April 25th, 2019
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 09:53pm on 25/04/2019
1. The problem with having too many books on my Kindle, is it really hard to find books on the dang thing, unless you know the title. Also, a lot of these books have variations on the same title -- making me wonder about some ahem, writers, ability to come up with innovative titles. (I'm looking at you, romance novelists. It's not that hard. I've come up with three titles that very few people have used. Clue? The words: Duke, Earl, Marquess, Her, His, Raven, Tower, Highlander, Love, Heart, Wicked, Temptation, Desire, Secret, Bride, Wedding, Gift -- have all been OVERUSED!)

The book that I was looking for and finally found by hunting down Smartbitches Kindle Deals? Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen.

Nettie Lonesome dreams of a greater life than toiling as a slave in the sandy desert. But when a stranger attacks her, Nettie wins more than the fight.

Now she's got friends, a good horse, and a better gun. But if she can't kill the thing haunting her nightmares and stealing children across the prairie, she'll lose it all -- and never find out what happened to her real family.


It's basically Buffy meets Winona Earp in the Old West.

I've decided I have burned out on romance finally. The last one? Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale -- did not work for me. Read more... )

I think I'm tired of flighty heroines who need men to rescue them. Why. Just Why. So off to read a book about a heroine who slays demons in the old west.

2. Hee, after much searching, I found a decent site that rates television sets in a logical manner without ads or subscription fees.

Consumer Reports -- while useful, is a subscription service and expensive, if you are planning on using it only once and just to buy a tv. In order to get any information -- you have to become a member. It has no ads, because it makes everyone who obtains information from it -- PAY FOR IT. It's just like HBO or Netflix.

Which is fine, if you don't just want to find a tv for one year and won't use it again for another say thirteen years. They do provide a useful buying guide -- which Amazon linked to. It's mostly a salespitch for their service. (Note, I refuse to subscribe to any website on the internet for information. I subscribe to the New York Times -- mainly in an attempt to support a free press. Also, I want to check out what I'm getting before I pay for it. They should provide free access a couple of times, then make you subscribe.)

I'm somewhat pissed off at them. I'd rather they had ads, then charged subscription fees. Even the NY Times allows you to try a few articles out first. It doesn't help that I licensed their content in the 1990s for evil reference company, and looked through their guide (when they were still free of charge online) to buy the last tv. Because they were the only game in town back in 2006. There was nothing else. Now, they have really stiff competition. Tee Hee.

Ratings.Com - No ads. And provide links to prices.

CNET.Com

Sometimes I love capitalism and the internet -- lots of choices.
avrelia: (agent Dunham)
posted by [personal profile] avrelia at 01:46pm on 25/04/2019 under ,
That I remember right now

1) Pepper and Phil Coulson get things done

2) Captain America Peggy Carter moments

3) Thor: all Darcy moments; Warriors Three and lady Sif find Thor in New Mexico; Thor explains the Universe

4) Iron Man 2: Pepper and Natasha working together

5) Avengers: Hulk beats up Loki

6) Dr. Strange: Wong in the library moments

7) Winter Soldier: Steve and Natasha friendship moments

8) Civil War: Tony Stark and Aunt May

9) Ant-man: Cassie and Scott moments

10) Spider-man: homecoming all of it?

11) Thor: Ragnarok: can’t possibly choose.

12) Black Panther: Nakia moments

13) infinity war: Thor+Rocket+Groot trip

14) Ant-man and Wasp: Ghost & Morpheus (sorry) hug

15) Captain Marvel: Carol & Nick Fury talking

prompted by this
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/the-most-marvelous-moments-in-the-mcu/
April 24th, 2019
avrelia: (brain)
posted by [personal profile] avrelia at 08:59am on 24/04/2019
Got my tickets for Avengers on Sunday morning, 7-50 AM. I'll start the day with Stark vs Thanos, and end the day with Starks vs. White walkers.

Now I really have to get out of the Internet, because I really want as little spoilers as possible. I am normally pretty lax about them, and even prefer to know the end, but not in this instance. Well, I have books, and kids, and other stuff to keep me busy...

see you later, friends!
April 22nd, 2019
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 09:31pm on 22/04/2019
1. I STILL don't frigging know what television set to get.
Read more... )

Have I told you how much I hate buying stuff?

I discussed this with across the aisle cubicle mate...who agreed that she wasn't a shopper either or for that matter a gardner. Actually when it comes to gardening, she's worse than me. She moved out to Long Island and removed the grass and trees from her yard and put in rocks.

