September 2017

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Sunday, September 24th, 2017 01:02 am
Title: Garden sinister, and Golden sinister
Artist: lynndyre
Rating: G
Fandom: Tolkien
Character: First Age Elf
Content Notes: pencil on pastel paper.

On my journal.
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 11:04 pm
1. What's the happiest thing to ever happen to you?
Getting a horse for Christmas when I was 11. Penny and I were soul-friends and I had so many good times with her. Here is a photo of us the next summer: https://flic.kr/p/63nL6f

2. What's the saddest thing to ever happen to you?
Maybe when my 2 best friends broke up with me when we were 11-ish (6th grade). In therapy, I determined this to be a watershed event for learning to shut down my emotions; and also the ringleader probably sensed something gay about me, and that is why she decided to stop talking to me. Also, the way they did it! They just stopped talking to me one day. I was bewildered more than anything.

3. What's the thing that got you the most angry in your life?
Probably at a therapist. I was about a day or two into a hypo-manic episode (?) after coming out and I thought she could help me. She didn't. I did write about it at the time http://sasha-feather.dreamwidth.org/375687.html (post was filtered but it's so long ago I will unfilter it, temporarily. Many of my older posts are locked down to private).
I got so angry about the Vivid Con ableism stuff in 2010 that I made myself ill. But, that anger has faded. I don't really feel it anymore.
I didn't get angry a lot before I came out; and then I was angry *all the time*; it seems better now a few years on.

4. What's the most frightening thing to ever happen to you?
Scary situations don't really "happen to me" so much as arise from my anxiety. I have gotten super anxious in totally mundane situations. It seemed like the only way out of the problem was to speak, and I was so anxious I could not speak, so I was stuck and frozen. Also, I didn't know why this was happening. Everyone else seemed to have no problem in these ordinary situations, like speaking to a teacher or knocking on a door. Then having random panic attacks sent me to therapy.
In a more traditional sense of frightening-- there was some scary-to-outsiders stuff with the horses, like getting bucked off. But it never seemed scary to me. Animals are easier than people, and that basic fear is easier to deal with than anxiety.

5. What's the most unbelievable thing to happen to you in your life?
a. Getting scholarships that paid for my college education
b. Getting a horse for Christmas!!!11!1!!!
c. Not realizing I was queer until age mumblety
d. getting facial pain that has no real diagnosis
e. Being on the State Champion poutlry quiz bowl team!
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 11:08 pm
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, there are 23 new verses in "The Higher a Monkey Climbs."  Jules and Pips discuss how to support G's family after the fire.
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 12:04 am
We still have one more giftbox on the needy list, so the deadline has been extended for 24 hours.

Fandoms are Eye Candy, In the Flesh, Kingdom, Suits, The Firm, and The Flash. Please check out our list or spreadsheet for a link to further details. 

New countdown clock is here.
Tags:
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 12:04 am
What would you name your kids if you have any?

Astrid May for a girl, I don't know about a boy. Kevin likes the name Astrid, and I do too, but it's really his choice. May is my middle name, my mother's middle name, my grandmother's middle name, and my great-grandmother's middle name. So it's really important to me to keep that.


the rest )
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 11:33 pm
I woke up just in time to eat breakfast before I had to leave. Today's adventure was the zoo event. I got to the volunteer check in table and they sent me to the room where the mascots would be dressing so I could guide around a mascot. I waited until an hour after my shift started, and the guy for the flamingo costume never showed up, so I went to get Sarah, who told me to just go in and enjoy the event. I talked to one of the docents somewhat about the elephants and their plans to expand the elephant area and maybe get a bull so they can have baby elephants. This led into talking about pregnant Qinu the beluga at Georgia Aquarium.

There were stations to get wine, beer, and food all over the zoo. I wound up getting one cup of sparkling mango wine, and then eating the food. It was good. I couldn't eat two of the things because they had seafood, but I got some steak, and a piece of a taco and some donuts. I discovered that it's impossible to see the gorillas with wheels - there just isn't a ramp onto the observation platform. So that made me sad, especially as there was someone with a microphone talking about gorillas up there, and I would have liked to listen.

