Reading Not-Wednesday

Jun. 24th, 2017 04:37 pm
brigdh: (Default)
[personal profile] brigdh
What did you just finish?
Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence that Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago by Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi. A nonfiction book about Sabella Nitti, a woman who was found guilty of murdering her husband in 1923 Chicago – making her the first woman to be given a death sentence by an American court. (Note: not really. Plenty of women had hung or burned or otherwise received capital punishment before Nitti, but a lack of historical awareness meant that the lawyers, judges, and general public at the time reacted as though this was a new development, and chose to be proud of it or appalled by it as their personal politics dictated.) She is probably best-remembered these days as the inspiration for the Hungarian-speaking woman in the musical Chicago; here she is protesting her innocence during the Cell Block Tango.

Nitti was an Italian immigrant, illiterate, a farm wife, ugly (at least according to the reporters covering the case), and spoke no English or mainstream Italian, but only a fairly rare dialect called Barese. In addition, she was saddled with a defense lawyer who seemed to be actively losing the ability to maintain a train of thought – his behavior during the trial was remarkably unhelpful to her cause, and he would later spend years in a mental asylum. These factors almost guaranteed she would receive a guilty verdict despite the fact that it was never even clear if her husband was actually dead (it seems likelier he just decided to abandon the family), much less that she was the one who killed him. The local sheriff and one of Nitti's own sons seem to have been the prime movers in pinning the crime on her, despite the lack of evidence.

The depiction of the prejudices and passions of 1920s Chicago was where the book really shone. Women had newly gained the vote, and many saw the potential death sentence of a woman as connected to that – with power comes responsibility. Others argued that women were inherently deserving of mercy: "She is a mother and a mother has never been hanged in the history of this country. I do not believe the honorable court here will permit a mother to hang.” And then, of course, there was the issue of looks, of proper decorum – the pretty, fashionable yet obviously guilty women judged innocent by their all-male juries, and Nitti condemned to hang.

The first 2/3rds or so of the book, when Lucchesi is guiding the reader through Nitti's life before her husband's disappearance and the subsequent trial, are pretty great. Unfortunately the last third loses the thread. Lucchesi detours into describing the backstories of various prisoners Nitti would have met or other contemporary court cases in Chicago; none of it seems to have much to do with Nitti, who disappears from the page for chapters at a time. Some of these would become the inspiration for other characters in Chicago, but since Lucchesi won't mention the musical until the epilogue, the reader is left to make the connection on their own or be confused. (Overall I found the book's lack of direct acknowledgement of Chicago odd – it's so obviously hanging there, waiting for the reader to notice it, and yet Lucchesi treats it like a devil who will bring bad luck if its name is invoked. Not to mention the missed marketing opportunity.) Others, like the two chapters spent on the Leopold and Loeb case, just seem to have interested Lucchesi and were vaguely connected, so she threw them in as a afterthought.

It's a good example of historical crime writing, even if it needed a better structural editor.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.


Golden Hill by Francis Spufford. THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD EVERYONE READ IT IMMEDIATELY. A novel set in 1746 New York City, the book opens with the arrival in town of Richard Smith, fresh from London and bearing a bill for a thousand pounds. All of the novel's action is compacted within the next 60 days, as various New Yorkers wait to receive word from England proving Smith is who he says he is and if he really is owed such a fabulous sum; in the meantime they (and the reader) are left to figure out the mysterious Smith: a conman who should be thrown in the city's freezing jail? a wealthy aristocrat who your daughters should be encouraged to woo? a French spy, come to exploit the division between the city's new-born political parties? an actor, a Catholic, a gay man, a libertine, or possibly even a Turkish magician? Through it all Smith delights in giving no answers, reveling in the New World as a place to remake himself. I generally am suspicious of books that deliberately hide information from the reader, but it's done so well here and leads to such a delightful revelation that I think it was the perfect choice.

