[personal profile] erinptah

Our story so far:

PEOTUS was shot and assassinated on election night. Olivia Pope is on the case! So far she has accused three (3) people of ordering the killing, and been explicitly proved wrong about two (2). Meanwhile, the Electoral College is left to decide between the horrible, self-serving, politically-soulless VPEOTUS or the horrible, self-serving, politically-soulless runner-up ticket.

Onward!

---

Episode 6 gives us campaign-era flashbacks of Olivia's dad reconnecting with an old girlfriend, who turns out to be a lure under the control of...someone.

Different flashback: Olivia asking her dad for advice on how to handle Mellie. Hey, remember when Olivia's dad orchestrated the murder of Mellie's son? (The grief put her for months into a near-suicidal depression.) I'm sure his advice will be great.

Olivia: "She's from California. Why don't they like her?" Dad: "I can't answer that." Ooh, ooh, pick me! Because Californians hate Republican policies, and she's a Republican!

They keep talking about "calling San Benito County" as if the voting within states is calculated the same as national voting, as if you're guaranteed a certain number of points (and no more) once you win a county. Even if Mellie got every vote in San Benito (pop. 58,000), that doesn't mean she couldn't fall behind once all the ballots are counted in San Mateo (765,000), or Contra Costa (11.13 million), or, I don't know, Los Angeles (10.2 million).

Dad Pope was behind the Vargas shooting! Although not on his own initiative, it was pushed by the Someones, who had the girlfriend hostage. And then they went to far in taunting Dad Pope about his compromising attachment to her, so he shot her in front of them. Good grief.

---

Episode 7 finds Olivia telling Huck to kill her father. For the second time. He helpfully reminds her that the first time didn't end well.

Huck confronts Dad on a subway platform, openly aiming a gun at him, and there's a lot of yelling, which echoes beautifully. For some reason there are zero other people on the platform, and nobody is concerned about metro security cameras capturing this shouted confession of killing Vargas.

Accusations of a mole in Olivia's company lead to Huck and Quinn aiming guns at each other's faces. What a team.

Investigation by Huck leads to him threatening his current girlfriend with a syringe of something nasty, all while going "this is hard for me, but you're making me do this!" Just in case you were starting to feel sympathetic toward him.

Olivia is back for the third time to accusing her dad of Vargas' murder, but she's passionately insisting that it was all his idea, based on the admittedly reasonable evidence that he murdered the girlfriend who was being used to manipulate him. Huck counters by passionately insisting that Dad Pope has changed because he was in love and now he's in pain and...listen, buddy, both him and you are still 100% willing to be violent-to-murderous the minute you feel threatened. You haven't changed, and people, especially women, should stay away from you.

(I would say "random civilian women," but this girlfriend turns out to have been planted to shoot a witness, which she gets away with because none of these geniuses thought to frisk her, and, wow, we are never going to get any case-of-the-week episodes this season, are we.)

---

The Someones got to Abby. That explains why she was pushing for Cyrus to get the death penalty ASAP, huh.

In flashback she asks Cyrus "how did you know Frankie was the one, how did you know he could go all the way?" We've seen this in The West Wing -- Josh asking Leo how he knew Bartlett was his guy, because Josh had found Santos and was starting to think Santos could be his guy. But Abby isn't thinking she's found a candidate -- she's thinking she could be the candidate.

Anyway, the Someones offered her $3 million with no paper trail and no explanation beyond "we like you and want to support your eventual candidacy." And she took it! What's next, Abby, sending the money to a the next Nigerian prince in your email?

---

So Huck's evil girlfriend shot the witness, and then shot him, but in a weird way that seemed designed to miss all vital organs. I figured she was deliberately not-killing him for some reason. (He was flat on the floor, she had lots of spare bullets, it's not like she could miss the heart and lungs.)

Then she sticks him in the trunk of a car and pushes it into a lake. Apparently she's just incompetent.

