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Not to toot my own horn, but...

1) I can get medical records in faster than a speeding bullet (or before the doc slips out, which is pretty much the same thing).
2) Inbox zero!
3) Verified the insurance whose adjuster I've been trying to reach for six weeks now.
4) Probably some other stuff, too, because I'm just that good.

May actually get out of here at a decent hour and feel okay about it tonight...

Saw FIN. (So: spoilers.) I'd give it B- by its own merits, hovering somewhere around HLV or TBB. The biggest problem was I simply didn't care about the sister. I also didn't sense much connection, at all, to what John and Sherlock had been going through since TRF.

I'd like to suggest an alternate way of doing what I think this episode was aiming for: make Mary Moran. Don't kill her off, and come up with some suitable reason why she finds herself at odds with John and Sherlock. Don't make her evil -- make her  conflicted but ultimately a threat to them. To protect Rosie, herself, someone else. Or give her an ideological reason or, heck, *do* make her Moriarty's heir.

And use that to make John and Sherlock come together, go through a crucible and come out the other side as the team they were at this episode's beginning by some quirk of fate. Also, rather than making Molly... this travesty, why not use the fact that she betrayed Moriarty and forced Mary into this position. Use Mycroft's complacency in using "consultants," give us a reason why he stopped, have him be the one who put Mary in John's path for his own reasons.

Goodness, but there's such potential here if they'd just fallen their story through to its natural run, actually used the canon, actually written female characters worth a damn. You could even roll Euros into it, as a sort of partner for Mary if you wanted to do the complicated family thing.

I am... not thinking about Johnlock issues here. Can't make myself go there, and really you don't have to. Because there's just so much potential here, even without going there. Really --*really*-- such a waste.

Off to see FIN. Last thing I did before leaving work was submit our billing for the day, all 221 files of it.

This coincidence amuses me more than it should.


Jan. 15th, 2017

So, Sherlock.

I've been talking about this a bit over at Tumblr, but kept my thoughts sort of to myself over here. I have to say, so far I've been disappointed with this series. And a lot of that is boil-over from S3 disappointment of the type "I have bad feelings here but am withholding judgment until I see where they're going with this." The first two series will always be dear in my heart, and I love specific scenes from the last two series, S4 particularly. I just feel like the characterizations aren't there, that it's more about fizz-bang than telling a story that makes sense.

That's my impression through the first two episodes. I still haven't seen FIN, seeing it in the theaters tomorrow so holding off. And I'm trying very hard to ignore the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from Tumblr, though I do have a very bad feeling here. Mainly it's come to be a fanworks delivery system more than a show, which is a nice universe to have, but not exactly a show succeeding in its primary function.

I've come a bit back to playing in the Tolkien sandbox, particularly the Silm corner of the fandom. One story that just needs a final coat os spit-polish, another I took an hour today to reread some canon and start outlining. I'd also like to write some Doyle fic but I really feel I don't know enough about Victorian times to do that well. I really want to, I just... I don't even know where to start there. I've been reading/re-reading the Doyle originals, and falling in love with them. So clever, so sweet, so much fun!
First, the mandatory RL update: I talked to my stepmum today and told her that I knew, was thinking of everyone but I really didn't want or need a great deal of contact just now. And I gave her a somewhat honest answer, too: while I'm not an atheist and not even anti-religious, for a whole host of reasons the way a lot of my dad's family approach grief and dying just isn't at all comfortable to me. I overstated that, but now is not the time to say, actually I'm at best an agnostic choosing to believe who finds great spiritual comfort in the intellectual exploration of religious themes and communal aspects with others who approach them the same way, I really don't see myself being comfortable in organized religion in the foreseeable future, particularly not the kind the rest of my family is finding their comfort in. (Which, I hasten to add, does not make me anything less than authentically Christian and Jewish, to the extent it's possible to be both simultaneously. Even Mother Teresa had her dark night of the soul.)

Really, it takes a very special person to have a spiritual crisis around a family member that's akin to being almost a closeted agnostic (which I'm not, except to the extent I kind of also am) more than theodicy coming back to bite me. This seems to be how I roll, though. I think I got across the fact that I want to be left alone, and geography being as it is, looks like that might actually work. Which does make things a bit simpler.

I've been not-thinking about it basically by reading "The Dying Detective" for the obvious reasons, which I started before I got the news but I read/re-read Doyle reaaaaaaaaally slowly. And I think those of you watching the episode are in for a wild ride because it's so similar to "The Final Problem." Even the turns of phrases are really similar, and in many ways (though not all), Holmes is even crueller to Watson than he was in FINA. (And poor Hudders!) I'm not sure I'll watch it right off. I want to, but I also don't want to remember whatever happens through the prism of RL. May just clean and do laundry and call it an early night.

