Fractions are a challenge, in the majority of human languages that I have experience of.
This has to do with culture and history. Some regions of the planet — not all — have a tradition of being interested in talking about measured parts. Exceptional areas such as Europe go quite far with this, extending an existing mechanism that originally dealt with say ‘thirds’ and ‘fourths’, and developing it into an abstract pattern that can express any fractional amount that’s mathematically possible.
(Image credit: tes.com)
I’ve read some of the linguistic typological literature about the number systems found in the world’s languages and how they vary in terms of extent and complexity. My dissertation describing Kamloops Chinuk Wawa’s grammar (one of the pidgin dialects of Chinook Jargon) gets into this a bit, suggesting that we can extend those previous observations, which deal with whole-number (integer) systems, in order to evaluate how complex a given language’s system of fractions is too. (See pages 210-214 of Robertson 2011.)
Chinook Jargon has probably always had the most obvious fraction of all, the originally Lower Chinookan word sítkum ‘half’; we definitely encounter it at least as far back as Demers’s work of 1838-1839. (CJ data before that have been pointed out as more variable and therefore a little harder to identify with later CJ.) An example of its use is:
Pus kopit katishism, klaska
when finished catechism they
‘When the catechism was finished, they;
wiht kuli iht shanti mokst shanti
also run one song two song
‘also ran through one or two songs’
pi iawa sitkom son.
and there half day
‘and then it was noon.’
— (Kamloops Wawa #198 (September 1901), page 49)
Speakers have conventionally extended its use to mean any unspecified ‘part’ or ‘portion’:
saia kopa Kamlups, inatai rivir mitlait Shushwap
far from Kamloops across river be.located Shuswap
‘from Kamloops, across the river, is’
sitkom, iaka nim ShKH…
part its name Shhkaltkmah
‘a part of the Shuswap [‘a Shuswap part’], called Shhkaltkmah…’
— (from the same page)
The known history of kwáta ‘quarter’ in the Jargon is less deep, extending only back to George Gibbs’s important 1863 dictionary. I want to remind you to take this observation with a grain of salt, for two reasons. First, absence of proof isn’t proof of absence. Second, Second, kwáta was obviously from English, and the anglophone literates who dominated the contemporary documentation of Chinuk Wawa seem as if they tended to omit mentioning any Jargon words whose meaning seemed obvious. Whether this word originally meant ’25 cents’ (which I strongly suspect) or ‘one fourth’ (which I hypothesize is a significantly later development of its meaning), just about everyone who was likely to read these guys’ descriptions of the Jargon could be expected to recognize the word and not need a definition spelled out. Here’s an example of it being used:
Ilip tintin kopa kwata past faiv.
first bell at quarter past five
‘The first bell was at quarter past five.’
— (same issue, page 49)
(English-based expressions came to be common for clock times around Kamloops toward the year 1900.)
That’s about it for fractional-numeral “basic words” in the Jargon.
Unlike its main European inputs (English and French, with their “one-third…one-eleventh…”, and “un tiers…un onzième…”), but very much in step with the majority of the Earth’s languages, this pidgin-creole has had no productive and predictable way to turn any old number into a fraction. Mind you, there is a suffix -i that you can put on numbers in the creole Grand Ronde dialect, but it produces an expression of ‘times’. This can be useful when you teach multiplication in an immersion setting, and when you sing Lionel Richie karaoke: íxti mákwsti ɬúni ɬúchmən, ‘one, twice, three times a lady’.
But I want to knock some truth right into your heads (a Fela Kuti lyric, since I’m in sing-along pidgin-creole mode): There is still hope. Absence of proof doesn’t equal proof of absence, remember? So check this out — look at the interlinearized literal meanings:
Thyursdi <2> Ogyust. <X> Nsaika kwash kopa makmak
Thursday 2nd August we afraid about food
‘Thursday 2nd August. We were frightened about the food’
aiak kopit kakwa kopit iht pawnd nsaika patlach kopa tlun
soon finished so only one pound we give to three
‘running out soon, so we gave only one pound per three ‘
man kopa iht son: kopit pus wik klaska mimlus.
person to one day only so.that not they die
‘people per one day: just enough for them not to die.’
— (same issue, page 88)
In other words, ‘a third of a pound per person’. This demonstrates a simple and logical way to say fractions:
[quantity] kopa [number of recipients]
(Numerator, Preposition, Denominator)
Which is indeed a much-used formulation in Kamloops Chinuk Wawa. My dissertation calls a variant of this the “quasi-prepositional distributive” (whatever), giving the prepositionless example on pages 229-230:
mokst tala iht ton
two dollar one tonne
‘$2 per tonne’
The ‘one pound per three people per one day’ example above happens to confer upon us the added benefit of being applicable to physics That is, it’s an instance of embedded fractions (a third of a pound per person per day). Which shows you how to teach the physical concepts of acceleration and gravity in Chinuk Wawa immersion classrooms. It’s not hard to say “32 feet per second per second” in this language!
