hey, look, a yuletide letter?

Oct. 23rd, 2017 05:59 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Dear Yuletide Writer,

I have had this letter at the top of my to-do list for weeks, but when I finally sat down to write it, I couldn't really think of any reason to do it. You have years and years of this tag and so many previous letters if you're the sort of person who wants to dig really deep, and if you're not, you can stop reading now and go back to just my sign-up.

I could go into great detail about where to find the fandoms I requested and so on, but let's be honest, that would be almost entirely for people who might want to write me treats, not for you.

(Although super-quick: all the links you need for Mr. Trash Wheel are in this entry downtag; Njal's Saga is a medieval Icelandic saga which you could probably get a doctorate in but didn't so all I can suggest is gutenberg or a good modern annotated edition of which there are several in many languages, or if you're really ambitious, you can listen to all 12 Njal's Saga episodes of the SagaThing podcast, which is what motivated me to request it. But also I think of stories as old as Njal's saga as living stories rather than a fixed canon so if you want to just find a good summary and work from that, that would be a-ok with me; Murderbot Diaries is so far just one novella, All Systems Red by Martha Wells that came out this year and is probably available at your local library; Girl With The Silver Eyes is a kids' novel from the '80s that is probably not still at your local library but is definitely on Amazon for cheap, at least in the US; and the Barbara Hambly are both many-volume historical mystery series that are still being published, although I would be ok with side-character fic based on characters that only appear in the first volume of either.)

I could also go into great detail about why I like these canons, but you don't actually need thousands of words of rambling about the fundamental essence of Baltimore and urban solarpunk; or about the parallel roles of Hannibal and Simon in re: the construction of Whiteness and classical monsters as racial metaphors; or the performance of gender and honor in medieval Scandinavia; or about the portrayal of neurodivergence mediated through otherness in SF/F stories; and anyway if I did all that it would be totally misleading because really my reaction to these stories is more GIANT GOOGLY EYES and CHEESE CSI and TALKING CATS and SANCTUARY MOON and I read all the Hambly in a month straight while ill last year so really mostly I just LOVE IT ALL on a very shallow and inarticulate level.

I could go into more about my DNWs but honestly my DNWs are usually more about the spirit of the story than the details so it would be just as likely to make you worry about things you don't need to worry about.

(but real quick: please no environmentalism doomy doom for Trash Wheel- post-apocalyptic would be fine but make it hopeful and optimistic no matter how unrealistic that seems sometimes these days; please no doomy doom for Njal either, like, we all know how it ends, it's in the damn title, but he lived to old age which is pretty much a happy ending given the odds for a saga hero and a lot of other stuff happened before that; for Murderbot I think I covered it pretty well in the letter; Silver Eyes and Hambly I'm pretty much good with whatever as long as it's in the spirit of canon more or less and you're careful with the more sensitive bits of the history in Hambly.)

I could give you more prompts but you read my sign-up; do you actually need more prompts? I mean, let me know, I have plenty, but I kind of suspect you are begging me for fewer prompts at this point.

(Crossovers always good, setting-swap AUs also good, the weirder the better, outsider POVs and background characters always good, worldbuilding and setting always good, basically anything in these canons is fine?)

Anyway here is a link to my previous post of my sign-up just for convenience, it is slightly cleaned up with a few more prompts at this point: Yuletide signup

Most importantly, have fun! I promise nothing you write can ruin yuletide for me.*

--Me

*That's not a dare. But you would have to try pretty hard to manage it. Truly.

(no subject)

Oct. 23rd, 2017 02:11 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I need to set some sort of alarm to remind me to take regular breaks to lie on the floor on my back. It hurts to do it, but it's the only thing that eases my shoulders at all, and when I don't do it, they just get tighter and tighter and tighter which also hurts. I'm pretty sure that the things that hurt when I lie on the floor aren't going to be harmed by it. The shoulder thing hurts and exhausts me. I'm pretty sure it's contributing to me not sleeping at night.

Cordelia and her friends were sufficiently bored by Saturday night's dance that they left after about an hour (considering it was a bit more than $25 per ticket, that seems like a terrible return on our money). They walked to one of Cordelia's friend's houses. Cordelia says she really wished for a jacket or sweatshirt because her dress is sleeveless.

Scott got really pretty cranky about not getting around to mowing the lawn on Saturday. The front lawn looks okay even when it doesn't get mowed for weeks, but the backyard actually gets sun for a lot of the day, and it gets pretty shaggy. I don't care because we don't do anything out there and because no one can see it but our neighbors who don't much care. Scott, however, was brought up with the idea that lawn care is Important as a sign of competent adulthood.

Seriously, when we were house hunting, we looked for the smallest lawn we could get. (Condos weren't an option because, in our price range, they were all either too small for our bed (or our books) or very, very vertical; most were both. We were more concerned about limiting stairs than about lawns.)

We got sandwiches while we were doing our library run yesterday because I was running out of time to eat. Scott got a sandwich with pesto, and the basil was so strong that I really wanted to get up and move because my mind associates the smell with getting sick after eating it. I hadn't expected to have that reaction, and I'll need to mention it to Scott so that he knows for next time. I don't mind him eating it, but it would be much better if we sat at separate tables for it.

We have no idea if we'll be able to go to the celebration for Scott's sister's birthday on Saturday. Her family needs to be done and gone before we can possibly get there if Scott's working that day. Sunday wasn't an option because of a choir fundraiser that will keep Cordelia most of the afternoon combined with me not being able to eat anything at all after 6 p.m. on school nights.

I think I'm in spitting distance of the end of the first draft of the story I'm currently working on. I hope so, anyway. I know the main thing I need to address when I edit. I just keep cat waxing, though. I can write a couple hundred words, and then I need to stop for a while. Mostly, right now, I'm looking over saved prompts to see which ones I really, really want to write. I think I need to delete any that don't give me immediate plot bunnies. Well, I'll keep the ones from people I know, too, with a generous definition of 'know.'

Monday Update 10-23-17

Oct. 23rd, 2017 11:22 am
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "Feel the Might of Creation"
Lunar Tunnels
Poem: "Capable of Stretching"
Saturday Yardening
Poem: "Death Whispers at the Tip"
Today's Adventures
Poem: "To Protect the Most Vulnerable"
Thursday Yardening
What to Do About Kneeling
How to Accommodate Special Needs While Attending an Event
Wednesday Yardening
Hard Things


The half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics is now over. I sold six poems outright, with one in microfunding and two more in a pool that should get squared up later today. Most of the sold poems have been posted, I just have one left to do.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Stylet comes out of the shower.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Pips and Jules discuss what to get for G and Joshua after the fire.  "TERF Wars" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Antimatter & Stalwart Stan.  At school, Stan walks into an unexpected argument about gender issues.

It has been raining here since yesterday afternoon, off and on, and that's expected to continue through the early part of this week.  We can use the rain.  The weather had been warmer for a few days but is now chilly again. Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, firecracker plant, morning glories, frost asters, goldenrod.  Very few fields remain to be harvested.

Last chance to get your bids in

Oct. 23rd, 2017 02:23 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Bidding at [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico closes today (thanks to [personal profile] sholio for the heads-up).
miss_s_b: (Self: Innocent)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
SodOff@Arse.Face
FuckYour@DataHarvesting.Exercise
GetBent@Wank.Stain
StickThisUpYourArse@Once.Git

or if you're less comfortable swearing than me

ReportYourself@DataProtection.Gov

Poem: "Wanton Kittens"

Oct. 23rd, 2017 02:33 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl and the August [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] mama_kestrel, [personal profile] we_are_spc (Fallon and Jay), and [personal profile] curiosity. It also fill the "comfort" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] mama_kestrel.

Read more... )

short stories read

Oct. 23rd, 2017 04:13 pm
fred_mouse: line drawing of mouse sitting on its butt reading a large blue book (book)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Not quite time to go home, and I've read the six short stories. Three I really liked, two I kinda liked but there was something missing, and one I didn't see the point of. So, not a bad way to spend a bit over an hour and a half.

I'm partway through the first of the three novella/novellettes, doubt I'll get that done by the time I have to leave.

