11. Why Not Me? (Kaling)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:19 am
mrs_leroy_brown: (Default)
[personal profile] mrs_leroy_brown
This is the second book I've read by Mindy Kaling and yet I still haven't seen The Mindy Project or The Office (US) - must rectify. These essays read like Mindy's confiding in you as a chum, and her anecdotes-as-memoir make it feel as though if you met in real life, you'd totally be besties. Whether it's explaining why Nosferatu is her style icon, or describing Dr Mindy Lahiri as "much less Elizabeth Bennet than she's a combination of Carrie Bradshaw and Eric Cartman" or noting "...the scary thing I have noticed is that some people really feel uncomfortable around women who don't hate themselves. So that's why you need to be a little bit brave", she avoids the usual self deprecation funny women are expected to center their comedy around.

Like Tina Fey's "Bossypants" and Amy Poehler's "Yes Please", I feel really inspired by her success and seriously, I'm totally going to watch The Mindy Project soon!

10. Herland (Gilman)

Jul. 19th, 2017 08:25 pm
mrs_leroy_brown: (Default)
[personal profile] mrs_leroy_brown
Herland is a turn of the century feminist utopian novel about three rich American dudes who seek out to discover (i.e. subdue and conquer) an isolated nation where there are no men. It's easy to make comparisons to Themyscira - girls are trained to enable them to protect themselves from a non-existent threat, educated to improve their society as well as themselves, and nurtured in a sisterhood whose religion is based on the honor of collective motherhood and ensuring the success of future generations.

Enter the menfolk: Jeff, a drippy romantic who yearns for a woman to protect and idealise, the kind who'd probably burst into tears if the lady of his affection let rip a stank pizza-and-beer fart; Terry, an oily lothario convinced against all evidence that he can vanquish the hotties for his own personal harem; Van, the level-headed sociologist narrator increasingly filled with doubt and guilt as he is educated in the ways of Herland (their term).

The penny drops for Jeff and Van - "We were now well used to seeing women not as females, but as people; people of all sorts, doing every kind of work", but gross Terry playacts his education and manages to ruin it for everyone. What a tool.

Being "of its time", Herland is chock full of gender essentialism and tiresome references to savages (naturally the ladies of Herland are all white). Everything else is very sign me up - big up the vegetarian diet and garments of many pockets! I enjoyed this short book, though it did feel like it ended somewhat abruptly where a "ten years later" style epilogue could have answered some unfinished questions.
nou: The word "kake" in a white monospaced font on a black background (Default)
[personal profile] nou

I seem to have got involved in organising Queer Code London. We have a breakfast meet in Central London on Tuesday 1 August Tuesday 8 August, 7:30am-9am, and I’d love to see as many people there as possible.

The breakfast is free and includes vegetarian options, and the building is step-free accessible. You’ll need to join the Meetup group to see the location, but it's in Central London within a couple of minutes’ walk of a zone 1 station. Spaces are limited, so sign up ASAP.

No allies, please – this event is for queer coders only — but please pass this on as widely as you like.

9. The Paying Guests (Waters)

Jul. 15th, 2017 05:40 pm
mrs_leroy_brown: (Default)
[personal profile] mrs_leroy_brown
Frances Wray is a posh but poor former flapper living with her mother in a crumbling Champion Hill manor. With her brothers all killed in the war and her father's passing, Frances and Mrs Wray open their home to "paying guests" (much more genteel than "lodgers") to help pay the bills. Enter boorish Len Barber and his beautiful wife, Lilian. Illicit love blossoms and just when the women make up their minds to run away, tragedy strikes.

This was not the book I was expecting (in a good way!) - the second half kept me gripped with its anxious, urgent, page-turning tension. If you're looking for a hefty period novel, meticulously researched but never too do-you-see?-y, this is a great book to get lost in.
mummimamma: mummimamma in the kitchen (Busy busy)
[personal profile] mummimamma
So this week's [community profile] fridayfive is about marriage:

1) Do you want to get married?
Nope, that is not one of the plans I have for my life (I have plans for my life - huh). I've never nurtured many plans about my wedding, and due to my tendency to be single, marriage have not been much of a plan either

2) Where would you like to get married?
Due to lack of religion in my life, it would have to be a civil wedding, which would have to be at the courthouse here in Bergen. That said, I'd really like to have the Star Trek Next generation theme (To boldly go where no strike>man one has gone before) as my wedding march. Just because.

