lance_sibley: (too busy to fcuk - by xokadieox)
I had another full weekend this weekend (but then again, when don't I?). I guess I'll start with Friday...

This is going to be mega-long, so I'll use cuts.

Score one for good planning. Which, of course, I didn't exhibit... )

Happy Birthday to kanecool... )

The meeting went reasonably well in spite of my being late... )

I got home around 6:30 or so, answered an email relating to a job I'd applied for, talked to [ profile] cuteteenboy and my mother, made dinner and settled down on the couch, which is where I am now.

The conversation with my mother wasn't too painful... )

And that's been my weekend. A couple of other things that have happened this weekend:

AmazonFail... Amazon seems to have it in for books with LGBT content. )

And the most surreal thing I saw all weekend... )

So that was my weekend.
lance_sibley: (If Looks Could Kill - by hoskie)
About a month or so ago, I packed up the books and tapes that had been on my dining room table for the previous year or so and which I no longer wanted. I stopped into the used bookstore a couple of blocks from here and asked if he'd be interested - he told me to come back in January.

So I just got back from schlepping the first two bags of books over. The guy took a quick look through them, threw most of them back into the bags and gave me $5 for about eight books, claiming that the rest weren't in good enough condition for him to bother or were too old.

First of all, I've bought books there that were in worse condition than anything I have. Second, "too old"? WTF does that mean? He doesn't like SF from the 60s? I was tempted to say, "Screw it - I'm not giving you any of them."

I've just emailed Casey House (an AIDS hospice here in Toronto) to ask them if they want the rest, and offered them the tapes as well. If they don't want them, I'm sure Goodwill will take them. (I'd take the books to Bakka, but that's a long trip with several bags of books.)

Now I'm off to track down a copy of Doctor Who S4 - the Future Shop up the street didn't have any copies, but they said that the store at Yonge and Dundas had some. (I picked up BSG 4.0, SGA S4 and Torchwood S2 while I was in there. :) )
lance_sibley: (drama queen)
... with a shared laundry room. And this would be one of those times.

I got home from the Polaris concom meeting and subsequent dinner around 8ish, I think it was. Might have been about 8:20. First thing I did was to go into my bedroom and sort out two loads of dirty clothes: one white and one dark. I decided not to go downstairs to put them into the washing machine right away because I thought Desperate Housewives was coming on at 9, and I didn't want to miss any of it because I had to go down and switch my laundry over to the dryer - I figured I would wait until it was over at 10. That way my laundry would be done by about 11:30.

Best laid plans...

First, there was no Desperate Housewives tonight. ABC was airing the American Music Awards, I think it was, and CTV was airing a new episode of Cold Case. I've watched the odd episode of the latter, and I was sufficiently intrigued by the teaser that I decided that I would still watch some of it before taking my laundry downstairs. (It was about a transgendered teenager who had been murdered in 1963.) Then I saw the opening credits, and the SO of someone I know was guest-starring in the episode (though I've never actually met him, at least not to my recollection), so I decided to watch the whole thing. Turned out he only had a very tiny part right at the beginning, I think... though I still enjoyed the episode, so it wasn't a complete waste of time. Bit of trivia: the guy who played young Dom, Jonathan Keltz, went to high school about a five-minute walk from my apartment. (He looked vaguely familiar, so I looked up his IMDb profile; it turned out he'd been in a season five episode of Queer As Folk.)

Then I took my laundry downstairs. I took two books down with me: Jasper Fforde's The Big Over Easy, which I was almost finished, and Jim Butcher's Storm Front (the first Dresden Files book), which I'd bought last year in L.A. but had yet to read. (The Fforde was as brilliant as ever - how can you not love the concept of a murder mystery about the death of Humpty Dumpty, with Jack Spratt as the police detective and Mary Mary as his assistant? - and the Butcher is a fairly quick read - I'm already on page 98.) When the wash was done, I took the clothes out... and the white load was still sopping wet, as though the spin cycle hadn't kicked in. Looooovely. So I tossed the darks into the dryer, and went over to the sink to wring as much water as I could out of my whites. (Since there were about 20 pairs of socks in there, it took me a while...) Then I tossed them into the dryer and settled back down with my book.

