epershand: A speech bubble with "tl;dr" (tl;dr)
All this week, I have been making the same mistake. I look at the clock and think "huh, I should go to bed soon. Maybe I'll just read a chapter of Dive Into HTML5 before I go to bed."

It is generally about two hours after this that I pull myself away from whatever fascinating and specific Wikipedia or Quora article or Joel on Software blog post or whatever I am currently reading, because Dive Into HTML5 is the TV Tropes of computer manuals.

Seriously, read the chapter A Quite Biased History of HTML5 and tell me if YOU can drag yourself away from it and its links. Browser wars! Extended quotations of Marc Andreessen's emails! Snarky commentary on the methods of standards bodies!

This thing is BETTER THAN THE DINOSAUR OPERATING SYSTEMS TEXTBOOK. (This is, for the record, the highest praise I can bestow on any book about computers.) But now I've got this fear that it's going to be like it was after that month where I read all the Sarah Vowell books. I went around wanting to tell people Exciting Facts! And the response was always "oh yeah, I think I read something like that in a Sarah Vowell book once." I am totally going to be all "BROWSER WARS!" and people will be like "oh yeah, that was an awesome chapter in Dive Into HTML5."

So far, the people on twitter I've enthused at have linked me to:
This snarky Pilgrim essay on XML
This commentary on the positive things IE did in the world of browser development

Oh also the wikipedia page on BROWSER WARS! Is amazing. But you already know that because you have read the chapter above, which links to it.

Shiny!

Thursday, 2 September 2010 22:47
epershand: A rainbow of colored pencils. (rainbow)
People in the Bay Area:

My friend Deb Cohler is doing a reading from her book Citizen, Invert, Queer: Lesbianism and War in Early Twentieth Century Britain at A Different Light Bookstore on Monday, September 27.

I am basically wetting myself in anticipation. Does anyone want to join me?

(Fear not, I will have dried myself off by then.)

What I'm reading

Saturday, 13 March 2010 23:25
epershand: Rose brandishing knitting needles. (Rose)
EDITED TO ADD: Google Analytics tells me people are getting to this entry because they're looking for Homestuck LJ Icons and Homestuck slash fiction. The Homestuck livejournal icons you want are here. The slash fiction exists only in our heads, no matter how fascinating a concept Dave/Davesprite puppetporn is. But if you've written it, let me know and I will add a link.

(Currently hiding in the mountains, practicing my falling-down-hills skills. And my sliding around on ice skills. And my booze drinking skills. But here are some things I've been reading lately that you might be interested in reading too.)

Internets:


Alyssa Rosenberg's blog. Alyssa's a cultural columnist at TheAtlantic.com, writing about things like better feminist role models than Bella Swann and Jersey Shore's place in the "bad things that happen at the beach" canon. And at her own blog she talks about hip-hop, and the Star Wars extended universe novels, and the problem of growing up and still trying to stay a Rent fan. I am kind of obsessed with her blog.

Beyond Victoriana. [personal profile] dmp's weekly essay series about representations of people of color in steampunk is always thought-provoking and has introduced me to some really cool artists and designers who I wouldn't have known about without her.

Microsoft Paint Adventures: Homestuck This genre-bending webcomic/text-based adventure game/experiment in meta-storytelling is just explosively awesome. And it has a hero who fights with knitting needles. (I'm in the middle of making a batch of homestuck LJ icons; that might wind up being my next post.)

Jane Austen Challenge at Attic Salt. Amy is leading us all in a group re-reading of Jane Austen's books. We're only two weeks in, you can totally join in on the fun!

In printed and bound form:


Sense and Sensibility: See above re: Jane Austen Challenge.
Master and Commander: Why did I not know how addictive this book was years ago?
Foiled: Hitler's Jewish Olympian: Every two years or so I try to talk myself into reading this book. It... hasn't happened yet. Honestly, I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen this year either.

Right. To the sleeping.

Goodbye, JD

Friday, 29 January 2010 17:38
epershand: "No exit" (No Exit)
So, there's this moment in Alan Bennet's The Habit of Art where Humphrey Carpenter tells Auden that all of his fans are secretly waiting for him to die, so that they can wrap up his life neatly and tidily--THAT was WH Auden.

Last night I had the thought--Wait, if JD Salinger's dead, does that mean I am finally going to be able to get a copy of Hapworth?.

I really loved Salinger's books. I think part of it was that I aspired to the world his characters hated even while they moved in it with an established ease. Holden hated his world, but he was still snobby about women's waltzing skills. Zoe Glass was obsessed with an obscure book, but she still criticized Sarah Lawrence girls.

Mostly it was the conversational quality of the prose, the way it felt like I was having a conversation with his characters the way I'd never had before. I never really got all that excited about the philosophy Salinger espoused, but I just wanted to read more of those words, the way you want to keep engaging a dynamic person no matter what they're saying.

It's the same thing that kept me on the doorstep of a concerned Christian for an hour once when I was canvassing against Prop 8. We found almost no point of agreement, but I was satisfied to hear him talking, expressing exactly what his concerns were and why he disagreed with me. I almost never agreed with Salinger either, but I always wanted to hear more from him. I spent one January digging through issues of the New Yorker from the fifties in search of his stories. I read his daughter's tell-all biography.

JD Salinger emerged from hiding last year to sue the author of Fifty Years After for writing a derivative work, proving once again that we'll never agree on anything. But it was still good to see him emerge from his retreat in Connecticut.

I've been waiting for Salinger to die for years, because I've known that it's the only way his fans would get access to the contents of his file cabinets full of unpublished short stories. Which makes me worse, I think, than the sort of fan that Carpenter describes, who just want a pat ending for his heros. I've spent the last decade thinking of this man as someone who was actively preventing me from reading everything I wanted to read, and that is a dark, unpleasant way to think about the authors one loves.

This feels so much less satisfying than I thought it would. Good bye, J.D.

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