nightdog_barks: (Skeleton)
 photo 32ca0cb7-f0f3-4fd4-8af7-e8dff55612d4_zpshurvebj3.jpg

Detail, George Frederic Watts' Mammon, 1884-85. Credit Rabih Alameddine, who tweeted this and many other images today.

Blah Blah

Jan. 18th, 2017 02:06 pm
nightdog_barks: Retro comic illustration of a woman wearing a futuristic space helmet by W.T. Benda (Rocket Woman)
Ugh, was consumed yesterday by a sense of creeping anxiety and dread. Usually I can keep the political crazy at bay, but sometimes it comes slithering back. It probably doesn't help that I'm currently reading Volker Ullrich's new biography of Hitler, or that I watched half of Alfonso Cuarón's very dark vision Children of Men the other night. :-P

On the other hand, I've watched the first two episodes of The Young Pope, and I'm still enjoying Lucifer and Timeless.

Poem

Jan. 13th, 2017 05:58 pm
nightdog_barks: (Fish in a Blue Sea)
This was Rabih Alameddine's poem of the day today.

Gathering at the River


Is it
crossing over Jordan
to a city of light, archangels
ceaselessly trumpeting over
the heavenly choirs: perpetual Vivaldi,
jasper and endless topaz and amethyst,
the Sistine ceiling seven days a week,
the everlasting smirk
of perfection?

Is it
the river Styx,
darkness made visible, fire
that never stops: endless murder
too merciless to kill,
massacres on an endless loop,
the same old victims always
coming back for more?

Or is it the silky muck
of Wabash and Maumee, the skirr
and skim of blackbirds,
fields of Queen Anne’s lace
and bumblebees? Well,
go out once more, and feel
the crumble of dry loam,
fingers and soil slowly becoming
the same truth: there in the hand
is our kinship with oak, our bloodline
to cattle. Imagine,
not eons of boredom or pain,
but honest earth-to-earth;
and when our bodies rise again,
they will be wildflowers, then rabbits,
then wolves, singing a perfect love
to the beautiful, meaningless moon.


~ Philip Appleman
Source
nightdog_barks: (Burning Book)
I forgot to do this earlier!

From Taiga and Topaz Eyes -- Grab the book nearest you, turn to page 117, and the second sentence is what your life will be in 2017.

Well, I actually have three books, all of them equally near. Let's see what they say ...

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Oak Leaves)
The windows are open because it is 76 degrees here (24.4 Celsius). Just this afternoon I've seen chickadees, house finches, and bluebirds in our backyard. The bluebirds are especially pretty. I actually thought I might see Early Girl tomato plants for sale at Sprouts yesterday.

Finished reading Michael Chabon's Moonglow, and yes, I liked it a lot. But (is there always a but?) Chabon's narrative device kept me from being fully immersed in the story. What we have is something along the lines of Big Fish, where a father tells the story of his life to his son, except in Moonglow it's a grandfather telling the stories. And ... that, for all intents and purposes, is the character's name. He's my grandfather, and the other characters are my grandmother and my mother. Some of the secondary characters have names, but the main triad is nameless for 99% of the book (I think we learn the grandmother's name very late, but to me it wasn't clear if that was her or not). Anyway, this kept tripping me up. I mean, I guess I shouldn't have had a problem, but I did. Also there were a couple of points in the narration that seemed to be either bad editing or plot holes or Chabon indicating an unreliable narrator -- one of them was explained near the end, the other wasn't (a character who had two eyes, about 10 pages later, only had one). ANYWAY. It's a good read (some of the writing is just exquisite), but I think I liked Kavalier & Clay better.

Now I am reading Iron Towns, by Anthony Cartwright, and it is short and pretty good.

And because I am a Tom Hardy fan, I watched Taboo last night on FX. I like dark, gritty, and silly, so I thought it was great. :D

Sunshine

Jan. 4th, 2017 04:02 pm
nightdog_barks: A reclining winged cow reads a book (Reading critter)
Well, the fourth day of the new year is bright, but it was cloudy and grey earlier. It's still damp and chilly out, though. Supposedly we have a chance of snow flurries Friday morning. :D

Reading Michael Chabon's Moonglow, and so far it is very good but wow, the narration jumps around (in time).

