21 September 2017 @ 08:37 am
 
We only ended up with one guest last night. Cordelia stayed in her room, and Scott, [livejournal.com profile] cherydactyl, and I watched Wonder Woman which they'd both seen but I hadn't. I enjoyed it overall, but I failed to connect with it emotionally. This is a common problem for me with action focused movies, especially superhero movies. I get distracted and just don't see what other people see.

Scott is showering right now. When he's done and dressed, we'll head for Cordelia's school to meet with a counselor. Hopefully, that will go well and not take too long. I just hope they've fixed the elevator. I don't want to climb to the fourth floor.

I slept badly last night because of anxiety. I was sufficiently wound up that the amount of Halcion that would normally let me fall asleep and stay asleep simply didn't. I didn't feel even vaguely sleepy. It was that I wasn't tired as much as it was that I had enough in the way of adrenaline and such going on to be quite awake. I'm not sure that Ativan would have done better for me, but maybe it would have.

Cordelia's dental appointment went okay. The dentist left us sitting for longish stretches off and on because they'd fit us in when they were already full up. She did an x-ray and didn't see hidden decay. She said that Cordelia's wisdom teeth aren't pushing on anything or positioned in a way that she'd expect to cause pain. The joint of the jaw seems to be fine. So we don't know the underlying cause of the problem. She suggested a cheap night time mouth guard in order to see if a guard would help at all (and in order to avoid paying $500 for something that, at her age, might not fit next year).

From the dentist, we went and got bubble tea for me and Cordelia. They've changed their menu display and options, so I had to spend a little while figuring out if they still had what I wanted.

After that, we went to Target and got Wonder Woman and the mouth guard. We stopped at Plum Market to pick up dinner at their buffet (you pay by weight). I gambled on a couple of things that looked (and were) tasty but that I probably shouldn't have touched because of spice levels.

My Captive Audience recipient has gotten back to me. I was right in suspecting that things had gotten lost.
 
 
21 September 2017 @ 02:12 am
What you're Saying when You Say "I Don't Need the Mic"
By Erika A. Hewitt
August 31, 2017

https://www.uua.org/worship/lab/what-youre-saying-when-you-say-i-dont-need-mic

This is directed at a Unitarian Universalist audience, but can apply to any group or event.

“When a mic is being used at a meeting and someone looks at it and says, ‘Do we really need this?’ I feel outright anger. That person just asked if people like me really exist and demanded that we defend ourselves.”
 
 
21 September 2017 @ 01:04 am
--I want to say it feels weird to think that I'm going back to the office tomorrow, but it doesn't seem real enough yet to feel weird. (Having had only something like a week of work in the spring is not really helping. I'd barely sat down at my desk and then we were finished!) What does feel weird is thinking--hoping!--that when I get home tomorrow there'll be a window where there is now a solid wall.


--The first few days back are usually pretty reasonable. (I could conceivably even be home for supper tomorrow evening!) Thankfully, today I was able to finish and submit the half-volume that's due tomorrow, so that's not hanging over me...but I'll need to go pick up my and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose's con passes, and then on Friday, no matter what time we wrap up at the office, I'll be going straight from there to the convention. I even made it as far as looking over the schedule and making notes this evening, although in practice I rarely make it to more than a small percentage of the panels and talks that catch my eyes. So many people. O_O (The "rarely" applies to cons and similar things in general, as this is only my second Hal-Con.)


--When I was poking around in my tags the other day to see if I could figure out when I stopped bouldering, I came across this 2013 post about Claudia from when she and Jinksy were about five months old. Oh, my kitten. *^^* (*finds baby!Claudia!kitten icon*)


--I have this half-formed theory that Casual Job is the appropriate excuse to actually start figuring out lipstick, since I really haven't, despite buying a bunch in Toronto. The defense I have to offer is that I'm usually at home living in pajamas when Casual Job isn't on (I'm very glad I'm not one of the many people who needs to Get Dressed to successfully work at home--although if it'd help my focus, you bet I'd do it), and when I go out it's usually either quick errands (hard to convince myself to bother) or to have dinner out with someone (and I know people eat and drink with lipstick on all the time, but it turns out I find it intimidating to consider needing to immediately touch it up while out if it smears/wears off).
 