About an hour later I took the clothes out of the dryer... and the whites were still sopping wet, as though the dryer hadn't done anything at all. So I spent $4 to get a load of clothes wet. Argh. (Though now that I'm thinking about it, I don't actually have any memory of turning the dryer on - but I can't believe that I would do something that stupid. None of you say anything. :P )

The shirts and underwear are now hanging over my bathtub, air-drying (and dripping, the sound of which is going to drive me up the wall when I'm trying to get to sleep, despite my attempts to wring them out again). The socks are just piled in the basket because there isn't enough room to hang them... I'll have to do that tomorrow.

Well, at least I have 15 pairs of clean black socks, plenty of clean shirts, and my tan cargo pants (which somehow picked up a large black stain during my last trip to Atlanta) are clean, so I won't have to scrounge to find clothes for work in the morning...

I really hate the fact that I'm not allowed, by the terms of my lease, to have a washer/dryer in the apartment (or a dishwasher, for that matter). It's a pain to have to schlep down to the basement whenever I want to do laundry, and even more of a pain when the machine I choose (of seven) is out of order but there's no sign or other indication that would warn me before I wasted my money. (Okay, it would be more of a pain if I had to leave the building and go to a laundromat, like I did for a bit when I lived in Ottawa, but you get the idea.)
lance_sibley: (Gay Dumbledore)
Derwin Mak posted a link on Facebook to this article in Time Magazine about the outing of Dumbledore. The author makes some good points - like many other articles, blog posts and message board comments I've read this week, he feels that Dumbledore should have come out in the text of one of the books, and that this is just a publicity stunt by Rowling - but I don't necessarily agree.

A good author develops the backstory for their major characters in order to better write about how they will react to a variety of external stimuli, just like Hollywood producers and their "bibles". The backstory may or may not ever see print - it may only exist in the author's mind - but it's there. The fact that Rowling was objecting to a scene in a screenplay in which Dumbledore was reminiscing about a past (female) love just proves this - she used this background knowledge of her character to preserve her vision.

It's not necessary for there to have been a scene in any of the books in which Dumbledore came out. It would have been nice - the Time author points out that Rowling seems to have gone out of her way to illustrate other kinds of diversity among the characters who populated Hogwarts - but I would argue that this was actually the better way to go about having a gay character, in this particular instance. Her books were already coming under fire from the Religious Right for allegedly being Satanic, and encouraging children to become witches (there's not enough eye-rolling in the world for that one), so having an openly gay character in a series of books intended for children (I know many adults read them, and in fact I'm probably in a minority because I haven't, but they were initially intended as children's books) would have ensured that the books would not have been read in what would be a rather large market. This way, people read the books, enjoyed them (except for the aforementioned Religious Right, who don't appear to have read them either), grew to love the character, and then they found out. Sneaky, certainly. But lacking any romantic scenes for the character, tossing a coming-out speech into one of the books would seem to me to have come out of left field and only served to put people off. Now, the response is largely one of "I don't care, I still like the character" or "I don't care, I still love the books that I've already read."

Agree? Disagree? Squid?

Sounds like there's enough debate there for a panel at a con somewhere... so I asked Derwin to moderate it. ;)

Oh, and the real reason I posted this was to show you all the absolutely fantastic illustration that goes with the Time article:

lance_sibley: (Strike)
Tonight was my first week back at bowling since three weeks ago. No suicides on the subway, no signal malfunctions, nothing out of the ordinary... and I still didn't get there until 6:45, giving me enough time to change and get two practice frames in, which were useful in reminding me of the adjustment I'd made three weeks ago.

