Giving thanks

Nov. 27th, 2014 05:03 pm
kass: Eric and Tami Taylor, in red. (Taylors red)
[personal profile] kass
I try to do this every year.

Dear Fandom: I am so grateful to have found you.

I am grateful to no longer feel like a square peg in a round pegboard -- to have found a tribe (more than one tribe!) where I fit and where I belong.

I am grateful for all of y'all who love the things I love, and who help me create a place to love them together.

I am grateful for everyone who writes stories, maintains rec lists, records podfic, makes vids, creates fanart, leaves comments, leaves kudos.

I am grateful for the shows I love and the characters who inhabit my life: from Eric and Tami Taylor, to the Bishops and Olivia and Astrid, to Finch and Reese and Bear and Shaw and Root, to the Doctor and Amy and Rory and River and Clara.

I am grateful for fandom because, like the TARDIS, y'all whisk me away to other lives and other adventures every day.

Y'all are the best. I love you and I am grateful for you.

Happy (American) Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

thanksgiving, 2014

Nov. 27th, 2014 09:34 am
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
Ah, parenting small children on this particular Thanksgiving morning. Lazing about in bed, cuddling, being a wrestling referee ("NO BITING!") explaining that people want to shut down the Thanksgiving parade because the police keep killing black guys, explaining that their parents are sad and what death means. Relaxing!

And Rocket is cutting FOUR molars, poor little thing. No wonder he's been so fussy and demanding. I keep trying to tell myself that there will come a day when no one wants any of my time, and I probably won't be happy about that either, so I should try to enjoy this while I got it. True, I don't really want two or three decades of that, but could I have like a weekend of it right now, though?

The Junebug verbally asked me for a hug the other night, for the first time ever, though. It was wonderful, although also pretty funny, because I think the cunning little bugger played me. We were out getting burgers for dinner, and he went to grab my arm with his greasy little hands, and I said "DON'T touch my sweater with your greasy hands, you know the rule!" And he said "Mama, can I have a hug?" And I knew this was manipulation and you know what, it didn't matter. When they offer you the bait you want just that much, you see the hook and you take it anyway. Because it's worth it. Didn't even hesitate; hugged the crap out of him and he hugged me right back and I'm pretty sure I got grease and ketchup all over my sweater and in my hair and I didn't even care.

To be fair, it's not that he doesn't ask for cuddles. It's that the way he does it is, he says "I'm the lobster and you are the shark that ate me." - or the lion that ate him, or whatever. This means he will curl up on my lap in a little ball and I will wrap my arms around him and tell him that he's in my tummy and he was delicious. This is because no matter how Freudian my life gets, parenting is one long streak of the universe telling me it's just not Freudian enough yet.

Got to see some friends last weekend that I don't get to see nearly often enough, which was wonderful. Why is distance? :(

Rocket got his first haircut and I held him on my lap and he did not even cry once. He's a hero!


Nov. 27th, 2014 11:25 am
the_shoshanna: cartoon women sipping drinks together (sipping together)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
In the last decade or two, Thanksgiving was the biggest holiday of the year for my father. He would spend all day (and much of the day before) cooking, I always made the cranberry sauce, and the house would be filled with friends. The first couple of years after his death, my stepmother came up here to visit me and Geoff, because she didn't even want to be in the country for it.

This year she's volunteering at a community dinner, held in an excellent brewpub run by friends of hers: the perfect thing for her to do. (Also she had a huge snowfall and lost power, so it's good that she has a place to go!) And Geoff and I are going to go out for sushi.

This is the first year I've tried to buy something in one of the Black Friday (-ish) online sales, and I'm finding it unexpectedly stressful. The one I most wanted to catch seems to have opened a day earlier than I thought it would, and the thing I want is all sold out -- except that it came back into stock long enough for me to hit "add to cart," and then sold out again and disappeared from my cart before I could actually buy it. Now I'm sitting here -- well, walking here; I'm currently on the treadmill -- refreshing the page every couple of minutes; sometimes it shows in stock, but hitting "add to cart" always throws an error, and sometimes it shows sold out. Bah.

I did manage to get a present for my stepmother; the big irony is that the sites I'm checking for deals refuse to accept a credit card with a Canadian billing address, ARGH, so I had to call her up and ask to use her card for a -- thing! That I want! For myself! -- and promise to pay her back when I see her next month. (We were going to go down last weekend, but Geoff's grandfather's declining health meant we had canceled that plan even before he died.)

I am thankful that that's about the biggest problem I'm dealing with today. And for all my blessings, among which I never forget to include my friends.

(Especially when they give me salon etiquette advice! Thanks for bolstering my spine, guys.)

As God is my witness

Nov. 27th, 2014 11:16 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
I thought turkeys could fly

Happy T-Day, everyone!
roga: coffee mug with chocolate cubes (Default)
[personal profile] roga
Took a day off from work today! This is worth noting because it's actually the first vacation day I can remember taking ever that was not intended for a specific purpose (eg, had an event I had to get to, or traveling abroad). I have on occasion played hooky with a sick day, but that means I still had to work from home a little plus had to hide my online presence and pretend I was actually sick (and then, because I am terrible, I never handed in a sick note on time so in any case they counted as vacation days.)

Taking a day off meant that I stayed in the office until, unfortunately, 22:30 last night - there is no actual good reason for this, my job in no way, like, saving the world, but whatever, the price you pay when you work in online marketing - a sense of mild dissatisfaction at your contribution to society, long working hours and a salary.

My plans for today were threefold:
1) Handle car transfer stuff (my grandma got a new car, and gave me hers)
2) Figure out the bureaucracy* and officially move to Tel Aviv on paper (after, you know 8 years of living here)
3) (a) romantically sit at a cafe at noon in the rain and (b) write fic hahahaha

I managed to accomplish:
1) Car stuff! Ownership transferred, and after many calls to many companies, car insurance has been purchased. I'm pleased with the price I got, and am amused/dismayed that they also managed to rope me into getting a kind of life insurance through them, since I already have life insurance from work, and the deciding factor ended up being that it was 87 shekels/year and as we know from hockey, 87 is a magical number. See also: the title of this post, oh my god.
2) Nope, too much for me for one day and I need some documents from my parents anyway; this will be postponed another... uh. Let's give me a random deadline of three weeks.
3) Hahahaha.

Still, I am feeling accomplished! And I am going to My Fair Lady tonight, to end this day of lazy indulgence. I've been sitting at my rainy cafe for like 4 hours too, poor staff, they must be tired of my face. But it is a lovely place to have spent a day in the rain.

Happy Thanksgiving, to anyone celebrating. Sending my love from afar <3

media things

Nov. 27th, 2014 03:04 pm
marina: (check this shit out)
[personal profile] marina
1. Has everyone seen the promo stuff for Fan Bingbing's upcoming Empress of China TV show? I feel like I've been hearing about this project for years and with every new still photo I just want it TO BE IN MY EYEBALLS ALREADY. I hope the fansubs arrive quickly.

Meanwhile, have a poster. LOOK AT THIS. LOOK AT IT.

The production stills coming out of this thing have been breathtaking. Basically Fan Bingbing in a trillion gorgeous outfits.

I mean, I know this is meant to be a blockbuster TV show, so the take on Wu Zetian is not exactly going to be super controversial, but. There's that quote from Fan about how "an actress who doesn't want to play Wu Zetian is not an actress" and it's true, it's such an incredible, incredible role. I trust Fan Bingbing not to cheat herself out of the best bits.

Meanwhile this has made me crave Chinese period dramas again :/ I guess I never finished the 2010 version of Three Kingdoms? But if any of y'all have any other dramas/Chinese period films to rec, I'm all ears.

2. I recently read Nimona! The comic by Noelle Stevenson about a young girl who decides to apprentice with a supervillain.

I follow Stevenson on Tumblr and have for a long time (since she first started making LOTR fanart), but I've always stayed away from Nimona because it seems too... cutesy? Like, it seemed like it reveled in action/adventure tropes and PG-13 content and well, basically it looked way too YA for me.

However this impression turned out to be false! Nimona is exactly the sort of narrative I love, with adult themes and relationships. There are a couple of twists in the story that make it hard to review without spoilers, but I loved Nimona's character A LOT and enjoyed everything the narrative did with her and wished the comic had been much, much longer. I'll definitely be buying the book when it's published next year.

