More Adventures in Learning French

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:21 pm
dbskyler: (Bill smile)
[personal profile] dbskyler
I'm still working on my French, and while it's definitely improved, I still have a very long ways to go. As a lark, I thought I would try to translate one of my old drabbles into French. "How hard could it be?" I thought. But wow, it was so hard! I wore out Google Translate checking translations and back-translations, and I think the result might possibly make sense, but I'm not sure. Anyway, if any of you speak French and want to check it out, it's here:

http://archiveofourown.org/works/11571129

I have also been seeking out French videos to watch / listen to, and I came across this slightly terrifying one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pJMNZLw-XA

I kind of wish I had a video of my face as I slowly managed the translation and figured out what it's about.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:48 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
Just when I was in need of a calming distraction... an unexpected Neko Atsume update appears. I've got to admit that I'd mostly stopped playing but given the number of conference call requests that the team mailbox got bombarded with this afternoon now seems like a good time to start checking in on the Neko Atsume yard again.

In real life feline news Kheldar is thoroughly disappointed by the amount of water that has fallen from the skies today. He has apparently spent most of the day asleep under a bed and is only willing to venture outside now that the rain has slowed from torrential to the occasional bit of drizzle. It is very, very wet underpaw and frankly that's just not acceptable for an elderly cat.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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Doctor Who Helpline

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:58 am
dbskyler: (Thirteenth Doctor)
[personal profile] dbskyler
Seriously funny video made in reaction to the news of the casting of the Thirteenth Doctor:



"At least tell me she'll only be making 79 cents on the dollar of what Peter Capaldi is being paid."

That 13th Doctor Announcement

Jul. 17th, 2017 02:14 pm
dbskyler: (Eleven smile)
[personal profile] dbskyler
I am so incredibly thrilled! I have seriously never, ever, been so excited about the casting of a new Doctor.

Anyone know where I can get an icon of the 13th Doctor? Surely, someone somewhere has screencapped that BBC announcement video?

Several Things Make A Post?

Jul. 17th, 2017 03:35 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
  1. I'm quietly pleased by the Doctor Who casting announcement. I just hope that the writers can step up to it and give her some really good scripts.

  2. Apparently last Friday marked a year of me playing Pokémon Go? I'm playing it less than I used to but I'm still pottering around with it so either that's a hopeless addiction or it's a game that manages to keep long-term player interested.

  3. Went for cocktails at the Rummer on Saturday to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday. It was good evening but I should not be allowed access to both friends and internet at the same time. It turns out that if I wave Etsy pages at people saying things like, "I really like this coat," the general response is "That's awesome, you should buy it." So I've got a fancy new coat on the way to me...

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] sleepyheathen needs to make next month's rent and is selling items, offering commissions, accepting donations, and has an Amazon wishlist up. You can read more, purchase, or reblog here, or donate via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] tony-in-distress is trying to escape an abusive situation and hoping to take her siblings with her. She needs to raise enough money for a deposit on a safe house for her and her siblings to live in. You can read more and help out here.

Anon is raising funds to help a friend cover debt and pay for legal bills after her abusive husband took custody of their youngest son. You can read more and give here; unfortunately due to Australian law apparently they can't provide much information.

Sarah Sadat had to leave her job recently due to stress and is facing mounting medical bills for a failing kidney and previous hospitalization; she has surgery scheduled for next month, and is fundraising to help cover medical and other bills. You can read more and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] ohstephyy was let go from a job three months ago and hasn't been able to get another one; there are also other costs coming up to cover. You can read more and reblog here; a paypal address is available at the post.

[personal profile] laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for [personal profile] kuwdora, a talented vidder who is trying to become a professional editor. She has an opportunity for professional coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but can't afford the expenses on her own. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] tiarasnteakettles who is looking for work as a harpist, including attempting to purchase a harp that would be a massive upgrade from her current instrument and allow her more freedom in performance. You can read more about her situation and reblog here, including links to her Patreon and online store and Paypal donation address.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] wanderlust-anthology, an upcoming anthology of reimagined myths, legends, and folklore based on the theme Quests and Journeys. They are looking for creators for this anthology, which will be a full-color printed book with stories, comics, and artwork. You can read more at their tumblr or at the FAQ here; sign-ups close July 30th.

Housing:

Riel is looking for a roommate in Austin, TX to share a townhouse; she and the other roommate (male) are both grad students, and they do have a cat. Riel is very fandom-friendly. Lease starts in August. You can check out the townhouse here and get in touch at ariellayendler at gmail.com.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

I may have teared up a bit just now

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:35 am
darthfangirl: the twelfth doctor (Default)
[personal profile] darthfangirl
So, it looks like I'll definitely be watching post-Moffat Doctor Who...
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
A mango mixed jelly freeze from Chinatown is the best decision I have made all week.

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