We get a nice hallucination-sequence where Huck is back in Pope HQ, with the mental images of his team members talking him through how to escape. And he does it! Not only did she not kill him, she didn't even shoot him hard enough for the blood loss to slow him down!

...setting aside that part of my disbelief, I do actually like the bit.

Hey, was anyone worried that there hadn't been enough graphic on-screen torture this season? Well, don't sweat it. Quinn's got you covered.

Olivia gets a pep-up talk about how she's a "miracle worker," from another of these people who hasn't seen the show. And sure enough, they find Huck -- by tracking the phone of the dead witness, which murder-girlfriend wasn't smart enough to chuck in a dumpster on her way to the body disposal! That's not you working a miracle, that's your opponent being a complete moron.

Gonna wrap up this post here, purely because my head hurts from hitting this desk so hard.

Jun. 25th, 2017 11:26 am
[personal profile] the_rck
I used the c-PAP for three and a half hours last night. Right now, I'm sniffling and sneezing. I fear the two are connected. I washed the reservoir and nasal pillows pretty thoroughly on Friday. I didn't want to try to wash out the hose, but I think I'm going to have to because this makes three occasions when I've had severe allergies starting the morning after using the c-PAP.

I finished two fics yesterday. Well, one is certainly done, barring a thorough proofread. It's gen, so that's not nearly as hard to arrange as it might otherwise be. The other needs a second opinion if I can find someone willing given the moderately obscure fandom and the explicit and potentially squicky content. I've got a couple of people I can ask, but I was a little too fried last night to do it.

We went out for frozen lemonade at Sweetwaters last night. Sweetwaters gives coupons to the middle schools to hand out to every child who gets at least three A's on their final report card, and the school put the coupons in the envelopes with the report cards. Cordelia got hers and got a cinnamon roll. I got a frozen lemonade and a chocolate croissant. Scott got a ginger tea.

We finished that up a little after 8:00, and as we were just across the street from Plum Market, we went over there for the half price bakery goods.

It's been very cool, in the low 70s, so Scott opened a lot of our windows early yesterday afternoon. They stayed open all night and are still open. I don't think this relates to my sneezing because that didn't start until the windows had been open for about twenty hours.

Cordelia has been doing movie marathons. She's currently got about a dozen DVDs from the library. Of course, mostly what she's been doing is listening to her Hamilton CDs over and over (those were a gift from Scott's brother and his family). We listened to a little of that in the car last night, on the way to and from Sweetwaters. I still can't say that it does anything for me, but I'm glad Cordelia has something she's really passionate about.

Both of our Time Capsule storage drives are insisting that they're too full to allow backups. The program is supposed to delete old backups as needed in order to keep making current backups, and we have backups going back at least two years. At this point, anything from 2015 can absolutely go. One of the drives has a terabyte of storage, and the other has three. We have no idea what's going on to make them say they only have a few megabytes of space left. Scott thinks that wiping them is probably going to be necessary. We'll start with just one in case we need the backups on the other before we have clean backups on the first. Scott keeps saying that he needs a lot of time to do this and then getting cranky with me when I mention that it needs to be done (and later today he will be more cranky because I didn't make him do it while he had time).

Maybe he can figure out how to get Cordelia's laptop to backup via Time Machine, too. We've never managed that, and at this point, she's actually got stuff she'd be devastated to lose. It wasn't so important when she was seven.

Daily Happiness

Jun. 25th, 2017 01:06 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. The city fireworks show was tonight and it was sooooooo loud and really scared the kitties, but they've all come out of hiding now and seem to be back to normal. I gave them lots of treats when they finally came out.

2. McDonald's has these really tasty blueberry cream pies right now. Carla loves the strawberry ones, too, and has gotten them a bunch, but while I thought those were okay, I wasn't super into them. But these blueberry ones are so good! And it's weird, because I usually like strawberry more than blueberry, but idk. The blueberry one is so much better.

3. Everybody loves this box so much. It's got nice flaps to make you feel hidden, and rustly paper inside to play with. Just the best box. Three out of three kitties recommend.

