23 June 2017 @ 09:47 am
About saving the affordable care act: I will not lie to you. This is personal for me. I have relatives with preexisting conditions (doesn't everyone?) and I worked as nurse for 32 years, taking care of people with conditions as diverse as Head and Neck cancer, Chrohn's Disease, kidney failure, and infertility. Instead of this bullshit "Repeal and Replace," which is designed both to cut health care from the most vulnerable of our citizens and fund massive tax cuts for our wealthiest, we need a bill that will "Keep It and Fix It." But first we must stop the Republican party from shoving this massively unpopular bill down our throats.
Saving the Affordable Care Act )
Journalism )
Miscellaneous )
17 June 2017 @ 12:31 pm
We've hit the intersection of social justice, healthcare, politics, and reproductive rights: the moral imperative to stop the Senate from passing the travesty known as Trumpcare.

The Indivisible Guide has your back: It's Time to Stop TrumpCare and We've Got a Plan. The Senate is trying to do what the House of Representatives did in May: jam through its TrumpCare bill in secrecy, without public hearings, without a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, and without knowing its full impact on American families. That’s why the time to put on the pressure is now. We’ve put together new resources and an action plan to help.

This kind of activism takes time and commitment but not much physical stamina: it's perfect for those of us who can no longer march in the streets.

There are more links under the cut, loosely organized by category for your clicking convenience: politics, healthcare, reproductive rights, and the ever popular, "miscellaneous."

Politics )

Healthcare )

Reproductive Rights )

Miscellaneous )

I updated [community profile] xfilesficrecs: Fic Recs: 2x05 Duane Barry.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.
15 June 2017 @ 07:01 am
My apologies for spamming your reading list if you have already seen this. Weeks ago, I told [personal profile] jebbypal that I would make a promo banner and, um, promote [community profile] timeless_lifeboat. I tried, I did, but I have no skills. Luckily, I found [community profile] inconformista. Now I have a promo banner, plus six new icons for Timeless. Please snag it and spam your readers, too.

[community profile] timeless_lifeboat
A new Timeless community at Dreamwidth

I am actually feeling fannish about Timeless, in that giddy, why isn't everyone feeling this way about my show kind of way. I can't stop thinking about the series. I'm actually reading fic. I'M SUBSCRIBED TO TWO WIPS at AO3. It's hasn't been that long but I'd almost forgotten what it's like, to be this in love with a show. It's kind of wonderful, isn't it?

In other fannish news, The Expanse, season one, disc three, is "in transit," meaning someone in the LAPL system has finally gotten off their ass and sent my request. I've been number one in the queue for weeks. They're all checked out now but when I put it on hold, there were copies on the shelf. I called twice to complain and talked to one of the librarians in person, too. They all claimed that they had no idea what was going on, let alone why I kept getting bypassed. Maybe the last in-person visit actually worked.

There isn't much fic and what there is, isn't exactly my kind of thing. I wasn't going to do it until the TV series ended (spoiler! hatred) but I've decided to go ahead and read Leviathan Wakes, the first book in the Expanse series. My husband has read book one. He thought that since the show runners weren't following the book that closely, spoilers wouldn't much matter. He also thinks the TV series is much better written.
14 June 2017 @ 11:26 pm
Yeah, even though we're halfway through June already. I really thought I'd posted this way back at the beginning of the month.

Anyway, I read seven books in May, as follows:

1. Ghosts of India by Mark Morris - 3.5/5 stars. The first Doctor Who book to feature Donna, and one I hadn't already listened to the audiobook for before. This one features Gandhi, stuck-up British people, a tricksy alien, and the Doctor getting possessed again. Donna on the page is actually kind of more compelling than Donna on the screen? But then I was never as big a fan of Donna as a lot of other people seem to be.

2. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes - 4/5 stars. A story about a time traveling serial killer and the badass female newspaper intern who takes him down. There's a lot of interesting stuff in this book and I enjoyed it a lot. It loses a star for a rushed ending and a kind of skeevy relationship between the early 20s female protagonist and her 50+ male mentor.

3. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood - 3/5 stars. I'll stop after this, I promise. First book in the Maddaddam trilogy. Features one of the most frustratingly incurious protagonists ever. In the book, civilization has ended and humanity is dead. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. Fortunately, the bulk of the book is a series of flashbacks that explain what happened. Unfortunately, they are told from the POV of a completely clueless character who doesn't really give a shit about anything but obsessing over various girls he's had crushes on.

4. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood - 4/5 stars. Second book in the Maddaddam trilogy. This one is better than the first book because it features POVs from two different characters, both of whom are more interesting and competent than the loser from the first book. A lot of the frustrating gaps from the first book are filled in here, and the ending left me kind of excited for the third book...

5. Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood - 3/5 stars. ...which kind of sucked again. The bulk of the story is the history of a side character from the first two books that I didn't really care enough about to want to know his history. Of the two strong, interesting female characters who narrated the second book, one gets completely sidelined (she has maybe a dozen lines in the whole book) and the other regresses into a jealous, petty teenager because the guy she likes might be fucking someone else. There's a gross focus on getting all the fertile women left pregnant, and it was while reading this that I think I finally hit upon what really annoys me about Atwood. She just hates humanity, right? Every word she writes is just dripping with disdain and condescension toward her own characters and human society as a whole. I'm not asking for 24/7 happy fun times, but wow do I hate feeling like I'm being lectured by a pretentious blowhard. I read these books because they've been on my to-read list for years. I promise I'm done with Atwood now.