Further advice: please don’t try using English as the model for how you speak Chinook Jargon! Too many folks have done that.* If you’re just slapping Jargon words onto an English sentence that’s in your head, you’re just talking pitiful Chinuk Wawa. At the moment, I’m thinking about how you might intuitively/thoughtlessly transfer what I’ve taught you today over onto English words that are identical with fraction-words — but which mean something else. You know: the ordinal numbers like “third, fourth, fifth”. Those look like fractions in English, but the ideas behind them have a different grammar in Jargon. I already mentioned the -i suffix that you can use if you talk Grand Ronde style. Other dialects just say the plain number word, like when the church newspaper Kamloops Wawa frequently refers to tlun Sondi kopa Advint, lakit Sondi kopa Advint, etc. (‘the third Sunday in Advent, the fourth Sunday in Advent’ and so forth).
*(Linguist Michael Silverstein influentially argued that everyone did use their own language’s grammar when they spoke CJ. Tlus wik maika iskom iaka wawa. [Ignore him.] The much greater amount of textual data that we now have access to leads to a much more boring conclusion, that every language has speakers at greater and lesser levels of fluency. You don’t want to be the latter.)
Two thoroughly exhausting (but mostly in a good way) weeks are behind me; first the Frankfurt Book Fair, then a workshop (in a splendid environment, but still, it was work from morning till night). Hence no posts; I could only get online very briefly.
( Macron, Merkel, Rushdie, Atwood et all under the cut )
"Leonard Cohen’s final book of poetry to be published October 2018".
"Let's Settle The Hand Sanitizer Vs. Hand Washing Debate, Once And For All". [Buzzfeed]
"No Hollywood Ending: How Do I Grieve When I am Estranged From My Family?"
"IKEA Just Launched A Pet Furniture Collection, And Animal Lovers Want It All".
"Exquisite Wooden Heels Hand-Carved with Ancient Vietnamese Pagoda Techniques".
"50+ Best Wildlife Photos Of 2017 Were Just Announced And The Winning Pic Is Making Everyone Angry And Sad".
"How I Came To Understand My Adult ADHD" has popped up in multiple places over the past couple of days, despite being from 2016.
Via muccamukk, "Death of a Modern Wolf". "Once feared, vilified, and exterminated, the wolves of Vancouver Island face an entirely different threat: our fascination, our presence, and our selfies."
"The Case of the Small Shoes —a.k.a. Survival Bias: No, people were NOT 'just smaller then.'".
Via havocthecat, "The Kosher Salt Question". "Prized for its purity and flaky texture, kosher salt has been a home-cooking standard for decades. But the two major brands, Diamond Crystal and Morton, are very different products. Your ruined meatballs can attest."
Via hunningham, "Pretending to be Batman helps kids stay on task".
"African Artist and Japanese Designer Create Stunning Kimonos By Mixing Cultures".
"The father of the American shopping mall hated what he created".
Definitely NSFW but an interesting read: "A decade of sex blogging" at Hey Epiphora.
"Rat Race". "Whether you see them or not, rats are usually around. They could be right under your feet, just above your head, or spelunking in the walls that separate the rooms in your home. The worst part is you would probably never know. Let’s look at what a day in the life of an average Halifax rat looks like.
Surprisingly, it’s not all that dissimilar to a day in the life of an average Haligonian human."
Oh dear, another blooper from David Mitchell in this week's Observer New Review.
Or, at least, a classic case of writing about something before reading it properly.
The first was that Cambridge University lecture timetables are being labelled with “trigger warnings” about the plots of various literary works, including The Bacchae and Titus Andronicus. So English literature undergraduates are being protected from the knowledge of, among other things, what one of Shakespeare’s plays is about, in case it upsets them.That is so not what the furore about this that I saw across my bits of social media was: what I saw was the push-back against the elitist assumption that eny fule already no that Titus Andronicus contains murder, rape, mutilation, and involuntary cannibalism (not to mention massive amount of racism).
And trigger-warnings aren't about protecting people from the knowledge that works of art contain disturbing material: they're precisely about letting people who haven't yet encountered them know that they contain material some people may find upsetting. Like the warnings you see at the beginning of a movie, just so you know what you're letting yourself in for.
