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I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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Aw, I’m glad I could help! I do what I can.

I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere, but as a mostly urban-space dweller I’ve always considered the “open beginning [a month or two months or whatnot] from now” apartments to be the exception rather than the rule. I’ve worked on the assumption that you rent what’s open now, rather than trying to find a place that will be open a month from now, and you just have to swallow an extra month or two weeks’ worth of rent. That has seemed to be pretty standard to me, but I’ve almost always rented through a listing agency, so that could also be part of it.

What you’re seeing also may be impacted by the fact that Chicago is full of colleges, so like, ten million people will want to rent starting in mid-August, and a lot of people start renting sooner to avoid that rush. 

I’d recommend Chicago Apartment Finders; I’ve rented twice through them and found good places to stay. You just gotta watch them, they tend to show you two shitty apartments and then one only mostly-shitty apartment to try and get you to rent the mostly-shitty one so they don’t have to take you to more apartments. Good luck!

when the sun burst through the sky

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:05 am
musesfool: Stephanie Brown as Batgirl (can't hardly wait)
[personal profile] musesfool
I spent last night reading fic where Jason and Cass turn out to be biological siblings, not just adopted siblings, and squee!, that is one of my favorite Batfamily tropes. Plus, there was some awesome Jason-Cass-Steph bonding which I feel canon has repeatedly cheated me out of, even though they would get along like a house on fire (literally, probably, given Jason's involvement and enjoyment in blowing things up). Plus there is some hilarious snark at poor Tim's expense that made me laugh out loud repeatedly. Oh Tim. (There will be recs at the end of the month as usual, but here and here for those of you who are impatient and also not following my pinboard.)

Also, yesterday, my consolation birthday present arrived - a beautiful red patent leather Love Moschino tote bag (wow, there were three left in stock when I ordered mine and now there are none! I'm glad I got there in time!). During the whole epic search for a new bag, I coveted a red patent leather bag, but couldn't find one (or, rather, couldn't find one that was less than, like, $800 and while I'm profligate, I'm not that profligate), since I guess they aren't in style right now? Except it's red patent leather so I can't imagine how it could go out of style? But whatever. On a whim on Wednesday, I checked Zappo's to see if there were any available, and lo and behold, there it was. It's beautiful. It's big and kind of unwieldy (and unpleasantly sticky against the bare skin of my arm in the heat), but I don't care, because it's gorgeous.

Bosses 1 & 3 both admired it as I unpacked it from the box, and they were like, "Are you going to save it for special occasions?" and I said, "Hell no!" (note: I did not actually say "Hell no!" I just said, "no! I bought it so I could use it! Because it is beautiful!") And I recommend to all of you to use your beautiful and special things rather than waiting for some mythical special occasion to crop up, because frequently, you will be waiting forever and never get to enjoy the beautiful thing you bought for yourself. Using a special bag/wearing your beautiful new shoes/opening that expensive bottle of wine - they can all make a regular occasion special, and I recommend you do that rather than wait for some occasion arbitrarily deemed "special" enough to break out the fancy lipstick or whatever. Live your best life whenever you can, people!

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Next time I see a man write a woman and do so in such a way where she waxes rhapsodic about her own tits I will write a man who does the same about his ball sack.

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delirieuse replied to your post “Tonight in Sam Plays The Ukulele”
Play E minor by holding down a G chord and then putting your little finger down, see if that helps (Also I think I’ve seen uke straps that hook into the sound hole? idk, I don’t have one, and I mostly play banjolele anyway)

Wait…putting my little finger down on what? When I play a G chord my little finger is below the neck – I’ve got third finger on the A second fret, index finger on the C second fret, ring finger on the E third fret. 

When I play the E minor, I’ve got my index finger on the A second fret, ring finger on the C fourth fret. The hand has to shift from palm facing right to palm facing up, that’s the weight-change issue. But modifying how I play G wouldn’t help because most of all the other chords are also palm facing right, so I’d just be shifting weight earlier (and more often, since G is more common at least in what I’m playing). 

Is there an E minor fingering that’s easier than what I’m doing? I couldn’t find one that required fewer fingers or less careful placement – I chose the two-finger second-fourth fret fingering because even with the weight change it’s still like a million times easier than any other position. 

Hey Sam,

Pardon the long delay, but I never saw your post bc this trashpile website.

Just in case you’ve not already sorted this, here’s what I do:

(Pardon terrible MS Paint diagram)

That’s how I play G major to E minor. I’ve played quite a few pieces that require this transition, and it’s pretty straightforward. And because you leave your pointer on the C string, your pinky requires less pressure to depress it further down the neck.

If I get excited/get my internet to work later, I might post a video of a simple song that demonstrates this well. 

TBH if I wasn’t transitioning from G major, I’m just as likely to play it as 3rd finger on C, 2nd on E and 1st on A, ignoring the position labelled 1 entirely.