6. The Scar by China Mieville - 3.5/5 stars. My other favorite pretentious blowhard author. This book was the main reason I only read seven books in May. I made myself finish it before I started anything new, because I didn't want to abandon it again. Wow, is it a slog. It gets a lot more interesting as it nears the climax, but it takes such a long time to get there. And the ending suffers from the same flaw as Perdido Street Station - it's as if immediately after the climax Mieville got bored, so the story just ends without much resolution. I wish I liked these books better, because Bas-Lag is a fascinating world.

7. Night Shift by Stephen King - 3/5 stars. Re-read. King's first short story collection, originally published in 1979 and featuring many of the older shorts King sold to magazines before he hit it big with novels. A lot of the stories are classic Stephen King horror (including "Trucks," "The Lawnmower Man," "Children of the Corn," and a couple short stories addendum to Salem's Lot), but it's definitely not his strongest collection. There's a decent amount of variety here, but some of the stories get a bit same-y.

Kind of a middling batch in May, honestly. I can give you a sneak peek and say that June is already more promising.
Tags: ,
12 June 2017 @ 10:25 am
Just three for today.


NPR: I told you I'd just finished New York 2140. There was a great interview with him on Science Friday: Kim Stanley Robinson Tackles How to Keep a Drowning City Afloat.

The New Republic: The Powerful Reticence of Elizabeth Bishop. The argument being made by some is that the poems and letters Bishop didn't want published in her lifetime shouldn't be put in print after her death, because if she had wanted that material published she would have done so herself. Okay, but if Emily Dickinson's surviving family had respected her last wishes, nearly all of her poems would have been burned after her death. Can you imagine?


Vulture: TV Is Moving Away From Finale Fever — Which Is Making for Better TV. This piece is by Matt Zoller Seitz, my favorite critic, and I'm not sure I agree with him. See what you think.
Not too long ago, the ending was everything. It put a frame around the entire seasons-long adventure of watching a show. It made viewers argue, sometimes angrily, about whether the finale “stuck the landing” or just stunk. TV shows used to have to end on a note that satisfied everyone or risk being tarred as crushingly anticlimactic (Lost), incoherent (Battlestar Galactica), incoherent and pretentious (The Sopranos), or a violation of the spirit of everything that came before (Seinfeld). The arguments would rage on for weeks, months, even longer. In the case of David Chase’s gangster saga The Sopranos, which ended ten years ago this summer, the arguments have still not stopped.

Now, however, the ending is no longer the be-all and end-all of TV storytelling. With the final episode of The Leftovers, you may have wept grateful tears or thrown something at your screen in angry disappointment — but what you likely won’t do is carry the show’s ending around with you for years like sweet vindication or a festering grudge. You won’t do it when Twin Peaks: The Return ends. You won’t do it for The Americans, or Better Call Saul, or This Is Us. You might not even do it for The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, ongoing hits that probably get closest to capturing the ride-or-die tribal factionalism of programs like Lost and The Sopranos.

So, I didn't watch The Sopranos, therefore I cannot comment on its ending. You thought everyone watched The Sopranos, didn't you? It was on a premium channel, plus I quit gangsters cold turkey after The Godfather, Part II. Following episode three, I didn't watch Lost, either. I was all Yes! to watching PLANE CRASH SURVIVORS ON A DESERTED ISLAND. But that initial enthusiasm rapidly changed to OMIGOD NO EFFING WAY?! once that premise was complicated by their crazy-ass supernatural reasons for it. Sadly, the section of my brain that allowed me to cope with that kind of plot was destroyed by The X-Files. As for Battlestar Gallactica, I quit in the middle of its third season, so I never made it to the "incoherent" finale. (I still bought the DVDS, though, the mark of a True Fan, even if I've never opened the box.)

However, I've been carrying resentment about the terrible final season of The X-Files around for over a decade now, as well the beyond terrible second movie, and the so-bad-there-is-no-word-for-how-bad-it-was revival series from 2015-16. Though I thought my beloved Fringe went downhill after the middle of the fourth season, I hold its finale close to my heart, because they made everything okay again. Well, nearly everything. I am still bitter about the death of a certain character whose first name is the last name of the greatest American President. Bastards.

Here's where I part company with MZS: I just don't understand how he can be so lackadaisical about The Americans. If its show runners don't tie up all of their dangling plot threads in a satisfactory manner in the final season, it won't be as though the series never existed a mere day after it airs, not for me it won't. Maybe Matt will have moved on, but I will be beside myself for months, if not years.

Between us, I'm already pretty unhappy with how things have been going for my characters this season, so unhappy, in fact, that I am seriously considering quitting the series today, still two episodes short of watching the season four finale (PLEASE NO SPOILERS IN COMMENTS). The problem is that I have a very specific series ending in mind, one that I feel the writers have been foreshadowing from the beginning. If they don't provide that kind of closure, then hell yes, I will be pissed off. For the sake of my mental health, I might be happier if I go ahead and break up with the series now.


The 1x07 discussion post, "Windmills," is up at [community profile] rocinante.


Happy Monday, everyone.