cloudsinvenice: Screencap from an old vampire-hunting video game. It says, "The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night." (Castlevania II: Simon's Quest)
Quiet week post-wise because country slipping (hurtling joyfully, truth be told) into fascism. Always awkward when that happens. Shitposting on my new Tumblr created for the purpose of alternately venting and cheering myself up will continue until morale improves. And we made major headway with the application this week, which has kept us sane.

Meanwhile, I started the annual push to keep The October Country running smoothly for the duration of autumn and particularly October, and as usual Now Winter Comes Slowly is quietly ramping up as well. I'm always fascinated by trying to get under the skin of what works and what doesn't on there - sometimes you can feel like you have your finger on its pulse, other times, it's a mystery why something does or does not appeal.

It's getting me into the Hallowe'en mood, anyway, as is the fact that in the last couple of days I've actually been able to smell that it's autumn, which is no small thing when you're nearly always congested...
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
This is amazing. In the course of only 14 posts, an innocent thread on how to join together two pieces of carpet descends into anger and recrimination...
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
What's going to die out in the next twenty years because the younger generations simply have no attachment to it?

I've been reading this Reddit thread on and off for the past 48 hours; towards the end it repeats a lot as more people just come in going, "cursive" or "cable TV" over and over, but the first, say, 10 subthreads are fascinating. I think my favourite is the wedding china one (I never knew what its historical significance was re: women's personal assets being untouchable in the event of a bankruptcy), but I like the thing about dining rooms too. Certainly, our dining room's dining function is a long way behind the fact that it's also a library whose table is good for working on and using for jigsaws...

The thing with high school reunions is interesting too: increasingly, the difficulty is not in keeping up with people from your past, but avoiding them online...
cloudsinvenice: Tree silhouetted against a twilight sky, with full moon behind it (Twilight tree/moon)
Found a nice new blog, Wyrd Britain, which is full of supernatural stuff and folk horror - specifically I was interested in the latest post, about The Witches and the Grinnygog. I'd thought I knew all of that sort of children's TV series made in Britain in the 80s, but apparently not. Watched it on YouTube and I don't think this one will be getting a DVD revival for the reasons the blogger points out, but it was an interesting curiosity.

Then, through the IMDb page for the series, I came across this Den of Geek article: Spooky and magical 80s kids' TV dramas which mentioned a few more that I'm unfamiliar with. There's also some interesting stuff suggested below it which will enchant anyone of the right age to remember Look and Read...
cloudsinvenice: Tree silhouetted against a twilight sky, with full moon behind it (Twilight tree/moon)
Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders by Gyles Brandreth - This was very satisfying and fun: essentially, if you want to hang out with Oscar Wilde and his friends and solve mysteries, this is the book (and series) for you. And who doesn't want to do that? I'll continue to read these as I spot secondhand copies.

Doctor Occult - Dave Louapre, Dan Sweetman (Vertigo Visions, 1/1) - I hadn't come across Doctor Occult before (appallingly, I still haven't finished reading The Books of Magic; if he's an an issue I have read then I don't recall him), but it turns out he's another old DC character like the Sandman who was resurrected in a new form by Neil Gaiman. Doctor Occult and his partner Rose Psychic are, in this incarnation, aspects of the same being, and when Rose disappears, the Doctor must find her in a world of subconscious desires.

So it's a metaphysical, psychosexual journey where the plot is more character-driven than an ongoing series would demand - in other words, the sort of thing that Vertigo Visions one-shots were made for. The real-world background stuff shows its age a little, in that the gender fluidity of Occult/Rose is counterpointed by a trans interviewee on a TV talk show in a way that's played for 'extreme' value (they're a preacher and have transitioned more than once).

Overall, the comic's typical of Vertigo's attempts to push boundaries in storytelling at the time, and if you love 90s-style pencilling and colouring, the art will certainly be your bag. There's also a hilariously pithy summing up of the characters' adventures up to that point inside the front cover, which makes me want to dig around in our collection to see where else they show up.

Reading next:

A handful of DP7 comics we found in a charity shop.
cloudsinvenice: Medieval art: illuminated manuscript with a knight in gold leaf (semyaza illuminated)
First off, there's another Friending Friendzy post here in case you're looking. Secondly, here's a post from back in July: Why Imzy doesn't have ads, and what we're doing instead which has some stuff I hadn't heard before. I'm not altogether convinced all these ideas will work, but it's interesting anyhow.

Finished recently:

Dance of the Tiger: A Novel of the Ice Age, by Björn Kurtén. The author is an expert on Ice Age fauna, so it's interesting to read speculation rooted in deep knowledge, and his afterword, along with Stephen Jay Gould's introduction, really add to it. Since the book is a few decades old, I'd imagine that much then-current information has been superseded by new discoveries (we often seem to hear that we've underestimated the Neandertals, for instance), but the characters, situations and world are compelling enough for this not to matter. But the best pleasure of this book is a piece of narrative boldness: a third of the way through, we switch to hear the story from the antagonist's point of view, before returning to the protagonist for the last third. The only real problem for me is that the ending feels very rushed, which is a pity after everything else has been so cleverly set up and allowed room to breathe.

Currently reading:

Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders, by Gyles Brandreth. I thought that what I'd previously read was the first in the series: actually this is the first, and that was the second. It doesn't matter, though if you're looking for the series in America you need to know that some of the titles have been changed for that market. Here's a nice interview with the author, too, in which he theorises that Wilde may have been the model for Mycroft Holmes.

