So rap541 (who is the biggest enabler who ever enabled, thanks TONS, Rappy!) told me about this book called "Flu" by New York Times science writer Gina Kolata, about the influenza pandemic of 1918. It sounds intriguing, but I checked it out on Amazon and on Apple, and it's the exact same price on both Kindle and iBooks, $8.99 CDN. Which company is marginally less evil?
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In other news, had a delicious Greek dinner with katherine and her partner, although I am now very, very full.
In other, other news, cutting for spoilers for all aired World Cup games. ( Read more...Collapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://raincitygirl.dreamwidth.org/164380.html. Please comment there using OpenID or here at Livejournal. You decide!
I have returned from a visit to the country of pain, a place where all of us stop from time to time, and some of us live. It is a small country, to hold so many of us; small enough to crawl over, to to learn each stone and shard of glass in the road with a sickening familiarity.
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My own sojourn began without any real warning -- just a sharp ache in my hip which soon spread east and west. Friends had advice: "Try lying on the floor with your legs on a chair." "Try ice." "Try heat." "You know, it's okay to take four Advil at once. My doctor told me once." Nothing worked. I saw a doctor, who suggested that I might have bursitis, or the beginnings of arthritis, and declined to prescribe any medication. I asked about an injection of painkiller, or possibly an anti-inflammatory. He waved such ideas away. "Let's see how it goes," he said.
This was the beginning of my rough education in pain management. Two days later I was on the phone begging for medication, which was granted (albeit slowly through the layers of bureaucracy); three days later I'd received two separate injections, each of which was wonderful... for several hours. And four days later I was a screaming, crying wreck who was taken to the emergency room. Not by sitting in a car seat; that was impossible. I crawled into the back and lay there on my stomach, knees bent.
I'd never gone to an ER for myself before -- I'd only brought other people -- and I'd always considered it a sort of waiting room for Hell. Avoiding hospitals in general had been a priority. My regular provider, however, was perfectly clear on the phone: "We can't help you. Go to the ER."
And here is the first lesson: that pain scale from one to ten? Don't be conservative. Be communicative instead. The scale suggests that ten is the worst pain you can imagine; well, I don't know about you, but I can imagine quite a lot. So fuck that. Here is my new standard:
(1) If the pain seems unendurable, and you don't know how you're going to get through the next five minutes, though you also know you have no choice; and
(2) If you were told you would have to live this way the rest of your life, you would kill yourself --
--That's a 10. Really, it doesn't have to mean burning alive while demons eat your entrails. Your doctor isn't going to understand you grade on a curve. If you desperately need help, let them know you desperately need help.
A few hours later I was discharged from the ER, having had two shots of morphine that just took the edge off. "Get a referral for an orthopedist," they told me. Also, "A hot shower will help." My friend explained, "She tried that this morning. It didn't do anything." The doctor repeated slowly and firmly, as though no one had spoken: "A hot shower."
They did offer me a walker: "If you're willing to have one."
"Why wouldn't I have one?"
"Some people associate it with the elderly..."
I suddenly recalled a time, years previously, when I'd been in Chicago to visit the set of Early Edition. I was hit for the first time by a burning case of plantar fasciitis, and needed to keep weight off the soles of my feet. I'd been offered a walker by a man in a pharmacy, and had been appalled. "I am not using a walker," I'd said firmly. Instead I opted for two canes, which I managed in tandem like crutches.
This time my attitude was different: give me the fucking walker. As I made my way slowly down the hallway toward the exit, I passed through a small group of paramedics, who, seeing my pain, offered to help me get back to my room. "She's been discharged," explained the friend who'd driven me here, blackly amused at their taken-aback looks. I crawled into the back of the car again -- lying on my stomach provided some relief -- and we returned home.
I spent the next five weeks lying on my stomach in my living room, alternating between pain and a pain-nausea pas de deux. It was hard to tell whether the vomiting was caused by the pain or the medication, which was heavy on acetaminophen. ("Am I destroying my liver, or am I just paranoid?")
My friend/assistant moved in and slept on the floor beside me in the living room, with a Doberman and a Bichon curled around her. She (or sometimes, other friends) got me what little food I could eat and brought it to a table by my bed; I ate lying down, or stood up with the walker for a brief period in an attempt to soothe my digestion. Sitting was out of the question.
