Limited internet:

Apr. 22nd, 2019 05:23 pm
mistressofmuses: Closeup photograph of a light pink rose. (Default)
[personal profile] mistressofmuses
 Ugh, the internet at the apartment has been out since Saturday night. We had a power outage at some point, and that seems to be what knocked it out. Alex tells me it's still not working, and additionally the elevators are not running. So yay for that. :/ I do not want to climb seven flights of stairs to get home. 

Being internetless makes it even harder for me to go through with my good intentions as far as "staying caught up on things".

"Swordspoint" by Ellen Kushner

Apr. 23rd, 2019 12:18 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Hello and welcome to my thoughts about this book from 1987.

spoilers )

Happy Earth Day!

Apr. 22nd, 2019 10:44 am
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
[personal profile] neonvincent

Anne with an E

Apr. 22nd, 2019 12:49 am
ironed_orchid: (YAY)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid
Last weekend I asked for recs of wholesome shows to watch because while I was enjoying Z Nation, I needed something less gory to get me through the vet stuff.

[personal profile] nixwilliams suggested Anne with an E and I am so glad becaused it is just the most beautiful wonderful fantastical romantical show and I’m very pleased there is going to be a third season because I only have two episodes left.

Anne is lovely, Marilla and Mathew are perfect, and I want to be Aunt Jospehine Barry when I grow up old.

Anne Shirley Cuthbert is the the neurodivergent chaotic good bisexual that I didn’t know my heart needed and I will love and protect her for ever.

USA Today video for 4/20

Apr. 20th, 2019 05:43 pm
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
[personal profile] neonvincent

At Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I posted WXYZ, WOOD-TV, and MLive on the first 4/20 since recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan. I considered including the following video, but decided it didn't fit the Michigan theme.


From ancient China to 420, pot has come a long way. Saturday is a high-ranking made-up holiday. It's 4/20, aka Weed Day or Pot Day, and that means specials for cannabis fans across the country, regardless of whether they can legally buy pot in their state or not. This year, more major restaurant chains are getting in the holiday mood including Pizza Hut, which has a sweet brownie deal, and Boston Market with its buy-one-get-one free Pot Pie deal. Plus, Carl’s Jr. says it is the first chain to test a CBD-burger at one Denver location only on Saturday.
neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)
[personal profile] neonvincent


In the comments to Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 112 at Booman Tribune, I'm celebrating National Amaretto Day, so all of the drinks I will serve while that diary is on the rec list will contain amaretto. I begin with How to make the Amaretto Sunrise - Tipsy Bartender.

Your girl will love this drink...THE AMARETTO SUNRISE! This is one of the prettiest drinks we've made--it truly looks just like a magical sunset in a glass, with the hue changing from a yellow to orange to red in subtle layers. Plus, it tastes incredible! Amaretto, orange juice, and grenadine give it a nice fruity almond type of flavor that is sweet and smooth. This is one recipe to hang onto--with just three ingredients, it's super easy to make, and yet beautiful and tasty!
Today's recipe video is How to make Homemade Amaretto - Tipsy Bartender.

Try out this awesome recipe for...HOMEMADE AMARETTO! Amaretto is such a great liquor and so versatile. You can recreate the same exquisite almond taste as Disaronno with this recipe. This homemade amaretto is sweet and flavorful, and making it yourself is super fun and handy. It's easy and the results are delicious, so whip up a batch and serve it to your partygoers, or just impress your girl or guy with a custom bottle of amaretto!
I have another recipe video picked out for tomorrow, although my readers may have to wait until May Day to see it here.

small babies are cool

Apr. 18th, 2019 10:56 pm
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
My nephew Fritzie, at 5 months or so, is in the "oh, hey, I have feet, my feet are cool!" stage of things. He can turn over and do various energetic movements and is now eating a few things other than breast milk, too. And smiles all over the place. Plus he tells you instantly if he has just peed, because he hates marinating in his own fluids and does not wish to do it ever. (Frederick says this is atypical of most infants, but I can't say's I blame him. Fritzie, I mean.)

An overly-lit picture of him from a couple days ago. )

I went and hung out and was useful occasionally as a second pair of hands to do baby things with, this afternoon. K went to a dentist's appointment, F did some work, and Fritzie hung out with me, and was perfectly cromulent for a bit, but eventually decided he was inconsolable; that's just what babies do, sometimes. Mostly I think he didn't want cereal, he wanted *milk*. So K coming back was a relief to him. (The picture's from our combined birthday celebration a few days ago, though. I enjoy it because he is, to quote Diane DiMassa, playing the cello.)

Also, I met the neighbor's three dogs. Two of them are brother-and-sister golden retrievers, and the third is a Leonberger. (This is, for those who don't know, a ginormous dog which just got its AKC certification in 2010. They originated as a mixture of St. Bernard, Newfoundland, and Great Pyrenees. Yes indeed, they are muckin' huge. Also, kindly.) The neighbor let me come in his yard and give them a thorough scritching, so hopefully in future the (protective of her turf) Leonberger will be good with me wandering by.

Then I went to a Dedham Historical Society lecture on "The Indigenous Peoples of Dedham", which was given by a 2nd year grad student in history (going for a Masters but not a Doctorate), who is very shy and not yet all that good at public speaking (in that I could tell she was holding back panic), but was knocking it *out of the park* in terms of being detailed enough to be useful, but never getting lost in the weeds. She went on about how things were vaguely collaborative in the 1600s, and got worse, and then the semi-genocidal King Phillip's War happened and yeah, not good, to understate.

Factoid I didn't know: Apparently the accepted Dedham wisdom is that there were no indigenous settlements in what-is-now-Dedham itself. (I make that specification because Dedham is now about 10 square miles, but was originally 200+ square miles; their turf went down to the Rhode Island border.) She said that there's archeological evidence of seasonal encampments in the area of what is now Wigwam Pond, and that these encampments were generally just about around where the white settlements were. This makes sense, given that the local tribes did tend to have different wintering and summering locations.

Other factoid: She made sure to note that while there was no battle of King Phillip's War in what-is-now-Dedham, what-is-now-Dedham did serve as the common rendezvous spot for the four local counties. This caused murmuring from the clued-in crowd. (In other words, nope, the town was nothing like blameless.)

I could tell she was going to be The Best when, in the first few minutes of her talk, she made glancing reference to the 2008 struggle to change the Dedham High mascot, which was at the time a stereotypical Native American mascot (subdivision red-faced brave). She called the mascot, or possibly the people supporting it, "well-intentioned but misguided," and I was like, "Ah, I am in good hands" and relaxed. (Also, in the course of events, she noted that the current state seal is fairly enh, but the original one is actively awful. I had no idea.)

Closing tabs

Apr. 18th, 2019 04:15 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
The blessed hour when I need to shut down my work computer for an entire week after 6 months of no vacation time has arrived! So, gonna paste some links here in lieu of losing them.

Writing

1. April writing calendar you can print out - I'm not actually gonna write a lot in April (well, not that kind of writing) but I plan to use this in future months as well as just a fun countdown you can put stickers on.

2. Editing Your Writing an article someone linked me to ages ago and I never got around to reading.

3. Now Novel also not sure what this is (community? writing courses? tools? all of the above?) but it looks interesting and someone else might have to time and inclination to check it out.

4. A giant list of resource links for SFF writers! By current(?) president of the SWFA.

5. 8 minute talk on how to sell short SFF stories I'm doing a lecture about this for local writers next week and wanted to see what others had to say, this certainly seems really useful! If not exactly what I'll be telling locals who come from a different industry.

6. How to write character arcs? One in a giant series of posts about craft. They're all sort of basic but they're really good as an easy reference/starting point when you're stuck on an issue.

7. ProWritingAid apparently a lot of indie writers use this paid tool to make their prose better. Haven't checked it out but still thought it was interesting enough to keep the link.


Articles


8. I Work From Home a New Yorker piece that made the rounds recently and made me laugh.

9. The History of Women in Sci-Fi Isn’t What You Think an excellent article that made the rounds a while ago and I never found time to read! REALLY NEED TO MAKE TIME FOR THIS ugh

10.
Female Librarians on Horseback Delivering Books, ca. 1930s
just a cool story and cool pictures!

11. Herman Melville’s Passionate, Beautiful, Heartbreaking Love Letters to Nathaniel Hawthorne from Brain Pickings, also tried reading this and ran out of time like 3 months ago and hope to read eventually.

12. Critiquing Cultural Appropriation in Books That Are Kinda Meh an author who is also a friend wrote this article and I haven't had time to read it yet.

13. The World of Riverside I just finished "Swordspoint" (OH MY GOD I AM FLAILING HOW IS THIS BOOK REAL AND HOW IS IT FROM 1987) and this was a cool article I haven't had time to read on the author's website.

Stories & Misc

14. The Masterpiece, and other works of "Aristotle, The Famous Philosopher" a guide to sex and pregnancy/birth from 1680!

