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Friday, June 23rd, 2017 06:00 am

Posted by SB Sarah

Today I chat with Dr. Kecia Ali, Professor of Religion at Boston University, and author of a new book, Human in Death: Morality and Mortality in JD Robb’s Novels. We discuss what inspired her to write a book about the series, which is now 45+ books in, and what she discovered with her multiple and attentive re-reads of key novels. We talk about portrayals of ethics, family, friendship, race, women’s work, and of course violence, and we hear what she’s working on next – and of course what Dr. Ali is reading, too.

If you’re at all familiar with the In Death world, this part should not be a surprise: Trigger Warnings for discussion of sexual assault, violence, abuse, and rape in the plots of the In Death books.

I also want to give a very special thank you to Dr. Sara Ronis, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at St. Mary’s University in Texas. She emailed me before this book came out to suggest. Dr. Ali as a guest – and she was totally right. I learned so much from this interview. So thank you to Dr. Ali, and to Dr. Ronis.

And! If you’re at all curious about Human in Death, Dr. Ali’s book, her publisher, Baylor Press, has been supremely awesome!

First, we have a giveaway of one hardcover copy, so if you’d like to enter, head over to the podcast entry. There will be a Rafflecopter widget for you to drop your email into. This giveaway is open to US and Canada only, must be over 18 and ready to learn all the things, void where prohibited. By submitting  an entry to the contest as set forth herein, each entrant does acknowledge and agree that, in the event such entrant is victorious, such entrant will perform a ceremony reasonably appropriate to such circumstance, including, without limitation, the Miposian Dance of Joy or all the dances from What the Fox Said.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We also have a discount code! Use code BSBT at BaylorPress.com, and you ’ll get 20% off the cover price and free shipping. Thank you to Dr. Ali, and to David and Savannah at Baylor Press for hooking us up.

Listen to the podcast →
Read the transcript →

Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

You can learn more about Kecia Ali and her work at her website, and on her BU page as well.

And if you’re interested in the romance track at the PCA/ACA conference, there are a ton of details online.

If you like the podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us at PodcastPickle and on Stitcher, too. We also have a cool page for the podcast on iTunes.

Thanks to our sponsors:

More ways to sponsor:

Sponsor us through Patreon! (What is Patreon?)

What did you think of today's episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that's where you hang out online. You can email us at sbjpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-3272. Please don't forget to give us a name and where you're calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.

Thanks for listening!

This Episode's Music

Our music is provided each week by Sassy Outwater, whom you can find on Twitter @SassyOutwater.

This is from Caravan Palace, and the track is called “Maniac.”

You can find their two album set with Caravan Palace and Panic on Amazon and iTunes. And you can learn more about Caravan Palace on Facebook, and on their website.


Podcast Sponsor

This week’s podcast is brought to you by Falling for Trouble by Sarah Title.

With her signature wry wit and humor, librarian turned author Sarah Title returns to delight readers with Falling for Trouble, the second installment in her Librarians in Love series. With starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, an Amazon editor’s pick and a glowing review from The Washington Post, this series is highly acclaimed and just plain fun. Falling for Trouble features a librarian hero with a penchant for running in very short running shorts, and a rocker heroine, who bond over music.

Liam Byrd loves Halikarnassus, New York. He loves its friendliness, its nosiness, the vibrant library at the center of it all. And now that Joanna Green is home, the whole town sizzles. A rebel like her stirs up excitement, action, desire—at least in Liam.

Joanna never thought she’d have to come back to her dull, tiny fishbowl of a hometown ever again. She almost had a record deal for her all-girl rock band. She almost had it made in L.A. And then her deal went sour and her granny broke her leg . . . and now here she is, running into everybody’s favorite librarian every time she heads to a dive bar or catches up with old friends.

He has charm, he has good taste in music—and the sight of him in running shorts is dangerously distracting. But when he loves her old town and she can’t wait to check out, their new romance is surely destined for the book drop….

Falling for Trouble by Sarah Title is available now wherever books are sold and on KensingtonBooks.com

Remember to subscribe to our podcast feed, find us on iTunes, via PodcastPickle, or on Stitcher.
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 08:15 am
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] anotherfmafan; traduction un peu bancale par mes soins.

Hardback or paperback:
Mostly paperback for pratical reasons.

Read more... )
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 12:55 am
 There are two batches of photos from Thursday, one of flowers and one of nests.
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 04:03 am

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go…

1. I overheard my interviewing calling me a schmuck

I seemed to really hit it off with an interviewer during my final interview. I even had pretty good rapport with them prior to the final interview and was more than accommodating when they needed to reschedule this final interview and a previous phone interview. They walked me out of the building after the interview was over and even then we had a pleasant conversation, which is why I find it odd that as soon as I got outside I heard this person loudly refer to me as a “schmuck.” I’m not sure that they meant for me to hear this or how they came to feel this way about me, but I heard it just the same. The question is now should I simply ignore it and pretend I didn’t hear it, or is it something that should be a deal-breaker in terms of me working for this person and this company?