3) If you were getting married in a week, who would be in your wedding party?
All my friends and my family! And my partner's friends and familiy of course. Because I love parties! there will be food, drink, speeches, more drinks, cakes, games, dancing, cakes, midnight snacks and dancing into the night. And the next morning, there will be breakfast.

4) What would your wedding colours be?
Weddings come in colours? If I'm getting married, I'll probably wear my Norwegian national costume -Bunad - with a bridal crown.

5) Does marriage mean to you 'til death do us part?
Whereas I do consider marriage to be a commitment and a contract, I do not think it unbreakable. Sometimes people change, circumstances change, and I consider a divorce to be better than an unhappy marriage.

And of course, this makes a nice intro to me talking about my upcoming travels, which goes to Berlin. I'm leaving on Tuesday with my friend K. We will be sightseeing around in Berlin until Sunday, when she goes home, and I am off to celebrate the wedding of two of my former students. Yes! Finally, after ten years of dropping hints, someone has at least taken my hints and invited me for their wedding. Granted they met in my class, so I have kind of had the best seat in watching their romance unfold.
I have also promised to hold a speech at their dinner. Which I will have to come up with before leaving, since I suspect I will not have time to be creative while being a tourist, drinking beers and looking at stuff.

And after that, when I come back, I will finally put my suitcase in the attic for a while, becasue taht will be the last trip in some time. Of which I am rather glad. Although weddings make me happy. Cakes! Dancing! People!

I aten't dead

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:09 pm
mummimamma: (Default)
[personal profile] mummimamma
So, long time since I've been here. I had forgot how extremely exhausting the Breton course was. Two weeks with lectures, field-trips and socialising non stop. My brain didn't really have more sparks lefts when I came home to my rather crappy student abode in the night.

So the course was in Quimper, which is in Brittany, France's western arm. I did the same course last year. Then I didn't know anything, and I was the only one there without any knowledge of a Celtic language, those who didn't study one (mostly the old varieties like Old Irish), were native speakers of one (mostly Welsh), so to me nothing of the Celtic languages weird typology made sense. This year I took level two - I was still the only one who didn't know any other Celtic language, but things finally started to make some sense.

So we had language lessons in the morning, mostly in Breton only, and culture/history in the evening, and most of thes were in French, which is one of the reasons for the lack of spark left in my brain, because even though I did French is school, and was good at it, it is 25 years ago, and we definitely didn't learn much of the vocabulary you need to follow a lecture on 17th century religious debates.

But it was fun this year as well. Fun, but extremely exhausting. Perhaps I'll put up some pictures later on.

After Brittany I took the plane from the hilariously small airport in Quimper - I thought I'd seen my share of small airports, but this one is the smallest, and least organised so far. And they didn't even have a cafe!

Then I spent a couple of days in London, mainly doing nothing; drinking beer and looking at people. But one story needs to be told:

My second day in London, after I had done what ws my plan for the day, namely have a look at the Billingsgate Roman Baths, I ambled up to British Museum, since I have this habit of checking out a couple of rooms at the museum every time I visit. I hadn't thought of the enormous amount of tourists visititing, so the queues were just too long for me to bother with, so I just found myself a pub, bought a pint and pulled out my book. After about 10 pages, and older guy comes over and asks if he can sit by my table. And then we start talking. He tells me that he's here with his grandchildren and wife. His wife is English and he is of French ancestry, but live in Vancouver. So now they are in London a couple of days, and then they are of to France to visit his family.
Then our exchange was as follows:
-Where in France do you have family?
-Quimper in Brittany.
-You got to be kidding me! I just came from Quimper yesterday! I spent two weeks on a course in Breton there.

And then he switches to Breton!

I did have problems following of course, since he spoke a different dialect than I was used to, not to mention having learnt from his mother (who still talks to her sisters on the phone every day in Breton), so not quite my "book Breton".
That was just an amazing coincidence, and definitely made my day.

Now I'm back in Bergen and have spent a week in bed with bronchitis (again!)