Spufford's style is a moderate pastiche of 18th century novels; here are the opening lines as an example:
The brig Henrietta having made Sandy Hook a little before the dinner hour—and having passed the Narrows about three o’clock—and then crawling to and fro, in a series of tacks infinitesimal enough to rival the calculus, across the grey sheet of the harbour of New York—until it seemed to Mr. Smith, dancing from foot to foot upon deck, that the small mound of the city waiting there would hover ahead in the November gloom in perpetuity, never growing closer, to the smirk of Greek Zeno—and the day being advanced to dusk by the time Henrietta at last lay anchored off Tietjes Slip, with the veritable gables of the city’s veritable houses divided from him only by one hundred foot of water—and the dusk moreover being as cold and damp and dim as November can afford, as if all the world were a quarto of grey paper dampened by drizzle until in danger of crumbling imminently to pap:—all this being true, the master of the brig pressed upon him the virtue of sleeping this one further night aboard, and pursuing his shore business in the morning. (He meaning by the offer to signal his esteem, having found Mr. Smith a pleasant companion during the slow weeks of the crossing.) But Smith would not have it. Smith, bowing and smiling, desired nothing but to be rowed to the dock. Smith, indeed, when once he had his shoes flat on the cobbles, took off at such speed despite the gambolling of his land-legs that he far out-paced the sailor dispatched to carry his trunk—and must double back for it, and seizing it hoist it instanter on his own shoulder—and gallop on, skidding over fish-guts and turnip leaves and cats’ entrails, and the other effluvium of the port—asking for direction here, asking again there—so that he appeared most nearly as a type of smiling whirlwind when he shouldered open the door—just as it was about to be bolted for the evening—of the counting-house of the firm of Lovell & Company, on Golden Hill Street, and laid down his burden while the prentices were lighting the lamps, and the clock on the wall showed one minute to five, and demanded, very civilly, speech that moment with Mr. Lovell himself.

However, it's 18th century language hiding a 21st century attitude; this is a novel deeply aware of gender and racial divisions, for all that they're mostly hidden behind humor and a page-turning sense of suspense. It's a New York City shaped and haunted by the ghosts of the slave revolt of 1741, and its shadow lies over every page, thought it's only ever directly addressed in one on-page conversation (though goddamn, it's a conversation with resonance). Smith meets and begins to court Tabitha Lovell, who is described as a "shrew" by her family and the rest of this small-town New York. Her portrayal though, is much more complex than that stereotype, and it's never quite clear how much she is an intelligent woman brutally confined by social strictures or how much she suffers from an unnamed mental illness.

And yet it's fun book, an exciting book! There are glorious set-pieces here: Smith racing over the rooftops of winter New York, outpacing a mob howling for his blood; a duel fought outside the walls of the city that turns in a split second from humor to horror; a play acted on the closest thing New York has to a stage; a card game with too much money invested. The writing is alternatively beautiful and hilarious, and I'm just completely in love with all of it.

I really can't recommend this book enough. I came into it not expecting much, but it turned out to be exactly what I wanted.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.


Mount TBR update: No change: 18


What are you currently reading?
The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley. A new book by the author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, a book which approximately one million people have recommended to me and yet I still haven't gotten around to reading. But, uh... I've got this one! :D

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:42 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia is now saying that she doesn't want to go to camp in August because she doesn't think she can handle a week without me. She also says that she's sure all of the other kids will be awful people and that there will be so many people present that there's no hope of her managing to spend any time with the people she actually knows.

She's been wanting lots of hugs and cuddling and reassurance that I'll always be there for her. She's also afraid any time she lets herself stop and think (mostly in the evenings). Her days have been pretty full, but she comes home and tells me that, even though she had fun, she missed me horribly. I think she's got some sort of worry that, if she's not checking up on me regularly, I'll just vanish.

I finally listened to the voicemail Cordelia's psychiatrist left. She says that the Celexa ought to stay at a steady level for twenty four hours on a single dose and that this may mean the dose is too low. Cordelia is afraid of upping the dose because she's connected her tiredness to the medication. I need to call the doctor back on Monday to discuss it.

Cordelia has more or less mastered swallowing small pills. Last night, she asked what I take for cramps, and I gave her a naproxen. It took her two swallows to get it down, but she did, and she was astonished to discover that it did help.

Her report card came today. It's all A's with an A+ in gym and an A- in algebra. Cordelia's of the opinion that they can't have counted the algebra final in that grade because she thinks that would have taken her down to B+ or even B range. I can't tell from PowerSchool whether or not she's right. It doesn't actually matter. B grades are good, too, and that particular class has been nasty for all the students due to the teacher not being very good.

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:24 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I wrote a lot yesterday, a bit more than 2300 words. I find that amazing given that I spent most of the day in a groggy haze, trying to figure out whether or not I had a window for napping.

