redbird: tea being poured into a cup (cup of tea)
[personal profile] redbird
I had talked to [personal profile] elisem on Monday about getting together again today, and last night she proposed that we both go visit Soren, as we had on Monday. He said "any time after noon," though I was skeptical after getting an email from him this morning that he had sent at 3:30 a.m. Nonetheless, I took the bus up to his neighborhood, had clams at Ivar's, and then walked over to his apartment. No answer; since the doorbell is hooked up to the phone, I left a message. Then I heard from Elise; Soren had told her "not feeling well, give me an hour" more than an hour earlier. She was worried, and a neighbor let me into the building, so I went up and knocked, loudly. Soren was sleepy and not up for company, but there was nothing seriously wrong, so I got back on the bus and met Elise in Fremont. We hung out a while in a burger restaurant while she had lunch and I drank iced tea, then walked for a bit, back to where she is staying. There was good conversation, again much of it about Velma ([personal profile] roadnotes.

Also, I posted about Velma's death and notifying people on the "I need a hug" section of the Friends of Captain Awkward site, using real names in the post because it was easier than inventing pseudonyms. I got a PM this morning from someone who knew Velma from a fountain pen forum, asking "I hope not, but is that the same Velma?" I've also gotten a Faceboorequest for Soren's email address from someone who says he's an old friend of theirs—I replied and asked him for a non-Facebook address Soren can reach him at—and a very ill-timed FB friend request on Sunday from an ex of hers, which I hope is coincidence rather than some sort of vulturine response to the bad news.

Meanwhile, our cat [ profile] julian_tiger has gotten very good at not taking pills, and had almost no appetite yesterday. (He was trying, but after a few nibbles of chicken sausage he had that "I want to be hungry for that" look.) This morning I tried him on bell pepper (again, he ate a little and clearly wanted to be hungry for more) and then plain yogurt. He was happy to lick some off my finger, then licked the bowl, so I gave him another tablespoonful. Then, on a hunch, I offered him some peach jam. Happy cat! He asked for seconds, and thirds, and fourths.

I found clementines at the supermarket this morning, and he was happy to help me with one. OK, he wants soft/moist things, and we're back in "orange food for orange cats." I bought salmon and a sweet potato for dinner. He was very happy to help us with them, in larger quantities than we would normally give him, which is a relief, because the vet confirmed that he can't live on just yogurt and fruit, he needs protein. Rationally, "orange food for orange cats" is as silly a basis for a menu as basing it on blood type, but everything there except maybe the peach jam is something I already knew he liked. We are much more optimistic than we were 24 hours ago, and I have at least enough cooked fish left to give him healthy treats tomorrow.
ysobel: (learning german)
[personal profile] ysobel
...can be kind of entertaining.

I mean, it takes me six tries to get through a lessony thing (more because typos than anything else), but then I get things like where, on a dictate-audio item, a) I hear "Mi padre es España" (my father is Spain) and b) very nearly submit it because it isn't any wackier than "Yo soy un oso" (I am a bear), which is a legit duolingo sentence.

Luckily I decided to re-listen on turtle mode, wherein I discovered it was actually "Mi patria es españa" (my homeland is Spain), which actually makes more sense. So I didn't get docked on that one.

But then I typoed "gente" as "fwbte" and lost my last heart.

(In my defense, I'm doing it on the iPad, which a) doesn't autocorrect Spanish because it is in English mode, and b) the only way I can use the keyboard is in split mode (which FYI you can get by putting two fingers on the keyboard and sliding apart horizontally and it is very useful for typing by thumb) which overlaps some of the Duo entry items without bumping up the screen display, so I can't easily see what I type without jiggering the keyboard around, which usually ends up needing me to then re-split it, which is a pita, so I just submit as is and then sigh.)
umadoshi: (read fast (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
First off, and entirely unrelated to the rest of this post: I keep hearing good things about Jane the Virgin (new domestic show), despite its horrific title. Worth checking out, Y/N?

After vaguely guessing how many manga series I'm collecting these days, I decided to go through and actually tally them up. It's slightly more than I was thinking, although I have to add the caveat that some of them come out so infrequently that it's not surprising that I don't usually remember them all.

The lists here do not include the several series I've bought a few volumes of and then stopped buying until such time as I actually read the purchased volumes to see if I want to continue. I'd estimate there are at least five of those. Maybe more. (Probably more. Maybe ten?) And then there're the couple of series I've bought in their entirety but haven't started reading yet (Sailor Moon, Saiunkoku Monogatari)...

the main list(s) under the cut, with a couple of domestic titles )
archangelbeth: Face with glasses and large red horns. Looking blah and-or grumpy. (DjinnBeth)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Just before I started getting my teeth cleaned, I got a call from the school nurse...

