put Smarties tubes on cats legs

#nerdworldproblems

The Royals play the White Sox, who are currently sitting two games ahead of them in the central division, at the same time as the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee tonight. I'm going to have to try to watch them both at once.

Edit: well, the game is officially postponed, so this is one problem that I don't have anymore. At least I didn't get hit by a tornado.

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Mai Yamani

Wednesday reading — seductions

What I've been reading

I read Lolly Willowes, which is a very odd book. It reminds me of something Jo Walton said once, about how she would be reading a literary fiction book and stumble across a metaphor involving, say, vampires, and then get distracted by what the book could be like if it contained actual, non-metaphorical vampires. It seems like a perfectly normal book about a woman breaking out of her constrained spinster existence and building an independent life for herself in the country and then, whoa, witches' familiars and dances with the actual devil. I had previously read Sylvia Townsend Warner's biography of T. H. White but didn't know anything about any of her own work.

I read Call Me by Your Name, because I heard that there was going to be a movie and that Armie Hammer was going to be in it. It's weird because, having read it, it's not obviously suited to film, being mostly composed of exquisite introspection, but even if you take the all that out the residue still seems promising—sizzling slow-burn chemistry, lovely Italian scenery, hopefully reasonably-explicit sex scenes.

What I'm writing now

I started Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer, and I have to admit that I'm finding it slightly slow going so far. There is a lot of worldbuilding going on. And it's interesting! But it's a lot.

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Mai Yamani

Wednesday reading — by the book

What I've been reading

I read Duplicate Death, one of the only Georgette Heyer mysteries I hadn't read. I had hoped that the bridge game would come more into the mystery and it really didn't; it did, however, manage to feature two of my least favorite elements in mysteries of this vintage, mild spoilersCollapse )

I read Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists. Even though this anthology features a lot of really interesting artists, I feel like you just can't do that much with versions of fairy tales that are a few pages long each.

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Mai Yamani

Wednesday reading — summer activities

What I've been reading

I read Brain Camp, another graphic novel that Faith Erin Hicks drew but did not write. I wasn't that excited about this collaboration, though. It's a summer camp horror story with some reasonably creepy touches but not a lot going on in terms of its cast of characters.

I read The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team. Two writers for Baseball Prospectus got to try to play moneyball on a shoestring with an indy ball team last year, and as though they thought it was an essential part of the moneyball process, they immediately handcuffed themselves by accidentally appointing a manager who, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Art Howe-like, was not interested in and did not intend to implement their statistically-driven suggestions or experiments. Although this makes for some entertaining drama that is good book fodder, it really limits the extent to which they are able to put their stamp on the Sonoma Stompers' season, for good and ill. A lot of writers could have written an observational book about the strange world of indy ball, and these are some of the only writers who would have been interested in implementing a five-man infield, so it seems like a bit of a waste. Very entertaining read, though.

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Mai Yamani

Wednesday reading — analysis and intelligence

What I've been reading

I read Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre. A few of them are straight-up fanfiction, a few more are so loosely "inspired" that I never would have guessed it in a million years, and most of them are somewhere in between. By far my favorite story in the collection is Audrey Niffenegger's, which is an AU fic sort of thing with spoilersCollapse ).

I read The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer. I'd read the original comic when it was going around but didn't realize that there was a whole book and that it was gloriously overstuffed with footnotes. I enjoyed the footnotes at least as much as the comics; they're filled with delight.

I read The Catcher was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg because Paul Rudd, the dreamiest Royals superfan/cosplayer, got cast as Berg in a film adaptation. It's an interesting story and I'm curious if a movie is going to even try, much less succeed, at capturing how very peculiar Berg and the life he made for himself were. I enjoyed the book quite a bit, although I don't quite understand why in an otherwise chronological account the author chose to reserve a bunch of stuff about Berg's relationship with his father and how it affected him until the last chapter. It's not even like the rest of the book just recounted his actions without trying to understand his motivations! He just saved that particular motivation for last for some reason!

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magpie tree

Wednesday reading — arms, wings and other appendages

What I've been reading

I read The Arm: Inide the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports, which is about pitchers and Tommy John surgery and how helpless we still are when it comes to which of the former are going to need the latter, as well as how difficult the process of recovery still is even as the surgery has become routine. It was really interesting, although I do wish Danny Duffy, whom he initially approached about following his recovery for the book, had been interested, because I adore Danny, but I totally understand why anyone would prefer not to.

I read My Family and Other Animals, because I love families of glorious eccentrics. There's a new ITV miniseries that looks visually perfect but I only made it through the first couple of minutes before deciding that they had missed the boat entirely on the adaptation. I did place interlibrary loans on the second and third books in the Corfu trilogy, though.

I read The Raven King, after weeks of dodging spoilers from people who got the book early. Cut for spoilers, obviously.Collapse )

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champions

I Constantly Thank God for Escobar

There's just nothing fair about this incredible 6-3 double play from last night. Carlos Gomez had just broken up Ian Kennedy's no-hitter with a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth. Marwin Gonzalez followed it up with a bloop that by rights should have fallen for a hit in an awkward spot in shallow center. Instead, Alcides Escobar raced out, made a sliding over-the-shoulder catch, popped back up to his feet and doubled Gomez off with a long throw to first. There's a reason they call him El Mago.

Once more, with Statcast.

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Mai Yamani

Wednesday reading — rhymes

What I've been reading

Not that much, because it was a busy week.

I did read this anthology of villanelles, because I enjoy villanelles. Especially the whole section of villanelles about villanelles, like this one by John Hollander:
This form with two refrains in parallel?
(Just watch the opening and the third line.)
The repetitions build the villanelle.

The subject thus established, it can swell
Across the poet-architect's design:
This form with two refrains in parallel

Must never make them jingle like a bell,
Tuneful but empty, boring and benign;
The repetitions build the villanelle

By moving out beyond the tercet's cell
(Though having two lone rhyme-sounds can confine
This form.) With two refrains in parallel

A poem can find its way into a hell
Of ingenuity to redesign
The repetitions. Build the villanelle

Till it has told the tale it has to tell;
Then two refrains will finally intertwine.
This form with two refrains in parallel
The repetitions build: The Villanelle.


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