22 September 2017 @ 12:24 pm
This morning I met up with boss3 to do a site visit at a conference space in the Empire State Building and gosh, it was a beautiful room. I say site visit like the meeting is not actually taking place there next week (it is); it was more to introduce me to the staff on site since boss3 will be away and I will be staffing the meeting. Just like my meeting planner days! Now I have to put together the BEOs for the caterer etc. It's so fun! If I only ever had to do meetings in NYC, I would go back to meeting planning. It was the travel that killed me. Among other things. (uh, the building on my icon is the Chrysler Building, but you get the idea.)

I hadn't been to the Empire State Building since I was a kid, and [tumblr.com profile] angelgazing was like, "Why even live in NYC if you don't go to the attractions?" and I was like, "I've never even been to the Statue of Liberty." *hands* Generally speaking, the thought of masses of tourists repels more than the attractions attract. Unless someone from out of town wants to go, I generally don't do those kinds of things, though they are always fun when I do.

Anyway. The Good Place had its season 2 premiere Wednesday night, but it started at 10 pm and when I saw that I was like, "oh hell no!" I am not cut out for 10 pm shows anymore. So I set the DVR and watched it last night.

Spoilers from here on out! Please don't read if you haven't watched. It's a show that works best unspoiled the first time around! spoilers for all of s1 and the s2 premiere )

[personal profile] rachelmanija has a much more thoughtful post here.

***
 
 
Current Music: Sweet Jane - Lou Reed
Current Mood: bouncy
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 09:00 am

The general theme for this month has been stages of life, and we close that out with rites of passage. Next week, because the Patreon passed one of its funding goals a while ago, will be a fifth (bonus) essay, on the more theory-side aspects of worldbuilding!

Comment over there.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

 
 
22 September 2017 @ 11:12 am


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
How many blondes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, because automation has eliminated the need for humans.

New comic!
Today's News:
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 11:55 pm
Today’s prompt is “long time no see”.
Tags:
 
 
 

Posted by John Scalzi

And being an “Audible Deal of the Day” means you get to spend very little to get the book — in this case something like $3. The deal as far as I know is limited to the US and maybe Canada, and it’s only for today. So if you want it at this price, you need to jump on it. It’s perfect for the folks who love audiobooks, or for the folks who have never tried audiobooks but would be willing to give them a chance at a low price point, or for the folks who simply want Wil Wheaton to read to them in those dulcet tones of his.

Here’s the link to the audiobook. Enjoy!


 
 
22 September 2017 @ 09:45 am
[personal profile] analise010 is doing a one-card draw to raise money to test as an actuary.
 
 
It's time for our regular reccer recruiting post, and to look ahead to the next month. So far we have FOUR volunteer reccers who signed up for October with these fandoms:

* Aquaman ([personal profile] mific)
* Bandom ([personal profile] lucifuge5)
* Person of Interest ([personal profile] felis)
* Steven Universe ([personal profile] juniperphoenix)

So while we already have a few recs to look forward to in October, it would of course be awesome if we had some more recs. There is still plenty of opportunity for you to jump in and volunteer to rec next month (or to convince your friends to do some reccing). And many cheers for all of our members who volunteer to rec, especially if you rec regularly. Your valiant repeat efforts keep the comm alive.

Looking even further ahead so far only ONE reccer has volunteered for November, so that month definitely still needs some love (and recs! *g*) too. So please consider reccing in a fandom of your choice, whether small or huge, and comment on the sign-up post and volunteer for October, November or even further ahead if you are so well organized, that you know your fannish interests and time commitments in advance. It's only four recs as a minimum, and you can rec any genre or rating. Or promote us to your friends or in your favorite communities so others do the work.

Open Rec Posting

The monthly open reccing period for all members starts now and lasts until the end of September. Since the general prompts don't seem to work as inspiration, I've decided to stop adding them, but to keep the open reccing period in case anyone wants to slip a rec in, without having to come up with three others for a fandom. However the recs do still have to conform to the usual rec format and follow the rules for what is allowed to be recced here.

(Comments here are disabled, because I want to bundle volunteering in the sign-up post so that nothing gets lost, and you can see the list of claimed slots there too.)
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 07:15 am
OK, y'all have convinced me -- well, y'all along with someone in my book group who talks about it a lot -- to check it out. I'm only on s. 1 e. 6, so I am going to say naive things, but . . .

Wow, is this show cheesetastic. I can see why my partner gave up after episode 1, when it first aired. But then, I watched Lost Girl, so clearly kickass women, a sense of humor, and sex positivity go pretty far with me, especially if the cheese is that special Canadian brand. I'm definitely caught up in it.

It doesn't hurt that I am going through a Western phase at the moment -- someone watch Strange Empire on Netflix so I have someone to talk about it with, please? Of course I am most fascinated by Doc, since he's actually *from* the Old West and since I'm always fascinated by out-of-time characters. Especially since he has a little bit of a Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood combined with Timothy Olyphant in Justified thing going. (Hell, I watched Santa Clarita Diet for Timothy Olyphant.) I'm sure I can't trust him as far as I can throw him, though, and I mean me, not Wynonna, and I can throw way less far than she can.

