Roof right over our heads

Jul. 24th, 2014 11:09 am
lunabee34: (help by jjjean65)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Josh and I are kinda sorta thinking about buying a house. Our original house-hunting schedule was to wait another two years to start looking; Josh's tenure decision will be made in spring 2016, and we initially thought we should wait to buy a house until we knew how both our tenure decisions would play out. It has been a little disconcerting watching almost all our friends become homeowners (some of them many years ago!) while we're still renting, but we just couldn't justify buying a house when we first moved here without knowing if at least one of us would get tenure.

Except that the longer we live in this tiny little house with no room for guests and nowhere for me to escape if Josh snores LOL, the more uncomfortable we are. It's especially important to me to have room for our families and friends to visit. For example, before Feefers, our best friends in Atlanta came to visit us often and we visited them often as well; but now we have Fiona, and they have a new baby in addition to their set of four year old twins, and there's just not enough room in our house to sleep four adults and five children.

Also, several really sweet houses have just popped up on the market, and we're considering throwing our hats in the ring for one.

This is a huge decision, and I am, frankly, more than a little frightened by it. Part of me has always felt badly about renting for so long; in the culture in which I was raised, renting is seen as akin to throwing money into a hole in the ground and setting it on fire. I don't subscribe to that belief; there are many good and practical reasons to rent rather than buy, but it's hard to shake the effect of hearing comments like that all my life. But the other part of me feels that renting is easy and simple and has a lot of safety built into the process; if stuff breaks, my landlord (who is awesome) is responsible for fixing it, and he's responsible for the maintenance of the home. I'm really scared to lose that safety net.

But knowledge is power! So, I'm asking you, All Wise Fannish Hive Mind, to tell me about buying houses. Tell me everything you think I need to know about the process/experience. Share your house hunting stories of joy or woe. Give me advice, tips, warnings. Lay it all on me.

well, shit.

Jul. 24th, 2014 07:07 pm
wyomingnot: (bonk by sithdragn)
[personal profile] wyomingnot


I didn't realize that I hadn't updated in a *month*. Oops.

School finally ended, but not before I was sick enough to have to leave after one class and miss the next day. Came back for the last day of class, even though I really should have stayed home, but I couldn't miss the last day!

I've posted some school pics on my tumblr ('life in china' tag).

Actually went to a doctor, and wasn't that an experience! They love IV meds here. Three days of lying there for an hour and a half with an iv in my hand. Felt better, no fever. Great.

A week later, the sore throat and fever were back. Four more days of iv antibiotics with a bonus injection in my ass. I thought I was getting sick again a week later (earlier this week), but it was a false alarm.

Today I had to go out to do the physical exam required for my visa. It was easier this time as there weren't any lines at the stations. Height/weight (haven't gained any since school let out. yay). Blood pressure (folks, if my bp were that high, I'd've keeled over by now). Eye exam. Quickie hearing check. Chest x-ray. Blood draw. Pee-in-a-cup (omg, could they use smaller cups? because it's not gross enough to have to use the squatty potty, I just don't have that good of aim (it's like trying to pee into one of those crystal light drink mix cups)).

There was also an abdominal ultrasound... which revealed that I have gallstones. *facepalm*

Phonics camp was cancelled, and one of one-on-one students quit for the summer, and another's on holiday... so I've not been busy. I try to get out of the apartment every day, even if it's only to go to the convenience store for bottled water. I think I've only stayed inside all day two or three times in the past three weeks. :)

The weather has been mixed. Decent days and awful days. It's so nice having a/c, even though it's expensive. My usual electric bill is between 55-65rmb. The first one with a/c was 325. Granted, I was running it at a lower temp then. 20 when I first got it, 26 during the day now, 25, sometimes 24, at night. I'm still comfortable, though you can no longer hang meat in the bedroom.

Tour de Fleece started on July 5, and I've been faithfully spinning every day. I take a pic every morning of what I accomplished the day before, but I've yet to post any of these on the appropriate ravelry forums. Oops. I've shared some pics on tumblr ('spinning' tag).

Yes, I am too lazy to put in the links. Sorry about that. It's been a long day.

I'm not really getting anything accomplished during all this downtime. I'm doing better with keeping up with taking out the trash. I sorta cleaned out the fridge. Okay, I did deal with Mao's room, and that's now in order. Got all the winter gear stowed. But there's still so much to do, and each day I mean to do stuff and just... don't. *sigh*

I'm constantly tired. That doesn't help matters. Not sleeping well at night leads to excessive napping. I don't have anywhere to be tomorrow, so tonight I'm going to stay up as late as I can manage. I tend to go to bed when I get bored and only a little tired, then wake up an hour or two later and can't get back to sleep.



Ack.


Predictive text

Jul. 24th, 2014 05:33 pm
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
[personal profile] vass
Dear DuckDuckGo, sometimes you worry me. Like when I type "blood pressure", and before I can add "cuff", the phrase "blood pressure cooker" pops up.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Today at work, the security club had a lockpick intro/practice session. I picked a disembodied lock with two pins! I poked at one with four and one with six. Mr. Zune said that the one with four was actually harder than the one with six. He also mentioned that it was actually sort of amazing that he'd left his alma mater without picking up lockpicking skills. Since he wears the brass rat, that is sort of amazing. In addition to the various locks, they had a tabletop stunt door with a knob, a deadbolt, and a chain. I learned that my long hair and typical braid is good for having an excuse to have hairpins on me at any given time, given their utility in shimming carelessly-locked handcuffs.

Lunch involved Purple getting asked geopolitical questions by some of his buddies, and him holding forth a bit. He's generally sensible on the topic, it seems.

As my manager warned me might happen, dev work on my database has halted. At least we have a bit, or something?

I keep discovering horrible usability problems with various bits of the new helpdesk system. Today's shenanigans went a little off-script.

Consent and the helpdesk guy. )

I hadn't gotten to sleep until nearly 5am last night. Purple gave me a few helpful suggestions by way of commiseration, which included a brief digression on milk substitutes for the lactose intolerant, and their likely effectiveness as a sleep aid.

Somehow it went from "hey, I might get out of here early!" to "oh god it's fuckin' late", but at least Purple found the bug he was looking for! At some point I must ask him whether it really does make sense to park where he does, but tonight was not that night. Purple did earn a "Best $NAME" due to some wisecrack. Also, even if the Randomizer were huggy in the absence of my manager, would I even want hugs from him? (No.)

I'm due an early-morning email presence to round people up for Second Thursday (reprise) (which is actually this Friday) and then I can finish setting up the meetings for next week's research participants. Whee!

