nightdog_barks: (House Reading)
So there is a fic Career Day Challenge over at [livejournal.com profile] house_wilson, and it reminded me of a fic from back in the day -- a story where either House or Wilson (or both?) was a tailor. Does anyone else remember this? Or am I imagining things? All I have is a super-vague recollection of one of them ... being a tailor. In a tailor's shop.

EDITING TO ADD that perhaps the tailor shop was a cover? And everyone was really part of a spy organization? Which, I know, sounds kind of like Kingsman, but this was years and years ago, way before the movie.

OTHERWISE. Warm and sunny here after some much-needed rain. I have seen a couple of hummingbirds in the past week, so today I hung a hummingbird feeder in the backyard. Also on our nightly walks I have FINALLY started seeing wildlife again -- so far just armadillos and cottontails.

I am reading Christopher Buehlman's Those Across the River, which is about weird happenings and family secrets in the Depression-era American South. It is obvious the narrator is one of those people who Can Not Leave Well Enough Alone. :D
nightdog_barks: The character Geordie Keating from Grantchester walking away (Geordie Walking Away)
August I am so tired of you plz to go away now kthxbai.
nightdog_barks: Red Mobil Pegasus flying over an open book (Pegasus and book)
Well, it's properly hot and I have no energy for anything.

Finished Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent, and oh my god I loved it. Easily one of the best books I've read this year -- perfect atmosphere, wonderfully-drawn, HUMAN characters, a fascinating storyline -- two strong thumbs up! And the physical book itself is absolutely worth it -- a gorgeous paper jacket, beautiful binding, sturdy pages. The only drawbacks are that it's not available in the U.S. and there's no Kindle edition. On the other hand, my experience ordering through Amazon Marketplace (my copy is from Eagle Books Ltd. and I was not charged any import or customs duties) was super-smooth, so if anyone decides to buy this book, there should be no worries on that end.

Watched a couple of movies -- Testament of Youth and Cloverfield. Liked the former, although I thought it didn't match the heartbreak of the book; really enjoyed the latter, and I thought the ending was pretty realistic as to what would actually happen to people caught up in such a huge catastrophe. I also watched some of Sicario, but not enough to say anything about it.

I wish it would rain.
nightdog_barks: Illuminated manuscript white daisy on a gold leaf background (Flower white daisy)
So far you are a lot like July. :-P

Finished LaRose and it was indeed very good. Two thumbs up! Started Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent, which I bought through Amazon Marketplace because it's ... not actually available in the U.S. yet. The book took about two weeks to get here in a package that has a couple of little Royal Mail stickers. I started it last night and have read almost 60 pages, and oh my god you guys it is WONDERFUL. :D
nightdog_barks: (Sunflower)
1) Stuck in one of those periodic cycles of ferocious hot flashes. :-(

2) But! In much better news, we saw a screech owl two nights ago! I could hear it calling, very softly, and I could tell it was close, so I said "Layla, wait just a minute," and started shining my little flashlight into the trees And there he was! Wee little guy, about the length of my hand (5 1/2 to 6 inches tall). He (she?) was reddish-grey and had a streaky chest. It owl-bobbed its head at us a couple of times and flew away on silent owl wings. :D

3) Almost finished with LaRose, by Louise Erdrich. If the ending holds up, it will be one of the best novels I've read this year -- the others are Samantha Hunt's Mr. Splitfoot and Kate Atkinson's A God in Ruins. It hasn't been a particularly good year for novels for me, so far (I've read a dozen and thought three were memorable).

4) People who use "lead" when they mean "led" should be banished from Twitter. This is like when paid became payed for a while, and it makes me grit my teeth.

5) This is some prime-gauge nightmare fuel. The permafrost is melting, so long-frozen anthrax spores wake up. Thirteen people hospitalized, 1,500 dead reindeer. The dystopian fics write themselves.

Five things, as I've heard, make a post.

Oh, July

Jul. 24th, 2016 03:34 pm
nightdog_barks: Graphic of a bluegill fish (Fish bluegill)
Ugh, so tired and blah. Have not been sleeping well, and the weather ... well, it's July. Feh.

1) Reading Louise Erdrich's LaRose. I am an Erdrich fan, and so far this one is very good.