Scott had to work 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. today. We got a call from the shift supervisor about half an hour after Scott went to bed. The guy wanted to make sure Scott knew he had to come in. He kept stumbling over what he was saying and talking in circles. I'm pretty sure that he had a script in mind for the call and that I blew it up by saying that Scott was in bed and couldn't come to the phone. Scott identified the caller simply based on my description of the guy's confusion.

I ended up staying up a bit later than I meant to because the writing was working well. For some reason, just the thought of needing to go to bed makes me able to produce words and plot and all of that. I think I slept a solid eight hours once I did go to bed, so there's that. I kind of want to go back to bed, though.

Scott has Monday scheduled off because it's our anniversary. I have a couple of minor errands that will be much easier if someone gives me a ride, so we'll deal with those. The rest of the day is ours. Cordelia is now saying that Scott and I should celebrate however we want, including without her, because it's our day. (She said something on the order of "I wasn't involved in your wedding.") This is a change from years past. I don't know that we'll leave her at home, but it's nice that, if we did, she'd be okay with it.
musesfool: lester bangs on rock'n'roll (music)
[personal profile] musesfool
So this week's AV Club Q&A is favorite one hit wonders (though certainly the definition of "one hit" is...elastic, and dependent in many cases on where you live), and more than a couple of songs I love got mentioned and then I ended up departing from that original premise and going on a youtube spiral of music from my teenage years, a lot of which I hadn't heard in decades probably (and some of which is still in regular rotation on my iPod, though I left out most of the usual suspects), but here are some gems:

- Let Me Go - Heaven 17
- Hit That Perfect Beat - Bronski Beat
- Don't Go - Yaz
- Love to Hate You - Erasure
- Obsession - Animotion
- West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys
- Tenderness - General Public
- I Melt With You - Modern English
- Whisper to a Scream - Icicle Works
- Cruel Summer - Bananarama
- Voices Carry - 'Til Tuesday
- Forever Young - Alphaville
- What Do All the People Know? - the Monroes
- Heart and Soul - T'Pau
- If You Leave - OMD
- Question of Lust - Depeche Mode
- The Promise - When In Rome
- True - Spandau Ballet
- Hold Me Now - Thompson Twins
- No One Is to Blame - Howard Jones
- Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House

***

(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 12:09 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I slept better last night than I did the night before, and the sneezing and such seem to be gone. I will likely keep taking the various allergy medications for a few days in case what I'm seeing is them working rather than the trigger being gone. I'm still pretty tired, so I will likely try to nap later on. Cordelia and I don't have anything planned today, so I think it will be feasible.

I'm debating Camp NaNo. The main thing against it is that it doesn't tend to motivate me to write more or more often. The social aspect only works for me if I know the people I'm interacting with. Then again, signing up costs me nothing (except a lot of emails from the website).

I realized yesterday that the first two pages of a side project I was working on didn't belong in the story at all. They were necessary world building/scene setting for me but would probably bore readers. I can work in a lot of the details that matter later in the story and in small chunks.

Does anyone know anything about the folks running [personal profile] captiveaudience? The maintainers on the AO3 collection are [archiveofourown.org profile] nonx and [archiveofourown.org profile] CaramelShadows. The former looks like a sock, and I don't recognize the latter. The exchange theme, captivity with either Stockholm Syndrome or Lima Syndrome, sounds like something I'd have fun with, but I suspect it's not likely to be a large exchange. At the moment, it looks more appealing than Fic Corner simply because there's nothing in the Fic Corner tagset that I'd be really enthusiastic about writing. There are a number of things I could write and/or request, but I don't know if I'd enjoy writing any of them.

I suspect that part of the problem is that the things I'd be comfortable offering to write are all kind of old and not necessarily the sorts of things that people think of first when signing up for exchanges. There are often specific requests that are things I'd be comfortable writing, but without the specifics, I don't dare offer because there's a lot of those canons that I don't feel I know well enough or have time/access to review properly. The things I can generally offer always have way more offers than requests.

it's braver sometimes just to run

Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:55 am
musesfool: Kermit the Frog (can't look clowns will eat me)
[personal profile] musesfool
Last night, we had dinner at Joanne's, the Lady Gaga family restaurant. The food was fine, but for the prices they charge, I expected at least two meatballs with my spaghetti and meatball dinner. To be fair, the one meatball was of decent size, but still, it's listed as spaghetti and meatballs on the menu so it's not ridiculous to expect there to be more than one meatball on the plate. I am just saying.

