kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)

1) Updating my stupid profile on stupid LinkedIn counts as job searching, right?

2) It is rumored that at my current job, there will be extra hours next week so that we can catch up from how behind we got due to so many hours being cut this week. *headdesk* (It has to do with the end of the fiscal year, apparently.)

3) I'm trying to generally unfuck my life. This includes a new approach to cleaning. I hate having a dirty apartment, but I also hate cleaning. So I'm trying a daily 10-minute clean. My place is small enough that if I do this most days, it should stay in reasonable shape. And somehow it's easier to cope with "I just have to clean something, anything, for 10 minutes, and today I'll spend that time working on the bathroom" rather than, "Oh, god, I have to clean the bathroom, there's my day ruined."

4) Have accomplished filing my taxes (the first time in years that I'm not doing them a week or less before the deadline) and switching to a cheaper auto insurance company.

5) I have to work tomorrow. Only a very short shift, and I need the hours, and I didn't work Tuesday or Wednesday. I am nevertheless annoyed, mostly because the store will be ridiculously busy and there will only be two of us there. And the other person will be the store manager, who is bloody useless most of the time and will undoubtedly get on my case about something that isn't my fault.

Oh, here's one thing that's not boring!!!

6) The BBC has started releasing old episodes of Round the Horne on the iPlayer, so anybody anywhere can listen to them for free. Once an episode is released you have a month to listen to it before it goes away again; right now it's still on the early episodes of S1.

Round the Horne gave the world Julian and Sandy, awesome fictional gay men played by awesome real gay men, and so it's worth listening just for them, but I love (almost) the whole show. However, there are sometimes the -isms you would expect from something made in the 1960s, so be prepared.

ETA: Now with paragraphing fixed, because apparently I have to do that by hand now. Still waiting to hear back from Support about WTF is up with that.

kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
I've only been doing very simple cooking, and no baking at all because I got a little carried away buying sweet treats before Christmas and I still have lots.

On Friday I bought two bunches of beautiful organic beets which were on sale. Yesterday I made another of my beans + sausage + greens stews, this time using dried small fava beans, hot "Italian sausage" (this is a heavily Americanized product that no Italian would likely recognize), and beet greens. The fava beans were not peeled, and by the time I decided I had better peel them it was too late because the beans inside were too soft to hold together. So I cooked them a bit longer and ate them skins and all. They were a bit chewy but fine, and the stew was tasty and provided lots of leftovers to freeze.

Today I'm roasting the actual beets, which I'm going to dress with walnut oil and lemon juice. I'll eat some today with blue cheese and toasted walnuts, and keep the rest for later.

A little earlier today I finally got around to using a half pound of raw almonds that I bought back in October because they were on sale cheap. I used this recipe for Tamari Roasted Almonds. For the soy I used about two parts Pearl River Bridge Mushroom Flavored Dark Soy Sauce to one part Pearl River Bridge Golden Label Light Soy Sauce. I also used a little less butter than the recipe calls for, and sprinkled the almonds with smoked paprika (and no extra salt) at the end. They are so, so good. They are little umami love bombs, with a really deep roasted-almond flavor as well. Now I have a plan for the next time almonds go on sale.

Apart from that I don't have any specific cooking plans. I'm needing to watch my budget quite a bit, and so my cooking needs to be based around what's cheap/on sale plus what I already have in the pantry, so it's hard to make plans. In the near future I'll need to use up the two red bell peppers, two yellow squash, radishes, carrots, and large cucumber currently occupying my fridge. There may be stuffed peppers if I get ambitious, otherwise pasta with vegetables, or vegetable soup, or something. And what I think of as Lazy Salad, i.e. cut-up veggies with dip. /no exciting cooking to see here

What is exciting is the amazing Christmas gift I got from [personal profile] halotolerant!

Picture under the cut )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
17. A song that you would sing as a duet on karaoke

I don't sing in public. But if I did, I might pick this song, preferably with two accomplices rather than one. (What's the word for a three-person song? Anyway, in the case of this song, "threesome" is probably as good a term as any.)

Mitch Ryder got famous doing blue-eyed soul in the 60s, then nearly tanked his solo career in 1979 when he released How I Spent My Vacation, which is mostly about his sexual and romantic relationships with other men.* He continued to release music but as far as I know it sold very badly. In 1983, he made a "comeback" album, Never Kick A Sleeping Dog, produced by John Mellencamp, which includes this song.

*A lot of Ryder's music is not really my cup of tea. He first appealed to me because of the queer element, which I learned about around the time NKASD was released; astonishingly, within a couple of months I found a vinyl copy of HISMV in a secondhand store in the very small town where my family did its shopping** and listened to it over and over again on the sly. I only loved it for its queerness, but that was enough.*** I do genuinely like much of Never Kick A Sleeping Dog, though, and especially the following.

Mitch Ryder with Marianne Faithfull and John Mellencamp, "A Thrill's A Thrill"

**We didn't live in a town. We lived in the country about 40 miles away and only came to town for shopping and other necessary things.

***A queer element was how I discovered a lot of music as a teenager. The Smiths, for example, and David Bowie (like a lot of queer boys I wanted to be Ziggy Stardust; I just happened to want it a decade too late) and the Jam (via Paul Weller's later project the Style Council and the swirling rumors, all too vehemently denied by Weller, that he and bandmate Mick Talbot were a couple).

Speaking of the Style Council, this ended up getting long and not fun, so it's under a cut )
kindkit: Two naked men having sex in the grass (Fandomless: Men in a field)
I just watched American Gods 1x03, and I would like to report that not spoilery for anything plot related )


Jan. 7th, 2015 08:57 pm
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
I'm quickly dashing in to say hello--my internet's out again and I'm using a free 1-hour trial from a wifi service.

1) Reading

As I mentioned, I bought myself Melissa Scott's Fairs' Point and Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold's Death at the Dionysus Club as a Christmas present. I've already talked about how much I enjoyed Fairs' Point. I also liked Dionysus very much, but not quite as much as Death by Silver. The plot of Dionysus works better, I think, and the worldbuilding feels more integrated, but the characterization and especially the relationship between Ned and Julian felt like it went over the same ground as the previous book. They had the same anxieties and misunderstandings, and despite the resolution of the last book, there wasn't much of a sense through most of this one of them having grown closer or learned to trust each other more. I realize that these things are a process, and in real life people/couples often do rehash the same issues again and again, but it still felt too same-y to me.

I also read Ben Aaronovitch's Foxglove Summer, the latest River of London book, and was sadly disappointed. It seemed to have about half a novel's worth of story (the resolution in particular was too easy and too pasted-on), and taking Peter out of London just wasn't a great idea, since part of the joy of the series is its vivid sense of place and history, and Peter doesn't have that same connection with the countryside, nor did Aaronovitch do anything all that interesting with Peter as an outsider. Also, not enough Nightingale. Not enough Nightingale by far. The one thing I really did like was that the book featured a gay man in a prominent supporting role, and Peter treated him in a collegial and friendly way without any of the nervous distancing he's shown towards queer people in the past. I don't know whether to credit Peter or Aaronovitch or both, but either way I was glad to see it.

After finishing Foxglove Summer I re-read the earlier books and enjoyed them very much, despite some irritating inconsistencies that become more noticeable when you read the books back to back. More on this, also on Nightingale and Peter/Nightingale )

3) Cooking

Since I had a lot of ham left over from Christmas, I have been doing Things With Ham. Besides lots of ham sandwiches, I've also cooked red beans and rice with the ham bone, and a potato, corn, and ham chowder. In both of these, besides the ham itself I used some of the juice from cooking the ham (with the considerable layer of fat removed). These juices are super super salty, but used in reasonable quantities in a large pot of beans or soup, incredibly delicious.

