I grew up in Indiana. Indiana is a state with a no-honk policy; if you honk at someone, you are alerting them to information they need and nothing else.
Seattle is also a no-honk state, but it has something Indiana lacks: TRAFFIC. I know people in the LA and NYC areas think their cities are the only ones with real traffic, but Seattle is no slouch in the trafic department, either! This is because for much of the city, the commute between work and home goes over two bridges-- one with two lanes, one with three plus a switchable express lane. And one of those bridges has an expensive toll.
Chicago is a place where people honk to express emotion. And so is, famously, NYC. We had been on the road only a few minutes before I heard the first flurry of honks, and I looked around to see if something was wrong before realizing that no, that's because we are now in a Honk Place. It's definitely going to take some getting used to!
In France, I looked up road rules from in the car when Grant and I saw someone in the far left lane signaling left. We saw this too many times for it to be forgetful people with their blinkers on, and finally discovered it means, "You're going too slow in the fast lane! Move over!" (Also, Europe is the only place I've been where people rigidly obey the "keep right except to pass" rule.) I also discovered that France is a no-turn-on-red country, which we were glad to know before getting into less populated areas where that would come into play.
Also in France, they have gorgeous, pristine toll highways. These are expensive as hell, but meticulously maintained and lovely, including their rest stops. (Though some rest stops on other toilets are not so state-of-the-art... it was in one of these that I discovered the squat toilet for the first time!)
Of all the taxi rides I've taken, the most harrowing have been in one city: Las Vegas. What people may not realize about Vegas before they've been there once or twice is the sheer SCALE of that place. Vegas is unimaginably huge, so big that you can spend 15 minutes walking at a fast clip from your hotel room to the exit. In a straight line, no less!
So as a result, when you're covering distances that are just a few hotels away, you're going miles. And when you need to go across town, you're going huge huge distances away. And then there's the traffic, which is constant stop-and-go at literally every hour of the day on the Strip. Cab drivers do everything they can to minimize their time on the Strip, so you end up taking bizarre routes through back alleys and zipping down the highway and weaving through traffic... at about 90mph the whole time, because Vegas is really big and it takes a very long time to get anywhere.
So Vegas cabbies are very fast and very fearless, whereas during one cab ride, Grant and I clutched each other's hands, positive he was going to careen into traffic. We were fine, though!
So far our driver is as fearless as a Vegas cabbie but not in as much of a hurry. I see Manhattan in front of us! I hope we get to our hotel soon, and I cannot wait for dinner and drinks. Woo!
Also, as much as it's nice to see an actor in a show not disdain or dismiss fandom or fans, there are times when I do wish the fourth wall was still firmly in place. I have no doubt that he means well! I just can envision all sorts of bad places that this could go to—and honestly, if I ever do write fic for Sleepy Hollow, I cringe at the thought of it being read by the cast and crew.
( Meme Day 2: What drives you in your personal research as a historian? )
genprompt_bingo ... I like this idea (though I'm not likely to do anything with the card anytime soon.) ~ One can view all the possible prompts —which are sorted into about ten prompt categories (I think) and opt out of up to three.
|Religious and other festivals||Werewolves||Phobias||Snow and Ice||Humiliation|
|Smoke and Fog||Absences/Negative Space||Resurrection||The Fool||Determined|
|Winter Feasts/Summer Barbeques and Picnics||Teenagers||Wild Card||Closets, caves and other tight spaces||Epistolary fic: Emails, letters etc.|
|Coercion||Mental Health Issues||Dystopias||Wheel of Fortune||Found Families|
|Superpowers||Aliens||Original Characters||Fluff||Minor Characters|
Flawed redemption still a happy anniversary
It was 1978 or 1979. I was in grade 8 and quite liked my home-room teacher. Mr. Pritchard also liked me, the bright, nerdly kid who had made the school's "newspaper" his own, contributing articles, editorials, cartoons — and (yes) even reviews.
One afternoon after class, as I watched over the Gestetner machine chunking out its blue mimeo pages and Mr. Pritchard watched over me, I mentioned I was looking forward to Saturday, when another episode of Doctor Who, this British television program I'd recently discovered, was going to be broadcast, right before the hockey game.
Mr. Pritchard looked up and laughed, his moustache bristling his delight. "Really!" he said, "Is that still on the air? I used to watch it when I was your age!" He was probably about 30 then, meaning I had barely been born when he was my age!
Learning of that long continuity delighted me as much as — and maybe more than — it did Mr. Pritchard. And now that 15 years of the program's history has become 50, and my personal continuity with it is twice what my teacher's was, the fact that Doctor Who is still on the air delights me even more.
All of which makes me doubly-pleased that the program's 50th anniversary episode, "The Day of the Doctor", exceeded my (admittedly, low) expectations by a wide margin. While not without some significant flaws, Steven Moffat's long-awaited 2013 series finale (of sorts; the upcoming Christmas special will probably mark the real series end, as well as the transition to the next) was a well-crafted entertainment, that balanced humour, drama and nostalgia and, even, pathos, without getting bogged down by the Enormous Anniversariness of it all.
Though some nonsensical elements demonstrated yet again Moffat's tendency to confuse plot with story and maguffin with plot, structurally, "The Day of the Doctor" was a happy anniversary present for this jaded and weary viewer.
Certainly it was the most entertaining multi-Doctor special to come down the pike since, well, forever. I really did laugh and I really did cry, on both first and second viewings — and it's been quite a while since a Moffat-scripted episode of Doctor Who hit me like that.
As usual, my full review is liberal with spoilers. And yes, I spend quite a lot of time exploring those "significant flaws". If you don't want your pleasure challenged, I recommend staying away; if you want in read on click here for The Day of the Doctor: The Bad, the Good, and the Meta.
since the app it has auto-pencil-marks and "touch a number to highlight all the squares that could be that number", it saves a lot of time while solving the puzzles, and makes it easier for us to play on "hard" and "expert" modes. there's been a few times this week when we'd be stuck on the regular solving techniques and looking at the patterns of which squares were lit up, and i'd give it a good stare and finally go "oh, that square there has to be an 8", or whatever, and she'd stare at me and say "why?" and i'd be completely unable to explain it. i tried a few times -- it has to do with the lit-up squares forming a larger square in a certain way, with one other square in a certain pattern also lit -- but i couldn't identify the exact criteria no matter how hard i tried; all i knew was that box was an eight because it had to be, and over hundreds of puzzles, when i see those "it has to be that" situations i've always been right.
tonight she brought me a puzzle she'd been trying to solve at work and gotten stuck on, and when i identified two squares through that pattern-matching and she couldn't follow (and i couldn't explain!) she was determined to figure out why it had to be that way, and what my pattern-matching brain was doing, so we were looking up advanced sudoku solving techniques, and found one that was close. (not quite, i think, but close.) so we solved a few puzzles together to see if she could follow what i was doing and apply the reasoning from the explanation of that technique, and i started trying to figure out why my pattern-matching brain was spotting the patterns, and we hit one that my pattern-matching brain woke up and said "that's a 1" or whatever...
...and for the first time, i was wrong.
a bunch more puzzles after she fell asleep, and i wound up being wrong about half the time now. say, ms centipede, how do you move all those legs at once?
( ETA: A thought about the thing I was DYING for in the midseason cliffhanger episode - and didn't get. )