3. Speaking of things that are surely delightful but sadly aren't for me: I've started watching the second season of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries because I'm utterly out of things to watch and at least with that show I know there probably won't be any fail to upset me.

It's weird because I wholly support an endeavor like MFMM, a TV show about a woman detective in the 1920s, who has lots of relationships with other women, made by a woman and based on a series of novels by a woman. It's really really great! I'm glad more people have discovered it recently outside Australia.

But sadly the storytelling just isn't for me :/ It's very disappointing. I don't like murder mysteries or procedurals (I make exceptions when there's something else in the narrative that draws me but overall crime shows are an utter waste of space as far as I'm concerned) and as delightful as I find the setting, the show is based on a genre where none of the characters ever develop or change and that kills my interest entirely.

Like, it's wonderful inversion of Holmes or Poirot, who also don't change - or change very, very, very slowly - but the thing is, I read those kinds of detective stories as a kid and wouldn't enjoy them now anyway. I like Elementary precisely because it breaks that mold and actually gives me a Holmes and Watson with an evolving relationship and individual character arcs - and if I could I'd eliminate the case-of-the-week bullshit entirely.

Anyway, I enjoy and support everything about Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, but the protagonist herself, who is absolutely wonderful on paper, is impossible for me to care about once she's a flat character. The only moment of interest in the show, for me, is her "romance" with Jack, the police detective, but I'm afraid they're going to tease that for eternity, just as they have, and never go anywhere with it, so. It's a very formulaic show, and I'd rather be watching it than any other formulaic show that doesn't have this many women in it, but. It's still not my cuppa, alas.

4. Speaking of webcomics! Has everyone read Check Please!? Another comic that was recced to me for a while and didn't seem appealing (the drawing style, like with Nimona, reminded me too much of children's lit) but turned out to be super great. The comic is about an 18 from the US south who gets a hockey scholarship to a college in the north and has to deal with lack of access to baking supplies, an aversion to the one aspect of the sport he loves that's required to stay on the team, and a serious crush on his captain.

I think my favorite part of this comic so far is how it feels so utterly familiar and relatable even though I never went to college in the US (or in the US style), never played hockey, never baked a single cake in my life, etc. For me it manages to tap into that universal feeling of being on a team, whether that's the swimming team or the debate team or just any sort of group of friends you hang out with who are passionate about your hobby. I like that feeling, of friendship and community, even more than the romantic plot. And I also love the really well written lead, who manages to be both vulnerable and confident, nervous and self-assured. I love, especially, that the author shows his slowly developing leadership qualities, because it's such a rare arc to show for a tiny gay dude who's into baking surrounded by giant straight dudes on a hockey team.


Work things!

new work responsibilities I am conflicted about )
azurelunatic: An RSS feed symbol, fingerpainted on concrete in blood. (FEED)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Today's book is Symbiont, by Mira Grant. Hooray!

03:05 Wednesday, 26 November, 2014
Other little bits:
The start of the event was delayed slightly by the local protests about the travesty of justice taking place down in Ferguson. They marched past loudly, peacefully, with a police escort.

Someone had cosplayed Annie. *delight*

Hit 10k steps. Ow.

22:45 Wednesday, 26 November, 2014
Went to work. Discovered that much of the lunch gang was in, as fixing bugs reported by customers knows no rest. Ate my burrito and talked cars with them. (I am the driving-on-ice expert.) There was one guy from my department in, and since he has a hardwall office with its own lights, the lights in the whole wing were out. I turned on my desk lamp.

Eventually I peaced out early and hit IKEA, for the desk-drawers I have been needing and some more lights for my workstation. The lines were hella. I got the stuff in my car, then came back in to hit the bathroom. Unfortunately, the only bathroom whose location I remembered was upstairs, and then you have to go through the whole downstairs maze again to get out. (Though I think you can also go out through the babysitting place, which I didn't realize until later.) The lines had cleared out, which made me vaguely grumpy. Hit 5k steps, with the promise of crossing the goal through the simple act of walking down from the garage to my apartment.

Got to chat with Nora. Her roommate's dog is on steroids for his unfortunate skin issues, which has rendered him a tiny spaniel ball of 'roid rage. 'Roid rage, boundless hunger, and peeing.

I got home and got some food in me, then curled up in bed with Symbiont. So good. I like it better than Parasite, which I slammed through because it was good and clever and I needed to know what was happening next. Symbiont is good and clever and I need to know what's happening next, largely because I genuinely care what happens to these people and would like several of them to be my friends.

Seanan said that there are two legit places to put the cliffhanger: at the end of the first book of a duology, and at the end of the second book of a trilogy. When Seanan started writing this, it was a duology. Now it's a trilogy. She said sorry. The cliffhanger does not disappoint, and wraps up enough of the existing threads that I was entirely satisfied; waiting for the third book is going to be like waiting for dessert at the end of a really satisfying Thanksgiving lunch: pecan pie is delicious, but that turkey has filled me to the brim, and while I'm still scraping bits of gravy off my plate and licking them off my fork, it's good that I'm going to be waiting a couple hours before the pies are actually ready, to give my digestive system a while to think about the enormity of that turkey.

Spoilers may lurk. )

Tomorrow, I will take my sparkling cider and my gravy and my lingonberry sauce and my card deck and perhaps a computer over to my aunt's, to eat, drink, and be merry.
st_aurafina: Plus sized lady in a pink bathing suit, completely underwater (Exercise: Swimming)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
I am a little bit ahead in NaNo, huzzah! This is thanks to Steve telling an old man story about this boil he had one time in Poland. That bit is slated for destruction. Steve, you're a super soldier, you probably can't get boils. (He says "Firstly, I got a boil when other men were dying of septicaemia, so have a little respect, and secondly, it was more of a carbuncle.")

Old man stories. I love writing this fic! [personal profile] lilacsigil will be giving me major side-eye when she reads this, because she had to sit through three weeks of hair tearing and chest beating while I got to this point.

(Also, I'm rapidly approaching the part where I really need to know what happens and I really don't know what happens. Again. Every year. I cannot plan for shit, I really can't.)

I work out twice a week with a personal trainer, and we meet at the local netball courts to do this - lately there's been this super cute blue heeler coming to vist me. She's a chronic escape artist - it's a heeler thing - and she pops across the road to see what's going on, and she has this adorable wriggly dance of "HEY PEOPLE I LOVE YOU IF I APPROACH BUTT FIRST WILL YOU PAT IT?".

This morning, I was doing crunches on the mat, and I had my eyes closed because I was dying. I could hear my trainer giggling, which seemed unusually cruel of her, so I opened my eyes to find doggie standing over me, gazing adoringly into my face.

There's a doggy under this cut, also some discussion of workout goals for this year )

The other thing I wanted to note down so I remember it (because it happened too fast for the phone) was on Tuesday. We were driving along the ridge of a gully, and there was a bird kerfuffle off to the left (my side, the passenger side.) When I looked left, I was eye to eye with an eagle, omg. It was flipping huge, flying through the gully, while magpies buzzed it. It's too late for chicks in the nest, so it must have had a go at the adults? Anyway, wedge tailed eagle, bloody enormous, flying like a boss with those amazing swoops they do, while two magpies about the size of its head chivvied it, fluttering over it and under it, and oh wow. It was like suddenly being in the middle of an aerial dog fight.

Eagle. Very big. (Sometimes they stoop on cars here and damage the roof with their talons.)


The Deep End (8697 words) by emilyenrose
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers/Natasha Romanov
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Sex Pollen, Dubious Consent, Humor, Angst

In this story: exquisitely tragic and beautiful Russian romance, James Bond shenanigans, designer drugs with highly specific effects, Steve Rogers’ overactive imagination, a swimming metaphor. Also: a villain has a secret sex room, some assassins join the mile high club, and Captain America punches a shark.

Spy shenanigans, and Natasha/Steve/Bucky, and it's all good.


what you are asking fits with everything on my list (7356 words) by irnan
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Natasha Romanov, James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers/Natasha Romanov
Characters: Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov, James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Fluff and Angst, Crack

Bucky's been trying to set Steve up since 1935. Natasha's been trying to set him up since 2012. What's more logical than that they should join forces?

Bucky would like Sam Wilson to know that that is not actually a dirty joke about him and Nat, thank you and fuck off. (Even though it kinda is.)

I must have been on a bit of a poly bender? This is also Natasha/Steve/Bucky, and also has an excellent villain


A particle, a wave (1068 words) by kvikindi
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Howard Stark
Additional Tags: Manhattan Project, References to Injury of a Child

"My father helped defeat the Nazis. He worked on the Manhattan Project."

Short and very ouchy Howard POV.


Hooked on a Feeling (2901 words) by fmo
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel (Movies), X-Men - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: mildly a crossover with X-Men, Fluff, get-together

Some guy creates a machine that gives everybody in New York mutant powers. Bucky gets empathy, which initially makes him very cranky, but later enables him to figure some stuff out that he might not have figured out otherwise, and ultimately turns out to be the very best power of all.

X-Men fusion, which is always like candy for me - who gets what power? What do they do with it? This is short, not particularly angsty, and very neatly done.

And back to the carbuncle mine I go.

Readings and watchings

Nov. 27th, 2014 04:45 pm
china_shop: Lolcats kittens saying Don't Look! (Don't Look)
[personal profile] china_shop
Phew! I just spent all day writing a submission on the latest power grab by our spies. Got it in with 50 minutes to spare. (Submissions opened two days ago, I think? I found out about them yesterday. Did not make it to the gym today.)

Tired now.

In happier and more frivolous news, I spent the last few days engrossed in The Turn of the Story by Sarah Rees Brennan, which is delightful and engaging (it took me a little while to get into it, but then I loved it and laughed a lot) and is available free on the internet! Fantasyland! Snark! [redacted for spoilers, but trust me, you want to read this!] \o/ Also, its sequel, which is not free but was well worth it. (See details at the above link.)

I don't know what I'm reading next. I started Cory Doctorow's Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, but it's about copyright and not, as I had supposed, about privacy. I'm interested in the copyright-and-creativity issue and will get to it eventually, but right now I'm more focused on privacy: what it is, why it matters, all the places the ubiquitous "if you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear" argument falls down. There are no simple answers to any of these questions, but I found this article by Daniel J Solove interesting and persuasive, and I may have to read his book... *investigates* ...except it's not available in ebook, and I'm no longer capable of reading anything else. Doh!

So I may read the second Lynes/Mathey mystery instead, or... I don't know... I seem to be ricocheting between non-fiction and fiction atm.

In TV news, the boy and I gave Lewis 1.01 a shot last night, but it was too late to get through all of it because our Scrabble game had run long. Pru and I are in the midst of season 1 of Da Vinci's Inquest, for the Canadian-guest-star win. And J and I are starting Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Kdrama) next week, which I believe is another girl-undercover-as-a-boy one, yayay.

I have too many social occasions lined up for the next 7 days.

December meme and other stuff

Nov. 26th, 2014 02:41 pm
gwyn: (troy abed hug)
[personal profile] gwyn
I had a lot of fun last year doing the December talking meme. I hesitated this year, thinking I would do it and then suddenly panicking, but I'm gonna go ahead and do it. Or try to. Yeah. I'm committed.

Pick a date, any date:

1. [profile] daria234--A vid you would like to make or see made for a rare pairing.
4. [personal profile] sholio--a narrative trope you like, and what makes it appealing to you?
6. [personal profile] roseveare-- Talk about the show Miracles. I remember that vid, so you're one of about three people I'm aware of that know this show.
7. [personal profile] chelletoo--What is your favourite city that you've visited? and what makes it your
10. [personal profile] musesfool-- tell me about Steve and Bucky and all their feelings for each other
13. [personal profile] ranalore--What makes a good vidding song?
15. [personal profile] grammarwoman--Is there a fandom you resisted but fell into anyway, or one that you thought would be a great fit for you but turned out bleh?
17. [personal profile] dine--I'd love to hear about a vid idea you have, but will probably never actually make (and why not)
20. [personal profile] sperrywink--Tell me about creating the Shelter vid. (song choice, clips,
rebuilding it, etc)

I'm trying to gear up mentally for my birthday on Friday. You'd think after all these years, having a birthday alone would get easier, but it just seems to get harder and harder without sis_r. And it's always extra worse when it's on or just adjacent to Thanksgiving, because she was usually home around that time and girl loved to shop at all the fancy shops downtown, so the Black Friday sales were very happy-making for her. I might, if I think I can find the mental space, do a fic-prompt thing on my Tumblr and spend the day writing ficlets or something, I don't have that many followers so I can't see getting a deluge of prompts or whatever. I don't know. We'll see.

For the sweeties who've asked--I really don't need or want anything, honestly. The nicest thing anyone could ever "get" me would be something like comments or feedback on a fic or vid, or just being there to let me whine a bit about how much I miss being a twin. Or if you're local and want to hang out and have a drink or something (preferably someplace far away from a mall), let me know.

book design

Nov. 26th, 2014 02:37 pm
applewoman: (Default)
[personal profile] applewoman
I really like the sound of my dishwasher. The swooshing of the water is soothing, and I wait till I get home at night to start it up, even if it’s full when I leave for the day. It’s silly, but it’s a small thing I enjoy.

I’ve been sick for the past three weeks. Finally dragged myself to the doctor on Monday and got antibiotics, which seem to be helping. I’m also riding a pre-holiday depression, though. No easy fix for that. I always hope that this is the year November/December will be easier—and I guess it has gotten easier, over the years—but I’ll probably never love this time of year the way all the Christmas carols say you should. I wish I could love Christmas, but I don’t.

My three-year-old and I have been coloring mandalas. (Before that it was a Hello Kitty coloring book, who she calls Meow Meow Kitty.) We have a shoebox full of crayons we’ve been adding to since my son was born 14 years ago, and I really like the color names: Granny Smith Apple, Macaroni and Cheese, Mauvelous. My daughter advises me on color choices, and it feels good to let go of my perfectionism and use her radical color combos. I just have to go with it. We’re just coloring for fun.

I'm reading a lot of fanfic on my Kindle in my free time. I was all set to buy the Kindle Voyage when it came out, but after reading a bunch of review, I’m going to stick with my beloved old Kindle with the built-in hardware buttons and no touch screen. It does exactly what I want. What I’d really like is my current Kindle with the Kindle Voyage’s screen resolution, but that’s not an option. It might be time to research alternative ebook readers, but I don’t have the energy right now.

I also want to read some of the published books waiting on my shelves, but it takes so much emotional energy for me to invest in characters I don’t already know, and I’m short on energy all around. But I was still excited to get my copy of A Hero at the End of the World, and wow, I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m so impressed by its design and layout! Big Bang Press did it right. I’m so glad I bought the paperback rather than the ebook. I spent some time admiring the art, the slightly rubbery texture of the cover, the interior paper stock, the typeface for the body text. (I’m a book design geek. I don’t get to work on many books in my current job, but I’ve worked on enough of them in the past to appreciate when they’re done well.)

You know who’s making gorgeous books right now? Cookbook publishers. Some of them are truly works of art, especially when they marry form and function so seamlessly that they’re both easy to use and beautiful. I really admire that.

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu

Nov. 26th, 2014 11:09 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
An odd, beautifully written re-telling of "The Snow Queen" as a children's book.

Hazel is a little girl who's peculiar and alienated in the way that a lot of people who grow up to be writers were: engrossed in unpopular books and interests, pre-emptively disdaining most people her age so she won't be as hurt when they reject her. She was adopted from India by a white family, and is not only the only Indian girl in her school, but knows nearly nothing about India; this isn't a huge part of the story, but certainly adds to her feeling of being different.

Her one friend is Jack, a boy whose father is gone and mother is depressed. Everyone tells them they shouldn't be friends, because boys and girls aren't at that age (eleven) and because Hazel is weird. Then one day, Jack suddenly dumps Hazel and starts hanging out with the popular boys. Everyone tells Hazel that this is natural and she needs to find girl friends. Her mother warns her that you can't make someone love you again when they've stopped; she knows because Hazel's father left her. And then Jack disappears - moved away, supposedly.

But Hazel is certain that Jack didn't just naturally stop loving her. She thinks he was enchanted and kidnapped by the Snow Queen. So Hazel follows the rules of fairy-tales... and finds herself in a creepy fairyland, questing to bring back her best friend.

This a well-written, melancholy book with striking images and a strange subtext. Though the fairyland is real, and Jack's enchantment is real, everyone in the real world but Hazel believes that the enchantment is a metaphor. They tell her that childhood friendships often break up naturally, that people often fall out of love, and that no amount of wanting and persistence can make someone love you when they don't. This creates an odd tension to Hazel's quest: is it real? Even if fairyland is real, is the enchantment really imposed from outside, or just the externalization of the truth that Jack no longer loves her. If he really doesn't love her, is it heroic or self-destructive and stalkery for her to keep trying to get him back?

Then again, he really did disappear. And the Snow Queen really does have him. There is no metaphor supplied for that scenario: that is reality. But it's a reality that sits oddly with the "he really doesn't love you" metaphor.

This is a book where I really did wonder what the author's intent was. Were readers meant to take the "You can't make anyone love you" admonitions as the truth, and believe that while she saves Jack's life, he will never love her again? Or were those statements merely obstacles Hazel faces, and she really did see through them to the truth that he did love her, that his enchantment was metaphoric for depression and peer pressure, and that if she kept standing by him, eventually he'd remember that he cared for her all along? I may be taking all sorts of unintended subtext from this book, but it's very metafictional to begin with.

Hazel's quest is like an illusion-picture that flashes back and forth between being a young woman and an old woman every time you blink. Heroic affirmation of persistence and friendship. Blink. Unsettling story of an emotionally immature girl desperately pursuing a boy who naturally grew apart from her.


Love energy is giving us a shove

Nov. 26th, 2014 01:57 pm
musesfool: art deco brandy ad (been drinking since half-past three)
[personal profile] musesfool
Reading Wednesday:

What I've just finished

Huh, I had to look this up on Goodreads, because I feel like last week was a very long way away, but now I remember that I tore through Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, which I found a really compelling read, though I'm not sure I actually liked Reichl that much as a person (as much as you can know/like a person from reading a memoir, anyway). I do love the way she writes about food, though, even though I will never eat at 98% of the places (or the food) she's writing about.

I didn't finish it, but I'll also put Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias here, because I mentioned starting it last week. There was a rape and a miscarriage in the first ... I'm not even sure how far I read? 60 pages maybe? And I was like, I'm done, so I don't know what other horrors were visited upon the lady characters. It was kind of a slog even to get there, tbh, and I still don't know that the fantastical elements really fit with the rest. *hands* You can't read 'em all, I guess.

What I'm reading now

I feel like I opened and closed a bunch of different things before I settled on London Falling by Paul Cornell, which is urban fantasy in the police procedural vein, like the Rivers of London series, except without the charm and with the horror elements dialed way up. I'm enjoying it, though none of the characters really pops yet. (I'm almost halfway through, I think?) The most unbelievable thing to me was the number hat tricks allegedly scored in premier league soccer, but [personal profile] laurificus assures me that they happen all the time.

What I'm reading next

Your guess is as good as mine.


The Flash
spoilers )

Ugh, work should not be so busy on the day before Thanksgiving. I keep getting distracted, so I can't remember what else I wanted to say, so I'm just going to hit post. I'll be at my sister's tomorrow and Friday, and I'll have my iPad, but I don't know how much other access I'll have, so if I don't get to post tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating. Travel safe and try not to strangle any irritating family members!


Fun times last night

Nov. 26th, 2014 10:35 am
metawidget: [garblegarblescript] Political! Science! for Amusement! [pictures of John A. Macdonald with swirly eyes] (science)
[personal profile] metawidget
Random offer of games night (the call was at 9:11 PM) with a couple of friends, plus wine, Ticket to Ride, Girl Guide cookies, loose lips equals fun impromptu sleep deprivation (added to the routine stuff and other fun but annex sleep deprivation). Woo! Also, I won at Ticket.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
23:13 Sunday, 23 November, 2014
Purple also knows "The Humans Are Dead", so we sing/reference bits of it at each other every now and then. I think the latest was "no more unethical treatment of elephants".

I told Darkside that he was the best $HISNAME. And that I wasn't very good at being a $WALLETNAME. He pointed out that based on some of the more notorious instances of my walletname, those are some epic examples to live up to. Also, that death by religious persecution is unpleasant.

(Then ensued me mentioning the meeting in which everyone was saying "Azure", and I kept twitching...)

01:42 Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

Monday: slept late because I had a hard time getting to sleep, and unsettling dreams once I did: missing a technical interview because I'd slept through it, and being at a lunch counter in the 2nd-floor hall of my elementary school (well, 1.5th floor) where nothing looked like food I could eat and then things kept disappearing as I tried to make up my mind.

Naturally when I got to work, the cafeteria had decided to close a half-hour early because of the holiday week, and it was just by grace of other people in the grill line that I was able to get food at all. I checked in with my manager for our 1:1 (at one of the lobby couches because her room got poached).

Later, after the building was well on its way to ghost town status (early) I realized that traffic was not ass, and beat a hasty retreat home, via the gas station. Even after chatting with Nora, there was still time to go soak in the hot tub. I knelt and faced the ocean and had some thoughts. Then I relaxed. About when it was almost time to come in, I saw some grumpy cats with ringed tails climbing a nearby tree. So I watched them for a bit.


Went to bed early, woke up early (before my early alarm). Came in to work early. Worked on stuff. Hit up the shipping & receiving office with some international outbound shipments for Carmageddon. Came back with a few things as well (they'd just checked them in and recognized me at the door).

Madam Standards saw my coffee mug with the initial A. I mentioned a few things. (Not my full name, however.)

I sent an IM to Mr. Bananas to see if he was the same jacket size as the jacket.

Had lunch with some of my teammates: Madam Standards, the Dogesitter, and the Norseman. There was, of course, hilarity. After the Norseman wandered off, the topic of 50 Shades of Grey came up. And Twilight.

"Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? Our friendship may hinge on your answer!"

I, of course, am perpetually on "Team Bella goes the fuck to college", and I said pretty much that. We then discussed the pros and cons of Jacob: Bella wouldn't have to change in order to be with Jacob, and helloooo werewolf abs! I pointed out that Bella wasn't actually that into Jacob, and I dated a dude with his exact personality in high school, and hooo maaaaaaaaaaan was that not a great experience. So Bella should by no means be dating Jacob. Madam Standards pointed out that she had to change to be with Edward. Plus, werewolf abs. I reiterated: team college.

I saw in my email, as we were discussing these weighty matters, that there was a set of missed IMs from Mr. Bananas. For context, Mr. Bananas and Purple have known each other for approximately a decade, through two companies, and three offices. They were officemates at the last company, on a team that Purple was on prior to moving around, and now on their current team. I don't know what Purple's opinion is of Mrs. Bananas, but it's possible that their friendship has seniority timewise, at least, to Mrs. Bananas. They ask for each other as officemates when that's an option. They are, in short, good buddies.

Mr. Bananas: Hi Azure, how are you doing? my jacket size is M.
Mr. Bananas: so Purple told you that I have been eyeballing his jacket, huh
Mr. Bananas: to be clear.. i was just touching the jacket that happened to be on him
Mr. Bananas: no intention to touch him at all

I cracked the hell up, and found myself having to explain this to my lunchmates. It wasn't the most coherent explanation in the history of ever. I returned to my desk.

ajlunatic: Purple did mention that there had been some jacket envy
ajlunatic: alas, I only have the one spare one, and it is the same size as Purple's: XL
ajlunatic: I'm in no position to have any opinions about who is touching Purple ... unless of course he takes exception to it, in which case I am chivalrously obliged to back him up

StPatience in #adventuresofstnono provided a link. I cheerfully went on to share it with Steph, #VirtualH, the chatfish, and [off-topic]. <- please enjoy this Cthurkey

I attempted to recruit Purple and/or Mr. Zune to come to the Seanan/Mira thing, but alas. Purple was becoming one with his couch, and the thought of heading to contend with San Francisco was just not on. I called Purple. He called me back from his landline (as his reception from his place is absolute ass) and we chatted a bit.

He also found the comments from Mr. Bananas amusing.

We also discussed the Cthurkey, particularly the tentacular aspect. There are reasons why I cherish my friendship with Purple. If he actually started a [hentai-turkey] list, I would probably have to hide under my desk in mortification. (We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.)