~Just go in the other room please

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:21 am
[personal profile] zarla
I'm back home, and so far everything seems to be okay. I saw a bee the first night and the second which I found super confusing, since HOW ARE THERE STILL BEES AFTER THE FUMIGATION??? HOW but I haven't seen any today, so maybe that was the last of them? Still, I do not want anymore bees. Tired of bees. All the bags of food seemed properly sealed and everything, so everything SHOULD be safe to eat. Still, some part of me is still worried about it...

I should put together a more substantial post about stuff, but I already feel like I'm behind on things since I spent so much time playing Zelda while at Alix's place, I should get started on that. I might post something later. I also made some macaroni from the bagged food, and so far I feel okay, so hopefully I won't die. Of all the stupid ways to go if I do.

All my dreams lately have been horrorshows of varying degrees, which isn't unusual or a surprise to me anymore. Last night in particular, I dreamed that Nana was alive again for a brief period of time through some kind of unexplained medical miracle. Then after I think maybe a week, or ten days, the medical miracle had taken its course, or had faded, or something like that, and it was over and she was going to die again at any moment. When I heard that I just started sobbing non-stop, I just couldn't handle losing her again after getting her back. Everyone else just tried to talk around me or ignore me while I was weeping uncontrollably, even Nana who usually did try to comfort me when I cried. I just sort of collapsed onto the table we were all sitting at, still weeping. Then all of a sudden I was somewhere else entirely new, and everyone was doing other things, and when I asked them what happened, they said I'd apparently blacked out for some twenty minutes. I didn't faint or anything, I was awake, although they said I was disoriented and hard to understand while I was talking, but I had no memory of what happened during the twenty minutes. Like I'd blacked out without actually losing consciousness. It was a really disconcerting feeling. I woke up feeling really heavy and tired.

I now know

Jun. 24th, 2017 11:16 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
It takes roughly 3 hours to pack 4000 MMPB.

I had an amusing thought: donate them to UW, to keep the B. P. Nichol Library of Science Fiction company.

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:42 pm
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia is now saying that she doesn't want to go to camp in August because she doesn't think she can handle a week without me. She also says that she's sure all of the other kids will be awful people and that there will be so many people present that there's no hope of her managing to spend any time with the people she actually knows.

She's been wanting lots of hugs and cuddling and reassurance that I'll always be there for her. She's also afraid any time she lets herself stop and think (mostly in the evenings). Her days have been pretty full, but she comes home and tells me that, even though she had fun, she missed me horribly. I think she's got some sort of worry that, if she's not checking up on me regularly, I'll just vanish.

I finally listened to the voicemail Cordelia's psychiatrist left. She says that the Celexa ought to stay at a steady level for twenty four hours on a single dose and that this may mean the dose is too low. Cordelia is afraid of upping the dose because she's connected her tiredness to the medication. I need to call the doctor back on Monday to discuss it.

Cordelia has more or less mastered swallowing small pills. Last night, she asked what I take for cramps, and I gave her a naproxen. It took her two swallows to get it down, but she did, and she was astonished to discover that it did help.

Her report card came today. It's all A's with an A+ in gym and an A- in algebra. Cordelia's of the opinion that they can't have counted the algebra final in that grade because she thinks that would have taken her down to B+ or even B range. I can't tell from PowerSchool whether or not she's right. It doesn't actually matter. B grades are good, too, and that particular class has been nasty for all the students due to the teacher not being very good.

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:24 pm
[personal profile] the_rck
I wrote a lot yesterday, a bit more than 2300 words. I find that amazing given that I spent most of the day in a groggy haze, trying to figure out whether or not I had a window for napping.

Scott had to work 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. today. We got a call from the shift supervisor about half an hour after Scott went to bed. The guy wanted to make sure Scott knew he had to come in. He kept stumbling over what he was saying and talking in circles. I'm pretty sure that he had a script in mind for the call and that I blew it up by saying that Scott was in bed and couldn't come to the phone. Scott identified the caller simply based on my description of the guy's confusion.

