To all those I know who have come out, have not come out, aren’t sure if they need to, want to, or are safely able to come out: Whoever you are, your identity is valid, and I hope you can live your life however you see fit, comfortably and loved.
Short Treks E06: “The Trouble with Edward” Okay…yes, it’s funny (and be sure to watch all of it). I laughed quite a few times. But wow, are they playing fast and loose with canon and biology. Hard to say much more without spoilers, but…I’m very torn on what to think. 🖖
Short Treks E05 “Q&A”: Cute, and nice to see Spock and Una playing against each other. Really dislike the Discovery-style “exterior” views of turbolifts, though; it makes no sense, and is as visually jarring as the Budweiser version of engineering from the Abramsverse. 🖖
I grew up in an era when most families had a single phone, which was attached to the wall and had a corded handset (yes, that far-distant time). When I was a teen and in the habit of having long phone conversations, I’d pace back and forth, idly cleaning and straightening up whatever was in my reach. The section of the house within reach of the phone cord was often the neatest part of our house (and my parents eventually got one of the really long 50-foot cords to extend the range of my cleaning).
I hadn’t thought about this in years, but realized today that when working from home and on a teleconference where I don’t have to watch a shared screen too closely, I pace back and forth to the limit of my headset cord’s reach, just as I did when I was a kid.
I might need to find a USB extension cord so I have enough reach to keep my entire office tidy instead of just the part I can currently get to.
Prairie and I just finished the Ken Burns Country Music documentary, and really enjoyed it.
While country definitely isn’t my primary genre, I’ve grown up with a fairly healthy appreciation for the roots of American music, and there are some songs that have long been part of my musical consciousness (“Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, which features prominently in this documentary, has long ranked as one of my all-time favorite songs, and particularly the recording that plays over the ending moments of the final chapter of the film). This film — all sixteen hours of it — is a fascinating look at where country music came from, how it was influenced by and influenced other genres in turn, and generally how it’s been a strong part of the American musical landscape.
I was somewhat amused that in some ways, due to the film’s chronological structure, the final chapter was the least musically interesting for me, as it concentrates on roughly 1986-1996. That was the era of country music that I grew up in, and it’s also the era I find least interesting, and part of why I don’t tend to consider myself a country fan, however much I enjoy country music from earlier eras. Except for the modern, post-9/11 ultra-nationalistic era — which Ken Burns doesn’t get into, stopping his history just before the turn of the millennium — it’s the era of country I find least interesting.
Most interesting to me was the Carter family and Johnny Cash. Both were artists I knew to some extent, but their stories were fascinating, and were some of my favorite parts of the film. Their influence is such that it could even be argued that this was a shorter documentary about the Carter/Cash dynasty, with a lot of extended detours into the rest of the country music ecosystem that had them at the center.
Neat stuff. And if you have any interest in American culture and music, even if this isn’t a style you generally pay much attention to, the film is well worth the time it takes to watch.
While telling Prairie about the latest craze sweeping the internet and many of my friends, it seems I left out a pertinent piece of information.
“It’s called ‘Untitled Goose Game’, and apparently the whole point is to be an annoying jerk of a goose, running around, flapping your wings and honking at people. Apparently it’s a lot of fun.”
“This is…a video game, right? Not real world?”
At which point I cracked up and assured her that yes, it was a video game, and she didn’t need to be on guard, expecting random people to suddenly run up and start “honk”ing at her.
Though now, I kind of want to see an Untitled Goose LARP get going….
As of today, I’ve completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 52 books (one for each week), with more than three months to spare.
18 of those books have been part of my Hugo reading project.
Not a bad nine months’ work. Now to see where I end up at year’s end!
Book fifty-two of 2019: Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
While the story didn’t entirely grab me, the artwork by #nwc43 Artist GOH Sana Takeda is quite gorgeous. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her work in person next spring.
Honest Academic Job Postings:
The Chemistry department invites applicants for an assistant professor whose research requires the outdated and esoteric equipment we have sitting around in our labs.
Book fifty-one of 2019: The Trouble With Tribbles, by David Gerrold. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
A fun, breezy memoir about the creation of one of Star Trek’s most beloved episodes, this is an enjoyable peek into the creative process for television in the 1960s, and Star Trek in particular.