all which it inherit, shall dissolve

Apr. 23rd, 2019 01:47 pm
musesfool: (shakespeare got to get paid son)
[personal profile] musesfool
Being on vacation for 3 days means work is hectic* so let's be cliched and do some Shakespeare today:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

-William Shakespeare
From The Tempest, Act 4 Scene 1

*cut for more detailed work ranting )

***

So during my time off, I was reading this long, plotty (and complete!) Bat-fic, which will be recced at some point, and I know this is more about my personal bias than the story, but cutting for spoilers even though I'm not linking to it right now ) It's just interesting to be reminded that we all bring our own lenses to stories and it's not the stories' fault, necessarily, when the author is doing something different from what we thought because of those lenses.

***
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
utterly uninspired. What's everybody else cooking?

*****


Read more... )
lilysea: (Costume)
[personal profile] lilysea posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
Dear Prudie: I am 23 and straight, but I have very short hair and not a single skirt or dress in my closet.

More than a few times, I had my sexuality questioned from my lack of commitment to regular femininity. I am not gay, just physically active and lazy in my grooming habits. (I never wear anything more than lipstick.)

I met my boyfriend's family for the first time. I thought I had packed to impress: sparkly earrings and a pink cardigan. But it wasn't enough. My boyfriend's mother was aghast that I wore nice dress pants to church rather than a skirt. She also made comments that I must have been a tomboy growing up or had a lot of brothers. (I have all sisters and was addicted to romance novels as a teen). Since then, my boyfriend's mother has emailed me a few times about getting together for other family events, and we exchanged recipes.

But she always adds little details like “We should go shopping together and get you looking ladylike" or sends me pictures of dresses and telling me I would “look darling” in them. I know she means well and she has not been anything other than sweet to me, but all the sartorial advice is getting under my skin. It feels petty to tell my boyfriend his mother wants to redo my wardrobe, I just need a script on how to deflect her. Help me!
—Not That Kind of Lady

Oh, she sounds like a treat. I think it’s fine to mention this to your boyfriend—not because it’s time for him to run interference on your behalf, but just so he’s aware of the dynamic and can back you up if you have to repeat yourself with her.

You can stress that it’s not, you know, emotionally destructive, but that it’s getting to be tiresome and that you’re going to politely tell her to stop. For a lot of this, I think cheerfully disagreeing up to the point of playing a little bit dumb is just fine: “No, I don’t have any brothers.” “Funny, no one’s ever considered me a tomboy before.” “What a great color! I don’t wear dresses myself, and it’s not to my taste, but I’m sure someone else would look lovely in it.” “That’s sweet of you to suggest, but I look exactly as ladylike as I want to.”

If that doesn’t register with her, and she keeps it up, I think you can be a bit more direct: “You often mention wanting to change my wardrobe, but I wish you wouldn’t. While I certainly want to dress appropriately for something like church, I’m not a fan of dresses and skirts, and I don’t plan on changing what I wear to seem more ladylike.

I hope you get to dress exactly the way you want and enjoy it immensely, and I’ll do the same.” (Also, for what it’s worth, I think having short hair/wearing lipstick/owning sparkly earrings and cardigans is hardly “lazy,” and you don’t have to apologize for it just because some other women groom themselves differently!)
—Prudence

to serve man

Apr. 23rd, 2019 12:01 pm
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
[personal profile] yhlee
I have no idea how good the Duolingo Welsh course is other than I'm enjoying it, since I have no prior knowledge of the language other than "Nos da" and "cariad." (This is due to some YA sf book involving...a lunar colony maybe? And a girl and a boy? Moon-something? I can't remember; I read it in middle school.)

However, the Korean course has...issues. For one, early on it's weirdly emphatic about denoting plurals. There is a way to pluralize nouns in Korean, but it's completely optional and it frankly sounds kind of weird if you're going to use plurals the way you would in English.

But the hilarious part is that whoever linked up the audio with the text...made an error.

The practice sentence 남자가 멋있습니다 (namja-ga meos-isseumnida), or "The man is cool"

is pronounced

남자가 맛있습니다 (namja-ga masisseumnida), or "Man is delicious." (Korean has no articles, and does not generally mark for number.)