What I did in June 2017

Jul. 10th, 2017 09:11 pm
squirmelia: (fuchsia)
[personal profile] squirmelia
Wawel Castle
Wawel Castle in Kraków.

June started for me in Newquay, Cornwall. I took a boat to Crantock Beach, had a swim in the sea there, and then on the way back, waded through the Gannel estuary to get to East Pentire. I later wandered across more beaches, hid inside caves, and peered at sea anemones in rock pools.

I visited Eastbourne one day and read poems by Lovecraft aloud at the end of the pier, drank a blue slush puppie, paddled briefly in the sea, looked at an upside down painting of a bed in an art gallery, snuck past builders to complete an Ingress banner, smelt roses, sat on the pebbles and stared at the sea, and my hair became tangled in the sea air.

I started a new job!

One lunchtime, I ate a salad with sweet potatoes in it, and admired the views in the sunshine from the top of One New Change, with new colleagues.

In the evenings, I often cross the river and walk along the Southbank. One evening, I was given free ice cream and had blackberry and bay flavour. Sometimes there are people blowing bubbles. I stare at the skyscrapers.

I went on a tube walk from Roding Valley to Woodford and there were overgrown paths next to the river, and butterflies.

I stared at pictures of underwater croquet, dystopian landscapes, spacesuits, dinosaurs, and robots at the Into the Unknown exhibition at the Barbican.

I went to Crystal Palace Park for [personal profile] hikerspal's birthday celebration and then to the Bridge House.

I ate soosiam and watal appam and drank bright green nellicrush.

I reactivated my OKCupid account and in 24 hours, had 356 likes, which seemed totally absurd.

I completed two of the [community profile] flaneurs June challenges- one where I got on the first bus that came along and then got off after 9 stops, and then got on the next bus that came along, and so on. I started at St Paul's and ended up in Acton. The other, I did in Kraków, and took the first left, then the first right, and so on. (Write-up).

I visited the underground salt cathedral of Poland: the Wieliczka salt mine, and there I saw chandeliers made of salt, statues carved from rock salt, and looked around the chapel. I peered at stalactites and stalagmites, and licked the salt mine, and found it was salty indeed. I also saw pretty rocks glowing under UV.

In central Kraków, I wandered around the grounds of the Wawel castle, the Old Town and Kazimierz. I walked down into the dragon's den, but it was only afterwards that I saw a dragon breathing fire. In the Museum of Municipal Engineering, I stared at old printing presses and trams and learnt about the infrastructure of the city. I played Pinball Dreams on an Amiga and Duck Hunt on a NES.

I ate a lot of ice-cream, including wonderful flavours such as gooseberry, bueno, Smurf, kogel mogel, pesto, sweet burnt charcoal, semolina, rhubarb.

I visited the socialist realist district of Nowa Huta and stared up at the architecture. I visited a bunker in a former cinema and tried on a gas mask. I learnt about how the town was designed with nuclear war in mind and visited the Museum of Poland under the Communist Regime.

I took a trip to Zakopane. I stared out the window of a bus at the countryside on the way there and saw hay bales (grass bales?) that looked a bit like Cousin Itt. I also saw people dressed up in traditional costumes for Corpus Christi. I took a cable car above the trees and up into the mountains and oh, it was stunning. I ate some apple cake and some coffee there, and then went on a hike, moving from rock to rock as if I was a mountain goat. I was in awe of the mountains and the beautiful scenery. Back in Zakopane, I noticed a house that was upside down as I went past it on a bus, and then later found it and went inside. Everything was upside down in there and that delighted me. I also become temporarily upside down (or perhaps the right way up).

Ingress:

I reached level 15 in Ingress and ate some sea buckthorn sorbet.

I also managed to get my Platinum Explorer badge, for visiting 10,000 unique portals.

I attended the monthly social, organised a Badgerbadger banner meet, listened to Andrew Krug answer questions, went to social events for French visitors and a Norwegian visitor, a few meets in the Whippet, and also ate pizza at [personal profile] nyecamden's birthday celebration!

One lunchtime, I did an Ingress banner, walking from St Paul's to Blackfriars and then ate a "Matcha Madness" bubble waffle, and it was then that I heard a Nirvana song playing and that made me happy.

I made a flower out of Ingress intel maps.
Page generated Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:46 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios