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azurelunatic: a modification of the Oxidizer hazard label reading 'Caution Flaming Asshole'  (flaming)
I don't think I want to be part of a fandom that thinks Mycroft in a fat suit is the funniest thing ever.
azurelunatic: Yuletide status is: Flanick (yuletide: flanick)
I got two lovely things:


Ghosts in the Machine (1954 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Foreigner Series - C. J. Cherryh
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Bren Cameron

Bren slips back and forth between memory, dream, and reality. (Set mainly between Foreigner and Invader.)

This is a ghostly, lyrical little piece about Bren's man'chi, caught between two worlds and multiple states of being.


Piña Coladas in Margaritaville (100 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Escape (The Piña Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes (Song), Jurassic World (2015)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Additional Tags: Drabble, yumadrin, Yuletide Treat, Yuletide Madness Drabble Invitational

Save the Piñas, save the world.

This fun drabble crosses over the Piña Colada song, Wasting Away in Margaritaville (so totally the same dude), and Jurassic World.

azurelunatic: stick figure about to hit potato w/ flaming tennis racket, near jug of gasoline & sack of potatoes (bad idea)


azurelunatic: "Fangirl": <user name="azurelunatic"> and a folding fan.  (fangirl)
Despite it having been timechange weekend, I had got to bed early, and then woke up disgustingly early, fully perky and ready to get things done. I had a leisurely morning where I did not feel obligated to do any of the things, just get dressed and pack. It was fortunate that I'd woken early, as all of my alarms were set to only go off when I'm at home, and be silent when I'm elsewhere (like at work, but also at hotel). I hauled my stuff downstairs, checked out, and then realized that the valet queue was ridiculous. I promptly found a chair, parked my bags, and joined lobbycon.

I got a chance to chat with Wendy; that was nice.

I saw [livejournal.com profile] ckd; the name on the badge didn't mean much to me, but the blue shark picture did. "Oh!" I said. I know that shark! You are a helpful person who I have known in passing for years! So that was nice. He passed along greetings on behalf of [personal profile] aedifica as well.

Having seen him sillydrunk and being a fucking perfect unicorn the night before, it was no surprise that Naamen was gloriously hung-over.

The next little circle over was having a fascinating conversation about Supernatural. I had thoughts and feelings. It was thus that I met [twitter.com profile] geardrops and [twitter.com profile] doriangrayscale.

For the record, my feelings about Supernatural season 5 episode 22 are as follows:

I was recommended "I Feel Better", by Hot Chip, which is … a bit surreal. I think this was around when lunch arrived, because Carrie had fries, and they were very very hot. There was basically nothing vegan on the menu, which is unfortunate.

Seanan had been Out of Town, but made an appearance for Lobbycon, in all her mantis shrimp rainbow hair glory. It was very good to see her!

We got around to exchanging twitter handles, and mentioned our strategies for dealing with some of the low-content sorts of people who seem to exist to recycle the same five links every three hours on Twitter. I was abruptly reminded of something I'd seen during an [off-topic] discussion of home automation.

"They're -- tweeting like a lightbulb," I said in disgust, and then had to explain.

Emma and Cynthia came back through, and that was great. Topics included Janelle Monae (yay afrofuturist art) and so many books and shiny things. There is a tool that will let you know when bands you like are going to be local to you, but I am not sure where to find it. I need to check out http://www.elizabethwein.com/sunbird . I did not know that Ellen Kushner had written not just one but several Choose Your Own Adventure books: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Kushner#Choose_Your_Own_Adventure_books

At some point after the valet line had cleared out, I retrieved Vash to load most of the heavy things.

Shweta and husband re-appeared also, and I went fishing for mippos with my party cane. (I have a cane with a rainbow tie-dye scarf attached to the front, and I had added a little book of paper for the con.)

Eventually it came time for the wrap party. That included some review of what had gone well, and who needed to either be sat down with a sock in his mouth or shown the door.

