Schadenfreude on weck

NSFW Aug. 17th, 2017 05:19 pm
petra: A man looking superior and pointing at a woman (Troy Barnes - Yeah really)
[personal profile] petra
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oh what a beautiful morning

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:28 am
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
The view from the hotel forecourt next morning was pretty amazing.

monastery in the morning

In the distance, on the hilltop is Tawang Monastery the principal reason for our visit. It's the largest buddhist monastery in India and second only to Lhasa, being large enough to accommodate around 1,500 monks. It was very shiny in the sun, and also visible from our hotel room - imagine being able to see that view from your bed. (I'm now overcome with a desire to be back there.)

At breakfast my Spanish omelette was mostly like a super-sized masala omelette - tasty, but definitely not worth the extra hassle D caused by ordering it. In the course of a chaotic breakfast, we discovered firstly that the hotel had run out of cornflakes, and then that our cars were carrying our own personal supply of cornflakes.
Truthfully, abrinsky and I would prefer to be eating local food, but there is always a presumption that as tourists we'll want to eat familiar food for breakfast, and at least cornflakes provide me with a safe gluten-free option. Next time I organise a private trip, I shall try to make non-cornflake breakfast arrangements. And, in fact, we have a vague plan for a trip around Assam that has a focus on local food, because another frustration is that we often end up eating 'pan Indian' instead of local. In some places that does make sense, given that we eschew meat, but I think we could do some interesting eating in Assam.

Our hotel in the morning sun was the tallest

the tallest

and the greenest

and the greenest

Oddly, there didn't seem to be many guests staying in such a large building. We couldn't figure out if all the floors were hotel, or if some were...residential?

What I'm Doing Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 06:29 pm
sage: crop from a painting of the front window of a bookstore showing books on display and shelves behind. (joy: books)
[personal profile] sage
books
Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon writing for older audiences). An excellent reimagining of Beauty and the Beast that turns sooo many tropes on their heads, yay! I do wish (for once) that there had been an epilogue. OTOH, fairytales don't, so maybe that's why this one doesn't?

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon. Wonderful! I love the verse, I love the characters, I love how Molly builds herself a family, and the art is fun, too.

probably next: The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, conclusion to the Broken Earth series, which was what I did for last Yuletide. Actually, I don't know if I dare read this during the present news cycle? I may need more kidlit first. But soon!

dirt (aka plant log) )

yarning
I thought I was going to be done with current project today but nazis happened, and it turns out I can't crochet and do twitter at the same time. Still, what I have is deep brick red and extremely satisfying. *pleased*

other
tomorrow is my birthday and I want 45 out of office, so if the universe could arrange that for us, I'd be really grateful.

reading, writing, no 'rithmatic

Aug. 16th, 2017 04:59 pm
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Finished: Will Save the Galaxy for Food by Yahtzee Croshaw. An entertaining pastiche of Golden Age of Sci-Fi novels, about what happens after the Golden Age of Star Pilots is brought to an end by the invention of quantum tunneling space travel which eliminates the need for spaceships and pilots. It's a light, easy read, gently funny, though there are a few plotholes big enough to sail a spaceship through. I originally chose it to read because the cover and the tone of the blurb made me think of Keith Laumer's Retief books; it's not quite as full of weird aliens and odd customs, but there's a definite Retiefishness about it.

Abandoned: Terraforming Earth - Phase 1: "The Plagues Era" (FutureScape, #1) by Dean C. Moore, an Instafreebie book. Technically better than a lot of the other self-pubbed books I've tried to read (though it still has its share of typos and incorrect words), but ultimately I found it boring. Not enough depth to the characters for me to care about them. Abandoned 15% in.

What I'm currently reading:

The Girl in the Tower (The Bear and the Nightingale #2) by Katherine Arden. I really liked the old-Rus fairytail world of the first book, and it's a delight to return to. This time, Vasilisa is dressed as, and masquerading as, a boy (♥), while bandits and Tatars menace the countryside. (You see, [livejournal.com profile] hamsterwoman, being nicknamed Vasya has proven prophetic!) So far I'm about halfway in and particularly enjoying the gentle fantasy aspects of the story.

What I'm reading next:

I'm planning to hit the library for the Beth Cato books I mentioned last week, though actually I'll probably finish my current read while we're in Wyoming eclipse-hunting, so I'll likely be reading something already on my phone first.

What I'm currently watching:

Game of Thrones. We're about a week behind but may catch up tonight. The special effects are very cool, but honestly the thing that impresses me the most is the geology of Dragonstone. What amazing tilted rocks! (Unless they're CGI...)

What I'm currently playing:

I picked up Dragon Age: Origins for $5 from a GOG sale a while ago, and although I usually spend most of my time outdoors and active in the summer, I'm unable to do so at the moment for injury reasons, so I started playing. It's fun so far though unsurprisingly I die a lot.

What I'm currently writing:

[community profile] crossovering: Well into my assignment, which is a lot of fun.
[community profile] remixrevival: Um. Still dithering about which story to remix.
[community profile] femslashex: MUST WRITE LETTER AND SIGN UP.

Media update

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:23 am
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
Reading
Well, I now have even more books out of the library AND more new books on my kindle (In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan!), but in fact, I haven't read any original fiction this week, just Les Mis contemporary AUs of the Combeferre/Enjolras/Grantaire variety, including a very good White Collar AU: Still the Same by [archiveofourown.org profile] tears_of_nienna.

Next up, probably Kept by Y. Euny Hong, since it's the library book that's due back soonest.

