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February 19th, 2017

07:49 pm: Toronto's been having a warm spell this weekend. It won't last, but that's no reason not to enjoy it. Walking around in a lightweight coat, or having the living-room window open a crack during the day, is a mood boost even if the world is still messed up and I'm still job-hunting.

February 12th, 2017

11:16 am: The Invisible Agent (1942)
 It's been snowing off and on. Friday night we watched a couple of Universal's lesser-known sequels to The Invisible Man: The Invisible Agent and The Invisible Man's Revenge, both of which were deeply weird.

The Invisible Agent (1942)
It's like Curt Siodmak saw Leslie Howard disappearing into the shadows at the end of Pimpernel Smith and thought "wouldn't it be great to have an invisible guy fighting nazis?" Unfortunately Frank Raymond/Griffin (grandson of the the original Invisible Man), is a lousy secret agent. He's reasonably heroic in the opening scenes, but once he's invisible, he ruins the heroine's honey trap for an SS officer with childish pranks, stealing food off the the table and moving furniture, until the officer storms out without giving away any information, leaving guards to keep the woman under house arrest.
This sets the pattern for the rest of the movie -- Miss Sorensen is brave, clever and committed, and Griffin keeps screwing up her carefully-laid plans with his wild improvisation, especially once he decides she's working for the Germans. I can headcannon that the paranoia and madness seen in the other Invisible Man movies are setting in, but the picture never actually addresses this; maybe Griffin was just always an arrogant dolt.
I haven't mentioned Peter Lorre yet. He plays Japanese ambassador/spymaster Baron Ikito, and it's a curious portrayal; he eschews yellowface or a stereotypical accent -- in fact it took a few scenes for me to realize the character was even supposed to be Japanese -- and while villainous, he seems more dignified than the cartoonishly evil Nazi officers. In fact he ultimately destroys the main villain. It's not exactly a heel-face turn; Griffin and Sorensen have thrown enough spanners in the works to ruin the German plans to invade America, and Ikito, having been double-crossed by the head German spymaster, fatalistically tells him they've both failed, stabs him, and then quietly commits seppuku. The sleazy-comical officer Miss Sorensen was seducing in her opening scenes seems set to ironically come out on top, but gets shot by his own soldiers. Miss Sorensen flies herself and Griffith to safety (by this time I'd have abandoned him) and the last scene is of him recovering in hospital, learning she really is an Allied agent, and refusing to tell her how he became visible again because "it's a military secret." She'll probably figure it out anyway.


February 6th, 2017

07:36 pm:  Nice to see Jet Set Sewing has a new post, after a long break. Also nice to see I'm not the only one who thinks the Pussy Hat has the bonus of resembling Schiaparelli's 1929 "Mad Cap:"
https://jetsetsewing.com/2017/02/01/sewing-a-retro-mermaid-skirt-mccalls-7386-a-20s-vibe-sweater-coat-vogue-8930-and-a-50s-mccardell-bolero-but-still-it-was-all-downhill-until-i-made-a-pink-hat/#comments (scroll down)

See? After the protest march, you can tuck in one corner, tilt it at a jaunty angle, and you're ready for cocktails:

February 5th, 2017

07:06 pm: Weekend Update
Went to the Action against Islamophobia & White Supremacy; Andrew was able to make it too, although we slipped away to warm up after the first few speeches. Today I see it ran to 4:30 rather than to 2:30 as announced, and at least one person asked why anyone even bothers with speeches at an outdoor demo, given the usually poor sound systems, so I feel less guilty about sneaking off early.

This had kind of been scratching at the back of my mind for a while, but I'm glad other people said it because they make the point more coherently that gamergate and the sad/rabid puppies were arguably alt-right dry runs for the Trump campaign.

I think Nana has been having bad dreams -- several times of late she's meowed in her sleep and awoken with a startled expression.

Meanwhile, in self-care, we got Andrew's winter coat and his blazer dry-cleaned and pressed, and they look much sharper, so go team dry-cleaning. However he says the tiny hole that the dentist insisted he didn't make last visit has started to bother him even more, so I'm going to have to make an appointment tomorrow.
Inspired by one of these ads, I contributed to the "I lik the bred" cycle:

Gojira, me:
And when unfed,
I hunger gret
Too smal the bred!
So city street
Bestride I thus
And 'fore I eet
I lik the bus.

January 30th, 2017

03:39 pm:  Ok, feeling a little better after showing up to help with the chanting for a bit, and making a call to my MP's office asking to hold the PM to his statements.

Now I'm trying to draw on this article: https://medium.com/@mahdialynn/a-nervous-wrecks-disabled-guide-to-stepping-up-a6bdc95553b0#.86rubq9op


06:06 am:  Trying not to scream. Was going to go to a demo downtown today (because if I'm unemployed I might as well make use of my time) against the travel ban, and then with the attack on a mosque in Quebec by fucking Canadian domestic terrorists the demo was going to be a vigil as well, but Andrew's falling apart again from his new mess that were supposed to help with the neuropathy and I don't dare leave him alone and I feel like I'm having to choose between him and humanity and there's no right answer. And I'm making it all about me, which I shouldn't and I don't know what to do. Will try to at least rouse the courage later in the day to call my MP. That sounds stupid but I fear and loathe phone calls.