Wynnona clearly gets her clothes in the same place that Jessica Jones gets hers. In fact, my first reaction was that this was kinda ilke a Western JJ, if Jessica hung out with Willow Rosenberg instead of Trish Walker. I mean, Wynonna has a different personality, but a lot of traits in common with Jess.

I am spoiled enough to know about later ships. But I would like to know why any character who is a) attractive and b) not directly or ancestrally connected to the OK Corral incident has a ridiculous name like Dolls or Haught-pronounced-Hot? I know this has its origins in a graphic novel (mostly because I read it in the credits), but it's distracting.

Also, Canada should make all the Westerns, modern or past, because Scenery.
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 12:11 pm
Title: Airplane
Fandom: Xena Warrior Princess
Vidder: [personal profile] frayadjacent 
Song: Airplane (edited for length) by The Indigo Girls
Characters: Gabrielle, Argo, Xena
Summary: Travelling with Xena is hard

Download and streaming at my journal

 
 
22 September 2017 @ 10:52 am
I've been travelling a lot, which means plenty of time for reading but not much for DW posting.

What I've finished reading since my last post:

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty. What I thought would be a fun, tight-knit murder mystery turned out to be a big story covering hundreds of years, major political upheavals, and some thought-provoking ideas about clones. I enjoyed this a lot.

Redshirts by John Scalzi. It was a fun book and made me laugh, but as my first Scalzi novel, I can't say it made me want to read more.

The Thessaly series by Jo Walton (The Just City, The Philosopher Kings, and Necessity). An interesting series, especially as an exploration of utopia. I never thought I'd read a book that would make me excited about the god Apollo. I found that even though I wasn't enormously taken in by the plots or characters, I couldn't put them down, and I think that's just because the prose is so damn readable. I came to particularly love the character Maia, and was bummed that she wasn't in the last novel.

Lavinia, by Ursula K Le Guin. I've had the e-book for ages, and after I finished The Just City, but before I realised there were two more novels after it, I was in the mood for more Bronze Age fiction. Le Guin's prose is as wonderful as ever, and I loved the use of the device that Lavinia -- and everyone else -- was a character in the Aeneid, not a historical figure. I find Le Guin's tendency toward gender essentialism more annoying than I used to.

The Small Change trilogy by Jo Walton (Farthing, Ha'penny, and Half a Crown). Detective noir/political thriller series set in an AU where the UK made peace with the Nazis and the US never joined WWII. In the first book, one of the POV characters is happily married to a man with the same first and last name as Mr. Adjacent, and it was very strange! At several points I thought I'd have to stop reading it because this character was under serious threat and I thought he might die. The end of the series was narratively satisfying but politically annoying. Between this series and the Thessaly series I have read two instances in Walton where the oppressed and their allies basically convinced those in power (or rather, a sympathetic faction of those in power) to stop oppressing them. I'm with Fredrick Douglass on that one.

What I'm currently reading

My Real Children by Jo Walton. Yes, I'm on a kick. I've just started this, but I'm hoping it will be more the intimate, character-driven story that Among Others was. As much as I've enjoyed Walton's books that I've read since then, none of them can hold a candle to that one.

Also, I'm slowly re-reading Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand by Ursula K Le Guin. I read it for the first (and only) time more than 15 years ago, so all I really remember is the overall feel of the book.

What I'll read next

I pre-ordered the new Philip Pullman book, La Belle Sauvage, and it will be arriving in less than a month. I told myself I'd re-read His Dark Materials first. Also, last year I purchased N.K. Jemisin's Obelisk Gate but decided to wait until the third book was out before reading the whole trilogy (including re-reading The Fifth Season). Now the third book is out but I haven't bought it yet. And finally, I have four books on hold from the library and I plan to drop anything else to read them once they become available. In other words, I don't know.

Free book-shaped space

I finally got my account set up to get e-books from the library and my book buying is plummeting (excepting the Le Guin haul, described below) while my reading rate soars. I'm so pleased.

I recently learned that Worldcon 77 (in 2019) will be in Dublin! I really really want to go -- Dublin is cheaper to get to than London and almost as easy -- but it's within a week of my 10-year wedding anniversary, when we are also planning a big trip. I know this is nearly two years away, but August always ends up filled with family travel, so I feel like I do have to plan this far in advance in order for it to happen.

I went to Portland, Oregon in August, for the first time since probably 2003. I went to Powell's and re-purchased many of the Le Guin books I'd gotten rid of in a misguided purge a few years ago. All the books I bought were used -- I prefer to buy used books anyway, but these were necessarily so since I bought out of print books. Anyway, my Le Guin library is slowly being restored. Also, I almost bought a few missing Earthsea novels, but then a guy at the checkout counter told me that next year they'll be releasing a new illustrated version of the series, so I decided to hold out for that. Speaking of, the fancy illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is coming out soon. I seem to be collecting them all, but I'm really curious to see how they'll do the later books, as even The Philosopher's Stone is huge and unweildy.