So, to recap the week so far

Jul. 24th, 2014 01:11 am
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Three trips to the emergency 24-hour vet in one week is three trips too many. And that's not even taking into account the daily visits to the regular vet.

this entire week needs an animal-harm warning. )

Daily Happiness

Jul. 23rd, 2014 10:07 pm
torachan: a cartoon kitten with a surprised/happy expression (chii)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Irene's interview went well, so hopefully that will work out.

2. Gyoza and edamame for dinner. So delicious!

3. I went out to lunch with my mom today and we got KFC, also delicious.

Queer intersectionality reading list

Jul. 24th, 2014 02:38 pm
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

I recently put together this reading list on queer intersectionality for a local LGBTIQ group, as part of thinking about how we can serve a wider community of same-sex attracted and gender diverse folks. I thought it might be useful to share it more widely.

For context, this is a 101 level reading list for people with a bare understanding of the concept of intersectionality. If you’re not familiar with that you might want to read Wikipedia’s article on intersectionality.

Interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who named and popularised the concept of intersectionality — I think it’s important that we remember and give credit to Professor Crenshaw and the black movements whose ideas we’re using, which is why I’m including this link first.

Intersectionality draws attention to invisibilities that exist in feminism, in anti-racism, in class politics, so obviously it takes a lot of work to consistently challenge ourselves to be attentive to aspects of power that we don’t ourselves experience.” But, she stresses, this has been the project of black feminism since its very inception: drawing attention to the erasures, to the ways that “women of colour are invisible in plain sight”.

“Within any power system,” she continues, “there is always a moment – and sometimes it lasts a century – of resistance to the implications of that. So we shouldn’t really be surprised about it.”

An excellent article about the New York group Queers for Economic Justice:

“You would never know that poverty or class is a queer issue,” said Amber Hollibaugh, QEJ Executive Director and founding member. She continued: “Founding QEJ was, for many of us that were part of it, a statement of …wanting to try to build something that assumed a different set of priorities [than the mainstream gay equality movement]: that talked about homelessness, that talked about poverty, that talked about race and sexuality and didn’t divide those things as if they were separate identities. And most of us that were founding members couldn’t find that anywhere else.”

An interesting personal reflection on intersectionality by a queer Asian woman in NZ:

On the other side, if I’m having issues in my queer relationship with my white partner the discourse my mum uses is that same-gender relationships just don’t work and aren’t supposed to work. Find a (Chinese) man, get married and have babies like she did. You don’t have to love him to begin with but you will grow to love him. Like my mum did, apparently. It’s like if you’re queer and there’s problems in your relationship it’s because you’re queer and the solution is to be heterosexual. If you’re Chinese and there’s problems with your family it’s because Chinese culture is just more conservative or backward and the solution is to distance yourself away from it or try to assimilate into Pakeha culture. It shouldn’t have to be like this.

An article about intersectionality and climate justice (not very queer-oriented but some interesting stuff to think about):

On a personal level, we have to slow down and educate ourselves so that we can name the toxic systems within which we exist. We have to relearn the real histories of the land, of resistance movements and what it has taken for communities survive. We must also take the time to talk through all of the connections so that we can build a deeper analysis of the crises we face. During this process, it’s important that we commit to the slow time of genuine relationship-building, especially as we learn to walk into communities that we’re not a part of in respectful ways. From there, we create space to truly hear each other’s stories and bring people together in ways that, as Dayaneni says, “we can see ourselves in each other.”

A speech about queerness and disability:

This gathering has been very white and for the most part has neglected issues of race and racism. All of us here in this room today need to listen to queer disabled people of color and their experiences. We need to fit race and racism into the matrix of queerness and disability. I need to ask myself, not only “What does it mean to be a pansexual tranny with a long butch dyke history, a walkie with a disability that I acquired at birth,” but also, “What does it mean to be a white queer crip?”

We haven’t asked enough questions about class, about the experiences of being poor and disabled, of struggling with hunger, homelessness, and a lack of the most basic healthcare. I want to hear from working class folks who learned about disability from bone-breaking work in the factory or mine or sweatshop.

We need more exploration of gender identity and disability. How do the two inform each other? I can feel the sparks fly as disabled trans people are just beginning to find each other. We need to listen more to Deaf culture, to people with psych disabilities, cognitive disability, to young people and old people. We need not to re-create here in this space, in this budding community, the hierarchies that exist in other disability communities, other queer communities.

And finally, Beyond the Queer Alphabet (ebook) — an entire book on the subject of queer intersectionality.

If you’ve got any other recommended reading, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

wednesday reading

Jul. 23rd, 2014 08:43 pm
cofax7: Mick from DVI having one of those days (DVI - Mick - Bad Day)
[personal profile] cofax7
Currently reading: The library got Elizabeth Bear's Shattered Pillars in, so I'm reading that. (Annoyingly, it's only available as one of those Adobe DRM-protected ebooks I can't manage to read on my computer, so I'm reading it on the library website, which is not optimal.) It's okay so far but I wish the narrative would stay with one character longer: the scenes are too short.

Just finished: The Left Hand of Darkness, for book club. It had been a while since I'd read it, so it was a nice refresher. Still an excellent read, especially the epic trek across the ice. I now need to go find that great Yuletide story about the next planet Genly Ai goes to...

I also just finished Lia Silver's Prisoner, which I enjoyed more than Laura's Wolf. I like a slow build better than instant attraction, and I am intrigued by the overarching plot of how they're going to take down the institute.

Up next: Not sure, but soon I'll have to read Atonement by Ian MacEwen, for next month's book club. And I need to go back and finish The Long Ships, which I left hanging about 3/4 of the way through.

Hey my buddies!

Jul. 23rd, 2014 10:46 pm
celli: a woman and a man holding hands, captioned "i treasure" (Default)
[personal profile] celli
Bday party:

At @hq_chicago 2833 N Sheffield
Sunday 7/27 2-6 PM Come/go whenever!
Gifts ok but not, NOT, req'd

Just in case you didn't see it in any of the other places I posted it. :)

And just to let you know that I'm not any less myself at 39...last night I stubbed the crap out of one foot and today one toe is super gross bruised. So if anyone needs me I'll be over here icing my toe. Of course.
china_shop: Sam in casual wear, laughing on the phone (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
tahi. I've been offline a lot lately, because arms, and one of the genius ideas I had was that instead of writing, I could scour through source material in preparation for making a vid. So now I've prepped and I'm ready to get vidding and I really should not because arms. *facepalm* Also, the combination of source and song mean that chances are pretty high no one will ever watch this vid, which oh well. Takes the pressure off? I amuse myself, anyway.

rua. There was an article on the Scientific American site recently about how walking through doorways resets your brain (at least somewhat), and it occurs to me that this is extremely useful when dealing with brain weasels. Like, lying in bed being assailed by pointless doubts and misgivings is Just No Fun, and you can't fight them off because they're weasels, but if you get up and go into a different room, nine times out of ten the weasels get bored and go off in search of other prey. Or, well, it works for me (often facilitated by crosswording). Anyone else?

toru. Cool thing I learned yesterday: type the following into MS Word:

=lorem(x,y)
=rand(x,y)
=rand.old(x,y)

Where x is the number of paragraphs, and y is the number of sentences per paragraph.

wha. In case anyone missed it yesterday, mergatrude and I made a new comm for Sam/Steve fanworks: [community profile] mcu_onyourleft. Despite the name, it's for all Sam/Steve-centric works -- comics and MCU. Feel free to link to old fanworks as well as new ones.