2) Watched the 20/20 episode about the Texas A&M University bonfire collapse last night and enjoyed it, although the show presented an incredibly squeaky-clean version of the events and didn't bother to do even a few minutes of a post-mortem as to WHY the disaster happened. (There's a very good write-up of the underlying causes here, in a Texas Monthly article by Paul Burka.)

BUT. What I wanted to say was that there was a fascinating moment with the woman who was with Public Relations at A&M at the time, who described seeing the dead students being covered with white shrouds, and how for years afterward, she would dream of cocoons in a dark forest. It was deeply affecting and undeniably creepy, and it was so, so striking.

3) No more tomatoes. Peppers are holding on. Lemon oregano that I'd had for a few years is a complete loss. Mint and basil are thriving. Have seen nothing on our nightly walks except cockroaches and tiny baby geckos. Oh, and toads sometimes. Layla tries to catch the cucarachas and geckos. :D

Music

Jul. 24th, 2016 12:11 am
nightdog_barks: Painting study of a sparrow in flight against an off-white background (Sparrow Flight)
Just because I never noticed before how the piano notes at the very end sound like a birdsong.

nightdog_barks: A tiny cartoon dog barks NOW in all directions (Now Dog)
Well, the WiFi feature of my camera seems to be mysteriously WORKING again, so here's a shot of Layla looking Very Serious from this afternoon. :D

 photo fe7f6b86-1d38-4b30-8de4-97df3cd3a610_zpsyboe3woo.jpg
nightdog_barks: (Newspapers)
Okay, I admit I'm cheating a little here, but since this was posted six years ago, I don't think everyone has seen them. All the links go to Livejournal.

FOLKS ARE MORE THAN WELCOME TO PLAY WITH ANY OR ALL OF THESE POSTS.

I'll post some "new" abandoned WIPs, probably next week. :D

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (Looking West)
It rained yesterday, which was refreshing and cooled things down. Today, alas, we are back to sunshine and temps in the 90s (above 32 Celsius) and ridiculous humidity. :-P

I have been reading Richard Zacks' new book on Mark Twain -- Chasing the Last Laugh, about Clemens' 1895 world tour which he undertook to stave off bankruptcy (bad investment and business decisions will bite you). It's good, but I think not quite as good as Zacks' earlier book Island of Vice, which was about Teddy Roosevelt's tenure as New York City's Chief of Police. That was a terrific read; with this book, Zacks seems compelled to include every single bit of research he's done, and consequently the narrative staggers at times under the weight of all the financial details.

Something that I learned that was totally new to me -- I didn't know that before 1901 Australia was a bunch of separate states, with actual toll booths and customs duties at the borders. SORRY AUSSIES FOR TELLING YOU SOMETHING YOU ALREADY KNOW, but it was a surprise to me. :D

Here's something nice, though:

Reporter Herbert Low took Twain to one of Sydney's most beautiful vantage points for seeing the harbor, "Mrs. Macquarie's Chair." On a tentacle of land, they sat in an exposed sandstone outcropping, carved long ago into an oversized bench to suit a governor's wife, and they gazed in the direction of what would one day be the Sydney Opera House.
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a young girl wearing a cat mask bandit-style (Mask Girl)
Another lifetime ago, I used to work in downtown Dallas, on one of the top floors of a very tall bank building. When the wind blew hard, you could feel the building sway.

Death at Dallas protest rally

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
nightdog_barks: Illuminated manuscript head and forequarters of a small blue dragon (Blue dragon)
I haven't heard them, but apparently Layla has, because she is hiding in the bedroom again. But I haven't seen Mister Rat again, either. Maybe it's because we have no more tomatoes.

Also! The lovely folks at House MD What-If spoke to me for their Author Interview series! You can find me here -- come over and have a look around, and please feel free to ask more questions. :D
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a young girl wearing a cat mask bandit-style (Mask Girl)
So now we know who's been chowing down on our tomatoes on the vine. Mister Nightdog and I were having brisket tonight and watching The Right Stuff on one of the movie channels when we realized there was a rat in the tomato pot closest to the window. And as we watched the rat instead of the movie, he industriously severed a stem from the plant and carried it off.

"There was a tomato on that," Mister Nightdog said.

"Well, let him have it," I said.

I don't know if it was a Norway rat or a roof rat, but it was a good size and very furry. Bold little bastard.

Speaking of the film, parts of it are still very good, but I don't think the beginning has held up very well. Basically it is Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager saying "I AM A MAN DOING MANLY THINGS," with Barbara Hershey as his wife-to-be on a horse doing a "I AM RUNNING AWAY FROM YOU ON A HORSE PLZ CHASE ME." So, yeah.

