newredshoes: Art by <user name="kellyvivanco" site=""> (<3 | girl with her hair in knots)
[personal profile] newredshoes
Do you ever re-read something you wrote ages ago and just -- want it back? want to be doing more? I mean, obviously I feel this a lot, but today I saw that the [ profile] thisengland Shakespeare Histories Ficathon is starting up soon for its 10th year, and then I became overwhelmed with Percys feelings, and then I reread my sole contribution to the challenge, "A Mouth-Filling Oath," which takes place on the docks of 1950s London and everyone (but Hal, of course) is working class. I so love that narrative voice I found, even if I'm fairly certain it bears no resemblance to any English spoken every day. Strong narrative voices make writing so much easier, incredibly so, and I want to seize or discover one for other projects, but I never really set aside the time to try, which frustrates me about myself. There also seems to be a popular idea going around now that you shouldn't talk about your projects or you'll just talk them to death, and I get that, but it seems at odds with having a writing community, in some ways?

So yeah, that's a thing I've got to push myself on more. (Meanwhile, I'm going to not spend my time rolling around in old [personal profile] valiantrebel logs. Not for long, anyway.) The notes came back from my WW/WWI story and THEY ARE GOOD AND VERY MINIMAL, WHAT, so I need to get those turned around and also work on my second story and also work on a third and fourth story for the month. There's been this gigantic weird storm this afternoon, and right now the sunset is doing weird things with the light, but I see a full rainbow outside my window with gray clouds and peach light lighting up all the windows and bricks. The storm is also probably responsible for the hard nap I took earlier, with, again, extremely vivid dreams (partly about being some kind of shapeshifter with the ability to stop something VERY BAD from happening, but being kept from it somehow; partly about being back in Athens with both parents at a huge gala event for us, and I was being given snakes and I was delighted). I rewatched the S1 finale of The Magicians, which I hadn't seen in quite some time, and I had forgotten many things, chief among them how fucking hot Eliot Waugh's everything is. Goddammit, Hale Appleman, tall, beaky, elegant Jews who can do a courtly bow past their own knees is MY SEXUALITY, APPARENTLY. I just spent like 20 minutes trying to find a GIF on Tumblr and now I'm like, this shit is not going to get me back on Tumblr. Okay. Anyway. Phew. Hello.


I need a good skateboarding tag.

Jun. 18th, 2017 10:28 pm
newredshoes: Woman in religious ecstasy, surrounded by art implements (<3 | patron saint)
[personal profile] newredshoes
So my friend H. and I had A Day in Manhattan, which was delightful. We didn't end up finding a skateboard, but we did luck out tremendously in the makeup department! The hits at Sephora were nothing weird or unexpected: I got a tub of the only moisturizer that doesn't seem to instantly clog up every pore on my face, plus a full-sized version of my favorite eyebrow gel stuff, and in a better color for me at that. We also discovered this new shop that does everything cruelty-free, all-natural &c, and after a day of talking about how neither of us could find the perfect '20s darkest red for people with warm undertones, holy shit did this place deliver! (It's called "Written in Blood" by Rituel De Fille, and everything is SO GLORIOUSLY WITCHY for that brand!) Credo Beauty, you were not terrifyingly expensive after all, and I am so yea mightily pleased.

The goal was to hit up three skate shops, but we only really made it to one, which was friendly but not really my style, while the second closed right as we got there (but it looked really douchey, so I'm not all that sad to miss it). There are two other shops in Manhattan that I want to hit up, one called Labor, which is on the Lower East Side (and thus a possibility before my small claims hearing on Tuesday?), and the other called Uncle Funky's, which I appreciate; it's in the West Village, almost to the Hudson River, not too far from the Stonewall Inn. Then there's KCDC in Williamsburg (Brooklyn), which could be helpful for meeting up with my friend in Greenpoint who has my nice phone charger and biking shades. So. I'm plotting, is what I'm saying.

What I should be doing is finishing up that article for Pacific Standard, which my editor expects... by tomorrow morning, more or less. Instead, I'm going to let time zones help me out a little and share some neat decks that I found this evening.

More skateboards, including one that might be pulling ahead, design-wise )

Skateboard aesthete

Jun. 17th, 2017 04:14 pm
newredshoes: (<3 | fancy)
[personal profile] newredshoes
I have an excellent new problem! I've definitely decided to keep taking the skateboarding lessons, and I now want my own board to practice on in between classes. (We learned how to flip the boards upright and hop onto them in the same motion! It's the precursor to learning ollies!) After class today, I did a tour of three shops near-ish to Prospect Park -- one in Park Slope, one in Gowanus and one in Crown Heights (which was also a florist and clothing store!). Naturally I got three pretty different answers from three pretty different dudes. One of them yelled at me for caring about what goes on the bottom of the deck, and I'd otherwise write his shop off, except somehow the board he was showing me was definitely the most beautiful-as-sports-construction one of all. Apparently there's no real online catalog you can depend on for any of the brands -- you just have to keep coming back to the skate shops and see what comes in.

Thing is, I... just don't love most of the designs? I don't care about pot, or late '80s/early '90s cartoon styles, or edgy altered candy wrappers. I feel like I want something either colorful or really nicely monochrome.

Wait, hang on, as I was trying to pick out examples, I discovered Skateboard Instagram and now I have a whole bunch of good tabs open. To Photobucket, to nab them!