I haven't been doing much other cooking. We were still really busy at work until a few days ago, plus there are all the various Christmas leftovers. I'm still nibbling away at the fruitcake I baked, and also at a delicious cranberry cake that a customer at work gave me. When I see her again (assuming I can remember what she looks like, because I'm terrible at faces) I want to ask for the recipe. Though it seems to be a pretty basic pound cake with cranberries added. Yum.

4) Movies

Still haven't seen The Imitation Game. I'm hearing less than great things about it: that it fictionalizes too much and that it downplays Turing's gayness. I welcome comments from people who've seen it. One to see in the theater or should I wait for the DVD?

ETA 5) Awesomeness

I desperately want to read the story attached to this gorgeous illustration, but alas the link at the bottom of the Tumblr post I've linked to doesn't go to the story. It does, however, go to a website called "Vintage Homoerotic Illustrations," which is relevant to my interests and perhaps to yours. Warning: some of the "illustrations" are porn stills, but some of them are genuine old illustrations that fill me with delight.
kindkit: Text icon: "British officers do not cuddle each other. (Not when there are people watching, anyway.") ('Allo 'Allo: British officers do not cud)
[personal profile] lilacsigil asked me to talk about finding queer subtext and queer text and what each one means to me. I'm going to focus on male/male subtext and text because that's what I'm into.

For me it all started, literally, with subtext. When I was a younker and beginning to be interested in stories about men together, there wasn't much actual queer text to be found. The rare ones that existed were mostly biographies; I was probably the only ninth grader in history who went around reading a biography of Tennessee Williams. And it was actually some discussion in a Beatles biography of Brian Epstein's homosexuality that made me consciously realize that I was drawn to the idea of men having sex with men and/or loving men. But I'd been unconsciously drawn long before that, in everything from buddy shows to war stories. My first ship, unaware though I was, was probably Snoopy and the Red Baron. *facepalm*

In fiction in those long-ago days of the early 1980s, even when queerness was text it was usually subtext. more under the cut )


Nov. 13th, 2014 07:43 pm
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
Today I treated myself to a movie and saw Pride, which I loved. It's the semi-fictionalized story of a group of gay and lesbian activists who worked in support of the striking miners in 1984-85 (and it's much, much more fun than that description makes it sound). If you've seen The Full Monty or Brassed Off you'll be familiar with a lot of the tropes, but really, "a group of disparate people work together against oppression and become friends in the process" is the kind of trope I can get behind. Plus, the movie refreshingly focuses on friendship and solidarity, and while there are established couples in the story, there's no central romance. (Though I did find myself rather shamefacedly shipping Mark/Dai.)

Other good points: 1) The story includes a fat woman whose weight is not in any way ever at all an issue. Isn't even mentioned, while her intelligence and courage are very important to the story. 2) The story is unabashedly political and doesn't feel any need to present the government and corporations' view. 3) It doesn't avoid difficult topics, like the increasing tension between lesbian and gay male activists or the growing AIDS epidemic, but these things never overwhelm the main story.

Also the performances are very strong. I especially like Andrew Scott as Gethin, Imelda Staunton as Hefina, and Paddy Considine as Dai. Dominic West nearly steals the show as Gethin's boyfriend Jonathan, and for once I actually liked Bill Nighy as Cliff.

I hope lots and lots of people will see this and start writing fanfic.
kindkit: Text: im in ur history emphasizin ur queerz (Fandomless: Queer history)
Actor Imran Khan answers questions about gay issues. Some of this is specific to India and Indian law, but a lot of it is applicable anywhere. Also, it's hilarious.
kindkit: Haddock and Tintin kissing; Haddock is in leather gear (Tintin: gay icon)
It seems today is going to be the day when I post enough to make up for the almost two weeks since I last posted.

