(no subject)

Sep. 1st, 2014 08:40 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
I have Ancillary Justice feels!

(Meaghan: read, like, half of it, and if you still can't get into it, then, you should probably read the whole thing just to be sure?)

When I started it it seemed so dense and chewy, a book I could admire intellectually more than I could get into it emotionally, which is because I read so much YA and all the feelings are right on the surface, but then after a certain point I went "Wow, it is really smart what she did there with the parallelism of the two situations, and also, FEELINGS." Because, for such an intellectual book -- and a book that's really about colonialism and empire and identity and free will -- it also manages to mash a couple of my id-vortexy buttons right near the end.

I want to read the whole thing again because I'll understand it better the second time around but maybe I'll wait until Ancillary Sword? (Which is coming out in October? Which I only just learned about? And which I'm pretty excited for right now?)

I am also thinking about it as a response to The Left Hand of Darkness -- not just in terms of what it does with gender and pronouns, which I didn't really find to be the most interesting or radical aspect of the book -- but in terms of being a survival quest of two people thrown together who don't (initially, at first) care about each other that much, and come to see each other in different lights...

Emily vs. superintendent

Sep. 1st, 2014 11:54 am
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
Super : What's the problem with the hot water? No one else complained.

Me: It takes at least 5-10 minutes before it starts getting hot. And then when it does, it's not hot enough. It's only 95 degrees or so.

Super : They came out and they checked the boiler. It's on. So what's the problem?

Me: What I just said. It takes forever to warm up, and it only comes out at about 95 degrees. The law says it has to come out of the tap at 120.

Super : Maybe you just like having your skin scorched.

Me: No. I took the temperature with a thermometer. The water temperature doesn't get any hotter than about 95. It has to be 120. That is what the law says.

Super : Okay.

...Which is not to declare victory even temporarily, because I have seen temporary improvements before that didn't pan out, but I was finally able to wash the dishes without heating up a pot of water on the stove, so.

Fantasy Football time

Sep. 1st, 2014 09:52 am
[personal profile] yendi
So I was stuck with the seventh pick in the draft (in a ten-team league). So I didn't get any of the top running backs I wanted. So I gambled, and said "fuck it" to getting a running back in the first two rounds. I took Calvin Johnson and Peyton Manning. It's a gamble, but it does give me a top-three player at both QB and WR.

As to the rest of my starting lineup, I snagged Arian Foster as my RB, with Vincent Jackson (the only returning player from last year's team) as my second WR, Jordan Cameron as my TE (Graham was gone before my first pick, and the lack of Gordon should boost Cameron's numbers), Michael Crabtree for my swing WR/RB/TE spot (although I might swap in someone else), Mason Crosby as kicker, and Carolina on defense.

Bench: Tony Romo, Le'Veon Bell, Rashad Jennings, Trent Richardson, Mike Evans, and Dwayne Bowe. Those last two are longshot gambles, but that's fine with the final bench slots.

I've got a good spread on bye weeks, too, so no worries about subs for now (although it's a given that I'll be finding another TE at some point).

Of course, only half my draft last year stuck around, thanks to injuries, free agents, etc. So no telling what'll happen come the regular season. But FWIW, Yahoo's analysis gives me an A+.

Excellent zine

Aug. 31st, 2014 10:47 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Back from the zinefest etc.

I am reading the three issues of an extremely good zine, Moonroot, some of the best writing I've seen in a while. It's great. I highly recommend it! fucking excellent!!!!


Wish I'd had more time to talk with the folks at their table but I had to scoot off and go to the panel/discussion.



off to the zine fest

Aug. 31st, 2014 12:40 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Leg not too good, ankle also, painkillering up to cab to the zine fest. I am on a panel at 3pm.

Not sure if I can make it to Oakland today but I will give it a good try.

zach came by to show me his new scooter hacks, which are amazing, and brought me a really big comfy foam cushioned seat back with a wood panel backing, for my travelscoot, which will be really good if I hack it down to half its size and bolt it nicely on. Or maybe a large amount of velcro backing and some sort of clip. It needs to be as portable as possible. i am super touched he brought it. The new hacks are a big power converter so his huge 35 amp hour batteries can now charge a car charger port mounted in the scooter side. There are also new speakers which he scavenged from noisebridge and mounted on the back in older looking cases so no one will steal them. they fit perfectly! soon to come, a microphone (xlr) jack so he can plug a mic straight into the scooter speakers.

hannah's board game party was fun yesterday. i feel glad to hold my friends close.
[personal profile] yendi
We started catching up on Musketeers shortly before this, so seeing Capaldi twice in one day in different roles was fun.

