Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Sunday, April 21st, 2019 06:08 pm
scaramouche: Animated kitty Yzma laughing, from The Emperor's New Groove (laugh like an evil kitty)
[personal profile] scaramouche
Fourth on the theatre jaunt! We watched Parts 1 and 2 in the same day, which wasn't as exhausting as I feared, though it was uncomfortable for Mister Fabulous because we had first row seats in the Grand Circle, and leg room was very tight against the edge of the balcony.

Overall, I enjoyed it! Good energy and performances, I was captivated throughout, the special effects are a fun bonus, plus the family aspects hit hard. Albus & Scorpius being the Next Generation LosersTM is the most lovely, semi-tragic thing (not full-on tragedy, because this is a universe that has seen plenty of actual tragedy) and I may have spent quite a bit of the interval between parts clawing at my face and going FRIENDSHIP IS MAAAAAAAGIC. I'd been spoiled for some things on tumblr and other places, but was definitely not spoiled for others and gasped LOUD at certain things, which I hope at least amused some people around us.

I'd read that some (a lot?) of people are unhappy with some things in the play, which is fair. I've been unhappy with new material of my fav canons before, so we pick and choose what "counts". I think what helps in my case, at least, is that my enjoyment of the Harry Potter world is a casual-ish, i.e. I have not even read the last book, and wondered if I even remembered enough of the universe to be able to follow. The play tries to be accessible where it can but does assume a slightly-above-base amount of knowledge of the Harry Potter story, which it's entitled to, because everyone who's watching HAS to be pre-invested to begin with. Anyway, I was able to follow it well enough, and got swept up in the melodramatic bits just fine.

Thoughts, with MASSIVE spoilers. Positive, but also some negative. )

FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC!

Daily Happiness

Sunday, April 21st, 2019 12:34 am
torachan: tavros from homestuck dressed as pupa pan (pupa pan)
[personal profile] torachan
1. We've had some nice chilly weather the past couple days. I just checked the ten day forecast and it looks like it's going to stay that way for a while, too, which is nice.

2. Posted manga tonight.

3. It was kind of hectic at work today for a little bit but not too bad.

4. Look at these Chloe paws! I love when she snuggles under the blankets.

torachan: (shibito no koe wo kiku ga yoi)
[personal profile] torachan


Title: You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead
Original Title: 死人の声をきくがよい (Shibito no Koe wo Kiku ga Yoi)
Author: Hiyodori Sachiko (Uguisu Sachiko)
Publisher: Champion Red Comics
Category: Shounen
Genre: Horror, Humor
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Nostal
More Info: Baka Updates
Read Online: MangaDex

Summary: Sickly Kishida Jun has the ability to see ghosts, but in his opinion, it's a stupid power and nothing good ever comes of it. Considering the number of grisly situations he seems to find himself in after the ghost of his childhood friend Hayakawa Ryoko starts following him around, he may have a point.

Chapter Summary: In this three-parter, a secret society attempts to capture Ghost.



Chapter 55: Ghost Requiem Part 1
Chapter 56: Ghost Requiem Part 2
Chapter 57: Ghost Requiem Part 3

And this is the end of another volume, so here's a full volume download for those who want it.

[growth]

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 10:41 pm
kaberett: A very small snail crawls along the edge of a blue bucket, in three-quarters profile with one eyestalk elegantly extended. (tiny adventure snail)
[personal profile] kaberett
Apparently I haven't posted any photos of the allotment since last August, whoops.

Four photographs. )

I'm really pleased with how it's coming along? This is the very first plot you see when you enter the site, which fact I am occasionally a little daunted by, but I am making progress and I sincerely hope sorting the raised beds out will facilitate a bunch more.

Update on various aggravations

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 10:39 am
rachelmanija: (Naked and dripping wet)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
1. Chef Nourish refunded my money (minus $23 for the two gross meals I already received.) Also, my Yelp review is still up. I'll take that as a win.

2. The bookcase saga continues. To refresh your memory, one of a set of two matching bookcases arrived without the unique bolts needed to put them together. The seller refused to send replacement bolts. Amazon said they were a third party and not their problem.

I finally got the seller to tell me the name of the manufacturer of the bolts, and inquired with them. They promptly replied to tell me to take it up with Amazon. I told them Amazon wouldn't help, and got this reply:

Yes, they are a third party and we do not sell products to Amazon. They sold it to you, so they take responsibility. They should send you a new bookcase.

ARRRRRRGH. I sent them an email repeating that Amazon told me to take it up with the seller, and the seller told me to take it up with the manufacturer. At that point, either taking pity on me or wanting to stop getting messages, they promised to send me more bolts. We'll see if they ever arrive.

3. In the meantime, I gave in and ordered a replacement bookcase from the same people (I know, but it's a matching set). They sent me the matched set (i.e., two).

While attempting to drag them inside, Alex bolted between my legs and was down the stairs in literally seconds. In a panic, I rushed after him.

I should mention at this point that it was late at night and I wore only a very skimpy nightshirt with nothing underneath. Also, since I'd been in my chair at that moment, I did not have my crutches with me, something whose implications only dawned on me when I was at the bottom of the very dirty stairs I had just literally slithered down bare-assed.

With no other choice, I slithered to Alex, who luckily hadn't gone far and was lurking under a nearby bush, grabbed him, and then levered myself back up the dirty stairs, still bare-assed and now with the additional weight of a cat. Let's just say it was not the most fun thing ever.

Goddamn cats! Anyone got any ideas on how to keep Alex from bolting again? Other than locking them out of the living room every time I open the outside doors, which is not remotely practical due to the layout of my apartment. I live near an extremely busy street, so I really don't want them escaping.

The bookcases are still outside my door, so I have no idea whether or not they came with the bolts.

Random Doctor Who Logic Problem

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 05:46 pm
purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat

A Doctor Who version of one of those grid based logic problems.  I don't really have the enthusiasm to transcribe the clues without knowing someone would really like a transcription, but please feel free to drop a comment if you would like them transcribed.

From Tides of Time Trinity 1991. Credited to Mark Dunn who, I'm fairly sure, won't mind me sharing.

I feel some comment is almost expected of me...

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 05:15 pm
oursin: image of hedgehogs having sex (bonking hedgehogs)
[personal profile] oursin

Bedroom confidential: what sex therapists hear from the couch.

We confess ourself unimpressed at the entirely false dichotomy set up that in Ye Olden Dayez what sex therapists saw was physical problems, and now what they see are 'bio-psycho-social' difficulties.

Aphrodite knows, I wish somebody would set to and research the history of sex therapy in the UK, because it is a Different Story from that in the USA, and I know where the bodies are buried where a whole lot of extremely pertinent archival material may be found. But my distinct sense is that they were working on a fairly holistic (though I doubt that back in the 1950s they would have used that word) model, what with calling on the insights of the Balint Method and so on. It was by no means mechanistic. See also this blog post re a friend of mine's research on a particular woman doctor's work in marital counselling in private practice in the 1950s.

So there's that about The Past.

And as far as physical problems go, these seem fairly prominent in contemporary consultations, what with the prevalence of ED and 'increase in women with vaginismus'.

And in the realm of plus ca change, or maybe things are even going backwards

For all the talk of lifting stigmas, therapists say uniformly that, for many people – even the majority – sex remains a taboo. Moyle points out that society is still predominantly heteronormative and kinks are not openly discussed. “We’re in this really weird paradox where everybody looks like they are having sex and is talking about sex, but the realistic, normal conversations are not happening.”

Even at the individual level, Lovett says conversations today are no more frank or open than they were in the mid-1980s. Buchanan finds there are more barriers than there were 15 years ago. “A bit of me is still surprised by people’s ignorance around their own bodies and their partner’s,” says Knowles. More pragmatic, robust sexual education is sorely needed.

PSA

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 04:58 pm
rydra_wong: From the film "The Last Flight": hands holding a champagne glass containing a set of false teeth. (last flight -- teeth)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
YMMV, but I would commend the recent "In Our Time" episode on "The Evolution of Teeth" to the attention of anyone who would like to experience some pleasant mild intellectually-stimulating body horror.

Features the term "skin-teeth". DID THE TEETH START IN THE SKIN AND MIGRATE INWARDS OR IN THE PHARYNX AND MOVE OUTWARDS. Also sharks. Lots of sharks.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003zbg or iTunes or your podcatcher of choice

Books read in March 2019

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 11:37 am
nou: The word "kake" in a white monospaced font on a black background (Default)
[personal profile] nou

As discussed last month, I’m redirecting the energy I previously used for providing content warnings into writing a little bit about what I thought about the books.

(This isn’t why this post is late. There was minor Medical Drama involving unexpectedly low iron levels and some rather unpleasant tests to try to find out why — short version is my internal organs are fine, we still don’t know where all my iron went, but iron tablets are magic, and that’s good enough for me.)

Definitely recommend

Swordheart, T Kingfisher. I somehow wasn't expecting this to be a romance. But it is! As well as fantasy. I’d read it again.

The True Queen, Zen Cho. I loved the first book in this series (The Sorcerer to the Crown) and I love this one even more. Dragons! Powerful older women! Wit and banter that are actually funny! And other reasons to love it that would be SPOILERS.

The Martian, Andy Weir (re-read). I keep confusing [personal profile] bob by referring to this as “the potato book”, but honestly the POTATOES are the thing I love about it. There’s at least one potato reference that made me laugh out loud simply because of its precision and dryness (which may or may not have been intended by the author). Some of the book is a bit clumsy (the stereotypical German, the insistence that humanity never leaves anyone behind when it’s set in the near-future with no indication that the problems of poverty, famine, institutional racism, etc have been fixed) but overall I like it and may well read it again.

