OOPS, SHE DID IT AGAIN

Sep. 17th, 2014 01:11 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Discussions with [personal profile] norabombay about various items including Original Male Dog? Always in order. Discussions with [personal profile] sithjawa about the most random stuff? Also always in order.

Came in to an amazing slice of blackly hilarious helpdesk software trivia that made my Overlady start swearing (louder) and made our manager laugh, say something bleak, and then shake her fists.

Received an invitation to sit down in my place amongst the yelliest of the people giving helpdesk software feedback, tomorrow. They will demonstrate to us some things which they think will fix some of the worst of the issues. I will, of course, be taking notes.

There was a pleasant interlude involving a bunch of 45+-year-old dudes talking about the future of mobile security, to a crowd who appreciates the ability to break shit. After both Purple and Mr. Zune said that they couldn't go but were interested in hearing about it, I took notes. My contribution to the evening involved the question: So when your mobile phone, which is basically the key to your entire life at this point in the future, gets pickpocketed off you on BART -- and your data is fine, it's all locked up -- how screwed are you, exactly? I asked this because there had been a lot of focus on how to secure various things and when to distrust more than you already distrusted, and yes those things are important, but a lot of people overlook the fact that any small, portable, and valuable item can and will disappear in the presence of a trained pickpocket.

I came back to find that:

a) the clueless wonder who seems to be the forward-facing face of the Let's Fix This Helpdesk Product had managed to do it again

and

b) crisis involving my Overlady's travel.

Both of those were straightened out. The hold music for the travel place was not bad, my cube was in need of some straightening, I got my notebook set up for tomorrow's meeting, and (once I got through to a real human) the source of the problem was one of those minor typos which can result in general catastrophic but ultimately temporary failure. I had been worried that it was the sort of thing which would ultimately require my Overlady's personal intervention, but it was all good.

The helpdesk, on the other hand!

The ticket I had filed was because of an error in their notification emails. This is one of the ones where my age and experience are a distinct advantage. I remember reading multipart emails in a text-only email reader. I was on mailing lists in those days. I am familiar with the way these things look, and the way they are supposed to look. So when the Sortable Chart of Grouse was being compiled, I chose one of the items I thought more low-hanging to make sure was formally filed.

The basic concept is this:

In the context of emails from the helpdesk software, links are not intended to be optional extras. Links are intended to be, among other things, tools for resetting one's password, tools for re-opening tickets which have been closed before their time, and tools for reading and interacting with the entire ticket and all its gods-given comments. While you probably could read the contents of the email, and then go to the website and hunt down the ticket based on the information in the email, that is not actually the recommended workflow. The links are intended to be integral.

Once you agree that the link is integral to the experience of this notification, the second part begins.

Some people, whether by virtue of them being a technological monk having taken a vow of poverty, or on a mobile device, or some other reason, have mail readers which only give them the text/plain part of a multipart message. further explication, and ranting, ensues. )


So after that, I washed my coffee mug, Purple wrapped up what he was working on, and we headed out to the parking lot. As we chatted about this and that (including security, and how sometimes people who are not entirely clueless about security will go for a less-secure choice to make sure that they're not permanently locked out of their shit, when the consequences of a bad guy getting into their shit are less terrible than the consequences of them getting locked out of their shit) and watched the night. Purple remarked that the security cart was moving sort of like a wooden duck in a shooting gallery. I wasn't sure if this security guy was That Security Guy. I mentioned that if he was, I kind of hoped he was getting the wrong idea, even blah blah blah. Purple pointed out, quite astutely, that people are kind of bad at the "maybe they like me?!?!?" perception check. He had a story (an ex was into him when he wasn't sure she was, and it was good). I had a story: Fencing-Dave. (And my scary, scary father.)

I will be back at bad hours of the morning. Because tomorrow's meeting is unmissable.

you've got to wear a smiling face

Sep. 16th, 2014 10:32 pm
metaphortunate: (fooled you again brain)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
I had some kind of minor nervous breakdown this weekend, I guess? I just kind of lost my ability to, like…make plans.

Or eye contact.

The particularly good/bad timing is that my sister-in-law and her husband are visiting, which is bad because I like them and yet I spent all of Saturday blatantly, horribly ignoring them and staring at my phone, and good because they spent most of Saturday entertaining my children and so I was able to do that. I really did spend all day reading. I haven't done that since the Junebug was born. *sigh* It was wonderful.

I didn't read all of Tana French's books that one day, but that's what I read that day, and over this past while I have been mainlining them all. I resisted reading them despite [personal profile] jae's glowing recommendation because I checked out the summaries and decided I just wasn't into that much child harm these days - well, they are murder mysteries, you have to expect a certain amount of murder. But then every time I turned around someone was drooling over the latest one, so finally I decided to start with The Likeness, on account of how no kids are the victims in that one. And then of course I read all the rest of them in a row. She really is excellent. Her books are a perfect illustration of what China Mieville says about detective fiction:
that unreality function is one of my favorite things in crime fiction: I've said this before in various other venues, but I think the logic of crime novels is not really "realistic," but is a kind of dream-logic. I don't mean that as a criticism but praise—I love the oneiric feeling of logic that is logical but that is punctuated by certain elisions.

