umadoshi: (Yotsuba&! whoosh! (ohsnap_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Our robot vacuum arrived a few days ago! Yesterday we gave him a trial run on the main level of the house (by far the level where it's easiest to clear the floor area so the wee robot can go about his business), and that went quite well! He's a bumbling black beetle of a thing, and much more endearing than the "beetle" part of that might sound. Claudia and Jinksy were interested but very wary. (No, neither cat used him as a steed.)

A couple of nights before the vacuum arrived, when I was falling asleep, a name popped into my head that I liked enough to immediately send myself an email about it so I wouldn't forget. [personal profile] scruloose agreed that it would likely be an appropriate name, and then we waited until the vacuum arrived so we could see him in person and make sure the name worked (for whatever values of "worked" make sense). It did!

So I've since been taking great glee in relating the vac's new name to people.

Friends, our household welcomes the Count.

Count Vacula.

Because, as advertised, he sucks.

My unexpected period of work at Casual Job wrapped up on Friday (total: eight days of work), so now I'm back to working only from home and trying to get a lot of manga adapted before the spring bout of ~normal-for-us~ Casual Job work starts up in about a week and a half.

Then it'll only be a bit over two weeks before March Break, during which Those Who Speak do not speak...so we'll barely be getting settled into the rhythm of it before it's all on hold for a week. (During which the full-time folks will work regular hours and we seasonal folks won't be there at all.)

Routine? What's that?

(I mean, it's just as well that Those Who Speak aren't talking during March Break, since Ginny and I are both busy with other stuff that week, but still. >.< I much prefer the "spring work starts soon after March Break" model that was typical [although how soon varied a lot] until last year.)
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I don’t normally have a ton of trouble titling my work, but this church story is fucking me up. I’ve been just calling it “The Church” in my head, but that kind of gives the wrong impression (which I’m trying to definitively stay away from because the story could so easily be read as a parable about religion, even though it is not). And it needs a new name. 

I could call it something like “Samuel and the Church” (or whatever name I choose for the protagonist – Sam/Samuel was a placeholder). I could call it after the heading of the first chapter, “The Church That Was Always There” (which is kind of the point, in that it wasn’t) but that’s just the point of that chapter, not the point of the story. I may have to go into history and dig up some famous phrase or other from the dust bowl and play on that, because a vital part of the story is that the dust bowl JUST BARELY misses Lea.

Dust storms are a pivotal part of the story, in that they tend to happen at moments of emotional climax later in the book, so I could just call it “Dust”, but dust storms aren’t the point either, and really only three of them total happen in the book.  

One of the supporting characters in the story writes a book called Fearless Sun, and the town it happens in is called Lea, so I could legitimately call it Fearless Lea, but I’m not that dedicated to the joke.

Ah well. I’ve got to work on Don’t Read The Comments as well, but it feels good to have two mostly-completed novels in my files, which just need rewrites and typesetting. Now if only I can write the missing chapter of one and title the other…..

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Unsorted linkspam

Feb. 17th, 2019 12:00
umadoshi: (lilacs 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
[personal profile] skygiants explains some of what's so great about Russian Doll. My favorite line: "Russian Doll sits somewhere in the middle of a spectrum of shows about surreal snowglobe worlds full of extremely real-feeling people bouncing off each other's pain points until they form enough of a connection to push through the things that have been keeping them stagnant, with The Good Place on one end and Utena on the other."

"Russian Doll Is Natasha Lyonne's Most Personal Work. She’s Been Writing It for a Decade".

"Tom Holland's Dog Is So Fucking Cute, I'm Squealing". [Buzzfeed]

"Denali National Park’s Sled Dog Puppycam Is About to Become Your New Obsession". [2017] [Currently offline while there are no puppies, though.]

"Knowing Why Is Everything: An Interview With Editor Elizabeth Bartmess on Adult-Diagnosed Autistic Perspectives". [Sarah Kurchak at Thinking Person's Guide to Autism]

"12 Tips for Traveling with Depression". [Sarah Kurchak, March 2018]

Via [personal profile] elf, "How to recognize fake AI-generated images".

Via [personal profile] larryhammer, "What will climate feel like in 60 years?" [Interactive map]

"Ernst Haeckel’s Sublime Drawings of Flora and Fauna: The Beautiful Scientific Drawings That Influenced Europe’s Art Nouveau Movement (1889)".

"Trans citation practices — a quick-and-dirty guideline".

"The 10 Oldest Restaurants In Japan".

"35 Words for Hiccups from Around the World". [Mental Floss]

"Nuns in Mexico Are Keeping a Sacred Salamander From Going Extinct". [Mental Floss]


Via [personal profile] sylvaine:

--"Spotify bans ad blockers in updated Terms of Service". [The Verge]

--"‘Dreyer’s English’ Is for Everybody: A style guide even for those of us who no longer assign style guides".

FILM: Matilda

Feb. 17th, 2019 09:33
naraht: (art-Icon)
[personal profile] naraht
This is the story of the soon-to-be Tsar Nicholas II's affair with the Mariinsky ballerina Matilda Kschessinska. Obviously my interest in ballet and my upcoming trip to Saint Petersburg meant that I felt at least mildly obliged to check it out. In addition, it was wildly controversial in Russia due to its portrayal of Nicholas II as very human when he's now a saint.

In all honesty I've only watched a third of it, and I doubt I'll watch the rest. It's supremely cheesy, although you have to admit that the costumes are great.

It was apparently made in collaboration with the Mariinsky, which gave me hope, but let me be supremely picky and complain that they clearly made no effort to ensure that the dancing was historically accurate for 1890. Way too extreme in the extensions. Since they cast non-dancers (there are doubles for the dancing scenes), at least their body types are a little more 1890s-adjacent.

(If you have historically-informed ballet performance needs, the ROH has you covered.)

I have to say it was worth watching purely for this exchange about the business model of a cultural organisation in Tsarist Russia...

Matilda: Why all these photographs of the ballerinas? This isn't a brothel.
Artistic Director(?): No, it's far better. Brothels don't get state subsidy.

Today's Lunch

Feb. 17th, 2019 00:36
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Today's Guest List:
- [personal profile] yeloson!
- Julia!
- Carmen!
- [personal profile] oyceter + Randy!
- [personal profile] ladyjax + Shirley!
- Fran!
- Housemates Becca & Yoshi!

Today's meal:
- coconut milk rice (rice + coconut milk + ginger + bay leaf)
- pork rib soup (spare ribs + bak kut teh herbs Dad got from China + lotus root + napa cabbage)
- inchi kabin (coconut cream + [curry + cumin + coriander + fennel + clove + cinnamon + chili + black pepper] powder marinade, double-fried)
- roast chicken (marinaded with sweet soy paste + light soy sauce + curry powder + rice vinegar) + veggies (napa cabbagge + baby bok choi + carrots)
+ assorted desserts


This is the first time I've cooked for guests in this house (I've cooked for a potluck, but never had a bunch of people over), and in my old place I never used to host more than 6 people at a time. At Clarion I cooked for the whole class plus guests, but today was the first time I've cooked for this many people by myself. Shirley is a professional chef and she approved, everybody ate a lot, so I think I done good, despite all of the leftovers! I had expected two more (Jia Ling couldn't make it because she had a fever). I have no cooking to do for the whole of next week, basically.

UK people: mark your calendars

Feb. 17th, 2019 08:44
rydra_wong: The BBC's error 500 page, showing the test card clown surrounded by flames. (error fire clown)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
23rd March -- People's Vote march

They've not yet finished their accessibility guide but there's going to be a short route option:

https://www.peoples-vote.uk/march_accessibility

And they need volunteers, if anyone wants to be a marshal.

There might even be a plan:

The Guardian: Remainers plan mass march and key vote in last days before Brexit: Cross-party alliance aims to build pressure on MPs in the run-up to 29 March

Anyway, whether this is a turning point or the last stand before the zombie apocalypse dystopia: time to work on our placards.
sovay: (What the hell ass balls?!)
[personal profile] sovay
With so many pre-Code movies, it can be difficult not to feel that they come to us from some alternate history than the one we were transmitted by Code-compliant Hollywood, so much more progressive and politically engaged that the trick is remembering it's our own hidden history, as real and important as the censorship that squashed all that bracing skepticism and representation into ticky-tacky halfway through 1934.

Gabriel Over the White House (1933) also comes from our own hidden history, unfortunately. It would be much more comfortable to blame it on the Mirror Universe.

In short and without exaggeration, Gabriel Over the White House is the single most fascist film I have seen from a Hollywood studio. Co-produced at MGM by Walter Wanger and especially William Randolph Hearst, it refined a near-future British political melodrama into a ripped-from-the-headlines call for an American strongman, as authoritarian as anything out of Europe and anointed in the line of Lincoln. The fantasy begins with the inauguration of President Judson "Jud" Hammond (Walter Huston), a tall stern-profiled man quickly revealed as the kind of fatuous glad-hander who gives lame ducks a bad name. Jovially reassured by one of the senators who gerrymandered his path to the White House that "by the time they"—the American people—"realize you're not going to keep them"—his campaign promises—"your term'll be over," he wastes no time installing his longtime mistress as his "confidential secretary," distributing ambassadorships and cabinet appointments among his cronies, and reeling off optimistic platitudes to the press corps while simultaneously dismissing nationwide unemployment and organized crime as "local problems." He signs whatever bills his party passes across his desk and looks set to embarrass America on the world stage with such piercing questions as "Say, where is Siam?" The respect he holds for his office can be gauged by the jokey glee with which he uses the very quill with which Lincoln penned the Emancipation Proclamation to sign off on a job of infrastructure graft in Puerto Rico. And then this booby-in-chief gets into a joy-riding road accident and is left in a coma, sinking fast while the White House frantically stalls; the doctors somberly declare the end "merely a matter of hours . . . he's beyond any human help," but as they leave the room a mysterious breeze troubles the curtain, a light from nowhere brightens on the vacant form, and President Hammond rises from his deathbed a messianic visionary, no longer as corrupt as Warren G. Harding, as ineffectual as Herbert Hoover, or as incapacitated as Woodrow Wilson but "a gaunt grey ghost with burning eyes that seem to see right down into you" who swings into nation-saving action as decisively as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Or Hitler. About two-thirds Hitler and one-third FDR if you ask me. I'm all for financial relief and reform, but nativist star chambers give me cold feet.

To a certain degree, the ideological disorder of Gabriel Over the White House offers a litmus test for the viewer's own politics: which of Hammond's extraordinary actions seem humane and justified and which start you wondering if William Dudley Pelley had a hand in the script? Allowing for a certain steely-eyed rigidity of affect, the newly inspired president's initial clash with his administration is downright sympathetic. In the summer of 1932, Hoover had disastrously mobilized the U.S. Army against the "Bonus Army," a thousands-strong shanty town of disenfranchised veterans and their families peacefully protesting in Anacostia Park. Encouraged by his cabinet of hacks to dispense similar treatment to an "Army of the Unemployed," Hammond instead declares his newfound allegiance to country over party, "Gentlemen, I refuse to call out the Army against the people of the United States," before visiting the protesters' camp in Baltimore to offer each man his personal assurance of "necessary work waiting to be done" with an "Army of Construction" that sounds remarkably like the Works Projects Administration. When Congress balks at supplying the $4 billion budget, the unstoppable Hammond proposes to dissolve Congress with a declaration of national emergency; when Congress resists being dissolved, he invokes martial law. A stunned edition of the Washington Herald reveals the fate of the legislative branch: "Adjourns by Overwhelming Vote – – – Hammond Dictator!" Now, with all that pusillanimous bureaucratic deadweight out of the way, the great man can really get things done. It is no small factor in the film's mirror-queasiness that several of them are things which an American president, scant weeks after production wrapped on Gabriel, would actually do. Though Hammond's radio presence is a little more stentorian than a fireside chat, the emergency initiatives he announces to the "overwhelming support" of the American public fall right in line with the radical common sense of the New Deal, prioritizing the stabilizing of banks and the protection of homes and farms from foreclosure; he just includes the repeal of Prohibition within his first hundred days where FDR would leave it till the end of the year. It's his next few directives that take his dictatorship from turbo-charged president-elect to something more consistent with other totalitarian regimes rising around the world in the spring of 1933. The film expects us to cheer it all alike.