I ended up staying up a bit later than I meant to because the writing was working well. For some reason, just the thought of needing to go to bed makes me able to produce words and plot and all of that. I think I slept a solid eight hours once I did go to bed, so there's that. I kind of want to go back to bed, though.

Scott has Monday scheduled off because it's our anniversary. I have a couple of minor errands that will be much easier if someone gives me a ride, so we'll deal with those. The rest of the day is ours. Cordelia is now saying that Scott and I should celebrate however we want, including without her, because it's our day. (She said something on the order of "I wasn't involved in your wedding.") This is a change from years past. I don't know that we'll leave her at home, but it's nice that, if we did, she'd be okay with it.

Linkspam: Wonder Woman, misc.

Jun. 24th, 2017 12:41 pm
[personal profile] umadoshi
Wonder Woman

"Patty Jenkins is Co-Writing ‘Wonder Woman 2’ With Geoff Johns".

"5 'Wonder Woman' Amazons On The Power Of Their All-Woman Army".

"Native Actor Eugene Brave Rock Talks About His Role in Wonder Woman: As Wonder Woman smashes records, Native Actor Eugene Brave Rock talks about a whirlwind week and being gifted a headdress".

"The Revolution Won’t Be Saved By Wonder Woman — And That’s Okay". [The Establishment] "Wonder Woman is a stand-in for so many women in some position of vulnerable visibility who feel unfairly scrutinized for their ideological imperfections; she, and her at times tortured relationship with the women’s movement that adopted her as a mascot, provide a helpful case study for understanding the consequences of the demands we place on each other."


Miscellaneous

"I'm A Teenager And I Don't Like Young Adult Novels. Here's Why".

"“Boys By Girls” Is Using the Female Gaze to Redefine Modern Masculinity".

While looking up some planting info for plants we have, I learned about the existence of a couple of plant types that we're not likely to ever have, but which look really neat: arisaema (cobra lily) and tacca (bat plant).

"10+ Of The Oldest Color Photos Showing What The World Looked Like 100 Years Ago".

"Disney Illustrator Imagines A Life With A Pet Octopus, And It’s Just Too Adorable (10+ Pics)".

"Writing Advice to My Students That Would Also Have Been Good Sex Advice for My High School Boyfriends". [McSweeney's]

"These “Galaxy” Flowers Hold Entire Universes On Their Petals".

"You", via a locked post where the link was described as "How ordinary (often well-meaning) people make life much harder than it needs to be for people with disabilities."

"Adhesive Foot Pads Let You Ditch the Flip Flops with Flexible Feet Protection". [Article links to active Kickstarter.]

"Animated GIFs Reveal Differences Between Subway Maps and Their Actual Geography".

"Oh, Lovely: The Tick That Gives People Meat Allergies Is Spreading".

"World's first water park for people with disabilities is literally the coolest thing ever created". (Now, if only it weren't called "Inspiration Island".)

"Brutally Honest Freelance Writer Bios". [McSweeney's]

"The Lunar Sea: The moon influences life in a surprising and subtle way: with its light".
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Why YouTube did this seems unclear so I am just going to jump to a conclusion completely unsupported by the available evidence and assume this is yet another example of right-wing trolls gaming a site's complaint mechanisms.
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Without spoiling the title, it's old timey SF from a series set on the worlds of the nearer stars. Wikipedia has a current list. In my day, the right hand column would have been filled with "here there be dragons," not lists of exoplanets.

That one KSR about how if you send a generation ship filled with the learnedly ignorant, colonization will surely fail aside, are there any SF novels recent enough to use the exoplanets we now know of as settings?

Daily Happiness

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:11 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. I finished another book tonight, which makes thirty-three for the year so far. I have moved my initial goal from twenty to thirty and then to forty, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to move it again at this rate, because the year's only halfway through.

2. I spoke with the insurance claim person today and she said that it sounded like since we were both backing up, it would be a 50/50 thing, which would mean our insurance wouldn't go up and we would be liable for half the deductible. So, possibly still have to pay a lot in car repairs, depending on how much it costs to repair the damage, but it could be worse.