It's not even ambiguous--the pronunciation is completely wrong...
lilysea: Serious (Default)
[personal profile] lilysea posting in [community profile] agonyaunt

Q. Fun without him: I am a woman in my early-30s, and I have been married for 10 years this summer. My husband is incredible—kind, generous, funny, supportive of my career, has a wonderful family, loves my family, and, in the inimitable words of Zoolander, is “really, really ridiculously good-looking.” I want to write apology cards to everyone who can’t be married to him because I am.

 

My miracle of a husband does not enjoy socializing. I like seeing friends outside work (dinner, brunch, a show, etc.) two or three times a month; he’s wholly satisfied with perhaps half that frequency. This isn’t an introvert-extrovert issue. (For what it’s worth, I test and identify as an ambivert, and he’s more clearly an introvert.) He just has lower need for an interest in social interaction beyond the two of us, even when it’s one on one or in a very small group. He’s pretty cerebral, and over the course of his life, he’s always had a handful of close, deep friendships, and he spends most of his time working, with his family, or occasionally that handful of people. He’s charming and wonderful when we do go out with others, but he’s clear about the fact that he’s not interested in doing any more of it than we currently do. I think this is totally reasonable—he has reflected on what’s meaningful and satisfying to him, it’s OK that his answer is different from mine, and we both feel like we talk and compromise about this in a healthy way.

My questions regard interactions about this with my friends who are in relationships. I can’t seem to communicate my husband’s preferences about this in a way that isn’t confusing or hurtful to them. I will very happily individually make plans to hang out with a couple, but when I make an invitation just from myself or reply to their invites with something along the lines of “[My husband] unfortunately isn’t able to make it, but if it’s OK if there are just three of us, I’d love to join you,” they want to know where he is, insist we reschedule when he can join, and generally have a lot of follow-up questions to anything general and warm I try to relay. My friends have all met him, but managing a rotation with the frequency he prefers, they would only see him a couple of times a year. It’s easy to get out of this in the short term by claiming a work obligation (his job has unpredictable and nontraditional hours), but that isn’t believable forever. I’ve had a friend say in exasperation, “I know other detectives, and I know they all eat dinner!”

 

On the other hand, a more honest “He likes you very much and is happy to see you as often as he sees other friends, but he prefers not to go out regularly” sounds like we’re hiding something. This isn’t an issue with my single friends, and I don’t think it would be an issue with his male friends—said more specifically, I don’t think a partnered man would be miffed if my husband said, “Sure, but [my wife] can’t make it.” Part of my frustration is admittedly that I think this problem is gendered and rooted in expectations specifically about how a married woman of a certain social class is expected to behave. (I grew up proudly working-class in rural middle America and now have a comfortable finance career in the Bay Area. I don’t remember this couples-have-to-go-out-with-couples thing being a problem in the former setting.) There also seems to be a miasma of “Is he not a good husband to you because he doesn’t want to do this?” That’s something I don’t appreciate. How can I explain this to friends I otherwise care about very much? And more philosophically, am I crazy to think it shouldn’t be a big deal if my husband and I don’t take every social engagement together?

A: I wonder, if you were to show your husband this letter and talk to him about just how much time and energy you have to spend making excuses for him to your friends, if he might reconsider going on an additional outing or two a month, even if it’s only for an hour and he begs off early to go be an introvert. Not in a punishing sense, as in “Look what you’ve reduced me to with your selfishness,” but in the sense of “Sometimes, when you prioritize your alone time, I’m hit with some unfair, maybe-unintentionally sexist expectations. It takes a lot out of me. I’m not asking you to go out with me and our friends every week, but I wanted to share with you how difficult it can be sometimes, because you haven’t seen it before. Do you think we could occasionally revisit our going-out policy? What would you need in order to feel comfortable going out to, say, one more dinner a month? If you could leave early, would that help? If we invited people over here? Let’s discuss all our options.”

In addition to that, I think you can push back a little bit with some of your friends: “Lt. Stabler takes a lot of downtime, and sometimes that means I want to go out when he doesn’t. I sometimes feel like I’m being called upon to account for him or to reassure other people that our relationships is OK, and it feels like a lot of pressure. I want to see you, I’m very happily married, and it would mean a lot to me if I could sometimes show up to dinner without him and without inviting comment.”

 
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Posted by Heller McAlpin

Machines Like Me, by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan imagines an alternate, technologically-advanced 1982 England in his new novel, in which the development of lifelike, artificially intelligent cyborgs leads to some uncomfortable questions.

(Image credit: Nan A. Talese)

wychwood: Hiro has a destiny (Heroes - Hiro destiny)
[personal profile] wychwood
Survived another Easter! Most of the really chaotic bits probably weren't visible to anyone not-us, and I legit don't think anything went wrong at Easter Vigil that we could have prevented (it was all other people making unexpected changes to things). I actually felt like I was starting to get a handle on the basic structure of the Triduum and how everything is supposed to fit together... after twenty-five years of serving and, what, seven? years co-running the joint, apparently I maybe have an idea of what I'm doing? WHO KNEW. Let's hope I'm not just Dunning-Krugering myself.

The family time was also nice. My sister's boyfriend's mum was in the UK, so she came up for the family dinner - none of us except my sister have met her before, so everyone was a little bit nervous, but she was great and it seemed like it went well. I feel like the dynamics are shifting again, a bit, as the children get older - so we can actually sit and have adult conversations now, because they don't need constant supervision in the way they did a few years ago, but they are also more, hm, intentionally disruptive? now than they were - they come demanding attention deliberately, rather than just, you know, falling over and screaming because that's what toddlers tend to do.

My not-favourite nibling (because we don't have favourites, OK) was being particularly annoying; he is just not good at consequences, and gets very upset when you e.g. raise your voice because he is in the process of forcing himself bodily into the lap of someone only five weeks post-hip-replacement, or has just lent on my arm for the forty-seventh time in the last half-hour despite the previous six or seven times I told him not to because it was hot and I was uncomfortable and up to that point of skin sensitivity where you're going to scream if anything touches you ONE MORE TIME ("I WASN'T touching you it was my CLOTHES" *teary face*). It upsets me, too, because I don't like it when he's sad, and I do like spending time with him. But. At this stage they don't really get that we're also fallible humans with good and bad days the same as them, and sometimes that's just hard all round!

But honestly it was much more good than it was bad, and I had good conversations with everyone, individually and collectively. The siblings WhatsApp group is really working for us, too; there's a steady trickle of discussion and random crap and it's just such a nice way of keeping in casual contact without any major investment by anyone. I hope it keeps going.
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
[personal profile] yhlee
Continuing to read my way down the Met's East Asian art history essays:

- In Pursuit of White: Porcelain in the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910
- Indian Textiles: Trade and Production [Interesting stuff on dyes and mordants here.]
- Interiors Imagined: Folding Screens, Garments, and Clothing Stands [Japanese screens. Note to self, the Portal talks about Korean folding screens and their conventions/social significance.]
- Internationalism in the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907) [Ha, they mention tributes of Korean hawks, which the Portal mentioned too from the other end.]
- Introduction to Prehistoric Art, 20,000 to 8000 B.C. [Very brief overview, given the scope of the topic!]
- The Japanese Blade: Technology and Manufacture [Could have sworn I had a book that touched on this in more depth, unless the flood took it.]
- Japanese Illustrated Handscrolls [cf. Korean handscrolls discussed in Portal]
- Japanese Incense
- The Japanese Tea Ceremony [Although once again I have a quasi-Asian character who is meh about tea because I'm so sick of the Asians = tea stereotype. BTW, did you know that my mom, in Korea, sends me Lipton tea?]
- Japanese Weddings in the Edo Period (1615-1868)
- Japanese Writing Boxes [Useful information on inksticks and inkstones.]
- Japonisme

recently read
- Jane Portal. Korea: Art and Archaeology, report here.

currently reading
- Michael D. Shin, ed. Korean History in Maps: From Prehistory to the Twenty-First Century.

- Jae-sik Suh. Korean Patterns.
I am getting so homesick looking at the food/노리개 (norigae)/etc. photos. The food photos are sumptuous.
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Posted by Giles Snyder

Democrats running to succeed President Trump are split over whether Congress should impeach him.

A number of the 2020 Democratic candidates, like their colleagues in Congress, are debating how to hold President Trump accountable for his actions following the release of the Mueller report.

(Image credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Historical Romances & Julie James

Apr. 23rd, 2019 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Slightly Married

Slightly Married by Mary Balogh is $2.99! This is the first book in the Bedwyn Saga, which is a favorite amongst romance readers. Seriously, I get some many requests on Instagram for similar books to this series. Have you read this one?

Meet the Bedwyns…six brothers and sisters—men and women of passion and privilege, daring and sensuality…Enter their dazzling world of high society and breathtaking seduction…where each will seek love, fight temptation, and court scandal…and where Aidan Bedwyn, the marriage-shy second son, discovers that matrimony may be the most seductive act of all.…

Like all the Bedwyn men, Aidan has a reputation for cool arrogance. But this proud nobleman also possesses a loyal, passionate heart—and it is this fierce loyalty that has brought Colonel Lord Aidan to Ringwood Manor to honor a dying soldier’s request. Having promised to comfort and protect the man’s sister, Aidan never expected to find a headstrong, fiercely independent woman who wants no part of his protection…nor did he expect the feelings this beguiling creature would ignite in his guarded heart. And when a relative threatens to turn Eve out of her home, Aidan gallantly makes her an offer she can’t refuse: marry him…if only to save her home. And now, as all of London breathlessly awaits the transformation of the new Lady Aidan Bedwyn, the strangest thing happens: With one touch, one searing embrace, Aidan and Eve’s “business arrangement” is about to be transformed…into something slightly surprising.

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Deception

Deception by Amanda Quick is $1.99! This is an older standalone historical romance and brace yourselves, because the hero is named Viscount Chillhurst. CHILLHURST! Be warned that readers say this one is pretty campy, if that is or isn’t your thing.

From a cozy cottage in rustic Dorset to a magnificent mansion steeped in secrets comes a dazzling tale of lost pirate gold and legendary love…

Once Olympia Wingfield had been free to devote all her time to her true passion: the study of ancient legends and long-lost treasure.

But now, with three hellion nephews to raise, the absentminded beauty has very little time for research. Which makes it seem all the more serendipitous when a handsome stranger strides into Olympia’s library unannounced and proceeds to set her world to rights. Tall and dark, with long, windswept black hair, Jared Ryder, Viscount Chillhurst, is the embodiment of Olympia’s most exotic dreams…a daring pirate, masquerading in teacher’s garb, whose plundering kisses and traveler’s tales quickly win her heart.

Yet all too soon innocent Olympia will discover that the enigmatic and wickedly sensual Chillhurst is no lowly tutor, but a future earl with a wealth of secrets—the kind that will lead them both on a perilous quest for hidden fortune and a love worth more than gold.

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For My Lady’s Heart

For My Lady’s Heart by Laura Kinsale is $1.99 at Amazon! The book is available at other retailers, but the sale price hasn’t been matched it. Several of the book descriptions I saw mention that the ebook has two versions of the book. Since this is an ebook, I’m going to assume it has both versions, but I’m unsure.

In medieval Europe, vows and laws are as inflexible and confining as a suit of armor. For Ruck, a noble and honest knight, those rules provide an unwavering path. Even as his wife leaves him for the Church, taking his money and his steed, Ruck’s life is one of devotion and mission.

For the beautiful widow, Princess Melanthe, those same laws and traditions conspire to consume her land and her independence. Her husband’s death has left her kingdom an inviting target for neighboring territories. Where Ruck sees a clear path, Melanthe must navigate through twisting alleyways, using shrewd deceit and devious strategy.

Can these two help each other overcome the powers conspiring against them? Will the passion in their hearts escape the constraints of their station? Is devotion enough?

With her classic romance FOR MY LADY’S HEART, author Laura Kinsale has crafted a rich, sensual portrait of life during the Middle Ages. And, now for the first time, readers can choose between two versions of the story. Both are included in this same ebook.

The first is the original published novel filled with authentic Middle English dialogue and deep period detail. The second (included only here in the ebook version) had been painstakingly reworked by the author to include a tighter read and more modern words for dialogue. Whichever you decide to read, you’ll be richly rewarded with a story of love and honor for the ages.

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A Lot Like Love

A Lot Like Love by Julie James is $1.99! James is always recommended for readers who want a contemporary romance with competence porn. I remember reading this one and I loved that the heroine owns a wine store. However, some readers felt that the characters weren’t as engaging as in other James’ books.

The FBI wants her cooperation. As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city’s top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there’s only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother’s release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.

Agent McCall just wants her. As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This “date” with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment— one they’re both determined to pull off even if they can’t be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick’s investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they’re a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more.

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