So. This photo of Cary Grant lighting Randolph Scott's cigarette with his own (on the beach, in the twilight) may be the most romantic image I have ever seen.

click here to see )

And this was a publicity photo! Arranged and paid for by the studio, which wanted to emphasize the supposedly un-Hollywood-like quiet domesticity of Grant and Scott's lives as housemates. It's got to be the definition of "hiding in plain sight," and I imagine the studio just wanted to deflect the suspiciousness of two wealthy, successful movie stars choosing to live together. Still, I'm not sure the message these photos actually send--which is pretty much "we're in love!"--is quite the one the studio intended.
kindkit: Two cyborgs kissing. (Fandomless: Loving the alien.)
I made an attempt at reading Fanny Hill recently, and found it fairly unreadable but, in its way, remarkably queer. It's porn written by a man from a woman's POV, featuring lots of lovingly detailed descriptions of handsome young men with enormous cocks. (The cocks are generally referred to as "machines," which I suspect is a transliteration of the French "machin," which means "thing," but which creates interesting cyborg-ish images in the mind.) Fanny Hill also famously includes a gay sex scene, conveniently observed by the narrator, which I think is described more erotically than all the straight sex scenes, and more realistically--in the straight scenes, women always come just from penetration without even any foreplay, whereas in the m/m scene there's foreplay and the receptive partner gets a reacharound. After the scene ends there are a couple of incongruous and over-the-top paragraphs of condemnation of wicked sodomites which read as authorial deflection.

So, anyway, today I finally remembered to look up John Cleland on Wikipedia and was not surprised to learn that in his lifetime he was "supposed a sodomite"--though clearly either heavily closeted or heavily in denial.

Anyway, the actual point of this post is that Cleland was for a while friends with Thomas Cannon, author in 1749 of the pamphlet Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplifiy'd. All copies of the pamphlet are lost because Cleland, who had fallen out with Cannon in a complicated history of debts, debtors' prison, threatening letters, etc., denounced it to the authorities and got Cannon arrested.

The text, as distinct from copies of the actual pamphlet, was also presumed lost, until in 2003 the indictment against the pamphlet's printer was found in the records of the King's Bench. It happened to contain long quotations from the pamphlet as evidence, and the indictment was published in 2007 in the journal Eighteenth-Century Life. There are excerpts on Wikipedia which you can get to by clicking the link to the pamphlet.

This is an awesome bit of historical awesomeness. (Actually a lot of texts survive only as quotations in other texts, but it's usually Greek and Roman stuff. And I think it's amazing that such an important text--one of the first works in English directly dealing with male/male sex in a positive way--reappeared after so long. Note that I say "positive way" because that's the overall impression. The pamphlet has a veneer of condemnatory language that doesn't seem to have fooled anyone, considering Thomas Cannon had to flee to the continent for some years to avoid prosecution.)
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
At long last, a post from me that is not about moving or computer problems. Instead, it's full of nice things!

Let's start with nice things to eat and drink. It's summer in my neck of the woods, and since the new apartment gets a lot warmer than the old one, I've been disinclined to cook elaborate foods. For me this lets out a lot of Indian cookery (although I know that most Indian food is cooked and eaten in India, where I hear it often gets warmish) and I find my cooking is sort of wandering across Asia depending on my mood, the temperature, the amount of time I have, etc.

Let's start with two cucumber salads, one south Indian and one Vietnamese-ish.

cucumber salads )

Now, how about a nice, easy dinner?

Stir-fried noodles with beef, ginger, and scallions )

And now, let's have a drink!

World's best limeade, vodka optional )

And finally, a musical dessert: Kay, Why?, by the Brothers Butch. Recorded in 1967 by a duo reminiscent of Julian and Sandy, this is a glorious string of double-entendres. Ignore the irrelevant (Laurel and Hardy?) video. A little more information, including the must-see sleeve of the single, can be found here. The Queer Noises album, which I was fortunate enough to find a secondhand copy of, has lots of awesome music on it, not least "Florence of Arabia," which is politically sketchy in about eight ways but also delightful. Alas, I can't find the right version on YT, just different songs with the same title.
kindkit: Text: im in ur history emphasizin ur queerz (Fandomless: Queer history)
I am glad that there exists in the world a cartoon diagram of the relationships within the Bloomsbury group, including marriages, sex, crushes, unrequited love, etc. Though I wish it were bigger and included such tangles as the fact that Lytton Strachey had a crush on George Mallory (the mountaineer), who was hopelessly in love with Lytton's brother James Strachey, who was hopelessly in love with Rupert Brooke.