It's warm and clammy today, which is my second least favorite combination (cold and clammy is worse), but I'm looking forward to the weekend, as this week has seemed endless. It was so hard to get out bed. Sigh.

I did just get off the phone with 1. the realtor and then 2. the lawyer, so things are progressing there re: the negotiation of a slightly lower price due to the low appraisal (all thanks, apparently, to the fact that while the seller lists the apartment in Forest Hills, it actually exists in Rego Park which is one - slightly less expensive - neighborhood over. And if you are from Queens, you know what I mean). The question is whether this affects the lender in any way, but since the loan amount is the loan amount regardless, I'm not sure why it would? but what do I know? As per my lawyer's instructions, I am playing dumb (I mean, on this topic, despite all the info from Uncle Google, I actually am kind of dumb? so it's not hard! *hands*) The lawyer and mortgage broker are on top of that.

When I spoke to the realtor this morning, I was like, it's been a week since they received my application but I shouldn't expect to hear from them before the Fourth of July weekend? and he was like, "they don't like to disclose their schedule but I'll ask for an update," and then he just texted me to say that the board has received and is reviewing my application so EEP! That, more than the bank or the seller or the more normal processes of home-buying is what is freaking me out. I have more to say about this but probably not until it's all over, and even then, probably only in a locked post. Mostly what I want to say is EEP! At least I found my black dress (and my mom's pearls *snerk*) so I'm prepared!

I feel like I should have something fannish to say, and I'm sure I did before these phone calls all started happening, but I guess for right now, this househunting business is my main fandom. Sigh.

***

30 Day Music Meme - Day 22

Jun. 22nd, 2017 08:33 pm
lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)
[personal profile] lebateleur
22 - a song that moves you forward
  The Thermals – Pillar of Salt
  I don't know what "a song that moves you forward" is, but I love this track and it doesn't matter where I am, I cannot sit still when I listen to it.

これで以上です。

(no subject)

Jun. 22nd, 2017 12:11 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I think I'm having allergy problems right now. I started sneezing mid-afternoon yesterday, and by evening, my nose was running, and my left eye was watering constantly. No idea at all why my right eye is clear, but I'm glad of that much. I got about three hours of sleep last night because, any time I moved, I'd start sneezing and/or desperately need to blow my nose. (I'm not sure Scott got much sleep either.) Basically, shifting around makes me feel an itching burn in my sinuses that's really unpleasant. I've gone through an entire box of tissues so far.

I may have to take my box of tissues and a bag to throw the used ones into and vacate the house this afternoon because I'm pretty sure that the stuff the cleaning lady uses will make things much, much worse. But I can't imagine what I'd do with myself for five hours, especially if it's raining.

I'm trying to think of anything that changed in the house yesterday, and I'm coming up completely empty. I also didn't eat or drink anything different or use different toiletries.

My anniversary present for Scott has arrived. I got him some bluetooth earbuds. His old ones died, and he needs them for listening to podcasts and audiobooks while doing things like mowing the lawn.

Cordelia has her volunteer training for working at the library this afternoon. I need to prod her a bit to make sure she actually eats something before she goes. She'll also have to leave earlier than she wants to be because of the bus detour (the training is at the Traverwood branch).

Scott will be going to bed early tonight because he'll need to get up around midnight to go to Top of the Park and get Cordelia. She has asked the friends she's going with if any of them can give her a ride home but hasn't gotten any answers yet. I offered to spring for a cab, but Cordelia balked at the expense. I don't know, though, $11 for Scott not to have to get up in the middle of the night? Sounds like a bargain to me.

I managed nearly 700 words on my NPT story yesterday. I still don't know exactly where it's going, though, and I'm a bit over 3000 words. This does not bode well. Then again, endings often come up unexpectedly and smack me in the face, so maybe I'll find the end soon.

(no subject)

Jun. 22nd, 2017 09:40 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Well, I work about two miles away from this zoo, so I could go and be disdained by this giraffe calf in person.

Theoretically. The air is about the temperature of boiling right now and the idea of actually setting foot on zoo grounds is not that tempting, really, even with the possibility of being personally disdained.

Rare Pair Fest

Jun. 22nd, 2017 03:25 pm
fragilespark: (Default)
[personal profile] fragilespark
I just signed up for [community profile] rarepairfest 2017! Sign ups close on 28th June, so check it out soon if you're interested. Minimum 1,000 words or completed artwork.

