nightdog_barks: (Armor Girl)
2017-08-16 02:58 pm

So Then That Happened ...

SO. I've been away for a bit, and here's why ...

Female medical stuff follows, so skip if that's a squick for you ...  )

In addition to all this, I am reading David Sedaris' Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977 - 2002 and loving it. :-)
nightdog_barks: Girl reading a book that covers her face (Book reading girl)
2017-08-01 04:10 pm

Hello, August

So we are having a cool spell, which is VERY UNUSUAL for this time of year.

1) Finished reading Jack Cheng's See You in the Cosmos and Min Jin Lee's Pachinko, neither of which I recommend. :-(

2) Currently reading Erik Larson's Devil in the White City, which is tremendously good so far. I really liked his Dead Wake, about the sinking of the Lusitania.

3) Watched Arrival and was like "wtf did I just watch?", then noticed it was on again the next day and so watched it again and liked it better this time.

Three things; post.
nightdog_barks: (Sun)
2017-07-20 04:47 pm
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Almost Friday

Ugh, so tired and cranky. Have not been sleeping well at all and every day now it is hot and still outside. :-P

Reading Jack Cheng's See You in the Cosmos. It's a YA/middle school/middle grade book, a class I read very occasionally (I loved Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, but hated Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity.)

Watching Grantchester and The Great British Baking Show on PBS, and Forged in Fire on the Hitler History Channel. Also watched The Accountant on one of the movie channels -- thought it was very silly but fairly fun.

President Potatohead is still an utter moron.
nightdog_barks: Red Mobil Pegasus flying over an open book (Pegasus and book)
2017-07-15 02:55 pm

Cloudy Saturday

It actually rained a bit this morning and is still overcast, giving us a temp of 86 degrees (30 degrees Celsius), which is amazing for mid-July. Unfortunately, the humidity is 70%, making it feel as though it's 95 (35 Celsius). I'll still take the cloud cover.

Was very sad to see this news -- Maryam Mirzakhani passes away, aged 40. First (and so far, only) woman to win the Fields Medal, genius mathematician. Wife and mom. And just 40. JUST FORTY. What else might she have accomplished? Seriously, cancer can go DIAF.

Sigh. Still curious to see who the 13th Doctor will be, even though I fell out of love with the show this season and I'm really not sure why.

Here, have a somewhat blurry pic of Layla (taken this afternoon) --

Oh! Editing to add that I forgot to mention I saw a bat last evening, flitting around our backyard at just dusk when the sun was going down! I think Layla was barking at it. :D
nightdog_barks: (Dry Farmhouse)
2017-07-14 05:47 pm
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Bastille Friday

Roofers are done, THANK GOD. We've lived in this house for thirty years and in that time we've had three (now four) new roofs put on, and every time I forget how INCREDIBLY NOISY IT IS. Good lord. Layla was mostly okay with it all -- she was more concerned at the end when one of the guys walked around the deck using a leaf blower (leaf blowers are her Mortal Enemy).

Reading Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts' Deaths of the Poets and liking it greatly.

Here is a very cool little clip of some kind of little white shorebirds making fantastic flashing patterns in flight. :D
nightdog_barks: (Sunflower)
2017-07-11 06:07 pm
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The Nail Guns Next Door

Because we had a huge hailstorm in the spring with golfball-sized hail, lots of folks in our area had to have their roofs replaced. Yesterday and today it was our next-door neighbor's turn. Tomorrow it will be OUR turn. :-P

I finished Lev Grossman's The Magicians, and, unlike so many of the people on Goodreads, I ... well, I loved it. I thought the story was engaging and I stayed up until almost 3 in the morning reading two nights in a row. I know the publisher apparently marketed it as "Harry Potter for grown-ups," but I'm one of the seven people on the planet who never read Harry Potter so I don't think I was coming to it with any real baggage. To me, there were echoes of Bret Easton Ellis (some people behave very badly in the book) and Ursula LeGuin, René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. (Not to mention our old friend, Donna Tartt.) There was a point in the book when I thought, "Oh my god these people are HORRIBLE and I hope something bad happens to them!", and another point when I breathed, "Oh, shit!" when something very bad did begin to happen. Yes, there are a couple of missteps by the author, including a moment when a minor Native American character is described as having a "hooked nose." It's perfectly plausible that someone who IS Native American could have the facial characteristic of a hooked nose, but ... um. Not a comfortable moment. I winced and shook my head, and kept reading. And now I'm ordering Grossman's next book in the trilogy.