On a much more cheerful note, and another story to scarf down in great chunks, Sarah Rees Brennan has finished The Turn of the Story! God, she's going to hate me for describing it this way, but: imagine that someone took the three main characters from Harry Potter and stuck them in a blender. Hit "Frappe" a few times. All right, pour them out, and now the redheaded born sidekick is also the smartest witch in his year and also the neglected child in a cupboard under the stairs. Except that there's no witches, but you know what I mean. The born hero is now the one with a huge and lovely family, and Hermione is a stone killer and the most delightfully misandrist elf you'd ever care to see (think Legolas, not Dobby.) It's not fanfic but it is a riff on genre tropes. In a sense it's the opposite of Lev Grossman's Magician novels. If Grossman had felt like writing about a guy who was fun to read about instead of The Douchebag Who Walked The Earth Like A Man, Quentin Coldwater might be a little bit like Elliot Schafer. Also, I might be interested in reading more than ten pages of the Magician novels. Yeah, I know all the problems with demanding ~likeability~ in characters, whatever. I'm a grown person, there are plenty of reasons to read books with unlikeable characters. If you as an author GIVE me those reasons. If you don't, then reading an otherwise dreary, forgettable book entirely about assholes is just me choosing to spend a few hours of my really truly irreplaceably precious free time with assholes, and I just…I don't want to do that. I don't believe in Elliot Schafer. No teenage boy has ever been that consistently kind and smart and brave and funny. But I don't really give a shit, because sometimes, for fun, I like to spend time with people who are kind, and smart, and brave, and funny. Even if they're fictional. I find it enjoyable! Go figure. Also go read the story, it is a prequel but it is complete in itself, and the ending is not what I thought it was going to be, which is always nice. It does suffer a bit from Rees Brennan's strength-that-she-leans-on-until-it-turns-into-a-weakness, which is that she is a very funny writer, so she writes very funny characters, to the point where sometimes their voices are not as distinct from one another as they could be. But, as weaknesses in free, fun stories go, "characters are too witty" is one that I will take. If this month has you needing a unicorn chaser, this story has got that covered for you. Heh. On a number of levels.

Music: I am still working through [personal profile] norah's Femcees mix, so no comment on that yet, but other than that I keep going back to Angel Haze. Oh, also, if you ever wanted to hear what has got to be Strexcorp's theme song, it's fabulous.

Going back to the small nervous breakdown: I think I need to make fewer plans. There are a million things I want to do, and I love my friends, I want to see you all! This….may be something I need to try to slow down on. I think the overhead is starting to get to me. I really gotta work on getting some more alone time.

Daily Happiness

Sep. 16th, 2014 09:30 pm
torachan: onoda sakamichi from yowamushi pedal with a huge smile (onoda smile)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Day off tomorrow!

2. It's been sooo hot lately and while it's supposed to cool down a bit later this week, it's supposed to get hot again after that, so we've been having the fans going almost non-stop and this morning got a bit of a scare with our good fan when it took about five minutes to turn on. This happened once or twice before a while back, but I thought that cleaning it out had taken care of the problem but I guess it's just getting old. Anyway, I ordered a new fan off Amazon tonight and it's supposed to come Thursday. It's a Vornado, which I have heard a lot of good things about, so I'm hopeful it will help, not just in case our other fan does die on us, but because the house just gets so hot and doesn't cool down until the wee hours of the morning, even with fans on, so maybe a third (better?) one will help.

3. I made hot dog fried rice again tonight. We have a ton of hot dogs Irene grilled last week and no buns, so I've been chopping them up and putting them in fried rice and it's super delicious. (Also super easy, since the hot dogs are already cooked, I use frozen mixed veggies, and I have a bunch of garlic fried rice seasoning packets, so I just toss those in and don't even have to do any real seasoning.)

Let's talk about books!

Sep. 16th, 2014 10:18 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
I made my "read 100 books in a year" challenge last week! I've been tracking it on Goodreads, because I'm finding it a lot easier to track reading separately from tracking ownership, but I imported the first hundred to LibraryThing because LibraryThing is still just a much more powerful database, so you can see them all under my Read 2014 tag. I've been reviewing them on Goodreads as I go, when I can, but if you would like me to blather at you in comments about any of the books on that list, here is your chance. :P

I've also been keeping an actual to-read list for the first time ever. I only started it a couple weeks ago, and it only includes media that are available at the library where I work, and it hit 100 items today. (Don't ever work at a library if you want to keep your to-read lists under control.) It's under the cut. If you would like to blather at me in a comment about any of these, here is your chance! (But don't count on me getting around to reading them anytime soon. This just the "check out from library" list. It doesn't include the 50-book-high to-read pile at home, or the 21 books in the 'currently reading' list, or the shelf of withdrawn books I want to read before I sell them on, or----) It also only includes things I've never read/watched/listened to before, and it has a lot of cases where one item is a stand-in for a whole series....

100 to-read, to-listen, or to-watch items )

...you get bonus points if you can guess which fandom/writing project inspired any of the nonfiction ones. <_<
malnpudl: (Default)
[personal profile] malnpudl
It's a two-parter again today. But they're related. In my head, anyway.

Good Thing: As of about two weeks ago, I have a brand new CPAP machine. )

I have hopes that it will make my life significantly less dysfunctional, which was becoming urgent. This year I mostly haven't felt like I had a life, except for maybe four or so mostly-awake hours from around 9pm to 1am. That is not a good way to live. It's only been a couple of weeks, but I'm already napping a good deal less. I'm investing a lot of hope in the CPAP continuing to make things better as I get more weeks and months of use under my belt.

So that's a big win. \o/

Segue: A few years ago, [personal profile] thefourthvine asked people to recommend music to her, and people had oodles of suggestions for her. I listened to many of them, pretty much whatever had a YouTube link, and fell hard for John Fullbright, as recommended by [personal profile] vickita. I immediately bought his live CD and his subsequent first studio CD -- which was nominated for a Grammy ("Americana" category) -- and have remained a huge fan.