Me: I kill plants. My brother got the Green thumb.
Co-worker: So do I, I have a purple thumb.
ME: Oh, I like that. I got one too. I actually killed a cactus.
Co-worker: How'd you do that?
Me: I over-watered it.
Co-worker dies laughing.

I'd have kept the trees...I don't know about the grass -- I hate mowing. Been there, done that. It's not fun. Meanwhile my brother is farming, making syrup, and baking bread. I don't garden, there's scary spiders, bugs, mold, dirt, and weeds. My brother gardens. I think this was meant to be a cosmic joke on my father, who ages ago told my mother that women nuture and men work to provide and advocate. He gets two kids, girl and a boy. The girl goes into the business world, is an advocate, and provider personality, while the boy prefers to nuture, grow things, and be a househubby. I took after my Dad in this regard, my brother took after my Mom. Goes to show you -- the Universe has a wicked sense of humor. (Moral don't generalize, you're just asking the Universe to mock you.)

2. In the Dark -- I've seen three episodes to date, and it's...really good. Surprisingly good. I like all the characters -- that's rare. And I adore Murphy.

Set up? A blind twenty-something woman, named Murphy, gets mugged and saved by a 15 year old African-American Drug Dealer. About two years later, Murphy has established a great friendship with the guy, Tyson. Until one night she discovers his body in the alley. She calls it in. The cops find no body or any evidence. Frustrated, and seeking justice for her friend, Murphy begins to investigate.

Her adoptive parents (a black guy and a white woman) owns a guide-dog company, where Murphy and her roomate, a veteran lesbian named Jesse, work. Jesse is dating a bisexual woman. Murphy sleeps with whomever and is afraid of any relationship that runs deeper than purely casual. Until she meets a food vendor guy who launders money for the drug dealers that employed Tyson, and Tyson ran drugs out his vending truck.
They date, and there's a cop with a blind daughter (who is heavy set). The cop has a thing for Murphy.

It's sort of a quirky neo-noir series. And one of the best things I've seen in a while on the CW. I prefer the off-kilter shows.

3. Tried Les Miserables -- the series on masterpiece with Dominic West, Lily Collins and Ostwejo, by Andrew Davies...but alas, I think it is too depressing for me, so may give up.

4. Work

my crazy-ass workplace )
April 21st, 2019
rahirah: (Default)
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 10:34pm on 21/04/2019
Finally got caught up on GoT. And the second episode was really good, much better than the first. After the first episode, I was rooting for the White Walkers to take out over half the cast. Honestly, when an army of dead is coming for you -- it hardly matters who is sitting on the Iron Throne. Apparently only Jon Snow got this?

But the second really delivered and made me care about everyone again. Also gave some definitive closure to a few things.

I'm less critical of the television series than some -- mainly because I read the books. And the television series improves on them. The books ended with Spoilers ) The reason GRR Martin hasn't come out with another book is he wrote himself into a corner with Dance of Dragons. The television series corrected his mistake and wrote itself out of the corner he'd written the story into.

Unless you've read the books (which I don't recommend), you won't get that. Okay, no, I take that back I do recommend that you read the books, if only for the innovative narrative approach Martin utilizes that not many have attempted and how, for the most part, he pulls off to startling effect. He basically goes into the points of view of over a thousand different characters of varying walks of life. Outdoing people like Tolkien, Dickens, and Hugo in the process. To see how he pulls it off -- is worth reading it. It's not an easy thing to do. And he keeps the continuity of the plot throughout, while staying real. Reading the books taught me how to play with point of view, why going for pure reality is deathly dull and not to do it. (We do not need to know all the mundane details of the journey. And it is frustrating when it doesn't move the plot forward and just stagnates it.) The books are far more realistic than the television series, albeit less satisfying. Characters you desperately want to meet up? Never do. Which in reality they wouldn't. spoilers for the books ) It got to the point in the books, that whenever a character went off on a quest to meet up with another one, I'd think -- don't bother. Seriously save yourself a trip. You'll never meet up with them. Makes it extremely frustrating to read. I mean you're reading this character's journey and they never reach their goal. And often not even their destination. Example of how hyper-realism doesn't work that well in fiction. Trust me, if you think the television series plot arcs are a tad contrived, try reading the opposite first -- it will make you appreciated the contrivances.