And I'm really not sure that one can assume general cultural familiarity with one of the less-produced of Shakespeare's plays (the one that suggests that, had he been writing in the 1960s, he'd have been working for Hammer Horror - while some of the early comedies suggest also possibly moonlighting for the Carry On films, but I digress). Okay, there has been a movie version of the play itself, and Theatre of Blood alludes to it in one of the vengeances taken against the critics of the protag. But I doubt it's all that well-known to the individual on the Clapham omnibus.
Next morning Hannah went into the hothouses to cut some flowers to replace a bloom here and there in the vases that went droop, and discovered her brother Julius about some matter of tending pots.
He smiled at her. What, not up and about with Miss Flora?
I daresay she sleeps in, to recover from her journey.
Indeed the Channel crossing will knock one up! But – he turned around with a serious expression upon his face – has she said aught about Beauf – Sallington’s – suit to her?
Only – he sighed – there is some notion of the Duke’s that Beauf might set up his own establishment at Nitherholme, and he was saying, did he do so, might I not go with him and do somewhat about the gardens, that were never particular tended to, save for the herb garden when Lady Jane resided there, and have been much neglected since then, one could have a free hand in doing the thing, 'tis not like Qualling or the grounds of Mulcaster House, so there would not be established gardeners jealous of their place and saying, has always been done thus and so –
Oh, Julius, surely you would love that!
Also, Julius went on with a longing look, 'tis moorland country thereabouts, and I confide would be an almost untrodden field for the botanist –
Sure all sounds entire ideal –
- but one must suppose that his plans would be different did he intend to go marry.
One had to know Julius extreme well to know that he was most extreme concerned about this matter. Indeed it would be a considerable advancement for him, and Hannah knew how great a friendship there had ever been 'twixt him and Lord Sallington. Certainly he might fear that marriage would cause a breach – but was it Flora, that had been part of the same nursery-set? how could that create a gulph?
And then she looked at her brother and wondered. Had she not had particular opportunity to observe the very fine manly affection that existed 'twixt His Lordship and Mr MacDonald?
Why, she said, I daresay Flora will tell me soon enough.
In the afternoon she climbed once more to their meeting place, where Flora was already sitting, clasping her arms about her knees in her old way. Hannah went to squeeze in beside her.
Dearest Hannah Clorinda, said Flora, sure there is a thing I am almost frighted to ask you: but has there been with you any matter of falling in love?
Hannah laughed. Fie, who should I go fall in love with?
Why, how should I know, being away so long?
Hannah looked sideways at Flora. Well, she said, resisting the desire to teaze, I will confess that I have the greatest admiration and, 'tis true to say, affection, towards His Lordship and Mr MacDonald, that are both always so very kind to me. But they are quite out of my sphere, and naught that I would go pine for – and indeed, sure I take the entire apprehension that 'twould be a very foolish thing to set my girlish hopes upon 'em.
You were ever a sensible creature, sighed Flora. For I find myself – found myself, mayhap I will discover that matters are different when we are no longer under the Italian sun, or strolling in balmy moonlight and a little smoky glow from the burning mountain – somewhat unexpected smitten.
She sighed once more. We encountered Quintus and his friends in Venice and it perchanced I saw a good deal of Beauf, and then we went our ways, and then we met once more in Naples, and I found myself in a considerable liking to him, and indeed he to me, and there was a mention of marriage, but I said that perchance we were beguiled by the exceeding romantic setting –
- but 'twas not just that concern that halted me from saying yes to his offer.
She looked down at her hands pressing together. O, dear, Hannah, I like him most extremely, but I greatly dislike the thought of being a duchess. For one sees his stepmother, a most excellent learned lady, that I daresay would greatly prefer to spend a deal more time in her study than her duties of rank permit, and does not complain, but will sometimes let little things drop – will come in from some occasion and say she has been about duchessing, with a twist of her mouth.
And then, my dearest Tiger - she looked sideways at Hannah, who kept her face entirely straight – why, what may I call her? She would not have me call her mama, says 'tis a title she would not steal from Mama, so 'tis a pet name ‘twixt the two of us. But she says, that one should ever think when contemplating marriage that the duties of marriage will include matters to do with one’s husband’s station or profession, if only by behaving proper to that – that is, does one marry a clergyman there is a deal of proper behaviour expected in the matter of church attendance and parish duties &C, almost to act the ancillary curate, and if one marries a doctor one does not gossip upon his patients any more than he would, and must not complain is he called out at all hours to some urgent case.
She leant her head upon Hannah’s shoulder. And said, sure one may see married couples that are entire partners, like unto Mama and Papa, or the Wallaces, or the Samuels, or as 'twas with the Verikers – oh, that was sad news – but indeed, she says, a woman does not always realize in advance what will come to her, but must adapt to circumstances.
And however fond and kind a husband may be, 'tis quite out of the common that he will go encourage her ambitions as Mr Lucas does, that insists that Mrs Lucas has her own study in the rectory. That she confides he would do even was there not the matter of her fortune in the balance.
She fell silent.
Also, she said at length, I like Beauf most extremely, but I have found that I am also given to finding other fellows agreeable, if only for a while. I daresay, she went on, you have read, or mayhap heard, the marriage service? That I confide is not in particular different among Methodists from what pertains in the Established Church – sure one hears that the Quakers do the matter differently –
Dearest Flora, 'tis unlike you to babble.
- and while there is a deal of matter in’t that one could mostly happily swear to, there are some things… even more than the forsaking all others, there is that dread word obey. And Tiger says I should mind what a deal of rights the law and custom assign to husbands, and how little to wives. Sure, she said, a woman – or her prudent advisors – may tie up any fortune she has, but there has to be that forethought took, and even then, there are husbands will endeavour come around their wives by persuasion or even violence.
Hannah sighed. Indeed 'tis so.
But the thing that I always come at, Flora continued, squeezing Hannah, is that I would not wish to be parted from you. And sure I find it hard to come at any way one might marry and still have one’s dearest friend about one. I suppose you might come be my companion, but – she planted a kiss upon Hannah’s head – I should dislike to put you in that position of dependency -
Oh, she cried, but I am a selfish fool! Doubtless you have your own plans and ambitions –
Why, said Hannah, I confide that although I lead a most exceeding pleasant existence here, undertaking the flowers for the house and tending to the library, 'tis not a course I may continue entirely indefinitely. And latterly I was discoursing of the matter to Mr MacDonald, and he advanced the thought that I might go make a living by my pen -
Why, my darling, indeed you might. For Mr MacDonald had most thoughtful laid by for us copies of The Intelligencer, marked up with matters of particular interest, and Tiger was most prepossessed by those pieces of yours on historical ladies.
Hannah felt herself blushing all over. But sure I did not see quite how I might come at that.
Flora clasped her knees again and rocked a little in the old wonted fashion when she was thinking something over.
At length she said, hesitantly, you know that Tiger has a fine property in Surrey -
O yes, Yeomans, 'twas where Mama met Papa –
Say you so! – 'twas let for many years to the Ulrichs, very fine people, some connexion of the Samuels, but at present stands empty, and she does not go seek new tenants until certain repairs and refurbishments are made. And it comes to me, might we not ask her could we go live there, and devote our lives to study and writing and doing somewhat about the parlous condition of womanhood - for I apprehend that 'tis not an entire out of the common thing, for two ladies to live together and pursue their interests, like Lady Emily Merrett and Miss Fenster at Attervale –
- but are they not somewhat older ladies, past their marriageable years?
O, now, but I have heard that Lady Emily was one of the belles of the Season when they first went there, her suitors were entire desolated.
O, said Hannah, longingly, surely that would be excellent fine, but I confide that there would be objections -
O, poo, to objections! said Flora. Do I go convoke with Tiger upon the business I daresay she will come at some way it might be contrived.
Hannah clutched Flora’s hand. O, Flora! I should like it of all things.
Back in Oxford, I'm really missing it. I would go to church much more if it could be this simple - if I could just pop in between the farmer's market and the cafe as part of my weekend routine. In the week and a half I was in Russia, I went to more church services than I've been to in years. (Not to mention wore a headscarf more than I ever have... it was a good chance to use all the scarves I have lying around.)
Really I shouldn't complain. I know there are places, like in the American South, where you have to drive for hours to get to an Orthodox church. I grew up in a town with one, and I've just discovered that we have four here in Oxford, not two as I'd originally thought.
• the Greek Orthodox/Russian Orthodox one, the oldest Orthodox church in Oxford and the home of Kallistos Ware, which is unfortunately a long walk from my house
• the other Russian Orthodox church (Patriarchate of Moscow), which is also a bit of a hike
• a Romanian Orthodox church
• an Indian Orthodox church (Malenkara Orthodox Syrian)
Whether or not I manage to get off my couch within the next half an hour to go to church this morning, I must definitely plan to visit the latter two sometime - particularly the last, as I've never been to an Oriental Orthodox church before. We shall see...
ETA: I ended up going to the other Russian church, which I hadn't visited before in its new home, and turns out to be only 20 minutes walk. Not too bad.
Characters/Pairing: Breq/Seivarden unrequited
Fandom/Universe: Imperial Radch
Rating and Content Notes: Teen
Word count: 1760
Notes: Thanks to st_aurafina 2017.
Summary: Seivarden feels like she is still in stasis while Breq rushes onward, but there are two sides to every coin.
( Movement and Stillness )
Also at AO3
Random spoilery thoughts:
( Read more... )
I think I should like to read some more Zelazny. Has anyone recommendations? The library appears to possess an assortment.
(I have also recently read Rose Daughter, on Ursula Vernon's recommendation from the intro to Bryony and Roses, but nothing about it made me think I would especially want to read more Robin McKinley. I think her style is not a thing that works for me.)
Last October I watched but never wrote about Norman Foster's Woman on the Run (1950), a famously near-lost noir painstakingly restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Film Noir Foundation and released last year onto home media as a double bill with Byron Haskin's Too Late for Tears (1949). Part of the delay is that I liked but did not love the former film as I did the latter with its stone cold antiheroine and uncompromising final shot; this one suffers more from the congealing sexism of the nascent Fifties and as a result its emotional resolution leaves a tacky taste on my teeth and an inchoate longing for the advent of no-fault divorce. If you can bear with its limitations, however, Woman on the Run is worth checking out as a thoughtfully layered mystery and a fantastic showcase for Ann Sheridan as an unapologetically bitchy, unsentimentally sympathetic protagonist, a rare combination in Hollywood even now.
The 1948 source short story by Sylvia Tate was titled "Man on the Run" and the film begins with one: late-night dog-walker Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) who takes a powder on learning that the murder he conscientiously reported—and witnessed at close enough range to know the killer again—was connected to a high-profile mob trial. A failed artist with a bad heart and a marriage that's been on the rocks almost since it launched, he looks tailor-made for the dark city, a loser coming up on his final throw. The camera doesn't follow him into the night-maze of San Francisco, though, to face or keep running from his demons in the kind of psychomachia at which an expressionist genre like noir so excels; instead the point of view switches almost at once to his estranged wife Eleanor (Sheridan), wearily deflecting the inquiries of the hard-nosed Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith, who will always look like Lieutenant Brannigan to me) with flat sarcastic cracks and an indifference so apparently genuine and total, it can take the audience a beat to recognize the depths of anger and resignation that underlie lines like "No, sometimes he goes to sleep and I walk the dog." Ever since Max Ophüls' The Reckless Moment (1949), I have been wary of assuming the limits of women in noir, but Eleanor still stands out for me in her flippant, abrasive intelligence and her willingness to look bad—she knows it shocks the conservative inspector that she isn't all housewifely concern for her man and she needles him with it, referring to the dog as their "only mutual friend" and dismissing the bare kitchen with "He's not particular and I'm lazy, so we eat out." Faced with the possibility that Frank has taken his brush with the underworld as an excuse to run out on his marriage, she's more than half inclined to let him. But she's not inclined to let him get killed, especially not playing star witness for a police force whose last star witness got whacked while Frank was watching, and so in the best traditions of amateur detecting, complete with dubious Watson in the form of "Legget of the Graphic" (Dennis O'Keefe), the flirty tabloid reporter who offered his services plus a thousand-dollar sweetener in exchange for exclusive rights to Frank's story, Eleanor sets out to find her missing husband before either the killer or a duty-bound Ferris can. He's left her a clue to his whereabouts, a cryptic note promising to wait for her "in a place like the one where I first lost you." In a relationship full of quarrels and frustrations, that could be anywhere, from their favorite Chinese hangout to the wharves of his "social protest period" to the tower viewers at the top of Telegraph Hill. Let the investigations begin.