This year he announced that he'd be releasing a new CD on May 27th. Cue much excitement and anticipation on my part. Follow that with news that my first sleep study is going to be on May 27th, and that night I absolutely must sleep, or a huge amount of money will be wasted and all hope will be lost. So on May 27th, I received my copy of John Fullbright's new Songs CD... and I didn't open it, and I didn't listen to it, and it was so hard to wait. But I knew that if I listened to it once, my music brain would get all turned on and jazzed up and I'd have to listen to it a second time and then a third, and after that I would have an incredibly hard time falling asleep. So I waited. And I slept that night (badly, but enough), and I got my okay to get the CPAP, and it was all worth it.

Which leads us to...

Happy Thing: It's a few months later now, and I can listen to the CD just once, or even just a few tracks. But I'm still just as much in love with Fullbright's songwriting -- this guy is a thinker, a craftsman; he works hard on his lyrics, and it shows -- and with his musicianship. And I'm incredibly excited that I'm going to get to see him live in late October, because he'll be opening for Patti Griffin just an hour's drive north of me. Usually anyone I want to see is a day's drive away, with overnight accommodations and travel expenses (and travel pain) and all of that making it a big challenge to get to concerts. But this time he's coming to me! \o/

Here's a marvelous recording done not long ago when he was touring in Europe. I think this was in northern England somewhere. No keyboards in this one, but he's playing guitar and damn, does he rock the harmonica. I love this kid, this brilliant young (young!) man. And this song and this video make me ridiculously happy. I hope it makes you smile, too.

So who has the best friends? It's me!

Sep. 16th, 2014 09:02 pm
lunabee34: (heart by jjjean65)
[personal profile] lunabee34
I am a lucky gal.

[livejournal.com profile] decynthus sent me the most precious little bottle of Eau de Rochas that she offered to me out of the blue. So sweet. :)

[personal profile] teaotter frimped me to the eleventy millionth degree when we swapped some perfumes. And tucked a little sliver sample of Satsuma soap in the package as well for added awesomeness. *happy sigh* Y'all know I'd live in the bath if possible. I'll be posting about that haul soon; Ems and I have had fun trying them.

And [personal profile] executrix sent me the most thoughtfully curated package of tiny notebooks (OMG, it's like a sickness; I have never met a tiny notebook I didn't want to clutch to my ample bosom), lip balm, and perfume--a sample of Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Terrible, a sample of Hermes Eau D'Orange Verte, some articles on perfume history, and some magazine samples. :)

And even so, what makes you all the best people I know has very little to do with the awesome material gifts you've given me over the years and more to do with your kindness and your support and all the wonderful conversations we've had over the past ten years.

Many, many hugs, my people. :) <3

Longsword fighting

Sep. 16th, 2014 07:46 pm
[personal profile] dorinda
Someone linked me to this New York Times video on the rise of "Historical European Martial Arts" (HEMA), specifically in this case German Longsword tournaments:

http://www.nytimes.com/video/sports/100000003040466/inside-the-world-of-longsword-fighting.html?smid=tw-share

It has such a nice fannish feel about it, in a way, with groups of people standing around in a Baltimore hotel, or sitting in a panel and looking at visual aids. And I like the very obvious presence of a lot of women at the event, in there swordin' away. *whack* *clang!*

I always have to be careful with things like this, though. They often make me fall right down a YouTube black hole, poking around among demos and documentaries and explanations of medieval fighting manuals and then it's midnight and where did the evening go.
musesfool: Astrid Farnsworth at a white board (subtraction is never loss)
[personal profile] musesfool
Ugh, today was just busy from start to finish at work. It is definitely an ice cream for dinner kind of night.

*
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
[personal profile] kindkit
Today after work I went to Whole Paycheck* to buy shampoo. (I can't stand the perfuminess of most shampoos, but WP has an own-brand one that's available unscented or in nice, light natural citrus and herbal scents that I like.) So anyway, as I was wandering through WP, looking at all the no doubt delicious but ridiculously expensive treats, I happened upon some locally grown peaches at a price that, while higher than regular supermarkets, wasn't outrageously so. They were ripe enough to be gently soft. They smelled like peaches. I couldn't resist. I bought one.

I ate it just now and was reminded that yes, I do sometimes like fruit. It wasn't even the best peach I've ever had--Washington DC, where I used to live, is southern enough to be good peach country--but it was still succulent and juicy and had flavor. I'd been forgetting what a peach is supposed to taste like, after bad experiences this summer with supermarket fruit that went mushy on the ouside while being weirdly hard/crisp inside and tasted like styrofoam that had been stored next to an open jar of artificial peach flavoring.

Yes, I know, I should shop at farmers' markets if I want good produce. But our local farmers' market is shockingly expensive and only open once a week at an inconvenient time for me.

I'm just happy I had my peach.

BTW, if you were wondering, the ankle is still hurting me a bit but is a lot better than it was. This is good, because hobbling around was getting tiresome.



*Note for the confused: "Whole Paycheck" is the not entirely affectionate nickname of a US chain of healthy/gourmet supermarkets. The name gives you a sense of their prices, which are all the more outrageous because they are relentless union-busters, but my god they carry beautiful fruits and vegetables.
the_shoshanna: a menu (menu)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
I have a meeting at the church tonight, and also I had one this afternoon, so I stuck around her after the first one, ran some errands, and then went to pick up some dinner.

Within a few blocks I have the option of burgers'n'chicken'n'such, Indian food, Korean food, Japanese food, sushi as distinct from other Japanese or Korean food, Iranian food, pizza and pseudo-Italian food, and a supermarket filled with produce from around the world. That's amazing.

(A little further away, iirc, there's a shop that sells nothing but grilled cheese, and another that sells nothing but cupcakes.)