13. Mother Tongues an SFF story I've been wanting to read FOR AGES and against haven't found the time UGH :(

14. Tell You My Sins someone linked me to this Constantine/Daredevil fic a while ago and it looks really interesting! And I never got around to reading it.

15. Adorable Corgi Sticker! I've wanted this forever but it's such frivolous purchase I've been denying myself for like, a year. But here is the link I guess in case I ever feel like ~splurging

...GODDAMN that was a lot of tabs that have been sitting in there on top of all the stuff I actually did get to over the past 6 months!
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
[personal profile] neonvincent
io9/Gizmodo: Yes, Lucasfilm Is Developing Something for Knights of the Old Republic.
Knights of the Old Republic is an era and subset of Star Wars that fans have been clamoring to see in live action for a long time. And while that wait will continue, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy just confirmed that something based on the classic video game is potentially bubbling.

“You know we talk about [Knights of the Old Republic] all the time,” Kennedy told MTV at Star Wars Celebration. “Yes, we are developing something to look at. Right now I have no idea where things fall but we have to be careful that there is a cadence to Star Wars that doesn’t start to feel like too much.”
As I wrote on Facebook yesterday, "This is the kind of good geeky news I've been waiting to read."

We're home

Apr. 17th, 2019 05:14 pm
ironed_orchid: watercolour and pen style sketch of a brown tabby cat curl up with her head looking up at the viewer and her front paw stretched out on the left (George)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid
George is home and just demolished a plate of tuna with meds mixed in, then ate a bunch of kibble before crawling under my bed. She's indignant and confused, but clearly happier at home.

Photo on Instagram (no injury visible, just her head in a cone). 

Thank you for all your kind words and support. 

marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Next week I'll be off work, the first time off I've had in six months, and the fact that it's SO CLOSE is making this week seem like it's a hundred years long.

It also dawned on me that since I started doing local cons more seriously (as in, doing multiple events and going to friends' events, instead of just hanging out in the vicinity as long as I had someone to entertain me) the week off I usually get for Passover has become... lot less free, lol. Most of it is spent preparing for the con, attending the con, and resting from the con. Maybe one day I'll decide I've had enough and stop being so involved? But so far it's A Lot but still fun, so.

The weeks before the con are also now filled with "pilots", rehearsal run-throughs for lectures and events that will be at the con, which again are a lot of fun (I only go to the ones that seem interesting and I get to critique them at the end, which is my preferred lecture format lol) so I'm basically doing that with my weeknights this week, instead of taking advantage of all the sales in various stores and going shopping. God I wish I had time to go shopping this week. Every year I'm like "oh no I've overscheduled myself!" and then every year I forget.

In real life news, my mom had a scary test this week that I won't really want to talk about but is very worrying in the back on my mind.

I've started watching the new Game of Thrones season, which will be both satisfying an enraging I'm sure, and mostly marks the time when I will finally be a FREE ELF and no longer have to dread this show being back in my life.

After a family kerfluffle it seems I'll be spending Passover eve at my aunt's house, which is gonna be... interesting and unpleasant because I'm not fond of any of my extended family, but also means my family won't have to host and there won't be any massive cooking/cleaning to do which is AMAZING AND A BLESSING. Like, my parents refuse to get a dishwasher or even a DRYING RACK for dishes and my family does super fancy "everyone gets four plates and 5 pieces of silverware" style dining and having to wash AND DRY all of that by hand is just... omg.

I finished the first draft of my novel on April 1st, and as usual underestimated how long it would take me to get to all the writing stuff I've been putting off for the five months I've been writing the draft. So like, I've been working on writing SO MUCH lately, almost as much as I was working on it when I was doing the draft, and the month is half over and I'm still not even close to done with all my commitments.

The other night I sat up in bed (because disability and office chairs) and worked on my Strange Horizons review (which I postponed with their permission because of the Tiptree) and literally WROTE NOTES DOWN BY HAND IN A NOTEBOOK because I felt like it was the only way to make progress, unless I wanted to wait 2 more weeks to have proper time at a computer that wasn't hurting my back. Like, all of those notes will have to be transcribed! I hate doing double work, but I just feel like there's so much to get done if I ever want to get to the second draft of the book.