Whether through careful study or parallel evolution, the fascist rhetoric of this film is spot-on. It's got the bits of truth that make the lies go down like velvet, the condemnation of broken-down society and the powerful nostalgic appeal to some lost integrity reclaimable in the right hands. "A plant cannot be made to grow by watering the top alone and letting the roots go dry," Hammond warns Congress in a timely condemnation of trickle-down economics before turning the metaphor on his audience. "The people of this country are the roots of the nation and the sturdy trunk and the branches too . . . You've closed your ears to the appeals of the people. You've been traitors to the concepts of democracy on which this government was founded. I believe in democracy as Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln believed in democracy, and if what I plan to do in the name of the people makes me a dictator, then it is a dictatorship based on Jefferson's definition of democracy—a government for the greatest good of the greatest number!" That's American authoritarianism as good as anything I've heard in the last few years. By his appeals to the unassailable patriotism of the Founding Fathers, his populist reverence and his denunciation of the nation's lawmakers as traitorous parasites, we are encouraged to view Hammond's seizure of power as an exercise in real democracy, a return to the honest, direct truth of America over the self-serving shell game of big government that merely bamboozles American citizens out of their rights. It's familiar, inflammatory, and seductive. What audience exhausted by the ever-deepening Depression and fed up with the incompetent indifference of the Hoover administration wouldn't agree? The plot feels like the same kind of persuasive buy-in. Hammond handled the Bonus Army better than Hoover, so we trust him; he's handling the Depression just as well as FDR, so we trust him again; and therefore when he decides to junk the judiciary along with the legislature and turn over the powers of judge, jury, and executioner to his paramilitary secret police, shouldn't we trust him still? He's only doing what's best for America. Who gets to be part of America, of course, is especially important in times like these—all fascist ideologies must have a scapegoat and foreigners are the best you can get. Hammond finds his in the racketeers flourishing under Prohibition. Forget all-American Cagney; built up by Hammond's speeches as "the greatest enemy of law and order America has ever known . . . a malignant cancerous growth eating at the spiritual health of the American people . . . arch-enemies of these United States . . . the enemies of every honest citizen, the enemies of our nation," the gangsters of Gabriel Over the White House are an explicitly foreign body headed and personified by C. Henry Gordon's Nick Diamond, a sallow-eyed, smarmily dapper, still-accented "immigrant boy who became the most famous man in America," as if organized crime is never homegrown, as if there's no other kind of crime in America. Advised by the President to deport himself and leave the liquor trade to the U.S. government, Diamond retaliates with a drive-by shooting of the White House and Hammond immediately calls out the newly created "Federal Police." At this point I confess the film starts to assume a slightly farcical quality for me, except it's so humorlessly earnest it's scary. The criminals have Tommy guns; the Federal Police have tank-mounted rocket launchers. Diamond and his organization never see the inside of a courtroom which they know how to buy their way out of; they are dragged off to a dramatically lit bunker and court-martialed by a military tribunal presided over by the young chief of the Federal Police. "We have in the White House a man who has enabled us to cut the red tape of legal procedures and get back to first principles—an eye for an eye, Nick Diamond," he pronounces with satisfaction, "a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life." The gangsters are summarily executed by firing squad as the shadow of the Statue of Liberty looks on. By the time the President is threatening to unleash an air war of "invisible poison gases, inconceivably devastating explosives, annihilating death rays" on the other nations of the world unless they pay America's debts and sign the "Washington Covenant" of universal disarmament and peace, I can see the biplanes and the tall silk hats perfectly well, but I still have the anachronistic feeling I'm watching some kind of balls-out Reaganite fantasia of American totalitarianism, under God. Or, you know, Fox News.

You were wondering about the title? It's the insight of Pendie Molloy (Karen Morley), the President's former mistress, now chaste helpmeet; seeing him wake so suddenly full of vital and resolute purpose and yet strangely remote from sentiment or desire, she becomes convinced that he's inhabited by some presence beyond his own will, "a simple, honest . . . divine madness." Eventually she puts a name to it. "I'm not a very religious person, Beek, but does it seem too fanciful to believe that God might have sent the Angel Gabriel to do for Jud Hammond what he did for Daniel?" Her interlocutor is Hartley Beekman (Franchot Tone), the amiable, slightly crooked presidential secretary who in keeping with the salvation tone of this whole project will reform into Hammond's incorruptible right-hand enforcer, not to mention Pendie's lawfully wedded husband; at the moment he's just a staffer not up on his Bible. "Gabriel? I thought he was a messenger of wrath." Poetically grave as a magdalene, Pendie corrects him, "Not always. To some, he was the angel of revelations, sent as a messenger from God to men." Now we know the identity of the breeze, the light. Now I try not to fall down a hole of eschatology, because the allusion automatically figures America as the new Jerusalem, decreed seventy weeks to mend her transgressions and bring in everlasting righteousness. In concert with the politics described above, it means that this film asserts that God has sent America a fascist savior against whose smashing of democratic idols only the foolish and the wicked would stand—I'm astonished it has not been reclaimed and celebrated by the Evangelical right, unless the left-wing whiff of FDR is scaring them off. In fairness to the filmmakers, I feel this assertion may have dovetailed accidentally from the source mythologies of Christianity and American exceptionalism, but at this particular world-historical moment it still jumps out at me a mile. There's a lot in this story that suggests its authors, whether credited screenwriter Carey Wilson or Hearst himself, did not think maybe as much as they should have about their premises. As soon as Hammond finishes signing the Washington Covenant with Chekhov's Lincoln quill, he collapses insensible—he's dying again, the spirit of Gabriel departing now that its work is done. He regains consciousness just long enough to be assured by Pendie that he's "proved himself one of the greatest men who ever lived" before he expires as peacefully as he should have all those car-crashed weeks ago, the light fading from his face as the divine afflatus ruffles the curtain one last time. I don't know how you feel about the reveal that instead of a wastrel soul redeemed and energized by divine inspiration, we have been watching a comatose body with an angel of wrath and revelation inside it, but I normally look to horror fiction for that sort of thing. I have similar reservations about the way the camera returns meaningfully to a marble bust of Lincoln and the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" rises over the soundtrack at spiritual moments; I fear they are intended not just to confer the legitimacy of our sixteenth president on his fictional thirty-second successor but to imply that Lincoln himself was a vessel of divine possession. That just seems like an insult to Lincoln. Lastly, while I understand that the U.S. was a lot more naïve about authoritarian regimes in 1933, I am amazed at the film's apparent confidence that the institutions of American government will just pick up where Hammond-Gabriel left them—I think it must have envisioned its dictatorship on the idealized Roman model of extraordinary powers of limited scope and duration, whereas I want to know if Beek will inherit the one-man rule of America and if we're going to have proscriptions by Christmas.

If, out of civic-mindedness or curiosity, you are thinking of throwing yourself on the grenade of this movie, I should warn you that in addition to being probably evil, it's kind of bad. I've been fascinated by it ever since I caught it last spring on TCM, but that's an intellectual reaction with inclusions of emotional revulsion: I don't actually recommend it as art. It suffers from the common propaganda problem of resembling a set text more than an entertainment; its characters are strawmen and its tone suggests a black comedy whose sense of irony has been laparoscopically removed. Walter Huston actually gives a committed and flexible performance as both the good-time party hack and the sacred monster who replaces him, but Franchot Tone and Karen Morley could be replaced with lobby cards of themselves at no cost to the production and I have to look at IMDb to remember that there are any other human actors in it at all. Nonetheless, it exists and we might as well acknowledge it. It's an incredible document and a shivery reminder of just how plausible and attractive fascism could look to a disillusioned, frightened America. Well, we figured it out again. Have a nice Presidents' Day! This regime brought to you by my inspirational backers at Patreon.

Daily Happiness

Feb. 16th, 2019 23:20
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
[personal profile] torachan
1. After my busy day yesterday, today was so relaxing. I did a few things around the house and did some translating but mostly just read. I finished a book I'd been only a quarter of the way through yesterday!

2. For a lot of that reading time I had a warm sleepy Jasper on my lap. (Which definitely contributed to my focus on reading since I couldn't do much else!)

3. I'm terrible at keeping up with new music, even by artists I like, but I just found out that Mika had a new album out a couple years ago and I listened to it today and it's really good!

4. I will be so sad when the cold weather ends and there are less adorable kitty cuddles like this.

cofax7: Aang at the North Pole (ATLA - Aang pretty)
[personal profile] cofax7
So, that was a thing, yeah?

Read more... )

Also, 9 episodes is not enough. ::pouts::

No Mercy | Multifandom

Feb. 16th, 2019 19:16
aurumcalendula: gold, blue, orange, and purple shapes on a black background (Default)
[personal profile] aurumcalendula
Title: No Mercy
Fandom: Multifandom
Music: No Mercy by Heather Peace
Summary: 'You've got me thinking reckless things/ Of how to stay in your game/ And I want to stay in your game'
Notes: Premiered at TGIFemslash 2019.
Warnings: physical triggers, a couple of dubcon kisses, a lot of characters pointing guns at each other and themselves (none of the ladies get shot or killed)

streaming )

AO3 | tumblr | twitter | youtube

Additional Notes )

Optimising for browse not search

Feb. 16th, 2019 22:51
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
So my city library shelves fiction books in either Fiction, Classic Fiction, or Science Fiction and Fantasy. And there is no way to tell from the catalogue which of these sections a book has been put into.

Bear in mind that I've seen Anathem and Seveneaves by Neil Stephenson, The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers in the Fiction section. The definition of Classic Fiction appears to be 'published by Penguin Vintage,' which isn't exactly easy to guess either.

I started to say to the woman on the desk, "I'm certain this isn't the first time someone has told you that..."

She wearily and uninterestedly replied, "there are comment cards."
torachan: a cartoon owl with the text "everyone is fond of owls" (everyone is fond of owls)
[personal profile] torachan
I thought I was going to have to pay $30 for parking, but because I got there lateish (I planned to miss most/all of the opening acts) the lot was full and they were directing people to park on the street and not charging!

In addition, my seat turned out to be in almost a straight line from where I parked, as opposed to last time where it was on the complete opposite side and I had to walk around the whole of the Forum to get there. It was a really good seat, too. High up, of course, because I never want to shell out for really good seats, but I was on the aisle and had a great view, so I was happy with it.

The opening acts were both nothing I'd ever heard of: Two Feet and Conan Gray. Show started at seven so I figured the absolute earliest Panic might actually go on was 8:30 and aimed to get there between eight and 8:30, which I did, and caught the last few songs of the second opening act, Two Feet. They were okay, but I don't feel like I missed out on anything. I looked up Conan Gray right now and it seems he's a youtuber who is popular with the youths. I listened to one song and it was kinda catchy but I'm not kicking myself for missing him.

Panic came on around nine and played for an hour and forty-five minutes. I was amused by the fact that when there was this countdown clock to when Panic would start and the speakers were playing music that was clearly chosen by Panic, not just random filling the time during shows kind of music, and one of the songs was Africa and all these kids in the audience were going wild for it.

Once the countdown clock reached zero, the show started off with Brendon popping up from a hatch inside the stage, which was pretty cool. There were two hatches that were used quite a lot throughout. Once it was used to take him out so he could walk through the crowd (singing Death of a Bachelor, which I believe he did when I saw them in 2017, too) and then he ended up at the opposite end of the stadium where a piano on a platform awaited.

He played I Can't Make You Love Me (Bonnie Rait cover) and Dying in LA on it as it rose up in the air about thirty feet and then floated across the entire stadium back to the stage. It was a very small platform barely bigger than the piano and had no rails around it or anything, which was giving me the creeps just watching! XD At one point he got up from the piano and was bending down to sing at the people below him and just aaaaaaah! Very cool, but not for those with a fear of heights. XD

As this was a tour for their new album, that's obviously what the focus was on, but I was surprised that Death of a Bachelor got almost as many songs (7) as Pray for the Wicked (9). I really loved Death of a Bachelor and was happy to hear those songs, but I wish they'd done a few more from Vices and Virtues. They only did two and I love that album so much! :(

setlist )

I hadn't really listened to Pray for the Wicked that much before the concert since on first listen I was kind of disappointed with it/didn't like it as much as the last three albums, but after hearing the songs live it made me like it a little better and I think after a few more listens it will catch on more with me.

weekly wrap up

Feb. 16th, 2019 12:11
runpunkrun: image of a folded newspaper, text: good news everyone! (good news everyone!)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Dreamwidth:

The Signal Boost bookmarklet that [personal profile] astolat created has been refined yet further by [personal profile] lj_writes to add support for user name tags for many of the sites recognized by the DW user tag (FAQ). This means you can use the bookmarklet on sites like Tumblr, AO3, and Wordpress, and the user name field will be functional.

Stargate Atlantis:

Romancing SGA and Romancing McShep are now open for posting, and [personal profile] esteefee and [personal profile] em_kellesvig made two sets of icons with each fest in mind: SGA icons & McShep icons.

Recs:

Over on [community profile] fancake, I recced Costis Ormentiedes and the Thief of Eddis, by kormantic for the Magic AU theme. It features characters from The Queen's Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner, set down in Hogwarts.

And for my three AO3 bookmark recs we have Murderbot, Spirited Away, and Sports Night.

Through the wardrobe

Feb. 16th, 2019 10:38
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Sherwood and I at my parents' place in Mariposa (near Yosemite) for an impromptu writing retreat prompted by Dad sending me snow photos. Snow has been incredibly rare in my life, so I grabbed Sherwood and rushed up in the hope that we'd get more. And sure enough, it snowed again! Snow is falling outside my window even as I write!

Sherwood is staying at the main house with my folks. I'm at the cabin with my cats, which is a 5-minute walk down a hill and heated by a woodturning stove. So to get to the main house, I must hike uphill and in the snow! (You can't drive up the driveway when it's snowy, as it's icy and treacherous.)

It looks like Narnia outside all windows, and is wonderfully silent when I'm in the cabin or can convince Dad to turn off the TV.

I have been busy making winter treats, such as hot cider and apple turnovers, and non-winter-specific ones, such as frozen Thin Mints dipped in whipped cream and lavender-blueberry cocktails. (Lemonade infused with blueberries, lavender vodka.) We are just eating what we have in the house, as we can't drive anywhere due to ice, but as you can see this is not exactly a hardship.





Before it snowed, the koi pond overflowed and went over the dock and the lawn chairs. Then, snow. Those are floating snow-covered lounge chairs!

The views outside the cabin window:







Alex materializes on my shoulder via dimensional portal:



Alex was very excited by the snow, which he's seeing for the first time. He darted through my legs when I opened the door to fetch wood and began leaping and prancing about in the snow, leaving a trail of little kitty paw prints. I retrieved him with some difficulty. Guess me and my cat are two of a kind.

Also I got four wonderful stories for Chocolate Box! I will do a rec post later today, hopefully. Meanwhile, go enjoy the archive.

Are you conversant?

Feb. 16th, 2019 09:01
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)
[personal profile] stultiloquentia
Lots of posts on my feeds this week about personal libraries and people's relationships with them. Books as treasured physical objects. Books as sources of pressure—to have read enough, and the right ones, and the ones everybody else is reading so you can join the right conversations. Books as comfort, clutter, decor, identity.

I got nuffin profound to say about any of it. But [personal profile] minoanmiss prompted me to ruminate, so I will admit that I like owning books; I wish I had room for more of them, and a bigger budget for beautiful hardcovers. I have an active relationship with my small, apartment-dweller's collection that ebooks can't replicate: they're off my shelves all the time, rummaged through, marked up, declaimed from on random weeknights while my housemate is trying to make mac and cheese. ("I CANNOT PRAISE A FUGITIVE AND CLOISTERED VIRTUE...YOU'RE GOING TO ADD EXTRA CHEDDAR TO THAT, RIGHT?") My couch nest is usually surrounded by little inuksuk-like piles, half the public library's, half mine.

I have Kate Beaton's "Dude Watching" comic printed out and stuffed in the dust jacket of my copy of Jane Eyre. Maya's "Coda to an Epilogue" is tucked next to Harry Potter. Next to that is a drawing by the 12-year-old reluctant reader who actually got excited to write a five-paragraph persuasive essay when I told her it could be about Snape, because whatever those books' literary merit, their pedagogical impact was life-changing. An Economist article on Christopher Fry is folded up inside The Lady's Not for Burning, which also has all the shorthand lighting cues from the production I directed in college. Green Grass, Running Water is bristling with bookmarks. The Lord of the Rings I inherited is full of my mother's etymology notes penciled in the margins. Long Hidden houses torn-out notebook pages from a Readercon panel full of frantically scribbled quotes with hearts around them. When I say it's a personal library, I do mean personal. In use, in the same way the mixing bowls in my kitchen cabinet are in use.