What Am I Reading Wednesday - June 21

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:25 pm
lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)
[personal profile] lebateleur
What I Just Finished Reading

The Windfall – Diksa Basu
I very much enjoyed this book. It resembles Austen in its gentle parodying of social mores and its characters' concern for status and material wealth, but also Shakespeare in the way the characters' desires and motivations are at cross-purposes to one another, with everyone misunderstanding everyone else's intentions, often to amusing consequences. In the end, Basu opted to keep things realistic, so there's no neat resolution to the novel's many plotlines, such as one would find at the end of an actual Shakespearean comedy. (And I'm not sure such a conclusion would have served the book better.) This one is fun and definitely deserving of a read.


What I Am Currently Reading

Buddhist Economics – Clair Brown
I'm supposed to have this finished for a book club on Saturday, and I just cracked it open. Heh-heh.

A Curious Mind – Brian Grazer & Charles Fishman
Brian Glazer has produced tons of well-known movies, although I had no idea who he was before I started reading this book. Basically, the guy seeks out talented and interesting people to have short conversations with, which he credits with sparking many of the ideas for his films. It's an interesting concept, and Glazer's narrative is largely free of ego, but it does suffer somewhat for his attempt to redefine everything (courage, civility, grit, you name it) as curiousity.

Tarot 101 – Kim Huggens
There's plenty of “look at the card and let your intuition tell you what it means” wishy-washiness here, but Huggens' grouping of the Major Arcana by archetype versus numerical order is refreshing. I'll be interested to see how she handles the Minors.

The Souls of China – Ian Johnson
Still truckin'.

The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom – John Pomfret
Still truckin'.

Deathless – Catheryne Valente
I lost steam on this one during part 3, but happily it picked up in the final chapter and now we are back in business. I've said this every week, but Valente's language is beautiful and sounds exactly like a fairy tale should. This week's chapters in particular have contained some gorgeously stark imagery.


What I'm Reading Next

The Essex Serpent, and I am very excited about it.


これで以上です。

Reading Wednesday

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:33 pm
chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)
[personal profile] chomiji

I finished All the Birds in the Sky. It wasn't bad, but it just sort of ended: too much build up, not enough resolution. And now I'm annoyed by the title, because although it sounds really nifty, it doesn't have all that much to do with the story. This is not going to be my top vote for best novel, I'm afraid.

Also in Hugo reading, I read through Ursula Le Guin's Words Are My Matter, a collection of recent short non-fiction pieces. I love Le Guin as an essayist, and the first part of the book contains some good examples. But the back half-and-a-bit is introductions to books and book reviews, and I found those less interesting. A number of them were for non-genre literary or magical realism works that didn't sound as though they'd appeal to me. She did mention a couple of Western (as in, Western U.S.) novels that I might want to look up, which I will mention here partially for my own reference: Crazy Weather by Charles McNichols and The Jump-Off Creek and The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss. Also, although Perdido Street Station pretty much put me off China Mielville for life, her review of Embassytown is making me reconsider.

Overall, unless the rest of the Related Works are very mediocre, I don't think this will be my top pick in that category.

I have just started Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, which is short-listed for Best Novel. A number of the readers on File 770 had trouble with this book, but I'm not finding it problematic thus far. Possibly the fact that I actually like Anthony Burgess' A Dead Man in Deptford (link goes to Kirkus review), which was also purposefully written in the style of an earlier era, has something to do with this. I'll have to see where the book goes, of course.

Finally, I'll be re-reading some of Fruits Basket, Because Reasons. Does anyone recall the number of the exact volume in which Machi shows up? It's when she wrecks the student council room, if the Wikia is to be believed.

30 Day Music Meme - Day 21

Jun. 21st, 2017 05:11 pm
lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)
[personal profile] lebateleur
THIS IS THE ENTRY I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.

21 - a favourite song with a person's name in the title
  The Pillows – Kim Deal
  The best song ever written, ever. After nearly two decades it still makes me incandescently happy whenever I listen to it.

これで以上です。

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 08:14 pm
lexin: (Default)
[personal profile] lexin
Smokey and I are throwing ourselves around in attitudes, as it’s very hot (for Britain) and very humid. I’m all miserable and sweaty, and I’m sure I can say the same for Smokey but she only sweats through her paws. She has quite sweaty paws, though, and was once found to be allergic to a specific type of kitty litter for that reason.