Have resolved to try and finish some more Housefic WIPs. :-)
nightdog_barks: (Reading Girl)
Books read in 2012
Books read in 2013
Books read in 2014
Books read in 2015
Books read in 2016


2017

The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, David Jaher
Moonglow, Michael Chabon
Iron Towns, Anthony Cartwright
nightdog_barks: (House Reading)
Watched tonight. Cut for possibly major spoiler ...  )

Hello 2017

Jan. 1st, 2017 02:57 pm
nightdog_barks: Painting of a white crow or raven with a pomegranate seed in its beak (White Raven)
Well, the first day of 2017 here is GORGEOUS. 63 warm degrees (17.2 Celsius, and really, it feels much warmer than that) and sunny. Both new calendars are up (Sierra Club in the bedroom, Audubon Society in the kitchen), and there's laundry in the wash. Layla was Not Pleased about the neighborhood fireworks last night (especially when someone set off what sounded like an M-80 close by), but she's happy and fine today.

Also today, I went out on the deck and discovered that SOMEONE had stolen three ripe lemons from our little Meyer lemon tree. There were seven there yesterday; I have picked the remaining four to keep them out of GRASPING PAWS. (I am blaming the opossum who apparently lives nearby.) Oddly enough, the three ripe Satsuma oranges on the other tree were untouched. :D
nightdog_barks: (Gorey's Penguin Book)
So I fell down a Wikipedia hole this afternoon, looking at a list of former hotels in Manhattan. Because really, you never know when someone will need a place a stay in an historical fic or AU! After all, if the New York Times hadn't decided to move their offices in 1902, the Pabst Hotel might still be around to host some hijinks. :D

BUT ANYWAY. I was reading about the Hotel McAlpin, which had a restaurant called the Marine Grill, decorated with murals by the American artist Frederick Dana Marsh. TL;DR, in the process of renovation, the hotel was gutted in 1989 and the murals ended up at the Fulton Street subway station, where they can be seen today at the Broadway/Nassau entry/exit.

// end of rambling story //

I read 43 books this year (if I finish David Jaher's The Witch of Lime Street tonight, it will be 44).

Well, I hope 2017 is better than 2016. Hope.
nightdog_barks: (Dame Judi)
Ye gods, I am in a cranky mood today. Let's just go to the numbers.

1) Finally copied Solstice to AO3. One thing accomplished, anyway.

2) Watched Barton Fink last night, and holy shit, it is still as terrifying as the first time I saw it. Fantastic cast, nightmare of a story.

3) I have seen more than one report (unconfirmed from any official source) that LiveJournal has moved its servers from California to Russia.

4) I first saw Carrie Fisher (although I didn't know I did) in 1975, in Shampoo. It was the first "grown-up movie" I'd ever seen -- I was 17, and my BFF at the time and I told our parents we were going to see The Hindenburg and bought tickets for Shampoo instead. It was ... eye-opening, to say the least. :D

The next time I saw her, it was two years later. It was just Star Wars then, not Episode or Subtitle Anything. And it was amazing. After that I knew who she was.

I didn't realize until a few days ago that she was just two years older than me.

5) Richard Adams passed away on Christmas Eve. This year will never end.
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a red parrot's face in profile (Red Parrot)
So, so warm here, with temps in the 70s (Celsius, above 21).

Watched almost all of 8 1/2 the other night on Turner Classic Movies and really liked it. Good lord, but Marcello Mastroianni was HOT. And the whole dream sequence where Anouk Aimee wore a scarf on her head and looked like she'd stepped out of a Vermeer painting. Omg.

Not much else right now. I need to copy Solstice to AO3 but I haven't done it yet. And in an unrelated observation, I swear that Eli Lilly leaves a random number of the needles on their Trulicity injection pens totally blunt. I'm just saying -- OUCH. >:-P
nightdog_barks: (Mountains)
Title: Solstice
Authors: [personal profile] nightdog_barks and [personal profile] blackmare.
Characters: Wilson, House, Cuddy, Hadley (Thirteen), Taub, Foreman, a variety of OCs
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: No
Spoilers: None
Summary: When Wilson mysteriously disappears, House has the perfect plan to find him ... if he can just make it work.
Author Notes: This is set in the same ficverse as Take the Long Way Home, in which House is a Doctor of Divination and things are just a little bit different. Cut text is from Shakespeare's Winter's Tale.
Intrepid Readers: [personal profile] pwcorgigirl

If this be magic, let it be an art ...  )
nightdog_barks: Red stick drawing of a reindeer against a white background (Reindeer)
Title: Solstice
Authors: [personal profile] nightdog_barks and [personal profile] blackmare.
Characters: Wilson, House, Cuddy, Hadley (Thirteen), Taub, Foreman, a variety of OCs
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: No
Spoilers: None
Summary: When Wilson mysteriously disappears, House has the perfect plan to find him ... if he can just make it work.
Author Notes: This is set in the same ficverse as Take the Long Way Home, in which House is a Doctor of Divination and things are just a little bit different. Cut text is from Shakespeare's Othello.
Intrepid Readers: [personal profile] pwcorgigirl

'Tis true: there's magic in the web of it ...  )
nightdog_barks: (Hunting Stag)
It has been cold here, chiclets. Really cold. I didn't take Layla for her nightly walks two nights in a row because the wind chill the first night was 4 and the second night it was 10. We'll go tonight, though.