Here is what I learned: pain is a box. A light, bright trash compactor that takes your life and squeezes it into about a foot square. Anything outside that box has no interest for you, and soon begins to seem unreal. I'd been negotiating to buy a small place in the country -- a place for the future, a place to write those novels that have been stacked up like planes waiting to land; a place with trees and acreage, where I could walk my dogs off-leash. Suddenly it was hard to imagine that I would ever have a life outside the bright white box; this talk of colorful future days seemed like some sort of fever dream. I put it aside. Besides, who could deal with the complexities of buying a farmhouse? I could barely make it to the bathroom and back.
I remember turning my head one afternoon, and glancing from my mattress in the living room straight back through the dining room and kitchen and out the window to the yard, where dappled sunlight gleamed on the waving leaves of a ficus-fig tree. It seemed as though I were looking at an alien planet.
The next lesson: illness begets illness, as other things happened that I could not account for. I got a sore throat and my voice changed. I saw flashing images in the periphery of my vision -- not, as it turned out, a sign my retina was detaching, but that the blood flow to my head had been affected; better see a neurologist. Spasms would descend on me suddenly, usually in the evening, getting worse as the hours progressed. I recall one particular night, at about two in the morning, as my friend desperately massaged me in an effort to lessen the pain. I'd mentioned the ER as the pain wall climbed, but she tried to talk me out of it -- I know she felt, Been there, done that; let me go back to bed. I couldn't blame her. "What can they do for you at this point?" But after another hour of screaming I crawled into the car again, and off we went. There was black humor in it; as I paced with the walker, crying, the patient who was ahead of me in line said to the admissions woman, who was asking about his address, "Um, maybe you should talk to that person first."
They added a muscle relaxant to the morphine injection this time, and it was a blessing from heaven.
Through all this, I would think blankly, "Two weeks ago I was fine." "Three weeks ago I was fine." "A month ago, I was fine." How was this possible?
The hip specialist, when I finally saw him, took one look at me and said, "I've never seen a hip patient lying on their stomach. And I've never seen bursitis cause this much pain." He said that he believed the cause was actually in my lower back (which felt fine). "We'll get you an MRI. I'm betting it'll show herniated disks."
So I was scheduled for an MRI... about a week to ten days later. And here is the other great lesson I learned from my sojourn in pain country: I'd always assumed that if someone was in great pain, the wheels of the bureaucracy would turn quickly. In fact, they turn at exactly the same pace as before. You'll get an MRI in a week or so, unless, as we did, my friend called the MRI place and asked if they had any cancellations sooner. They did -- but we had to be active about it, and then beg. So, victory at getting the MRI that Friday... but then, someone has to write up the report. Heavens, you wouldn't expect that to happen on a weekend. Hopefully he'll get to it on Monday or Tuesday... if you call and push. But then you'll need another appointment with the orthopedist (this time, the spine specialist). With luck, maybe you'll get that another week or ten days after the MRI.
By then, you've heard that magical word, "Epidural." You crawl into the car to see the spine specialist, expecting that now, with the MRI information, he can perform such a procedure. But he doesn't do that; no, you need to make an appointment with the pain management specialist. By now you're a few weeks into this, and it's the first time anybody's suggested that pain management specialists exist.
"And don't think you'll get the epidural then, either," the orthopedist warned, having heard the somewhat unhinged hysterical laughter made by the two friends who'd brought me in. "That'll just be the consult." Which will be in another week to ten days. And unfortunately, nobody can call the office of a pain management specialist and ask to get you in quickly "because she's suffering"; everybody who sees him is suffering.
And so on and so on. Accompanied, of course, by the requisite bureaucratic torment beloved of my health insurer. Scramble, scramble for those referrals. The first orthopedist's referral, we found out as we were leaving, was for the brother of the doctor we saw (they share the office, and of course, the same last name). Insurance won't honor it. Call back the primary doctor and get a new one for his brother, quick, because they won't honor retroactive referrals either. Then you're returning to the same office to see the spine specialist? New referral. Pain management? "You'll need a new referral. His office won't even book you till they get it." What about the epidural? "We'll need to put in for authorization." "How long will that take?" "Sometimes two or three weeks."
Phone call after phone call. And I know from experience that my insurer will deny receiving referrals about half the time anyway. I could understand why I'd heard that the mother of a boy with a degenerative disease, who shared my insurer, was reduced to tears at least once a month simply from trying to deal with this.