Reading fiction that is deeply flawed in places can often be more educational as a writer than reading brilliant stuff. Because it shows you what doesn't work.

This episode...spoilers )
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 06:14pm on 21/04/2019
1. Goblin Emperor and A Natural History of Dragons are on sale for $1.99 at Amazon.

Why should I be the only one who needs a chaperon while buying books?

2. Television

In the Dark -- is interesting. It's the new CW series by Ben Stiller about a 20 something, snarky blind gal, who is investigating the death and disappearance of her best friend, Tyson. A 17 year old drug dealer. Sort of femme noire with a twist.

Very dark and snarky.

I like the main character quite a bit, which surprised me.

Fosse/Verdon -- this focuses more on the relationship, specifically the spousal relationship between Fosse/Verdon than their corroboration. But it does still focus heavily enough on the later to make the series highly entertaining and insightful. Also it's rather innovative in how they are telling the story -- which is in a series of out of sequence flash-backs. We see them now, then flashback to the event that led them here, and finally to how they met. The now in this instance -- is their breakup during Cabaret. (Suffice to say, Bob Fosse was his own worst enemy, most of us are.)

The musical numbers and banter between the two corrobators, along with the performances -- Rockwell and Williams have never been better and are sort of doing an interesting tango throughout. The series emphasizes what it is to be a dancer, a professional dancer, and the pain involved -- and how hard it is to perform in an industry that is constantly evaluating you.

A Discovery of Witches -- somewhat hokey in places (but that's in keeping with the genre, unfortunately) -- yet it is saved by the understated performances.
Not to mention understated production. I rather like the casting, and the story is different than most of these things -- in that it's not clear who the bad guys are, if any. Also there's a clear metaphor about how if we aren't careful we can destroy our own magical way of life.
April 19th, 2019
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posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 10:17pm on 19/04/2019 under , ,
1. Read the latest issue of Boom Studios Buffy Comics Reboot - this is allegedly the final of the four issue arc for this year. No clue if they will continue after it?

Anyhow....my thoughts? It's steadily gone downhill, writing wise. To the point in which I've just about decided to give up on it.


spoilers )
I'm not sure what the writer is doing exactly, but I've read better fanfic (well that sort of goes without saying when it comes to the comics or any novelization of the series.) Why? Because whomever is approving the rights for these things -- doesn't perceive the series in the same way that I do, obviously. Nor has the same taste, which is saying a lot, considering how broad my taste actually is.

The problem is that the writer is not telling the story directly. She skips time.
Relies too heavily on the readers pre-existing knowledge of the series and characters (much like fanfic writers do, actually), which would be fine -- if the characters were closer in their behavior to those in the series (they aren't). And the story followed the canon, it doesn't. You can't veer that far away from canon and just skip to the fun parts in your story, without any build up. It's jarring.
Don't do this people. It's lazy writing. It's bad enough that you are playing in someone else's sandbox with their toys and getting paid for it, without forgetting to build up to your major plot points in a satisfying way.

I don't care what happens to these characters. They bear little resemblance to the one's I knew. And I have not had time to invest in their relationship with each other, to care what happens. You can't push the reader into the center of the action without some character development -- even if the characters are based (and rather loosely in this case) a television series.

If it weren't for the great art, I'd have given up a while ago. The art is the best that I've seen for the Buffy comics. It's very complimentary to the actors -- they actually look better here than they did on screen. I know, go figure.

But the writing is getting worse with each issue. Some of the dialogue is cringe-inducing. Buffy actually says the words "Jeez, Louise" - eh, no.

And while the art is great for the most part, Joyce and Drusilla do not bear any resemblance to the actors who played them. Nor for that matter does Robin Wood, but that appeared to be deliberate.

Rating? Not worth your time or the price of admission. Skip.

2. It probably would have helped if I hadn't been reading the X-men comics at the same time. In particular Matthew Rosenberg's take on Un-Canny X-men, which is superb and pretty much does all the things a good serial writer should do -- further the characters arcs, address their relationships with each other, and provide action that helps examine social issues and those relationships/emotional arcs concurrently.

I read Uncanny X-men #16 prior to the Buffy Comic, and night and day. My only quibble with Un-Canny is the art, which was uneven. It's the reverse of the Buffy comic -- great writing, very uneven art, yet still a much better comic.