In other news, I’ve done the first pass of ripping my DVDs to soft copy. I’m left with a few irritations – some of the seasons of Criminal Minds didn’t rip properly and I’ll have to rip them again, this time into MKV files. Plus the titles got somehow mixed up (it was obviously my fault) on the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films, and I’m going to have to go through them patiently and make sure the right title is attached to each film. But it is mostly done.

I’m still following what’s coming out about the Grenfell Tower fire – the worst case of a fire since WW2, I think, and was totally avoidable if Kensington and Chelsea had just listened to the people who lived there and actually spent money on the place where it was needed. ‘Not political’ indeed! Ptui!

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 02:00 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia spent last night with her best friend, a sleepover. They went to a movie at Top of the Park (outdoor showing), so they were out quite late. I think they saw Hidden Figures. The girls are eager to go to more of these movies. The main difficulty is getting them home afterward. I don't think the buses run that late, and Scott can't stay up for that. I doubt the other girl's parents can either.

My psychiatrist says I should use Ativan every night for a while in the hope that that will get me used to the c-PAP. We discussed Lunesta as an option as well, but I wasn't keen on it because new medications that sedate me can send my anxiety through the roof. Lunesta might not since it's supposed to make a person fall asleep really, really fast, but... I thought trying Ativan first was wiser.

She also wants me to practice taking the gear off and putting it back on in as close to night time darkness as I can manage in the hope that that will help the anxiety caused by feeling less able to respond to an emergency. (What sort of emergency, I can't imagine. The anxiety portions of my brain are simply adamant that I must be prepared for emergencies at all times. All possible emergencies rather than anything specific.) There's a reason that, when I startle awake, including with an alarm, I wake pretty completely and can function immediately, no matter how tired I am. That ability to function fades as the day goes on.

I took an Ativan last night and used the c-PAP until Scott's alarm at 5 a.m. I slept without it after that until about 8:30 when Cordelia texted me with a question. That's two hours longer than I'd have slept on a school night. I'm still tired, but I'm able to function. Maybe this will work.

I'm starting to get a headache now, so I'm going to lie down for a while.

It seems a heavy choice to make

Jun. 21st, 2017 10:53 am
musesfool: text icon: O swear not by the moon, th' inconstant moon (swear not by the moon)
[personal profile] musesfool
In the ever-exciting news of the long slow process of co-op buying, late yesterday afternoon, I received a revised version of the appraisal - the one I got on Saturday had one number on the cover page and then another within the body of the document, and when I pointed that out to the lawyer, and he was like, "They're gonna go with the number in the document." Which was the lower number. But as of yesterday, the apartment is apparently worth the number on the cover page, which is $5000 more than the other. It's still $10K lower than the asking price, but it's proof that appraisers are human and make mistakes, so. We'll see what happens. I'm also still waiting to be contacted to set up the board interview. Sigh. I did find my black dress, though, so I'll be able to wear that when the time comes.

*

Last night, I made formulation #2 of anti-itch lotion and it doesn't have salt in it but it does have baking soda, so the unfortunately slightly gritty feel continues and also it didn't work (not to mention being an unappealing-for-a-skincare-product gray in color), so I think I'm just going to stick to more tried and true methods going forward.

*

Wednesday! Books!

What I've just finished
The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan. I enjoyed this - the action is a lot of fun and Leo got more to do - but oy, Apollo as narrator is annoying.

What I'm reading now
Despite an endless TBR pile, how could I resist Joan Aiken's The Five-Minute Marriage after reading amazing reviews by [personal profile] rachelmanija (here) and [personal profile] skygiants (here)?

I have especially fond memories of both The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Black Hearts in Battersea, though I haven't read either since I was a kid (I probably should reread at some point, and I did not know there were like five other books in that series), plus it's about a fake but real marriage set in the Regency era, so it was like five of my bulletproof narrative kinks in one book.

And boy does it deliver. Not so much on the actual romance, but with the hilarity and the fake marriage that turns out to be legitimate (in the sense of they are actually legally married rather than it being a fraudulent ceremony as they expected) and will likely turn into a real (as in they actually care about each other and stay married) marriage by the end of the book, grand romance notwithstanding, as well as the apparent alpha asshole hero who turns out to just be really stressed about babysitting his sister's TEN kids.

Anyway! I am enjoying it a lot and if that sounds like your cup of tea, you probably will too!