Mmmmm, bibimbap tonight.
ratcreature: Woe! RatCreature feels emo. (woe!)
[personal profile] ratcreature
I just saw the announcement that HASA will close at the end of the year, because they don't have the time and resources to keep it current and secure enough to deal with attacks on it.

HASA has been my favorite Tolkien fanfic archive even though its interface is not the most user friendly. I hope authors will migrate their stuff, but inevitably some fanfic will be lost. :(

If you are/were in the fandom, maybe help spread the word?

Well, I guess I'll go through the archive and save my favorites which is kind of tedious, because HASA doesn't have a whole work display, and so you need to save chapters.
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
while listening to the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack.

Good to know.

People Change

Sep. 16th, 2014 12:47 pm
brainwane: A silhouette of a woman in a billowing trenchcoat, leaning against a pole (shadow)
[personal profile] brainwane
My ex (whom I broke up with in May 2001) is now a senior director of engineering at an SF startup; whoa. More path-crossingly, he participated on a GNOME mailing list in 2010, at the same time that I was in that community, and I didn't realize. We basically haven't talked since the early 2000s so my impression of him is stuck then -- is that he's a LARPing, Mac-using, LiveJournaling guy in his early twenties who wants to study martial arts in China. I have way more of a public web presence than he does, so if he wanted to he could have gradually changed his impression of me as I changed.

(I'm not on Facebook so I look up people from my past occasionally, e.g., today when I made a joke about physics majors, and am always surprised.)

I wonder whether a guy like 2014 him would get along with a person like 2014 me, now, if we met fresh. It's not out of the question that we'll run into each other someday professionally.

I suppose deciding to leave Wikimedia is making me think about breakups more generally, and about the closing off of possibilities. I won't know WMF's textures as closely after I leave it behind. They have a future without me and I won't even know about the internal arguments, much less take part in them. It's a strange thing, a parting -- not that it is unusual, but that it estranges you from a part of yourself.

Le sigh.

Sep. 16th, 2014 10:21 am
kass: Geoffrey facepalms (geoffrey)
[personal profile] kass
I am so done with this cold. Unfortunately the cold is not done with me. :P

I am grateful for hot tea and for an ample supply of tissues. (Also for this giant jar of cashews, almonds, and dried cranberries, which are appealing protein-rich snacks at times when nothing else sounds good.)

Work is somewhat overwhelming at this juncture. I feel as though I'm trying to run at double my usual clockspeed to get everything done, except the cold has slowed me down. Too fast and too slow all at once.

Moar tea. Stat.

well then.

Sep. 16th, 2014 12:49 pm
marina: (pretty boys)
[personal profile] marina
Yesterday I took a sick day at work to get some traveling related errands done.

I managed almost none of those errands, and acquired new ones besides >:( Thanks, government offices, it's been real.

Day before yesterday my aunt from Germany called and asked if I'd like a free day trip to Amsterdam the day after I arrive at their place. It would mean little sleep and many hours on a bus, and then two more days of traveling to Berlin. Like an idiot, I didn't get back to her in time (there was a very narrow window) and so passed on the trip :/ I mean, I know why I didn't get back to her - I was, in that moment, so utterly exhausted that the thought of lack of sleep NEXT WEEK while I'll BE ON VACATION was too depressing to contemplate.

At least I got some packing done. It seems average temperatures during my trip will range from 14c (Hanover, London) to 25c (Marseilles), which is such a joy to pack for! 14c means literally the warmest clothes I own and 25c is the clothes I wear at the height of summer. This is extra lovely considering most of my clothes are packed away in storage containers at my parents'. At least I've discovered I have an ample amount of pants to take with me. That's half the job done right there, I suppose.

Also, let me just whine for a moment about how utterly terrible I look while traveling :/ I think the only trip where I was dressed reasonably has been India last year, because the weather was exactly what I'm used to so all my regular clothes fit the bill. My winter wardrobe is in a sad state of affairs, and I've been putting off dealing with it for a few years because you know, I can make it through a couple of months of work wearing ugly sweaters, and I have 1-2 winter outfits for when I need to wear something nice. I make what amounts to minimum wage in this city, so I prioritized summer clothes (and what I could afford to buy was super cheap/plain, but at least comfortable and fitting).

Anyway, I dug out a bunch of stuff and tried on clothes and whatever to see what I'd pack, and basically, half the stuff I'll bring will be my mom's (we don't have the same taste at all) and the other half will make me look like a giant, fuzzy puff ball :/ I mean, I don't actually care what I look like when I travel (I know some people do, I don't, I also don't care about "looking like a tourist" since I am in fact a tourist) but it's just annoying because I'll be meeting fannish friends for the first time and it sucks to meet new people you like while you feel like you're wearing someone else's clothes.

Meanwhile youtube made me watch 2+ minutes of a sanitary pads commercial before it would let me see a 30 second promo for next week's Outlander. Which is either extremely fitting or one of the best symbolic expressions of the patriarchy I've ever seen.

about last week's outlander )

In other news, if anyone wants me to tell them what Outlander and Battlestar Galactica have in common (since they were both adaptations created by the same dude) do feel free, because I have Thoughts.

*

I doubt I'll be able to announce when every chapter of this fic is posted, but while I'm able: Chapter 3 of The Way You Drink Your Coffee is up.

FYI - tumblr

Sep. 16th, 2014 05:29 am
lemon_badgeress: basket of lemons, with one cut lemon being decorative (Default)
[personal profile] lemon_badgeress
So yes I have a tumblr, it's a reblog tumblr, I do not generally post any content myself and very rarely interact with anyone directly.