The first two games were excellent, but at some point (probably during the break) the lanes started to break down a bit, and so in the third game, none of us were getting any breaks. Ball right in the pocket, but no strike. And much of the time, what was left was difficult to spare - I had two or three splits (and almost spared a 6-7-10) , but none as bad as the ones Randy, Mario or Florante from the other team got - I saw a 7-9-10 and a 5-7-10 tonight, both of which are extremely rare. Argh. So I ended up with 177, 179, 125. My arm was starting to get a little sore towards the end of the night, but it's not too bad.

I need a shower now. I remembered my sweatpants and - more importantly - my glasses when I packed my backpack this morning, but forgot to throw in a t-shirt and so I was bowling in long sleeves. Ick.

Oh, and for the Harry Potter fans out there... J. K. Rowling outed Dumbledore tonight at her reading in NYC. Thanks to [ profile] brotherflounder for the link. I jokingly suggested in my response to him that perhaps she was gunning for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award. :)
lance_sibley: (Part Geek All Man)
I came across something interesting in the newspaper while I was at lunch that I thought I should share. I haven't seen anything about this from any of my local(ish) friends - though I haven't looked at my friendslist since about 9 this morning - but for those who are interested, the International Festival of Authors has some interesting authors this Tuesday, October 23:

Tuesday, October 23, 10:00am | Winter Garden Theatre
YoungIFOA: J.K. Rowling Comes to Canada
Harry Potter Deathly Hallows
Start: 2007-10-23 10:00
End: 2007-10-23 11:00

J.K. Rowling comes to YoungIFOA : her only Canadian appearance this fall. She will read from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, take questions from her fans, and sign copies of the book for those in attandance. Seamus O'Regan hosts.

I still haven't read any of her books or seen any of the films, but I post this for those who might want to try to get a ticket (assuming any are still available).

Tuesday, October 23, 8:00pm | Brigantine Room
Reading: Jasper Fforde, Spider Robinson, Robert J. Sawyer, Jay MillAr
Start: 2007-10-23 20:00
End: 2007-10-23 21:00

An event that's out of this world. Jasper Fforde, Spider Robinson and Robert J. Sawyer read from their novels. Jay MillAr opens the event reading from his new collection of poetry.

I wonder what the chances are of getting down to Queen's Quay by 8... of course, I can see Rob Sawyer once a month or so, but I was so busy during Torcon 3 that I never got to see Spider Robinson... and Jasper Fforde? The man is brilliant. I would love to meet him. Love love love. *geek-out*

Ah, well. Back to marking up the French translations for the website... *yawn*
lance_sibley: (Strike)
... I'm finally caught up on LJ following Dragon*Con. Now I remember why I used to go to the business centre of the hotel I was staying in and read my friendslist every night before going to bed. I hope to get caught up on email over the next few days. I've read all of it, but there are several I want to respond to, including comments others have left here.

Today was a bit rough - my hay fever has knocked me for a loop since returning to Toronto. I took something for it last night (the generic equivalent of Claritin, I think) and managed to sleep through all of my alarms and then spend the rest of the morning in a bit of a fog as a result. I still managed to get some stuff accomplished today regarding allowing users to renew multiple boards at once (right now, they have to do it one by one from the page where the boards they're subscribed to are listed), but I have to put in a few hours this weekend as I couldn't stay late tonight as this was the first night of my bowling league for the new season.

Then I was threatened on the subway tonight after work - I was waiting for the car to empty so that I could get on, and this guy pushed past the people who were still exiting and hit me in the stomach as he did so. I muttered, "You're excused," as he hadn't apologized or anything. When I got on, he yelled at me, "What was that?" I told him that he had hit me on his rush into the subway car, and he accused me of exaggerating. (No, I don't think so. I know what it feels like to have an elbow in my stomach.) He then told me that I shouldn't "play games," that "not everyone is a good guy," and that just because I was on the subway, I shouldn't consider myself to be in a safe place. WTF? I didn't even look at him - I just sat down and worked on my crossword puzzle (though it took about 15 minutes for me to be able to concentrate). He never did apologize for hitting me. Asshole.