 
Current Mood: busy
 
 
21 September 2017 @ 02:29 pm
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice
Title: who can sing both high and low
Pairing/Character Focus: Otabek Altin/Yuri Plisetsky (Yuri-centric)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] infiniteandsmall
What makes this a gem:
It’s startling to watch videos of his practices and see angles where he’d seen straight lines, broad shoulders where he’d seen a waist that had made him think sometimes, in a cool quick flash, girl.
Yuri on Ice takes place in a world without homophobia, and a couple fanwriters have taken that idea and run with it: why not consider it a world without transphobia as well? What if you tell a story about someone figuring out their gender, and the only difficulty they face is in finding the right version of themselves? This is that story for Yuri Plisetsky, who's now eighteen, a lot taller and broader, and starting to miss the days when he was encouraged to be pretty. The narrative voice is perfectly suited to the story; it's vivid and opinionated and gentle, all at once. And the compassion in Yuri's relationships with the important people in his life is like a balm to the soul. As a bonus, I really love this version of Otabek, who is warm and patient and wry and shows pictures of Yuri to his mom.

This is the second story in a series, but it stands alone pretty easily--you get all the context you need in the first couple paragraphs. That said, of course, the rest of the series is well worth reading too!

(Hi mods! Could I get an Otabek/Yuri tag for this post? Thanks!!)
 
 
20 September 2017 @ 10:04 pm
What I Just Finished Reading

Nothing because I am still in AAAA MUST WRITE BIG BANG mode. I expect this to persist.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Avengers #11, Doctor Strange #25, Generations Ms. Marvel And Ms. Marvel #1, Invincible Iron Man #11, Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #4, Spider-Men II #3, U.S.Avengers #10 )

What I'm Reading Next

Dunno.
 
 
Current Mood: frustrated
 
 
20 September 2017 @ 08:21 pm
The Excursionist by J.D. Sumner. A novel about Jack, a man determined to visit 100 countries before his 35th birthday, all so he can join the Traveler’s Century Club.

Ugh, this book. It’s glaringly self-published, which I do not inherently object to – I'm all for self-publishing! But hire an editor, dude. It’s not typos or grammar mistakes that give it away (the book’s actually remarkably free of those)(which I suppose is damning with faint praise, but I am totally here to damn this book), but a constant stream of contradictions and just... well, odd choices. The one that leapt out to me most strikingly was when the narrator, in describing the Traveler’s Club, sticks the URL right in the middle of the text:
One down and two to go. Now all I had to do was to get to Kilrush and then to Fulgary and I could join the Travelers’ Century Club. See www.travelerscenturyclub.org for further details.

This would maybe even have been not so weird if it had come in the introduction, the first time the reader is told about this goal, or in the endnotes. But no, none of the above. This quote instead comes from the end of chapter ten, when the Traveler’s Club has been mentioned multiple times without needing an URL.

It’s minor, I know, but similar minor annoyances pop up constantly throughout the text. Jack only needs to visit three more countries, so he heads to the (fictional) islands of Placentia, Kilrush and Fulgary. The fact that these are separate countries is the entire point of the book. And yet the flights between them are repeatedly described as "domestic". In addition, it’s implied Placentia and Fulgaryy are still considered UK territories. Granted, other people probably aren’t as fascinated by the debate over what “counts” as a country as much as I happen to be (I blame this game, on which I spend way too much of my free time), but when it’s the central premise of your story, it needs at least a little consideration.