Finally, my biggest project, is my mom's birthday gift. It's a personalized album I have to prepare and requires HOURS of sitting in front of a computer, which is precious, precious time for me, and has to be ready basically by the time Passover is over, and it's just been... so fucking stressful and A Lot. I really hope I manage to get it done without fucking up my back completely.

here, have some Reiki

Apr. 16th, 2019 08:57 pm
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
I've got a women's spirituality place nearby. I had two, at one point, but the one in Attleboro closed due to rent problems, which is sad because it was more neo-pagany, and this one (in Easton itself) is more Angels And Mediumship And Stuff, which I'm less of a fan of. This is the very purple Women of Wisdom, which I keep calling Women of Wonder because of the 70s-era feminist SFF anthology series. (Actually, there's a store in Abington, too, come to think. They're more Wiccan-y, and among other things, they sell animal skulls.)

Women of Wisdom, however much I may eye the Angel stuff warily, does teach Reiki levels I & II (I hope to eventually take the Reiki L1 class, anyway), and also has a bi-monthly (that is, twice a month) Reiki Healing Circle, which I translate as Reiki Circle Of Energy and occasionally go to. Well, more accurately, went to once a couple months ago and then kept having things happen on Tuesday nights.

So I went tonight. There were a pantsload more circle members than practitioners there, but it worked anyway. What they do is they stick people in a circle of chairs, introduce the general idea of Reiki, and put on a (longish) meditation tape. (The group leader lady said, basically, "Things will come up, emotionally or otherwise. Just go with it.") This one focused on chakra visualization and a white ball of light going to hang out with your various chakra points; as we meditated, the practitioners went around and did Reiki on us.

(I'm not a particular fan of the chakra worldview, and feel many uses of it are appropriationist, so I try not to deliberately go to things involving them outside of a Hindi and/or Yoga context, but will certainly meditate to it if presented with a guided meditation tape using the framework.)

Being as I am me, I sometimes don't visualize too well, but gestures help with it when that happens, plus which when I get into a circle/location/sacred space where there is energy going on (which there certainly was here), I quite often will open my hands to the energy. So, since the lady *said* "just go with it," I was doing a bunch of hand and arm movements along with the "visualize the white light merging with the X light of X chakra point" background voice.

Apparently, this flummoxed one of the practitioners (the only guy practitioner), who, he said afterwards, stood behind me and tried to work within my movements, but completely failed to. (I knew he was there, but felt no energy off him at all; I do think this was in part because he's got some back and knee problems and was in pain today, but also just I wasn't acting like he was expecting me to. One of the practitioners talking with him and me afterwards said, "You should have just put your hand on her head," which I do think would have probably stopped my movements, at least; not sure how his energy would have done with mine, even so, but it would have, at least, helped him. I'm assuming he's not very experienced even though he's all white haired.)

He muttered something to one of the women about having failed with someone (presumably me, but I was in meditation-space and wasn't fully listening), and could she try; soon after, she came over, put her hand above my head, which I could feel quite well, and lo and behold, there was energy a-plenty. She and I did some extremely effective Reiki together; her hands were quite warm and I could feel her even when she wasn't touching me, and she was effectively directive without using words, which was a relief given the guy previously, and she worked the energy well, and I had some blockages I wasn't even aware of, and ommm, and so yeah, that was nice.

(I don't believe half of that paragraph, incidentally. Energy isn't tangible, says my skeptic brain, and Reiki has no measureable, scientific benefits. A lot of things don't, though, and I've long ago basically figured, I don't have to believe in it to be able to work with it and/or within it, and meditation and a kindly person being kind to me are good things in and of themselves, even if nothing else happened. But I mean, I don't believe in ghosts either, or predictive Tarot, or all kinds of things. But that doesn't mean I'll reject community warmth.)

After things broke up (they get everyone up, have them hold hands and do three Oms and a couple dance steps, at the end, to get people more back into their bodies), the guy and one of the women practitioners asked me what I'd been doing, and I explained, and the woman said it was very Tai Chi-esque, and I really *do* want to learn Tai Chi sometime...

Anyway. So, just for the record, if you don't want people to move around, don't tell them to "just go with it." And I'm sorry I messed with my practitioner's head. But I enjoyed the evening anyway.

And again...

Apr. 16th, 2019 05:28 pm
mistressofmuses: Closeup photograph of a light pink rose. (Default)
[personal profile] mistressofmuses
 And I've fallen behind again.
 
In my defense, I've felt like I've been fighting off some sort of illness, so I've been sleeping a lot. (And as sad as it is to say "fortunately" it does feel like physical ick, not a depressive episode.) There is some extremely nasty strain of flu making its way around, including through my workplace. Several people have had it escalate to pneumonia, so I do NOT want any of that.
 