On a somewhat calmer note, my nose was running the Boston Marathon this evening, so I took another pill around 7:30, and it's only now starting to kick in, I think. People on the subway were looking at me like I had the plague because my nose was running, my eyes were running, and I couldn't stop sneezing.

And I have no doubt that I'm going to be in extreme agony for the next 48 hours as well, due to not having gotten any practice sessions in at the bowling alley during the summer. (I'd wanted to, but there just wasn't any time.) It was nice to see [ profile] h8torun, Randy, Mario and Bridgette again, as well as some of the other people there. I had a surprisingly good night: 163, 192, 153. But my legs are going to be screaming at me for the rest of the weekend. I just hope Ambrose doesn't want to go for any long walks tomorrow night after dinner. (Oh, yeah. It's been a few weeks since we were last able to get together, but now we have firm plans for tomorrow night, so I can give him his autograph from Ellen Muth and watch him squee. :) )

For the few of you who hadn't heard - since several people have reported this news - children's fantasy author Madeline L'Engle passed away this week at the age of 88: New York Times. I remember being given A Wrinkle In Time and at least two of its sequels when I was a child, and devouring them. I'd actually been considering checking for copies at my local used bookstore, as I have no idea whatever happened to my copies - they probably went missing in a move or something - and I had a sudden craving to reread them recently. (Watch, I'll buy them and then they'll turn up.)

And I finally finished book one of Peter F. Hamilton's The Reality Dysfunction the other night. This book was the hardest slog I've ever encountered; admittedly, I haven't been making much time for reading over the past six months or so, which might explain why I've been working my way through it for about a year. Normally I'm a fairly fast reader, but I just couldn't get into it. Of course, now I have to read book two as I'd bought them together, and I refuse to let a book defeat me. ;) (And besides, the story picked up in the last 100 pages or so.) That being said, I'm taking a break, and I've read about 150 pages of Terry Pratchett's Thud! in the past three days. (See? Not a slow reader. Peter F. Hamilton just writes a slow story.) And then I have about ten other books on the shelf still waiting to be read, including two Dresden books, a Jasper Fforde, and a bunch of others that I bought at last year's Worldcon.
lance_sibley: (Happy In My Pants - by Raelala)
Last night, thanks to [ profile] james_nicoll's post about The Unsuggester (a website which takes the title of a book you own or have read, and gives you a list of books least likely to appeal to you), I discovered that one of my favourite authors, Joe Keenan, has a new book that just came out in paperback (okay, trade paperback) a couple of weeks ago. So I went over to Indigo this afternoon and plopped down $20. (Apparently it was out in hardcover back in January, but I don't remember seeing it - and I have been looking, on the off-chance that he had a new book out.)

Keenan hasn't written a lot of novels - probably because he was busy for several years as the head writer on Frasier. So far as I can tell, there are only three: Blue Heaven, Putting On The Ritz, and this new one, My Lucky Star. All three feature the same cast of characters - two gay men who live in New York City, named Philip and Gilbert, and their friends and enemies. (There's apparently a Philip-and-Gilbert short story in Men On Men 3, but I've never been able to find a copy.)

In Blue Heaven, Gilbert comes up with a scheme to marry a woman named Moira - whom he and Philip both despise with the heat of a million suns - because her mother has recently married a duke, and Gilbert's family is wealthy, and they want the expensive gifts that would come from such a wedding. Philip gets involved, naturally, to protect Gilbert. Hilarity ensues when they discover that Gilbert's "businessman" stepfather is actually Mafia, and likely won't take well to being scammed.

Putting On The Ritz has Philip and Gilbert trying to write a musical revue for the talentless wife of a real estate magnate, while Gilbert is in actuality trying to write an exposé of said magnate's less-than-ethical business dealings (think Donald Trump, with the wife being Leona Helmsley - described in the book as being "so rich she ovulates Fabergé eggs").

My Lucky Star, according to the blurb, involves Philip and Gilbert being lured to Hollywood to write a screenplay for Stephen Donato, a married-and-closeted megastar who has been twice named "People's Sexiest Man Alive" (think Tom Cruise ;) ). Apparently there are a lot of doors slamming and an ill-timed and unfortunately-witnessed sex act involving Cruise Stephen.