I've had a few different people now assume that I have seen something they put on tumblr, because they know I follow them, due to handy dandy notifications and also I've reblogged them (I am frequently not a stealth-follower if you check your activity regularly for reblogs is what I'm saying here), and since that's an a-ha-ha-hah-hah-NO, I figured it would be better to be explicit.

I follow, at the moment*, over two hundred and sixty five tumblrs. Not all of them are currently active. 99% I follow because they post a great number of pretty in high, high volume. How high a volume?

Last night I couldn't focus, was extremely depressed, and basically did nothing all night except chat and poke at my dash for pretty things. I went through 51 pages.

Fifty. One. Pages. of tumblr.

Did I manage to run into where I'd last looked at my dash?

No.

So here's the deal. My usual pattern is to go through about the first ten pages of my dash once, maaaaaybe twice a day. Am I probably going to see that thing you posted?

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-hah-hah-NO.

Please do not ever assume I have or will have seen something on tumblr if you consider it important that I know that thing for the thing's sake or for the purposes of interacting with you in a way which is good for your mental health, is what the takeaway is here.

* i am also not currently following some tumblrs and am blocking some tags and types of content because i'm being set off by fairly random stupid ass stuff at the moment, some of which fluctuates.

Lemon-flavored cheer

Sep. 16th, 2014 02:36 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Work involved minimal direct fuckery, although I anticipate a debriefing which may be *epic* from some of my colleagues in the project of Keeping Shit Less Fucked. There was also a really delicious lemon and raspberry cupcake on my desk, which was good because the ones on the collaboration table had nearly all vanished by the time I came in, and the last few evaporated by mid-afternoon to many exclamations of delight from the team. "These muffins are REALLY GOOD!" -Researcher Carmageddon's ex-officemate

I need to start pinging Purple before wandering over, in case there's just a little bit more to do before it's possible to head out. Heh. Although we fairly well erased the advantages of getting out at the time we did by accidentally spending two and a half hours talking in the parking lot. Oops. (There was a lot to talk about.)

In the portion of the discussion about childhood adventures with names (and how my wallet name really isn't the one I answer to), he mentioned that one of the lovely fun things his elementary schoolmates had tried was calling him by the feminine equivalent of his name. I cocked my head at him. "You've always looked more like a [different name] to me," I said.

So then we had to get into *why*. Back in February, Purple had occasion to check the office mailbox, and saw my name on a couple envelopes. This resulted in the use of the phrase "mail fairy." Which got hilarious. In the intervening months, the costume in my head went from a not particularly flattering purple getup to a really rather nice green satin bustier with a dense netting skirt, with the obligatory matching wings and toe shoes with long, long ribbons. From there we got onto the topic of Second Life...

There was a certain amount of security presence in the parking lot. If That Security Guard was among them, I hope he came to the entirely wrong conclusion about the nature of my relationship with Purple. While it is shitty and patriarchal if a guy attributes more weight to "woops, she is the property of some other guy" than to "actually she doesn't seem that into me", if That Security Guard decides to drop the matter with no further conversation, then we will not have an awkward conversation about the matter. And while he has brought the awkward to the conversation and all I would be doing is hanging a lampshade on it, it is still not an exchange that I relish. (I do thrive on a certain kind of Potential High Drama, but thaaaaat's not one of the ones I signed up for.)

Purple and I compared some scars. I didn't pull down my shirt to show him the scar from the hot soup. It's not really a great one to show in a work parking lot, even if it's something I'd show in a tank top.

We got on to the topic of lettuce. Purple is adamantly against iceberg lettuce in nearly every particular. I believe that it has a place, and in addition to the wrapping-for-real-food that Purple allots it, it is decent in burritos, where it is less wilty and also less strongly flavored than some other lettuces. This resulted in some happy chatter about delicious, delicious salads, and the party broke up in favor of dinner.

Ahaha, oops (oblique TMI)

Sep. 16th, 2014 08:36 pm
china_shop: Peter facepalming (WC facepalm (Peter))
[personal profile] china_shop
Not stress. Possibly a stomach bug. Very glad I cancelled pilates.

Hoping like hell I didn't infect anyone at lunch. /o\

Daily Happiness

Sep. 15th, 2014 10:28 pm
torachan: tavros from homestuck dressed as pupa pan (pupa pan)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Well, I can now officially drive a forklift, woohoo! (Not sure I really want to, but at least now I can.) And the coworker I got a ride from was twenty minutes late picking me up, but we still got there on time (a bit early, in fact).

2. It's nice to have ice cream on a hot night. :D

3. We finished our Better Off Ted rewatch, which is also a sad thing because it means no more Better Off Ted (why only two seasons!?), but it really was so much fun watching it again.

Still not dead! Yay! Ish!

Sep. 15th, 2014 09:18 pm
malnpudl: (malnpudl 'nois by lostgirlslair)
[personal profile] malnpudl
Well, I continue to fail at posting very much this year because, in a number of ways and for a number of reasons, this has not been a good year. There's health crap (including lots of pain crap and depression crap) and associated fear of where this may be leading crap, not to mention significant financial crap. And when all of it comes in an unceasing cascade... well, it's depressing to think of posting nothing but depressing crap, so I just didn't post.

But. BUT. A couple of things have turned corners recently, and I'm going to ride the upswell of that positive energy for all it's worth, because jeezus becky, it's about damn time.

So my aim is to post at least one Good and/or Happy Thing more or less every day, give or take. We'll see how long I can make the run last.

Thing 1: due South Seekrit Santa sign-ups are open! \o/

I will be offering podfic again, and I don't see why I can't recycle my offer text and tags from last year. My requests are going to be much more difficult to figure out, though, because last year I received a glorious epic story that included pretty much everything I'd asked for, and much more besides. That fic still makes me giddy with love and joy. If you haven't read it yet, I can't recommend it highly enough.

the genteel season of marriage (29198 words) by Heather
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: due South
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Stella Kowalski/Ray Vecchio, Ray Kowalski/Stella Kowalski, Angie Vecchio/Ray Vecchio
Characters: Stella Kowalski, Ray Vecchio, Angie Vecchio, Ray Kowalski, Barbara Kowalski, Ma Vecchio, Laurie Zaylor, Francesca Vecchio, Louise St. Laurent, Jack Huey, Thomas Dewey, Harding Welsh, Benton Fraser
Additional Tags: Flashbacks, Wedding Planning, Weddings, Underage Drug Use, Cake, Cold Feet, Stag Nights & Bachelor Parties, Angst and Humor, Fluff and Angst, Gift Fic, Family Drama
Summary:

A countdown of memories and obstacles on the way to Stella and Ray Vecchio's wedding, with guest appearances by their families and exes.



Thing 2: Over my crappy summer, I found undemanding comfort and distraction in a handful of light-hearted non-dramatic shows on TV, one of which was the ridiculous Sing Your Face Off, in which each week a handful of celebrities got done up as some singer or other (complete with prosthetics and costumes) and then sang and danced as that singer. (I knew Jon Lovitz was brilliant at comedy, but I had no idea he had such impressive pipes. Zowie.)

Anyway, the best part of the whole six-hour run was this very brief clip in which host John Barrowman (the reason I started watching in the first place) did a diva strut-off with RuPaul. So here. Have a few grins on me. (The others are Sebastian Bach, who apparently does not know that he has hips, and NBA player Landry Fields of the Toronto Raptors who is adorable and fearless and very funny.)

china_shop: Empty gumboots (gumboots)
[personal profile] china_shop
tahi. I spent all of Calvary thinking Aidan Gillen was Edward Norton.
I spent the trailer for Predestination thinking Ethan Hawke was Christian Bale.

*fails at faces*

Otoh, the boy spent all of Attack the Block thinking the young stoner dude was Frankenstein from Penny Dreadful, and he wasn't. He was his twin brother.

rua. Housebound, a New Zealand film about a young woman who's on home detention in a haunted house, is excellent and hilarious in a Shaun of the Dead kind of way, and I strongly feel it should be reaching a wider audience. Highly rec. Three thumbs up.

toru. Dear unidentified neighbour,

If you live in a city commonly described as "The Windy City", wind chimes are probably not a good garden accessory.

Love, me.

wha. I feel oogie and gross, mostly because I'm stressing out about this weekend's general election. I have no idea whether pilates this evening is a good idea. I might throw up.

*slithers back into reading endless comment threads/resting my arms*

texts from inside the avalanche

Sep. 15th, 2014 10:20 pm
heresluck: (work)
[personal profile] heresluck
buried under pile of student papers

send help

or chocolate

or booze

booze would be good

I mean don't get me wrong

I love these students

but seriously this is a lot of papers

who assigned them all this fucking writing

oh wait
therienne: mighty hunter (Default)
[personal profile] therienne
This evening, there was an event that went like this:

Me: *Industriously taking out the trash in the early evening hours, obliviously meandering down my own front path.* When suddenly....
Skunk: AAAAAAAHH!
Me: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Skunk: OMG DID YOU JUST TRIP OVER ME?
Me: Holy shit! I'm going to run away now!! What do I do with this bag of trash!
Skunk: I'm just an innocent young skunk! Why are you assaulting me!
Me: WATCH AS I FLING THIS BAG OF TRASH AT THE CAN WHILE RUNNING AWAY!
Skunk: You monster! I can run away FASTER!
Me: Running ridiculously fast to the back door in the hopes of pounding on it and getting [personal profile] mollyamory to let me in.
Skunk: Also running
Me and Skunk: Arriving at the same spot in the back yard from different directions around the house
Me and Skunk: AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH IT FOLLOWED ME!!!
Me: Running the hell back to the front of the house and back in the front door
Mollyamory: What the hell are you doing?

Your BOFQ quote of the day!

Sep. 15th, 2014 09:49 pm
cesperanza: (spock<3)
[personal profile] cesperanza
For reasons, I have been thinking a lot about The Man From Uncle today, which led me to look up the reboot movie, which led me to finding out that Henry Cavill has replaced Tom Cruise (WHICH GOOD I HATE TC), which led me to this article on "12 things We Learned from 2014's Summer Movies" (which has a nice shoutout to The Winter Soldier as the year's first big hit, so yay) but also this quote, which made me cry and feel old, and now I hate everybody:
Word on the street says that 2014 was an off year between mega-franchises—that next year will unleash Hollywood’s A-Game. After all, summer 2015 has Avengers: Age of Ultron. And a Jurassic Park reboot starring everyone’s favorite new movie star. And a Fantastic Four movie that didn’t show up to Comic-Con. And a Terminator movie with a funny name. And… oh, um, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. remake your grandparents have been asking for.

LOOK AT THESE FUCKIN DOGES

Sep. 15th, 2014 08:51 pm
norah: Monkey King, lookin' sly (Default)
[personal profile] norah
Meet the new puppies )

Also, I am taking this daily posting thing very casually. Like, I had to pick six pounds of raspberries and more of apples and eat amazing food and catch grasshoppers for the kids to look at with a magnifying glass and enjoy the perfect fall weather and drive to Wisconsin for work and adopt some puppies and take naps, okay, I have priorities. ♥

PUNS, GLORIOUS PUNS!

Sep. 15th, 2014 08:10 pm
reginagiraffe: Stick figure of me with long wavy hair and giraffe on shirt. (Default)
[personal profile] reginagiraffe
[personal profile] dine found a mistake in a story: Wall scones lit the corridor at regular intervals.

And wondered, "Which sort of scone provides the best lighting - poppyseed, chocolate chip, blueberry? what's your guess?"

My answer?

"Of course *currant* scones will provide the best possible lighting! Duh! :DDD"

Heeee!!

We are enjoying it, honest

Sep. 15th, 2014 07:47 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
In tonight's episode of Geoff and Shoshanna Watch Television over Dinner, our heroes have just discovered that the pint of beer they're splitting is a whopping 9.3% alcohol.

Geoff: Hey, we still have this past weekend's episode of Doctor Who recorded.

Shoshanna: Wow, we should definitely watch that while we're still sober enough--

Geoff: --to not get it?

Gratitudes

Sep. 15th, 2014 07:09 pm
kass: glass of white wine (white wine)
[personal profile] kass
1) Spiffy patterned tights.

2) My secondhand grey vest.

3) Surviving today's work obligations.

4) Making it to 7000 steps, even if I didn't make it to 10,000 today.

5) White wine. (Technically, tonight, white wine spritzer. But the general point stands. :-)

so many books

Sep. 15th, 2014 04:13 pm
applewoman: (Default)
[personal profile] applewoman
I have 49 unread library books on my Kindle. I never take it out of airplane mode, so they continue to pile up, even though they've already been "returned" to the library. Even considering how fast I read—say it would take three days each—that's still 147 DAYS of reading. At least when I check out physical books I'm required to return them eventually, which lets me off the hook.

The list, in case anyone's curious )

I also have a stack of physical books checked out, too. IT'S A PROBLEM. Albeit a nice problem. I'm not complaining.

***

I like buying most of my clothes from consignment and thrift stores. This works pretty well usually—quality clothes at a fraction of the retail price—but for one huge irritation: Disgusting perfumey detergent smells embedded in the fabric. I’ve tried lots of methods to get rid of the fumes, but the best way I’ve found is to actually wear the item a few times. The jeans I wore this morning made my eyes smart and my nose itch, so I sneezed all the way to work. But the fumes have decreased substantially after 8 hours of wear.

I loathe the smell of most laundry detergents. I don't understand how people can smell anything else when they're walking around in a cloud of perfume outgassing from their clothing. If my kids leave an item of clothing at my mother-in-law's house, she'll usually return it to me washed, but she uses something horrible like Tide, so if they wear that item of clothing they don't smell like my kid (and it gives me a headache and makes me sneeze).

I would love a Febreze-type spray that actually sucks out offending smells without leaving behind a perfume of its own. I’ve heard of a product called Nok-Out, but it's expensive and only available by mail-order. And for clothing you have to soak the thing in Nok-Out, let it air-dry, then launder and repeat until the smell is gone. It’s just not worth the work and the expense. So I wash and wear, and eventually the smells wear out.

Sadly, the world is full of horrible chemical perfume smells and loud, intrusive music almost everywhere people congregate. Why so much noise and smell pollution, people?

This n that

Sep. 15th, 2014 02:14 pm
xenacryst: clinopyroxene thin section (clinopyroxene)
[personal profile] xenacryst
First grade, I tell you. Where has the time gone?

Doctor Who is back on )

And another one inducted into HP )
wychwood: bread and roses (gen - bread and roses)
[personal profile] wychwood
At the start of September, my dad turned sixty. He decided that what he wanted to do to celebrate was to take all of us (him, Mum, all four children) away for a weekend and dinner at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Raymond Blanc's two-Michelin-star restaurant in Oxfordshire. I have never eaten anywhere even a fraction this fancy before; I probably never will again. But it was pretty amazing!

The hotel )

The meal )

Afterthoughts )

Honestly, the food was magnificent. Mum said afterwards that there were a lot of flavours she didn't like, but when she combined them they worked - that was definitely true for me. It was an experience of flavour combinations, and I can see why they call it a "tasting" menu (although frankly with seven courses even the tiny portions add up - we were stuffed by the end!). I'm still pretty horrified by the idea of how much it all costs (especially the whole shebang with the hotel and all the rest, I mean, wow), but I came away feeling as though it was worth it - like, for a once-every-few-years really-special-occasion meal, if you just had the food and didn't drink the wine or stay there, I could imagine doing it again.

how we look when we're naked

Sep. 15th, 2014 04:51 pm
the_shoshanna: big nekkid woman with cooking pots (nekkid with pots)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
via [personal profile] jae: a photographer did a series of photos of naked people, one photo when they're slouching or otherwise in an unflattering pose, and another when they're in a flattering pose. The difference is amazing.

Also important: the photographer's comment that "imagery in the media is an illusion built upon lighting, angles, and Photoshop." I expect everyone reading me knows that, but it just keeps being driven home to me.

Also (not really important): damn, those are some amazing tattoos.

Also: I love it when I have a great icon to go with a post.

It's the heart that matters more

Sep. 15th, 2014 04:50 pm
musesfool: Wonder Woman against a backdrop of flames (walk through the fire)
[personal profile] musesfool
Holy crap, I had a ton of work writing to get done today, and it is all done. I mean, first drafts have been sent off to all relevant parties to edit, because final drafts have to be done by close of business Wednesday, but that's all right. At least I only typed "Fiancé Committee" (for all your arranged marriage needs, I guess!) instead of Finance Committee twice! (I also write reports that include acronyms like RFP, which I always type RPF, and OTPS, which stands for Other Than Personal Expenses, but obviously that is not what I think when I type it.)