Anyway, here was what I tweeted before the episode based on the trailer/description:

Quick thoughts on "Into the Dalek" follow the actual spoiler tag. But for those wondering, no, it wasn't better than TTG. It was, however, better than last week's Who.

The good:

Clara. Actually, less Clara than her new potential paramour. Well, that's not fair. I find her a little manic pixie dream girlish* in her relation to Mr. Pink (who really should be played by Steve Buscemi), but Pink himself is wonderful. In fact, as a soldier who clearly hasn't recovered from war, he's basically the Ninth Doctor. Obviously, there's a long game plot being played at the school, but I find it at least starting to make Clara more interesting.
Actually, while Schoolteacher Clara might be all MPDG, Companion Clara is pretty awesome this week, doing what a companion's supposed to do** and reminding the Doctor of emotions like compassion that he so often forgets about. This feels like the Clara we saw last season (especially at the beginning).

And Journey's pretty awesome (as is Gretchen for her sixty seconds of actually doing anything).

Oh, while shrinking down is a dumb plot gimmick (see below) the Doctor's comments about lasagna were fucking hysterical. As was pretty much everything Capaldi did. As with Matt Smith, when the actor is better than the material, you do occasionally get some wonderful moments whether the writer has earned it or not. His handling of Ross (plot holes aside -- see below) was pragmatic and still kind of horrifying. Likewise, the fact that the Doctor's hatred of the Daleks was enough to focus Rusty's hatred on its own race was a nice touch, and helps keep this Doctor in a solidly dark place (once again delivering on the unfulfilled promise of the War Doctor).

Until proven otherwise, Michelle Gomez and her "Heaven" will intrigue me. Elayna noted that the colors are reminiscent of "Silence in the Library," and that's certainly one legit take on an afterlife (although without luring the Doctor into that VR world, I'm not sure what good it would do). And the Doctor's saving of Journey makes a nice parallel to Missy's saving of Gretchen.

Oh, and I may have missed it last week, but the Doctor's ship redesign includes stocked bookshelves in the main room!

The bad:

So the thing about that Tweet, aside from the fact that TTG did do the same plotline less than two weeks ago, is that the "shrink down to go inside someone's body" plotline is stupid. It's always been stupid. It was stupid in Fantastic Voyage. It was stupid in Innerspace. It was stupid the last time Who did it. It's no less stupid if you call it a "fantastic" idea (yes, we get it). It works best on something like The Tick or TTG because those shows are about stupid ideas (deliberately, as opposed to anything Moffat might do).

And it got dumber as we went inside the Dalek to realize that no one on Who has thought about what the inside of a Dalek should be like. Or worse, they thought that '60s Star Trek was a good reference point. A Dalek is made of Jeffries Tubes? Really? And has anyone involved with the show ever even opened up a computer? Small electronics aren't just tiny versions of big electronics. Really.

And having to fight off "antibodies" just ensured that this would be exactly the same story we get in every other "shrink and go into the body" story. And why would the antibodies -- which presumably don't have security cameras -- go specifically after Ross instead of everyone in the group at first? Also, if the Dalek sees someone putting a tiny grappling hook into its metal as something an antibody should fight, wouldn't it also react to the hundreds of pounds of pressure as people clomp through its "hallways?"

Also, last week the Doctor was all, "my face, my face, what's up with my face?" Now, he's just content with it. It's almost like the writers forgot about last week or something. Granted, one of the writers is the guy behind "Waters of Mars" (the worst, by far, of the Tennant specials). But the other one was Moffat, who should have a clue about last week's show.

I'm not sure how I feel about the notion that Dalek's are basically "born bad." Morality seems inherently linked to intelligence and agency, and I'm just not a fan of the notion that any "unbroken" Dalek has to be evil. That said, the notion of Daleks as evil is something Moffat's basically inherited, so I'm a little more forgiving on this front, but it might not have been the best thing to shine a light on without really examining the implications.

The Speculation:

I already noted Elayna's comments about Missy above. She also noted that this is now the second week in a row that we've seen one student (the one snarkily saying "she wishes" about the school secretary); as a rule, I tend to assume recurring characters will have impact, but I'm not sure what hers is yet.

I'm not sure if Pink will end up doing the boyfriend-as-companion thing like Rory/Mickey, or if he'll more be the lifeline/plothook for Clara to leave her adventuring behind. Or some third option mixing the two (his backstory leading to an adventure that causes her to quit; he could have fought with UNIT or some other group).