Also got beta feedback on my Gorlim story today, which I've only skimmed but think I should be able to get that posted in a few days! Which would be a good start to the new year. I really do want to be writing more.

Dec. 27th, 2016

One good thing about my vacation: coworker who was covering part of my work has a new appreciation for how hard and booooooring it is, and why not making me chase her down to fix mistakes on forms is so important.

She ain't wrong...

I've been spending some time down South with more family contact than I usually have. Change of plans, I know - bit of a family emergency combined with the time of year that made it particularly hard to say no. That means I've been spending more time around people decidedly more conservative than me. They knew better than to rehash the election explicitly, but just the exposure has me thinking more about American conservatism. What drives it, you know. And here's the trends I'm noticing:

(1) People tie poverty and suffering in with bad life-choices. If you have more kids than you can support, for instance, even if your life-circumstances changed, there's this idea that this is your own fault and responsibility means handling it yourself.

(2) Related: rugged individualism runs strong. That means people don't see why they should have to help other people when the problem isn't their fault. We're all responsible for our own choices, but there's no sense you can also be obligated for things that aren't your fault - basic decency and neighborliness, being our brother's keeper, etc. doesn't always become real.

(3) There's a lot of privilege, a lot of lack of exposure. Take the NC bathroom bills. A lot of my family sees this as the LGBT community making a stink to make "normal" people look backward, because they don't see the problem the bill was trying to address. They've not experienced what it's like to be a trans kid and have to navigate school bathrooms. Or the outrage over police violence - they don't get the frustration, the fact that these don't feel like isolated incidents because they're not living out the other trends.

I'm not trying to defend any of these things. I am a bit tired of arguing against them, so I haven't been. But my point is, if you're liberal and trying to reach people who aren't already there, seems like these are the basic lines of thought and experience you need to find a way to show they're wrong.

(I'd add they're deep-level experiences and assumptions, they're almost axiomatic to how the world works from certain peoples' expressions. So I don't think it's a matter of winning one logical argument. On the other hand, people can change. I'm proof of that, and the way my perspective is so different from other people coming from the same background as me I think shows that more than just about anything.)

I would be interested if this is the way other people with more conservative friends and family see things. Not whether they're right, but if this is where the tension points are.


In other news - I've got a fully drafted Silm story currently standing at about 2,500 words. It's tone-deaf and needs a quick rewrite hopefully by tomorrow night, then off to a beta. (I got an extension due to said family emergency, and dawn_felagund it's still coming...) So yay for that!

Nov. 28th, 2016

I'm feeling a swell of sadness in me tonight over work. Not for myself so much as for a coworker, who our boss told in part of an email I was copied in that she basically wasn't doing a big part of her job. I don't disagree with him that what he's talking about needs to get done; it's just that she and I have talked about this exact area, and I know all the other things she's doing that means she just doesn't have time to do it. It's necessary! It's just the way this is being handled show such a lack of a clue...

Feeling a bit of that myself, actually. There's a few things I should be working on for work, in the sense that they're important and still sitting undone, but I was working a full day already and couldn't motivate myself to takle them tonight. Because, you know, I shouldn't have to, and because what I'm seeing is that no matter how hard I work it will be impossible to do what's expected of me well. It's just very disheartening that that's not honored, or recognized, or accounted for. Makes it hard to even try, or be motivated to do better.

But I'm not working, which is something. I'm getting my address book in order for holiday cards, which is such an indulgent joy for me, to sit down and actually write things out by hand. If you'd like one please do get in touch. (Face Book private message .... Tumblr PM ... LiveJournal's ask feature ... email martabee@mail.com .... carrier pigeons ... ) Comment here if you have absolutely no regard for personal privacy, as I've not locked things down.

ETA: And in that came out darker than I meant. Today was a good day, relatively speaking. This is just me being quietly contemplative, which is the closest to peace current circumstances allow.
Mischief managed on the mandatory side of the whole Xmas gift thing - mostly. I've taken care of dad, stepmum, stepsis, and sister, just leaving my brother in the mandatory must-buy group. And I have absolutely no clue what to get him, because the only thing he put on his wishlist were hardware that is both insanely boring and overpriced (to my mind), and in any event over my fairly firm budget. Will have to think on that one, and I suspect I'll buy him something kitschy and fireman-themed in a few days just to be done with it. I do try because I love them, but I don't really know them well enough anymore to know what he'd really like.

Also, I've booked train tickets up to Prince Edward Island the week before Christmas. Looking forward to the time away from all the hustle bustle (and work!). A grad school friend's parents had a cottage up there they let me use and while I'm not asking for the keys again, I did fall in love with the area and they have some nice old bookshops, beds and breakfasts, woods for wandering around, that kind of thing.



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