Kid had ootched forward, the chair tipped, and she landed hard on her backside with the chair on top of her. No damage to her tailbone, thank goodness, but she got sent home from that. (She hadn't realized that she might've been able to stay, but frankly, on 6 hours of sleep and limping as she was... Even without anything broken, I think her coming home was the right -- if frustrating -- call.) Her dad went to get her while I finished getting my teeth cleaned. No cavities, yay!

Whilst at the doctor -- kid wanted to go, and make sure everything was okay -- we got her to do a flu... Well, a flu snort. She has some live virus in her sinuses now. (Very attenuated, of course.) Yay, hopefully we can dodge a flu or two!

Needless to say, this meant that all my best intentions of loading stuff up to edit and write on... Yeahhhh, didn't happen. *sigh* After doctor, there was shopping, then dinner, then cat politics (Friskie might be beginning to accept Flicker, if Flicker doesn't try to sniff inside Friskie's ear... but Dickens is still convinced that black cat is EVUL BASEMENT KAT), then Dickens in my lap being awkward and obstructionist. He is very bad at lap cat.

Havva Quote
Yep, just gonna leave my ninja-pirate friend to talk to the Loch Ness monster while I go see what Jack Frost did to my zombie slave. small My life is average.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
roadrunnertwice: Young Marcie Grosvenor from Finder, asleep in a ward drawn from Finder trails. (Finder.Marcie - Wardings)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

Jessica Reisman – The Z Radiant

Sept 2013

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. A treat of a character-driven planetary SF novel, with an intensely flavorful sense of place. I liked this a ton. I borrowed it from the library last year, and just bought the ebook for a re-read. You can read the first chapter here.

I’m pretty sure I found this via a recommendation from Martha Wells.

The plot is solid — revenge, human experimentation, psychic powers, family secrets, and a once-a-generation planetary trade festival for the backdrop — but the characters and their relationships and the setting and the feel of it all were what made the book for me. I liked life on Nentesh; it had a lovely and comfortable rhythm to it. You’ll see what I mean by the end of that first chapter — I love that sequence of Aren’s motorbike errand in the rain, his dazed arrival at Juven’s house, Juven helping him to bed in the quiet after the card game; such a perfect read for the start of a Northwest winter.

The language is good. Reisman has a deft touch with smell and texture, which is always nice. Occasional bouts of infodump, but not enough to rankle.

A bunch of the characters are bi or of ambiguous sexuality, which I appreciate. And I have a thought about this, but it isn’t fully baked yet. So, I’ve spent a bunch of time reading Dykes to Watch Out For and Bitter Girl, both of which are long-running cast-of-dozens comic strip soap operas populated almost entirely by lesbians, and I noticed something hard to pin down about them. My vague theory that when everyone in the core cast is (at least theoretically) fair game for any other member of the core cast, it fundamentally changes the function of romance and sex in the story. Changes it into something I think I like better. And getting a bunch of bisexuals into the mix moves a story closer to that. I can’t quite tell you HOW things change, but I did warn you this was half-baked.

Finally: I spend a lot of time thinking about Ninuel’s awesome psychic-construct dog whenever I remember this book.

Finally finally: Sir. THAT COVER. Not the ebook cover! That one’s fine. It’s a bit amateurish, but not risible; no real need to rag on it. But the original hardback is TRULY NEXT-LEVEL. I mean oh my god. Friends, I carried that around in public for a week.

(Unnecessary sidebar: I had never heard of the original publisher, Five Star, so I looked into them and was fascinated by their weird ecological niche. It looks — FROM WHAT I CAN TELL — like they publish high build-quality hardback fiction and then don’t even try to sell into trade bookstores, focusing totally on the library market. Is that even possible? Like, can you sustain an SF small press like that??? Well, apparently! Who knew. This thread at Absolute Write was enlightening; see especially Keltora’s reply about halfway down.)

Kelly Link – Pretty Monsters

Oct 7, 2014

I was stalled out in the book I was reading (Froi of the Exiles; I enjoyed Finnikin of the Rock a LOT, but just couldn’t get into this one), and wondering what I should switch to, and then Brenna tweeted about doing a Halloween re-read of Kelly Link and I was like yesssss. And it so happened that I had a stash of unread Link stories squirreled away!

Pretty Monsters has six new* stories and three reprints from Stranger Things and M4B. I’d already read “The Wizards of Perfil” and “The Wrong Grave,” and buried the other four to dig up come winter. I tend to do this with collections of short stories, and also with essays. Sometimes with chocolate, very rarely with dried fruit; I can control myself with essays, but dried fruit just tends to vanish when my attention wanders.

* (Well, uncollected. There’s only one “new” one.)

Anyway, I dunno what you want me to say about Kelly Link, dude. If you aren’t reading Kelly Link, you need to be. That’s pretty much the end of the review; the rest of this is going to be me just jamming with other people in the know.

  • I think “Wizards of Perfil” gets my vote for sleeper hit of this collection. I am like ANGRY at how many things it gets right.
  • “Constable of Abal” has very good texture in parts, but I think it flubs the ending a bit. It’s doing a similar “BUT ALL ALONG,…” twist as “Perfil,” but it’s leaning too heavily on said twist, whereas in Perfil half the point is that the twist is almost beside the point.
  • “Monster” made me laugh, but it’s definitely the kind of story you only get to do once.
  • “The Wrong Grave” is ROCK SOLID. I guess it could have used a bit of a trim at the end, but wow, that story is exactly the sort of thing you cannot get from any other writer today.
  • I’m still thinking about “Pretty Monsters.” Isaac thinks the meta-ness of the structure didn’t stitch the parts into a satisfying whole; I might agree, but I’m not sure yet. But certainly any given section of it was GREAT just in the experience of reading it. Would it have held up better as two separate but similar stories? Maybe. Dunno yet.
  • “The Surfer” pulled zero punches and I liked it a lot. It has more worldbuilding (which I use here to mean self-consistent and systematic divergences or extrapolations from contemporary consensus reality) than almost any of her stories (see p. much only “Valley of the Girls” for other contenders), but is essentially a pure character piece, where the pleasure is in seeing the past and present revealed, and you end with a feeling of “Okay, I’ve caught up! What next?”
  • And of course, “M4B,” “The Specialist’s Hat,” and “The Faery Handbag” are exactly as superb as they were last time around. (Isaac’s take on “M4B” is similar to his take on “Pretty Monsters,” and I totally disagree; I think the nested and then de-nested meta-structure actually adds emotional and thematic heft.)

Reading Wednesday

22/10/14 21:53
watersword: Keira Knightley applying lipstick and looking in a mirror, with the words "a work in progress" nearby (Writing: work in progress)
[personal profile] watersword
Things I have recently returned to the library and can remember: Du Maurier's VANISHING CORNWALL, which has some lovely photographs and is a charming if sentimental book; Nesbit's BOOK OF DRAGONS, which is delightful and much smarter than it seems; Block's THE NOVEL FROM PLOT TO PRINT, which may or may not be a reorganized/re-edited version of his TELLING LIES FOR FUN AND PROFIT, itself a compilation of his columns for Writer's Digest, which I loved as a kid and am vastly amused to see how it's influenced me over the years (Block was the first person to tell me it was okay to write genre fiction and that if I loved reading a particular kind of story, it was probably a good idea to try writing something like it); Beckham's THAT EXTRA HALF AN INCH, which is honestly pretty delightful, her ghostwriter did a damn good job, and while it 100% buys the gender binary it's a lot less shamey than I was expecting.

Currently: Cohen's BOOK OF MERCY, which isn't quite what I was expecting but is interesting anyway; Runyon's GUYS AND DOLLS, which is fascinating in terms of structure and narrative voice; Collingwood's TECHNIQUES OF TABLET WEAVING, which is incomprehensible; Merkel's ODYSSEUS AND PENELOPE: AN ORDINARY MARRIAGE, which I'm not loving even if it is technically innovative; Bear and Monette's COMPANION TO WOLVES, which I only got so I could have more context for [personal profile] dira's extraordinary Generation Kill series, Every Marine a Wolfbrother, which honestly I like a lot more, so I'm not sure I'll push on to book 2 of the canonical series (is book 2 worth it? I know some of y'all love the Iskryne books).

Next: David recommended Mitchell's THE BONE CLOCKS, so I'll give it a fair shot; Kizer's death last week prompted me to get her COOL, CALM & COLLECTED out of the library; Finney's THREE BY FINNEY, which I am excited about, I loved his work as a kid and I'm hoping the Suck Fairy hasn't visited; Lynn's DRAGON'S TREASURE, because dragons; and I seriously don't know what the hell prompted me to put SWORN ALLIES on hold, so it will be interesting to see wtf it is.