They do a few unexpected things here -- which help examine what it means to be a leader and the toll it takes on people. In this issue, Cyclops has begun to question his leadership -- and decides to step down. He's basically tired of second-guessing himself all the time, and worse having everyone else do it too. He's also trying to hold his team together, and keep everyone alive. He's been trying to keep everyone alive for a while now, and failing miserably. He's lost more people than he cares to count, and most of them, people he loved a great deal. The guy is basically wallowing in grief and self-doubt. But luckily he has company -- Logan, Alex, Dani Moonstar, Shan, Rahn, Hope Summers, Banshee, Johnno, Illyana, Jamie Maddrox, are all along for the ride.
spoilers )
April 17th, 2019
rahirah: (Default)
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 08:51pm on 17/04/2019
1. Having bizarre television issues. I came home from work yesterday to discover there was no audio on my tv. My television is admittedly more than 10 years old. It's... Polariod FlM 323 B- LCD TV -- although I think it is more a 25 inch than 32 inch. I called Optimum, and we tried literally everything over the phone. They set up a technician to come out. I went online, and discovered others had similar issues -- so tried everything they suggested. Discovered in the process that the headjack worked -- there was audio with ear phones or speakers plugged into the headphone jack. Weird. Not sure if it is the HDMI cable -- because I unplugged it and replugged it and even switched the Fire Stick HDMI with the cable HDMI.

It has been telling me that there is an issue with the HDMI.

Discussed with a co-worker today, who is an expert and has recalibrated television sets -- also used to set up AV rooms, he gave me his computer speakers -- which he was no longer using. Free of charge. (Saved me a trip to Best Buy to hunt for some small computer speakers that would fit on my console and wouldn't block the tv. He also advised that I keep my appointment with the Optimum Technician on Thursday, who might be able to replace the HDMI cable and fix it. Because it probably is the HDMI cable cord. He also advised that I buy a new tv -- a TCL 6 series - 55 inch Roko.
(I have an Amazon Fire Stick not Roku, but apparently you can use the Amazon Fire Stick with it...and Roku has the same channels). He said it was the best bang for anything under $600. And I could buy it over the weekend, most likely on sale.

Sigh. I hate buying things. This is why I have a tv that I bought in 2006, and I'm procrastinating buying new furniture. I'm not a shopper (except where books are concerned...I have more books than I can ever possibly read in one lifetime. Seriously, if it weren't for Amazon telling me I'd already bought some of these books, I'd have accidentally bought them twice.)

2. Books

I'm reading a historical romance by Laura Kinsale, which I keep forgetting the name of. I think it is Moonbeam something or other. The title doesn't fit the book, so I keep forgetting it. Kinsale is an odd romance writer -- her characters can often be on the abrasive side, and I often want to smack her heroines upside the head. They also always have various physical and emotional disorders. In this book, the hero stuttered as a child and is terrified of heights, he also likes everything neat and orderly, while the heroine is an inventor, flakely, somewhat obsessive/compulsive and a touch on the autistic side of the fence. She's wickedly bright about certain things, and utterly stupid about others -- and doesn't have a wit of common sense or much empathy for those around her. She's invented a speaking box that the hero needs her to perfect to beat the French, and he also has to protect her from the French, who have tried to kidnap her once already. Meanwhile, she's far more interested in being the first to invent an aviation device that enables humans to fly. The hero is terrified of the device and doesn't want her to work on it or use it. Much chaos ensues.

There is a point in the book -- where the hero sort of seduces her. She's inadvertently given him a potent aphrodiasac and he can't keep his hands off her. She likes it so goes along with it. Some readers saw it as rape, and I thought, eh, no -- he was the one who was drugged by an absent-minded inventor. A lot of reviewers don't think critically.

Next up...probably not a romance, I'm getting burned out.

3. Knackered. Slept horribly last night, due to spending far too much time trying to fix stupid television set. And figuring out what to do about it. I have this sinking feeling Optimum is going to charge me $80 for their visit on Thursday, damn them.
But I'm afraid to cancel it -- in case they have an easy solution that could mean delaying trying to find a new tv.

Also I need to rearrange the apartment...and get rid of stuff.

As a result of being knackered, I slept walked through work.

4. X-men Marvel Movies...and television series?

While the MCU Avengers verse in the movies has been well-plotted, devised, and received, not so true of the X-men verse (as portrayed by Fox). Fox, starting with the animated series in the 90s, and straight through the filmverse, has been uneven.
There are about two excellent films, and two decent ones, the rest are abysmal. Television wise? One good series. That's it. One. Out of three animated series, and three live action -- there's only one good one.

