US politics

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:33 am
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
Hope not Hate is coming to the US, to counter the rise of international hate groups. American friends, you can sign up here.

Long day!

Sep. 17th, 2017 02:46 am
azurelunatic: Polyamory infinite hearts, in a polymer-like grid (polymer)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Breakfast with partner and metamour Leopard Girl.

Seanan McGuire event in Silverdale. We brought tribute, and were briefly Seanan's favorite. (Diet Dr Pepper and candy corn. Seanan is a being of predictable tastes.)

Mini muffin tin quest!

Partner made a note they should chat with our mutual friend in London about stuff. Hooray, viable communities.

Dinner for the extended polycule, with many dishes thanks to Trader Joe's. (Rice, orange chicken with extra zesty sauce but no carrots since we ran out, BBQ pork buns, pot stickers, spring rolls, and green beans. The rice and green beans weren't pre-packaged, and I do a little customization to the chicken by adding orange peel and scallions. The gyoza and bao steam over the rice, and the spring rolls could bake with the chicken. The green beans start frozen and get gently fried with seasonings. Usually it's butter and Montreal steak seasoning, but Stray Puppy Girl is very lactose intolerant, and Leopard Girl dislikes red pepper. So I went for sesame oil, garlic, onion, pepper, salt, ginger, a packet of soy sauce that needed using, and the excess teriyaki sauce from the other night. It turned out well. To my immense gratification, my partner really likes all the iterations of the green beans that I have made so far. Generally they disappear immediately.)

Club night. Without going into excessive detail, one of the groups near the people I was with were having a hilarious time, and kept setting each other off giggling. That prompted our group to giggle. The glee was infectious.

Everyone is spending the night. We hauled the camping pads out of the alleged guest room (it is currently not in a state for guests as my textiles have exploded all over it) and they're set up next to the futon in case it turns from cozy to crowded in the middle of the night. Things are well set up for breakfast, and there should be cheesecake at some point (thus the mini muffin tins).

i'm swamped

Sep. 15th, 2017 12:21 pm
sporky_rat: Princess Bride - text truncated. Text: I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan....I'm swamped. (swamped)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

I'm teaching a Heraldry 101 class tomorrow at Kingdom A&S and I have exactly one thing typed for a hand out - my list of sources. Everything else is going to be a quick run down, showing off SENA and the Admin Handbook, and then questions! I like answering questions. I will make sure my phone is ready to go and maybe even my notebook computer since it's sometimes easier to see something on that screen that a phone screen.

I am a terrible lecturer. AND Adalyde put me up against Morin's Poison Garden class. HOW COULD SHE. I've offered a prize to whoever shows up to my class with Morin's handout.

I loaned out Seasons 2 and 3 of Game of Thrones to Jenna. She devoured Season 1, so I need to eventually pick up the physical copies of Seasons 4-7.

Dystopia Rising has been awesome lately, I've decided to create a Rover Sawbones (basically a combat medic) and I'm pretty sure I will not use a weapon the first couple of games. Mostly because I need the build for other stuff. Like Rescue and Scrounge and other stuff like that.

I forgot that there was a youngish James Woods in John Carpenter's Vampires. I like this movie a lot, no joke. Then again, I like James Woods. But the effects are really neat. Daniel Baldwin makes me groan a lot, though. I'm not a huge fan of him.

I have an awful lot of stuff to get ready for the month of October. It is full of stuff to do - first weekend in October is actually empty, then there's Coronation, Four Horsemen, Diamond Wars and GAHSS, DR:AR (debuting my Rover on my birthday weekend) and then my cousin Caitlin's wedding. Wow. Busy.

Fucking ableist bullshit

Sep. 13th, 2017 09:51 pm
ysobel: A man wielding a kitchen knife and making an adorable yelling face (rage)
[personal profile] ysobel
I have for whatever reason been on a horror movie kick lately. Because sometimes it's fun watching people be horribly surprised when a ghost summoning in a haunted mansion goes horribly wrong or whatever. Especially when they do stupid stuff along the way.