So much nicer than my last photo post! )

So, okay, skateboards that please me aesthetically certainly do exist. Now to deal with my other big problem: this sourdough bread recipe, which I'm trying with two different flours, but both of which have come out so runny they're basically both batter. That was the same result for my first stab at this recipe, which came out delicious but more flatbread-like than anything. Any of you have a preferred sourdough recipe that begins with starter? I know it's supposed to be a wet dough, but I suspect this recipe would work better with a bread pan, which I do not have.

Tragic side note: I have, for the third year in a row, missed the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. In my defense, it was POURING rain from noon onward, and the thing started at 1, and I figured since I was already beyond soaking, I might as well do my skate shop tour instead. Not too sorry; riding your bike in the rain, especially through a deserted Prospect Park, with all its singing trees, is glorious every time.

Proof of hilarious wetness )

May Books

Jun. 14th, 2017 11:26 pm
kay_brooke: A stack of old books (books)
[personal profile] kay_brooke
Yeah, even though we're halfway through June already. I really thought I'd posted this way back at the beginning of the month.

Anyway, I read seven books in May, as follows:

1. Ghosts of India by Mark Morris - 3.5/5 stars. The first Doctor Who book to feature Donna, and one I hadn't already listened to the audiobook for before. This one features Gandhi, stuck-up British people, a tricksy alien, and the Doctor getting possessed again. Donna on the page is actually kind of more compelling than Donna on the screen? But then I was never as big a fan of Donna as a lot of other people seem to be.

2. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes - 4/5 stars. A story about a time traveling serial killer and the badass female newspaper intern who takes him down. There's a lot of interesting stuff in this book and I enjoyed it a lot. It loses a star for a rushed ending and a kind of skeevy relationship between the early 20s female protagonist and her 50+ male mentor.

3. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood - 3/5 stars. I'll stop after this, I promise. First book in the Maddaddam trilogy. Features one of the most frustratingly incurious protagonists ever. In the book, civilization has ended and humanity is dead. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. Fortunately, the bulk of the book is a series of flashbacks that explain what happened. Unfortunately, they are told from the POV of a completely clueless character who doesn't really give a shit about anything but obsessing over various girls he's had crushes on.

4. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood - 4/5 stars. Second book in the Maddaddam trilogy. This one is better than the first book because it features POVs from two different characters, both of whom are more interesting and competent than the loser from the first book. A lot of the frustrating gaps from the first book are filled in here, and the ending left me kind of excited for the third book...

5. Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood - 3/5 stars. ...which kind of sucked again. The bulk of the story is the history of a side character from the first two books that I didn't really care enough about to want to know his history. Of the two strong, interesting female characters who narrated the second book, one gets completely sidelined (she has maybe a dozen lines in the whole book) and the other regresses into a jealous, petty teenager because the guy she likes might be fucking someone else. There's a gross focus on getting all the fertile women left pregnant, and it was while reading this that I think I finally hit upon what really annoys me about Atwood. She just hates humanity, right? Every word she writes is just dripping with disdain and condescension toward her own characters and human society as a whole. I'm not asking for 24/7 happy fun times, but wow do I hate feeling like I'm being lectured by a pretentious blowhard. I read these books because they've been on my to-read list for years. I promise I'm done with Atwood now.

6. The Scar by China Mieville - 3.5/5 stars. My other favorite pretentious blowhard author. This book was the main reason I only read seven books in May. I made myself finish it before I started anything new, because I didn't want to abandon it again. Wow, is it a slog. It gets a lot more interesting as it nears the climax, but it takes such a long time to get there. And the ending suffers from the same flaw as Perdido Street Station - it's as if immediately after the climax Mieville got bored, so the story just ends without much resolution. I wish I liked these books better, because Bas-Lag is a fascinating world.

7. Night Shift by Stephen King - 3/5 stars. Re-read. King's first short story collection, originally published in 1979 and featuring many of the older shorts King sold to magazines before he hit it big with novels. A lot of the stories are classic Stephen King horror (including "Trucks," "The Lawnmower Man," "Children of the Corn," and a couple short stories addendum to Salem's Lot), but it's definitely not his strongest collection. There's a decent amount of variety here, but some of the stories get a bit same-y.

Kind of a middling batch in May, honestly. I can give you a sneak peek and say that June is already more promising.
newredshoes: possum, "How embarrassing!" (<3 | how embarrassing!)
[personal profile] newredshoes
First things first, I've got a new Things I'm Verbing up: Indiana Man, Alabama Man and Florida Man. Come for the King Lear jokes, stay for the oral histories, the Pence dis and the way Wonder Woman failed at disability rep.

Closer to home, I am in a tight spot about my walls. This apartment has been shitty in lots of ways pretty much since the beginning. The walls have been particularly fun, though. For instance, in July 2015, I nearly lost my pin-up portrait from SebStanCon because thanks to a nail I'd hung the frame on puncturing the wall (as nails do), something inside the wall caused mold to develop on the back of the picture. When I wrote to the management company about it, my rep told me it must have been because my air conditioner had been off, despite the fact that I'd had problems with that wall before I even got an a/c unit.

This happened in two days. I was out, by the way, because I had found bedbugs. )

This morning, I heard a tremendous and long-lasting crash coming from my kitchen, which turned out to be my large wall clock falling to the ground and spilling a bag full of recyclables all over. The clock is dented but otherwise okay, but I'm certainly less than pleased.

Y i k e s. )

This all kicked off around the original problem area, which failed to hold up an important framed poster not once but twice. I think if you look closely at the drywall behind the hole, it's got uneven black spots on it. Is that rot? Do I have to get all my drywall replaced? Should I just move?

The original suspect )


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