ETA -- by 10:30am he was feeling better. Heading downtown now, better late than never.


January 22nd, 2017

11:01 am: Not Usually a Sign Guy But Jeez
 I didn't make it to any marches yesterday -- didn't want to drag Andrew downtown or leave him alone at home for more than two hours -- but I consoled myself with having made and donated a hat. [personal profile] swan_tower and [personal profile] sovay have posted descriptions of of the marches they attended in San Francisco and Boston.

I am glad to hear most marches were much better-attended than even the planner had anticipated. Several people have commented that it was a relief to realize they were not alone.

Sir Ian McKellen attended the London march holding a sign which was just the "Captain Picard Facepalm" meme (according to him he didn't even bring the sign himself, he got it from someone along the way): http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/01/21/ian-mckellen-meme-womens-march-facepalm_n_14310188.html

ETA -- [personal profile] dewline has posted a link to pictures of the Ottawa march.

further ETA -- dewline has taken the link down, in case he accidentally gets any of the marchers in trouble.

January 20th, 2017

09:04 am: Dream Report
 Kept waking during the night and thinking "I must remember this," or telling people in my dreams about something that had just happened that I needed to remember. Let's see if I can.

i. I was looking at a shelf of what one might call "esoterica" -- archeological and scholarly publications mixed with neo-Druid and Wiccan books,  Lovecraftian fanfic, and softcore porn with a fantasy veneer. I picked out a graphic novel and noticed that several characters from Dykes to Watch Out For made a cameo appearance on two pages, watching and commenting on the story, but it was in another language so I couldn't tell what they were saying.

ii. I was in another place, looking through a different set of books and papers. These all seemed to be writings by, sometimes about, Amazons, who in the dream were quite definitely a real ancient culture, neither a legend nor a Greek exaggeration of gender roles among the Scythians. They were kind of like the legends, kind of like the DC comics, and kind of neither. I was reading a paper about some love poetry, or possibly tomb inscriptions, it was hard to tell because as I recall thinking, the Amazons were surprisingly gothic. I know the part that struck me as important involved a scarab or other beetle being compared to a tiny skull. I think I needed to tell [personal profile] sovay  about this. I'm sorry it doesn't make as much sense now I'm awake.

iii. Knitting sweaters for cats, who seemed remarkably willing to wear them. This may be the dream version of knitting pussy hats for the Women's Marches against Trump this weekend. In the dream it did seem to be some kind of bulwark against monsters. 


January 19th, 2017

09:12 pm:  Andrew put in the 1982 Nicholas Nickleby. I think we're nearly through disc 2, and it should keep us entertained for a couple more days. It's only my second time watching it. The first time I didn't recognize Newman Noggs as Lord Peter Wimsey (thanks, sovay), and this time out we kept spotting Christopher Ravenscroft as various characters, and realized that bluff Yorkshire farmer John Browdie and slimy Sir Mulberry Hawke are both Bob "Clever girl!" Peck.

I decided to see what Petherbridge as been up to, and was worried to see that he had two strokes a while back while rehearsing Lear, but he seems to have recovered enough to write and act a play about the experience (in part so he had an excuse to do at least some of Lear onstage anyway) and he has a regular blog in which he also shows off his painting skills.

ETA -- I tried to fix the links above but I'm not sure why they don't work.

Petherbridge's blog is here: http://pethsstagingpost.com/blog/

sovay's post on NN is here:  http://sovay.livejournal.com/296061.html

04:02 pm: I Couldn't Lie My Way Out of a Paper Bag if I Tried
Well, as I mentioned in a comment to a previous entry,  I got a preliminary telephone interview for a job I didn't really want. I hoped this would help me be more confident, but when questioned I pretty much immediately admitted that not only do I not take well to being constantly interrupted by phone calls while I work on other tasks, I think it's generally a bad idea to make the employees doing order entry or other jobs *also* juggle telephone reception because you don't have a full-time receptionist. So, that was the end of the interview. I know I didn't want that job anyway, but I still felt like I screwed up.

Later, I got an email that looked like another job lead, but when "BestLife Financial" asked for ID and my signature on an employee agreement *before* any interview, I decided it looked dodgy. And it was, but it took quite a bit of internet searching to confirm -- they have a pretty elaborate company website that looks superficially legit (afterwards, when I read the copy carefully, the syntax was all a bit off); they appear on a registry of Ontario companies, and their street address shows up on Google Streetview as an office/business plaza. Also, googling the company name didn't turn up any "this is a scam" posts. It wasn't until I ran a search on their phone number that I found the Better Business Bureau's entry on a different company name, but with the same phone line, who seem to have pulled similar tactics. I passed on an update to BBB.

Pleased I caught this, irritated I have to do this much unpaid due diligence.

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