In other news, the New Yorker has a profile of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston and 20th c. feminism: The Last Amazon: Wonder Woman Returns. (it is not currently behind a paywall, since I was able to read it.)

And I honest to god did not know that Wonder Woman was partly inspired by Margaret Sanger, and that Sanger's niece was one of Marston's lovers. WHO KNEW?

I think the main takeaway of the article is this:
The much cited difficulties regarding putting Wonder Woman on film—Wonder Woman isn’t big enough, and neither are Gal Gadot’s breasts—aren’t chiefly about Wonder Woman, or comic books, or superheroes, or movies. They’re about politics. Superman owes a debt to science fiction, Batman to the hardboiled detective. Wonder Woman’s debt is to feminism. She’s the missing link in a chain of events that begins with the woman-suffrage campaigns of the nineteen-tens and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later. Wonder Woman is so hard to put on film because the fight for women’s rights has gone so badly.

If I were posting this on tumblr, I'd probably tag it, #if you don't laugh you'll cry. Sigh. (I might yet, if I don't see it there when I get home tonight.) and of course, #always be wonder woman and #WHERE IS MY WONDER WOMAN MOVIE?

I find tumblr tags a wonderfully expressive place.

***
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
There is a thing that sometimes people do, to be funny or for emphasis or whatever. It is the thing where they substitute the letter L for R in words, such as "VICTOLY" for "VICTORY".

There are many possible places and reasons to have picked up doing this, including the ever-popular "somebody I know was doing it and it seemed like fun".

The roots of this substitution is making fun of people with no distinction between R/L sounds, which is common when people whose first language is Chinese learn to speak English.

Which is why I cringe every time I encounter it, and would prefer that people not do this around me.
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Slavery shaped Benjamin January’s life; he and his sister Olympe were born slaves, before his mother was purchased as a mistress. It’s been a prominent part of the background of previous books. But it takes center stage here, when the man Ben least wants to meet again— Fourchet, his cruel previous owner— offers to hire him to go undercover as a slave on his plantation, to investigate a murder and possible brewing slave rebellion.

It’s the last thing Ben wants to do. But he needs the money. More importantly, if he doesn’t do it, the slaves may well end up suffering even more. (A major theme of the book is that even people who are living in horrible conditions often still have a lot left to lose, and desperately cling to what little they have.) And so Ben ends up back on the plantation, thirty years after he left. Though his act of (largely) altruism is intended to make sure the status quo doesn’t get even worse rather than to literally rescue anyone, it reminded me of Harriet Tubman returning to the scene of her worst nightmares to take others to freedom.

Hambly doesn’t stint on the physical horror of slavery, but focuses more on the psychological aspects— families ripped apart, human beings treated as non-human, and the pervasive terror coming from the knowledge that one’s master can do absolutely anything to you or your loved ones at any time. It’s also one of the best depictions I’ve come across of how people work to keep their humanity, maintain loving relationships, and find moments of happiness and humor in the absolute worst imaginable circumstances.

While I hesitated to recommend Fever Season, I would definitely recommend this if you can cope with the setting. The overall mood is way less depressing, because the story is more action-based, Ben has more inner strength and hope, and there’s more emphasis on relationships. Not to mention a way more uplifting ending. And a fair amount of secret banter between Ben and Hannibal, who is impersonating his owner. The action climax is a bit incongruous given the relentless realism of the plantation life that makes up most of the book, but as an action climax, it’s spectacular. Abishag Shaw has a smallish but absolutely wonderful part in this; sadly, Rose is barely in it. Hopefully she’ll be more prominent in the next book.

This is a very dark book (due to inherent qualities of the subject matter, not due to cement truck plot twists), but also one where the bright spots shine very brightly by contrast. It has the most moving and happiest ending of any of the books so far. Where many novels are fantasies of empowerment, in some ways this is a fantasy of justice. It’s explicitly stated to be limited to the characters we meet (and not all of them), not to mention being fictional. But it’s satisfying nonetheless. In real life, some slaves did escape, and some masters did meet well-deserved bitter ends. That was the exception rather than the rule, of course. But sometimes it’s nice to read about the exceptions. When you’re dealing with devastating injustice, both now and then, you need hope as well as rage.

Sold Down the River (Benjamin January, Book 4)

suffering envy

Sep. 15th, 2014 09:54 am
jadelennox: "I'm ready for the rapture. Please go now." (religion: rapture)
[personal profile] jadelennox
America's Christian Conservatives ponder a "Babylonian Exile"

Okay, guys, I get it. You really, really wish you were victims. You also have a massive philosemitic hard-on for Judaism and Israel, as long as you don't have to confront the actual politics of American Jewry, or the social politics of even conservative non-Haredi Israelis. But do you understand the concept of what the Babylonian exile actually was?

Do you get that "you are going to voluntarily decide to be cranky and not participate in secular society" is not the same thing as "you are removed from your home in chains and marched to another country while your capital city is burnt to charcoal and your country is turned into a client state"? Do you understand how deeply offensive it is to draw that parallel, when "voluntary" is at the core of the parallel you are drawing?

Do you understand that, in 2014, the world actually is chock-full of stateless people who have been forcibly removed from their homes? Do you understand that many of those stateless people are Christians who are failing to get refugee status in the United States? Do you understand that there are stateless people who have been deported from their homes because of their religion? Do you understand that there are wars going on in the world right now in which people's cities are bombed to rubble and the population is made homeless? Do you understand how many people there are who could make a reasonable Babylonian Exile analogy to their current situation?

Do you understand that you are not persecuted? Do you understand that you are revolting?

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