ALSO. I am reading Samantha Hunt's novel Mr. Splitfoot, and wow, so far it is very good.

Sail Away

Jun. 22nd, 2016 10:19 pm
nightdog_barks: The character Geordie Keating from Grantchester walking away (Geordie Walking Away)
So I loved almost all of the Person of Interest series finale last night. I was a little spoiled for what was coming -- there was what was being billed as the "close-captioned transcript" of the final episode floating around (it was linked in an IMDB thread) -- but knowing didn't detract from my pleasure at most of the show.

Cutting for anyone who hasn't seen it yet ...  )

SO ANYWAY. That's all I could think of right now. I'm sure there's other stuff, but I'm tired. :-)
nightdog_barks: Actor Tom Mix dressed as a cowboy (Movie Poster -- Tom Mix)
1) Happy Solstice!

2) Have started reading Adam Hochschild's new book about Americans participating in the Spanish Civil War. His usual excellent work, and already so sad. Such young optimists, wanting to change the world for the better, and it all ended in ashes. :-(

3) Here is a great photo gallery from the Guardian of actors who have played Richard III. Ian McKellen is especially hot malevolent here.

4) I received an email invitation to my 40th high school reunion today. 40th. // holds head in hands //

5) Penny Dreadful, oh you. Cut for anyone who hasn't heard the news ...  )
nightdog_barks: (Sun)
Ah, we are well into summer now. :-P

Have been reading Nathan Ballingrud's collection of short stories, North American Lake Monsters, and holy shit. If you like Stephen King, Clive Barker, Shirley Jackson, Joe Hill, or other horror fic-writers I can't think of, you will love this volume. Oh my god. And these are not nice horror stories. Bad things happen -- really bad things, but these tales are so well written and so deeply layered, they are a pleasure to read even as these terrible, terrible things are taking place. So. Want some full-body chills? Read this book.

AND A POEM. I saw this poem making the rounds yesterday on Twitter, and today I learned it had taken on a life of its own. So here it is.

Read more... )
nightdog_barks: (House Reading)
Because omg it is warm and steamy, ugh.

Still watching Houdini & Doyle on Monday nights, and last night I was rewarded with a wonderfully meta-crossover moment. The boys were investigating shenanigans in a mental asylum (Bedlam, because is there ever any other mental asylum in popular historical fiction?), and one of the patients approached Doyle and basically said that he was very familiar with Doyle's writings, and the reason he was familiar with Doyle's writings was that he (the patient) was Sherlock Holmes.

(The asylum director sighs and says "We've got three of them.")

The problem, "Holmes" explains, is that Doyle has gotten everything wrong! And he's going to sue for damages!

"I'll alert my solicitor," Doyle says.

At this point, orderlies begin to drag "Holmes" away (he's annoying the visitors!), but he gets in one last jab at Doyle --

"And for posterity," he shouts, "his name was Wilson!"

:D


Source from the writer of the episode
nightdog_barks: (Glass Full of Rain)
This is the third straight day we have had TORRENTIAL rain. It is like monsoon season or something.

Watched the Tony Awards last night and really enjoyed it -- the performances from Waitress, The Color Purple, Bright Star, and Hamilton were just outstanding.

And ... now the rain is letting up, although it's still thundering. Layla felt the need to come sit in my lap for a little while. All 60 pounds of her. :D
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a red parrot's face in profile (Red Parrot)
1) It is so warm and humid that it's almost like we're living in a rain forest.

2) Reading Kate Atkinson's A God in Ruins and omg it is probably the best novel I've read all year.

3) In the wake of what happened in Orlando today, folks might consider donating to the charity and/or organization of their choice, and/or writing to their local reps. I made two donations, to The Trevor Project and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. :-(
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a young girl wearing a cat mask bandit-style (Mask Girl)
The writer Joe Hill tweeted about this small piece of fiction, and wow is it worth reading. Reminds me just a little bit of Hilary Mantel's Beyond Black, but this is very much its own tale -- a ghost story with a superbly original twist.

Animal Magnetism, by Shannon Peavey

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August 2016

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What I'm Reading Now

Fiction
Those Across the River, by Christopher Buehlman

Nonfiction
The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War, by Peter Englund

The History of White People, by Nell Irvin Painter

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