So. Two thumbs up, a strong recommendation for a gritty, lyrical story with some deeply flawed characters struggling to figure out life, love, and the whole nine yards.
nightdog_barks: 1930s movie poster of Buster Crabbe and a lion (Movie Poster -- Jungle Man)
2017-07-08 03:09 pm

Warm Day in July

And by warm, I mean it's about 95 degrees and feels like 105. :-P

Layla got me up at about 4 in the morning, woofing (very softly) that she needed to go out (she was lying). Anyway, I was sitting in one of our deck chairs while she lounged on the deck, when our wind chimes suddenly ... chimed. EXCEPT THERE WAS NO WIND. It was dead calm, close and stifling, with what appeared to be a full moon. So I got up and aimed my trusty little flashlight at the chimes. (These are our wind chimes. I love them.)

There was an anole lizard clinging to one of the chimes. "Oh, hello," I said. Made me smile. :D

Reading Lev Grossman's The Magicians, enjoying it so far.
nightdog_barks: English robin on a white background (English robin)
2017-07-02 03:34 pm
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This and That

1) I finished Paul Tremblay's Disappearance at Devil's Rock last night, and ... well, I'm glad I didn't buy it in hardback when it came out. It was not anywhere near as good as his previous A Head Full of Ghosts. I think Devil's Rock would actually make an excellent scary movie, but as a novel ... it just left me really cold. There were (to me) some strange writing choices, among them writing some dialogue as if it were from a script (so you get dialogue like Luis: No), which I think was supposed to convey immediacy but came off to me as simply lazy. And cut for spoiler ...  )

Anyway, the book just didn't work for me. No thumbs up. If you're in the mood for something REALLY scary, read Tremblay's A Head Full of Ghosts.

2) Spent a little time last night opening an Imgur account (because of this). I haven't seen any of my Photobucket-hosted pics vanish (yet), but there are at least two fic-related images I need to not go away, so I replaced the Photobucket links inside the fics with Imgur links. Then I discovered that the links on my Dreamwidth Annals page all pointed back to Livejournal, so I worked on fixing that.

3) Fireworks last night. Layla did not like.
nightdog_barks: (Horse Weathervane)
2017-07-01 04:20 pm
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Hello, Rainy July

Buckets of rain around midnight and then again very early this morning. Everything is green in the backyard -- the Tabasco peppers are the only things still producing, although there are a couple of baby figs on the dwarf fig tree and a couple of little green Satsuma oranges on the young citrus. The Tabascos look like tiny red firecrackers -- I don't think we've ever had peppers that grew upright like this (as opposed to serranos, jalapeños, and cayennes).

Reading Paul Tremblay's Disappearance at Devil's Rock, which is good, but not as good, I think, as his A Head Full of Ghosts, which was absolutely fucking terrifying. I read Paul La Farge's The Night Ocean last week but didn't like it nearly as much as I'd hoped I would. But if you're in the market for a book that sounds like Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna and Michael Chabon's Adventures of Kavalier & Clay got together and had David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, then The Night Ocean is the book for you. Personally, I can only give it one thumb up. Mild spoilers ...  )

Have been restless and crabby the last week. Bah, humbug.
nightdog_barks: (House and Wilson B&W)
2017-06-26 04:43 pm
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Fic Search

So a friend on Twitter is looking for a Housefic! This is what she remembers --

Been looking for a Hilson fic for months and months. First time fic. Opens with Wilson in his car at PPTH. Finds himself heading up to House's office. House in chair, back to door, Wilson observing him through the glass. House turns around; he's been crying. They go back to House's -- Wilson drives, House has his hand on Wilson's thigh the whole way. Pretty sure it's set after the "We're not friends" speech. Pretty sure I read it on LJ; might have been on Topaz_Eyes' list, but then again, might not.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

EDITED TO ADD that the story has been found! My Twitter friend was going through her bookmarked fics, and there it was. :D

The story is More, by [ profile] littlemissgg.
nightdog_barks: Retro comic illustration of a woman wearing a futuristic space helmet by W.T. Benda (Rocket Woman)
2017-06-23 04:43 pm

Civic Responsibility 101

Otherwise known as jury duty, which I was summoned to this week.

Cut for a lot of blather about what it was like ...  )

OTHERWISE. It is hot and humid. In recent weeks, I have read:

The Sunlight Pilgrims, by Jenni Fagan. Apocafic, ahoy! Really liked it, two thumbs up.
Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived, by Penelope Lively. Memoir of the English novelist's Egyptian childhood. Very interesting, would recommend.
The Astaires: Fred & Adele, by Kathleen Riley. Short dual biography of Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele. Maybe a bit too heavy on the details of the behind-the-scenes construction of a Broadway musical, but still good.