(Also also, bee-tee-dubs, this is what I meant by a soundhole strap: http://www.themusicshop.net.au/proddetail.php?prod=Mahalo+Blue+Ukulele+Strap+-+Attaches+to+Soundhole+-+TUSP1)

Ohhhhh, I see! That definitely is a fingering for Em I’ve never seen before. It’s a good way to transition but my little finger straight up isn’t long enough :D I’m muting two other strings on the way. 

It turns out that form of strap is the most common, and can also be achieved with the shoulder strap of a laptop bag – it’s TERRIBLE for the uke but you can attach the hook that normally clips to the bag’s ring to the sound hole, loop it under, and use the other hook to make a neck loop. 

I’m thinking I might eventually try a headstock leash, not so much because they look effective as because they look faintly hilarious:

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Science Penguin [x]

i enjoy that every single human’s reaction to penguin is unrestrained delight

And penguins lack large terrestrial predators, so their reaction to humans tends to be, “HELLO STRANGE GIANT PENGUINS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? DO YOU HAVE ANY FISH?”


Far be it from me to pass up an opportunity to plug my wife’s wares:

[syndicated profile] girlswithslingshots_feed

New comic!

Today's News:

God bless Laeluu's coloring skills on that first panel, dang.

http://www.girlswithslingshots.com//comic/gws619">Here's the old strip! Sorry you're reading about Christmas in July! ;)

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this is most excellent. i would, however, like to propose an alternate suggestion.

what if jack names a dog or something Gem Apple and bitty is like… okay honey, I guess you like my pie but what’s with the “gem” part? but he goes along with it and straight up does not notice for about two years and then he’s like… wait a second

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listen jack was gonna say "mon petit chou" before which means little cabbage in french

jack.exe has stopped working


overly enthusiastic jack > life


@justlikecpparadise asked:

plz draw our fav boyz in yoga poses thank, also looking out for that hc you said you’d be making ;) lol


bitty’s SUPER limber bc of the whole figure skating/hockey league thing, and sometimes jack thinks it’s going to be the death of him

[syndicated profile] dsudis_feed



hahaha what no of course I haven’t done absolutely nothing since lunch but write CHECK PLEASE fic and if I had done such a thing it would DEFINITELY not be the start of a whole unwieldy a/b/o saga ha ha ha that’s just silly I would never.

Keep reading

Hahaha what where did this TOTALLY ANONYMOUS part 1/? kinkmeme fill come from? http://omgsexplease.dreamwidth.org/447.html?thread=1983#cmt1983

oh hey look now there’s a part 2??? How did that happen???????


Kidlet story

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:23 pm
resonant: Little Red Riding Hood and wolf. Text: "La beta noire." (beta noire)
[personal profile] resonant
New Draco-centric story from the kidlet over at AO3! I betaed. I even offered some comments that were not smiley faces.

I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine (24327 words) by terminally_underwhelmed
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Minor or Background Relationship(s), Pre-Harry/Draco - Relationship
Characaters: Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Black Malfoy, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Blaise Zabini, Luna Lovegood, Arthur Weasley, Astoria Greengrass, more like ace-storia amirite, various OCs, Minor Characters
Additional Tags: Epilogue What Epilogue, War Aftermath, Emotional Growth, Bureaucracy, Pre-Slash, Friendship, headcanon dump
Series: Part 1 of Solitaire/Mercenary

They're together when the Dark Lord falls.

Draco is barely aware of his own senses, half-blind and exhausted from months upon months of corrosive fear, and whatever shred of reality is still allotted to him is in his father’s urgent grip on his shoulder and his mother’s hands around his and the way he leans on both of them.

[syndicated profile] copperbadgetumblr_feed
dorkilybeautiful replied to your post “*strums ukulele mournfully* Camping is cancelled *fingerpicks a little…”
*loads up a firehose with aloe gel…*

Oh yeah, I’ve got the Trader Joe’s bulk bargain bottle of aloe gel, it’s finally getting some use. 

starseclipsed replied to your photo “The best team glitch update ever has hit. I am now Valor. There is no…”

Given that I keep following @surfacage​’s comic, I really wish I’d have picked Instinct way back when.

True facts for a long time I thought that their art posts either a) were actual canon or b) were drawing heavily on a pre-existing canon, like, I was not aware they were just basically defining the Go teams for all of us. 

ducktapestuck replied to your photo “The best team glitch update ever has hit. I am now Valor. There is no…”
Team Valor, we have kidnapped your leader until you revoke your gyms to team instinct.
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HD pictures of Chris Evans in L'Uomo Vogue April Issue



“Chris…I need to be honest with you.”

“You always are, Robert.”

“You might be too old for a cropped leather jacket.”

“I…that’s your takeaway from that shoot?”

“You look great, but there’s a certain age on which a cropped leather jacket looks best, and you may have passed it. It’s okay – I mean obviously you can still wear one if you like them, just…”

“I don’t really have strong feelings one way or another about cropped leather jackets.”

“That’s good. Because you might be too old for them.”

“Are you crying?”

“It’s a rite of passage, outgrowing Young Clothes! I’m so proud of you!” 

[RDJ Advises Chris Evans on his Life Choices


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December 2011

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