I like this setup, which gives us the city as memory palace after all: Eleanor's memories of her relationship with Frank, what it was like when it was good and where it failed and how it might be reclaimed again, if she can only find him alive. She is almost being asked to perform a spell. And while I suppose she could have done it on the sympathetic magic of a Hollywood backlot, it is much more satisfying to watch her revisit real statues and sidewalks, real crowds unaware of the private earthquake taking place in their midst. Hal Mohr's cinematography is a street-level document of San Francisco in 1950, with a cameo by our old friend Bunker Hill; he can organize shadows and angles as effectively as the next Oscar-winning DP when he needs to, but he keeps the majority of the action on the daylit side of noir, the lived-in, working-class city with Navy stores and department stores and parks and piers and diners and lots of California sun, which only looks like it shows you everything. The literal roller-coaster climax was filmed at Ocean Park Pier/Pacific Ocean Park, last seen on this blog in Curtis Harrington's Night Tide (1960). Back at the Johnsons' bleak, hotel-like apartment, Eleanor mocked Ferris for "snoop[ing] into the remains of our marriage," but increasingly it seems not to be as cold a case as she thought. Going back over old ground, she discovers new angles on her missing person; nondescript in his introductory scenes and ghostly in his own life, Frank Johnson becomes vivid in absence, hovering over the narrative like Harry Lime in Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) or the title character of Otto Preminger's Laura (1944) until his wife begins to see a curiously attractive stranger in the place of a man whose familiarity had long since bred hopelessness. To fall in love with someone who might already be dead, to find someone in the process of losing them, these are the kinds of irony that noir thrives on and Woman on the Run derives as much tension from the audience's fear that irony will carry the day as it does from the actual unknowns of the plot, the killer's identity, Frank's status, Eleanor's own safety as her sleuthing calls for ever more active deception of the police and reliance on Legget, who keeps saying things like "I'm sorry I was so rude a moment ago, but it's always discouraging to hear a wife say that her husband loves her." He is another unexpected element, not without precedent but nicely handled. In most genres, his pushy charm and his genial stalking of Eleanor would mark him as the romantic hero, or at least an appealing alternative to a husband so avoidant he couldn't even tell his own wife when he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. Here, with a triangle already established between Eleanor and the husband she knows and the husband she doesn't, the reporter is a fourth wheel at best and the audience hopes he accepts it. Without a reciprocating spark, it's not as cute as he thinks when he encourages Eleanor to call him "Danny Boy" ("People who like me call me Danny Boy") or leads her casually under the same wooden coaster where he used to bring dates, his contribution perhaps to the film's romantic psychogeography.
Honestly, I don't even dislike the resolution on the strict level of plot. By the time Eleanor realizes that the place where I first lost you isn't a bitter dig at a bad memory but a hopeful allusion to a good one, the audience is sufficiently invested in the reunion of these long-fractured lovers—despite the fact that we've never once seen them together, even in photographs or Frank's sketches and paintings—that to frustrate it would feel deliberately unfair, although of course in noir that never rules anything out. They're both taking chances, not just with their lives but their hearts. Frank who always runs away is standing his ground, risking being found by a gunman and a partner he's disappointed. Eleanor who has built such prickly defenses is lowering them, making herself reach out rather than preemptively rebuff. You want to see that kind of bravery rewarded, even when heart conditions and prowling killers aren't involved. What I dislike in the extreme is the film's attitude toward this conclusion. In its examination of the Johnsons' marriage, the facts of the script assign plenty of blame to Frank, an artist too scared of failure to try for success, a husband who retreated from his wife as soon as he felt that he'd let her down, a man who could talk about his feelings to everyone but the woman he was living with. The dialogue, however, insists repeatedly that the ultimate success or collapse of a marriage is the woman's responsibility—that it must be Eleanor's fault that her marriage went south, that she wasn't patient or understanding or supportive enough, that she has to be the one to change. It's implied in some of her encounters; in others it's stated outright. Inspector Ferris constantly judges her as a wife and a woman, even once asking "Didn't your husband ever beat you?" when she tells him to back off. He's the dry voice of authority, the hard-boiled but honest cop; I want to believe that Eleanor is decoying him when she apologizes for not believing his criticism sooner ("I guess I was the one who was mixed up—a lot of it's my fault anyway—I haven't been much of a wife"), but I fear we're meant to take her at face value. He's too active in the film's ending not to be right. Hence my wistful feelings toward California's Family Law Act of 1969. Sheridan's acting carries her change of heart from resolutely not caring to clear-eyed second chance, but I almost wish it didn't have to. At least she has a good rejoinder when Frank queries their future together, wry as any of her defensive cracks: "If this excitement hasn't killed you, I'm sure I can't."
The movies with which Woman on the Run links itself up in my head are Robert Siodmak's Phantom Lady (1944) and Roy William Neill's Black Angel (1946), both stories of investigating women with ambiguous allies and ghostly romantic patterns; Sheridan's Eleanor is a harder, less conventionally likeable protagonist than either Ella Raines' Kansas or June Vincent's Cathy, which may account for why the patriarchy comes down on her with such personified, decisive disapproval, or it may be the distance from wartime, or it may be some other idiosyncratic factor that still annoys me. The fact that I can read the ending as happy rather than rubber-stamped heteronormativity is due almost entirely to Sheridan, who never loses all of Eleanor's edges any more than she slips out of her angular plaid overcoat into something more comfortable, plus the final cutaway to the Laughing Sal on the lit-up midway, rocking back and forth as if a husband and wife embracing is some great joke. Maybe it is. What makes this couple, so fervently clinging to one another, so special? He writes a nice love-note. She climbs out a skylight like nobody's business. They named their dog Rembrandt. This reunion brought you by my particular backers at Patreon.