3. Look at this fluffy Chloe tum! She just loves the tummy scritches. :)

[personal profile] erinptah

Just gonna jump right into the liveblogging on this one.

Season 2 episode 2 starts with a flashback to when Mellie accepted the Republican nomination, making it even harder to ignore how unrealistic it is that the Republican party would vote for a woman to get their nomination.

Olivia yells at Fitz for sending "scrubs" to investigate a crime scene. The actual FBI Director steps out and informs her that, no, he sent her to investigate the crime scene. (This director is a black woman with giant hair. I want to like her.)

Cyrus invites Mellie to join him as VP-elect. This is all so terribly incestuous. There's no discussion of what policy would be, because of course there isn't -- I'm not sure if Scandal buys into the fallacy that the two parties are Basically The Same, or if this is just a symptom of it not caring about government except as a dramatic backdrop for sexy power struggles.

Olivia has dinner with the FBI director with the hair. It starts as piercing commentary on the way they get treated, as competent black women in positions of power...and turns into Olivia asking if the director has a thing with Fitz. Turns out no, but not because it's a terrible idea for the head of the FBI to bang the President, it's just because she was worried about disrespecting Olivia.

At the same time as this is happening, Olivia's people are stealing evidence from the FBI, and the White House is having a "confession" tortured out of a suspect who's supposed to be under the FBI's purview.

(The evidence is a hard drive, which, when recovered, has "over 5,000 hours" on it. By my back-of-the-napkin calculations, that would fill 17.6 terabytes. On a laptop drive. As of 2017, if you're willing to shell out several thousand dollars, the most Amazon can get you is 4.)

...I got real worried because Olivia's next thing is to snap at the WH that forced confessions are worthless as intelligence. Which is absolutely true -- but the show has never seemed to realize that before, and also, it's 23 minutes into the episode. (Thankfully, the next one seems to be backing her up.)

Flashback to Mellie's romance with a campaign staffer, and, oh hey, it turns out Abby knows Olivia broke up her and David! (I don't remember if we knew this already, or if this is the dramatic reveal.) Flash-forward to Mellie confronting Olivia over orchestrating her breakup with the staffer. "Why are you doing this? What is wrong with you?!" Good question!

---

Episode 3 retcons the video data to "300 hours of [tip-giving videographer]'s footage, 2200 hours of the security feed." That would need less than 2 TB on the hard drive, which is more believable.

Portia di Rossi's character is back! And she's amazing. Partly because I can't help seeing her as Veronica, all charmingly ridiculous, meant to be judged by comedy standards rather than real-world ones.

This episode uses flashbacks to unveil that, yep, Cyrus isn't the murderer. I was definitely expecting that to be dragged out for longer. (There's a secret video of Frankie yelling at him for being a terrible person who should be in jail, and, look, he's not wrong, but for other reasons.)

Most obvious suspect is the hitman Cyrus was secretly having an affair with, because that's the kind of show this is. Flash-forward to the present, Cyrus secretly meets with the (armed!) ex-boyfriend at night in a park, because that's totally the kind of thing PEOTUS can do. Secret Service, what Secret Service?

Vengeful hitman ex throws a wrench in the works by "admitting" to killing Frankie on Cyrus's orders. This'll be fun.

Olivia: "With Cyrus in jail, the Electoral College will have no choice but to vote for you." Orrr they could vote for the runner-up in the Democratic primary. Without knowing anything specific about these people's policies, that seems like the most moral and honest choice re: the will of the voters.

---

Wow, almost nothing to say about episode 4. It's all Cyrus's Adventures in Jail. The narrative woobifies him hard, to the point where in spite of everything I actually feel bad for him by the third act. (Fourth act, he gets a guard murdered. So much for that.)

---

And episode 5 focuses on the drama around Jake Ballard -- Olivia's ex, former agent of Olivia's dad, now Mellie's VP candidate, in a politically-orchestrated marriage with a not!Kennedy who's now going into an alcohol-fueled emotional tailspin as she slowly realizes (a) Jake doesn't like her very much and (b) he's a terrible person.