Really, beyond "hey, he's morally ambiguous," there just wasn't any development of The Doctor, so no real speculation's possible on that front.

*Yes, I know that Nathan Rabin has expressed dismay at the term he created. It's overused, but pretty damned valid here.

**As opposed to being a strawman for a particular subset of fans, almost none of whom I've ever actually met.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
[personal profile] alixtii

Title: The Whipping Girl
Author: [personal profile] alixtii
Fandom: Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card
Pairing: Peter Wiggin/Valentine Wiggin (note that that is a sibling incest pairing)
Summary: He loves her for her martyrdom.
A/N: Set in an AU where Val didn't leave to go with Ender but stayed with Peter instead

Format: MP3
Length: 0:06:37
Size: 6.41 MB

Original text at AO3.
Download or stream from Google.
Temporary download from Sendspace.

Make. better. games.

Aug. 29th, 2014 08:22 pm
shadowspar: A incorporeal undead creature floating in midair, with sharp claws and an evil grin (Wesnoth: Shadow)
[personal profile] shadowspar

I don't understand the rational basis behind people's opposition to Anita Sarkeesian's work, if indeed there is any.

I grant that I haven't plumbed the depths of Reddit, 4chan, and sundry gaming forums looking for reasoned argument, because those places are fucking gross. But what I have found seems to be naught more than a paranoid chorus of "she's out to get our games!"

Some self-identified "gamers" seem to think that Sarkeesian's saying "Stop making games". She's not. She's saying "Games can be better than this. Make better games."

The myriad cries of "censorship!" and "political correctness!" suggest the perceived danger is that games will change as a result of Sarkeesian's critique—that the amount of abuse and misogyny will decrease, and that the number of female characters with agency and development will increase. This makes the rallying cry of "she's out to get our games!" sound more like "she's out to emasculate our games!"

I have news for you, gamer dudes. If gratuitous misogyny and violence is how you define masculinity, then you've got a big fucking problem.

Some free iOS games of note

Aug. 28th, 2014 08:58 am
[personal profile] yendi
All of these have dropped in the last couple of days. The first few might stay free, since they have plenty of IAP available. The last probably won't.

1. Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage. A goofy game using the slice mechanic from Cut the Rope and Cat on a Diet, but with large chunks of ice. Some decent strategy stuff, and definitely worth grabbing for fans of physics-based puzzlers.

2. Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. Yes, the same game that was on the PC some fifteen years ago. A little too heavy with the IAP at some points, but still a lot of nostalgic fun.

3. Beach Games. I'm a big fan of Donut Games, who do nice simple games that are really easy to get into and have a great aesthetic.. This is exactly what it sounds like, with simple games you'd play at the beach.

4. Krashlander --- I've mentioned this before (the last time it was dropped to free). This is a ridiculously hard, but incredibly well-done game. Basically, you're controlling a skier and trying to knock over robots. It's incredibly difficult, but really meticulously designed (and difficult in a good way, unlike, say, Swing Copters).


Aug. 27th, 2014 08:10 pm
[personal profile] yendi
So there's a new show called Selfie. And it stars Karen Gillan (of Doctor Who fame), John Cho (of a zillion things, including Star Trek, the much-missed Go On, and some movies about stoners and NPH). And it's created by Emily Kapnek, who gave us Suburgatory (and likes to cast twentysomething redheads as her leads, I guess)!

Sounds great, right?

Jesus fuck, is the pilot a hot mess. It's available early on demand, but really, you'll want that time back. It's some of the worst writing I've ever encountered, and I've read multiple books from DC's New 52 as well as a Piers Anthony novel called The Color of Her Panties.

Look, Kapnek's always written "unrealistic" characters. That's part of Suburgatory's charm. But Gillan's Eliza Dooley (yes, the show's that unsubtle) is so fucking over the top, she's existing in a completely different world from the rest of the cast. She tosses around hashtags and acronyms like she's in a rejected Fallon skit, but associates with no one else speaking her "language," in spite of her success (which, we're told, is owed entirely to her short skirts and sexual availability; this is a classy show, folks). Kapnek seems to understand that social media is a thing that exists, and has clearly read Wikipedia articles about the various big platforms, but doesn't have a clue about how it actually works, or the type of engagement someone would have to commit to actually become Internet Famous. She also seems to completely misgrasp how an embarrassing video would affect someone's life (in this day and age, it abets celebrity, instead of hindering it).