So there was a panel (which I didn't wind up going to, but sounded very interesting if I'd actually been making it to any panels) about how Whitey Brings Civilization is a toxic meme in general, and maybe when we're writing we might not want to do that thing.

So Whitey McMansplain in the audience stood up and started talking, apparently. Read more... )

Eventually the wrap party too was wrapped. Wendy and some guy who also had some muscles carried some soda down for me, as I was willing to take some home, but was sort of limited in what I was willing to carry at once. We loaded it up into my car. The valet dude on duty observed that the car sort of felt like he was going to die when starting. This was a Known Problem.

I headed home, not being quite up for Dinner With People after such a delightfully social weekend. This is such a lovely fun con, and I'm planning to return next year.

I curled up in bed early (for me). Before I fell asleep, I remembered that Aahz had been wearing an "I Break Rule 6" button, so I googled the phrase to see if I could find out the backstory. The backstory is amazing: http://rule6.info/timecon.html

My unexpected early rising schedule would continue for some time yet.
azurelunatic: "One Day Only: the irresistible force meets the immobable object. Tickets, five marks."  (irresistible force)
For reasons which don't need exploring at this juncture, I got to thinking about Barrayaran rites. There 's the one where the Armsbearer* takes oath to the Vor, and (like any reasonable binding rite) the Vor promises to do right by the Armsbearer. There's the one where the Armsbearer petitions the Vor for release and the Vor releases the Armsbearer.

* Eventually, Barrayar will deal with a Herm, a Ba, or some other non-binary individual taking up arms.

Armsbearers are only human, and in the course of everything that's gone down since the Time of Isolation, there have to have been enough who have scarpered or otherwise betrayed their oaths in a non-immediately-fatal way that they've had to be replaced. Barrayar being Barrayar, everything will need to be done properly, so I imagine there's some sort of ceremony for formally dismissing the absent Armsbearer from their duties, so the Count never exceeds his twenty at any given time. (And, Barrayar being Barrayar, there have got to be various machimi plays in which an Armsman appears to have betrayed his oath and then either comes back just in time before being formally cast off, or tragically comes back just too late and everyone suffers the consequences/regrets.)

Likewise, Vor are only human. At some point in the great tapestry of Barrayaran history, some Vor has to have betrayed one or more of their Armsbearers badly enough to violate the standards of the most lackadaisical of Emperors. I'm talking full-on "march into this mutagen for no good reason" bone-deep abusive horror terrible. In the Barrayaran military, it would be well past illegal orders. And in the face of that, what's an Armsbearer to do?

Some Armsbearers might well realize the limits of what a mortal ought to put up with, and call it quits. Some Armsbearers might take their oath deep enough to stand through even that, to the point where the Emperor might intervene and discharge them of their oath. Sometimes a Vor might betray an Armsbearer and then flee. In the absence of the responsible Vor, the heir would most likely hold the responsibility, or the nearest reasonable authority. The Armsbearer might have the choice of taking oath to the heir or choosing freedom.

What form would all these ceremonies take? Barrayaran oaths are very hand-centric, the hands of the vassal between the hands of the lord. One does wonder how people with limb differences manage on Barrayar -- does a hand lost in battle affect the ability to take or give oath? How about arthritis?

I could see an emperor having some terrible excuse for a Vor frog-marched in front of him, required to kneel. Perhaps the Emperor would hold the Vor's hands between his, looming over his subject and physically compelling obedience. If touching the erring subject was beneath the Emperor's dignity, perhaps two of the Emperor's armsmen take a hand each and place the Vor's hands around his Armsbearer's hands. The Vor would be made to recite the words of release, perhaps at the point of a sword or nerve disruptor. I think Gregor might take a grim pleasure in watching the Armsbearer's hands fly free, requiring the Vor to perform the last duties of a Vor before stripping him of his title.