SPN beta?

Jul. 23rd, 2014 10:20 pm
rivkat: Dean: green-eyed monster (green-eyed monster)
[personal profile] rivkat
I have committed post-S9 Sam/Dean fixit fic.  Anyone up for a beta?
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

As you probably already know (because I can’t stop parping on about it), I’ll be at Nine Worlds and Loncon this summer. So will my book!

SpiritsAbroad-final-faceonly

Nine Worlds

You’ll be able to pick up SPIRITS ABROAD at the ALL OF THE BOOKS Indie table in the dealers’ room.

Loncon

SPIRITS ABROAD will be available at the Big Green Bookshop stall in the Dealers’ Zone (thanks to Yen Ooi for the tip!).

SPIRITS ABROAD isn’t super easily available outside Malaysia, and it’s currently out of stock on Amazon — so if you’d like a copy and are coming to either of these cons, dropping by the dealers’ room is a straightforward way of picking one up.

Of course, you can pre-order a copy directly from me instead. That means I’ll reserve a signed book for you and will track you down ONE WAY OR ANOTHER during the con.

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)
[personal profile] astolat

Off By Two (8832 words) by astolat
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Sam Wilson
Characters: Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson (Marvel), James “Bucky” Barnes
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Camping, Huddling For Warmth, Bears, Wilderness
Summary:

“Who sent you?” Steve said.

“Colonel Rhodes tapped me, specifically,” Wilson said. “But pretty much all your friends were behind the idea.”

“All my friends are dead,” Steve said.

and into the river we'd dive

Jul. 23rd, 2014 03:35 pm
musesfool: Mal (i will not speak to lie)
[personal profile] musesfool
What I'm reading Wednesday:

What I've just finished

I am finally finished with The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War. It was good at being a military history of the war in Europe and, to a lesser extent, North Africa, but I feel like it really skimped on the war in the Pacific. Which is fine for a book with the premise "why/how did Hitler lose the war?" (spoiler: the answer: he was a Nazi), but then don't title it the way it's titled. I am just saying. I also found it had a lot of dropped words and even dropped phrases from sentences, which is unacceptable for something I actually paid for. Also, there were a bunch of maps, but they weren't linked from the text or embedded in it, so they were pretty useless, since I didn't really know when to look at them. Which sounds way harsher than I mean it to! A solid 3 stars if you are looking for a military history of WWII in Europe. I did learn more about Stalingrad from it than from any of the other books I've read so far, so there's that.

What I'm reading now

The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein, on the strong recommendation of several people on my flist over the years and what I believe was a rerelease via ebook? Anyway, I'm about halfway through and I'm enjoying it. Though I wouldn't mind a look at the maps they keep talking about. MAPS, PEOPLE. THEY MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER.

What I'm reading next

Probably the rest of the Steerswoman books that I have.


***

header spelunking: wait, what?

Jul. 23rd, 2014 10:28 pm
cimorene: Screencap of an iChat conversation bubble that says "Dude?" (huh?)
[personal profile] cimorene
  1. Inspired by the song by Garth Brooks "The Storm." Short piece about heartache...

  2. Disclaimer: Well, actually I can't be bothered - so go ahead and sue me!

  3. Rating: NC-13ish

  4. It started well before they knew it could travel so far off hand. It started with an exchange of words ensuring their future and how they laced together.

  5. Besides, if you want canon, why the hell are you reading slash?

No one could have predicted

Jul. 23rd, 2014 02:42 pm
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Women And People Of Color Get Punished For Hiring To Increase Diversity, White Men Get Rewarded
Women and people of color in executive positions who push to make more diverse hires and promotions get penalized on their performance reviews, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Colorado. White men, on the other hand, get rewarded for valuing diversity.

Ed. note:



The researchers looked at 362 executives, from CEO to director, and found that those who were ranked in the top 15 percent on a scale measuring their dedication to diversity got an average performance rating of 3.76. But those ratings improved the less women and people of color were seen to be promoting more nonwhite, female hires. A woman with an average dedication to diversity got a performance rating of 3.98, but a woman in the bottom 15 percent got a rating of 4.15, which represents a 10 percent increase in her review. Meanwhile, white men who pushed for greater diversity got a bump in their performance review scores.

The researchers also conducted an experiment to test these ideas, having actors play executives and give speeches either in favor of hiring someone who looked like them or someone who didn’t. When women advocated for other women, they were seen as colder, and when people of color advocated for people like them, they were seen as less competent. “People are perceived as selfish when they advocate for someone who looks like them, unless they’re a white man,” said David Hekman, one of the study’s authors.
And that's today's quote of the day.

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2014 12:48 pm
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
TNG rewatch:

"Gambit"

I didn't remember too much about this, but it's actually a fun two-parter that is not at all infuriating, which sets it apart from most two-parters. Picard goes undercover with a gang of smugglers, but everyone thinks he's dead! Except for Riker, because if everyone did really think he was dead and no one looked for him, that would be bad. Picard gets to be a jerk while undercover, there's intrigue and stuff, and the thing they're chasing might as well be the Maltese Falcon, because it's not really important.

Though it does lead to a scene at the end of the second episode that I had slight problems with, because I love Worf, but I disbelieve that he could empty his thoughts of all aggression at a moment's notice. That's part of his appeal.

Data also gets to take command of the Enterprise, and he is a badass captain. This happened in another episode (don't remember the name, but it's the one where they're playing war games), and honestly, I don't understand why they don't just promote him to captain flat out. He makes all the right decisions, and when necessary, he smacks down people who challenge his authority. Data for president!

"Phantasms"

This episode, on the other hand, is pretty memorable, to the point that my husband and I quote "cellular peptide cake...with mint frosting." It does make Data's dreaming program seem like kind of a dubious idea, since it leads to him directly injuring a crew member. But it's fun, and it's still surreal instead of aging into ridiculousness.