Watched a movie called Midnight Special and really liked it. I have been a fan of actor Michael Shannon since I saw him in Take Shelter, and he doesn't disappoint here.

Cut for possible spoilers ...  )

So anyway. I know people are sick of politics (at least, I know I am), so I'm going to put the next thing under a cut too. It's something I did on the night of December 1st, which was the day I saw that Trump bumper sticker. Every word I'm about to write is true. I'm calling it -- Picking Up the Chalk, or, How I Became a Neighborhood Subversive for One Night ...  )

So. That turned out long.

In other news, here is an awesome short (very short) story for the season from one of the writers I follow on Twitter -- In the Late December, by Greg van Eekhout. I liked it a lot.

Also, it looks like Blackmare and I will have a Christmas Eve Housefic for everyone. A two-parter, with an epilogue to follow. Merry merry. :-)

Fic Rec

Dec. 16th, 2016 07:05 pm
nightdog_barks: (House Badass)
So, [personal profile] pwcorgigirl has a sweet little (new!) fic up, but LJ is doing its weird thing where it's not showing up as "hi, I'm new!" on her page. So here's the link, and a strong, two-thumbs-up rec. :D

You're Not from Texas
nightdog_barks: (Oak Leaves)
Bright sun and cool temperatures, all of which is supposed to change this weekend with steady rain and cold temperatures. Got out today and went to Sam's Club (we use a lot of olive oil so we buy the BIG plastic jugs), CVS (I'm taking Trulicity these days and was due for a refill), and Tom Thumb (local grocery store). At the last stop, saw my first-ever Trump bumper sticker, on the back window of a pickup truck. It was driven by a middle-aged white guy. In the privacy of my own car, I muttered some very bad words. >:-P

About to start reading Paul Murray's The Mark and the Void. Murray also wrote Skippy Dies, which I loved, so I'm hoping this is on the same level.
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a young girl wearing a cat mask bandit-style (Mask Girl)
You were a pretty good month, except that you gave us a lunatic pea-brained grifter for a President.

Watched a really dumb movie, Eddie the Eagle, and a really good documentary, Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro. The former was not redeemed by the presence of Hugh Jackman; the latter was amazingly good, the story of an American soldier who used his own small 35mm camera to document his WWII experience.

Still reading Farthest Field, which has gone from being "interesting" to "downright amazing." Seriously, this is such a good book about a subject I know very little about -- modern Indian history, specifically the role of India in the Second World War and the lives of individual Indians during that period. Two thumbs up so far.

Starting to see lighted Christmas decorations on our nightly walks, which is nice, especially as Layla is sometimes bemused by them and stops to stare. :D
nightdog_barks: (Newspapers)
Grouchy and growly all through the holiday. Generalized anxiety and free-floating testiness FTW!

I did read Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, which just won the National Book Award, and I thought it was ... good. Not great. Did it deserve the National Book Award? I don't know; I haven't read the other nominees, although Paulette Jiles' News of the World is on my to-read list, and Lydia Millet's Sweet Lamb of Heaven (which was on the award long list) is in my to-read stack. (The complete list of awards is here.)

So anyway, now I am reading Raghu Karnad's Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War, and so far it is interesting.

I think I have stopped watching Westworld. The last episode I saw was "Trompe l'Oeil." After the supporting-character death in that episode, I thought about it a lot, and I finally came to the realization that, while I liked some of the show's characters (Dolores and Maeve, in particular), I really didn't care about any of them. Add to that the sheer unrelenting bleakness of the show, and, as technically beautiful as I think it is, I was like "Why keep watching?" So far I'm not missing it. Still watching Lucifer and Timeless, both of which are very silly.

Dream

Nov. 18th, 2016 06:02 pm
nightdog_barks: (White Nautilus)
I dreamed last night that I was handed a guitar and told to either re-string it and/or play it. The problem? The guitar strings were a jumbled mess, like this, and they were thick, like pipe cleaners. I just awkwardly held the guitar, and the dream segued into something equally absurd. It was only after I woke up that I realized guitars are only supposed to have six (or, okay, twelve) strings.

About to start Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad.

Profile

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January 2017

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What I'm Reading Now

Fiction
Iron Towns, by Anthony Cartwright

Nonfiction
Hitler: Ascent, 1889 - 1939, by Volker Ullrich

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