I wrote back to this letter-writer and asked whether it was possible the interviewer was talking to someone else (like jokingly calling it out to a coworker). He said:

There was no one else around and I was the last person they were speaking to, so I assume it was about me. They appeared to say it out loud to themselves as though they were thinking it. I suppose they could have been referring to the other interviewer, who was sort of obnoxious and really hung up on my lack of direct experience though I do possess a lot of easily transferable skills. But I kind of doubt it. When I turned around to look the person was standing alone at the window. Their context is also open for debate they may have been annoyed-angry by something I said or did or even something I didn’t do or say that maybe they felt I should have or may simply think me a fool for wanting to work there.

This is so weird, and I can understand why you’re taken aback! Honestly, if there were someone else around, my money would be on them joking to that person and it not being about you at all. But given the context you described … I have no idea! I mean, best case scenario, they were chastising themselves (“You schmuck! You forgot to ask about Excel skills!”) or cursing someone else (“That schmuck Fergus! He never showed up for his part of the interview!”) … but that feels like a stretch. On the other hand, it also feels like a stretch that he would have been so bursting to insult you that he’d do it like this.

If he really did mean it toward you, he’s probably not going to offer you the job (at least not if he’s the final decision-maker), so at least there’s that. If someone else is the decider, though, then yeah, I’d be wary. In that case, I’d pay a lot of attention to the other cues you’ve gotten and will continue to get about what he’s like, what the culture is like there more broadly, and how well you think you fit what they’re looking for. Maybe he called you a schmuck, maybe he didn’t, and we probably can’t know for sure — so really leaning hard on the other stuff you see is probably the way to go.

2. Are managers obligated to give references?

Are all managers/bosses obligated to a certain extent to act as references for their employees (as long as they were satisfactory workers)? Or is acting as a reference more like a favor?

After getting a new job offer, should employees thank the referees who were contacted by the offering company in regards to the job? Are simple thank you emails enough, or is it customary in any situation (specific field of work, etc.) to send them gifts as a thank-you?

I have always thought that acting as a reference would be extremely time consuming for managers, especially those who have been in the role for a while or in company/area/department of high staff turnover rate, as the number of past employees build up.

It’s generally considered a professional obligation, if the person requesting the reference did good work. Certainly if a manager working for me weren’t returning reference calls for good employees, I’d speak with her about it — because it’s part of the unofficial agreement between employers and employees that you’ll be responsive to those.

That said, there’s an element of favor-doing to it too, in that you want your manager to go out of her way to help you — doing things like returning the call right away and not letting it sit, taking the time to be thoughtful with the insights she provides, and making sure she’s covering all the good things about you as an employee. In other words, you can be awesome at giving references or you can be perfunctory about it, and of course you want your references to be awesome at it. So that’s maybe where the line is between favor and obligation.

Regardless, though, most good managers are usually delighted to give references for good employees and don’t see it as a burden.

Definitely don’t send gifts as a thank-you; that feels a little too much like a quid pro quo (“I’m giving you this gift in exchange for giving me a good reference). Instead, just send them a heartfelt thanks and let them know what job you end up in.

3. Taking roll call on conference calls

I have a question about the best/most efficient way to handle roll call during a teleconference with over 12 people. The program I work for has employees all over the country and there are multiple times throughout the week that our teleconferences will have upwards of 30 people on them. We do have access to a web-based meeting platform when we need to see/share our desktops which shows participants by name, but it is not always appropriate or necessary to use that system for our conversations.

I have seen a few different methods of taking roll: (1) the open-ended “who’s on the line?” approach — which really is the worst, because then there are people speaking over one another and it is mass confusion, (2) the “going down the list name by name” approach — effective but often takes up a large chunk of time and each time another caller beeps in, they start back at the top, (3) the “I’m not going to take roll” approach, which takes the least amount of time, but then we are unaware of who is on the call with us and it can lead to issues if specific people are needed for specific updates, and (4) the “group roll call” approach, where we are told to reach out to our managers to alter them of our attendance and then that one manager reaches out, via email or instant messaging, to alert the host. Again, efficient, but leaves the callers in the dark.

I tend to vary my approach based on the meeting, but was wondering if there is an approach I have not thought of. Is there a way to take roll that is efficient, effective, and time sensitive?

If the coordinator of the conference call is able to see who’s on the line, the most efficient approach is probably for that person to read off the names of everyone in attendance at the start of the meeting. Then if others trickle in, the coordinator can ask announce those when there’s opening (“Jane and Fergus have joined as well”).

If the coordinator can’t see who’s on the line, another option is to have people announce themselves as they join while the coordinator notes down those names — and then can read off a full list of attendees before the meeting gets underway (and can have stragglers announce themselves later if needed).

But really, once you’re a certain number of people (15? 20?), I’d lean toward avoiding the process altogether because it gets really unwieldy and time-consuming at that point. If there a few specific people who need to be on the line, go ahead and confirm they’re there — but don’t do it for everyone. And try to create a norm where people are expected to attend calls where their presence is required so you don’t have to wonder if they’re on the line or not, and where they’ll alert the coordinator if they’re running late or can’t be there.

4. Am I supposed to respond to job candidates’ thank-you notes?

I’ve been a manager for several years, and been involved in numerous searches. I value and appreciate thank-you notes/emails from candidates, although it’s never a dealbreaker if a candidate doesn’t send one. I never respond, mainly because that’s what my boss did.

In the meantime, my fiance is searching for his first job after completing his degree in his 30s, and he sometimes gets responses to thank-you emails he has sent (maybe about 25% of the time). They’re just brief, polite responses (“Thank you, it was nice to meet you too”).

If a candidate sent a handwritten thank-you card, it would be very strange to handwrite them a note back (right?). But since many/most of these now come by email, is it weird that I don’t respond? Or is it normal for hiring managers to not respond, and my fiance just had a few particularly nice people?

It’s totally normal not to respond. It’s certainly a kind and gracious thing if someone does respond, but it’s 100% not necessary and most employers don’t respond to them.

I overheard my interviewing calling me a schmuck, are managers obligated to give references, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 09:24 pm
I ended up signing up for [community profile] fandomgiftbox, which is sort of [community profile] fandom_stocking in the summer with slightly different rules. I had fun treating it last year, so why not.

Wish there were more people in my fandoms in [community profile] multifandomdrabble fest. Sign ups open for another day!

I know people have been looking for nice Bill icons from this series of Doctor Who. Here are a bunch made by [personal profile] luminousdaze, along with 12, Missy, Clara and a bunch of the gang.

I really like this essay by [personal profile] lydy: The Rules: A Memo for Every Man in My Life.
Instead, I want to address something that comes up over and over in these conversations, and always from men. "What are the rules?" "How can I know how to behave if you won't clarify what you want?"

Dear men, please do not ask me to provide to you something that I have never had. I cannot provide you the rules. I do not know what they are, and I never have.


Pitssburgh Queer History project has some great archival material here.

ETA: For those who like Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells is doing an AMA here, and here's a quote from the next one.
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 12:06 am

The latest season is on Netflix now, so it's time for me to work through more of this incredibly watchable show about terrible people.

For those who need a brief refresher:

Do you like The West Wing? Do you like Leverage? Would you like a series that's cross between those two shows? How about a series that thinks it's a cross between those two shows, but missed the memo that a big part of the appeal was the main characters being likeable, competent, and out to do good things? Well, Scandal is that last one.

Our heroine is Olivia Pope, a freelance fixer of political problems with a reputation for being supercompetent, brilliant, and heroic. Before canon started, she had already helped rig the US Presidential election to put her (Republican) (also married) boyfriend into office. The first few episodes follow a mini-arc where she is asked to defend the reputation of a woman who also had an affair with said President. Olivia yells at this woman for being a lying liar. Olivia is proved wrong.

This sets the stage for a pattern where, halfway through any given case-of-the-week, whoever Olivia is defending will turn out to be evil, and whoever she just shot down will be revealed as the true victim. She is aided by a motley crew of employees and allies, some of whom are already terrible people when the show starts, others of whom compromise their morals over the course of the series. They've covered everything from war crimes to murder to perjury to torture.

An illuminating example: One of the employees (Abby) idolizes Olivia for rescuing her from an abusive husband -- now if only it stopped there. Later, Abby and a much-nicer love interest (David, also a legal ally of Olivia's) come perilously close to uncovering Olivia's Presidential-election-rigging. To get them off the trail...Olivia plants information that triggers Abby's abuse-trauma, manipulating her into a panicky and tearful breakup. Neither Abby nor David finds out Olivia orchestrated this! Both of them continue to idolize and adore her! The writers still seem to think we should too!

At the end of season 5, there were maybe 2 characters that were likeable human beings. Senator-turned-VP Susan Ross, who pleasantly surprised me by flat-out quitting her job rather than sell her soul, and governor-turned-Dem-candidate Francisco Vargas, whose soul is still up for grabs.

Liveblogged the first episode. Might end up doing the same for the whole season, depending on how commentable it is.

Onward!

 


 

Season 6 opens on the night of a presidential election, and it all comes down to...California. That's right, folks, in the Scandal universe, California is a swing state.

Also, Olivia is chastising her staff to vote if they haven't already. I mean, hey, just because they're reporting totals on the west coast, that doesn't mean the polls can't still be open! Our competent political-genius heroine in action, folks.

Frankie won. So now Olivia is berating her candidate (Mellie, also her boyfriend's ex) to call and concede, which seems like the smart and reasonable move. Knowing this show, that means we will eventually learn it totally the wrong move.

(I like Mellie and Olivia being friends. For all that they're awful, their fighting with each other was pretty evenly matched -- not one abusing the other, they both gave as good as they got. And it all stemmed from their rivalry over Fitz, who is painfully not worth it.)

Dammit, they shot Frankie. He might escape becoming awful by dying.

Obnoxious agent: "Ma'am, I'm sure you have some security clearance..." Abby: "No. I don't have some security clearance. I have all of it."

Hits all the beats and all the right emotions of a badass smackdown scene. Logically, undercut by the fact that Abby didn't show any security clearance. If you're going to waltz into a hyper-secure operation (the hospital) and start barking orders, have your badge in hand! (Also, her entire order was literally "don't let anyone in here," which I'm pretty sure they were already doing.)

...yep, they killed Frankie.

Olivia yells at her father (ex-leader of the government's Evil Secret Black Ops Division): was he behind the killing? Well, we're 22 minutes in and she's yelling at him, so I bet not.

Mellie just wants to go on vacation and leave this all behind. Now that would be the smart and reasonable move. (She never really wanted the job in the first place. She wants power in the abstract, but has no interest in doing anything in particular with it. Five minutes later she'll forget all her reasonable plans and decide she wants it again.)

Now Olivia's convinced it was Cyrus (part of the Fitz conspiracy, now VP candidate for Vargas) who had the candidate murdered so he'd be promoted to the top of the winning ticket. But we're only 27 minutes in, so she's probably wrong. After all, the Electoral College hasn't voted yet, so Cyrus would be taking a pretty steep gamble on them not abandoning the Vargas-Cyrus ticket even with half of it gone.

Olivia storms into the hospital. The same hyper-secure hospital that nobody was supposed to be let in. And finds Cyrus in mute, trembling shock. Who could've seen that coming?

Fitz: "I wanted you to be right. You're always right." Dude...have you never seen this show?

He ultimately supports the EC supporting Cyrus, which is the right choice as far as the will of the people is concerned, although both he and Mellie are impressively awful choices who should not be trusted with this country.

Vargas' widow is still in the hospital after a sleepless night, still covered in blood from standing next to the shooting, but for some reason her hair and makeup is still flawless. D- for realism, makeup department.

...So the last five minutes unveil a tip from a mystery person that it was Cyrus (no details on how the tipper came to this conclusion). Well, now that this twist has been un-twisted and re-twisted again, I'm sure the issue is settled, and will be quite shocked if the rest of the season isn't completely straightforward.

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 11:14 pm
What I love about the Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke is that it has paths that run slender and reedlike right across the water--you can run or walk or bike along them and have water on both sides of you and the sky above you, and you will feel indescribable. Under the water are columns and drifts of water plants that the fish swim around and past, not even bothered (apparently) by how mazelike the plant-columns are, and on the water's surface are lily pads and often geese or ducks, and beside or sometimes in the water are turtles, and rising out of the water are reeds, and in the air are swallows and red-winged blackbirds

I wish I could have taken pictures earlier, when the geese had goslings and the irises were blooming. But it's very beautiful now, too.

paths through the water

DSCN6221

on a path

Ashley Reservoir

Ashley Reservoir


more photos from the reservoir )
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 10:29 pm
The Reverse Fuckbuddy (2103 words) by celli
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pod Save America (RPF)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jon Favreau/Jon Lovett
Characters: Jon Lovett, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Pundit (Pod Save America RPF), Leo (Pod Save America RPF)
Additional Tags: First Time, Friends to Lovers, Fuckbuddies, Jon POV Character is Lovett
Summary:

Jon doesn't want to talk about it, Favs doesn't know what he's talking about, and Tommy would like everyone to shut the fuck up.



emotion in fic )

I find the process of learning this new skill fascinating, if you can't tell, and will happily chat about it for hours. So let me know if you have any comments or further suggestions!
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 09:15 pm
When Fan Conventions Exclude Deaf people, they fail everyone
by Alex Lu, at the Establishment

https://theestablishment.co/when-fan-conventions-exclude-deaf-people-they-fail-everyone-a138b0182b04

Creation Entertainment’s refusal to provide access comes at a time when the inclusion of people with disabilities at fan conventions is increasingly recognized as an issue.

How Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon Manage That 'Big Sick' Illness in Real Life
by Ashley Lee, at the Hollywood Reporter

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/big-sick-emilys-illness-is-real-based-a-distressing-true-story-1015698

It’s not ideal to fall in love with someone who’s in a coma, but that’s what happens to Kumail Nanjiani in The Big Sick — and in real life. The Silicon Valley actor co-wrote the romantic dramedy with wife Emily V. Gordon, based on their actual courtship (Zoe Kazan portrays her onscreen, and Holly Hunter and Ray Romano play her parents).

The titular sickness remains unnamed throughout most of the movie, as it was to Gordon for much of her life.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 08:58 pm
So normally I'd save this for my weekly Random Post of Random™, but I wanted to talk about it sooner.

Apparently, there's more than one Harry Potter!

So I know I've said JKR should STFU about my favorite world, but I have to admit, I would read the shit out of any stories about Harry's great grandfather Henry (Harry) Potter.

And if they include it in the FB franchise? Hells, yeah.

Thoughts?
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 06:57 pm
I've missed a few D&D sessions due to the film festival.

there was a point last week (I think it was when I chained the slaver to the human sacrifice tree with the manacles he had used to chain slaves, and left him there) where C said "[personal profile] ironymaiden is back!"

I like to say that I know the love of a taciturn man, but what if we're really Dianda and Patrick Lorden*?



*there are no good links. She's a murder mermaid, he's her conscience. I may have to build out their stub on the fandom wiki.
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 01:32 am

Posted by psubrat

Do you have a Doctor Who community or a journal that we are not currently linking to? Leave a note in the comments and we'll add you to the who_daily reading list.

EDITOR'S NOTE: who_daily will no longer link fanfiction that does not have a header. For an example of what a "good" fanfic header is, see the user info. Please note, the fic must have a header with the fic, not just in the link post, in order to be added to the newsletter. Thank you.



Off LJ Links
Doctor Who News: New Comics Out This Week
Doctor Who News: The Essential Doctor Who: Adventures in Space
Doctor Who News: Dr. Tenth: Christmas Surprise!
Doctor Who News: Lethbridge-Stewart: The Dreamer's Lament
Verity!: Episode 142 – The Death Eaters of Light
Verity!: Verities Doing Stuff: Mother of Invention
Whoogle News: Introductions for Episode 11 (SPOILERS)
Whoogle News: Does this vital clue tell us when we'll see Peter Capaldi's replacement in Doctor Who?
Blogtor Who: Tenth Planet Cybermen v Mondasian Cybermen - A Costume Battle
Blogtor Who: Tenth Doctor Gets Mr Men Treatment in Dr. Tenth: Christmas Surprise
Blogtor Who: The Master & Missy Together in New Episode 10x11 Trailer (SPOILERS)
Blogtor Who: Review – Titan Comics Doctor Who – Beneath the Waves Part 3
Blogtor Who: Steven Moffat Introduces Episode 10x11
Blogtor Who: Spoiler Free Preview – Doctor Who S10 E11
Blogtor Who: Meet the Cast & Crew- Episode 10x11 (SPOILERS)
Blogtor Who: "I Always Dress For The Occasion!" – The Master’s Look Down the Decades
Blogtor Who: Pearl and Peter introduce Episode 10x11 (SPOILERS)
Blogtor Who: The Dreamer’s Lament, the latest Lethbridge-Stewart Adventure from Candy Jar Books

(News via via blogtorwho, tardisscanner (Whoogle News), og_news, among others.)
(For additional news, please visit: googledw)


Discussion & Miscellany
radiantbaby shared a link for Terminus Podcast -- Episode 27
telefilo shared a video of David Tennant signing at Don Juan in Soho stage door
telefilo has a reaction/review video for The Eaters of Light


Icons & Graphics
luminousdaze has 59 new Who icons including the Twelfth Doctor, Missy, River, Bill, Martha and Clara (multi-fandom post)



If you were not linked, and would like to be, contact us in the comments with further information and your link.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 06:39 pm
(52) Doctor Who, (70) Various TV (22) Absolutely Fabulous, (25) Empire, (32) various movies & celebs
Icons include variations
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 06:24 pm
(52) Doctor Who, (70) Various TV (22) Absolutely Fabulous, (25) Empire, (32) various movies & celebs
Icons include variations
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 08:29 pm
For A.B.
Prompt: "Shuos pranks."

with apologies to the black squirrels of Stanford University campus

Jedao and Ruo had set up shop at the edge of one of the campus gardens, the one with the carp pond and the carefully maintained trees. Rumor had it that some of the carp were, in addition to being over a hundred years old, outfitted with surveillance gear. Like most Shuos cadets, Jedao and Ruo would, if questioned, laugh off the rumors while secretly believing in them wholeheartedly--at least the bit about surveillance gear. Jedao had argued that the best place to hide what they were doing was in plain sight. After all, who would be so daft as to run a prank right next to surveillance?

"Lovely day, isn't it?" Ruo said brightly.

Jedao winced. "Not so loud," he said. His head was still pounding after last night's excesses, and the sunlight wasn't helping. Why did he keep letting Ruo talk him into things? It wasn't just that Ruo was really good in bed. He had this way of making incredibly risky things sound fun. Going out drinking? In itself, not that bad. Playing a drinking game with unlabeled bottles of possibly-alcohol-possibly-something-else stolen from Security's hoard of contraband? Risky. Some of those hallucinations had been to die for, though, especially when he started seeing giant robots in the shape of geese.

Fortunately, this latest idea wasn't that risky. Probably. Besides, of the many things that the other cadets had accused Jedao of, low risk tolerance wasn't one of them.

"Not my fault you can't hold your drink," Ruo said, even more brightly.

"I'm going to get you one of these days," Jedao muttered.

Ruo's grin flashed in his dark brown face. "More like you'll lose the latest bet and--" He started describing what he'd do to Jedao in ear-burning detail.

At last one of the other first-years, puzzled by what Jedao and Ruo were doing by the carp pond with a pair of fishing poles, approached. Jedao recognized them: Meurran, who was good at fixing guns despite their terrible aim, and who had a glorious head of wildly curling hair. "Security's not going to approve of you poaching the carp," Meurran said.

"Oh, this isn't for the carp," Ruo said. He flicked his fishing pole, and the line with its enticing nut snaked out toward one of the trees.

Meurran gave Ruo a funny look. "Ruo," they said, "the fish are in the opposite direction."

"Please," Jedao said, "who cares about the fish? No one has anything to fear from the fish. That's just nonsense."

"All right," Meurran said, sounding distinctly unimpressed, "then what?"

Come on, Jedao thought, the nut is right there...

As if on cue, a black squirrel darted down from the tree, then made for the nut.

Ruo tugged the nut just out of reach.

The black squirrel looked around, then headed for the nut again.

"Oh, isn't that adorable?" Meurran said.

"Don't be fooled!" Ruo said as he guided the squirrel in a figure-eight through the grass. "Why would the commandant be so stupid as to rely on carp, which can't even leave their pond?"

Meurran glanced involuntarily at the pond, where two enormous carp were lazily circling near the surface, as if the carp, in fact, had a habit of oozing out onto the land and spying on lazy cadets. "You're saying the squirrels--?"

Ruo continued to cause the squirrel to chase after the nut. "It makes sense, doesn't it? Everyone thinks the black squirrels are the cutest. They're even featured in the recruitment literature. Damnably clever piece of social engineering if you ask me."

Meurran was starting to look persuaded in spite of themselves.

Meanwhile, as Ruo made his case, Jedao leaned back and studied the squirrel with a frown. The local population of black squirrels was mostly tame to begin with and had proven to be easy to train with the aid of treats. (Ruo had made Jedao do most of this, "because you're the farm boy.") But while Ruo and Meurran argued about squirrel population dynamics, Jedao caught a slight flash from behind the squirrel's eyes--almost like that of a camera?

He opened his mouth to interrupt.

The squirrel made an odd convulsing motion, and the light flashed again, this time directly into Jedao's eyes.

Jedao closed his mouth, and kept his thoughts to himself.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 08:27 pm
I posted two batches of garden photos from Monday, one of flowers and one of birds
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 09:25 pm
Just as LJ occasionally logs one out for no reason, so it arbitrarily ticks the "View all journals and communities in my own style" box under Display. Have unticked. Shall see what difference this makes on my phone; must say that my own style loads a lot faster than the RSS feeds that FB- arbitrarily again- converts selected LJs to. For no reason: they aren't feeds at all.
Tags:
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 07:47 pm
I just rewatched "Four Weddings and a Funeral" on a plane. (Except for the Auden part, because I did not wish to cry on a plane.) I had thoughts.
  1. Boy, this was just peak Hugh Grant.
  2. They're lucky they had Hugh Grant, because the character's actually a pretty terrible person.
  3. Andie Macdowell. Yeeeeah.
  4. I started out mentally substituting Amy Adams for her. Then I decided to substitute Haley Atwell, even though it made no sense, with the character being American. Then I decided to substitute no one, because she is also an awful character.
  5. The movie really shows its age with the Simon Callow/John Hannah relationship. No one ever says the word "gay", they never kiss, and John Hannah is introduced at the funeral as "his closest friend."
  6. I almost wish for Kirsten Scott Thomas' character to end up with Hugh Grant, except not, because as noted above, terrible.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 08:09 pm
 PSA that both youtube and hulu have the unaired episode of Powerless that gueststars Adam West, for other fans of the show. or the actor.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 09:03 pm
i'm having a good time lately cooking boneless chicken in a pan with some water and adding pasta right to that pan. i also put in a little bouillion for flavor.

it's not chicken soup because the liquid ratio is low. it's lots of protein with a small amount of soup-tasty liquid. actually i would call the liquid soup, there's just not the amount that we associate with soup.

i use dark meat chicken because it never dries out so the cooking time can be anything.

the first time i made this, it felt so reckless and daring to add dry pasta right in there instead of cooking the pasta separately! but it really works, and the pasta is extra tasty because all the flavors are married (so to speak).

at the very end, spinach can be added. i bet lots of other things could be added. i'm just so into it being only one pan.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 11:47 pm

Posted by Fred Clark

At this point in the sermon, pastors often balk and attempt to do the impossible -- to provide an example of their personal "sin" that is not actually shameful or hurtful or distasteful. They'll bring up some minor matter of akrasia, some petty foible or embarrassment. They'll confess to once saying a dirty word when they accidentally hit their thumb with a hammer, or to being impatient in traffic. Their personal illustration, being something trivial, trivializes the entire sermon.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 05:39 pm
Title: Never Seen One That Big
Fandom: Leverage
Pairing(s): Aimee Martin/Eliot Spencer
Rating: General Audiences
Word Count: 146
Warnings: None
Summary: Give Me One Sentence, I'll Write You Five More: "I've never seen one that big."
A/N: For lynne-monstr
Ao3 Link
DW Link
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 01:22 am
(Giles' citroen. Spike's driving, Giles shotgun)
GILES: If you can't find third gear, don't try for third gear!
SPIKE: I'm doing my best. I don't know if I'm driving this thing or wearing it.
GILES: It's perfectly serviceable.
SPIKE: (laughs) Funny hearing a Fyarl demon say "serviceable." Had a couple of them working for me once. They're more like "Like to crush. Crush now?" Strong though. You won't meet a jar you can't open for the rest of your life.

~~A New Man~~



[Drabbles & Short Fiction]
[Chaptered Fiction]
[Images, Audio & Video]
[Reviews & Recaps]
[Fandom Discussions]

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 05:19 pm
Title: The Games We Play
Author: [personal profile] gracerene
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco/Harry, background Hermione/Ron
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: ~3,880
Content/Warnings: Established relationship, croissants, tea, intimacy, domesticity, vigilantism, arson, glove!kink, references to breathplay, praise!kink, finger-fucking, table sex, implied switching
Summary:
Notes: For [personal profile] dicta_contrion. She knows why. I'm sorry for this, hon. I couldn't resist... Also, awful summary is awful. I am all out of words.

Thanks so much to [personal profile] capitu and [personal profile] firethesound for looking this over for me.

Read on AO3

Read more... )
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 05:10 pm
What are you currently reading?
I have just one chapter (about twenty pages) left to go in The New Jim Crow, so I will probably finish that either tonight or tomorrow. One thing I learned in the most recent chapter, which I had no idea about is that although prisoners cannot vote while imprisoned, the prison populations are used in creating voting districts and such. Most prisons are built in rural areas with very low, mostly white populations. These areas should hold very little power based on population, but because their numbers are padded by thousands of non-voting (mostly black) prisoners, they gain much more weight. Like the extreme gerrymandering in so many areas, this is nothing but an obvious power grab by republicans who know they don't have the numbers to support themselves in a fair vote. >:(

I'm also just a few chapters away from finishing The Library at Mount Char, too. This book is definitely a wild ride and I'm looking forward to seeing how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished up Public Library and Other Stories yesterday, spurred on by the fact that it was due back at the library today. Overall I enjoyed the stories, but found the title and cover blurbs a bit misleading. There was no story called Public Library, and the stories were not so much library-themed as language- and book-themed. They were still good stories, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.

What do you think you'll read next?
Well, I had pre-ordered the new 7 Seeds and just got an email from Amazon last night that it had been downloaded to my ipad, so I will probably be reading that pretty soon. The last chapter apparently came out this month, but I'm not sure how many more volumes that will be since I don't follow the chapters as they're published, but probably just one or two. Maybe more if she does bonus material like she did for Basara.
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 12:10 am

What's on my humor blog the past week? Stuff from your Reading page, and maybe from your RSS feed, if you didn't want to wait for this. If you did, here we go.

Let's get back to Kennywood, because that is always a correct thing to do.

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Jackrabbit, Kennywood's (barely) oldest wooden roller coaster, rolling across frame.


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Kennywood's cute little aliens. Thee's a bunch of these statues, along with some of similar aliens loading (or unloading) boxes of fun from their spaceship, and a couple just lying about, near the flying saucer-themed Disk'o ride.


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Caught a nice angle on The Phantom's Revenge here. Also some good skies that it turns out were getting ready to rain on us.


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View of Thunderbolt (and in the distance the Turtle and The Phantom's Revenge) from the altitude provided by Ghostwood Estates's launch station. This is after it had basically got done raining.


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[profile] bunny_hugger very backlit and trying to show off the Turtle ride's animated neon sign.


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So if the rain has closed your Noah's Ark ride there's probably something wrong.


Trivia: After the discovery of Neptune in roughly the location where his calculations forecast, John Couch Adams declined a knighthood. Source: In Search Of Planet Vulcan: The Ghost In Newton's Clockwork Universe, Richard Baum, William Sheehan.

Currently Reading: DC Showcase Presents: Superman, Volume 3 Editors Dan DiDio, Mort Weisinger. That's the loopy Silver Age writing I love, like when Supes and Lex Luthor reminisce about the time Luthor attacked Metropolis with a atomic-powered spinny top.

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 06:50 pm
 So somehow I've been dealing with the side effects of the Hepatitis B vaccine after getting it yesterday at the doctor's office.  Needless to say I'm feeling sick, and overall very crappy, but I'm hoping this will pass in a few days.  Ugh, I feel awful.  I'll probably spend the rest of the day either watching anime, or reading.  I do need to continue reading "American Gods", as well as a few comics, and manga I got during my birthday.  
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 06:10 pm
Today is cloudy, cool, and breezy.  Earlier I took pictures.

I planted two lemon thyme plants in the Goddess Garden, and watered potted plants. 
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 05:28 pm
So. This Happened.Surprise! )
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 06:36 pm

⌈ Secret Post #3823 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 12 secrets from Secret Submission Post #547.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 06:21 pm
The taxi was ten minutes late, but Ithaca airport security is pretty efficient so I got to the plane on time. All my connections went smoothly, and though takeoff from the Twin Cities was a little delayed by weather, that flight actually landed at Bemidji a few minutes early. Victory!

I am on the island, in the cabin, and will probably make a longer post tomorrow after I have pulled myself back together a bit more. :)
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 09:41 pm

Posted by Wil

Oh my god you guys this was so much fun to play and film.

Steam Park is the rare tabletop game with a dice mechanic at its core that I can massively enjoy playing, no matter what the dice do to me.

Get ready for poop jokes!!

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 08:00 am

Monsterhearts, Night Witches, Tabletop RPGs

At Continuum 13, I had the pleasure of sitting on the Tabletop Gaming panel with Aidan Doyle, Darryl “Owlbear” Brown, Laura Wilkinson and Bryce Campbell. The discussion was a mix of designer and player perspectives, and remained an upbeat conversation throughout. We could have continued for hours.

One of the things I touched on in the panel was feminism and gaming. I wanted to elaborate a little on that here.

The rise of Kickstarter has brought a new golden age for indie RPGs. As the panel mentioned, you can now find something for everyone. This includes games that have strong feminist influences and encourage diversity. A few of the games that have come across my radar include:

Bluebeard’s Bride by Whitney Strix Beltrn, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson. This gothic horror RPG is still in production, but you can still preorder and check out their Kickstarter pitch video. Players collectively form Bluebeard’s Bride, playing different aspects of her psyche as she explores her husband’s mansion. Although the game uses the structure of the original fairytale, it encourages players to tell their own versions, allowing space for the empowering as well as the tragic.

Eclipse Phase by Posthuman Studios is a cyberpunk game which has just Kickstarted its second edition. This game is perhaps a little less explicitly feminist than the others. However, being concerned with posthumanism, it allows space for exploration of gender and disability through mechanisms for swapping and augmenting bodies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has more of a complicated rule system than the other games (which are all Powered by the Apocalypse).

Monsterhearts by Avery Alder is one of my favourite RPGs. It’s an urban fantasy about teenage monsters. As you might expect, teenage sexuality is an important element of the game. This may be why it is the first (and, so far, only) game I’ve ever seen discuss asexuality and allows space for that within the rules. It is also built around the premise that everyone is fundamentally bisexual and can be turned on by characters of any gender–though players always retain the choice of whether they wish to act on these feelings.

Night Witches by Jason Morningstar. Set in WW2, players are members of the all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment in the Russian Army. The game touches on the discrepancy between the Soviet philosophy of equality and how the women were actually treated. It also explicitly mentions queer relationships and one of the playbooks allows for a genderqueer character.

The Watch by Anna Kreider and Andrew Medeiros. A low magic fantasy wherein a mystical enemy known as the Shadow invades. Able to enter and subvert the minds of its enemies, the Shadow is particularly effective against men. It’s up to women and non-binary femmes to form the Watch and defend their lands. This is another game still in production, but you can still check out their Kickstarter. I appreciate the explicit inclusion of non-binary femmes in their pitch. The game also looks like it will have some mechanisms which deal with mental health.

These games have diversity and inclusivity baked into their premise and mechanisms. While I will always value these sorts of games the most, they’re not the only way of promoting diversity in RPGs. As I mentioned in the panel, simply including diverse people in the accompanying artwork can go some way towards fostering an inclusive environment. The fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons has made some improvements in this fashion (even if the setting retains some problematic elements).

The games I’ve mentioned here are surely just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re a keen tabletop RPGer, I’d love to hear from you: Which feminist RPGs have you discovered?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Tags:
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 10:37 pm
I'm sort of trying to find something...fandom friends, or maybe just friends.


I'm 35, bi, gf, married with a kid. I live in Wales, I work in a pharmacy and write fiction and poetry too. 

I've got five cats and four chickens.

I will always love Stargate (SG-1 and SGA) and Trek (TNG, DS9, VOY) I have passing interests in other and currently love Dragon Age, MCU, Steven Universe, Brooklyn 99. I don't write as much fanfic as I used to still have a lot of ideas peculating up there. I miss being part of fandom though I've always felt like I was on the fringes.


I ship f/f and het mostly, and I read that too but I will write anything. Any pairing. I'm either mental or gifted. Not sure which.

I love old films from the beggining to the 70s. Love MST3K. The new series was great. I love crap films, I hate reboots but I will watch them sometimes.


I have a post here that has more about me if you want to check it out.


Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 02:39 pm


Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Kiss
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 6 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: 31-year-old Mame has been in love with her childhood friend Souta ever since she can remember. Despite multiple rejections, her love has stayed constant. It's become a habit more than anything, but is it one she'll ever be able to break and get on with her life?

Chapter Summary: Souta's reaction when Mame tells him she broke up with Kawada-san is the last thing she was expecting.



Chapter 18: Something's Gotta Give