Without another Vor, without the Emperor, left abandoned -- what might an Armsbearer do, to lay down arms in defiance of a deserted Count?
azurelunatic: An RSS feed symbol, fingerpainted on concrete in blood. (zombies)
It's very apparent that Kingsman, in the finest tradition of the super-technospy-thriller genre, is stuffed full of tomorrow-and-several-weeks-later technology. The bad guy wears what looks like a full-on Google Glass; everybody else with super spy glasses is a leeetle more subtle.

And my favorite part:
spoiler for bad guy tech )
azurelunatic: Operation 'This will most likely end badly' is a go. (end badly)

So some student-led class at one of my charming local universities has decided to teach fanfiction. This has come to the attention of my circles courtesy of a torrent of really obnoxiously critical comments left on a few select fics.

As an author, one does take on certain risks when posting anything in public online. However, solicitation of people to go and post shitty things in someone else's space is a dick move. I also think that we can agree that college students who have not mastered constructive criticism are highly likely to say shitty things in the attempt to engage critically. Furthermore, some (not all, but quite a few) fannish spaces have a convention of saying the nice things in the author's space in public, and either sending critical things in private, putting them in your own space, or just not saying them at all (at least in connection to the author) unless the author has asked for it.

If you're trying to interact helpfully with fandom and you send a torrent of kids who have been instructed to be "critical" and are likely to poke their thumb in someone's eye by accident while doing so into a fannish space, you, honorable sentient, are being a dick.

1) Don't require your students to leave a comment. If you need to prove they've interacted with the fic, require them to leave kudos.

2) Instruct them to be good citizens when leaving comments, if they leave comments at all. As academics, you are guests in fandom. As the fandom guide of people who have not internalized fandom mores, you have the responsibility to tell the students about things like this, and what sorts of things are unacceptable in this culture. Don't be a shitbrick.

3) By all means, have them interact critically with the text. Require them to either make their own space -- livejournal, dreamwidth, tumblr, blogspot, facebook -- and post the criticism there, post it to an online space reserved for the class, or send it directly to the instructor. Having your students leave it as a comment is like taking all the critical freshman essays on Moby-Dick/Finnegans Wake/The Fountainhead and packing them up into a tidy bundle and sending them to Herman Melville/James Joyce/Ayn Rand, marked "IMPORTANT FEEDBACK - PLEASE READ". Except those authors are actually dead.
azurelunatic: AO3 rating glyph: Explicit, Multi-relationships, choose not to warn, unfinished.  (how is this my life)
11:14 Wednesday, 10 September, 2014
So far as I know, there is no viable user-facing tool which tells a regular worker at my workplace who the manager of a particular person had been, after that person has left.

01:32 Thursday, 11 September, 2014

Guest speaker day!

Had a slightly contentious conversation with someone from helpdesk (I suspect that he's a goon from the helpdesk software place, not an actual internal helpdesk worker) about the behavior of the This Shit Got CC:ed To Me sub-tab. I say sub-tab, because it's a tab within a tab, and my tolerance for whatever fancy-ass website shenanigans they have going on all up in that bad boy is dropping by the day. This is the horrible fucking front end they've got put on it all special-like for us.

First I had to argue him out of his misconception that the page refreshed when you clicked the CC: tab. It does not. I explained steps to prove that it did not (steps which I had already included in the ticket). "Do you have dev server access?" he asked me hopefully. I did not. He went and did the thing and came back to explain to me that no actually, the contents of the CC: tab were cached until you refreshed the page. WHICH WAS THE POINT WHICH I WAS TRYING TO CONVEY TO HIM.

I explained that my demand was that clicking on the CC: tab should refresh the goddamn contents of the page like any sensible fucking designer would do. He had further questions, but those had to be put on hold until later as I had "a 4pm meeting".

In the gym. With a few hundred other co-workers, some of whom were in full BSG flight suits. I queued up for refreshments, and spotted my friend the admin who'd been on the other end of the lab shenanigans, who spotted me. He came over and gave me a hug and asked whether I was the one who'd left chocolate on his desk. Indeed I was. Read more... )

There was no time for the second audience question after that, but that was a deeply satisfying story. Mr. Sub-tle wrapped him up, and we gave him a standing ovation.

Mr. Sub-tle made some administrative announcements, and then Mr. Olmos had a few last words. If you have never been part of a crowd caught up by strong emotion, it is quite a thing. "So say we all!" he concluded.
"So say we all!" we chanted back.
"So say we all!" he called.
"So say we all!"
"SO SAY WE ALL!!!!!"

Mr. Sub-tle called the backstage pass people together, and we began streaming out the door. All throughout, I had been wondering if there were a better recipient. It wasn't that I was opposed to participating in the meet-and-greet, but I figured if there were someone who would appreciate it more, then it should go to them.

It so happened that one of our former teammates had come along with his wife (currently on staff in another department) to this. He is one of the guys for whom the "no major workplace events during a geek magnet special event" rule had been put in place. And he was watching the trail of backstage people wistfully. I knew what I had to do.

Later, Rocky stopped by my cube and told me that it was really nice what I'd done; someone else had been one of the aisle people and had given their button to Rocky's daughter, who got to go back as well. Yay! We had a great chat about classic SF (in which I avoided saying "I just love Dick!") and drinking from the flamethrower (about a work product, the new helpdesk software, and LJ).

Since I have to see Blade Runner fairly soon to renew my geek card *grin*, I knew I'd need to get the current top of my stack popped. So I settled down with the laundry that needed sorting and popped Donnie Darko into the DVD player. That is a weird movie, yep. I am sure that Purple will tease me for taking three months to watch it. I will point out that it is not quite three.
azurelunatic: "Fangirl": <user name="azurelunatic"> and a folding fan.  (fangirl)
Yet another Seanan book launch party!

I arrived comfortably early (having decided that BART was the way to go, then scheduling my nap early) and soon found myself settled in with book, bagel, and hot chocolate. I had been planning on one of their nice meat and cheese plates, but in the interim the cafe has been overhauling their menu, so that didn't exist anymore.

Yay book! Half-Off Ragnarok is a nice sturdy addition to the saga of the Healy-Price family. Alex is Verity's brother, and I was happy to be introduced to him and let him show me around the various perils of life as a cryptobiologist (and also cryptozoologist) who enjoys his job. There are snakes. If snakes are not your thing, proceed with caution. If snakes are so very much the opposite from your thing that you have leaped on top of your chair at the very mention, this book is not for you. You will possibly miss the mice, but there. are. snakes.

Cover )

series )

Snakes and other contents )

Some of Seanan's books leave me feeling profoundly affected and like I need to get as many of my friends as possible to get this into their brains ASAP. This was not one of those, but if you like mystery-y urban fantasy with snakes in, I think you should read this, because it's good.

The party was fairly standard for a Seanan event, which is to say always great fun: door prizes, music, cupcakes, signing, Q&A. I spent most of the music reading: not that it wasn't good, but the book was better and also new. Paul Kwinn had a song about how Seanan might solve problems. It was the best. The Bohnhoffs played The Actor, which was new to me (despite having been released in 1999), and hilarious. Logistically, combining the line for the signing and the cupcakes was an excellent decision, since both require queueing. If you are planning on going to these events and have dietary restrictions, contact Seanan through the contact form on her website and let her know, some time in advance. That will let her let Cups & Cakes know what to make. I got the lemon this time. It was delicious.

I need to remember to collect my random questions about the books for the Q&A sessions, because sometimes there aren't quite enough questions to go around. Seanan can and will entertain the audience in other ways if there are insufficient questions. This time she threatened to unleash The Chaos upon us. We learned that no battle plan (outline, first draft) survives first contact with the enemy. I asked a follow-up: did that mean that Toby was "the enemy"? In point of fact, Seanan explained, everyone except for Cagney and Lacey (Toby's ancient Siamese, if you please) was "the enemy". And there are characters everywhere who were never meant to be there: Quentin was originally there to appear and then die, and Danny was a publisher's addition because there was no way that amount of blood would have flown at all well with a human cabbie.

Seanan's hair was in excellent form. Apparently the version that we had seen at FOGcon was in fact in the faded state. It looked like a candy corn rainbow there. Here, it proceeded from blonde to yellow through screaming orange and vivid pink down to a really assertive purple at the ends. Seanan's hairdresser is also her sister, and I fully intend to arrange an appointment at some time when I am both awake and have the budget for turning my hair the color blue that it was always intended to be.

I had passed the calendar appointment along to Purple when I realized it was happening, but he had other plans for this weekend (plus it is up in the city, and that's a ways). Tif showed, and we caught up a little. Burger Joint across the street had a sufficient non-gluten offering that we wound up eating there and catching up a bit. We are due an Epic Shopping Escapade soon.

Unfortunately for me, I had just hit the high point of the book when my train arrived at Daly City. So I had to decide whether I was going to read in the car, or drive home and then read in bed. Bed won out. By that time, the amazing crowd I'd seen earlier on the Millbrae/SFO platform had dispersed. I'd seriously thought there was some sort of protest or riot brewing, but then I saw all the green and realized that it was some sort of horrifying Saint Patrick's Day/spring break sort of thing, and it was just that many chuppers all together and chupping. Alcohol may have been involved. I drove home, put my hair up, got a snack, finished reading, and went to bed without bothering to actually brush and rebraid my hair. Consequently I have been painstakingly detangling all my hair while writing this up. All of the elastics have been removed, and it is time for the ylang ylang oil. But I had a great time. Whee!
azurelunatic: "Fangirl": <user name="azurelunatic"> and a folding fan.  (fangirl)
So the Thor thing from 2013 11 07! There was a marathon. As usual, I took notes in a little notebook. I don't promise that these are going to make any kind of sense.

Movie time
(Thor 1)
Read more... )

I love Hill so hard.
Also Coulson.

"It seems to run on some form of electricity."

Honda dad.
(That one time when I was about four and was sitting behind the wheel of my dad's little Honda while he was getting it shoveled out of the snow and turned around ready to go. He had pushed it out, and was shoving the front keeping it from sliding down the hill. He was ready to come get in, but he couldn't let go lest it slide. So he called for me to put on the brake. My little arms were too weak to pull on the handbrake. So he told me to press the brake pedal. "Which one is the brake?" I asked. "The one next to the accelerator," he answered. Being four, I didn't know which one the accelerator was either, and I didn't want to waste either of our time with that conversation. "Is the brake right, middle, or left?" I asked. It was of course the middle, and I stomped on it with all my tiny might, and my father came around and pulled on the handbrake, and we got all situated to go. I remember that situation with no little pride for my past tiny self. I also remember it as a thing to do again, for situations where one of the people in a tech support or other remote hands sort of situation has not even an elementary understanding of the system. Stop the badness before it starts, and find a common frame of reference in order to get shit done. And that's what Steve did -- let Tony know what his frame of reference was, and Tony did the good tech support thing.)

Shawarma, near the insurance place
(I thought of Kat <3 )


(Thor 2)

Read more... )
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
spoilers )

Not that I object to the movie's lack of that ship, but I would definitely like fanfiction exploring the nuances.
azurelunatic: "Fangirl": <user name="azurelunatic"> and a folding fan.  (fangirl)
So this evening was the release party at Borderlands Books for Seanan McGuire's latest and 7th addition to the October Daye series, Chimes at Midnight, which is glorious and has hitting and also many lovely and occasionally bloody and horrible things. You all should pick up the series; I particularly recommend it to my chatfish on the strength of several things including the fact that Toby spends 14 years before the start of the series as a koi in a San Francisco pond. It's amazing. FISH.

I showed up early and read the book while I was waiting. Part of the book is set in the bookstore that I was in while reading it. )

I had a lot of feelings, and reading in a cafe is never the most quiet venue. )

Seanan's mom is awesome, Seanan is awesome, Seanan's writing is awesome, and Seanan's fans are awesome. THE WORLD IS AWESOME. )

The Q&A sessions are not to be missed. Again, there are rules invented specifically for me. Rabbit pie, anyone? )

Options, options )

Hungry velociraptor who? )

And now, the weather. )

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. )

Later, I intend to post my reactions to the book in the by-now-customary format, but that can wait until well after I've slept. I had amazing fun as always.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
One of the people I follow on Tumblr listened to a bit (a few episodes) and found Night Vale seemed to her like a list of things that were weird, not an actual story.

I think that's not unreasonable as an impression to get.

I picture the narrative structure sort of like a large quilt made up of squares. Each square is a little vignette of weird. Mostly the squares are unique across the quilt. Some have a theme going.

Each episode is a separate quilt.

As time goes on, the squares that didn't seem connected to the others start to connect to themselves. If you were to line up pictures of that square across episodes, it too would start to animate.

Night Vale is not everyone's cup of tea and that's ok, but now I really want a Night Vale quilt.
azurelunatic: stick figure about to hit potato w/ flaming tennis racket, near jug of gasoline &amp; sack of potatoes (bad idea)
As [personal profile] cleverthylacine knows Cassie from Old Fandom Days, and I've read and enjoyed the Mortal Instruments books, we sort of had to go see the movie. We had fun!

(My Infamous Cousin read the first Mortal Instruments book, and the first Twilight book, and found them of comparable genre and quality. He did revise the estimate somewhat upon exposure to the rest of the Twilight series. I found that Twilight is best enjoyed with friends and popcorn and quoting aloud of some of the purplest phrases.)

I conclude, from the movie: My Mortal Instruments OTP is now unshakably Izzy/Flamethrower. Accept no substitutes. Best & hottest chemistry by far.

About halfway through the movie, there's a shot of the New York skyline. Now, my exposure to TV is limited, and thus my main exposure to (real or fictional) New York City skyline is in fact How I Met Your Mother. And I found myself looking for and not seeing the GNB tower.

(Head, meet desk.)

Naturally, over coffee and on our way home, I commenced figuring out where exactly the various HIMYM characters would fit into a Mortal Instruments\HIMYM fusion.

azurelunatic: Mulder. "I cannot be without you" "Another heart is cracked in two" "If you walk out on me, I'm walking after you" (without you)
So there I was, driving from Palo Alto to Pacifica after socially acceptable phone call hours (especially for East Coast people) and all I really wanted to do was call somebody (Nora, Amal, or any of the usual suspects, for a certain narrow definition of usual suspect that will be defined shortly) and wail about whether or not Mulder and Scully are Drift-compatible.

I think it depends on where in the series they are. At first, Scully hasn't come to trust Mulder; after a certain point, Mulder will be holding back; and then it all goes to hell. But in the sweet spot -- that's where we get the Drift.

Plus Mulder would be utterly gaga over the kaiju. EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE, MOTHERFUCKERS.

... I think I'm going to need to hit up AO3 to see if anyone's written any yet.
azurelunatic: "Fangirl": <user name="azurelunatic"> and a folding fan.  (fangirl)
I typed this up after the movie and then left it in Notepad until I had brain again.

Read more... )

I found http://heydontjudgeme.com/2013/08/02/movie-recap-pacific-rim/ in my to-read queue after I got all this out of my system, and it is excellent and way more coherent than this.

Also [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales has a recap.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Lovecraft was "you cannot look upon this alien geometry or you will go mad"; Night Vale is "and if you find yourself disturbed by the geometry, the clinic is open from 3 to 7 weekdays, 11 to 5 Saturday, closed on Sunday."

Cecil is also a master of the non-reassuring letter home, which is one of my favorite comedy tropes, so it delights me to hear it in cozy horror.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
"If your screen is smaller than 80 feet, it should be off."

The way I cope with being disconnected from the internet is to take notes. Therefore, I present the mildly annotated and poorly punctuated paper notes I took.

Read more... )


azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
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