And then there's the dearly won knowledge that one must ever keep track of how many pain pills you have, and whether they will get you through the weekend, or rather, whether they will get you through the next four days, as it's late on a Friday and your orthopedist won't get the message till Monday and his office is adamant that it's a 48-hour turnaround. And the many phone calls that go with this, and the constant fear that your request will be declined -- not that the doctor's office will ever call and tell you this; you'll only find out as you continuously check the pharmacy.
I told the pain management specialist that I didn't care whether the epidural was insurance-approved or not; I just wanted it, and I'd pay whatever it turned out wasn't covered. He agreed to set a date three days later. There are people in the world who can't make that kind of offer. And there are people in the world who'd lose their jobs (and possibly their apartments or their cars) if they were absent from work for a month or more. I am fortunate.
I am fortunate. I have had three epidurals, and physical therapy will soon begin. My dog was able to sit in my lap, briefly, for the first time in seven weeks. The sounds I make have dwindled to the occasional yelp. I am on the tarmac, my plane accelerating, ready to take off from the country of pain and show me the curve of the globe beneath my window. I was only a tourist after all.
Some of us live there.
I had some space, and some leftover seed, so I seeded a fall crop of basil and two kinds of kale. The seed were two or more years old, so I seeded thickly. Now I have many kale seedlings and many many basil seedlings, waytooclosetogether. I should just thin them, but-- Think of what I could do with all that basil!
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I could try to separate them and grow them all on. I could find more space. Pricking out seedlings is going to be a lot harder stooping over a bed than standing at a counter, and a lot lot harder when you're pulling the seedlings out of clayey soil instead of lovely loose seed starter, but-- I could at least try.
This is going to hurt.
This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/251499.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Today is Wednesday, and that means that the new chapters of various manga have come out. So Mason and I have done our thing. Feel free to check it out: https://mangakast.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/sweet-sixteen/.
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In this podcast, it's mostly me talking about SnK (Shingeki no Kyojin) and its various and sundry spin-offs. However, there was a very problematic section of Bleach today, which I'll discuss under the cut.
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I decided to re-watch ‘Find Your Happy Place’ 2x01 again and then I decided to read the Sides for the casting call in the episode and boy did I not expect how angry I feel re-reading what we could have gotten and the story we got.
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( Life Season 2 -- We could have had it allllllCollapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://grimorie.dreamwidth.org/134498.html. Please comment there using OpenID. comments.
( behind the cut on account of spoilers and for people who just don't care to see itCollapse )
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( and here's the first address, in case you missed it a week agoCollapse )
From werewolves to silk hats--come talk books!
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You would think, the official fireworks having gone on the 3rd due to impending hurricane, that the amateur fireworks would have been muted this year. But no: not only did my neighborhood produce late-night light-shows on the 4th (in the driving rain) and the 5th and well past midnight on the 6th, but even a few isolated explosions last night. WTF, neighborhood. Stop that.
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While I am griping, it turns out that I am at about 50% risk for macular degeneration (a progressive form of blindness in old age), since it runs in families, and have already developed the in-eye crud that is one of the potential warning signs. Everyone develops eye-crud, i.e. deposits in the back of the eye around the macula, from about age 40 onward. I've got it a bit early, which tends to bode ill for my future.
Non-smoking, kale, and carrots are apparently the key to being able to read in my old age, or anyway they mitigate existing risk-factors. And, like, the symptoms won't kick in for another 20+ years. So I could always die first! Also, as the eye doctor helpfully reminded me, there's 20 years for therapies to get invented. Why, I might be seeing out of a pig's eyeballs by then.
It hit 90 yesterday and I have still successfully held off on installing the AC. Really, the evening seas-breezes make a world of difference. The morning ones aren't too bad either.
I have moved mostly over to Dreamwidth. Please comment there if you can.
First of all, kudos to Icelandair, which managed to weld a new engine on the plane or something while we were sitting on the tarmac, and there was only a 90 minute delay... and who had meal vouchers and new boarding passes waiting for us, without being fussed at about it, when we landed on the very large and scenic rock 90 minutes later than anticipated.
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Wait, I might be getting ahead of myself.