I could forgive all of the above if Jack was a character I enjoyed spending time with. Instead he’s a complete and total asshole. He condescends and mistreats service employees, he shallowly judges fellow tourists, he rates all women by their attractiveness and sulks when they don’t want to sleep with him. Every time he interacted with any other living creature I wanted to punch him.
For example, discussing his job as a stockbroker: Getting a job in the City is like getting a girl. The less interest and enthusiasm you show, the better chance you have.
Describing his ex-wife: I was still paying for my ex-wife’s house. She had taken me for a mug, then a Merc, then a million. I did quite well out of the divorce settlement; I kept most of the back garden and some of the roof tiles. I wouldn’t have minded if I hadn’t come home to find somebody else’s kippers under the grill. I should have twigged when he helped move her stuff out when she ‘just needed some space’. […] And if I said no to her demands, I would get a call saying my daughter was ill or had been invited to a toddler’s party on the day I was supposed to visit. Her other trick was to pretend I had got the dates or the times wrong. It was easier just to give up. People only change in books or in films, not in real life. I stopped seeing my daughter as regularly when my folks told me she had started to call Graham ‘Daddy’.*
Interacting with a flight attendant: ‘Could I please have one of those bottles of fizzy mineral water?’ I said.
‘I am sorry, sir, we are not allowed to give them out.’ She bent down so close to my face I was worried she was going to kiss me.
‘I don’t want to bother you all the time, asking you for water. Can you leave me the bottle; I don’t want to make a nuisance of myself.’
‘I am afraid we can’t do that, sir.’
‘Why?’ I asked.
‘It’s against regulations. I am sorry, sir.’
‘But your in-flight magazine says quite clearly on page twenty-eight, that passengers should make sure they remain hydrated.’
‘I know, sir. I am sorry but they are the regulations.’
‘I am only asking for a bottle of fizzy water. I have spent thousands of pounds flying Business Class with you. I’m thirsty,’ I said.
‘I am sorry, sir. It’s the rules.’
‘The rules… what airline has rules to prevent passengers from drinking water? Why advertise what a great service you provide, if you won’t give water to a thirsty passenger? What’s the point of pouring an eggcup-sized measure of water if I can jug down full glasses of wine? You do this because, as you know, the less weight you carry the less fuel you need, which means lower fuel costs and better profit.’ And with this, the hostess began to take away my empties.


I could have given you more egregious examples, but I chose these because they all occur before page 35. (And the text of the book doesn’t start until page 8!) Now you too have a sense of the density of Jack’s dickishness.

Though I've got to mention one more: at the end of the book, it’s revealed that Jack’s dead girlfriend who disappeared forever, possibly murdered, cheated on him shortly before her death. When Jack finds out this information, he explicitly decides not to go to the police with it, because, hey, it helped him get over her. Your hero, ladies and gentlemen!
I felt better about not being with her but I also wish I hadn’t wasted so much time thinking about her. I still didn’t know how Kay died but I suspect Naz may have had something to do with it. With forearms like Naz, it wouldn’t have been difficult to squeeze the life out of her. But I didn’t actually know what had happened to her. And for the first time, I wasn’t particularly bothered either. Should I go to the police? And tell them what exactly? I decided, rightly or wrongly, to move on.

Ughhhhh, this book, y’all. This book. I got it for free and that was still too much money.

* The daughter never gets a name, appears on screen, or is even mentioned beyond one more passing notice that she exists. I’m definitely convinced Jack is a worthwhile father.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.
 
 
 
 
20 September 2017 @ 04:40 pm
Fandom: Steven Universe
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Sugilite
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: aketan on DeviantArt

Why this piece is awesome: I love everything about this: the bold colors, the flamelike hair, and the huge attitude. :)

Link: Brash and reckless
 
 
20 September 2017 @ 02:34 pm
What I've recently finished reading:

Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb, a short story with a lot of trans and/or gay characters and a demon (who turns out to be actually pretty nice). I enjoyed it all right but it didn't really make much impression on me. The worldbuilding's rather vague and there's not much in the way of plot, but I expect it resonates more with trans people. It's been nominated for [community profile] yuletide and is free online at http://thebooksmugglers.com/2017/08/avi-cantor-six-months-live-sacha-lamb.html

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (abandoned). I like the idea of presenting the story as excerpts of conversation, magazine articles, books, and so on. But it didn't work in the ebook format with minimal formatting, and also, it just didn't work for me in the more conversational sections because I felt as though I never got to know any of the characters enough to care about them. Though I appreciated the cleverness of the idea that the spirits of the dead are unaware that they are dead, glossing over the strangenesses in their new selves and referring to tombs as "sick-homes" and coffins as "sick-boxes", the general absurdity just didn't appeal to me and I found the slow pace boring.

What I'm reading now:

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan, the second book in the Trials of Apollo series, because after I realized I could either wait forever for the ebook, or pick up a physical copy from the library RIGHT NOW, I opted for the latter. I am still loving this series so much, especially since one of my favorite characters from another series, who showed up at the end of the first book, is a major character in this one. (skip) Leo Valdez! ♥ And Calypso! With whom Apollo has a history, so it's hilarious. Also, I'm impressed with how Riordan manages to have gay and bisexual characters in a way appropriate for middle grade, too.

I'm not listening to Airborn since I've been sick, and audiobooks are for exercise, but hope to get back to it soon now that my lungs are coughing out the last of the phlegm.

What I'm reading next:

While I was at the library I also picked up Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which has been recommended to me by a number of people. Also the second volume of Saga.

Other than that, still playing Dragon Age: Origins (in Orzammar now). Mostly I'm writing fanfiction :-)
Tags:
 
 
 
 
I made New England clam chowder last week, and for the potatoes, I cheerfully went out and dug up some of the ones from our veggie garden (which I have sadly neglected lately and is now mostly dead).

I kid you not, this was one of the potatoes I dug up.

Now, don't get cocky.... )

It felt vaguely cruel to chop it up.
 
 
20 September 2017 @ 01:36 pm
Fannish/Geeky/SFF Things

"Seanan McGuire on What She Learned From October, Plus a Sweeps!" The interview is about what writing Toby's series (AKA her first novel and series) taught her, and the contest, which is open until September 30, is for all eleven books to date.

"Transcript for OTW 10th Anniversary Chat with Seanan McGuire & Martha Wells".

"Exclusive Interview and ARC Giveaway: In Other Lands author, Sarah Rees Brennan". This contest has closed, alas, but I really liked the interview (and its entirely appropriate attention to mermaids): "My protagonist Elliot is a huge nerd, so when he arrives in a magical world he immediately asks ‘Show me the mermaids!’ rather than ‘Explain to me this strange word… magic…’ and mermaids are for him a shorthand for him wanting to behold the many wonders on offer in a magic land–in other words, harpies, unicorns and mermaids, oh my. He then keeps asking about the mermaids, having lessons about them, researching them, getting different answers about mermaids from different people, until he finally does meet one–with consequences I will not spoil for those who do not yet know!"

"Sci-fi author Martha Wells on writing a series about a robot that calls itself Murderbot".

"‘SHEroes’: Wonder Woman meets Bionic Woman". "Lindsay Wagner, aka Jamie Sommers or “The Bionic Woman,” posted her photo with Lynda Carter, aka Diana Prince or “Wonder Woman,” on her Facebook page recently and, as expected, fans went wild with nostalgia."

"Superheroes for the Jewish New Year". [Book Riot]

Over at [dreamwidth.org profile] ladybusiness, [dreamwidth.org profile] renay posted a great interview with Kate Elliott.

"Present-Day Devices as Props". "Every Star Trek production requires a large number of props to act as technical devices of Starfleet or of aliens. There are custom prop designs for standard phasers, tricorders or communicators. But in most cases there is a need for additional props that either serve a specific purpose in the story or are used as generic futuristic decoration. Several of the props that could be seen are actually slightly modified devices of the 20th/21st century. In particular, game consoles have been used repeatedly for handheld scanners."

Sarah Gailey (author of the hippo-wrangling AUs River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow) currently has an unrelated serial, The Fisher of Bones, running in Fireside Magazine, who've just announced that the whole story is now available for preorder (and...get the ending before folks who're reading it/choose to keep reading it in serialization, which seems a bit odd to me, but sure).


TV/movie news

"Linda Hamilton Set to Return to 'Terminator' Franchise".

"MISS. FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES Movie Is a Go, Thanks to Kickstarter".

"“Madam Secretary” Showrunner Barbara Hall Developing CIA Drama for CBS" about "a multigenerational family of spies."

"The real hero of Netflix's "The Defenders" is the way Jessica Jones throws very heavy things".

"REPORT: Marvel Studios Developing a Power Pack Feature Film".


Miscellaneous

"Dictionary of the Oldest Written Language–It Took 90 Years to Complete, and It’s Now Free Online". [Open Culture]

"A 68 Hour Playlist of Shakespeare’s Plays Being Performed by Great Actors: Gielgud, McKellen & More". [Open Culture, 2015]

"Street Artist Paints Fantastic Fake Shadows Under Objects Perplexing Sidewalk Pedestrians Walking By".
 