There are theories at the office about how much longer this stint of Casual Job will go, but what have we learned about attempting to make predictions? We'll see how it plays out.
scruloose and I have now made it as far as episode 3 of Star Trek: Disco, and we're also up to date on The Good Place. Given my work schedule(s), I'm counting it as a partial win. I really want to start in on The Gifted, though.
I haven't watched any of the anime for The Ancient Magus' Bride (either the OAV or the recently-started TV series), but in the last several days I've seen it mentioned quite a few times here and on Twitter, and that delights me. The manga series is fantastic--definitely one of my current favorites of the things I'm working on. (The other being Yona of the Dawn.) In theory I really want to watch the TV series, but realistically, I said that about the My Love Story!! anime too, and like so much other media I ~really want~ to consume, it keeps not happening.
For the longest time it felt like there weren't anime versions of any manga titles I've worked on, but it's never quite been true. I mean, Sgt. Frog had a (pretty long-running!) series and movies and all, although I gather the plots rarely adhered closely to the manga (and with that series, there's no need for them to, really); also, DN Angel got animated in some capacity (TV series?), but as I only actually worked on the final two volumes that Tokyopop released (vol. 12 and 13, I think?), it never sank in and felt like "my" series. And X has been animated twice, but I actively loathe the movie and am deeply grumpy about the TV series...
...and then there're the newer things that I keep wanting to see, but not finding time for: Arpeggio of Blue Steel, My Love Story!!, Yona of the Dawn, and now Magus are all out there. (Okay, no--I did see an episode or two of My Love Story!!, and that was wonderful.) (I feel like I might even be missing one. And now I suddenly really want someone to animate Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer.)
Will I ever make it as far as checking those shows out for real? No idea. (I even have an ongoing Crunchyroll subscription, but I don't exactly make use of it. [Terrifying media-to-consume list, etc. etc etc.])
Last night was my fourth aerial silks class, so we're halfway through. ( It wasn't *bad*, but I also don't feel like I managed to do a whole lot )
scruloose and I are so utterly out of the gardening habit at this point. We don't have anything planted specifically for autumn, and we gave the tomato plants up for lost a couple weeks ago when I kept hearing that there was an overnight frost warning and last-ditch tomato harvesting should happen. So we did that, but since then I've been seeing local photos and stuff from gardeners carrying right along with harvesting their tomatoes etc. Next autumn we won't be so quick to say, "Oh, I guess we're done now."
A lot of the tomatoes we brought in at the abandoning-them point were still very green, but those all seem to have ripened up nicely. There's just one left now; scruloose has been working his way through them. The plants did produce some more fruit, but scruloose's experiment in eating one of those post-final-harvest tomatoes wasn't tasty, for whatever reason.
As a result of wandering off from dealing with the tomato plants, I should admit we've also completely slacked on dealing with the flowers. >.< Which isn't so bad for the potted annuals, because they have an expiry date, but we really need to double check what to do about the perennial bed and the potted raspberry shrub.
And whatever else happens, those bulbs need to get planted. *determined*
....ahahaha this is EXACTLY how I have been describing myself most of my life ("low boredom threshold," "I need a book going to calm down and think," "allergic to boredom," "if I get bored I will get in trouble"). Haha! //cries
(Yeah the treating the ADD thing has kind of gone by the wayside because I was on Vyvanse!, and Vyvanse! was motherfucking expensive and seemed to peter out, and they were also all hassling me about my blood pressure ((which is FINE)) and then a later doc terrified me about being overweight and taking stimulants and heart failure. sigh. I dunno. It also seemed to kind of set off my hypomania. On the other hand I've been napping every three hours again so....)
My recipient was iknowcommawrite aka Scioscribe, who wrote me two lovely Treats last Yuletide! FemslashEx allows prompts for original fiction, and this is the prompt I wrote for:
Class issues, identity porn, loyalty kink, and compromised principles: hell yeah. I think ideally I would like this one in a fantasy world, but I’m open to other possibilities. I’d love to see about any variation on this I could think of. Is the revolutionary undercover in the palace, getting ready to overthrow the monarchy while falling for the princess? Is the princess on the run from the revolution, disguising herself, and falling in amongst the rebels? Do either of them begin to rethink their principles or their policies? Is the revolutionary agitating in the open, and the princess is intrigued by her radical ideas? Other things I’m totally here for: wearing a crown while being thoroughly debauched by a revolutionary, hurt/comfort, kneeling, undressing from gowns and corsets, and virgin princess/experienced revolutionary.
Isn't that great? I found it very inspiring.
I wrote Burn, an epistolatory exercise in Ultimate Identity Porn. The revolutionary hides her face to conceal her identity. The princess silences her voice to preserve her purity. They know each other. And they don't...