Good Kings Bad Kings, by Susan Nussbaum. So far this is very good, though harrowing at points. I'm very glad it was recommended to me.

Reading next:

Something digital in a waiting room, probably.
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
I saw the movie! I'm just going to bullet point everything that comes to mind because coherent reviews are some way beyond me at this point.

spoilers spoiling for a fight )

ETA: Someone on FFA caught an interview with the writers. Again, SPOILERS:
cloudsinvenice: Tree silhouetted against a twilight sky, with full moon behind it (Twilight tree/moon)
I get asked about making these every year, so this time I thought I'd take pictures during the process and make a tutorial. This is probably more than you need to know (in the later stages it's not unlike working with pumpkin; there's just more resistance), but here's something to bookmark in case you make one next year or for some other festival with lanterns. And please post a picture if you do!

You'll that vegetable which goes by one of the above names, depending where you live, plus a good sturdy vegetable knife (whatever you use to cut carrots will work; they're of a similar density/brittleness) and a dessertspoon or tablespoon, and it helps a lot to have a craft/hobby/breakaway knife for the detail work.

'Aha! I see you've played Knifey Spoony before!' )

Happy Hallowe'en! :D
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
I can't believe it's been a month since I did this, but then it was a very busy one...

...and then I cleverly left in the filler text and had to edit the cut )
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
...but this is an incredibly weird list:

I mean, there are the obvious blockbusters that people love to mock, like Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey and The Da Vinci Code, but otherwise a lot of the significance escapes me; they seem to be American popular political/psychological hits, plus the odd work of Nazi propaganda that a lot of history students will actually have read because they're studying the period.

Anyway, I've read 12/100, and I've got Peyton Place on the shelf waiting for me to get round to it...
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
We've just spent the last half hour watching videos of this cockatoo. He's fantastic!
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
Close enough, I guess. But I've decided to give myself an amnesty on the backlog; there comes a point when it's just irrational to attempt to catch up on five months' worth of unwritten-up books.

So, most recently... )
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
Naturally after the tumult of The End Of Hannibal, I had to get back into Ripper Street. I am assured that it's worth hanging in there for, but my god, it's accomplished more wailing and gnashing of teeth in this house in the first four episodes of season 3 than Hannibal did in an entire three seasons. Yes, even the episode with the... laboratory slides...

Reassuringly, vidders have made two versions of the Friends opening credits, remixed a la Hannibal:
cloudsinvenice: Tony Stark removing his old arc reactor (Iron Man unplug)
The story of the women's history museum which mysteriously transformed (via the process, often contentious in British life, of getting planning permission) into a sensationalist-looking Jack the Ripper museum is making its way around the world. Here's a few interesting links:

- The Guardian: Jack the Ripper's victims deserve to be commemorated. But like this?
- [personal profile] londonkds: Fisking the Jack the Ripper Museum
- 38 Degrees petition to Tower Hamlets Council: Celebrate Suffragettes Not Serial Killers
- Protest at the museum opening on Tuesday 4th August! Women's history is not Jack the Ripper!

Other things:

- Jacqueline Wilson has written a new take on What Katy Did.
- Twitter, unable to grasp that endless growth might not be possible or desirable, considers being more like Facebook.
- [ profile] arcadiaego informs me of the existence of a longstanding fan project at [profile] read_lotr_aloud, where a small group of fans have spent most of the last decade building up a chapter-by-chapter audiobook. Sean Astin even reads the first section! Is anyone aware of other projects like this?
- [ profile] ladysisyphus has an epic post on The Blair Witch Project and the movies that tried to emulate its impact without really understanding it. So delicious to see a good chunk of horror meta on LJ!
- In other news, shoestring film production company Mansfield Dark have come up with a beautiful 12-minute shadow puppet version of Count Magnus by M.R. James. You can see the trailer here and also find a link to buy the DVD, which comes with a lovely piece of art on the slipcase. Mine arrived this morning, to my considerable delight. The Mansfield Dark guys are both talented and ingenious, making everything from this gorgeousness to comedy to LGBT thrillers, so go check them out.
- A friend recommended browser extension FB Purity as a solution to the man ways in which Facebook is annoying. I haven't installed it yet, but perhaps some of you feel like trying it too.
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
...Robin of Sherwood is coming back as a one-off radio play with many of the original cast! :D

ETA: Here's another article from the Radio Times website, with a slightly different list. Very encouraging so far...
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default) least, insofar as it furnishes me with gems like this video:

A Horse Says 'Benny Hill' In LOTR
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Iron Man flying)
I fell out of doing the Wednesday reading meme back in April, which is unfortunate because at the time I still had a backlog dating from the end of February to work on. So, nearly five months' worth of books...

...will certainly not be tackled in this one post, but I can make a dent in them at least. )

Well, this has taken me into April. I'm going to try and post another batch of these every day until I get to what I'm reading now...
cloudsinvenice: 1890s woman sprawling exhausted on a sofa (Young Lady After The Ball)
To my utter delight, it emerges that The Independent has a feature that is basically Fandom Wank in non-fannish contexts. The examples that brought this to light:

- Two men have ridiculous fight about how many days are in a week

Marks and Spencer didn't give an elderly couple two tea bags and people on Facebook can't cope


cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
Madame Arcati

October 2016

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