The show is pretty much entirely about shaming people who use social media as narcissists (and specifically women; men in this show don't seem to have any online presence), and is the more ridiculous because it is both literally and creatively impossible for Eliza to have gotten where she is today with the personality or lack of knowledge she has.

There's one good scene -- an over-the-top wedding vow recital that strikes the right balance (so much so that I wouldn't doubt it was cut from a Suburgatory script). There are about three good lines in the rest of the episode, and only one (a dig at Gwyneth Paltrow) goes to either of the leads.

If you want to watch Cho and Gillan, just wait until someone on YouTube mashes up Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy; the result, no matter how amateurish, will be better than this mess.

(no subject)

Aug. 26th, 2014 03:31 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
I keep having big plans for the day but then I am continuously awake for 23 hours so I spend the whole day asleep or I have to get rid of my computer chair and then I have to go on a Horrible Ikea Quest to get a new one when it's late August and EVERYONE is buying dorm room stuff or...

At least it's a 3-day weekend coming up. I should be able to accomplish something, with three days to work with.

Additional out-there Who theory

Aug. 25th, 2014 07:30 am
[personal profile] yendi

Yes, I still prefer the theory that the new Big Bad is really the Master, but given the frequent use of mirrors, what if it was Daughter of Mine? Or possibly Mother of Mine, with the rest of the Family being called in?

Yeah, I know that's not likely at all (how often does anything from the Davies run get mentioned unless Moffat wrote it?), but it's another group of antagonists who can change appearances, and it's the one group from the Modern Who run who have encountered The Doctor at his darkest and most vindictive.

Who thoughts

Aug. 24th, 2014 09:04 am
[personal profile] yendi
Well, that sure was a Moffat episode. That said, regeneration episodes are tricky, effectively pilots for the New Doctor, so I'm not judging this run on one episode.

Putting the good, the bad, and the speculation behind a spoiler tag.

The good:

Peter Capaldi gives a fine performance, and is nicely morally ambiguous.

The Doctor's redecoration (and his opinion that it needs more round things) is nifty.

Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Drax remain the best things from Moffat's run.

Calling back to "The Girl in the Fireplace" was a nice touch.

The hints of a mystery behind the Doctor's face and whoever brought him and Clara together. Mind you, Moffat's always good at setting mysteries up. It's resolving them that's a problem. Also liked the repeated use of mirrors throughout the show. It felt like an M. Night Shyamalan touch in the best of all possible ways.

The "did he jump or was he pushed" thing was nice, even if we saw it thirty years ago with Jason Todd.

As always, Moffat tends to have sharp and witty dialogue (when not dealing with the plot).

Michelle Gomez! Eee! I adored her on Green Wing (and between this and Broadchurch, it's been a good time for GW alums, although I still say Olivia Colman would have been a better choice for Twelve).

The bad:

Oh, jesus, where to start?

How about with Clara's being freaked out by the Doctor changing. I mean, she's the companion most able to deal with this, in theory. She's seen every fucking incarnation of him (and didn't freak out then, either). What the fucking fuck?

So Eleven, a few hundred years before his death, called Clara in her future to make sure that someone who he'd have no reason to doubt would handle a reincarnation would handle it okay?

Also, Clara knows the Doctor best? Really? Aside from her seeing every incarnation throughout time (something Moffat's clearly ignoring, since he obviously believes the writer behind that was a moron), she's got nada. River Song, his wife, probably knows him better. Ditto Rose and Rory, who travelled with him for much longer. Or maybe Madame Vastra herself, given her comments.

Hey, is this the second episode that's killed a dinosaur for cheap pathos? Why yes, I think it is.

Also, Victorian London's lack of overall reaction to a Dinosaur in the Thames is surprising. Especially since a dinosaur with a big enough throat to swallow a TARDIS whole is basically Godzilla-sized. Keeping her in the water wouldn't change the fact that she'd displace enough water to flood half the city.

The Speculation:

I'm assuming the villain at the end is NOT the person who brought Clara and the Doctor together twice now, and that the latter is either someone unknown or River. Given that the Doctor needs his companion, bringing them together seems like something that I'd expect from an ally. Then again, that assumes she's A) a pure villain, and B) that there's not a benefit to having the Doctor survive and thrive for her plans.

I'm also assuming that the questions the Doctor has about his face will tie into the Pompei episode.

As to the villain, if she's not someone entirely new, I could see them going with someone like Romana, The Rani, or The Master. I like that last theory best, frankly. John Simm's awesome (and I've got the pilot of The Intruders still waiting for me), but we should have a new Master, and Gomez would be a great casting choice there, as she's capable of going full-unhinged on the drop of a pin.

A few TV notes

Aug. 22nd, 2014 02:15 pm
[personal profile] yendi
1. There were few shows I was looking forward to as much as Legends, but what a wasted pilot. It had it all -- a generic plot, a wasted performance by Emmy winner Zeljko Ivanek, a flimsy excuse to put the lead actress in a sexually demeaning position (which is then exacerbated by the inexcusable actions of the lead), and the murder of both people of color who appeared. Sean Bean is talented, but there's only so much he can do here. We didn't bother recording the second one, in spite of our collective household love for Tina Majorino.

2. Casting Adrianne Palicki as Mockingbird on Agents of Shield is an awesome meta "fuck you" to DC. Not sure whether or not she'll be good (and I'm generally really mixed on Mockingbird, due to how she's been used over the years in the comics), but I do approve of it so far.

3. This week's True Blood (the penultimate episode) featured a sex scene that might have replaced Bill/Lorena for my favorite "you must be kidding me" sex scene on the show. Not spoiling it, but if you watched, you know what I mean.

4. Jesus, the ending of Perception. And now we need to wait until February to resolve the cliffhanger.

5. Season 2 of Gravity Falls has made me very happy so far.


Aug. 21st, 2014 10:26 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Forgot to say that the whale watching was great. I was not seasick at all. I stood up a lot and felt quite at home!!!!

Many expeditions

Aug. 21st, 2014 06:52 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Today I weighed up what I had to do and considered: no kids to care/shop/cook etc. for till the weekend, no meetings past 10am, work stress pretty low right now. It was sunny even in the early morning. This is what I have been waiting for all summer to go to the beach or basically, anywhere at all that isn't my usual haunts. I would like to use my bit of extra energy not to clean the house, do laundry, or shop or even go do physical therapy or go to the pain clinic. It is time for a Very Mild Adventure!

I plotted a little and then took the J and N to the beach, worked and had lunch from a cafe. The train wasn't too bad, though it took an hour. Lunch at Beachside (food not as nice as it looked, no wireless, but outside tables) Then worked from the Java hut or whatever it is, and then once it got really sunny scooted across the Great Highway and went up to where there is a sidewalk (opposite the windmill at the corner of Golden Gate Park).

I walked a little way into the sand next to some sand dunes thinking maybe i could establish myself in some way looking at the ocean.

Sand is good for challenging all your small different muscles in your ankles and knees. Like with the whale watching, I could feel things happening in my ankles that were exciting but scary. Either I'm re-damaging them in horrible ways, or I'm breaking adhesions or scar tissue in there deep down. I can move my ankles better in the last couple of weeks, bending them further up. and have been icing them at least twice a day (often all night)

I could not get very far into the sand and the beach is very huge. I thought how I am lucky to get to do this and felt congratulatory for at least getting to the beach twice this summer at all (once with the kids to Aquatic Park which is super easy access and narrow) and glad that I picked a good day that was sunny and warm. Then suddenly felt sad like I could not bear the pollyannaish being glad thing. It is true I am lucky and can feel appreciative and yet I also have the horrible thought every time I do something that maybe this is the best it gets and I will never get any further onto a beach, or with walking, or whatever, and everything will get more difficult. Still, whatever, right, because I am also lucky enough to cope well with it and have a ton of support, skills, privilege, job, etc. to make things extremely pleasant and easy. And, a month ago I could not have done this as I was still too exhausted and weak from not being able to eat/gastritis/esophagus or whatever it is. Fuck, 2 weeks ago I was also getting over a cold and was hapy just to be carted along on yatima's errand. (which was great... and took us to the presidio and beach side both... but i was decrepit.) So obviously I felt happy to be able to have an independent outing and my usual pride in being bad ass enough to go across town in my tiny scooter. Take that, FEAR. I felt in planning it that I was brave enough to do it because the scooter will fit into a car and I could call a taxi which woudl actually come get me, if I got so tired that taking two trains back was daunting or if I hurt myself by accident.