What I love about Keenan's writing is his turns of phrase: it's hard not to laugh out loud when a character is described as being "so cold that when she sucks on an ice cube it doesn't melt, it gets bigger." And needless to say, given the plots and Keenan's Frasier experience, the phrase "high farce" comes to mind to describe these books. And since four of my favourite movies are It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Clue, Murder By Death and Noises Off, you can guess that I love this kind of stuff.

Now, to find the time to actually sit down and read it - I still haven't read any of the half-dozen or so books I bought at this year's Worldcon, or the latest Terry Pratchett...
lance_sibley: (boring)
This has been a relaxing (but boring) weekend. Okay, watching the Leafs lose 7-0 to Ottawa wasn't relaxing, but the rest of it has been pretty decent.

The bulb in my halogen lamp had been slowly dying, so I went out yesterday looking for a hardware store to buy a new one. I found a Home Hardware down at Yonge and St. Clair, and picked up a 150-watt bulb. Naturally, I had neglected to take the old one out of my lamp and bring it with me so that I'd know what to get - and when I got home, I discovered that the old one was 300 watts. So off to Yonge and St. Clair I went again to exchange it. Right now, I've only got the lamp turned on to the first setting, so it's probably only drawing 150 watts of power at the moment, and it's still brighter than it had been.

Today, I was browsing in Indigo (as I am wont to do on slow Sunday afternoons), and I came across a historical novel in the fiction section, with the interesting title The Banting Enigma: The Assassination of Sir Frederick Banting, by an author named William R. Callahan. I read the back cover blurb:

Keeping vigil on the easternmost point of North America, and providing a strategic haven to battle-ready U.S. troops during WWII, the island colony of Newfoundland was an essential contributor to the Allied cause. And, when the war was at its fiercest, this Atlantic sentinel would receive devastating body blows from a hidden, elusive enemy. Two key players bore witness to the ensuing drama.

Sir Frederick Banting: soldier, scientist, Nobel Prize winner. The enigmatic co-discoverer of insulin and his views on biological warfare would give rise to heated and long-lived controversy. Little did Major Banting know, word of his actions had reached the ears of the Führer himself, who determined the Canadian soldier-scientist would not live to see his goal of using biological weapons against Germany fulfilled.

Karl Otto Stroesser: saboteur, spy, murderer. Receiving orders directly from the upper echelons of Adolf Hitler's Abwehr syndicate, he is the instrument of Nazi Germany's private war waged upon Newfoundland. It is through the actions of this cunning, relentless killer that the island colony would witness some of the greatest tragedies ever to unfold in its history.

Steeped in political intrigue, power struggles, and espionage, The Banting Enigma looks behind the scenes at Newfoundland's role in World War II—and its deadly repercussions.

I was intrigued, and opened it to a random page. The first sentence I saw started, "Michael Grattan O'Leary was born in 1899, the descendant of Irish famine refugees, in the Gaspé..."

Now this is interesting for two reasons:

  1. Michael Grattan O'Leary (known as Grattan) was my maternal grandmother's uncle;

  2. One of my mother's closest friends used to be married to Sir Frederick Banting's grandson, and growing up I was friends with her son, Kevin Banting.

And yet, so far as I'm aware, there's no connection between these two bits of trivia.

Two other random observations:

  1. The theme music to Stargate: Atlantis is really cool.

  2. Joe Flanigan is hotter than I realized from seeing still photos of him.

Ah, 9 o'clock... time for Desperate Housewives. Be back in a bit.
lance_sibley: (No Idea You Were So Tight - by summerina)
I went up to Future Shop today to find something to buy with my gift card... and I couldn't find anything I wanted. I asked, and they didn't have season 27 of Doctor Who in the computer at all, so the Canadian release has likely been delayed until July 4 along with the American release. (Hmm, what else is going on around that time... ;) )

