April 24th, 2009

20111112, Marilee

Post Office

I went to the post office today to mail the BFAC project for next year, a book, a return Netflix, and a letter "from my favorite girl scout" that had a non-existent address (an extra number at the end) and person for this address (I'm the original owner). I stopped by the Giant on the way home and got salad from the bar and plan to eat it tonight.

I'm doing laundry and just a few minutes ago, the first round stopped and I went into the hall to move it to the dryer and put the next round in. I was wearing my computer glasses because they're close enough to the regular ones to move laundry around, but as I went into the hall, I saw something about twice the size of my thumb that was moving. So I got a paper towel and caught some kind of giant beetle and flushed it. I didn't want either cat to try to eat it.

I plugged the LG DVD/VCR in last night and it works fine. The note on the paper that came with it was that the lens was scratched, so I'll have to start using the lens cleaner thing that I got. One of the really nice things about this DVD/VCR is that I can use both at the same time as long as one is watching and one is recording. Last night I set the VCR to record CSI: from 8:55 to 10:05 and started watching a 1:43 DVD a little after 8pm. So as soon as the DVD was done, I rewound the tape and watched it until right before the news was on.
20111112, Marilee

In My Country

This movie is about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. At least that's what they say. There's a printed foreword that says that many of the testimonies are exactly the real testimonies, but I thought those words were used to introduce a drama that has less to do with reconciliation than the US and romance.

In real life, Afrikaaners (white South Africans) kept the many-times-more blacks in submission by torture and death. When Nelson Mandela was set free, the blacks and whites agreed to a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that traveled. The blacks would give their testimonies and the person who hurt them or their family member would explain why they did that and if they could show that they did it under orders, they were given amnesty. Unfortunately, this part of the movie was peppered in with cynicism and romance between the US black WashPost reporter and an Afrikaaner poet. There's even a bit of gangsta mixed in. This is based on Antjie Krog's book Country of My Skull, which I highly recommend.

In a bit of relevance, today's WashPost quotes Obama as rejecting a truth commission for our torture.
20111112, Marilee

The Kindly Ones by Melissa Scott

"The Kindly Ones" is a common translation of The Eumenides by Aeschylus where Athena turns The Furies into The Kindly Ones. I don't really see that in this book.

This was published in 1987, one of her early books, and in the first few chapters, you can see her setting up the story structure better than you can see the story.

There is a planetary system where the people are on the moons and have been divided into Kinships with rigid code (behavior). There are three primary characters -- all women -- and all outside the Kinships. One is an off-world pilot, one has purposely separated herself from her Kinship, and one is a mediator from off-world hired to a Kinship to be their primary Medium (something like a mediator within code).

There is an ongoing increasing anger between the two major Kinships which eventually turns to feud and devastation. Our three women are parts of the solution.

I like Melissa's work, but unless you're a completist, you probably don't need to read this one. I must say that the cover image is not only interesting and accurate to a scene in the book, it's a scene that occurs before the big spoiler.