"Dark Page"

Lwaxanna Troi is in this episode, but she only harps about Deanna being unmarried ten or fifteen times, and she doesn't chase after any men, so that's good. The episode seems like it will be another of those "evil bad wrong telepath!" stories, but it actually turns out to be about grief and coping. It's so nice when the Troi women get intelligent plots.

and then I had to stop for lunch so I could sit on the couch and properly watch...

"Attached"

OMG, Picard/Crusher 4EVAH. They get captured! Then they're forced into telepathic bonding! And if they get too far away from the other person, they feel sick! I have read this story a thousand times, and it is never not awesome. Regardless of my weakness for this pairing and this plot, I think the scenes between them are very nicely handled. The little thoughts that slip out and lead to a deeper understanding of the other person. Crusher figuring out that when Picard acts confident, it doesn't always mean he knows what he's doing.

There's also nice stuff back on the Enterprise where an increasingly exasperated Riker and Worf have to deal with the two paranoid races that live on the planet, but really, who can think about that when Picard and Crusher are sitting at a campfire, exchanging increasingly intimate confidences? NOT ME.
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I will be on a panel on portal fantasy at Sirens this year. I need to read portal fantasy!

Panel description: Portal Fantasy: Threat or Menace?

SUMMARY:
Everybody knows about portal fantasy, where characters from the "real world" cross into a separate fantasy world. It is a classic trope that still draws readers—the Chronicles of Narnia have never been out of print. And yet new portal fantasies are very seldom published, and many agents and editors have said that they're unmarketable. What exactly is this subgenre, and why is it so loved and so shunned at the same time? What new stories does it still have to offer?

ABSTRACT:
1) What is portal fantasy? What makes it different from "our world has a hidden side" fantasy (e.g. Harry Potter, many urban fantasies, secret history fantasy)? What makes it different from stories about going to Faerie (or do those count as portal fantasies)?

2) Why do people love portal fantasy? Why do people hate it? Why is it currently (almost) unpublishable?

3) Portal fantasies we have known and loved.

4) Crypto-portal fantasies -- stories that arguably qualify as portal fantasy but don't "feel" like portal fantasy to a lot of people. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, for instance, or The Fall of Ile-Rien.)

5) Most influential portal fantasies -- what has shaped the genre and people's reactions to it? To what extent are portal fantasy debates crypto-Narnia debates?

6) Portal fantasy is sometimes accused of being a narrow, cliched genre that has little room for new stories. What are some storytelling opportunities in portal fantasy that have not yet been explored?

7) Another common accusation against portal fantasy is that, because the "real world" isn't in danger, the novel lacks stakes. Is it possible to write a portal fantasy that isn't just "my magical vacation," and if so, how? What novels have achieved that and which ones have failed?

8) What are the pitfalls of portal fantasies? What are some examples of how it can go terribly wrong?

9) What about reverse portal fantasies, where characters from the magical world enter our own? Do they count as part of the same sub-genre, and either way, what do they have to offer?

- end description -

My requests for you:

1. Rec me some portal fantasies I might not know about or have thought of. Assume I'm familiar with the usual suspects.

2. When people say that portal fantasies are "my magical vacation," with no stakes, what actual portal fantasies actually fit that bill, and how? Apart from books for very young children and comedies/parodies, I'm having a hard time thinking of them.

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2014 08:36 am
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
New books:

* Doghouse by L.A. Kornetsky
Even though she’s unlicensed as an investigator, the infamously nosy Ginny Mallard has begun to make a name for herself as an unofficial champion of the tongue-tied. When a mysterious stranger comes to her with landlord trouble, she convinces her bartender friend Teddy Tonica to help her once more.

* Dust and Light by Carol Berg is up for preorder
How much must one pay for an hour of youthful folly? The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her....After that one mistake, Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. Now the Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His extraordinary gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries—beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets.

* Shattering the Ley by Joshua Palmatier
Erenthrall—sprawling city of light and magic, whose streets are packed with traders from a dozen lands and whose buildings and towers are grown and shaped in the space of a day. At the heart of the city is the Nexus, the hub of a magical ley line system that powers Erenthrall. This ley line also links the city and the Baronial plains to rest of the continent and the world beyond. The Prime Wielders control the Nexus with secrecy and lies, but it is the Baron who controls the Wielders. The Baron also controls the rest of the Baronies through a web of brutal intimidation enforced by his bloodthirsty guardsmen and unnatural assassins.

* A Plunder of Souls by D.B. Jackson
Boston, 1769: Ethan Kaille, a Boston thieftaker who uses his conjuring to catch criminals, has snared villains and defeated magic that would have daunted a lesser man. What starts out as a mysterious phenomenon that has local ministers confused becomes something far more serious.

* The Seat of Magic by J. Kathleen Cheney
agical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill. It’s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can’t escape the feeling that, though she’s supposedly returned home to her people, Oriana is in danger. Adding to Duilio’s concerns is a string of recent murders in the city. Three victims have already been found, each without a mark upon her body. When a selkie under his brother’s protection goes missing, Duilio fears the killer is also targeting nonhuman prey.


* And there's a half-price ebook sale at Book View Cafe. The books on sale are here.

Culture Consumed Wednesday

Jul. 23rd, 2014 10:29 pm
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
[personal profile] vass
Books
Read Lia Silver's Laura's Wolf. It is very fine winter reading. I loved sitting in a nest of blankets with a heat pack, a cat, and a cup of lapsang souchong, with a stew cooking in the oven, in Melbourne winter weather, reading about the heroine in a hut in Yosemite, snowed in with the electricity out and her only companion an injured werewolf.

I kind of want to read the urban fantasy romance where in order to survive the werecat's bite, the heroine has to find her inner cat and transform. LICK YOUR BUTT. SCRATCH THE FURNITURE. PRODUCE A HAIRBALL. DRAPE YOURSELF DECORATIVELY, TAKING UP THREE QUARTERS OF A BED FIFTY TIMES YOUR SIZE. COME ON, I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT, DON'T GIVE UP NOW.

Picked up Les Miserables again. Am now up to page 210 of 1194 (endnotes not included.) In another 54 pages, I'll reach the end of the first volume. This book is hard work, and I say that as someone who's read A Suitable Boy, Infinite Jest, War and Peace, Middlemarch, and the Bible cover to cover.

Fanworks

Read Carrying Dangerous Goods by [archiveofourown.org profile] novembersmith. It's a Gen Kill/Temeraire fusion. Ray/Brad. The pining/miscommunication plot got a little ridiculous by the end, and I like pining, but the details of how the Gen Kill characters fit into Temeraire's world were great.

TV and Movies

More Avengers Assemble: episode 5, 'Blood Feud'. Black Widow, who in Avengers Assemble only exists to be rescued, is bitten by Dracula. The highlight of this episode is of course Hulkula. But I'm not sure how much more sexism I can stand.

More POI. Watched 'Super' and 'Root Cause' and 'Blue Code' (in which the person of interest is Michael Hey It's That Guy Aronov.) So far I don't like canon Nathan as much as fanon Nathan, and I have difficulty understanding why Finch likes Nathan. Have developed a regrettable tendency to refer to Root as w00t. Still not as silly as what she calls herself. Finch clearly agrees with me on this. When she introduces herself on IRC, he makes this little disapproving motion with his mouth.

As far as Finch is concerned, a sensible way to pick your pseudonym would be:
#!/usr/bin/python
textfile = open('verylonglistofbirds.txt', 'r')
lines = textfile.readlines()
for line in lines:
   chunks = line.split()
   surname = chunks[0]
   print "Hello, my name is Harold " + surname + ". "

See? Much more practical than naming yourself after Australian slang for fucking the Unix superuser and base of filesystem.

(And yeah, I'm sure there's a better way to chomp /n in Python. Give me a break, I don't know any Python at all. I fudged that script from the one in this Python Pals puzzle.)

Games

Played Shisen Sho so much I got Tetris effect from it.

Crafts

More knitting.

Food

Made beef stew for the first time, using the cast iron casserole dish I got for Christmas. I didn't use a recipe so much as do a quick search for how much liquid, how hot an oven, and for how long, and then wing it. 1.3kg silverside beef, 2tbsp olive oil, 2c water, 1 green capsicum, salt, cracked black pepper, crushed garlic, dried rosemary and oregano. Preheat oven to 160'C, chop beef into ~1in cubes (trimming the silvery bit and giving a little bit to a very appreciative cat), place in cast iron casserole dish with all ingredients except capsicum, stir, cover with lid, cook for 1 hour. Roughly chop capsicum and add (next time I'll add it later.) Cook for another hour, check. It's still not soft enough, and there's too much liquid, so turn the heat up to 180'C and cook for a third hour. Makes five servings. Result was very good, although next time I'll use less pepper, and maybe some wine or stock or tomatoes or something to replace some or all of the water. But as a proof of concept, it worked just fine.

Bought a new cooking knife for the first time in like ten years. Such an improvement.

come fly with me

Jul. 23rd, 2014 03:00 pm
roga: (Default)
[personal profile] roga
1. I am planning a trip to Edinburgh mid-August to spend a few days at the Fringe Theater Festival! I really really hope it ends up working out. Is anyone/anyone you know going to be there?

2. It is ridiculous looking at the airport's arrivals board right now. All of the incoming flights into this country by foreign airlines are cancelled. I'm torn between laughing and head-desking forever. Riiidiculous.

UTTER DORKS

Jul. 23rd, 2014 01:29 am
azurelunatic: Black and white picture of comedy duo Laurel & Hardy (Laurel & Hardy)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Contrary to (everyone's) expectations, Purple worked from work this afternoon. He missed lunch (he'd had a thing offsite at noon) and duly commiserated with me when I dropped by mid-evening to swear about the new system. It came time to wrap up. We compared notes on how much work we had left. I watched him sign off all work IMs, and started making sure all my files were tucked in for the night. As I saved my daily worklog for what I thought was the last time of the day, I saw his icon pop up green again.

AzureJaneL: *raises an eyebrow*

He had forgotten that he had parked in the parking lot nearer his building, instead of the (larger) one nearer mine.

AzureJaneL: oh, ok, I'll come over -- oh. wait.

The parking lot at work nearest my building is, in my estimation, 99% safe. The 1% is that large white panel van which likes to go zooming across the parking lot very late in the dead of night when there are only two people out wandering the parking lot. I am by no means afraid or even uncomfortable walking to my car alone (as two people can get hit by one van as easily as one can).

I am a grown-ass adult. I will see my good buddy, my partner in crime, my occasional straight man, tomorrow.

We agreed that he'd walk me to my car, then I'd drive him to his. And so we did.
azurelunatic: Computer with a wind-up key captioned "Which version of STUPID are you running?" (tech support)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Today at work, I nearly blacked out from rage. We have the aforementioned new shit, right? And it's a new thing, so I'm bouncing off it and locating zillions of petty little usability flaws and a handful of big ones. Over the course of ~six months of notice, a few hilariously tone-deaf communications, and not quite LiveJournal-esque oversells of the new shiny shit, a few hours of increasingly dubious training, and three days of actual use, I am nearly at bitch-eating-crackers levels of dislike.

I tried to file a ticket to request that a shared email address (the one that owns the calendar to track the research lab usage) be moved from the old system (may it rest the fuck in peace) to Exchange, but I bounced off a weird search interface, one which basically requires that you know the full name of the person you are looking for. I would be less cheesed if it were merely their commonly used full name, but no, it is the full name in some system which plays badly with maiden, former-married, and dead* names. There's someone on my team whose past name I have to remember just for moments like this.

* Dead name = generally the former name in the wrong gender of a transgender person. (Anyone at Virtual Hammer who has a dead name which needs to leave the system so your teammates don't have to REMEMBER YOUR DEAD NAME IN ORDER TO INTERACT WITH YOU ON P4 should contact someone in HRIS because that is a thing which can (with a little manual monkeying on the part of the HRIS person) and should be changed. The name of the HRIS guy in the QUILTBAG club is listed in the wiki under PerforceRename.)

So I filed a ticket against the name problem. My own manager's name is filed in my head to be typed as fl~autocomplete (where fl are her first and last initials); I have gotten her first name wrong continually while typing because it is fl~autocomplete. Because I wanted to illustrate the problem, I included the link to the page which illustrated the example I'd just bounced off of. Then I submitted and viewed the ticket to make sure it all made sense.

It did not make sense. Half or more of the ticket was cut off. The ticket auto-word-wraps, which is just fine and dandy, except that the size of the text box which contains the ticket is determined in part by the longest unbroken string within the box (like the aforementioned link) and part by whatever leftover space the overly aggressive margins decide you're going to have with the window width you've got. With the window width I'd got in my 1200x1600px portrait-orientation monitor, I had 54 characters (non-monospaced) worth of width. THAT'S NOT EVEN 80.

I flung myself out of my office chair in a rage and marched back to the corner where my ally in all stupid bullshit in new systems matters (the Stage Manager) lurked, blowing past Madam Standards and the Dogesitting Visual Designer, who attempted to hail me. I was in no fit mood for company.

Upon reaching the Stage Manager's office, I realized that my head was starting to swim and perhaps I should unclench and maybe start to, idk, breathe or something. Despite getting my Fitbit 1,000 mile badge today, I did not in fact fall down at the Stage Manager's door (right name, wrong guy).