BUT I thought, well here I am alone at the beach in a desolate spot. No one is looking. Perhaps I could just have a brief cry about it all. I felt some grief and loss. I wished i could have been at the beach on the east coast where my family was a few weeks ago, and there would be beach roses instead of eternal west coast ice plant/sea fig. Everything would smell "right" and would be lovely though sad in other ways. Mostly I just wished I could climb around and run around in the sand and go down to the water and feel more free to explore as I very much like to do. I cried a bit for when we were at bean hollow last week with my dad and I couldn't go look at the tide pools with moomin though I really wanted to. At least he did what i told him and went without me and had a good long look at them on his own. OK. So I cried on the beach for 10 minutes and felt very self indulgent. I wished I could just be in a sad mood for the rest of the day. I thought how nice it would be to have a strong drink or be on the super duper drugs they shoot into my veins when I get my back injections. (I think some combo of valium and other things) Then I felt better and went back to the cafe and worked some more and got a VERY crowded train home.

I am still kind of weepy to be honest.

I plotted future trips and thought it would be nice to go out again but allow much more time, and go all the way up to cliff house and the nature center/overlook/gift shop/coffee bar just above Sutro baths. Or even further and scooter all along the walkways around the point whatever that is called which I haven't been on for years.

It was a tantalizing but not really satisfying beach trip.

I'd like to go to Moss Landing but have a magic dune buggy to go out along the beach and also be able to kayak through the slough there without hurting the hell out of my hands. Not sure if I could really do it anymore. Maybe in a tandem kayak. An could it be an invisible dune buggy so I could chill the fuck out and get in and out of my wheelchair without 800 people staring at me and stuff.

I talked a good long while with a guy whose mom had a stroke and has a jazzy, at the train platform behind the safeway. he was very nice and we discussed the intricacies of scootering. She needs a joystick controller really and more stabilty than a travelscoot but there could still be smaller powerchairs (she is small) that fold up. Also, an off duty muni driver at the java hut talked with me a while about his wife who has MS and another kind of large scooter that she has trouble fitting anywhere. She would like something more portable but insurance will not pay. She could handle or nearly handle something like my scooter. I got him to drive it around a little bit to try it out. Also, I talked with many, many other people from kids to surfers to random slightly limping older ladies who all liked the scooter and thought it looked cool and wished they had one to play with or get around better on. I should keep count. I always have slightly ambiguous grumpy feelings about the people who seem to approve of me extra because I take up less space and "look cool". Thanks but how about if I didn't, would you just hate on me or what. I try to take it as best as possible and I also utterly don't mind children who are like HOLY SHIT I MUST DRIVE THIS FUN TINY MOTOR TRICYCLE THING while their parents are scared I will be angry. Hahahhaa.

Day of Feelings!
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
It's a skill, as a reader, to be able to take things on their own terms -- to look at not what you would have done differently or what you don't like, but to look most of all at the rules and the structure that the book sets out for itself.

And it's a skill, as a writer, to be able to figure out your own vision and hew closely to it, and discard all the easy solutions and obvious possibilities to get to the exact right one.

It's hard to do both of those things at the same time.

(It's hard enough to do just one of them.)

This is why a lot of writers find it hard to read fiction while they're writing, isn't it?

Or else I'm just maundering through the book landscape going "HULK SMASH."

Maybe I just don't get it

Aug. 19th, 2014 01:53 pm
[personal profile] yendi
I'm getting lots of email from my alma mater about my twentieth reunion.

And I'm just a tad baffled.

I kind of get high school reunions; if you liked the people you went to school with, why not catch up with them after all these years? I've never had a huge interest in it, but I do get it (and am vaguely considering my 25th next year, mainly because it's reasonably easy to hop a bus to NYC).

But college was never about the people who graduated in 1994. Sure, some of them were my friends, but at college, you take classes with kids from all four years, you often room with them, and friendships form around clubs, events, etc. Other than my freshman hall, I never once had a group that was only folks in my class, and my freshman hall was 75% douches who joined fraternities and embodied the second through tenth worst stereotypes thereof. I had friends who were two or three years older than me, and ones who were freshmen when I was a senior. That's a range of six or seven years. Why would I want to go back to only see a chunk of those people?

Also, hi. We live in the age of the internet. I know exactly how about 80% of the folks I remember from college are doing. Including most of the folks from my freshman hall that I liked (and too many of the ones I didn't).

So why, exactly, would I want to pay hundreds to travel back to campus, see maybe fifteen people (if I'm lucky) that I actually remember, and not see almost anyone I actually give a shit about? Any why is this a huge thing in general? I mean, if you went to a fucking huge school like Michigan, why in the world would you travel back, when the odds of even seeing those folks from your class would be smaller than mine?
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