Not sure what is up next -- maybe Min Jin Lee's Pachinko, maybe Paul La Farge's The Night Ocean, maybe something else. :-)
nightdog_barks: (House In Library)
2017-06-15 11:13 pm

Housefic: Highwayman

Title: Highwayman
Authors: [personal profile] nightdog_barks and [personal profile] blackmare.
Characters: House, Wilson, an OC
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Yes, for supernatural elements and an especially vivid dream.
Spoilers: None
Summary: A mysterious encounter on a dark road leaves House in a quandary.
Author Notes: Cut-text is from The Stage Lives of Animals: Zooesis and Performance, by Una Chaudhuri.
Intrepid Readers: [personal profile] pwcorgigirl

It is estimated that the number of unknown insect species ... far exceeds that of known ones ...  )
nightdog_barks: (Field Angel)
2017-06-13 10:35 pm
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My god, there is a huge fire in an apartment tower in west London.

It looks really bad.
nightdog_barks: Illustrated close-up of a bird's head grasping a red berry in its beak (Bird with Berry)
2017-06-12 04:44 pm

Listy McListicle

1) It is heating up for summer, and I am tired and blah and ugh. :-P

2) I made a donation to the Public Theater, the organization behind the Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar that has Delta Airlines' and Bank of America's knickers in a twist.

3) The less said about that insane Potatohead praise circle this morning, the better. Jesus H. Christ, how has the earth not opened up and swallowed all these spineless sycophants?

4) Has anyone here seen the Australian movie The Babadook? I missed the first 20 or so minutes, but the rest of it was amazing and holy shit, so DARK and creepy as hell.

5) Currently reading Jenni Fagan's The Sunlight Pilgrims. Aside from what I thought was a bit of unrealistic dialogue in one chapter, I am liking it a lot.

6) Blackmare and I should have a Housefic up pretty soon. :-)

7) Pretend there's a number 7 here to make an oddpost. :D
nightdog_barks: Actor Tom Mix dressed as a cowboy (Movie Poster -- Tom Mix)
2017-06-07 03:18 pm
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Out of the Past

I know at least a couple of you guys will be interested in this ...

Here's a short article (I wish it was longer) from The New Republic about a cache of silent films (dating from the 1910s to the '20s), discovered buried under a hockey rink (!) in Dawson City, Yukon Territory (!!!), Canada. A documentary has been made about the discovery and the films, and the trailer for that movie is included in the article (it looks terrific).

Link to the article and trailer
nightdog_barks: Periwinkle flowers by Pierre Joseph Redoute (Flower periwinkle)
2017-06-04 04:05 pm
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Humid Sunday

Ended up not buying marigolds; instead got periwinkles (cora vinca) for the same price (99 cents) because Mister Nightdog_barks likes periwinkles. So, periwinkles, and we planted them today. Layla helped by snuffling at the dirt in the flower pots and then flopping down in the jasmine bed. :D
nightdog_barks: (Glass Full of Rain)
2017-06-02 03:09 pm
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Hello, Rainy June

May is traditionally one of our wettest months here (if not the wettest), and yet this year it was unusually dry. But the first two days of June have been on-and-off good rain. It's raining right now, a heavy, steady downpour. Needless to say, it is INCREDIBLY humid.
nightdog_barks: Crispin Glover as Mr World in American Gods (Mister World)
2017-05-30 08:36 pm
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Point by Point

1) Ugh, a very blah day today. Mostly sunny and humid, but looking forward to tomorrow because our local Calloway's will have marigolds for 99 cents. Our two big flowerpots out front are empty and some bright, happy marigolds will look nice up there.

2) Still reading the Walter Winchell bio, and was amused to learn that his first job as a "real" newspaper columnist (as opposed to working for an industry organ) was for a publication (the New York Graphic) widely regarded as the worst newspaper in America, if not the world. In covering one crime story involving a killer named Carillo, the editors found that they didn't have a photo of the man, so they used a picture of the actor Leo Carrillo (note spelling) instead. :D

3) Layla may be two and a half years old, but she proved last night she still has some puppy in her when she stole one of Mister Nightdog's running shoes and neatly bisected one of the laces.

4) Still watching Doctor Who and Class, but right now I think I am getting the most enjoyment out of American Gods. Crispin Glover as Mr. World in the last episode was just a walking Ball of Sheer Crazy and was absolutely terrifying. That smile omg.

5) Working on a fic but it is going very slowly.
nightdog_barks: (Sun)
2017-05-26 08:43 pm


Oppressively warm and humid day, supposed to be much worse tomorrow. :-P

There was a pretty little House Finch on one of the backyard feeders just a while ago. Layla barked at it. :D

Reading Neal Gabler's biography of Walter Winchell.