Well, okay. I could have picked up Dark Angel seasons one and two, but I didn't want it that badly. I could have gotten season one of the Muppet Show and one of the Looney Toons collections, but those weren't all that compelling to me either. I could have picked up two or three Doctor Who stories (they had about five on the shelf that I can recall: "The Green Death," "The Two Doctors," "The Curse Of Fenric," "Horror Of Fang Rock" and "The Mind Robber"), but I wasn't sure of which ones to get (I generally consult Scott when I'm buying Doctor Who DVDs to make sure I'm getting a good one :) ). I guess I'm waiting until season five of QAF comes out, whenever that may be. (Though I'm a little irked; they're rereleasing the seasons I already have in new packages, at about half what I paid for them.)

I did pick up three new books with my Indigo gift card, though: Homeward Bound and Curious Notions by Harry Turtledove, and Revisions, an anthology of alternate history stories edited by Julie Czerneda and Isaac Szpindel. I thought about getting Jasper Fforde's The Big Over Easy, but it's only available in oversized trade paperback for $25, so I would only have been able to get one book. (Having said that, I now see that I could have gotten it online for $16.)

I had an interesting experience in Indigo, though - while I was browsing, this clerk came over and asked if I needed help. I said "no, thanks, I'm just trying to figure out how to use my gift card." He responded, "You're in the right section - this is where I'd spend it." He then suggested George R. R. Martin's latest, A Feast For Crows. I said that I don't normally read fantasy (Pratchett and Fforde excepted), and went on to mention that I had seen that Martin was in town for a signing at World's Biggest Bookstore yesterday. During this part of the conversation, I mentioned that I was actually a little surprised that he had come back to Toronto, as he had been rather vocally displeased with his experience when he was here for Torcon. It turned out that this clerk was quite aware of the con scene - he said, "I usually go to that big con down at the convention centre... where what's his name, Frodo... um, Elijah Wood... was there this year." "Ah," I said, "that would be SFX. I was there too." The conversation ended with my giving him the URLs for TT, Ad Astra, Anime North, and yes, Gaylaxicon too... so if a cute guy named Todd, apparently in his early-to-mid-20s, shows up at any cons this year, that's him.

Other stuff going on... we had the hotel walkthrough for Gaylaxicon last night, and clarified where some things are going. It's a lot easier to that when one is actually seeing the space, as opposed to trying to go from memory and a map.

[ profile] cuteteenboy showed up just as we were finishing, so as everyone was leaving, I quickly took him around the space to show him where everything was, even though our hotel rep had locked everything up by then. The only problem was that they had reset the elevators so that we couldn't get up to the top floor (where one track of Programming, the dinner, the dance, and the dealers' room are going) without a key.

After the quick re-walkthrough, [ profile] cuteteenboy accompanied me out to [ profile] thespian's place to drop off some flyers and rainbow bracelets for her to take to Arisia this weekend. She was leaving on the midnight bus to Montreal and heading down to Boston from there... I see from her LJ that she arrived safely in Montreal this morning, but she's posted nothing since (unless she's done so since I started composing this post). After dropping off the flyers, we ended up at Toby's at Yonge and Bloor for a quick dinner and pint. He kind of wanted to go to Pegasus, but since I'm supposed to limit my alcohol intake while I'm on Naproxen, I didn't think that was such a good idea. So he ended up going home after that.

I also think I'm coming down with the same cold that [ profile] rockgoddes has been talking about. My left nostril seems to be plugged up, though it's not bad yet. Knock on wood.

Arm update... the bruising on my arm is a lot better at the moment. I currently have it wrapped in a tensor bandage (I should have had it on yesterday too, but never got around to putting it on). These things are a bitch to put on one-handed... especially since my left hand is pretty useless. It could probably be tighter, but it's about as tight as I could get it, left-handed.

Oh, and how funny is it that of the seven comments I got on yesterday's post, one made reference to my trip to the doctor and six were referencing my comment on the song "Xanadu"? I guess I know where your minds are...


lance_sibley: (Default)

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