Scott and I are enroute to Helsinki for Finncon. Mechanical difficulties delayed our flight out (Scott claims he saw Mary Robinette Kowal on the wing of the plane with a gremlin puppet) and so we missed our connection. Fortunately for both of us, we has fancy tickets for a change, and they are paying for themselves now, as we're in the fancy people lounge. Scott is napping (I got a little kip on the plane), and I am gorging myself on potted shrimp and cappuccino from a machine with buttons that is teaching me the icelandic words for Hot Water and Chocolate while we wait out a five-and-a-half-hour gap between our old flight and our new... which takes us to Copenhagen, not Helsinki, but Copenhagen can get us to Helsinki. So we'll just be nine hours late, and since we built an extra day into our travel schedule it's all good. Except, you know, missing our dinner date and nap time in Helsinki.
Anyway, Iceland is beautiful--what I've glimpsed from airplane windows and through the glass walls of walkways. Somewhere out there in the fog is a volcano, and there was sea ice on the way in.
Here's a photo of what I've seen of the mountain.
I'd post a photo of my scrounged fancy people lounge midnight breakfast (Okay, it's more like a 3 am breakfast, as Iceland is on GMT without daylight savings--because, I assume, they get enough daylight this time of year for most purposes. It's just about to turn 9 here...)
So as a consolation prize, here's my new favorite schnapps, courtesy of the nice flight attendant who wanted to help me get a nap.
This is basically alcoholic birch beer syrup and comes with your very own twig.
My wand is 3" long, black birch, spirits of alcohol core.
Oh, look at that. I stalled long enough that the pics of my breakfast loaded to dropbox. ENVY MY SCROUNGE!
I don't know if anyone is even on tumblr anymore, but hey, what the hell.
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I wrote a new story! It’s been in my hard drive for the last couple of years and for some reason, while completely unable to move on with my Surgery handouts, I found myself typing twelve thousand words in one night. Go figure.
Story title: A Thousand Faces
Fandom: Harry Potter
Summary: Some time after the second wizarding war, there is a man living in Grimmauld Place: a complete stranger who is somehow familiar. A love story in two parts.
Link: Chapter One
First, because I forgot to post this here earlier, the newest chapter in UnJust Cause is up at WattPad: http://www.wattpad.com/58616453-unjust-cause-part-15-a-damn-dam
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Yes, that's right, it's called "Part 15: Damn Dam" because I'm silly like that (and it does make sense in the story). In this installment, the two demons continue to interrogate Alex...
But, all that's just on the wayside. I have to tell you about my fan Squee and then my Con Squee. First of all, today, I discovered that a BN-Bleach-F (translation: "Big Name-Bleach-Fan") Blog List Girl gave me a shout-out over the weekend in this post: http://bleachlists.tumblr.com/post/91012839497/what-if-askin-nakk-le-vaar-is-aizen. If you scroll down far enough, you'll see she actually physically links back to my post: http://junko222.tumblr.com/post/87130560407/conspiracy-theory-aizen-is-already-among-us-part-ii.
OMG. SQUEES. *dies of squee*
Also, while I was at con, I went to the bathroom (like you do. A LOT.) and there was a woman standing in line with me, who leans over and whispers, "Are you junko from AO3?" and I was like, *looks around* "Yeeeeees," and she says, "I'm Opalsong--" before she can finish her sentence I'm all "You podficced 'Teamwork for Hire'" (my Bleach/Free x-over: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1074017)
And, then I also had a con squee for my professional side. I went to listen to one of the many Urban Fantasy panels, mostly because Adam Stemple was on it. Adam is in our writers' group and has a tendency--even worse than mine--to say out loud everything that goes through his head. This makes him a phenomenal panelist, because: Stop, Adam, no, oh God, too late! is always a thing that happens. At any rate, I'm listening to the panel and it's all interesting. I learned about a new fantasist from Detroit that I'm going to have to look up, erm... here he is, Emmy Jackson. Anyway, this is not the squee. At the end of the panel I decided to go up and harass Adam (because that's fun) and Emma Bull starts talking to me like she knows me. Now, I've been on a ton of panels with Emma in the past, but, c'mon. I don't expect the mother of urban fantasy to remember me, the local nobody, from one day to the next. Then, I realize she's saying something to me about *my* writing. I start listening and I hear things like, "Such an amazing, quirky voice. You had me laughing." And, I'm thinking, "Huh? Are you joking?" and because I'm actually quite a bit like Adam, I actually say OUT LOUD, "Are you kidding me?" She's of course taken aback, because here she's been so complimentary to a fellow author. We stare at each other for a second. She finally blinks and says, "Oh, of course, because of your humor writing, you must always get people who are wondering how to read your work." I don't remember the rest of our conversation because I was thinking, "Okay, no, this was real. She really likes my writing. What the hell? What she read? When did I get on Emma Bull's radar? Is this really happening?" and then I think we said goodbye when my mind was screaming, "Tell her how much she influenced you! Tell her War for the Oaks was the book you read over and over and how you swore ONE DAY to be as awesome (if not more awesome) as the Scribblies!" but, you know, it was all over before I knew it had started.
Interesting interview with James Hetley, whose Ghost Point I really enjoyed.
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I hadn't realized he had more in this setting. Have to scope these out!
I've been awake since 2:30 am. On occasion I have been productive (I cleaned the cat litter) but mostly I've been staring at the ceiling. Insomnia sucks, y'all. I'm thinking about going into work early. I'll probably be a zombie by 2 pm, though. But I'll be a zombie by the afternoon whether I go into work or not, so I might as well make use of the time.
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legionseagle provides a simply beautiful takedown of Claire Dikecoglu's review of the Martin Freeman Richard III. And she has a lot of interesting things to say about Shakespeare in general along the way.
It reminded me of a fascinating book I read years ago while staying with my godparents: Year of the King, by Antony Sher, all about his time playing Richard III in the 1980's. Amazingly enough, it's still in print, though only in hard copy, not e-book format. I think I'll buy it.
Took John Henry* and Aeryn Sun** into the Apple Store yesterday after work, and naturally they managed to fix my insoluble problems within 5 minutes. Horrible din in there, though. You can hardly hear yourself think.
A friend is looking for a good hairdresser in the Madison, Wisconsin area as her trusted hairdresser of many years is retiring.
Crowdsourcing info: are sleep apnea pillows good, or an overpriced racket?
* John Henry is my laptop, because it is NOT Skynet.
** Aeryn Sun is my phone, because it wears a lot of black and is tough as nuclear nails.
This entry was originally posted at http://raincitygirl.dreamwidth.org/164173.html. Please comment there using OpenID or here at Livejournal. You decide!
The final episode of Shadow Unit is live, and I am having a complicated emotional response.
I also have a draft program for LonCon III. And I sold a short story to Asimov's and another one to a Sekrit Projekt.
(There will also be at least one signing at the Gollancz table, and I am hoping for a Kaffeklatsch or Literary Beer or reading, but those have not been assigned yet.)
A Reader's Life During Peak Short Fiction
Friday 12:00 - 13:30
There are now more speculative short stories published than any one person can hope to read -- or even find. So how do fans of the short-form navigate this landscape? With so much ground to cover, how does an individual reader find stories they like -- are we more author-driven in our reading habits? Conversely, how and why do particular stories "break out" and become more widely known? To what extent is the greater volume of material enabling -- and recognising -- a greater diversity of authors and topics? And what is the place of short fiction in today's field -- testing ground for ideas, the heart of the discussion, or something else?
Jetse de Vries (M), Abigail Nussbaum, Jonathan Strahan, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Elizabeth Bear
Zombies Run! New Ways of Understanding Games
Friday 13:30 - 15:00
Not all of us think of ourselves as gamers, yet it's quite likely that we've got a number of games or apps on our tablets and phones, or sneaking a quick game of solitaire between breaks. Purchases of games on apps are a huge part of gaming culture, yet many players don't like to be seen as 'gamers'. Perhaps this is because of the sterotypes that surround the image of the gamer, but app purchases also allow alternative groups of players and play style. This panel looks at app gaming, including the interactive running game, Zombies, Run! Writers and developers will discuss not only why Zombies, Run! has become such a success, but what this means in terms of the identity of the gamer.
Ciaran Roberts (M), Naomi Alderman, Elizabeth Bear, Andrea Phillips
Duelling by Starlight: The Joyful Poetry of Space Opera
Saturday 19:00 - 20:00
Space operas are stories of freedom: from the quotidian, or the logic of history, or the constraints of physics itself ... and, often, freedom of the imagination, freedom of the pen. It's sometimes said that the futures of space opera are fantastical, but when are they poetic? Consider the wit of Iain Banks' Culture, the baroque of Justina Robson's Natural History, or the ceaseless invention of Yoon Ha Lee's mythic tales: how do these writers, and others, use language and narrative structure to liberate and excite us? And in our liberation, what do these writers let us see more clearly?
Robert Reed, Jaine Fenn, Rosie Oliver, Adam Roberts, Elizabeth Bear, Hannu Rajaniemi
The Spies We (Still) Love
Sunday 10:00 - 11:00
From James Bond, UNCLE, and the (British!) Avengers to SHIELD and Person of Interest, the world of spies and conspiracy has long been a fixture of Western SF on screen. Yet there has always been ambivalence about such agents' real-world counterparts, and these days most of us have reservations about the extent of US/UK surveilance and big data manipulation. Bearing in mind this context, how have espionage stories evolved over the last forty years? Which shows and films have endured? And which modern examples are most artistically or politically successful, and why?
Nicholas Whyte (M), Elizabeth Bear, Colin Harvey, Gillian Redfearn, Stefanie Zurek
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I need to find a new job. I've been saying this the entire time I've had this job, but now they're completely overhauling everything, using a new software system, etc. and they're moving me to a department I do not want to be in (I SPECIFICALLY SAID I DIDN'T WANT TO BE IN THE ONE THAT MAKES ALL THE PHONE CALLS) and so I really need to start finding something else. Maybe somewhere in a new place. But either way: something else.
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So if any of y'all have tips for me not having some sort of breakdown while I jobsearch since I find it so completely overwhelming, I'd love to hear them.
Also I have my first chigger bite of the year. I don't know how I managed to go this long without getting any, but UGH CHIGGERS.
The plot so far:
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Jolyon's Wife: You are messing with the governess.
Jolyon [Rupert Graves]: I am not messing with the governess. But now you mention it...
Jolyon: I AM messing with the governess, and in fact I'm leaving with her. You can keep the kid! Toodles!
Jolyon's Wife: ...
Random Sister: I am going to marry this gorgeous cad with no money!
All the other Forsytes: Hmmm.
Daddy Forsyte: Should I give her some money?
Damian Lewis's eyebrows: Hell, no.
Jolyon: I have grown a large beard and wear a floppy tie. I am a happy living-in-sin artist, and we're about to have a lust-baby. Can I have money?
Damian Lewis: Hell, no.
Pretty girl: Is at musicalw.
Damien: Tex Avery Wolf double-take.
Pretty girl: Is Irene. Is very poor. Lives with stepmother.
Damien: Hubbba hubba bow-wow.
Damien: Follows Irene to Bournemouth. Stalks Irene. Chews on Irene's wrist at a garden party. No, really.
Damien: Bow chikka wow-wow marry me.
Irene: I don't like you and you are a Philistine. Nope.
Irene's Stepmom: Marry him or starve.
Irene: Okay, Damien, I'll marry you, but you have to know that (A) I do not love you and (B) you have to let me screw around if I don't start loving you.
Damien: (wolf goggle eyes, bow chikka wow-wow, hump hump) I'm sorry, did you say something?
Jolyon: Is still poor and has a child and two-thirds.
Jolyon's wife: Look! Here is a newspaper! It announces your wife's death! Wow, you really are on bad terms with the family!
Jolyon: Now we can get married! Yay!
Sister who didn't marry money: Is very happy and having lots of sex. Talks about sex ALL THE TIME.
Rest of Forsyte family: Eyeroll.
Damien: Bow chikka wow-wow hump hump.
Irene: Are you through yet?
Jolyon's daughter by first marriage: Gets engaged.
Fiance: Sees Irene.
Fiance: Bow chikka wow-wow.
END OF EPISODE ONE.
I can see that there is no way that any of this could end badly. Have any of you read the books? Does the prose make up for the oncoming FREIGHT TRAIN OF MISERY?
This entry was originally posted at http://mme-hardy.dreamwidth.org/279129.html, with comments. Feel free to comment there or here.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear has gone to press!
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Fingers crossed for Readercon.
I need assistance again, if one or some of you would be so kind?
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Does anyone out there know about the course and severity of pneumonia, before the advent of penecillin? How long would it take to recuperate? How long would it take for the disease to run its course?
Many thanks for whatever information you can give! (And I will, of course, give credit in the book).