I wound up watching the elephants for a long time, and the sun bears, and the pandas. The sunbears were clearly distressed that it was past time for them to be off exhibit and behind the scenes doing whatever they do there. They were pacing in front of the exit to their exhibit and occasionally jumping up on it like "let me in!" I kind of understand - it was 90F and they're black bears. But they're from Malaysia, certainly they should be used to hot weather? The tortoises were off exhibit with a sign that said "even Atlanta can be cold to a tropical animal. Check us out starting in late spring" - did I mention it was 90F out? Certainly that's not too cold for anything that has an outdoor enclosure in Atlanta?

I started driving home, and Kevin called to tell me he'd ordered me dinner from someplace we'd never eaten at before. So, I came home to dinner, and when I answered the door, the dog ran past me, and jumped on the guy with the food. He started jumping and screaming, which of course makes the dogs think he wants to play, so they're jumping and barking too. I collect my dogs and my food, and start to close the door and he's out there with his pants leg pulled up yelling "ma'am, ma'am!" so I peek out the door and he says "do you have the peppers?" I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about and he keeps gesturing to his leg asking for peppers. I finally say, "I have no idea what you want," and he says, "fine then I'll call the cops!" Since there was not a mark on his leg anywhere, and I have no idea why he wants peppers unless maybe he wants me to pepper spray my dogs, I tell him, "you do that then," and kick the door closed. Why do people who are afraid of dogs take jobs as delivery drivers? Honestly, get a job as a cook or something where you don't have to interact with people or dogs if you're afraid of dogs. Anyway, I'm seriously stressed out because I don't want him to report my dogs to the police.
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 10:31 pm
Error 404:
Your haiku could not be found.
Try again later.

A common problem
have you tried turning it off,
and then on again?
Tags:
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 10:50 pm
Thanks to the kindness of [personal profile] aamcnamara in loaning a copy so I did not have to fight through the library line, I read The Stone Sky - third in N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy, following up on The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate - last weekend.

I don't think Essun destroyed any cities at all this book! I'm so proud!

The rest is disconnected spoilery thoughts )
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 09:43 pm
Sunday:

Ghosted*
Madam Secretary

Monday:

The Gifted*
Star Wars Rebels

Tuesday:

Brooklyn 99
The Mayor*

Wednesday:

Dynasty*

Thursday:

The Good Place



I’m not sure when Elementary or The Librarians will air, but I assume both will still be on Sunday. There are only 3 kdramas that have been announced for the last quarter with set air dates that I'll almost definitely be checking out (Andante, The Package and Black) and only a few that I might if feedback sounds like something I'd be interested in, and there's no point in planning to watch cdramas in advance since we never know if they'll get English subtitles before they're underway anymore, so maybe I'll make some serious progress with my backlog by the end of the year.


Empire, Jane the Virgin, Supergirl and How to Get Away With Murder are shows I’m a half season or more behind on but do intend to catch up with someday. Riverdale is a maybe-I need to watch the first season first.

* = new show

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 06:36 pm
Well, this morning my sister and her wife flew back to Hawaii after an eight-day visit here. We were up at 4:30 and out the door by five to take them to the airport, so I'm a bit tired, but I'm also really sad. I like my sister very much, and this was a great visit. They stayed with us, in our new den/guest room, which worked really well and, they tell us, was very comfortable. Yay! I took some photos, which didn't really turn out, but I'll post two anyway so you can see the new blinds on the French doors:

Den_blinds_outdoors


And here is the other end of the den:

Den_southend


We really like the blinds but mostly we like that they're installed because that's the official end of the remodel. We might do more stuff later, but right now, that's it. Done and dusted.

I spent several hours with Mother today, too, and as she said, it helped ease the pain of losing my sister until she returns in February. We had a quiet day, spending part of it in the garden, and then I massaged lotion on her arms and legs and rubbed her feet.

Anyway, my sister is three thousand miles away.

Because they were here and we were so busy, I didn't practice ukulele or yoga, and I didn't read much online. I do have a few links but first I want to recommend the documentary Score. I loved it so much and am encouraging Webster to see it as well. I gather it was kickstarter funded??? Whatever, it was really interesting and I learned a lot.

I also want to recommend a new-to-me podcast, The Fall Line. I learned about it from Georgia Hardstarck on My Favorite Murder and I'm grateful she mentioned it. Dannette and Jeannette Millbrook (often misnamed as "Millbrooks"), 15, disappeared on the afternoon of March 18, 1990. They have not been seen since. Their case was closed in 1991, and not reopened until 2013. Many neighbors expressed surprise, stating that they didn't even know the girls had gone missing, or that they heard the twins had been found.

What happened to the twins? Why was their case closed? Why did they receive so little media attention? Where does their case stand now?
Heartbreaking. Similar in structure to Somebody Knows Something, another great podcast.

I miss the ocean! So I really enjoyed this timelapse of a thirty day sea voyage. Found via Kottke, of course.

Alas, I have been paying attention to politics and we have called both our senators about that horrible health care bill, fat lot of good that will do. But as a Bay Area girl in my heart, I was pretty thrilled to read the official Golden State Warriors statement: We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. Ha!

And that's it from me. I need to recover a bit, get back into uke and yoga, and of course catch up with all of you. I hope you are well.
Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 07:14 pm
But honestly, I'm not sure I want to. It's harder to cut felt than I realized!

(Is "logo" the right word? Should I say "sigil" or "symbol" or "shield"?)

********************


The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

When growing their penises for the season, ducks bend to social pressure

The Hobbit Was Almost Illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Growing Up Neanderthal

The Banned 1910s Magazine That Started a Feminist Movement in Japan

Millions of new genes in human microbiome

Present-Day Devices as Props

These jellyfish don’t have brains, but still somehow seem to sleep

The mysterious group that’s picking Breitbart apart, one tweet at a time

Getting emotional after failure helps you improve next time, study finds (Who'da thunkit?)

Gene editing of human embryos in UK reveals new fertility clue

How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food

Women Are Spending Years In Prison Because Wyoming Won’t Let Them Into Its All-Male Boot Camp

Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey

How Canada has been secretly giving asylum to gay people in Chechnya fleeing persecution

Thousands gather to protest arrests over Catalonian vote

Spain to send extra police to try to halt Catalan referendum

Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (but Don’t Know It)

Lightning storms triggered by exhaust from cargo ships

Washington Just Sued a Giant Private Prison Company for Paying Immigrant Workers $1 Per Day

These Women Are the Last Thing Standing Between You and Nuclear War

In Battle Over Tax Cuts, It’s Republicans vs. Economists

174 Television Stations Are Being Forced To Air Trump Propaganda Disguised As News

Some forcibly arrested in St. Louis weren't protesting

'Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself' Is in Full Effect

How a federal agent got away with terrorizing his Brazilian ex-girlfriend — even as she repeatedly begged the US government to stop him.

Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For

Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far (Wow. And yet, so not surprising....)

Too late, China and America see North Korea the same way
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 10:13 pm
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It's the book the movie was based on. I really wanted to see the move, but couldn't get past my dislike of movies with George Clooney and/or Matt Damon.
A note about the movie: Among those leaked e-mails from Sony studios was one from Clooney (who directed as well as acted) apologizing for the movie not doing very well. My brother saw it on one of those "entertainment news" shows where they tried to make it seem like it was a bad thing, but my brother said: "If anything, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than you hear about. that whole "gentleman George" thing,"

The book was interesting, if long & is one of those forgotten stories of World War 2 that more people should know about it. To that end, they have an official site about the real men (& women) behind the story. And there's a monuments men foundation to help preserve art that is in danger from armed conflicts today. they are also looking for info on missing cultural objects from WW2 & other wars.

I've read several books about little known or forgotten people & stories of WW2 & am convinced that if a movie studio just did movies about them, they could put out movies for at least a decade.

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 09:07 pm
This is a young-adult novel, a debut for the author, and it deservedly has a lot of great reviews.

Content notes for police violence

Starr Carter lives in a poor neighborhood called Garden Heights. She and her brothers commute 45 minutes to go to a mostly-white private school. It's Spring break and she's a a party in the Garden. She runs into an old friend, Khalil, and they catch up. A fight breaks out at the party and they leave, getting into Khalil's car. On the way home, a cop pulls them over, shoots and kills Khalil. The book is abou the aftermath of these events.

It's first-person and the strong use of voice makes this book real and visceral. Thomas deftly handles a number of difficult topics, such as Starr's complicated feelings about dating a white boy, and feeling torn between two worlds. The story is gripping, and though its long (by YA standards), its a fast read.

I hope to see this as required reading on syllabi.
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 10:08 pm
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It's the book the movie was based on. I really wanted to see the move, but couldn't get past my dislike of movies with George Clooney and/or Matt Damon.
A note about the movie: Among those leaked e-mails from Sony studios was one from Clooney (who directed as well as acted) apologizing for the movie not doing very well. My brother saw it on one of those "entertainment news" shows where they tried to make it seem like it was a bad thing, but my brother said: "If anything, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than you hear about. that whole "gentleman George" thing,"

The book was interesting, if long & is one of those forgotten stories of World War 2 that more people should know about it. To that end, they have an official site about the real men (& women) behind the story. And there's a monuments men foundation to help preserve art that is in danger from armed conflicts today. they are also looking for info on missing cultural objects from WW2 & other wars.

I've read several books about little known or forgotten people & stories of WW2 & am convinced that if a movie studio just did movies about them, they could put out movies for at least a decade.

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 08:50 pm
Hmmm...update meme:

1. Doing: Spent the day dealing with vendors, which was well trying and a touch stressful. Good news? Accomplished all three tasks.

Read more... )

Then went for a long meditative walk and grocery shopping. Because all of that, well the a/c stuff, was insanely anxiety inducing, also frustrating. And it went okay, or as well as can be expected.

2. What I am Watching?

Vietnam War Documentary on PBS by Ken Burns. And I'm bored. It is interesting in places. But too much information. Brain overload. I need to watch this when I'm not gainfully employed, and writing three books at the same time in my head. Plus trying to figure other things out.

Did learn a few things...the French do not come out as very nice. Actually it's an indictment of the French, British and Americans. Apparently the French colonized Vietnam and enslaved the inhabitants, justifying it as civilizing them. The Vietnamese could have done without the French version of civilization and didn't need them, thank you very much. Ho Chi Mingh went to the Americans to help them get out from under French rule. And the Americans sort of helped, but got caught up in well the Cold War and their fear of Communism. He tried, in various letters to various Presidents, to inform them that he wasn't a communist and he just wanted a free state for Vietnamese. (If anything he was more of a nationalist.) But alas, the CIA with its own agenda, refused to pass the letters on to the Presidents. Things escalated, the US became paranoid of Communism and hence the Vietnam War. The American fear of Communism and European urge to colonize killed over a million people.

Depressing. And hard to watch. I knew some of it already. What I didn't know was what the French did.
Okay, not completely true, the French father of a family that I stayed with in the 1980s in Brittany, did tell me a lot of it. But he told me in French, so I got about half of it. He was stationed there and had been in the trenches.

What else?

The Expanse, Mozart in the Jungle, Wynonna Earp S2, and General Hospital. Also tried to watch The 100, but I think I'm going to give up on it and delete. I just don't care about any of the characters any longer. I've no clue why. I liked the first two seasons, but the third one lost me a bit with the whole Allie arc and oh the world is going to blow up, again. My least favorite sci-fi subgenre is nuclear war. I got burned out on it in the 1980s.

3. What am I reading?

At the moment, Carrie Fisher's The Princess Diarist --- which is her publication of the diaries she kept while filming the first Star Wars film - A New Hope. The first 45% of the book is prologue or set-up to the diaries. She's basically setting the stage, so you can figure out what she's talking about in the diaries. Because Fisher is more like I am in her journal writing...she writes about feelings, how she feels about things, what her thoughts are, and less about what she did or what happened. She's a reflective and introspective writer, not a...oh today we had lunch, and went to the doctor, and did this, and that, and had sex with our boyfriend. She also isn't into doing graphic sex scenes...so if you were hoping for Star Wars porn...it's not there. I'm liking the diaries more than I expected, much better than the introductory material.

However...she does in the introductory material state that she'd received closure with Ford, and he was kind. Which explains why they had no problem doing the next two films together, and were able to remain friends or at the very least friendly. Ford is not the most emotionally reflective of folks, which if you read any of his interviews you probably already knew. Nor much of a conversationalist. He's fairly monosyllabic. But he does tell her...in response to her statement that she's such a hick. "No, I think you are a lot more intelligent than you think you are...so an intelligent hick." Pause.
Then after a bit. "You have the eyes of a doe and the balls of a samaria (sp?)." Which she realized was out of character for him to say and incredibly kind. In the interview -- the only thing Ford was willing to state about Fisher and the book, was more or less the same thing ...that she was brilliant, kind, and amazingly brave and he was glad to have known her. And to his credit, he'd thought when they entered their affair that she was a lot more experienced than she was, for she came across that way. And they smoked so much pot that Fisher can't remember much of it, and really just has her diaries and vague memories to go on. She does wonder why she didn't go for Mark, who would have been far more suitable. (Honestly? I know why. I'd have jumped Ford over Hamil when I was 19. At 12 I preferred Luke, but I was more romantic and less sexual at that point. And I'm ten years younger than she was.)

Also read a lot of romance novels. Read more... )

I'm eclectic and insanely diverse reader. There is not a genre that I have not binge read or read at one time in my lifetime. I just can't remember half of the books that I read in it...the downside of binge reading, I suspect. I do have my favorite -- go to genre, which is sci-fantasy, mainly because unlike romance and mystery, it tends to combine the other genres within it, and I like world-building apparently. Or crave something a bit more complex and thematic, with lots of metaphors. I jump into sci-fantasy in between other books.

4. What I'm writing...

Besides multiple things for work, and blog posts...still plodding away on my sci-fi novel, the one about the resistance leader negotiating a peace settlement with the aliens she's been fighting for a decade. Doing a lot of world-building in the midst of the action. At the moment sort of stuck on a plot bunny. Read more... )
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 08:55 pm
This is the freebie for the September 2017 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon. It also fills the "merfolk" square in my 9-1-17 card for the Pirate Fest bingo.


"Black Swan Lake"


She swims,
her long neck
a graceful curve,
her black feathers
sleek and unruffled.

Sometimes,
she changes.

She swims,
her two feet
now a single fin,
her black breasts
bobbing in the water.

In both forms, she
is the secret mistress
of Black Swan Lake.

* * *

Notes:

See the black swan in bird form and mermaid form.

Mermaids appear in legends from around the world, including Africa.

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 09:48 pm
Title: Nestle
Fandom: Power Rangers Ninja Steel
Pairing: Calvin/Hayley
Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Power Rangers. It's not my toy box and I'm merely playing.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Preston, Calvin, and Hayley share a quiet moment during a team up with the Dino Charge rangers.
A/N: Happy Bi Visibility Day. This can be read as ship or gen.

Nestle: )
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 09:48 pm
Scott didn't get to bed until 11 this morning and so didn't get up until sometime around 7 this evening. I feel like I've been cat waxing all day, but I reminded myself that I don't have any absolute commitments for projects until UCon in November. I want to write some stories for [community profile] weissvsaiyuki which is having a fanworks battle in October, but if I don't, I won't be defaulting on someone.

Of course, today's cat waxing was scrolling through the Gdoc of prompts for the Trick or Treat exchange, saving off anything that I thought might be fun to write, and then reorganizing my old archives of saved prompts in hopes of being able to find things more easily. I don't know that I ever actually will write any of those, but it's hard to say. I also need to figure out a better way of organizing prompts within fandoms.

The Gdoc for Trick or Treat stripped out the links to letters, and only a few of the requests had had the links added back (I think each person has to ask for it to be done themselves and to provide the url), so there were a lot of things that, based on fandom and characters, might have been things I could write but that weren't enough to give me a different starting place than I'd have just writing something for myself.

I suppose that I should be glad of that as a way of limiting how many prompts I saved off. The full Gdoc was somewhere between 700 and 800 pages. My Gdoc of saved Trick or Treat prompts was only 31 pages. Well, 24 pages once I changed the line spacing, but the line spacing copied over from the original.

I slept middling badly last night. I didn't take anything to help me sleep, so I didn't sleep as soundly and kept half waking from the pain my elbow or unhappiness with my dreams (it's very frustrating to have a dream where I know I'm in a story and know how it will all come out and keep having my efforts to change things simply not work at all).
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 06:33 pm
Remember how I said that I was probably way too close to the world described in Juliet Takes A Breath to have any kind of objective opinion about its merits? Join me in laughing hollowly as I disclose that I joined the venture capital industry very shortly after Ellen Pao first filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the industry's giant, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Why is it on me to learn and improve and not on them to listen to me like they listen to one another? I wondered.

I shall confine myself to remarking that I underlined every second sentence or so of Reset but nobly refrained from writing IT'S SO TRUE!!! in every margin, if only because I was reading it on my Kindle. And that Ellen is a real-life badass superhero and that her Project Include is an authentic Force For Good. And that this book is an pretty good primer both on the structure of venture capital and on what discrimination in the workplace looks like, and how insidious it is and how hard to fight. Okay, I'm done.
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 07:58 pm

 
Yesterday Google's fall equinox doodle warmed me to the bottom of my Beatrix-Potter-loving, Brambly-Hedge-obsessed heart. Too bad the weather around here hasn't changed since August. It is supposed to cool down a little some time next week (or is it the week after next week?), though, so there's that. 

Today I also headed over to the library for the first time since classes started. Checked out The Likeness by Tana French and Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati; realistically I might not have the time to finish either of them but I'd like to at least give The Likeness my best shot. It's one of the two Dublin Murder Squad books that I haven't read yet, and the one with the strangest (in the best way) plot. Plus, I've been dying for some non-assigned reading since Monday. Fourth week of the semester is when things start to get seriously stressful--I did sneak some writing in, anyway, but I've fallen totally off the wagon when it comes to reading.

Speaking of writing, I'm going to do my level best to finish the latest Pete fic this weekend. I've got...maybe four or so pages to go? Not completely sure, but I'm down to the final stretch and everyone's been so sweet and patient and I just need to get this thing done. And then move on to the story. Even if I don't finish it, I'd like to at least get the bulk of the last major scene done so I'll only have a few loose ends to tie up come Monday. 

The only other even slightly interesting thing I did this week was baking London Fog shortbread. I used this recipe and bypassed a couple steps (didn't bother chilling the cookies once I'd cut them out) but they turned out very good. I'm not a huge fan of Earl Gray on its own, but I love it in shortbread. So I spent Friday evening baking shortbread, then eating shortbread in front of Call the Midwife with my sister. Not a bad way to start the weekend. 

And, last but not least, we finally have a trailer for The Punisher! I'm trying to stay a little skeptical, just so I won't build it up to some impossible ideal, especially when it comes to Frank and Karen...but I'm so, so excited. I hope this ends up being good. I really do. 
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 06:21 pm
Content warning for child sexual abuse, incest, and a fairly graphic rape.

I was puzzled by this book until I realized it was the author's first, and that when she wrote it she was not yet the astonishing artist who created Sethe and Beloved. The Bluest Eye deals with a lot of the same themes as the later novel - the crippling legacies of the slaveholding South, the crises of Black American manhood, the extremes to which Black women are driven to make sense of their predicaments. But they are present here in larval form.

Morrison uses the text of a child's early reader as a framing device, and to throw her dark material into stark relief. I realize as I am writing this that it works equally well as an ironic nod to the fact that the author is here feeling her way into her story and her voice.

The great John Leonard gave this book a lovely, generous review.
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 02:10 am
KJ Charles protagonists by Hogwarts house.

Gryffindor: Stephen Day, Archie Curtis, Richard Vane, Silas Mason, Nathaniel Roy, Jonah Pastern, Simon Feximal

Ravenclaw: Dominic Frey, Rowley Green, Crispin Tredarloe, Saul Lazenby

Hufflepuff: Harry Vane, Lord Gabriel "Ash" Ashleigh, Clement Talleyfer, Ned Hall, Ben Spenser, Martin St Vincent, Robert Caldwell

Slytherin: Lord Crane, David Cyprian, Daniel da Silva, Justin Lazarus, Julius Norreys, Francis Webster, Theodore Swann, Randolph Glyde

Which means we have:

Gryffindor/Slytherin x4, Gryffindor/Ravenclaw x2, Gryffindor/Hufflepuff x2, Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff x2, Ravenclaw/Slytherin x1, Hufflepuff/Slytherin x3
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 05:53 pm
Content warning for child sexual abuse, incest, and intimate partner violence.

I knew this book only from the Spielberg movie. I am not a fan of Spielberg; I find him manipulative and his films shallow and cloying. Nothing prepared me for hearing Alice Walker read her own novel aloud. Her performance brings out the vivid poetry and wry intelligence of Celie's very singular voice.

This is the story of the three great loves of Celie's life: her sister Netti, the singer Shug Avery, and God himself. God is fine, I guess, whatever. Shug is one of literature's greatest bisexuals, and I would take a bullet for her. But Celie and Netti are America's Jane and Lizzie Bennett. Their love is vast.

By the end of the book I found myself hanging on every word, and gasping aloud at turns in the plot. You say something like "a modern masterpiece" and it makes it sound like homework reading, but The Color Purple is both great and really, really good.
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 08:53 pm
So... okay, so, I saw six apartments today, and one of them seems... like it could be so good. I really, really liked it when I was in it, and then a few hours later, I was waffling like hell and doubting whether I really liked it that much and whether I should hold out for another and whether I should feel more strongly and why am I not feeling strongly... Broker pointed out that I could be gun-shy, given what apartment-hunting got me last time. I'm trying to stay balanced about the whole thing, but I don't!!!!! know!!!!!!