I've been reading a lot of books, but I've also been reading a shitton of fanfic for the first time in years and just loving it.
I tend to multifannishness with periods of intense focus on one specific fandom. For most of the summer that was Les Miserables, which is a great fandom to binge-read, but a highly inconvenient fandom to want more fic for in 2017, as it's not dead, but definitely doesn't attract as many really good authors as it did a couple of years ago.
Les Mis is really actually two fandoms with one name. There's the Valjean/Javert portion of the fandom, and there's the Les Amis d'ABC portion of the fandom.
I've read and loved some Valjean/Javert in the past, but right now I'm ALL about Les Amis.
The thing about Les Amis fandom is this: in canon almost every character dies, but fandom being fandom says "fuck that shit," and instead you can read thousands upon thousands of ways for everybody to live.
Most Les Amis fic is AUs. Modern AUs. High School/College AUs. Dystopic SF AUs. Fantasy AUs. Soulmates. A/B/O Universes. If you can think of it, someone has probably written it.
But there is a common theme to most of it, a story I needed to read over and over this year. It's a story about queer, radical revolutionaries who get to be happy and maybe even win a little. Not all the great fic is overtly political, sometimes they're radicals in different ways, but that radical queerness is always there at heart, and it feeds my soul.
Also, Enjolras/Grantaire is basically radical idealist who's terrible at human emotion meets cynical alcoholic who's feels too much, and it's gold. If you like pairings who start out the story completely incomprehensible to each other and fight a lot on the way to falling in love, this is definitely the fandom for you. I love stories about people who make each other better, and that's very much the case for these two.
I'm working on a Les Mis recs post but it's rather long, and I've got a lot of other things going on right now, so I'm not sure when I'll get it finished.
Just when I was starting to despair of no more Les Mis fic, bonibaru and thatmissp started talking about Shadowhunters and linking to stuff. So I watched one of bonibaru's vids and went, "ooh, pretty, also very, very queer". And then misspamela posted a snippet of a fic she'd written and I read it and said, "okay, I definitely need more of this." And then I discovered that it's on netflix in Canada, and decided I'd give it a shot.
I watched the entire 13-episode first season in 3 days.
As my two enablers warned me, it's not exactly good TV. It's a trashy supernatural teen soap opera, and it embraces that. But I actually love that about it, it has no interest in being subtle and nuanced, and that makes it kind of charming and endearing. It's just so earnest.
Also, very, very queer. It's an ensemble show and within that ensemble the romance that gets the most attention and best development is the queer one, and it fills me with joy.
Magnus Bane is a flamboyant, hedonistic, bisexual and immortal warlock. Alec Lightwood is a young, uptight, closeted supernatural demon-fighter. They meet and Magnus immediately goes, "I want that one," and Alec suddenly completely loses the ability to speak. It's adorable.
And of course there's angst, and Alec is a self-sacrificing idiot a lot, but it's also a surprisingly honest and realistic relationship arc for a supernatural teen soap opera.
Anyway, I've just started season two and I'm enjoying it immensely. It's not the kind of fandom I expect to become passionate about long-term, but right now it's providing a much-needed shot of sparkly queerness in my life.
This summer was filled with reading, multiple trips to a friend's cottage in the Gatineaus, and learning to be dog owners. That last has been particularly exhausting, but we're getting there. And he is a sweetheart.
This is Bogart:
( all about Bogart, with more pictures and a cameo from Dreadful )
There is also a new four-footed resident downstairs. Chakra, one of Rayne's cats, died in mid-August and in September I saw this fine gentleman in a pet store and sent his picture to Rayne, who promptly came and met him and fell in love.
This is Ivan Vorcatril:
( Yes, we do call him, Ivan, you idiot )
Which is better than Kina is with the new temporary downstairs resident.
Three years ago we rescued and either rehomed or tnr'd the colony of feral cats who'd been hanging out in our backyard. One of the first kittens Rayne rehomed was Sage:
( Sage has returned to us, but she can go home with you! )
In non-pet news, As of yesterday I am taking Concerta for ADHD.
This article was somewhat unnerving to read, because so much of it could apply to me: How I Came To Understand My Adult ADHD".
Especially this part, about how long the writer went undiagnosed:
When I asked how this was possible, my doctor-friend hit the nail on the head without looking up from her menu: “You were performing well, so no one asked you how you felt.”
I'm still figuring out what parts of my non-neurotypical brain are because of being bipolar and what parts are in fact due to ADHD. It's a weird feeling to be re-evaluating this stuff now. I'm 37. I've been diagnosed as bipolar since I was 24. I thought I was done learning new and interesting things about how my brain works.