Tomorrow when I see Madam Standards, I probably owe her an apology for blowing her off. (I dropped by the Dogesitter's cube and gave her an apology and a somewhat less spleenful version of the rant.)

Daily Happiness

Jul. 22nd, 2014 10:27 pm
torachan: a cartoon bear eating a large sausage (magical talking bear prostitute)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Day off tomorrow!

2. We went to Subway for dinner and I got the BBQ steak and bacon sub, which is on special right now, and it's really good. *_*

3. Irene has a job interview for tomorrow!

It's for a grocery store, which is what her last job in Massachusetts was, so hopefully having recent experience will be a plus, as will the fact that she's only looking for part-time work and has a flexible schedule.

If she gets hired, they said the uniform requires a plain white button-up shirt, but unfortunately I've checked online at Walmart, Target, and Lane Bryant and can't find anything. Does anyone have any recs for other plus-size clothing sites? (Not that we'd be buying something before we even hear if she's got the job or not, but I'd like to be prepared and at least know where we could get something appropriate.)

New comm: mcu_onyourleft

Jul. 23rd, 2014 05:31 pm
china_shop: Sam in casual wear, laughing on the phone (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
 


After weeks of preparation (all my fault! I have been as flaky as filo!), [personal profile] mergatrude and I would like to announce a new comm for Sam Wilson/Steve Rogers fanworks and links: [community profile] mcu_onyourleft!

See profile page for posting guidelines and comm rules (minimal).

Spread the word! Let the linking begin!


Thanks to [personal profile] teaotter for the gorgeous banner and [profile] mergatude for all the CSS magic.

non-spoilery notes on Nashville S2

Jul. 22nd, 2014 09:01 pm
heresluck: (nashville)
[personal profile] heresluck
I've finished watching Nashville S2 and am working on a post about it (trying to write it before all the details blur together!), but since it's not done yet I am going to go ahead and post this non-spoilery reaction.

Short version: I liked it!

details under a cut to spare the uninterested )

and one brief vague-but-technically-spoilery comment on the end of the season )

BABY!!!

Jul. 22nd, 2014 08:02 pm
mara: (Default)
[personal profile] mara
I'm happy to announce that my sister gave birth about half an hour ago to a young lady named Elizabeth Sarah :)

I talked to Naomi and she sounds very drugged but very happy. ::bounces up and down:: I'm so glad she and the baby are both okay, because I've been a wreck all day.

I can't wait to go meet my new niece.

Oh dear

Jul. 22nd, 2014 05:56 pm
giandujakiss: (Catwoman)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
What the Internet Can See From Your Cat Pictures
Using cat pictures — that essential building block of the Internet — and a supercomputer, a Florida State University professor has built a site that shows the locations of the cats (at least at some point in time, given their nature) and, presumably, of their owners.

Owen Mundy, an assistant professor of art who studies the relationship between data and the public, created “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” as a way of demonstrating “the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all,” Mr. Mundy wrote in a post about the site.

Using images of cats uploaded to photosharing services, including Flickr, Twitpic and Instagram, Mr. Mundy extracted latitude and longitude coordinates that many modern cameras, especially those in smartphones, attach to each image.
I didn't even know that photos had this data!

Dreadful update

Jul. 22nd, 2014 03:53 pm
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Dreadful is staying at the vet overnight tonight because they can't get a urine sample from him and they really need one to run tests on, especially because, to quote the vet, my cat is "acting weird". She then went on to clarify that it's "good weird", but still weird. Basically, his blood glucose level today was much lower than they expected it to be. So, it's possible that he's going to be the kind of cat whose diabetes can be controlled just with food.

We went back to scritch him a bit in his cage and the vet tech said he'd been "angry eating", which is also a good sign. He's definitely way perkier and more himself today than he was yesterday.

may booklog

Jul. 22nd, 2014 08:44 pm
wychwood: Vala decrees that you may speak (SG-1 - Vala goddess)
[personal profile] wychwood
49. The God Engines - John Scalzi ) Bleak, but worth reading; Scalzi obviously has a broader imagination than usually shows.


50. Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman ) Definitely one of my favourite Gaimans.


51. Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch ) I'm deeply ambivalent about the ending, but I trust him enough to see where he takes it. So far.


52. The Three Brides, 54. The Young Stepmother, and 56. The Two Guardians - Charlotte Yonge ) Yonge remains as Yonge-like as ever. Although there aren't many enormous sprawling families in these three, admittedly.


53. Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters ) This was fabulous; I'll definitely read more Waters.


55. Self-Made Man - Norah Vincent ) More interesting than I'd expected, if not exactly revelatory.


57. Crown of Renewal - Elizabeth Moon ) An enjoyable read with a sad lack of depth or series structure. And I'm left missing a lot of resolution to the various plot threads.


58. Scenes and Characters and 59. The Two Sides of the Shield - Charlotte Yonge ) More Yonge! Giant families this time, though.
cimorene: (face!pie)
[personal profile] cimorene
  1. Tom gets stuck in a hotdog costume at a ship's baseball game, and the usual nonsense ensues.

  2. Title: Angel's Deadly Spurt

  3. Tags: Im shit at rating shit but it has sex in it :/, Abrupt Ending, like theres a missing part

  4. There is mention of butchering dead livestock (briefly), so if you're PETA, no real animal was harmed in the writing of this story.

  5. Disclaimer: Same as always. M/m, Paramount, high oak tree, necktie party, broke as a church mouse, need a life, wish I was God Emperor of Dune, satisfied with little, needful of therapy, could lose a little weight, voted in the last election, got some back on the income tax, facing menopause with a brave smile, seeking enlightenment, wishing I had a handicapped parking sticker, glad I don’t need one, thinking summer isn’t for sissies, waiting for Godot, wondering who the hell he *really* is, not taking any wooden nickels, wondering if I could find any on ebay, wishing I was in Rome, knowing I’ll always have (Tom) Paris, and considering a tattoo. On my tongue.

musesfool: wendy watson in a wetsuit with a gun (don't make me shoot you)
[personal profile] musesfool
So I know that userscripts.org is down, but that doesn't mean a script I've already downloaded and implemented should stop working does it? And yet I can no longer save filters on AO3. That line is gone from the list of inputs on the right when I am in a tag. And using the "Search within results" field doesn't work with either the filter_ids number or text [how do you exclude text that includes " in it anyway?]. I don't have triggers, but I do have a strongly visceral negative response to a couple things I'd really rather not see and right now I can't filter them out at all, which is a problem for me.

(also, protip, asshole: it's not the m/m part of your story that I don't like so much as it's THE NONCON WHICH IS INHERENT IN THE DAMN PAIRING I WANT TO EXCLUDE and also isn't listed in the warnings.)

Ugh, if I could even do one of them it would be fine, since it's the noncon one that is popping up right now, right on top. I find this so frustrating. I didn't think I'd miss the days when I was lucky if there were five new, complete, relevant-to-my-interest stories a week in the Steve/Bucky tag, but sometimes I do. I really, really do.

Also, if it's my dumbassery that is screwing things up, please let me know! But I've tried everything that has worked in the past and none of it is working now and it's making me cranky. *hands*

ETA: [personal profile] snakeling suggested adding // @grant      none to the script header in Greasemonkey, and lo and behold, it worked! /eta

filter_ids for my own future reference )

*deep breaths*

In more encouraging news, yesterday I wrote about 700 words of post-CATWS Bucky/Natasha. *hands* Only three more sections to go!

In the meantime, that book meme from all around the internets:

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the "right" or "great" works, just the ones that have touched you.

Obviously there's way more than 10, but these are the ones that came to mind first, in no particular order:

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien - so fucking formative.

The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. LeGuin - also supremely formative, plus ♥TENAR♥

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle - this, even more than A Wrinkle in Time or The Arm of the Starfish, has stayed with me over the years, despite its various issues.

Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner - I was tempted to say Light in August, simply because that's the one I read that finally made me go, hey, now I get why Faulkner (neither The Hamlet nor "The Bear" had managed it previously, though I did like The Hamlet better on rereading in college), but Absalom, Absalom blows my mind every fucking time. I remember the first time reading it, when I was like, Professor T, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE GIVE THIS TO ME SOONER? (I was a senior in college.) Poor Quentin. Poor Shreve.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - for some weird reason, one of my friends and I would quote this to each other all the time: "The bombardier, the bombardier!" "I'm the bombardier and I'm all right!" and "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?" "The spirit gone, man is garbage." and of course, the subject line of this post. Oh, Yossarian. "You have deep-seated survival anxieties. And you don't like bigots, bullies, snobs or hypocrites. Subconsciously there are many people you hate." "Consciously, sir, consciously. I hate them consciously."

A Separate Peace by John Knowles - Gene/Finny was not my first m/m pairing, but they were pretty close.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Do I even need to list a reason?

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - oh Cassandra, how do I love thee?

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco - another one that rewards multiple rereads; I have pressed this book on any number of people I know, most of whom stopped speaking to me afterwards (except my dad - he just grumped about it). My advice is just go with it, and somewhere around page 50? 100? it starts to work (I won't say it starts to make sense, but...it builds up enough momentum that the first time I kept going to just to find out what the hell was happening).

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - "Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story." For fiction being truer than truth. For all of it, really.

***
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Federal appeals court panel deals major blow to health law
A federal appeals court panel in the District struck down a major part of the 2010 health-care law Tuesday, ruling that the tax subsidies that are central to the program may not be provided in at least half of the states.

The ruling, if upheld, could potentially be more damaging to the law than last month’s Supreme Court decision on contraceptives. The three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with plaintiffs who argued that the language of the law barred the government from giving subsidies to people in states that chose not to set up their own insurance marketplaces. Twenty-seven states, most with Republican leaders who oppose the law, decided against setting up marketplaces, and another nine states partially opted out.

[I]f subsidies for half the states are barred, it represents a potentially crippling blow to the health-care law, which relies on the subsidies to make insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income Americans.

The subsidies are in many cases sizeable, sharply reducing the cost of coverage.

About 5.4 million people signed up for health insurance on the federal marketplace through the spring, the government says. Of them, about 87 percent received subsidies.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit — three private employers and four individual taxpayers — argued that Congress intended for the subsidies to go to people in states that set up their own insurance exchanges. They cited language in the law that said the subsidies would be available to those “enrolled through an Exchange established by the State.”

Lower courts, however, have sided with the government, which has argued that Congress’s intent was for subsidies to be available in all states — a meaning it said is obvious from the law’s context.

the being-kind-to-myself thing

Jul. 22nd, 2014 04:27 pm
marina: (direction...?)
[personal profile] marina
Everything is still horrible! This is not surprising.

The war is still the war - it's getting uglier and more horrible every day. I've reached a level of anxiety where sleeping is difficult (no matter how early I try to turn in, at best I wake up tired instead of a zombie, and my sleep is fitful) and I wish people could respect the way I cope with terrible news I have no control over. Instead my coworkers talk 24/7 about every new horrible rumor, bursting into my office to tell each other the news. UGH. And then my mother calls just to tell me what she's read on the Russian news, and I ask her to stop (I read the news, I am sufficiently informed) and she gets offended at my ~tone~.

The roommate drama is still drama. My current roommate seems to have calmed down a bit? So hopefully spending time with her won't be a horror. But we still have barely any candidates and it's stressful and I have to deal with it every single day.

Positive things:

* I got the grade for the final class of my degree - and it's a really high grade. My academic career has mostly been disaster and despair (AKA doing a degree while working full time) but I got really, really lovely feedback on this paper, so.

* I got a response from my potential thesis adviser (who has been terrible at every interaction with me) and it was basically I've read your paper, and you seem kind of dumb so maybe a thesis isn't for you. It was phrased a little more politely, but overall the message was that. This is depressing on the one hand, on the other it means I am now free to seek a different adviser and move on with this stuff. That too is a kind of progress.

* I've gotten two books I've wanted to read for ages! Now only to find the time for them, heh. The first is Spirits Abroad, a collection of Zen Cho's short stories. I've wanted to read many of them before but never got to because they were published in venues/formats that were uncomfortable for me to access. But now I finally have the book and I'm reading a story a day and they are just all SO FANTASTIC. One day I literally started laughing out loud in my apartment because the story was so hilarious. It's wonderful also because the stories are so specific to a particular place and a particular culture but at the same time are extremely universal as well. I recommend this book to everyone.

Then yesterday I got my copy of Migritude by Shailja Patel. I've only started reading it but I've wanted this book for so long! It contains one of my favorite poems ever. I was delighted to discover it's part prose part poetry, part history part sociology, different POVs, all a form of biography. It's lovely and I can't wait to read more of it.

* I bought tickets to Germany and back! \o/ Basically I will have 3 weeks to spend in Europe, Germany -> London -> France and I've been trying to sort out the dates for SO LONG and now I FINALLY HAVE and I was able to buy tickets and even find lower prices than I originally anticipated. There's still a TON of planning to do, and more flights to book, but at least I have a way to get to Europe now and a way to get back home, and everything else is a bit less stressful.

* Work is still utterly unbelievably busy because I have to deal with loads of extra work, but I've been coping with it better than last week. I'm a bit more on top of where things need to go, now, and how to manage my new clients correctly.

* Tonight will be my last night in the apartment alone before my roommate returns, and tomorrow, oh, tomorrow I will be over at a friend's for a sushi-making evening, and there will be booze. THERE WILL BE BOOZE. I know this because I called and made sure. I CALLED TO MAKE SURE. I mean I knew she'd provide alcohol but I needed to impress upon her HOW MUCH ALCOHOL needed to be provided, since I won't be driving and hence plan on getting as drunk as humanly possible.

* I've been trying to mitigate the effects of being constantly tired and depressed - which tends to mean I want to buy things I can't afford and eat things that are bad for me - and have had moderate success. It's not been perfect, but since something has to go in this equation, I've been relatively OK reigning myself in while still not pushing myself to act as if everything's normal.

Audiobook News

Jul. 22nd, 2014 07:56 am
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
[personal profile] marthawells
Some great news! The audiobook narrator for Stories of the Raksura Vol I will be Christopher Kipiniak, who did the first three Books of the Raksura.

If you like audiobooks and are new here, all my fantasy novels plus the Star Wars novel are available in audiobook at Audible.com, Tantor Audio, Audible UK, iTunes, and other audiobook retailers.

A note about conventions, because this comes up occasionally: authors and artists (who are not in the top 4-5 or so headlining guests) do not get paid to go to SF/F conventions, to do panels or workshops, even all day long workshops. We pay our own travel, hotel, food, etc, and usually all we get is a free membership (the same thing volunteers who work on the convention get). For large conventions like World Fantasy and WorldCon, we have to buy our own membership. (Often, if a WorldCon makes enough money to pay its expenses and has money left over, it will reimburse panelists for their memberships. But that's never guaranteed.)

Couple of links:

Kickstarter: Imagined Realms: Book 1 - New Fantasy Art by Julie Dillon

Aliette de Bodard: Some thoughts on the Hugo nominees

Fic: Terms of Surrender

Jul. 22nd, 2014 07:35 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
With many thanks to [personal profile] astolat and [livejournal.com profile] rubynye for beta! ♥

Terms of Surrender (4654 words) by Dira Sudis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Sam Wilson
Characters: Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Bondage, Painplay, Impact Play, Masochism, BDSM, Consensual Violence, Plot What Plot/Porn Without Plot
Summary:


The body he'd been given felt like a layer of uniform he couldn't take off. People looking at it were just admiring perfect design, the same as anybody whose eye was drawn by the stars and stripes.



...Happy consensual beatings! :D

Also I don't actually have a Sam or Steve icon and Bucky is not actually in this story. Hm. Have to work on that.

Feline Identity Awareness

Jul. 22nd, 2014 08:01 pm
vass: Icon of Saint Ignatius being eaten by lions (eaten by lions)
[personal profile] vass
Have you sat your cat down and raised the possibility with them that they are a cat? Some cats may lack insight into their condition, and need to be gently brought to an understanding of it. Other cats may have already had their suspicions, and would appreciate affirmation from you on this point. Follow-up is also very important, as many cats will have further questions, and most will need reinforcement on the main concepts.

A much-abbreviated list of woe

Jul. 22nd, 2014 02:57 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Lost a nice long draft entry about today's shenanigans to a bluescreen. Woe.

Weekend: laundry.
In the service of laundry, ran into a neighbor in the laundry room, chatted. The "doing fireworks" line came up.

Purple was more quiet than usual at lunch, but there was still hilarity. I will sometimes say "come over here so I can hit you" even when I'm sitting right within range, but don't feel like even symbolically punching him. He teased me about it, but very quietly. (I was glad I was sitting next to him rather than across or kitty-corner as is often the case, because he was that quiet, and it's generally pretty loud.) Eventually it came out that he was in a significant amount of pain from a known source. Later there were sheepish fistbumps of solidarity.

Friday marked the launch of the new helpdesk software. One of the things that disappeared in the bluescreen was an unsaved list of mild grievances I have filed against the new software.

Purple: do you ever like new software though?
Azz: ... I, uh. The new Kipper/Llama?
Purple: That doesn't count. that was an update.

Manager: They're getting a lot of people to buy it, somehow! Like one of the guys from [2nd Thursday].
Azz: *squinches eyes, searches* Oh! [firstname lastname, company]
Manager: One of these days your head is going to explode from all the pointless trivia.
Azz: *concedes the point*

I think the two worst are that you don't get an email receipt of your ticket until it's triaged, and that you can't link it to your buddy unless you add them to the ticket. Mr. Zune is regretful, as reading my tickets is a minor source of entertainment.

Purple is expected to be working from home tomorrow afternoon, and then working from home another day due to internet techs paying a visit or some such. It will be more quiet than usual, I suppose!

My manager nearly gave me a heart attack when she said "Friday is my last day," and then paused before continuing "before my vacation." She had advice on the things that get filtered into side boxes; my suggestion that she set a filter to override if the subject contained "READ READ READ" resulted in uproarious and possibly mutinous laughter.

The dude came to test the noise levels in our wing just as the jelly doughnut-based hilarity reached peak. He'll get a quote on insulating the walls against the noise.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2014 12:32 pm
roga: (Default)
[personal profile] roga
Baby sis is on leave for a few days \o/ Will be arriving home today.

errr I'm trying to think of something else to add to this post but am coming up blank. Uh. I went to an international workshop production of La Boheme yesterday? That was nice - I hadn't realized just how closely Rent followed the plot of the opera. THAT WAS INTERESTING.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
StPatience has been working on slides for a talk, in the traditional (which is to say, last-minute) fashion. #adventuresofstnono have been cheering her on, in our inimitable style.

[20:34] <@Purple> conclusion is "Step 1, get underpants... step 3 success!"
[20:34] * @AzureJaneL throws underpants at Purple
[20:34] * @AzureJaneL not sure whose
[20:35] * @Purple dodges effectively.
[20:35] <@AzureJaneL> (certainly not mine, as I'm wearing them)
[20:36] <@AzureJaneL> (but can he dodge the boomarang boxers, is the question)
[20:36] <@Purple> if they hold a shape that is a sad sad statement
[20:37] <@AzureJaneL> clever rolling and pins?
[20:37] <@AzureJaneL> would that be more or less painful than just straight up crusty?
[20:38] <@Purple> when you figure that out... remind me not to ask...
[20:39] <@AzureJaneL> that's one that would be difficult to explain to the IRB
Read more... )

Daily Happiness

Jul. 21st, 2014 10:39 pm
torachan: john from garfield wearing a party hat and the text "this is boring with hats" (this is boring with hats)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Irene made a pumpkin cheesecake today and it was super delicious!

2. Posted more manga! Now I just need to hustle and get the translation for Yasha done... (How does the end of the month alway come so quickly?)

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