One movie had a somewhat satisfying ending (bad guy gets trapped in a room rull of angry ghosts of people that were killed as a result of his douchenaggery!) in a way that was completely antithetical to the setup (spooky ghosts that were scaring the protagonist and family, are ... suddenly friendly to her wtf).

But the one I just finished watching makes me want to *kick things*. And I don't know what's worse, the fact that it was written this way or the fact that I saw it coming.

CW: anti-autism wtfery. Also spoilers for unnamed movie.

Read more... )

That beauty and the beast project I'm playing with? I keep being tempted to make the Beast autistic, and the enchantress or fairy or whoever cursed him into beast form just totally misread him (or he said something true but impolite and pissed her off) and is an asshole for what she did, or something.

I worry about doing it wrong, because -- as much as I suspect I have some aspergers-y traits, I am totally not autistic, and risk falling into cliches -- but at least I wouldn't be *points upward* THAT fucking wrong

music: 10 of the best

Sep. 13th, 2017 09:14 pm
forthwritten: white cassette tape lying on tangled magnetic tape (tape)
[personal profile] forthwritten
I've been really enjoying 10 of the best recently. With some bands, the appeal is in being reunited with songs dear as friends - revisiting them can be an experience in itself. With other bands that I know less well, it's learning of new-to-me songs, or seeing the music I know contextualised in a different way. With other bands, especially ones that I have listened to but lost track of, it's becoming aware of more recent work (especially when that work isn't easily accessed c.f. Burial's various EPs and collaborations). These are some of the lists I've particularly enjoyed or want to listen to later.

Genre
Northern Soul
Riot grrrl
Bollywood samples

Bands
Belle and Sebastian
Björk
Brian Eno
Burial
Cocteau Twins
David Bowie
Girls Aloud
Grace Jones
Joy Division
Leonard Cohen
Manic Street Preachers
Missy Elliott
Mogwai
Nick Cave
Pixies
PJ Harvey
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Slayer
Slipknot
St Vincent
Suede
Tori Amos

Not-exactly-fmk: Gor and Yuletide

Sep. 12th, 2017 07:05 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So in FMK reading adventures, I finally finished the first Gor book, that was voted K early on but I decided I wanted to read before dumping just so I could say I had.

I should have trusted y'all: it was mostly just incredibly pointlessly bland, occasionally rising to actively annoying. It wasn't even really bad enough to be interestingly bad. There was a lot more flying around on giant soulbonded warbirds than I expected, tbh (somehow I had though that Tarnsman meant "man of the mountain lake country" but I think that was giving him too much credit for having a vocabulary,) but the warbirds are so badly wordbuilt and lacking in individual personality and the flying scenes so lacking in joy that the only time I actually cared about them was when the abused half-starved ones were about to eat the MC and I roused enough to cheer them on. The plot is built on bad characterization and improbable coincidences; the language aspires to basic competence; you can very easy disassemble it into its component stereotypes; and all sense-of-wonder or hints that the MC is not a sociopath are missing. Also amused that the author refuses to comment on whether it's John Carter of Mars fanfic (it's really badly done John Carter of Mars fanfic, omg.) I understand the series gets far more batshit later, but I don't think I need to read far enough to find out.

Also, thank you all for your help with picking a yuletide nomination! I shall be ignoring the clear preference of the poll, and nominating Mr. Trash Wheel RPF. He didn't win, but he did win the vote of everybody I know who has taken a selfie with him, and their votes count 10x, sorry.

(this is Mr. Trash Wheel: )

I will also be nominating Professor Trash Wheel and a five foot long West African Ball Python as characters, of course. I am stuck on who should be my fourth nom, though. A modular robotic eel that hunts for water pollution? Lynyrd Skymmer? Some other celebrity of the waters that I don't yet know about?


Clearly there's a market for Always Coming Home, though. Someone else should nominate it. (If I requested it, it'd just be as "tell me a story of the Valley", so I don't care about characters.)


Meanwhile, I re-read The Girl With The Silver Eyes to prepare to nominate. That one does hold up very well! Things I had forgotten about this book: the muumuu wearing old fat lady who lives alone with her cats and her books and gives no fucks and is #rolemodel. The fact that Katie can TALK TO CATS. The constant references to other YA fantasy/sf novels by the same imprint that she is reading. How much this book distrusts all adult men. How much this book also distrusts all non-readers. How yes they have psi powers and are super-smart, but they're also explicitly non-neurotypical in a way that read a lot more Autism Spectrum than any of the books about supposedly autistic kids that I was reading at the time, and that's more of an issue for them than the psi powers.

The book really needs an active fandom if only so we can have epic fanwars about whether they spoilers )

Anyway I am stuck for character noms there too, because I want all the kid characters but I also want Mr. C, Mrs. M, Miss K and Jackson Jones.

FMK #23: Long Book Is Long

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:51 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's F winner, after a very close race, was a tie between Beguilement and Daughter of Witches! I picked Beguilement because I know I'm keeping the rest of Lyra regardless, so Beguilement is more likely to lead to me dumping several books at once. K winner was The Death of Sleep, so goodbye Lunzie!

The comics bonus round winner was Asterix le Galois. Of course the bonus round I threw in because "comics are fast and easy!" gets won by one where I'm going to have to review a whole other language first... There was no K majority for the comics round, although I'm curious about the fact that Maison Ikkoku nearly got it, because I had not idea there was active dislike for Maison Ikkoku out there.

I am going to spend two days of next week trapped in a car with a couple of cats and almost no luggage space, so it's time to finally roll out the LONG BOOKS ARE LONG poll. That way I can only pack one and be reading it all week. :P

I don't know if I'll have internet next Tuesday but likely not (we are helping sister move) so there may be another break in fmk next week.

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Adams, Asaro, Clarke, Coville, Delany, Hobb, Hunt, Jemisin, Lynch, Melville, Michalson, Pynchon, Stephenson, Williams, Williamson )

First rehearsal, whee

Sep. 11th, 2017 11:11 pm
ysobel: A kitten on a piano keyboard (music)
[personal profile] ysobel
So I don't know if you remember my choir dilemna from a bit ago (teal deer version: a combination of "do I have energy for choir at all" and "this other group is doing some pretty awesome stuff and my usual group is kind of blah") but I ended up going with the other group, which is doing fun stuff -- Mozart Requiem in November (in collaboration with an unaffiliated orchestra), a December concert that's some sort of collaboration with handbells, a spring concert that includes the Rutter requiem and Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna.

It's going to take some adjusting to get used to the evening rehearsals; luckily it's once a week, but it's 7-9:30, which means I'm up well past my bedtime, as opposed to the 4-6 rehearsals I'm used to), but I like the feel of the group way better. It was fun to sing again, even if we *did* take the kyrie at like quarter speed and did some of the movements on "da" instead of words. (I am very aware of the fact that I have done the Requiem multiple times, so have plenty of familiarity, and even if it were the first time I'm a damn good sightreader, but that not everyone is me, and not everyone has seen it before, and so I can be patient ... at least for a bit, lol)

I feel vaguely guilty not doing my usual chorus -- I suspect it's going to be low numbers, and it's quite possibly the conductor's last year, though he's been "close to retirement" for at least three or four years. But I don't have energy to do both, and the choir I'm not doing this year hasn't really been feeling fun lately, just more of an obligation. And I wasn't getting paid enough for that. The Chorale director is better about realizing that we're there to have fun -- by singing, yes, but the other director would sometimes get upset at the choir for not being professional level, and that kind of isn't fun to endure. (Not that the upset wasn't justified -- there were times that we'd be going over really basic stuff in the week before performance -- but it was a bit demoralizing.)

Anyway. Yay for being back singing -- and fucking yay for it being fun again.

(no subject)

Sep. 11th, 2017 10:54 pm
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
Note to self:

Trying an app does not commit you to continuing with that app.

Really. Even if the app gives bonuses for daily activity.

The world will not end if you stop doing the crossword apps (you know, the ones that you find at best mildly annoying and at worst frustrating). Nor do you have less moral value for "giving up". And while crosswords are supposedly good for your brain, so are other things; it's less that crosswords are magic bullets, and more that using your brain is good. So is sleeping, and reading, and other things you could be doing with the extra time.

If you don't find a game actually *fun*, it's okay to stop doing it. I promise.

With love,
Me

#

(Note to future self: if crossword apps turn out to be super duper important after all, I apologize for stopping. -you know who)
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
Unrelatedly, the worst part of Ravelry being down is I can't commiserate with my rav peeps about the "horror" of rav being down. Kind of like when your internet goes out so you try to send an email saying you have no internet...

Anyway. I haven't done more writing up the apps I like best, but one of my newer ones did a "we will give you 50 gems for leaving a review in the App Store", and I figured the information may as well go here too. I've added a bit of detail so it more matches the previous rec post, but it's only one app this time. (Not necessarily my favorite though... but high on the list. I may eventually get to reviewing the more meh apps/games, but I'm doing the ones I like first.)

Diggy's Adventure

Indiana Jones meets The Mummy meets "smash all the pots" video game rpg logic, with a charming retro feel and a sense of humor.

Read more... )

yuletide etc.

Sep. 9th, 2017 01:48 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So, Yuletide noms are open!

I am definitely nominating:

The Saga of Burnt Njal (with characters from Njal's generation - all the existing fics are post-canon about Kari)
The Girl With The Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts (because we all had a discussion on one of [personal profile] rachelmanija's FMK posts about how we all wanted MORE after we read that.)

I can't decide on number three, and I'm pretty sure the other stuff I definitely want to request will have other noms. So:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 22


My third yuletide nomination should be:

View Answers

Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin
15 (68.2%)

The Hidden Almanac (the podcast)
6 (27.3%)

King's Blood (Steve Jackson games)
1 (4.5%)

Mr. Trash Wheel RPF
4 (18.2%)




I am also trying to at least finish the first chapter of the Discworld Sedoretu fic before I let myself read any of the fics that are now revealed in the fest, but I have not yet. :/

Instead, have some reviews of the CDs I bought for $.10 each this morning:

Delmarva Groove Kings
Genre: Is "Groove" a genre?
Local kitsch factor: Well, "Delmarva" is in the title, but they appear to actually be from Clinton, which isn't really Delmarva? Also we're pretty sure the bridge on the cover is the Golden Gate, not the Chesapeake. 2/5
Cover art: Oil painting of a viking ship sailing past a decaying suspension bridge against a red sky. -1 point for not being the right bridge and for not having any cover credits so I can't track down the original. 4/5
Song titles: Titles include "Northeast Corridor Blues", "Evil", and "Dueling Hillbillies on the Mother Ship". 4/5
Music: Ehh? Some of the songs appear to be just screaming over boring electric guitar chords, but some of the more bluesy ones are pretty okay. 3/5
Comment: This was originally a benefit to pay for someone's cancer treatment. Why do I still live in a county where people think it's ok that you have to sell benefit CDs to pay for someone's cancer treatment.

Celtic Fury - O'Malley's March
Genre: Basic American Celtic
Local Kitsch Factor: Yep, it's O'Malley as in Governor Martin O'Malley! This was his band's first CD, that they put out while he was still just on the city council. 5/5
Cover Art: Black-and-white photo of the band. TERRIFYINgLY BAD PHOTOS. Two of them look like they are planning to lure you into a white van, one of them looks like he is wearing a human mask and hasn't quite learned how to make it smile yet, and one of them looks like they stuck a dead person's head on a mannequin. O'Malley hardly looks sinister at all in comparison, which may be a first. 1/5
Song Titles: Mostly your basic sort of Celtic standards, but there is one called "Mickey Chewing Gum" and one called "Streets of Baltimore". 3/5
Music: Would hire them to play on one of the outdoor stages at a street fair. Competent. The lead singer sounds weirdly insincere about everything he sings, but maybe that's just because I know it's O'Malley. 3/5
Comment: It's autographed by the whole band! I wonder if I could sell the Governor's autograph for more than I paid for the CD. ...Actually I probably know some people who would pay me at least twice that just to burn it while cackling.

(no subject)

Sep. 7th, 2017 01:59 pm
ysobel: Artwork of a curled-up stick figure trying to stave off crushing darkness (depression)
[personal profile] ysobel
Ugh.

Too much shit going down right now.

CW: pet death (not mine)

Read more... )

and on top of all the aide shit (for those not on my access list, short version = getting into a screaming fight sunday that included lies and gaslighting and emotional manipulation (incl textbook DARVO) on my aide's part, subsequently firing said aide and changing locks and dealing with emotional rollercoaster aftereffects) I'm just

a complete mess

(understatement)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl is, above all, a good book. And I don't mean in the sense of well-written or I liked it (although those are also true) but good the way a good person is good. Good like a video of a puppy rescuing a kitten. Goodness baked into it all the way through. It was exactly the sort of book I needed to read these last couple weeks.

When I started I honestly wasn't expecting to call it good in any of those senses. The main character, Elana, is just. Super-annoying in all of the best YA ways. The book starts with Elana, who we are told is a disciplined trainee with lifelong dedication to the most elite, dangerous, and important of careers, stowing away on her dad's dangerous and vital mission because she was bored.

Then we start getting right into love triangle territory.

But. Somehow, it all works. )

Anyway, I liked it, it reminded me that sometimes there are good things that are just good when I needed that, I'm glad I read it and it's definitely a keeper.


I also read Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe by Robert Asprin and George Takei. Imagine if someone had gone to George Takei in the 70s and said "if you could publish any book, what would it be about?" and he said "Japanese-American fencing ninja vs. corpocratic killer robots in space."

If your reaction was "yes, good, do that" you would probably find this book at least mildly entertaining.


I'm also trying to read Han of Iceland by Victor Hugo but, folks, it's... not good. Also I added it to the poll on the basis of I've had an ecopy on my phone for several years waiting to be read, and also it was short so it couldn't be too painful, but the OCR on all the online versions was terrible so I got a library copy, but then it became apparent that all of the online versions must just be Part 1 of 2 despite not being marked that way, because in fact it is not short. I dunno if I can do this.

My mom saw the library copy lying out and since she's also been reading books about Iceland she picked it up and said "the very first line of the introduction is about how terrible this book is, why are you reading it?" (I told her my internet friends dared me to. She has learned to just accept answers like that.)

FMK #22: Yuletide Fandoms

Sep. 6th, 2017 05:32 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
...Let's just pretend today is Tuesday, okay?

Last week's poll was very close until the last minute, but Omnitopia Dawn edged into first for F at the last minute, just beating out The Android's Dream. The most K votes was Down And out In The Magic Kingdom, which I honestly did not expect! However it did not have a majority of K votes. The only one with a majority of K votes was Radio Freefall.

Reviews post for the ones I've read lately DEFINITELY coming later today, yes def.

This week's theme: Yuletide fandoms! (As measured by number of fics on AO3, because that was easier than trying to figure out what had actually had noms.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Asaro, Bujold, Feist, L'Engle, Lackey, Le Guin, Levine, Martinez, McCaffrey, McKillip, McKinley, Moorcock, Norton, Scalzi, Shepherd, Wellman, Wilson, Wrede, Zelazny )

Bonus Round: Comics )
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