp per wash.)
It worked fine. The only part that didn't go as usual was that when I changed into my freshly laundered pyjamas, opened the closet, and threw the day's clothes into the laundry hamper in there, the thud of the clothes was followed by a sudden meow from inside the hamper. The closet door had been ajar, but so close to closed I wouldn't have thought anyone could get in there.
Got around to installing Audacity and recreating a ringtone/alert sound I had back when I had an iPhone (iOS uses m4r for ringtones. Android uses mp3 and doesn't know what an m4r is.) It's the first couple of bars of the Indigo Girls' 'Galileo', that little marimba (xylophone?) riff. Neatly trimmed so it repeats properly. I like it, and I like that it's so possible
Beatrice's x-treme grooming continues: Dorian's temples are completely bald. I should have called her Barbara.