Maybe recommend

The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie (re-read). Hercule Poirot mystery with an unreliable narrator. I'd read this before many years ago so knew the twist, but enjoyed trying to figure out where the gaps in the story were and how it was all managed. The thing with Agatha Christie is that you can be reading along quite smoothly and then suddenly there's half a sentence of casual and entirely unnecessary racism, anti-semitism, ablism, etc, and then it goes back to being an interesting detective story. (Some of her books are worse than this, with the racism or rape-apologism embedded in the plot — I will never read Nemesis again.)

Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine, T Kingfisher (re-read). I decided to read these again after enjoying Swordheart, as they’re all set in the same universe and although I didn’t enjoy these two all that much the first time round, many other people seem to have loved them so I thought I’d give them another go. Still not my favourite: too much sexual longing, plot very slow. There are individual lines that are hilarious, though.

The King Must Die, Mary Renault (re-read). I read this when I was a kid and was absolutely astonished by it. It's still very readable, but although I'm aware of how pioneering it was in terms of retelling the Greek classics, I much prefer the more recent and less male-oriented works like Circe.

Wouldn’t recommend

The Valley At The Centre Of The World, Mallachy Tallack (DNF). This was just kind of boring. Also, there were too many short, choppy sentences that kept pushing me out of the story. I tried to work out if there was some pattern to these, some reason for them, but either there wasn't or it was too subtle for me. I got 27% of the way through and kept finding myself wishing I was reading something else, so I stopped.

The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman (DNF). This was kind of the opposite of The Valley in that it's all action and very little scenery. I again got fed up of it around the 27% mark and stopped reading.

Hot Money, Dick Francis (DNF). Not enough horses, too many unpleasant rich people. I stopped reading at the point where one of the main characters stated that a disabled person would have been better off dead.

Infomocracy, Malka Older (DNF). It's the future! Everyone has Wikipedia installed on their Google Glasses, police push their way through crowds by poking people with plastic triangles, and global elections are conducted with wards of exactly 100,000 people each. I decided not to buy this after reading the Kindle sample, so I don't know if the author ever explains what happens when someone dies or reaches voting age.

City Of Lies, Sam Hawke (DNF). I tried really hard to finish this! I should have liked it! It describes food and plants and technology, and has disabled protagonists! But I found it very boring and a little sanctimonious, and I kept forgetting which of the two POV protagonists was the current one, since aside from their disabilities and jobs they were fairly indistinguishable.

The Shipping News, Annie Proulx (re-read) (DNF). I read this years ago and remember liking it, so I thought I'd give it a re-read, but unfortunately I've also seen the film so was unable to get Kevin Spacey out of my head.

Flying Finish, Dick Francis. I appreciate that he included reproductive justice activists, but also hormonal contraception doesn't work like that. I liked all the detail about how you transport horses by air. But generally this isn't great. Too much about the perils of communism.

A Is For Alibi, Sue Grafton. This book is really weird about people's bodies, especially fat bodies. Aside from that, it's a fairly generic detective story with added tedious heterosexualling.

(no subject)

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 11:31 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] forthwritten!

Tina (musical)

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 04:46 pm
scaramouche: Kerry Ellis as Elphaba from Wicked (elphaba reaching)
[personal profile] scaramouche
Been relistening to the Tina recording, have a few more additional thoughts from my last post.

Mainly, about the show's use of "Proud Mary". Another of my favourite Tina songs and I was looking forward to it, but dang the stage context. It's set smack dab at the height of Ike's abuse, where literally after Tina attempts to overdose and is revived at the hospital, she is forced to get up and perform. The musical depicts this semi-symbolically, with siren sounds and Tina standing upright but dazed as doctors & nurses surround her, stripping her down to her underwear (complete with wig removal) then dressing her back up in her stage clothes, just as her mom orders her to go on stage. She sobs a little, and then smooths her face over and goes into performance mode. "You know... every now and then I think you might like to hear something from us... nice and easy..."

I was very much thinking of her (first) autobiography, where she explains in detail the physical toll on her mind & body during that period of her life, so there's whiplash at very direct depiction of what she had to endure off-stage to perform on-stage, and it made me feel kind of that I shouldn't applaud, or even enjoy the performance. Which was made more disconcerting because at least one person in the audience whooped in recognition when the song started, while I was still going D:

That discomfort seems to be point, though, which I find interesting! Can/should we enjoy art if we know the context behind its creation, when at the same time we're being called to enjoy the literal performance that the actors are putting on in front of us? Plus the real Tina herself divorced the songs from their context in that era, so there's those layers and I dig it?