Then I had to get on BART to head to the Mira book release party for Symbiont. So I did that. And I got the book. And I started reading, stuffing reactions in [ profile] squeemachine, with page citations from the hardback. I found myself hissing the villain, as being me when I read is an interestingly interactive experience. I was not done reading when it came time for the party to start. It being a weeknight, it was a very small party. The peak may have been 11 people, not counting bookstore/cafe staff. Weeknight party attendance has nothing to do with how well the book will sell. It's a lovely book so far. I can't finish it tonight.

She did a reading from "Rolling in the Deep", which is what happens when they ask her to do a Mira story about mermaids. SPOILER ALERT! )

There were more prizes to go around than there were people present, because weekday. Yay books!

Tif was also there. Yay!

I like to have handcrafts at parties like this. This time, I worked assiduously on my loon shawl, continuing the process of loonembellishment. It's looking very nicely loony.

One of the questions was about LGBTQI...* representation. One of the challenges with Seanan's October Daye series fae is that with their effective immortality, most of the fae do average out to bisexual -- even a 95% straight fae is likely to run across those five exceptions -- but that can be a challenge to represent. (The audience member asking the question was pleased by the consistent way that people with these identities and experiences were sprinkled visibly throughout most of her books, which is rarer than it ought to be in the genre, and Seanan had many things to say. Among other things, she expressed that visible representation ought to be the bare minimum.) So that was how the topic of asexuality amongst the fae came up to start with. And the difficulty of expressing asexuality in a character without running the risk of screeding. And someone asked whether a particular character was not perhaps ace. Cue Seanan channeling said character for a brilliant few minutes about bodily fluids, and stickiness. Hilarity, etc.

When the questions were all answered, the books and shirts were all given away, and the books were all signed, it was time to wrap up. Tif and I popped across the street for burgers, and talked about a great many things, including social shenanigans (a specific fashion community's CAH supplements), cats (her cats, and the cat-buttering vaporware app), shoe woes, and the social difficulty of writing minutes for a meeting during which the local equivalent of Dr. Pulaski is not present, and therefore the entirety of the meeting is complaining about Dr. Pulaski.

I had a dodgy feeling about the 16th St station, so I walked back to 24th St. It was not as ultra sketch as 16th tends to be, but there were still things which I would identify as sketch. Including the dudes who were smoking up and then spitting on the floor inside the station while we were waiting for the train.

When I came home, lb had shared the following:

Tomorrow will be Wednesday.

Thursday will be US Thanksgiving. Guide Dog Aunt is hosting; the other aunt will be joining us. Tay and her Young Man will be coming. Not sure how many cousins, if any. I plan to bring CAH, as this subgroup of family seems to be compatibly terrible with each other. (I am entirely willing to play CAH with my aunts and sister. When extra siblings from my aunts' generation come in, it may be Apples to Apples time.)

Daily Happiness

Nov. 25th, 2014 11:54 pm
torachan: aradia from homestuck (aradia)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I'm trying to cut back on soda again and I didn't have one tonight with dinner when I really wanted one, so go me! (I did have some earlier, but at least I had less than I have been drinking recently.)

2. I had some chocolate candy cane pretzels tonight and they were so good! (Chocolate dipped pretzels coated in crushed candy cane bits.)

3. I got a lot done at work today. And today wasn't just an anomaly. Generally I've been feeling a little more on top of things. Part of that is that the new stockers are starting to get the hang of things, but also the department I took over was in such bad shape and it's finally getting to the point where it's not.

By the way, I'm still taking suggestions for the December meme.

Hello again

Nov. 25th, 2014 09:41 pm
resonant: Three frogs in Santa hats (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
I've spent a couple of months trying to sit with my losses and changes, done and happening and still to come. It was good to have a period of quiet. It was what I needed. But I really missed you folks.

I didn't discover the secret of life. I did discover that I was allowing my time and energy to sort of flow out without any direction from me -- to be used by whoever demanded them, to drift into hours spent noodling around on the computer in a way that was neither pleasure nor rest. Little by little I'm trying to change that.

So I'm going to be trying to do fandom in a way that has more

interacting with each other as people
getting help from others to make my writing better
helping others who want to make their writing better
reading delicious stories

and has less

passive absorbtion
meta without interaction

Chat and Dreamwidth and your worlds and your stories are good for me. Tumblr is bad for me, and for now I'm opting out. (Well, OK, I confess: I'm still following a handful of artists. Plus Important Birds.)

So: Hello again! Let's get back into the groove with the December Daily meme! Pick a date in December and give me a topic, fannish or no. (Also, if you're participating, can you say so in your comment so I can follow you home and ask questions to you?)

  1. [personal profile] giglet: What does happiness look like to you now? How has that changed from a year ago?
  2. [personal profile] sineala: Of all the fandoms you've been in, which was your favorite? (Because of the fic, or the fannish community, or the fact that it contained your all-time OTP, or whatever other metric makes sense to you...)
  3. [personal profile] wychwood: What is your favourite of your own stories? Which fic-writing achievements are you proudest of?
  4. [personal profile] out_there: What's the worst novel you've ever read, and why?
  5. [personal profile] panisdead: dreams. Any way you choose to interpret.
  6. [personal profile] goss: Goals - For today / tomorrow / this week / this month / this year / next year / life goals. Any or all.
  7. [personal profile] monanotlisa: Can I interest you in writing a Steve/Sam snippet? Or some thoughts on them? ♥
  8. [personal profile] china_shop: Do you shop online, and if so, what are some of your favourite sites. (If not, is it a conscious choice or just habit?)
  9. [profile] princessofgeek: Advice on changing bad habits -- what has worked for you in the past.
  10. [personal profile] amalthia: what is your current favorite fandom and what do you love about it?
  11. [personal profile] mific: crossovers - do you like reading them? Do you write them? (make it 2 questions if you like).
  12. [personal profile] princessofgeeks gets two questions, because they were really great questions: What you would tell your self of 20 years ago if you had the chance.
  13. [personal profile] armadillo1976: Original fiction: have you written any? Do you feel you are going to? Why?
  14. [personal profile] skuf: what has changed (most) about your writing?
  15. [personal profile] kass: Tell me, if you will, what you enjoy most about parenthood?
  16. [personal profile] marginaliana: What one thing would you most like to do in your life that you think is impossible for whatever reason (financial, laws of physics, etc)?
  17. [personal profile] sage: What's your favorite thing from each season of the year? (Optional: least favorite?)
  18. [personal profile] isis: tell me about a favorite place you've visited on your travels, or a place you'd like to go to.
  19. [personal profile] cesperanza: what are the things that get you to write, fannishly? Have you been able to articulate the circumstances that get you from passive to active fannishness about a particular source?
  20. [personal profile] veronamay: what's your all-time favourite piece of fanon/headcanon? Describe in detail, including reasons why you love it. Can be something you came up with, or someone else's that you've adopted--just something you really love.
  21. [personal profile] runpunkrun: What's a favorite piece of writing advice you've picked up over the years?

  22. [personal profile] indywind: an anecdote from your real life. (Your kidlet says the darnedest things, and I love how you share overheard remarks in such a way that I can practically hear them myself).
  23. [personal profile] ranalore: Do you write to music? If so, what makes a good writing soundtrack?

one cello

Nov. 25th, 2014 08:08 pm
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
If you watch Elementary, last week's episode Bella had some really extremely loud death metal that nearly gave me a panic attack—like, was it super necessary to have it that loud and then have the actors shouting over the top of it?—and then, during the final act, there was some really lovely string music playing behind Sherlock while he was sitting on the floor doing his Sherlock thing.

It's Zoë Keating's "Exurgency," and if you liked what you heard in the episode, you'll like the rest of it, too. It's off an EP called One Cello x 16, and the full album One Cello x 16: Natoma is also great.

If you don't watch Elementary, or didn't notice the track, this is the kind of thing you'll like if you like Andrew Bird's stringier moments when he has a bunch of violins plucking along behind him, or the Dirty Three when they're not being head-janglingly dissonant. It's sweet and moody in turns, with just enough growl to make it interesting.
musesfool: abbie mills & ichabod crane from sleepy hollow (are you thinking what i'm thinking)
[personal profile] musesfool
Sleepy Hollow
spoilers )

For this, I didn't watch Jane the Virgin, and I had to set Star Wars Rebels to record this morning's replay. Sigh.


baked beans and spam

Nov. 25th, 2014 11:22 am
jadelennox: Emerson Cod from Pushing Daisies, glaring (pushing daisies: Emerson)
[personal profile] jadelennox
I read my email in Alpine, because I love it; it's fast, powerful, and does 95% of what I want efficiently and easily. As a happy side effect, this means I see a kind of plaintext rendering of HTML email unless I request a browser view, making it much easier to instantly identify phishing scams (Alpine puts the destination domain after every link in its HTML rendering), and easier to not see gross images.

It also means I sometimes see text the phisher probably didn't know was there:

("hello" + " " + "world!");; val it : string = "hello world!" > "hello" + " " + "world!";;
val it : string = "hello world!" Why then String.length works with the first but not with the second one? >
String.length ("hello" + " " + "world!");; val it : int = 12 > String.length "hello" + " " + "world!";;
String.length "hello" + " " + "world!";; ------------------------^^^

Yes, other CSHTML are still updated correctly when I make changes. And yes, I tried displaying an empty
page, but it still displays the same old one

Hidden by CSS in the browser view. :D
fox: remus lupin knows from chronic pain (love - brain (by Sam))
[personal profile] fox
For the past, oh, few days? maybe a week or so?, I've been feeling a sort of achy twinge in my back. I think it's too high to be the hip acting up from where I fell down the stairs at my brother and sister-in-law's house last fall and too low to be a kidney--but I could be wrong about that. And it is on that side where I banged up my hip and where several years ago I had a kidney infection. (I have all this trouble with all the diodes down my right-hand side. I've asked for them to be replaced, but ...)

Anyway. Dull achy twinge that isn't seeming to go away. It feels a little bruisy when I poke at it (not very hard), but it doesn't feel warm under my hand or inflamed or in any way worrying like that. It made it hard to fall asleep last night because it was hard to get comfortable, but it's really just sort of mid- to high-level discomfort, not actually pain.

And it's Thanksgiving in two days.

I'm rocking the electric heating pad here at my desk and contemplating a massage (maybe for Sunday). What else, if anything, do I do? (Is it a kidney? Should I be more concerned?)

white sons

Nov. 25th, 2014 06:39 am
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
I wrote this whole long post about what I am committing to doing, and saying, in my effort to not raise another Darren Wilson or George Zimmerman. About how I don't even know where to start with some of it, and, though it sounds obscene to say so when friends last night were having much harder and scarier conversations, still the thought of setting out to make changes to our lives seems scary and hard.

Then I saved it and did not post it. Instead, last night Mr. E and I talked about what we should do. I think maybe as non-Black people this is a good time for us to have awkward, difficult conversations about race in our own families rather than in social media.

(no subject)

Nov. 25th, 2014 03:10 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
A shitty thing happened at work today, as it sometimes does. A coworker made some derogatory comments about Russians in a meeting with a bunch of people in the department, including myself.

As sometimes happens, a different coworker later came up to me and said "Are you all right? I'm so sorry that happened. I was on the verge of saying something to [coworker who was speaking], but I didn't, but I wanted to apologize to you on behalf of all of us." These are quiet, private conversations, that of course go nowhere in terms of precluding such behavior in the future. In fact often the coworkers who express this sentiment are doing so more because they hate the offensive coworker, for whatever reason, that week, than out of genuine solidarity or sympathy, as evidenced by the fact that these "sympathetic" coworkers themselves occasionally make disparaging comments about Russians, mock Russian accents or Russian food, etc. (Last week we had a whole discussion at lunch about how gross Russian food was, obviously initiated by people who were not me, but I was present. It was great.)

It makes me think about a lot of things.

About how used to it I am, at this point. About how it's taken slightly less than 3 years of working in a place where I'm the only Russian speaker to be used to this. Where I'm no longer even offended or angry, just tired and scared. Where I just want to ignore everything I can, forget everything I can, pretend these people don't hold these opinions, pretend, in the most fantastical scenario, that they don't even know I'm Russian. That I can hide it from them somehow, make them forget. How well I've learned to navigate the battle of being visibly, outspokenly Russian with being prepared for the backlash. I know people will mock me, I know they won't understand my perspective, I know they think my parents are trash and their accents, their food, their fashion sense are horrible.

At least so far - so far, praise be - I haven't succumbed to actually wishing I wasn't Russian. I've always hoped that spending my adolescence in a 98% Russian speaking environment, among my fellow immigrants, has inoculated me against that, at least. A lot of my upbringing, both at home and at school, growing up, talked about people who were, essentially, "ethnic traitors". People who would change their names, change their clothes, pretend not to speak Russian, avoided Russian things at all costs, etc. These people - kids and adults - were despicable, pitiable, pathetic. My mother used to tell me, when I was 7, about my native-born classmates, who used to bully the fuck out of me, including stealing and destroying my things, beating me up and spitting on me: "don't try to fool people that you're one of them. They'll always know that you're not." I had asked to change my name to something less Russian sounding than Marina. Perhaps Miriam. My mother had laughed, a sort of kind, sad smile. Like she didn't know how to explain to me that nothing I did would ever be enough.

I used to hate myself a lot as a kid, for a lot of reasons, most of which had to do with immigration. When I was older, my hatred for people who tried to "pass" as non-Russian bordered on the irrational. It was not uncommon among my peers. There was literally nothing more pathetic, to us, than trying to suck up to the people who bullied you in grade school, who thought your heritage was garbage, who mocked your parents. It was too sad and disgusting to contemplate.

It took a long time, to learn to forgive. To accept that there are no good choices under duress. To learn not to judge my fellow immigrants for whatever they had to do to survive.

The other thing instances like this make me think about is - how privileged I am, and how utterly horrible it is that this is my experience considering how privileged I am. I'm not even on the outskirts of marginalized identities in Israel. Mine is a relatively light case.

It makes me sick and terrified to live in this country, drives home how incredibly, unspeakably worse it must be for others, who like me work and live here, in this, our most progressive city.

Lastly, it makes me think about how uncomfortable I am, still, in spaces occupied by the wealthy, educated, "liberal" elites of this country.

I, and most people from my community, come from areas of poverty, lack of access to resources, lack of education, working class neighborhoods. These were the people I grew up with, the people I was surrounded by. Ethnic tensions in these places looked entirely different. I grew up unused to the subtlety, the insidious nature of discrimination and prejudice when it's something one can't openly mention in polite company.

Among my coworkers, the educated liberals will only say derogatory things about Russians when caught off guard. When they're stressed or in the middle of a poorly thought out joke or are responding to a statement they didn't realize would touch on Russianness. They're not necessarily repentant, afterwards, but they feel as though they've transgressed.

Where I grew up, when people didn't like Russians they were very vocal about it. Everything about their manner, their speech, their attitude let you know they thought you were beneath them. No one was shy about using slurs or saying what they really thought. The refinement always makes me uneasy. Everything feels like hypocrisy. It's like I have to assume beforehand that everyone has these prejudices, or else I'll let myself get attached and only discover it at crunch time, when there's stress or drama or something major happens. It worries me, sets me on edge, being around people who think they're above ugly prejudice or discrimination. That they're too smart, too "good", too educated, too peace loving, too kind to fall prey to it.

I know I'm certainly not above prejudice, I know it's something I struggle with, in areas where it doesn't affect me and even in some areas where it does. I try to keep that in mind. Understanding how oppression works doesn't make you immune to perpetuating it. The air you breathe is always tinged with it, and the work of undoing its effects is continuous.

Anyway, it just always makes me think how odd that is, and how not-unusual. To work so hard to get to the "top", to live and work in the centers of social and material wealth, only to feel, after all your formal education, like you miss the open hostility and discrimination of the neighborhoods you worked so hard to escape.

Native-born Israelis: please consider whether your comments are appropriate on a post like this, and please don't speak for me or for groups you don't belong you re: what it's like living in Israel. In general, but especially here.

Linkspam is muddling on

Nov. 26th, 2014 12:42 am
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
[personal profile] vass

Children’s Stories Made Horrific: Love You Forever (tw: dysfunctional parenting)

More Screaming
Some highlights from Kim Beom's 2012 installation piece, Yellow Scream. Startle warning: sudden very loud noises.

Myth and Legend
Ursula Vernon's 'The Sea Witch Sets The Record Straight'

Pleasant Ideas
In Which I... Plan a Walking Holiday. Jonathan describes how he and his partner plan theirs.

Stephanie Giese compares boys' and girls' clothing. No, not just the slogans and colours, the fucking sizes and cuts.

How Dave Ramsey manages his company

In Our Care: Four Corners' report on rapes and sexual assaults and other abuses by Yooralla employees on people with disabilities in their care. (Video with CC, no transcript, trigger warning for everything you would expect from that summary.)

Bears Repeating
Book of Jubilation's 'A note on “normal” for depressed folks'

I Don't Know What He's Talking About
Shark Cats are NOT horrible. They're adorable.

December Posting Meme: recs edition!

Nov. 25th, 2014 03:32 pm
roga: coffee mug with chocolate cubes (Default)
[personal profile] roga
So this December, on days when I am (a) not frantically writing yuletide and (b) not traveling (there will only be like 4 days of travel), I shall endeavor to post something every day.

Barring any prompts, my default will be posting (at least) one hockey RPF rec a day.

Other than that, I would love to get prompts/requests for:

(a) questions you have/topics you'd like me to talk about
(b) tropes you like that I can rec you fics for, any fandom
(c) tropes you like that I can rec you fic for in hockey
(d) photo prompts? I have a gigantic backlog of photos to post, or I can take new ones

Here's hoping I can make this place interesting again (aaaaaaaaand rec y'all some good fic :D)
emma_in_dream: (pic#3279790)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
I was just reading a review of a biography of Lewis Carol which talked about how we moderns misinterpret his interest in little girls as paedophilia, and I wondered if I was harsh in thinking that Susan Warner’s *The Wide, Wide World* (1853) is weird in the way Ellen is groomed to be John’s wife from the age of ten. Was I misinterpreting this text, viewing it in terms of 21st century preoccupations.

But no. Here are her contemporaries writing about how disturbing they found the relationship depicted in this wildly popular novel.

Elizabeth Sewell, 1865. 'So.. half the children in England would be permitted to read such books as The Wide, Wide World... in which fascinatingly simple little girls of ten or twelve are petted and caressed by respectable gentlemen of five-and-twenty or thirty, who afterwards take the form of lovers, and marry them.... They are ... likely to do injury to a child's mind.'

Charlotte Yonge, 1869. The novels ‘have the very grave and really injurious effect of teaching little girls to expect a lover in any one who is good natured to them. Nothing ought to be more rigidly avoided, for it fills the child with foolish expectations and dreams, which poison her simplicity of mind and her present enjoyment.’

It’s not just me. (I feel better now I know I am not alone in being disturbed by a text which virtually no one else has read for 100 years.)
wychwood: Teyla wonders if you meant to do that (SGA - Teyla mean that)
[personal profile] wychwood
A drama in two scenes, so far )

It's like a rule of computing that everything you fix either causes or reveals at least two other problems. I was mostly laughing because it's so familiar from everything I do breaking when I ask people to test it for me. At least this time it's not my responsibility!

Now, if only my emails would start working again...

Daily Happiness

Nov. 24th, 2014 11:16 pm
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] torachan
1. We went to see Big Hero 6 today and it was so awesome! I really loved everything about it. (Except the price. Over $8 for the bargain matinee!? Yikes! And that wasn't even 3D!)

2. We have been having a little heat spell, but thankfully it's not getting too hot and it's still cold at night. And it should be getting cooler again next week and also rain. I hope it really does rain!

3. I got some translating done today despite not feeling like doing much of anything. Hopefully I can wrap this chapter up tomorrow or Wednesday and send it off to the typesetter so I can get it posted before the end of the month.

4. Irene bought some ginger lemon Haribo gummies today and they are so good! Why have I never seen these before!?

(no subject)

Nov. 24th, 2014 11:33 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
I just went through and left prompts for (I think) everyone I'm now subscribed to who's doing the December meme. If my prompt came off as weird or tasteless, sorry, there's a lot of you and I was getting kind of punchy by the end. (Hey it's still less weird than what I did last year, nobody was asked to talk about cabbages and kings or pigs with wings.) Unless I asked you about the weather. If I asked you about the weather I definitely sincerely think it would be really interesting to hear you talk about the weather. We internet people don't talk about the weather enough except when it's being nasty.

If you're doing one and I'm subscribed to you and I missed you, feel free to drop me a link.

Sleepy Hollow, Magnum Opus

Nov. 24th, 2014 09:46 pm
jadelennox: Abbie Mills from Sleepy Hollow looking up and smiling (sleepy hollow: Abbie smiling)
[personal profile] jadelennox
Well, the world is a terrible, bleak, unjust place. But Sleepy Hollow was good?

Of course it was delayed by the vile press conference, so my plan of "watch Sleepy Hollow right after the press conference so I'll feel better" failed. Which, you know, lots of way fucking shittier things happening in the world tonight. Pardon me while I console myself with television.

Sleepy Hollow, Magnum Opus recap )

...are there any named white cops in Sleepy Hollow not counting dead Corbin? Not that I'm complaining.

Also next week's episode is called spoiler ). Which... could go well or poorly, depending on who dies.

And now back to your regularly scheduled nation in permanent crisis mode.


Nov. 24th, 2014 09:01 pm
umbo: (southland janilla)
[personal profile] umbo
I said this on Twitter already, but I am so bitterly, bitterly ashamed of the status quo in our country right now. I feel like I need to apologize to the universe for the incredible injustice that happens DAILY here.
heresluck: (book)
[personal profile] heresluck
In a book with poems about Rosa Parks, Hurricane Katrina, Dubya's diastrous presidency, Condoleezza Rice, sex, love, segregation, and refusing to dance with Strom Thurmond at a wedding reception, it just figures that I would gravitate to the one about tomatoes and betrayal. (In my defense, some of the other poems I would have loved to post are really long.)

Sundown, the day nearly eaten away,

the Boxcar Willies peep. Their
inside-eyes push black and plump

against walls of pumpkin skin. I step
into dying backyard light. Both hands

steal into the swollen summer air,
a blind reach into a blaze of acid,

ghost bloom of nacre & breast.
One Atlantean Cherokee Purple,

two piddling Radiator Charlies
are Lena-Horne lured into the fingers

of my right hand. But I really do love you,
enters my ear like a nest of yellow jackets,

well wedged beneath a two-by-four.

But I really didn't think I would (ever leave),
stings before the ladder hits the ground.

I swat the familiar buzz away.
My good arm arcs and aims.

My elbow cranks a high, hard cradle
and draws a fire. The end of the day's

sweaty air stirs fast in a bowl, the coming
shadows, the very diamond match I need.

One by one, each Blind Willie
takes his turn Pollocking the back

fence, heart pine explodes gold-leafed in
red and brown-eyed ochre. There is practice

for everything in this life. This is how
you throw something perfectly good away.

— Nikky Finney
from Head Off & Split

(no subject)

Nov. 24th, 2014 07:20 pm
nestra: (only slightly cracked)
[personal profile] nestra
I have finished reading The Heroes of Olympus series, which is the second five-book series featuring Percy Jackson. I have thoughts about this compared to Harry Potter, and how Riordan mostly, but not completely, manages to juggle a large cast of characters while still giving everyone their moment in the sun, but the most important thing is going under a spoiler cut, for those of you who may have read the series or don't care about being spoiled:

Not super spoilery, but it may be the kind of thing you want to find out for yourself if you're going to read the series )

Funds for a good cause

Nov. 24th, 2014 07:48 pm
riverlight: A rainbow and birds. (Default)
[personal profile] riverlight
You guys, I've done a lot of reading and thinking about international development and the way it can in many cases be detrimental to the people who are the recipients of foreign aid—the dynamics the way it works, with echoes of colonialism, with rich folks wanting to assuage their guilt, with aid organizations providing support that happens to enrich companies in their home countries—can be really troublesome.

But at the same time, I'm also a big believer in each individual doing what they can to help others. I got that belief from my parents; my mother is a doctor, and has always acted on that philosophy—professionally, she worked in rural, poverty-stricken communities, providing health care to those without insurance and to the disabled.

Now she has joined her best friend, G., a nurse, in supporting one small town in Haiti. The two of them travelled there last year to provide health checkups, medication where possible, and condoms; they'll be going back again in February. One of the things the two of them have taken on is committing to provide funding to build latrines for each family in the village.

The materials for a latrine/outhouse cost $40, and my mother G. are matching funds. I'm donating, and I thought I'd throw it out there in case any of you are looking for a good cause as the winter holidays approach.