In other news, [community profile] queer_fest has opened for prompts. I am a bit of a Queer Fest skeptic (awesome idea, so-so execution of the fics most of the time), but I did find myself leaving some prompts.


Jun. 11th, 2012 08:17 pm
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
I've been reading bits and bobs from The Weird, the newest anthology edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer. It's huge and full of cool stuff, and through it I've discovered a couple of queer genre writers I didn't know about: Algernon Blackwood and Hugh Walpole.

Blackwood is difficult to read, because he will never use one word when twenty will do )

Walpole is a more congenial writer )

In non-fiction, I'm enjoying David Kynaston's enormous tomes of social history Austerity Britain, 1945-1951 and Family Britain, 1951-1957. They're anecdotal as hell and organized by no recognizable principle, but wonderful for someone who, say, is trying to write Colditz fanfic set just after the end of the war.
kindkit: Text icon: "British officers do not cuddle each other. (Not when there are people watching, anyway.") ('Allo 'Allo: British officers do not cud)
On a happier note than my previous post (locked because boringly personal), here is a picture demonstrating that British (?)1 officers (?)2 do sometimes cuddle each other.

rather sweet First World War-era photo under the cut )
kindkit: Third Doctor, captioned: dedicated follower of fashion (Doctor Who: Three fashionable)
This may be the best and gayest thing I have ever seen in my life: a newsreel clip of a British men's fashion show from 1951. It was connected to the Festival of Britain, which was meant to showcase a bright postwar Britain moving forward. Clothing rationing had ended just two years earlier; perhaps a lingering thrifty impulse explains the shortness of the shorts?
kindkit: Paul McDermott and Tim Ferguson almost kissing (DAAS: Kiss me you fool)
[personal profile] thefourthvine is compiling a list of No Heterosexual Explanation Moments (which go beyond slashiness to "this doesn't make sense unless these characters are into each other") in every fandom people can think of. If you want to contribute or just see other people's suggestions, there are some on DreamWidth and others on LiveJournal.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (DAAS: Paul oops)
I have a cold and feel icky. But this, from the November 10 2008 episode of Good News Week, cheered me up immensely:

click to read )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (DAAS: Paul oops)
I've been watching some episodes of The Sideshow, which has given me an extremely Deep and Serious Thought: click here to be amazed at my philosophical mind )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Maurice: gamekeeper)
Tonight I have been gravely disappointed by the two gay-themed movies I rented with my roommate. I'd seen Forgive and Forget before, but spoilers )

Regular Guys (Echte Kerle) started out funny and enjoyable, but spoilers )

Why is it so damn difficult to find gay movies that (a) end happily, (b) don't end in Surprise Heterosexuality, (c) are well-written and well-acted?

Anybody have recs for gay (male) non-documentary movies that meet those criteria? I have a horrible feeling I've already seen all the ones that exist. Films I have seen include: The Adventures of Felix, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (the gay characters are tangential, as I recall, with the focus on the straight trans woman), Beautiful Thing, Big Eden, Edge of Seventeen, Get Real (not actually very happy anyway), Jeffrey, Like It Is, Maurice, My Beautiful Laundrette, The Sum of Us, and Wild Reeds (also not very happy). [ETA: also The Wedding Banquet.]

Your help is appreciated.
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
I've finished The Naive and Sentimental Lover and will write up a real post about it when I'm less tired.1 The book turns out to be vastly more self-aware about its homoeroticism than I had expected, and it also features a good deal of ironic humor. I offer the extract below the cut for your delectation.

clickety click )


kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)

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