Goals - daily, weekly

Oct. 23rd, 2017 02:51 pm
fred_mouse: line drawing of mouse sitting on its butt reading a large blue book (book)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Given that I've some focus back, I'm starting to look at what needs to be done, and what I've let slide. In order to try and focus on one set of things (those that can be done on the computer), I've decided that I'm going to spend three days a week in at the local uni library (M, W, Th), which is where I'm writing this from. The hope for this week is to get a feeling of control back with All! the computer things, including getting some sentences (or better yet paragraphs) written for the probably overdue report.

Initially, I thought I'd just get straight on to writing my project report, but that seems a bit too daunting given how much else there is that is chaos, so for today I've picked three tasks to progress, with the goal to finish at least one of them. The goals are 1) short story judging, 2) close all the tabs, and 3) get email under control. The first one is quite reasonable to get under control today -- there are 9 stories (6 short stories and 3 novella/novellettes) remaining, so I should be able to get most of that done before I head home in a bit under two hours. The second I've been working through -- at this point there is no longer a scrolling list of open windows, but I've added a few things to the reading list (goal is to get everything I open closed each day, with things added to the reading list if appropriate). I've also followed up some emails that required going online, and then closed those tabs as well. Not sure how many tabs I have open in each of those, although I try and keep it to five or fewer as a standard. Email isn't really going to happen - there are 108 and 134 messages in my primary inboxes, plus many in my filtered inboxes, plus some put aside for 'later'. Getting that first one under 100 seems a reasonable goal, and the first part of that was getting all those with stories out of the inbox and into my reading folder! (which, yes, increased the number of stories to read)

so, to reading!

Breeding Apples

Oct. 23rd, 2017 01:06 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Here's an interesting article about creating new apple varieties.  This was a lot easier when people bred primarily for taste and resistance to pests or bad weather.  Now they're breeding more for appearance, and that costs in flavor.

Poem: "Feel the Might of Creation"

Oct. 22nd, 2017 11:47 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the September 5, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "learning how to be loved" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It belongs to the Damask thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is all about childbirth, in rather graphic detail. If that's a touchy topic for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. Also, hankie warning for anyone prone to crying over happy scenes.

Read more... )

Middle of the Road

Oct. 22nd, 2017 08:19 pm
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Oh, all the things I didn't say the last time about politics...I didn't say, but probably still should. First of all, I've always known this and never cared, but it's starting to bother me: This is a super-liberal, mostly feminine-influenced and nearly-antifa leaning site and I'm a middle of the road/left-leaning person. This site hasn't changed me (well, it's made me more sympathetic on race issues, but hasn't changed me much, otherwise).

Lest I forget I'm middle of the road as I was seven, 10, or even 25 years ago, not more than days after my last post Other Person and I were discussing a particularly politically-minded neighbor while sitting outside after dinner (a Trump supporter, a definite part of The Base, and my God they're the worst) when he looked at me and said, "Of course, you'd never want to talk to him when he gets like that [off on a political rant] because you're so middle of the road". And I felt the flush come up as I thought: "My God, does it show?".

It's my best (or worst) kept secret: I won't take sides because that's the side the party name on my voter registration card says I'm on. While I'll never go around agreeing Nazis are nice people, I've known a nice person to be a Nazi - a distasteful thought, but also as much a fact as a subjective decision about someone's temperament can be. I mean, I don't know, maybe he burned Jews upside down in effigy in his backyard, or stabbed little dolls with Swiss knives in his room late at night as he cursed them for being tiny proxies of the elitist worldwide global conspiracy. Maybe he did even worse. I wasn't privy to that and never will be. I only know he was nice. And a Nazi.

Also, my dad was Jewish, so shut up.

This is one of the reasons I'm middle of the road though maybe you're not: Because not only do I know they exist, but I know that among the greatest dangers to Jews on the face of the Earth is a nice Nazi. Mean and out-there arrogant ones are immediately even worse, of course, but no, they should not be punched (that's another post, maybe not tonight). But everyone dismisses the juxtaposition of niceness and Naziness as impossible, a mistake humanity makes over and over - twice in less than a hundred years now, from what I can see.

But no one thinks millions of German psychopaths fought the Nazi cause on battlefields and supported the politics in order that the war could carry on. No one seriously thinks Germans were all monsters down to the last woman, man and child who stood behind the cause? Because many of them were like the guy who waves to you each morning as he picks his paper up off the lawn, then drives from his neatly kept suburban home wearing a white shirt with short sleeves and a little bow tie off to be an accountant each day.

They were like the curly-haired cashier at the local grocery who always remembers the stamps you buy each Friday before you can even remind her to pull the book out of the till. They were like the mom down the road who watches her three year old - and yours - every day after pre-school so you can hold that little part-time job without going broke on day care; because she's cool like that, she looks out for you.

And though I'm limiting my examples to but a few, you can multiply the everydayness of them by tens of millions: the psychopaths in Germany, from Hitler on, were present, and caused more psychological (to this day) and collateral damage than the rest of the citizenry combined, but much of the citizenry was right there with them - either in spirit or else in fear of what might happen to their own lives should they dare turn from politically-based, state-sanctioned hatred of The Other.

And if you think none of them were "nice" - let's define nice, first: What does it mean to you? To me it means someone friendly, someone kindly to family, friends, neighbors, pets, coworkers, others. Your definition might differ from mine. If you think none of them were "nice" - not by any means - then you might think again, because there's no version of Earth that's been created yet where you can trust a Nazi *not* to be some seemingly nice person you know.

Until people can get a central idea through their heads - that like opioid addiction, Nazism can strike anyone anywhere, not just "skinheads" or that guy with the raggy, uncombed beard and tattoo sleeves who makes you wonder if he's some fascist motherfucker though he's probably not, but without asking him you honestly don't know - you can't make progress against it. Not just that, but not knowing who a Nazi was or is literally lost the world Germany back in the 1940s - perhaps too much seeming niceness run amok.

The problem is everyone thinks classical definitions of niceness can't exist alongside a bona fide felt or acted upon hatred of The Other, yet they can, and one of the most insidious ways this spreads is by nice people becoming convinced there's an Us and a Them, and that the Them is out to get (or kill) Us. Us - we're the nice people getting walked all over. But Them - the evil [fill in race signifier here, since most racists don't just hate one race] are out to DESTROY Us, so let's do something, or let's support the state in their fight against Them. Because it's not Us and Them. It's Us. Or Them.

That's all it takes. It's that easy to make hate live side by side with kindness. I just explained like thousands of years of racism (and most of modern-day US politics) in one crappy little paragraph.

Getting back to middle of the roadness - for me, it doesn't stop with relativism around who's nice and who's not and how that relates to any possible Nazism on the part of "nice" people (hint: it doesn't). Years ago I used to say there was no political party that could contain me. But there's no body of political thought that can, either, because they're too confining, and I'm not a doormat. Just because some ideology says if I believe this then I must believe that doesn't mean that I do, nor that I ever can or will. I'm not an IFTTT program. And I'm not an ideologue.

And so my discomfort with politics grows and grows, stuck between the cracks and crevices of ever-narrowing ideologies. The cracks widen and liberals seem to widen them more - which reminds me, I read an article recently (no link) that explained (finally! I've pondered this question for a year and a half) why Trump encourages the base as he does: Because if he keeps them and Dems divide between libs and moderates (middle of the road), mods will go rogue, and so will all the Independents and those on the fence on both sides of the political bushes. Which isn't genius. But is probably closer to the truth then whatever dreams libs are having about 2018.

I mean, I'd go jump off a bridge a la Mitt Romney winning in 2012 before I go vote for Trump or any R (check the 2012 archives; I almost actually did), but it's safe to say I'll never vote for Trump or any R as long as people who lean more to the left of them exist. There will always be an alternative. Just not the one I want.

This is what party wags don't get: we don't want - or aren't ready for, as a country - a far left political party, and by "we", I mean the 65 million Hillary Clinton voters - does everyone think we all just up and dropped dead on November 10th? We're here. And we're the biggest bloc of middle of the road voters - outside of those who held their nose to vote for Trump or abstained but didn't vote for Clinton, either - that you'll find. But party honchos keep dragging us left, left, left until it's like, "Fine, let me off then, because I'm not hanging one more left until you folks realize you need to just hang tight here for a while".

Progress doesn't happen by dragging the entire population into it, en masse, head first. It takes time for a society to accept (so many) changes. I just want the pace to slow down, because it's trying to change - as a society - too fast that stops progress altogether, that makes people halt and panic and do the opposite, and with Rs especially, we're dealing with a lot of people who emotionally have not even left the Stone Age.

You can't legislate acceptance, you can only create the conditions - slowly and patiently - to allow it to more casually, and permanently, occur.

medication update

Oct. 23rd, 2017 11:01 am
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (blanket)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
medication - day 7

I'm still getting some amount of nausea following taking the tablets, but as I'm also experiencing significant pre- and post-eating nausea, related more to food intake than anything else, I'm not convinced that that is much of a medication related symptom. I'm still getting the odd patch of dizzy, including while skating on Saturday morning, so I needed to take a break from class and put my head between my knees for a couple of minutes, and then piked on the backwards spirals.

And weirdly, my skin doesn't hurt. I've become so used to a low level discomfort at anything touching me that I mostly just screen it out, but it kind of isn't there any more. Skin is still uncomfortable, but rubbing across the skin feels really weird, because part of the feedback just isn't there any more.

I'm still noticing ramping up of anxiety randomly through the day (particularly when I change tasks), but it doesn't appear to be hitting the highs that it sometimes does. Not sure how much of that is situational though. What I did notice last night was that lying down to try and sleep when I wasn't horrendously tired already wasn't quite as stressful as it sometimes is, and I didn't need to do the really rapid pattern counting thing that I have taken to doing, but was able to just lie there and focus on my breathing.

Trip to the dog races

Oct. 22nd, 2017 08:58 pm
sasha_feather: Road and thunderheads (big sky)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Yesterday I went with my new friends to see some Greyhound races in Dubuque, Iowa. We were curious what it'd be like as we are all greyhound owners (ours are retired racers).

Dubuque is an hour and a half away, a gorgeous drive through Wisconsin's "Driftless" area, where the glaciers didn't come through and plow down the hills like they did in other areas of the Midwest. So there are rollling hills and steep valleys, dotted with farms and forests.

The casino is right off the highway and easy to find. The greyhound race area is technically not part of the casino, so you can be under 21 to enter that area. Indeed, we saw kids and teenagers watching the races. It's nice that there is no fee to enter, and you don't have to bet. The only thing we spent money on was food. There was a crowded upper observation area, and we went down some stairs to the outside part. It was almost hot yesterday, 76 degrees F (24 C). The benches were shaded by the casino building and the track was in bright sunlight.

The dogs were beautiful and lively. We watched about 4 races, each 10-15 minutes apart. We didn't place any bets but picked out the ones we thought might win based on how they acted and looked. Teenagers (presumably summer workers) brought the dogs out and lined them up to be looked at before leading them to the starting blocks.

I took some pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sasha_feather/tags/dubuque/

We drove around town a little bit and had some ice cream before heading home.

My friends asked me, can you imagine your out here dog doing this?
I think Abbie would have hated it. She's so anxious and scared in environments that are loud and chaotic; her preferred environment is quiet and calm. She doesn't seem to have a competitive spirit.
My last dog, Sorcha, was a winner though, and I imagined she enjoyed it at least somewhat.

Racing is controversial and people often ask me what I think of it. I still don't know what I think of it! It was cool seeing the dogs run. I think that when gambling and money enter into it, they tend to corrupt. I don't think racing is inherently bad, but making it into a big business means the animals' welfare isn't put first.

Done last week (20171015Su - 21Sa)

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:11 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Not a bad week, I guess. Right now I'm feeling pretty down and hopeless, partly because of this article about Trump plus the fact that my family's economic future depends largely on Social Security and Medicare, which Trump's government seems hell-bent on destroying; and partly... I don't know what. I don't think depression and anxiety need a reason.

I did manage to figure out approximately what I should have been withholding for taxes; I also found out that the deadline for the second quarter's estimated tax payment was last month, so I'm slightly more screwed than I thought I was. Only slightly. That adds to the anxiety, of course.

N. and the kids have been away since Wednesday morning, with N and g at OVFF. It's been a bit lonely. I have, however, been getting things done, including putting up shelves and a little artwork, and setting up my desk with what amounts to a dual-monitor setup with the external monitor above Cygnus. I'm using the traditional makeshift monitor stand: a ream of printer paper. I actually did find my other Thinkpad keyboards, but with Cygnus on the desk I don't need them.

Our second week of prepared menus has worked out pretty well, though I did end up going out shopping Tuesday for some things that I'd missed on Sunday, and a little bit on Friday. It does seem as though we're spending less. I've also determined that I have to go grocery shopping alone -- it's impossible for me to stick to a list if there's someone else along. I really have difficulty saying "no" to anybody, and it's stressful.

Yesterday Colleen and I went to the Bayview farmer's market after picking up the bike helmet we'd ordered. Bought lunch (samosas) and some jam. See above about saying "no".

I did manage to say "no" to the life insurance agent. Yes, it's great that I was able to qualify for the lowest possible rate, which means I'm a lot healthier than most septuagenarians. But my financial advisor, who I consulted last Friday, pointed out that since my social security, IRA, and pension between them are enough to keep us going; unlike the situation in Seattle, we're not relying on my salary to pay the mortgage. (Colleen's SS payment is half of mine and will go away after I die; it does make a difference but the family would still get by without it.)

The thing that still scares the hell out of me is what would happen if I don't die, but simply get incapacitated, or if either Colleen or I end up needing more expensive care. Then we're hosed.

Notes & links, as usual )

(no subject)

Oct. 22nd, 2017 02:41 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I slept really, really badly last night. We went to bed a little after 11, and at 3, I was still awake. I think I slept through Scott getting up to go to work. At least, I don't remember him going. During the not sleeping part of things, I was in that state where my body was almost relaxed and my mind was too unfocused for getting up to do something else (I couldn't have kept my eyes open), but I couldn't get either mind or body to let go and actually sleep. If sleeping were falling, this would be the equivalent of getting snagged on something three quarters of the way down. I couldn't go back up, and I couldn't make it to the bottom either. (I know-- The analogy's not great since falling is painful and undesirable and sleep is beneficial. Just go with me. I can't think of anything better.)

This getting stuck at the almost asleep stage is really pretty common for me. It's why I always boggle at the folks who say that, if I can't sleep, I should get up and do something else and go back to bed when I can sleep. I have no idea how getting up to do something else would be possible when the only part of my brain that's functioning is the tense, anxious bit that says that letting go is dangerous and/or wasteful.

I end up spinning a lot of stories when I'm in that state. I can't tell, though, if the stories prolong the difficulty or just fill the time. Or, maybe, even are a beneficial side effect since my plausibility editors tend to be offline just then which can lead to me having ideas that I actually can turn into stories later.

Scott and I mostly just relaxed at home last night. We took a walk out around 7 p.m. because someone from the other side in Ingress hit the science and nature center. I was confused by the rhythm of how the attacks went and by what was attacked when, but all was explained when we got there and found the place full of people. There was a Halloween event for families, and pretty much all of the timing weirdness makes sense if the other player had a kid or kids and was following them and only playing when they stopped for long enough to be safe.

Scott made level 10 as a result, so it was all good. He sent a thank you to the other player over the game comms which we hope was taken as sincerely as it was meant. He doesn't get much chance to play, especially this time of year, unless something happens at the science and nature center.

I need to go back through my journal and check against the other records I've been keeping, but last night gave me a strong indication that the breakthrough menstrual bleeding I've been having for months might actually correlate with when I take long walks. I think that will be a project for tomorrow while Cordelia's at school. I'll be seeing the gynecologist on the 9th, and I don't think I need to have that checking done any sooner than that.

Lunar Tunnels

Oct. 22nd, 2017 01:12 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Tunnels have been confirmed on the Moon.  While these make a promising site for settlement, I would prefer to make sure there are plenty of them before wrecking the first one we've found.

Half-Price Sale in Polychrome Heroics

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:23 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is the last day of the half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics, so if you're still planning to buy anything, now's the time. 

So far I have sold four poems.  Three of those have been posted.  "A Moment of Atonement" hasn't been posted yet.  There are also two poems in a pool, the Iron Horses entries "Come Out of the Darkness" and "Sheltered and True."  Contact [personal profile] ng_moonmoth if you are interested in contributing toward those.

Culture Consumed Sunday

Oct. 23rd, 2017 02:55 am
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
Time to post this weekly update before it's a whole month late.

Books

Read Becky Chambers' The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet, which strongly reminds me of that genre of Tumblr posts which has come to be called "space orcs", about humans from an alien perspective. TLWTASAP is not from the aliens' perspective, but there's that same liking and affection for humans as a spacefaring species among other spacefaring species. If you like your aliens very alien then this might not be the book for you. There was some treatment of disability issues that was... well, some good and some bad. Complicated. Structurally it was very episodic in a way that might or might not work for you. Also, without spoilers, I would like to say that in the last fifty pages or so I was like "What the fuck was that... wait, what the fuck was THAT?"

Bought JY Yang's The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune, which are twin novellas released this month, but haven't read them yet.

Reread Courtney Milan's Trade Me and Hold Me in the space of about two days. Am very impatiently waiting for What Lies Between You And Me and Find Me.

Comics

This particular Dumbing of Age strip was even funnier because I saw it after rereading Hold Me, in which Angela Choi and Blake Reynolds have a very similar argument about a dimetrodon.

TV and Movies

Watched Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger. (Side note: one of my local community library systems has a Kanopy subscription, and Kanopy has a whole lot of good stuff on it, including this documentary.) Squeed out loud at some bits, actually shouted with laughter a few times (sometimes as intended by the protagonist, sometimes not -- sapiosexual, really?), was mildly cross at other bits (I know the open letter thing hurt you, Auntie, it hurt me at the time just to watch that go down, and I wasn't even involved, but did you have to do a victory lap?) and mainly just was happily teary-eyed throughout. Strongly recommended (with the caveat that Aunty Kate is hir own content note and is not going to give you a moment to brace yourself before sie self-identifies using terms Tumblr doesn't like, talks about suicide or cancer, or gives detailed specifics of her BDSM practice.)

Here's Kate Bornstein and Sandy Stone describing how they met:

Kate Bornstein: "I found out about you through Janice Raymond's book. Janice introduced us!"
Sandy Stone [pretending to be Janice Raymond]: "Sandy [makes warding off evil eye gesture], I'd like you to meet Kate [makes warding off evil eye gesture again]."

Kate and interviewer (I think it's Sam Feder, the filmmaker? but I'm too faceblind to tell if that's them or someone else) discussing their project:
Sam Feder: "We are doing a new show about trailblazers and people who created the space that affords us the luxury to be so specific and make this trans men's magazine. we would have been severely remiss if not to include you, because you came before us and you carved out space."
Kate Bornstein: "You know, you say I carved out space? Well, carving out space is what male to female tranny surgery is all about, it's about carving out space!"

Kate Bornstein on reincarnation: "I know what I want to be next life. I want to be a golden retriever who belongs to a great butch lesbian."
[So I guess we know what hir daemon is. I'm actually surprised -- I would have thought sie'd go for a pug, same as hir patronus. But yeah, I can see it.]

Music

Listened to Kamil Szuszkiewicz's Istina, which is either modern classical with alternative influences or vice versa. Good shit if you like your modern classical to be unsettling and occasionally physically painful, which I do. (If you have a headache, maybe don't listen right now. If you don't have a headache, would you like one?) I cannot remember where on earth I found out about this album (I have a text file full of links to albums to try out and/or buy, it was there), maybe John Darnielle's twitter account? The second movement worried Beatrice. She jumped onto the couch and gave me the Concerned Stare then climbed onto my lap.

Listened to HAMM's SondHAMM, which is four Sondheim numbers with electronic instruments and voice. I really liked the arrangments and interpretation.

Games

Played grotesque amounts of Stardew Valley. (As you do. (that wasn't me, but it's funny.))

Podcasts

Listened to a lot of podcasts while playing Stardew. Bounced off MechaBetty and Death at a Low Price, decided Juno Steele wasn't for me. Got entirely caught up on X-Plain the X-Men (I was so behind that it had gone on hiatus and then come back while I was still catching up) and almost caught up on One From The Vaults. Started Thor: the Lightning and the Storm and Titan Up The Defense.

Crafts

Not crafts I did myself, but I saw this YouTube video on how to make a Pokedex-themed phone case out of perler beads. By the same vlogger, a perler bead 3D Pokeball/ring box. I had not previously considered the possible synergies between perler beads and a glue gun, and am intrigued.

In much less advanced perler bead crafts, I bought a magnet sheet, cut off a little bit of it, and stuck that to a perler Captain America shield I'd made ages ago and had no idea what to do with. It's a fridge magnet now. Tried to do the same to the larger Batsignal I made at the same time as the shield, but because it doesn't lie flat enough, or maybe because it's too large no matter how many magnets I stick on, it won't stay on the fridge. I might get a stronger magnet and try that.

Other

Bought a cheap recycled monitor and installed OSMC on my RasPi and played with it for a bit. I hate it. I hate it SO MUCH. Towering rage. It's everything I hate about the trend in computing to simplify the user interface and remove options from the new user while increasing the learning curve and throwing more barriers in the way of their becoming a power user.

The install process was fun, though. (And when two days of repeatedly looking for parts and installing and wiping and reformatting and reinstalling things on sd cards is the fun part...) It'd be better if I had a more modern pi than I do (mine's the original B model, their recommended model is 3) and were using a remote control or a controller, not a mouse and keyboard (which it wouldn't listen to apart from the three finger salute) and had a widescreen monitor not a square Dell from probably the early 2000s, but EVEN IF I had my setup exactly the way they thought I should (ugh) I would still have found their interface horrible.

I couldn't find the "shut down" option. No help menu. They had no way of adjusting the screen resolution for a non-standard sized monitor (maybe that's why I couldn't find a help menu or a shutdown option.) So much autoscroll, and the cursor was both laggy AND skippy, and this combined with the autoscroll meant I'd frequently have to wait while they cycled through the available options multiple times before I successfully selected one. They wouldn't let you scroll ANYTHING under your own power -- read the GPL at a snail's pace or click 'agree' without reading (I know what the GPL says, of course, BUT STILL.)

The default skin was the sort of thing that I can recognise as good design even if it's not my thing personally, but that was just about the only good thing. Well, except that I got all the way through the install, which I didn't with Raspberry Pi's own NOOBS installer, but if the end result is no working keyboard and a barely-working mouse, it's hard to call that a success. Well, except that I was more interested in building my own media centre than I was in having a media centre, so... mission accomplished? After that I installed Raspbian on it, and my next step is to fuck around with that some more and set it up so it's also usable as a media centre but less vass-hostile than OSMC for the same purpose, even if it doesn't look like a sleek modern media centre interface. The nice thing about the RasPi's sd card as hard drive deal is, it makes OS switching very straightforward (so long as the Pi isn't your only computer.) One can simply swap SD cards.

Back on my desktop, with the help of this comment I got i3 to put a random wallpaper on each workspace. Like most of i3's users, I hardly ever see my workpaces except covered with open windows, but it's still a happymaking thing. What I'm really hoping for is to get it so it puts a random wallpaper in every container. After which I can fire up Compiz and get transparency working and then every terminal window will have a different background showing through it! Which will probably get exhausting and overstimulating after a while, but I want to learn how to do it! (Huh. It miiiight actually be easier to attach the act of making a new wallpaper to opening a terminal, not to opening a container. Not sure. Needs testing. That would suit me, since terminal's about the only application I'd want to run with transparency and a wallpaper behind it.)

Cats

Dorian redecorated the toilet by knocking the cactus pot off the window sill above it.

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