What I'm reading next
I do not know! However, I did want to give a heads up to anyone who doesn't know that Frances Hardinge has a new book coming out in the fall: A Skinful of Shadows. I am excite! And maybe I will read The Lie Tree next. I was saving it because it's the only Hardinge I haven't read yet, but if there's a new book on the horizon, I don't have to hoard it anymore. *g*

*

Icons: The Abominable Bride

Jun. 21st, 2017 12:08 pm
magnavox_23: (Sherlock_you)
[personal profile] magnavox_23 posting in [community profile] sherlockbbc
teasers:



The rest of this batch is available here. <3

30 Day Music Meme - Day 20

Jun. 20th, 2017 05:35 pm
lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)
[personal profile] lebateleur
20 - a song that has many meanings for you
  Fever Ray – Seven
  Rather than saying this song has many meanings, I would say there's no possible way to convey this song's meaning aside from through this song itself.

これで以上です。

arg dammit

Jun. 20th, 2017 01:01 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
just learned, after nuking my frozen tv-dinner-type lunch but before eating it, that pineapple has the same effect as grapefruit on antibiotics, especially those in the family that the I'm taking is in. Cooking may denature the enzyme that has the effect, but I can't get a specific answer as to whether or not 3 minutes of nuking (and whatever prep it might have had before) would destroy it.

Given that I'm allergic to a cousin of this AB* and that the bad effect is that it slows the elimination of it from the body, it's very much not worth risking it, especially as the last bad AB reaction I had kept me out of work for a very unhappy week. Dammit, it smells so good, too.


* both doc and pharmacist are well aware, and I have been given strict instructions to keep an eye on certain symptoms and phone immediately if they show up.

eta: and of course the library cafe isn't carrying the usual salads and sushi since it's summer. so i have a thing of instant oatmeal for lunch. I also brought cheese sticks, so it's not all I'm having, and we start our conversational Italian class tonight through campus' extended ed program, so we'll be eating dinner early. It's just Not Satisfying when I had my heart set on black bean chicken with pineapple sauce. Bah.

you oughta keep me concealed

Jun. 20th, 2017 02:04 pm
musesfool: girl with umbrella (rainy days and mondays)
[personal profile] musesfool
I spoke with my lawyer yesterday afternoon and he said that the appraisal coming in low shouldn't affect the loan because I'm putting 50% down, but that it can affect how much I have to pay, and he's going to ask the seller's lawyer what they're willing to do regarding bringing the price down a little to align with the appraisal (or explain why the appraisal is wrong). We agreed that I would still pay the full asking price if necessary, but he's going to see what he can get since this happened. We'll see!

*

Last night, I met up with [personal profile] chicklet_girl, who is visiting NYC, and we had steak dinner and fannish conversation and it was lovely. I managed to mostly avoid getting soaked too, right up until I was half a block from the restaurant, at which point the skies opened and I got drenched from the knees on down (I was wearing a dress so it didn't bother me that much). And then later, as we left the restaurant, the sky was a weird yellow color as the storms had moved east. I didn't see any rainbows, but I've heard from various people that they were all over.

*

So I made some anti-itch lotion, but I don't find it particularly effective, and also it has salt in it, which makes it gritty, which is not a sensation I want in something that's not meant to be an exfoliant. I mean, maybe if I mixed it up with a mixer it wouldn't feel that way, and but I'm not ready to commit my handmixer to non-food-related items. And since it doesn't really work any better than any of the other million different things I've tried (and it works significantly less well than a few of those methods), I can't see using it again. I do have a couple other formulations to try out, none of which contain salt, so that at least shouldn't be a problem.

The bug repellent lotion bar seems to work, or at least I haven't gotten any new bites since I started using it. I guess we'll see how that goes. it's a good thing I don't mind the scent of citronella.

*

aww

Jun. 20th, 2017 01:50 pm
glass_icarus: (hp: sbp squishy)
[personal profile] glass_icarus
Last night in my browsing for Poirot videos, I ended up finding and watching David Suchet's documentary on Being Poirot instead. :D It's actually quite warm-and-fuzzies inducing, if a bit spoilery on various plot points for various stories. David Suchet talks about figuring out Poirot's character, method acting, sets, his other film references, Agatha Christie herself, international audiences, etc. If you're an Agatha Christie fan and haven't already seen it, I think it's quite worth it!

Profile

louiselux: (Default)
louiselux

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
234 5678
910 1112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags