Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.
Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.
A Publishers Weekly review is, or was (probably still is), considered rather a coup for an aspiring writer. I remember how excited my agent was for my first one; she mailed me a clipping, which should give you an idea how many years ago.
posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on June, 24
It's a lovely, lovely episode, and deserves far better than these scattered thoughts, but I know tonight's episode will be quite something so felt the need to post SOMETHING, before the story moved on.
So here it is. Very basic, barely cover a quarter of what I'd like, but it's better than nothing... Oh and a great deal is Promethia's, literally.
( Read more... )
(The most interesting thing which happened recently in the legal world prior to Quizgate was the merger between Bond Dickinson, a firm memorable for one associate complaining that "I have more chance of being savaged to death in the gents loos by a walrus than I have of making partner at Bond Dickinson" during a RoF Quality of Legal Life survey, and Womble Carlyle , a US firm, creating a "transatlantic giant" to be called Womble Dickinson which, as per a lawyer I bumped into at a recent course on digital rights confirmed, is as a result in the middle of a mass exodus of talent, since it's bad enough being expected to work US legal hours on a UK legal salary, but having all your peers at other firms singing, "Remember you're a womble" at you on every conceivable opportunity puts the cherry on top of the shit sundae.)
Anyway, Holman Fenwick are a traditional shipping firm, and those always have a bit of a reputation for excessive machismo, especially the "wet" shipping specialists, and as per people chipping in in comments, the partner in question has the reputation of being the biggest wanker in a tough field. When his team won the Christmas quiz by a large margin, it was whispered in the ears of HR that there might have been dirty work at the crossroads, and, indeed, it transpired that the quiz question and answer document had been opened on said partner's computer hours before the quiz commenced.*
Where things then took a turn for the worse is that the partner alleged that it wasn't him, squire, his computer must have been hacked. And while cheating on the Christmas quiz barely registers on the list of batty things I've heard of partners in law firms doing in my thirty-odd years in this profession (in no particular order, these include but are not limited to: ordering one's trainee to iron one's jodhpurs in time for hunting at the weekend, throwing a Company seal at the head of a trainee, ordering a trainee to mouth-siphon petrol out of another car in the office carpark during a fuel shortage, resulting in hospitalisation of said trainee, asking a dark-skinned and a light-skinned secretary at a Christmas party, "Well, girls, how do you feel about cafe-au-lait?", inviting two interviewees to a brothel as soon as the interview had finished with the words, "Well, now that's over, let's go and get our nobs polished" ....) allegations of hacking into partnerial computers** get the IT team really interested, officially because it threatens the integrity of client communications, but really I suspect because it gives them a chance to give the thing a right going over in the hope of being able to go "Good God, I'm glad you brought us in. The same person who framed you for the Christmas quiz must have also tried to frame you for the possession of porn! Look, this file here --and here -- and here -- there's terrabytes of the stuff! We'll have to extend the search to all your mobile devices too, I'm afraid."
Anyway, I'm going with "watch this space."
*HFM clearly take a Kingscote-like approach to security of examination questions and the like. It would never have happened in the Airedale Quiz league, in which I played for about five years.
** Which is usually like taking candy from a baby, tbf; I once many years ago took advantage of the habit one of our partners had of leaving his computer logged on and unlocked while he went off on hours-long gossip sessions with the other team partners to send round an email warning the department of the dangers of leaving one's computer logged on and unattended, and then departed on holiday before the fallout happened.
And here's the other half of the Blake/Gan chapter; Blake's scenes weren't really long enough to stand on their own, and Gan's big scene would have made a very long single chapter in contrast. So we have here the combined outsiders' view of some fairly tumultuous events (and I've tried to distinguish the two different viewpoints).
Chapter 6: Broken Trust
Gan felt his mouth go dry. The spectre in black and white held them all, effortlessly, by sheer force of dominion. The voice, when it came, was distorted: a rising inhuman hiss through circuits that shielded and manipulated alike.
“People of Newparis— I have brought you here to make an example. An example that some among you have forgotten. An example to all those in whose talent we trust.”
Long, gloved fingers gestured, and a girl somewhere to the right cried out in one short sharp whimper of surprise. The crowd stirred, parting, as two broad-hewed men in dockyard clothes elbowed through with the chosen one caught up between them.
Gan got one glimpse down at her face, white as ash beneath the pale plait that crowned her head; the whisper of Vargas’ double axe sang ghost-like through his mind and he almost reached out to her, but Blake caught at his sleeve, both of them unsure in that moment if she was to be heroine or sacrifice of the hour. “Gan, wait— we don’t know—”
And then she was past and gone, hastened up to the stage where Dar stood rigid and grim, and Gan had only the memory of blue eyes pale as waxen thread, filled with all-consuming terror of the Ghost.( Read more... )
Eventually he started halfway listening to what I was saying. I repeated the: not flat or level idea over and over. I told him we took At the end of the conversation, after he had apologized to me once, I said again: the x-rays showed her coffin bones nowhere near level, added that there was inflammation showing on the bone. Repeated again that her left front coffin bone was tilting toward the sole. At the very end of the conversation I said: My horse had a lot of hoof, a lot of hoof, she was trimmed exactly as you suggested is right. She wasn't sound she was lame, and not level side to side. Then I added the last fact, one I hadn't mentioned before because I had forgotten. She has a huge amount of sidebone, on both sides in both feet. She is 6.
He sounded like a broken man when he said he was sorry again.
I felt really bad about leaving the conversation there, but SOMEBODY has to make this guy think about what he is doing. I really hope this is a wake-up call for him.
I wasn't sure I would make it to the theatre on Sunday, even just to sit and watch the show. Friday afternoon for perhaps the second time in 20+ years, I went home sick from work. It might have been food poisoning, or some similar bug as I also missed the load out of Roman Holiday on Sunday evening.
In more fun Trek news, check out this vid about everyone's favourite Cardassian tailor-plus-spy:
Dedicated Follower of Fashion
(Every now and then I wish the movies instead of going for the nth version of Wrath of Khan (with or without a villain called Khan) would tackle the Cardassians instead. And then I conclude the movies would probably mishandle the Cardassians as badly as they did the Romulans, and am glad the Cardassians so far have been reserved for tv.)
And lastly, a BSG fanfic rec:
Rippling Light: tender and heartbreaking take on the friendship of Felix Gaeta and Anastasia Dualla, two characters for whom the phrase "they deserved better" might have been invented.
It's been hot the past few days, so if I hadn't needed to do anything during that time, I didn't do it. If I was in, I just read or caught up on TV and was hot. As was Missy - hamsters don't do well if it's too hot and they don't like the humidity either. But she's enjoyed frozen peas and frozen carrots and she's been outside. Because it's been so hot I've had the back door open while she's out playing, so of course she went out onto the doorstep and then fell off. After a few times falling off she was happy about where she was and tried to wander off. At one point she found a pebble and decided she wanted it.
Monday I had one of my (on average) two days a year when I wished my car had air conditioning. I did some stargazing from my back door, where I was sat because it was cooler and I could keep an eye on Missy escaping. Not that I could see many stars because even by the time I went to bed late it still wasn't properly dark.
Now, though, the weather is much better, I have a couple of days off work and I am catching up on things.
Tennis is crazy. Queens sometimes has those years when all the seeds go out in the first couple of rounds, so we were probably overdue one. But I feel like the third, second and first seeds all going out one after the other must be some sort of record. And a whole load withdrew due to injuries. But it'll be interesting to get a winner outside of the usual suspects - although a few former champions are still in the draw.
Unconventional Courtship is on again. I spent some time at the weekend with the Generator and ended up signing up with this summary:
310) Night of the Living Wed by Michele Hauf
Dayna Mellanby and Del Tarrant's evening turns deadly when some uninvited guests show up at their friend's party — a horde of hungry zombies. The couple is in a fight for their lives when a new, heroic side of Tarrant emerges, and he vows to protect Dayna no matter the cost….
Obviously explosions will follow. I will probably change the zombies, but I went with this one because it was just so perfect for them. And will be different to what I've written for it before.
Mirrored from my blog.
So I'd drawn out some of the dosh for spending money, and have topped up my Amazon account with a bit; Paypal's not too bad at the moment, so that can wait. But today I went up to North Finchley( and bought stuff )
Only down point of the day, really, was that I found a mouse in one of the traps this morning. Obviously dead, so I had breakfast before disposing of it. I hope I'm not going to get another influx; it's been over a year since the last one that got in.
Now that the season is over, I'm still not sure whether Fuller's decision to stretch the main plot out and pace it the way he does is justified. I mean, we STILL haven't reached the House on the Rock yet, and I assumed that would happen in the third episode, as it's this story's Council of Elrond scene, so to speak. Just think of a LotR tv adaption where they've barely made out of the Shire by the time the season finishes. Otoh, all that Fuller & Co. have added does enrich the story and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it, so.