After Me Comes the Flood (10035 words) by monanotlisa
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Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Iron Man (Movies)
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Natasha Romanov, Steve Rogers & Sam Wilson, Natasha Romanov & Sam Wilson
Characters: Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Natasha Romanov, Maria Hill, Clint Barton, Nick Fury, James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: Partners to Lovers, Espionage, Action/Adventure, Romance, Bisexual Steve Rogers, Bisexuality, Post-Canon, Canon Compliant, Canon Related, Character Study, POV Female Character, Female Protagonist, Friendship, Food, Hurt/Comfort, Kissing, Post-Movie(s), POV Third Person, Sexual Content, Wordcount: Over 10.000, Healing Cock
Summary: She's an international spy who just burned herself. He's a national hero who just burned down a government agency. Together with their friend who flies like a bird, they fight crime.
Or: Happy birthday, Steve Rogers!</p>
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Low key weekend. Barbecue then fireworks on Friday, a couple of trips to the movie theater, too many bottles of beer on the wall.
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I saw Snowpiercer and Begin Again, and enjoyed them both. They really don't know how to market Snowpiercer, huh? The trailers before the movie were a smorgasbord of different genres. I, Origins in particular looked interesting (it's by the director who made Another Earth) -- I may go see that one despite the presence of Michael Pitt as the leading man.
Snowpiercer, dir., Bong Joon Ho
*claps hands* I loved that a lot. It's all got those dystopian action adventure movie trappings and it certainly doesn't lack for action, but it goes about its business in an off-kilter way that keeps things unpredictable. Despite its grim post-apocalyptic setting, this movie is often hella goofy, but it *owns* its goofyness and off-beat sensibilities, and marches along briskly to its own kinetic, weird beat. I haven't seen anything similar to this in a long while, although it did remind me of Terry Gilliam's Brazil a bit -- hmm, I wonder if John Hurt's character being named Gilliam is an homage. On one hand, it's an uber-anvillacious political allegory on class inequality (... like, I don't even know if you can call it an allegory when it's so blatant), but on the other hand, it's a whacked-out fairy tale quest narrative, and it's the latter aspect of the film I latched onto. Our ragtag band of heroes, making their way laboriously across hazardous new terrains toward the mythical Sacred Engine, encountering helpers and foes, with a drugged-out keymaster sassing at them via a language translator along the way. Wilford, the inventor of the Engine and at the top of the food chain, is a very Oz-like presence (does that make Curtis Dorothy and Edgar Toto? :p) Structurally, the central conceit of the characters moving through different train cars allowed Bong to have fun with narrative tension and genre-hopping. Every time a new door opened, you would have a different mini-movie: a super-bloody action-horror, then a tense thriller, then a black comedy, peppered with absurdist mini-breaks. On the downside, the film is not large with plot logic or narrative coherence, and the dialogue is often hammy. But that propulsive sense of "what next!" and the visual inventiveness kept me enthralled even when the story went off the rails at times.
Chris Evans as Curtis, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, holds the film very well (although for someone who's been starving in the tail section of the train, he's still ridiculously large with his Captain America muscles under his ratty coat). Tilda Swinton is AMAZING as Mason, an Umbridge with 70's glasses and terrible teeth. And Song Kang Ho, who's been in almost all of Bong's film (he was the father in The Host) and who plays the security expert Namgoong Min Soo, is an effortless scene-stealer. He basically spends the entire film grumping at people in a drug haze and telling everybody to fuck off, which made me go :D:D:D
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Begin Again, dir., John Carney
I went to see this one for Mark Ruffalo and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It was directed by the guy who made Once and treads a lot of the same beats as that move, but it's best not to compare it because the comparison would do this one no favours. It's very slight but also quite charming and populated by likable people, and I haven't liked Keira Knightley this much in anything for a while even though her voice is passable at best. My favourite thing in the movie was James Corden as Knightley's character's busking pal -- he stole every scene he was in.
They cast Adam Levine as Knightley's douchebag ex, which was a genius move because Levine has that perpetual l'eau de douchebag waffling around his person at all times. Except it didn't work when they had him try to be sincere because seriously, that dude cannot sell sincerity if his life depended on it.
It does get a bit over-preachy about the importance of Authenticity (with a capital A), which made me roll my eyes. But not enough to ruin the movie for me.