What are the good X-men movies and series?
Read more... )
April 16th, 2019
avrelia: (Pensive Queen)
posted by [personal profile] avrelia at 12:11pm on 16/04/2019 under
I am not a huge fan, but it grew on me, and I really really really want to know how it all ends. Besides, things like unite the world a little bit. It's so much better to have fictional tragedies. I care who will survive the long winter in Westeros, but not that desperate as I am about the state of our world.

Anyway, I was ok with previous season, and ok with the first episode of this one. I don't miss slow movement of first seasons full of gratuitous sex and violence. we could cut some more of those even now, honestly.

Love all the reunions and meetings between characters. Could watch a lot of Bran creepily watching everyone, Sansa snarking and Arya flirting with Gendry.

http://chryswatchesgot.tumblr.com/ cute and funny recaps here
avrelia: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] avrelia at 11:46am on 16/04/2019
Yesterday it was sad and horrifying to see Notre Dame in flames. I’ve never seen it myself, and I am not sure when I will, but I am happy it survived, and very grateful for the work firefighters did there. I am sad today for all the world’s treasures that disappear without much public outcry due to accidents, negligence, or deliberate actions or wars… we are losing so much.
April 15th, 2019
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 09:33pm on 15/04/2019
1. Damn Smartbitches...they keep advertising things on sale on Amazon Kindle for under $3.00 and I can't resist. The latest?

The Inheritance Triology by N.K. Jemsin

After her mother's mysterious death, a young woman is summoned to the floating city of Sky in order to claim a royal inheritance she never knew existed in this award-winning fantasy trilogy from the NYT bestselling author of The Fifth Season.

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

The Inheritance Trilogy omnibus includes the novels: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods, and a brand new novella set in the same world: The Awakened Kingdom.


This is the Hugo winning novelist of the Fifth Season, which I also own, but haven't gotten around to reading yet.

That's three books for $2.99.

2. Work

Me: I don't know about doing a negotiation in your trailer at the work site, it's not that big.
Project Manager: Well, considering it's raining in the trailer at the moment -
Me: Wait, what? It's raining inside the trailer??
Project Manager: Yep, pretty heavily actually.
Me: Where is this trailer located?
Project Manager: Under the tracks. From the outside it looks like a sturdy enough structure, but it leaks like you would not believe.
ME: So now it's a moldy trailer?
Project Manager: Well not yet but soon.
Me: Okay, we are definitely not meeting in your trailer. I don't need a tour of your site, I see it on the way to work each day.

Also, I apparently forgot to take a required ethics refresher course prior to April 5. In my defense, I thought I had until the end of the year and they didn't actually inform me otherwise. Whoops.

3. Am behind in television viewing, in that I have not seen Game of Thrones season opener yet. I'm waiting for the weekend. But, I have seen:

* Killing Eve which was
April 13th, 2019
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 08:52pm on 13/04/2019
1. I'm back from my four day trip to visit my parents in South Carolina.parents health and well being )


2. The weather was lovely, clear blue skies for the most part, with the occasional afternoon or evening shower. Read more... )

3. Saw some TV shows with my Mom. We watched the first episode of Fosse/Vernon together and the first of "A Discovery of Witches" - enjoyed both a great deal. But I'm going to wait until I see all of them before writing a full review.

4. It's good to be back. Tired. On the plane ride home was astonished to see three families in first/business class. Where it's $44 more a seat. I didn't pay that much because I used frequent flier points. The trip down and back was blessedly uneventful. We had some traffic on the drive to and from the airport, both ways. In NY - typical NY traffic. Although I was bit astonished to see heavy traffic on the BQE and Belt Parkway, also in line for the terminal at 5:00-5:45 AM in the morning.
In Savannah -- it was a four car accident that had backed up traffic for several miles, but just two on our end. Didn't delay us that much though.

5. Got into a weird-ass mini-debate on an FB fanboard. Nothing serious -- it's too heavily moderated for it to become serious. But at one point, one of the moderators yelled "TROLL IN THE DUNGEON" and I thought...uhm, okay, who? Read more... )
April 12th, 2019
avrelia: (3 orisku)
there are some available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

https://www.secondhalftravels.com/best-russian-tv-shows-on-netflix/

I have never watched any of it (though I've heard of some and know source material of others), but they look ok. I am not sure I have time to watch them - I have too many shows I want to watch already, but I want to check out Anna the Detective.

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