....I swear I do things other than read.
lannamichaels: "I have a vague ambition in that direction" (les mis - a vague ambition)
[personal profile] lannamichaels

Title: And Just When I Climbed This Whole Mountainside. (On Archive Of Our Own)
Author: [personal profile] lannamichaels
Fandom: Les Miserables
Pairing: Enjolras/Grantaire, Combeferre/Courfeyrac
Rating: PG
A/N: The title is from So Long, Marianne by Leonard Cohen, because I couldn't resist. Thanks so much to [personal profile] viklikesfic for the beta!

Summary: Grantaire doesn't fuck married men. Enjolras doesn't fuck. Also, there's a baby.

Somehow this grew a baby idk )

umadoshi: (Newsflesh - appeal to the court (kasmir))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Worth Waking Up For (4749 words) by umadoshi
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Newsflesh Trilogy - Mira Grant
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Georgia Mason/Shaun Mason
Characters: Georgia Mason, Shaun Mason
Additional Tags: POV First Person, Adopted Sibling Incest, Explicit Sexual Content, Pre-Canon, Canon Disabled Character, no series knowledge required


"Given some of the less-pleasant things you've dragged me out of bed for, I'm not gonna complain about you waking me up and begging for sex." I grinned. "Some things are worth losing sleep over."

The teasing resulted in George tackling me as hard as she could--which wasn't that hard, since I was already on my back. She landed half on top of me with her hands on my biceps, like she could keep me pinned.

I smiled up at her, knowing she'd take my amusement in stride. Long, hard-won experience said that if she'd been trying to seriously wrestle me she would've planted a knee in my gut, and George's knees and elbows are sharp. I appreciated the restraint, even though the odds were she'd only refrained because knocking the wind out of a guy doesn't tend to do much for the mood.

And lo, there was smut.

Set a few years before Feed.

Additional notes:
--Beta work by [personal profile] wildpear.
--Content note: Georgia and Shaun are around 20 in this, but it also refers back to some experimental rough sex in their late teens.

You can also read the fic under the cut )

a kind of poll

22/10/14 20:00
ljgeoff: (Default)
[personal profile] ljgeoff
Sorry, no clicky boxes -- answer if you feel moved.

Part One: I'm curious to see how people define the difference between loving someone and being in love. How does it work for you? Is being in love simply infatuation?

For myself, I define "being in love" as the love I feel when I'm in a Relationship. I define loving someone as what I'd feel for a beloved friend. While I trust, admire and feel a commitment to my beloved friends, it's a looser feeling and the desire for intimacy-- physical, emotional and intellectual -- is less.

There is also a strong desire for life entwinement when I'm in love, compared to loving someone. And while I want to see and be close to the people I love, being separated from someone I'm in love with is very difficult.

Part Two: Does your feelings of loving someone or being in love wax and wane? Do you have a love rheostat? Or is it more like a switch? How do you feel about people you used be in love with?

For myself, while my desire for different kinds of intimacy may fluctuate, my feeling of being in love is more like a switch -- it's either on or off. Once I'm in love with someone, it takes a strong, constant effort on my part to change that feeling, and all I've been able to change being in love to is different degrees of loving someone -- usually we never talk, but it's like I hold them in my heart.

Bonus point question: Have you ever stayed close to someone when your relationship was uneven? When one person loved, and the other was in love? How did that work?


22/10/14 17:48
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)
[personal profile] cadenzamuse
I started sociology yesterday. I'm dropping it today. My experience with my first class yesterday was that the professor was a gaslighty, controlling asshole. Well, my experience was that I was uncomfortable and wrong-footed and not quite sure why, and when I came home and described my class to T. he went, " that's incredibly manipulative and gaslighty." Content Notes: Cissexism, gaslighty fuckery )

Advice accepted only from people I know well who are yourselves QUILTBAG, mental health professionals, and/or experienced at doing the spoon-balancing act of this kind of activism.

I will totally accept cheerful things, recs for happy queer fanfiction, or other forms of gentle distraction from everyone else.


In totally other news, my C-bus people--[personal profile] forests_of_fire, [personal profile] textileowl, [ profile] finding_helena--I will be in the area next Wednesday morning the 29th for an orthodontist appointment and am happy to hang around for lunch/afternoon if any of you are free!
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

I just watched that.

And then I set up a £5 monthly direct debit here, because it felt like the absolute least I could do.

Zophobas morio

22/10/14 22:10
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
We got some crickets in the post today, so I put them into a tank we use for feed insects, and there were some Zophobas morio worms in there still. Z. morio is a long wriggly worm when it's a larva, and this is the form in which it's used as spider food. I was surprised, because we haven't had new Z. morio in for months, and I'd assumed that if there were any leftovers they'd be dead by now. But then I noticed the large number of small brown-black beetles in the tank and realised that the worms were (at least) second generation. I don't think I'd ever realised what they looked like when they grew up before: they're small, about a centimetre across, around the size of a new halfpenny.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
The shot I was most pleased with from last trip in early October: three lilypads in a row, in different colours.

Another seven photos. )

And my absolute favourite shot, from the oak walk (where I was very excitable and very pleased by ALL THE OAKS), is light through oak leaves:
twistedchick: (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I might have gotten six hours of sleep last night, before my body pulled me out of sleep into today's special effects circus: a gentle humming, random, here and there.

And I am looking forward to having coffee again, and a good burger. Not that I couldn't have had a good burger already, but we have not had any inhouse to cook, just birdy things. Lots of chicken. And lots of fish. I don't think I will sprout pinfeathers or scales, though.

Still the quiet lake.

Add to the list of things that I would like: a pair of jeans that I ordered from Duluth Trading and sent back for exchange because they were too big. I'd like the new ones. :) Any time now.

But these things will come, eventually.

I am not looking forward, particularly, to Early Voting later this week -- if only because of the horde of politicos shilling for their candidates outside the building where the polls take place. I have never been comfortable walking through that kind of crowd, even when I was a reporter. But I think it will be all right.

mmm. burger.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Parliament Hill came under attack today after a man with a rifle shot a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill's Centre Block nearby.

MPs and other witnesses reported several shots fired inside Parliament, and a gunman has been confirmed dead inside the building, shot by the House of Commons sergeant-at-arms, according to MPs' eyewitness accounts.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Return to Hiroshima
Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa

I am not going to kill comments on links to James Davis Nicoll until the new design is up.

Are the tags I use here useful? Should I import them over to JDN?
jadelennox: Jonathon Coulton: Even white boys got to shout (joco: white boys)
[personal profile] jadelennox
Dear White People is out, and I really want to talk about with people, and it's really good, so Americans, go see it (nationwide on October 24, major urban areas for now). Nothing in the trailers or in the title will set you up for the story it is, which follows four characters closely, so everyone else -- of any race -- plays a narrative role without rich development. It's an artistic style that works well for this framework and lets the film explore a lot of different ideas about blackness -- and though it's called Dear White People, it's more inward facing than that. The four main characters (black students at an elite, mostly white university) may be neogitating a white-run world but, as should happen in a story about young adults, the culmination of the story has them learning about themselves.

Anyway I bring this up because Colorlines ([syndicated profile] racewire_feed, great source, I recommended trying it out) linked to this interview with Naomi Ko, who has one of the roles I loved an wished had been more developed. (Mostly she's there to deliver one liners or horrified facial expressions.)

Ko is quick to point out that the same millennial qualities that make the generation so creative bleed over into a new type of racism, a subtler, less conscious kind. And no, don’t call it a “microaggression”—she hates that term because it downplays the fact that the acts are still aggressive and racist, regardless of whether the individual performing the act is aware of that fact or not

(no subject)

22/10/14 11:53
sporky_rat: Torches outside the Bulgarian Communist Headquarters. (post from the ether)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

I am talking with our Ruby Herald to perhaps become her deputy. That's our Heraldic Submissions Herald. She asked if I would like to be her deputy and I thought about it very hard and I think I'm going to do it. I've been wanting to do a Kingdom Heraldic Office for a while and I figured this is probably the best way to do it! I thought about Obsidian, the Order of Precedence Herald, but that might be a big bite to take at first. My secret ambition is to be one of EACH Gemstone Herald.

Well, it's not such a secret now, but still. It's a dear ambition. And I think I can do it, if I can just get a toe hold. And this might be it.


beable: (Default)
[personal profile] beable
(In particular for those not on FB): Yes, I work downtown, however am safe.

Building is in lockdown, cell phone only semi-functional because of congestion on cell network.

November & writing

22/10/14 16:18
swaldman: Animation with "translations" of various academic phrases. (academia)
[personal profile] swaldman
No, I'm not doing NaNoWriMo. Nor am I going to hold myself to any other specific goals. However, I do have a lot of work-related stuff that I should be writing. Some of it's strictly academic, some of it isn't, some of it is things that can be finished, mostly it's things where the research isn't finished, but I could write half of a paper or other outcome, and should be doing that. So, here's what I'm saying:

For every weekday in November, I'll write something, and report it on this tag.

If I miss days, I invite people to hold me to it. Let's see how this goes :-)


azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz - bolt of blue - infovore)

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