( And the moral of the story is... )
Here's a quick piece of unsolicited rewriting that I did instead as an exercise on somebody else's fiction, in an attempt to prove that I still had the knack of turning an improved phrase.
"With the main hall's lights only at half current, both men standing amidst the Symphony Societies chairs on the otherwise empty stage of Carnegie Hall were cast deeply in the relief of the subdued illumination. A hesitant melody issued forth from the strings of a solitary violin before a short laugh once more resulted in an aborted attempt" -- this jarred particularly heavily on my ear :-(
My attempt at getting the passage to sound more natural: "The lights of Carnegie Hall, currently only at half-brightness, cast a dim illumination over the rows of chairs set up for the Symphony Society on the main stage, and laid deep contrasting shadows across the features of the two men who stood together there. A solo violin began to play, hesitantly, but the player broke off the melody moments later in yet another abortive attempt, with a short laugh at his own expense."
(The answer, I suspect, is that it took me ten minutes to rework those two sentences, and the author, with fifty or sixty chapters of Grand Epic to spin out, didn't spend anything like that long in contemplating the question...)
Monday was a stinking slag heap of a day. Monday’s scene was scrambled, it couldn’t get itself together, and despite noble, persistent and good-natured attempts by yours truly to bring it around and call it to its higher self, Monday didn’t even try to work things out with me. I tried with Monday, I really did. I tried going for a training ride – it’s been so hard to find the time and energy, only to get a stinking flat tire. (Which I changed, with no amount of struggling for good humour.) I trudged through it, attempting to charm it into submission, but Monday proved too much for me, and after spending the evening’s knitting time trying to untangle a ball of yarn that had contorted itself into something that looked like it had been in a toddler’s toy chest for a week, I fell into bed that night thinking the best thing an optimistic person can after a day that’s clearly out to get them, which was “well, at least it’s over.”
Tuesday? Tuesday wasn’t as bad as Monday, but let’s be clear, it lacked the joie de vivre and decent good sense that any day attempting to follow a train-wreck of a Monday should have had. Tuesday didn’t even try. I gave up on Tuesday last night when it rained on me last night and the porch roof leaked.
Today? Today is, rather literally, sunshine and roses. I went for a training ride by myself, and it was nothing short of lovely. Not too hot, not too cold, very sunny but I didn’t get a sunburn, my inbox is almost sorta kinda under control, and I am finally ready to start the edging on this baby blanket.
The chart I devised even works, and I have a clever idea for the corners that I think will work, though I’m not far enough off from Monday and Tuesday’s pale curse to go so far as to say I’m confident. My jeans fit just right, and tonight I’m having dinner (it’s Joe’s turn to arrange it) and a cuddle with Elliot Tupper, and he has learned to smile and has the beginnings of a clumsy laugh, and does his best to pretend he likes me best. (Joe will argue and say it’s him that’s the favourite, and even that charms me.)
Happy Summer Solstice, my friends (except for Cameron and other knitters in the Southern hemisphere – for them it’s one of my favourite days, the Winter Solstice. Light a candle. As of today, the light is on it’s way back to you.) Tonight we’ll sit in the garden, ignore the weeds, and marvel at how long it stays light.
How’s your day?
In other news, I’ve done the first pass of ripping my DVDs to soft copy. I’m left with a few irritations – some of the seasons of Criminal Minds didn’t rip properly and I’ll have to rip them again, this time into MKV files. Plus the titles got somehow mixed up (it was obviously my fault) on the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films, and I’m going to have to go through them patiently and make sure the right title is attached to each film. But it is mostly done.
I’m still following what’s coming out about the Grenfell Tower fire – the worst case of a fire since WW2, I think, and was totally avoidable if Kensington and Chelsea had just listened to the people who lived there and actually spent money on the place where it was needed. ‘Not political’ indeed! Ptui!
Now I'm sitting up in case someone sends me a desperate last-minute email.
Or else I'm sitting up waiting for the latest podcast episode of Twin Peaks Rewatch to drop (it's by the inimitable Idle Thumbs reviewers, from whom I would listen to discourse about anything at all, and indeed often do, because they discourse so well.)
Or else I'm sitting up waiting for my antiquated old MacBook to copy over some music files (it is so old it can't properly cast my music unto the cloud.)
Or else I'm just sitting up.