I did sign up for the Kingdom Hearts Big Bang fic event. :) I was also doing that fic for Camp NaNo (the lower-pressure younger sibling of NaNoWriMo). Due to the aforementioned "sleeping a lot" I haven't gotten as much done as I'd hoped. My goal was to hit 30k words by the end of the month, and try to complete the first draft by the end of May. 
 
Initial estimates were for a 50k fic, but I'm terribly afraid it's going to creep closer to 75k. This was supposed to be the "silly, relatively short, not-to-be-taken-too-seriously, let's just write something without caring too much, trying a new outlining method" fic, dammit. I haven't given up on hitting my goal by the end of the month, but it'll require some serious and sustained effort in the second half. (I'm around 14k right now, but that hasn't all been from this month.)
 
I discovered a plot hole, and created a subplot to address it, and accidentally created a whole new avenue of complication that may be a fun path to go down with the story and make it better in the long run, but wasn't what I was originally trying for.
 
This week I need to formally write up a summary, which is due by the 22nd.
 
I also still need to contact a beta reader. There was a list of volunteers, and I meant to reach out to a couple a week or two ago, and just didn't.
 
My quarterly review (how disgustingly adult) is Wednesday and I'm actually pretty nervous. My job is a weird position, straddling the two sides of the business. There's a maybe-surprising amount of office politics in general within the company, and I am very much a pawn in it. So I hope for the best, but am also... not good at those games.

not quite a cliche

Apr. 16th, 2019 12:01 pm
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
Startlingly, I found out about the Notre Dame fire on Dreamwidth. That never happens anymore!

When the Iraq National Library (and Museum) burned in 2003, my reaction was all intellectual, and there've been others since that are similar. "Oh no, it is a tragedy that Thing X is gone." I don't feel *bad* that my reaction to Notre Dame burning was purely emotional, and fiercely so, but I did want to observe that it's true.

Having learned from 9/11 coverage, I did not let myself get glued to the TV/internet/news sources, but I did let myself occasionally look for pictures, later in the day. Altar. And some ravens above the actual fire.

I have been to it, but when I was 13, and as I recall things I liked Chartres better, in part because of the requisite Notre Dame crowds. (Though now that I'm looking at the stained glass windows, I am having memory spurts, so apparently I'm minimizing my own emotional connection, which would be just typical of me.) In any case, I will look forward to its being rebuilt, since about $600,000,000 has already been pledged by various people, and visit again in 30 years or so, when I will perhaps be more civilized. It will not be the same, but then, nothing is.

If one is having charitable urges brought on by things burning, Notre Dame will likely be covered, but there's three black churches in Louisiana that could probably use some help. (Unlike Notre Dame, which was probably an accident, the Louisiana churches are victims of arson.)

In addition, the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a major Muslim site, had a (minor) fire, yesterday. (As with a number of religious things in Jerusalem it is a) holy, b) gorgeous, and c) debated about in territory claims.) This is a previously-extant fund for its restoration, but nonetheless, can't hurt.

In other news, Yo Yo Ma plays cello to make a point at the US/Mexico border.

Vet update

Apr. 16th, 2019 05:51 pm
ironed_orchid: watercolour and pen style sketch of a brown tabby cat curl up with her head looking up at the viewer and her front paw stretched out on the left (Default)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid
Surgery went well, George is being monitored overnight and they will call tomorrow to let me know when she can come home. Once she is recovered from surgery we may have to do more tests, but the focus for the next couple of weeks will be on healing.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Apr. 16th, 2019 10:15 am
pensnest: Beast dressed as a priest (Beast)
[personal profile] pensnest
I get cuddles on demand, tea in bed every morning, and integrity.

He gets… hmm. Cuddles demanded, something different for dinner every day, aesthetics.

Something like that. It works.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
[personal profile] neonvincent
To celebrate the return of "Game of Thrones" for its final season, I present the Michigan and Peen State Bands playing music from the series at their game last November.

HK-47 trashes Revan's companions

Apr. 15th, 2019 10:10 am
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
[personal profile] neonvincent
I never played either of the Knights of the Old Republic console games, but having played Star Wars: The Old Republic for the past eight years, I've become familiar with them by proxy. Some of the same characters even show up in SWTOR. One of them is HK-47, who has a delightfully misanthropic personality. Here he is in KOTOR 2 trashing the companions of his previous master, Revan.


How much did HK REALLY know about his former companions in K1? And did he SPY on Revan and Bastila during their more private moments?
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