Kdramas
Finished Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, about a small young woman with super-strength, who's hired as a bodyguard for the CEO of a video games company. It started out intriguingly wacky and cartoony but turned into a giant mess: endless pointless subplots and a tonally whiplashy crime plot about a serial kidnapper. Similarly, the romance began promisingly but became obnoxiously cutesy by the end. Like, to the point where the leading man's secretary, Mr. Gong, on several occasions, had to politely interrupt their cooing at each other because it was making him super-uncomfortable. At which point, the couple would go, "Oh, are you still here?" and immediately resume giggling and fawning over each other, the moral apparently being that love makes you an asshole.

Also finished Capital Scandal, which was excellent. I chased it down solely for the time period (1930s, during the Japanese occupation), since I hadn't seen anything else set then, and I wasn't at all sure what to expect, but it was adorable and fun (and appropriately distressing in places), and did a great job of balancing romance and revolution. The female leads were outstanding, and the guys eventually caught up, more or less. :-)

Started Suspicious Partner on Sunday and am now nearly halfway through. Ahem. It's about spoilers for the first few episodes. )

Next week: starting a re-watch of Goblin with J.

Other TV
Last Week Tonight. That's about it.

Films
The Midwife (French): The last of our film festival films. It was good, and I liked the no-nonsense main character, but I wasn't quite in the mood to appreciate it, due to Life Things, and it didn't make much of an impression on me.

Writing
I had a plan to write pining fic for the Disguise challenge on [community profile] fan_flashworks, but let's just say it hasn't been a fruitful week.

altitude effects

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:56 pm
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
Having failed to check in at the police station we drove all the way back through town to our very tall, very very green hotel, where the staff were friendly and welcoming and everything the previous crap hotel wasn't. We dropped our bags and drove back into town to take a stroll through the shopping area before everything closed.

town of prayers

D was going to take us to his favourite tea shop, but it had closed down since he was last there in March (9 months earlier) so we had chai from a little stall. Not bad. Chai is never bad though, really.

We stared at the peaks turning pink as the sun began to set.

last of the light

Back the hotel we had to order dinner about 90 minutes in advance (quite common on these trips) and then, feeling rather chilly I lay in bed for a while, in my thermals.

Dinner wasn't bad, though we had - unusually - over-ordered. While we were eating dinner, we had to order breakfast, and D insisted on trying to order a Spanish omelette for me. I didn't especially want a Spanish omelette, as I was far from sick of standard Indian masala omelettes, but sometimes one has to be gracious and let people be unhelpfully helpful...

It really was cold after dinner, so we huddled in bed and drank the last of our Signature whisky from the teacups provided in the rooms. My sleep was disturbed by the frequent need to pee and by vivid dreams, both of which are the usual effects of altitude for me, even though we had dropped from the heights of Sela to only about 3,000m.

Cold turkey on the uppers

NSFW Aug. 16th, 2017 08:04 am
petra: A blonde woman with both hands over her face (Britta - Twohanded facepalm)
[personal profile] petra
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all beings want to be happy

Aug. 15th, 2017 06:10 pm
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
At some point en route to Tawang, after we'd been through a police checkpoint, we took a short walk while the cars were being refuelled.

all beings want to be happy

home in the mountains )

Eventually we arrived at Tawang town, a very busy place completely festooned with prayer flags. We drove straight through town to the police station, as it was a requirement that we report in. No-one was there. We walked into the station and along the corridor, but it was like the Marie Celeste. I'm sure photography would be prohibited, but there was no-one around to do the prohibiting.

inside the police station

The view from the police station, including a giant buddha )
fairestcat: Bobbi Morse, a blonde woman standing in the rain, with a mask-like pair of glasses pushed up on her head (Bobbi Morse)
[personal profile] fairestcat
I'm really excited about this. I stepped outside my comfort zone and volunteered to write a monthly Column about Marvel comics over at Women Write About Comics.

My first post went up today and you can read it here.

This is my first time in a long time writing for an audience that isn't people I already know and I'm both nervous and excited about it. Mostly excited, I think. Ask me again when I have to put together my August post.

back, by popular demand

Aug. 14th, 2017 06:25 pm
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
Previously, in tales from the north east of India, we reached Sela pass (4,175m), lunched on noodles and got excited about yaks to a soundtrack of 80s pop. Now it's time for a flashback to just before lunch, when we stopped at the memorial to Jaswant Singh who, we were told, single-handedly held off a Chinese invasion for several days. The memorial is elaborate, highly decorated, and absolutely spotlessly maintained by the army. His spirit is believed to remain in place, in the spot where his bunker was, so a bed is provided there and he is served with food every morning and evening.

Jaswant Singh

The hero.

war stories and homage )

Jaswant Singh has a spectacular view from his resting place.

view from the memorial

The army also maintains an exceptionally clean toilet facility. It looks rather unpromising as you stumble down the steep mountainside towards a metal shack, but it's great inside. Trust me, a roadside public toilet in India that is spotlessly clean, has plenty of water, soap and even a mirror, is deserving of a whole paragraph in my travel journal.
isis: (squid etching)
[personal profile] isis
Three links make a post.

Hamilton (but with sharks) - Four pages of artwork for the musical, if the characters were sharks. This is freakin' adorable, and I want to see the rest!

Romance novel titles generated by a neural network trained on Harlequin books - These are hilarious, and I could not make it all the way through without laughing out loud. Christmas Pregnant Paradise! The Sheikh’s Marriage Sheriff! Virgin Viking! Some of these have been photoshopped into book-cover images, for extra fun.

What is Skyr? - This is a year old, but I found it following a link from a current WaPo article about Greek yogurt, which mentioned skyr (calling it 'Icelandic yogurt') and then added, with the link, that it is technically cheese. As I have Siggi's skyr with fruit and my homemade granola for breakfast most days, I found this fascinating. (Siggi's doesn't use rennet.)

And have a bonus Lucy, helping to make the bed (as cats do): under the cut )

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