(To illustrate: he seriously considers strangling her in order to keep the angsty tailspin from damaging his career.)

Newly revealed in flashback: Jake blew up the cabin that held the laptop that held the video that came from the photographer that called in the tip that swallowed the spider to catch the fly. Don't ask me why.

Olivia wrangles Mellie to have a heart-to-heart with the not!Kennedy wife, as part of the Women Whose Husbands Like Olivia Pope Better Club. This wrangles the wife back into urging Democrats to fall in line behind Jake's ticket, based on him being a Good and Honorable Person who married someone from Massachusetts. What policies does he support that they should appreciate? Ha. Aha. Ahaha.

Then she spends the rest of the episode trying to get proof that Jake did the murdering, which of course means he didn't do that, although she lets him drive her alone without her phone to an isolated location before she figures it out.

And, whoof, that's about all the Olivia Pope always-rightness I can take in one sitting. (Still working on commissions, but I'll have to switch to some other background TV for the rest.)

Dear suspiciously rotund cat

Jun. 23rd, 2017 01:56 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Not my cat, not my house. Please don't be pregnant.

Jun. 23rd, 2017 12:09 pm
[personal profile] the_rck
I slept better last night than I did the night before, and the sneezing and such seem to be gone. I will likely keep taking the various allergy medications for a few days in case what I'm seeing is them working rather than the trigger being gone. I'm still pretty tired, so I will likely try to nap later on. Cordelia and I don't have anything planned today, so I think it will be feasible.

I'm debating Camp NaNo. The main thing against it is that it doesn't tend to motivate me to write more or more often. The social aspect only works for me if I know the people I'm interacting with. Then again, signing up costs me nothing (except a lot of emails from the website).

I realized yesterday that the first two pages of a side project I was working on didn't belong in the story at all. They were necessary world building/scene setting for me but would probably bore readers. I can work in a lot of the details that matter later in the story and in small chunks.

Does anyone know anything about the folks running [personal profile] captiveaudience? The maintainers on the AO3 collection are [archiveofourown.org profile] nonx and [archiveofourown.org profile] CaramelShadows. The former looks like a sock, and I don't recognize the latter. The exchange theme, captivity with either Stockholm Syndrome or Lima Syndrome, sounds like something I'd have fun with, but I suspect it's not likely to be a large exchange. At the moment, it looks more appealing than Fic Corner simply because there's nothing in the Fic Corner tagset that I'd be really enthusiastic about writing. There are a number of things I could write and/or request, but I don't know if I'd enjoy writing any of them.

I suspect that part of the problem is that the things I'd be comfortable offering to write are all kind of old and not necessarily the sorts of things that people think of first when signing up for exchanges. There are often specific requests that are things I'd be comfortable writing, but without the specifics, I don't dare offer because there's a lot of those canons that I don't feel I know well enough or have time/access to review properly. The things I can generally offer always have way more offers than requests.

What other Nicolls are up to

Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:15 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My niece Ilia and nephew Jake are appearing here:

Read more... )

fatalism o' the day

Jun. 23rd, 2017 06:30 am
[personal profile] metaphortunate
I am not good at political predictions. And I hope I'm wrong about this. But I don't see how we can keep the ACA.

I mean, this is why Republicans have been swallowing Trump's shit, right? For the Supreme Court seats and the right to pass this enormous tax cut? Isn't this what they sold the republic for? If they don't pass it now, wouldn't that require them to decide to have given it all up for nothing? Wouldn't they be taking a huge personal hit to their own opinion of themselves, not to mention their own taxes, and their own donors, for no other reason than to help millions of people they've never personally met and would probably not like if they did meet? Humans are not super good at doing that kind of thing; the richer the worse, the more powerful the worse, and I just don't really see how I can expect these particular rich old powerful motherfuckers to transcend the limitations of their species at this moment in time.

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