I'd watched a few interviews with the creative team back when the promo machine was warming up, and they mostly focused on the empowerment aspect of the show and seemed to skirt around Tina's earlier history with naive-sounding questions, which frankly irritated me, but in retrospect, I can see that the neutral questions were more an awareness of how that platform wasn't the place to talk about abuse & domestic violence in a meaningful way, so they kept the questions flat. And, likely, they decided to let the show speak for itself. Much like how Tina is very candid about what she went through, the musical seems to be taking a leaf out of this and being candid as well, albeit stylized.

Plus some other thoughts!
  • At one point the characters are listening to a radio and The Four Seasons's "Stay" is playing. It's used as setting, not a Jersey Boys reference, but I cracked up all the same.

  • Oscar Batterham's Australian accent is pretty damn decent. A little too clean, but that's usually the case with accents that are learned, plus it's way too easy to slip over into joke!Australian. Good job!

  • They don't resolve the emotional thread of Tina's relationship with her sons, Ronnie and Craig. I didn't register it until I listened to the whole recording in order, and how they neatly wrapped up the threads with Ike and Tina's mom before the finale, but the last we hear of Tina's sons is that they're unhappy at her workload and miss her, and then there's no more. I wonder if perhaps that is a bit sensitive due to Craig's passing. Maybe they'll fix it before they transfer to Broadway.

  • I really love the female duets, especially Tina & Grandma in "Don't Turn Around" and Tina & Rhonda in "Open Arms". Wish Tina & Alline had a duet, though.

  • So, like, Jersey Boys and We Will Rock You did the thing where they built anticipation to a specific Iconic Song by talking about it and referencing it before they actually perform it, the former being "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and the latter being "We Will Rock You". Tina does this with "What's Love Got to Do with It?" by having other characters sing it in demos while she side-eyes them and that's just??? Really nice??? On a meta level it's super obvious because it really was her comeback song but it still gives me all the feelings!!!

The best soothing treatments for rosacea | Sali Hughes

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] sali_hughes_feed

Posted by Sali Hughes

Formula is everything. Go back to basics by offering your skin some calming respite

April is Rosacea Awareness Month and this year it feels much needed. I see more highly sensitised, flared and flushed complexions now than at any other time in my career, and can’t help feeling that on top of the inherent, unlucky and complex cases we’ve always seen, frequently summoned or worsened by otherwise innocuous lifestyle factors (spicy food, dairy, alcohol, stress, tiredness, exertion from exercise and overheating), there’s also a raft of new sufferers of unwanted redness.

I often find they’re using too many high-concentration actives (retinol, glycolic and salicylic acids) at the same time – easily done, especially when some brands (irresponsibly, in my view) seem to be selling the myth that the higher the dose of the acid, the better it is. It’s simply not true – retinol may be proven in tackling the signs of skin ageing, but there’s nothing more ageing to skin long term than constant inflammation.

Related: The best eye shadows | Sali Hughes

Continue reading...

Daily Happiness

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 12:09 am
torachan: sakaki from azumanga daioh holding a cat, with the text "I like cats" in Japanese (sakaki)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Had a really good night's sleep last night for what felt like the first time in a while. I didn't sleep well the night before so I was extra tired and that helped. Hopefully I'll sleep well again tonight.

2. I did a lot of reading and playing Yoshi's Crafted World today, and just generally had a relaxing day off for the most part.

3. I also had a suuuuuper sweet cuddly Jasper. He was so happy to have both me and Carla home today that he was just extra cuddly all around.

4. Carla made Trader Joe's meyer lemon cake and we had that with strawberries. That cake is so good! Glad they brought it back again this year.

5. The face of a sweet cuddle bun.

Weekly Reading

Friday, April 19th, 2019 09:33 pm
torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
[personal profile] torachan
Currently Reading
I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves
This guy has a show on Netflix now that sounds interesting (about a gay disabled man, based on and played by himself) but I haven't watched it yet, but when I was reading an article about the show it mentioned his memoir as well, so I picked that up. Only read the intro so far.

Inner City Blues
No progress.

Triple Threat
About halfway through and enjoying it. I'm sad that this series ended after only three books.

Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood
Got to the start of the 1930s. So far it's been really interesting, though I've been going at a slow pace as I've been focusing more on other books (thankfully was able to renew it as it's due back at the library in a couple days and I'm nowhere near done).

Recently Finished
The Frangipani Tree Mystery
This was so good! Definitely going to read more books in the series.

Gaikotsu Shoten-in Honda-san vol. 4
I enjoyed the first three well enough but there was really not enough material for a fourth volume and it's super padded out with random stuff.

Fannish nomenclature

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 01:52 pm
vass: Small turtle with green leef in its mouth (Default)
[personal profile] vass
They should call "reverse bangs" gnabs.