For sure, reading goes in cycles. Right now I'm doing a lot of reading, daydreaming, and editing for friends. By summer I'll most likely have swung around to writing again, and the reading will taper off. But maybe in fall [personal profile] disgruntled_owl will again get wistful about the Pizza Hut-sponsored reading challenge many of us in North America participated in as kids, and lure her friends into logging our page counts and filling in bingo squares and jockeying for pizza and homemade cocoa mixes. (I have the awesomest friends.) Grad school broke me (mostly) of the fear of reading inadequately, and fandom broke me of the impulse to rank my pastimes in order of least to most admirable, but the sheer nostalgic silly fun of reading books for prizes, and books outside one's usual sights, and then pithily reviewing them on the shared spreadsheet, was shockingly motivating. We had such good conversations at our wrap-up party.

I guess this post (which is about to trail off unpithily, so I can go make my breakfast) is a meditation about not reading in a vacuum, or at any rate a Romantic solitude like a girl in a novel who is not like other girls, which also explains why I latched onto fandom so hard twenty-whatever years ago. I haven't read Kondo, so I don't know her questions except for the one about joy, which seems sound. But I think if I were to cull my books, I would start by holding each in my hand and asking, "Am I still having a conversation with you?" And if I weren't, I would drop it off at a shop where it could go and speak to somebody else.

Next stop Saint Petersburg

Feb. 16th, 2019 12:00
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
So thank you to the enablers among you – I've decided to go to Saint Petersburg in March!

The ostensible reason is to see the Mishin-Moskvina 50th anniversary ice show but in fact this is just a great excuse to go back to Saint Petersburg. And I've persuaded my mother, who is a major Russophile (in a War and Peace and Doctor Zhivago sense) to join me.

We're staying in a boutique hotel just behind Kazan Cathedral with amazingly reasonable prices (£50/night for a 'comfort double' in such a central location?). In addition to the ice show we've got tickets to see 'Romeo and Juliet' at the Mariinsky and 'Swan Lake' at the Mikhailovsky. We're getting excited about the Hermitage (which neither of us have visited before) and the Russian Museum (which my mother hasn't). Naturally we're planning to see lots and lots of churches. And if the weather's suitable I'd love to do some outdoor skating.

Of course it's going to be cold, but not that cold. We're used to doing Quebec City in December, how bad can Saint Petersburg be? The good thing about visiting in March is that there will be very few tourists, and in particular (I imagine) very few cruise ship tourists.

Now I just have to decide whether to buy snow boots, try to persuade my mother to bring mine from New England, or just go in trainers and buy a pair there if conditions seem to indicate it. Otherwise I'm well-outfitted.

Daily Happiness

Feb. 16th, 2019 00:59
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Ran some errands today over by See's, so of course I stopped in and got some candy. And I have a gift card from my mom from Christmas, so I didn't even have to pay anything for it!

2. I played the demo for Yoshi's Crafted World and it's so much fun! It looks a lot like Paper Mario, which I love, and the gameplay is great (though I'm not a fan of the button layout, so once I buy the game I might see if you can reassign the buttons). I wish the demo was more than just one level, but at least it's just a month till the full game is out.

3. I bought the remake of Final Fantasy IX for the Switch, since it's only $20. I didn't start playing it yet, but getting the Switch out did motivate me to get back to Octopath Traveler (I have no idea what I was doing, but I did poke about a bit and I think I can get back on track without too much trouble) and I plan to play FFIX as soon as I finish that.

4. The Panic at the Disco concert was great! I'll have a more detailed post tomorrow.

5. Sooooo excited about having multiple days off in a row! Especially since the concert was kind of exhausting tonight and now I'm up late and it will just be nice to stay in tomorrow and not go anywhere.

6. And now for a game of kitty or giraffe! You be the judge!

Friday gratitude

Feb. 15th, 2019 21:26
cofax7: Indiana Jones in sepia (IJ - Indy Sepia)
[personal profile] cofax7
1. Free Solo, which is an awesome documentary about someone who should know better, and the people around him, who are simultaneously supportive and terrified. And his girlfriend is ridiculously pretty. So good: I hope it wins the Oscar.

2. Season 2 of The Dragon Prince dropped last night, and I'm already 4 episodes in.

3. Co-workers sent me a Harry & David box of fruit and nuts this week, which was awesome.

4. I'm going to Ireland in June! Pray for good weather.

5. I have a pot of Mark Bittman's vegetable cassoulet on the stove.
lizbee: (Default)
[personal profile] lizbee
Here is a list of things I was mentally shouting at the screen during A Particular Scene of this episode...

Is this what TNG would have been like if Admiral Necheyev had been written like an actual person? )

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