Below the cut, the text of my mother's email about this, with a link to some videos.

Below the cut, the text of my mother's email about this, with a link to some videos.  )

(I'm also very interested to have debates about foreign aid/international development and the ethics thereof, so if this post inspires you to think about such things, please have at it in the comments!) 

salon etiquette -- help?

Nov. 24th, 2014 06:15 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
For the last almost-decade, I've gotten my hair cut at a salon near my house; it's not super-fancy, but it's not an eight-dollars-a-cut chain either. It's the kind of place where every stylist has their own station, and they take turns answering the phone and greeting walk-ins.

I started out having my hair cut by -- let's call her Anna. I don't remember how I found her, but she cut my hair for a couple of years, until she moved to a different salon. So I called up mine and asked, "Who cuts hair like Anna?" and got referred to Bets. I've had my hair cut by Bets ever since. We have that friendly-chat-while-she-cuts kind of relationship.

I have a weird wave, a loose curl, in my hair that makes it hard to cut in a way that won't leave me with it sticking straight out like ski jumps from the side of my head. Sometimes it comes out looking better, sometimes worse; neither Bets nor I have never been able to tell exactly what she does differently from one time to the next. (Possibly nothing; humidity will also affect it, of course.) So I just make an appointment for a cut, and cross my fingers.

A while ago I had a cut that was not working out at all, and I was going to be performing a wedding that weekend. So even though it was only two weeks since I'd had it cut (cuts usually last me between one and two months, depending on how they work out), I called up the salon to get an emergency appointment to have Bets try to clean it up a bit.

But Bets wasn't working that day; the only stylist in the salon was Cissy, whom I'd never even spoken to before. But she was willing to squeeze me in and do what she could, so off I went.

She did a terrific cut. And she also talked with me about the specifics of what my hair needs in a cut to look good, and not make me look like the Flying Nun. I really, really liked what she did, and I got the feeling that she had real skill in dealing with my hair. (She was careful not to diss her colleague, but did go so far as to say "This cut isn't doing you any favors," about which she was quite correct.)

You probably see my problem! I want to have Cissy cut my hair from now on, but I feel really weird making an appointment with her and snubbing Bets, who has been doing it for years and years. What do I do?

(So far I've been dealing with this difficulty by hoping I'll never need a haircut again. That strategy has worked for three months; I told you it was a great cut! But it's not going to work much longer...)

Oh, I'm doing that again?

Nov. 25th, 2014 08:19 am
vass: XKCD comic: Elaine Roberts plays drums, caption she even for a time took up drumming." (Riot Prrl 2)
[personal profile] vass
It's been a while a while since I got a song stuck in my head without first knowing the tune. I used to have that happen a lot, particularly with John M. Ford's books, and also the Fifth Millennium series.

On the one hand, that used to be awesome, composing melodies all through my teens even if I never managed a proper accompaniment or even chords mostly. And I missed it when it stopped happening. I'm glad it's happening again.

On the other hand, did I need an tune for the annoying children's song in Ancillary Sword? NO, I DID NOT. Thank you so much, Ann Leckie, for being such an inspirational novelist. ARGH.

I never wanted to tell lies

Nov. 24th, 2014 03:42 pm
musesfool: Kalinda/Louisville Slugger=OTP (if you ain't got that swing)
[personal profile] musesfool
Ugh, you guys, why is writing SO TERRIBLE? All I want is to write a story that I can finish in under 5000 words! (Before I begin yuletide.) I have a handful of wsip on the go and at the rate I am poking at them, I'll be in the retirement home before they're done, because they all want to be 12-15K words long! Which isn't THAT long, even for me (though I'd say my wheelhouse is under 7k), but feels like forever when I finish a section and think, not much left! and then realize, no, there's still like another 10K to go. Bah. Writing. What an awful hobby. Why did I think it was ever a good idea?

I was poking at a bunch of old wsip and I even started a couple of new things from old prompts, just to try and get something written that doesn't require a lot of words, but no joy so far. Sigh. I might have a couple I'll cast out for wip amnesty, though. We'll see.


The Good Wife: The Trial
spoilers )


Brooklyn Nine Nine: USPIS
I enjoyed this a lot, though I am too busy at work right now to quote at length. Sigh.


Class, camo, and corpulence

Nov. 24th, 2014 01:44 pm
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
[personal profile] wired
I needed winter boots. No, real winter boots, rated to at least -25F which means at least 400 grams of insulation. My commute is 90 minutes in bad weather, not counting the increased possibility of me having to walk out of a bad situation, like a did a couple times last year while winter bike commuting.

45NRTH's bike-specific WOLVHAMMER winter boots have 200 grams. And are designed for men.

REI suggested Merrell's Polarand 8: 200-400 grams, designed for men.

So I was a little frustrated. Like many women, I have a narrower heel, and although I can wear men's shoes because my feet are big enough, heel slip when you are biking is a pain.

Then Laura pointed out I should look at hunting boots. Which I hadn't thought of, because, let me clear, even though I was raised in hunting country, with hunting classmates, my class issues prevented me from thinking of it as a solution. There are at least a dozen women's-designed hunting boots that run from 400 to 2000 grams of insulation. I got the Ladyhawk boots from Red Wing. Because you know who needs high-performance, low-temperature, walk-all-day boots? Hunters. Snowmobilers.

You know who can get away with 200 grams of insulation in their boots because they are never facing being out in the cold for days if something goes wrong? Rich people from SeattleI. I mean, not 100%, but I feel like there is a significant difference in use between "ski trip" and "hunting trip".

And the weird thing about class is that it's not like hunting is cheap. Guns are expensive, ammunition is currently ruinously expensive. You can't really fit a dear carcass on top of a Prius, so it changes your transportation needs. It costs money to get your deer processed. You need boots, outdoor gear, jackets, scent blocker. You may use deer licks, deer stands, etc. * But wearing camo and carhartt, that's... redneck, that's rural, that's white-trashy.

So, anyway, those Red Wing boots I wanted, they sell them at Gander Mountain, which I had never been into. IT WAS A REVELATION.

I am women's size 18-20, which puts me right at the bleeding edge of "straight sizes" (which is to say, not plus size). I spend a lot of time looking at women's bike clothes and outdoor gear and thinking "extra large in what universe?". For example, this Pearl Izumi base layer is $75 and the XL sizing is 40-42 inch chest. THAT'S MY WAIST. My chest is 49 right now. So I reluctantly slouch off to men's where the XXL will just barely fit me. Except not really, because I'm not shaped like a man. By comparison, let's go look at a technical base layer at Gander Mountain. What's that? You sell it in 3x, which is a 52 inch bust? Oh, and this one is $30? Rain pants in 3X? Ok, then.

So why the difference? Why doesn't REI want my considerable investment in outdoor gear? I think it is about who has an acceptable body. Just like Lulu Lemon doesn't sell yoga pants over size 6, REI does not care about women outside a narrow band of acceptable body size exercising. And that's possible for them because it's really radical to be big, to be fat, to be a woman, and to exercise. I can tell, because almost all the harassment I get on my bike has to do with the fact that I'm a fat bitch (I love the un-gendered nature of winter gear so much). The fatter you are, the more people feel entitled to yell at you to leave the public arena. Because you are not acceptable, you are not high-class enough to be skinny and exercising for the sake of exercising and getting rewarded for doing it publicly. I am only a couple sizes bigger than an average american woman, and that is largely because I have the height and build of the average american man. I am not that different than MOST WOMEN. And yet, I don't deserve exercise gear because no one wants to see "a fat bitch" exercising in public.

By the way, the last man who yelled that at me? Outweighed me by at least 75 pounds. But because I am female, I am societally obligated to be decorative at all times, to all passersby.

Which brings me back to hunting gear. it's not about performative exercise, or indeed, exercise in public. It is an activity that people mostly do with intimates -- family or close friends. It is very much about tradition and family, and not about what random strangers think. And making all hunting gear camp is not just about making you hard to see in the woods, but also about an in-group marking that says "I am wearing gear that I bought to do something specific". It's not any different than bike herds and Chrome bags or embroidery nerds and thread-cutting necklaces. I think that's why I feel uncomfortable in camo, because I am flagging inaccurately.

It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for not getting frostbite in my toes!

*I'm using deer hunting as the example here, because big game hunting is a different thing, class-wise.


thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
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