 
I've been watching MBC's latest sageuk, The King in Love, which is also the latest in the recent trend of youth fusion romance sageuks, though that little subgenre seems to have run its course.  (Hopefully the fact that Rebel: Thief Who Stole The People is the only sageuk this year that's really considered a success will influence future sageuks, though they seem to be over and done with for the year, unless we count Live Up to Your Name, which is very good, but also a time travel drama set more in the present than in the past.)  For the most part, it's been enjoyable, though I'm a couple weeks behind because it looked like it was headed toward one of several endings that I would have considered dealbreakers for the whole show.  (I haven't watched it yet, but I do know it does have my preferred ending, so I should catch up with it this week.)  The one area where it completely fails, unfortunately, is in one of its central conceits:  presenting a love triangle in which a woman loves  two men, and it's unclear which she loves more.  Discussing possible endings with a friend reminded me of the love triangle in one of JTBC's few sageuk outtings, Maids, which also had a triangle in which a woman is in love with two men, but does it much better.



spoilers for both series )
 
 
20 September 2017 @ 03:55 pm
Fandom: Haikyuu!!
Title: bystander
Pairing/Character Focus: Ennoshita Chikara/Futakuchi Kenji
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] harklights
What makes this a gem: You know when a fic leaves such a lasting impression on you that it gives you chills each time you reread it? This is one of those fics. Playing off Ennoshita's canonical interest in film, this fic takes it to the next level and makes him an art student and filmmaker, with Futakuchi simply someone who's wandered off the street and into his exhibition. The ensuing conversation between two people who've just met is one of the most powerful pieces of dialogue I've ever read, full stop. It's intelligent without being too academic, challenging without being overwhelming. Just... really clever writing.
 
 
 
 
19 September 2017 @ 10:03 pm
 
Cordelia's having some pain at the hinge of her jaw, so Scott and I will be taking her to the dentist tomorrow afternoon. She also says her teeth are cold sensitive. I suspect that she's clenching and/or grinding at night since that's generally what gives me that sort of trouble.

I like Scott being awake and energetic in the evenings, so that's a positive for working third shift. The negative is that I have to be super quiet all day so as not to risk waking him. I'm even hesitating to make tea because of the noise of the whistle.

My left elbow is hurting a lot. Even when I'm not using the arm or hand, it sometimes hurts enough to make me mutter. The doctor recommended cold packs, but those hurt worse while I'm applying them and don't make things better after, so I'm wondering if I should try heat. That will be a bit harder because Scott moved my rice pack, and I'll have to find it. The elbow is bad enough to wake me if I move wrong, but I discovered this morning that, if I lie on my right side with a pillow between my arm and my body, the damned thing doesn't hurt. It's not ideal because I'm still feeling too warm most of the time and because the rest of my body doesn't like staying in that position, but it's better than nothing.

I have pulled out my sling. It can be useful in reminding me not to try to pick things up with that hand, but it also seems to make things worse in the long term. There's something about the angle and about how close in to my body the sling is that just doesn't work right. Possibly, I need a sling that holds the arm about three inches out from my torso.

I think that I have a solution to the problem of my c-PAP headgear sliding off-- I loosened the straps just a tiny bit, and now the dratted thing stays in place better. It's counterintuitive, but I've had it that way for two or three nights now, and it is better.

Sleep is still not great. Halcion has an effect, but it's not what my doctor said it would do. The stuff is supposed to be very short acting and hit me like a ton of bricks. It doesn't make me more immediately sleepy, but I am tending to stay asleep longer before I wake up to pee. The downside of that is that I'm getting up for that too close to when I have to get up for the day to be able to sleep again. When that's ten minutes, it's not such a big deal. When it's more than an hour... That's enough to matter.
 
 
 
19 September 2017 @ 07:24 pm
 To claim, comment on the Google Group or e-mail femslashexmod@gmail.com

Pinch Hit #10
Fandoms: Overwatch, The Bold Type, RWBY, Game Of Thrones, Black Sails, DCU (Comics)
Medium/s: Fanfic
Claimed!