Me waffling about a super nice apartment )

All that said, as I was typing this entry, a friend I had lunch with checked in to see how the showing had gone. Between her reaction to the pictures and how excited I felt telling her about the place (and realizing that actually I do have places to put all my bookcases that make sense, and I could definitely work with those tiny bedrooms by painting an accent wall)... I'm leaning much more heavily yes. I should sleep on it! We'll see!
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 08:51 pm
Happy autumn! Happy Bi Visibility Day! Happy centenary of the invention of Fluff, which explains why the first thing I ate today was a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff cookie: I spent the later part of my afternoon in Union Square with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, [personal profile] gaudior, and Fox, who may or may not have liked their first taste of marshmallow but was really into a crunchy organic juice blend one of their parents was trying to drink. (Eventually they covered themselves in it. It was green. That's the first time I've seen a baby cosplay Howl's Moving Castle.) I am delighted to learn that plasmodial slime molds can share memories. I would definitely watch Dwayne Johnson as Plato. I am faceplantingly tired, but I have cats. It has not been terrible, being awake today.
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 05:28 pm
For anyone wanting to have a visual for writing Hawkeye fic:

archer shooting while hanging upside down

https://youtu.be/BEG-ly9tQGk


(Apparently this video is very controversial in the archery world, but mostly over feeling that he disses modern archers, questions as to all the historical claims, and allegations of lousy filmograpy. As far as I can tell no one is suggesting that he can't do exactly what he's shown doing--which is amazing.

And tell me Hawkeye wouldn't have learned every trick and hack to be able to do shit like this, to hell with whether it's 'historical' or not! ;-)
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 07:31 pm
Title: Monster Romance
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Pairing/Characters: Severus Snape/Kingsley Shacklebolt.
Word Count: 100 x 8
Rating: PG-13
Challenge: Written for [livejournal.com profile] snape100/[insanejournal.com profile] snape100/[community profile] snape100's prompt # 709: Snape's Library - The Monster Book of Monsters.
This is part Twenty-One of my Snape: Horcrux Hunter series (LJ/IJ/DW).
Warning(s): AU.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.

Monster Romance )
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 05:52 pm
Happy Autumn! Lots of colorful autumn icons!

Save, comment & credit [community profile] pretty_pixels :)
(Numbers are above the icons. Feel free to add text if you like.)

samples:


...turning of the leaves... )
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 04:10 pm
I have six stories sitting in drafts on AO3 to be posted - two of them brand new - and they've been languishing there for weeks because I can't think of titles or summaries for them. Untitled by Destina - Doc and Wyatt get it on is not a particularly enticing gateway to my Tombstone story. What about Untitled by Destina - hey I wrote this Sinclair/Garibaldi story 12 years ago and never posted it, so you'd think I'd have thought of a great summary for it since then, wouldn't you? Sigh.

But I did post some other stuff. It's fascinating, what one finds when one goes combing through one's LJ for untitled stories and comment fic and leftover things I used to worry about people liking. I'm rolling my eyes at myself. It's a blue light special, everything must get posted, even that one Bradley/Colin fic I wrote and am...was... embarrassed by. (It doesn't have a title either, poor thing; I have to think of one by October 22 or it will vanish forever from drafts.)

Anyway, here's the stuff I did manage to make up titles for, hah! -

No Longer Bound To Rome - The Eagle, Marcus/Esca, 2,497 words.

Transparent - Merlin, the knights and Merlin, gen, 2,064 words.

Virtue - Merlin, Arthur/Merlin, 560 words.

Unexpected - Penny Dreadful, Dorian/Ethan, 602 words.

In other news, it's the most wonderful time of the year! No, I'm not talking about Yuletide, tho I guess that's okay too; I'm talking about PUMPKIN FLAVORED EVERYTHING OMG at Trader Joe's! I took my first baby steps in the New! Delightful! Pumpkiny Things! pool of treasures there today, and grabbed up some dark chocolate covered pumpkin spice granola topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, and oh yeah, it's as great as it sounds. Yaaaay pumpkin season!
Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 01:18 pm
I spent an inordinate amount of time arduously sewing together a Batman logo - only to find at the end that I'd miscentered it!

Welp, it's for a pre-k student, I'm not redoing it. He'll neither notice nor care.

****************


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