 
 
 
 
 
I don't know how many of these methods I'll keep up in the long-term, but I thought I'd list them in case they're of use or interest to anyone else.

Essentially I found myself in a mood to ask myself, just how much plastic is passing into the environment via my purchasing habits? Even though I send a lot of it to recycling, that's its own use of energy. Mostly I was looking at my grocery shopping:


  • I already take my own reusable bags (or reuse old plastic bags) at the checkout, and for fruit as well. I do like to get the occasional new plastic bag for use as bin-liners; I'm going to try emptying their contents directly into the red bin for a while, instead of tying the bags off and putting them in all together. But I haven't found myself throwing much into the red bin since making this resolution so no data on how that goes.

  • A 2L plastic bottle of milk every 7-10 days. And you can't even reuse milk bottles to store water against emergencies; hygiene aside, the plastic breaks down over time. Speaking of emergencies, though, I'd been considering getting a bag of milk powder for my supplies. So I thought I'd try it in every-day use. So far it's worked well in baking, yoghurt-making, hot chocolate, and morning cereal, ie all my normal uses except drinking straight from the fridge, which will wait until summer for testing. It takes a few moments extra in the morning to mix it (my preferred method: boil the jug, dissolve the powder in a bit of boiling water, then add cold to desired strength) but it's become part of my routine over the last couple of weeks so I think I will keep this one up. Bonuses: here at least it's significantly cheaper than fresh milk; no running out at inconvenient moments; and conversely no finding that it's gone sour before I've finished it.

  • A plastic bag around my bread each week. I've revived my bread-making to avoid this; to be honest it's the one I'm least likely to keep up. OTOH I have discovered that if I bake the bread and let the oven cool somewhat but not completely, it's a great place to incubate yoghurt overnight. And the bread is so tasty - it's just the time it takes. We'll see. I may just keep going through phases on it.

  • A plastic bag of muesli every week or so. I'm experimenting with pick-n-mix (taking my own bags) but pick-n-mix rolled oats alone cost about the same as (budget) prepackaged muesli. :-( Does anyone know why rolled oats and muesli come in plastic, when flour and sugar come in paper??

  • A couple of plastic packages of shaved ham every few weeks. (The recycling status of which I was never sure about, so red-binned them!) Careful attention revealed that cheap ham at the deli is cheaper than cheap ham prepackaged. Moreover today I was brave and found out that if you take your own container along they'll use that instead of a fresh plastic bag. (At least the guy I struck today did, and even set the scales to discount the weight of the container though I wouldn't have minded that little bit.) So I just need to keep organised.



Beyond plastic - I've also taken to washing dishes in a tub, and using the water on the garden. (Someone at church has set up her laundry pipes to use water from that on the garden; I think I'd just flood the house.)

And recently I came across SolarAid, a charity whose selling point is that you can 'offset your carbon' from flights you make by funding solar-powered lights for personal use (eg kids doing homework) in developing countries to replace kerosene, which besides emitting copious carbon dioxide is expensive, not that bright, and seriously unhealthy. It seems win-win-win so I looked for a catch but couldn't find any.

Anyway this came at a time shortly after a) I'd made some international flights and b) I'd received a tax rebate from last year's charitable donations so next thing you know I'd apparently donated enough to get sent an example solar light in the mail. It just arrived today, and it's cute and lightweight and works out of the packaging, and I'm weighing up whether it goes in my emergency kit or to City Mission here because goodness knows it's not just kids in the developing world who can't do homework due to lack of money for power.:-(
 
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 12:22 am
How do you do your hair/makeup? Why?

It's long and curly. I just brush it. I don't do makeup. Because I really couldn't give a flying fuck.

the rest )
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 07:09 am
Learning is acquired by reading books; but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading man, and studying all the various editions of them.

Lord Chesterfield, statesman and writer (22 Sep 1694-1773)
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 09:44 am
I have my hockey presentation night tonight, but due to a blood test, I can't eat anything and shouldn't drink anything but water after 10pm. Which is not entirely a bad thing because I don't actually feel like socialising tonight. Set INTROVERSION to ON.

I want to go home tonight and write; and then tomorrow I want to do ALL THE PLANTING AND GARDENING.
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 01:00 am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 22, 2017 is:

yeasty • \YEE-stee\  • adjective

1 : of, relating to, or resembling yeast

2 a : immature, unsettled

b : marked by change

c : full of vitality

d : frivolous

Examples:

"[A]ll this yeasty mingling of dimly understood facts with vague but deep impressions … had been disturbing her during the weeks of her engagement." — George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, 1876

"'O.K., I'm ready,' Ms. Boym said, addressing this reporter's microphone and letting loose a warm, yeasty laugh." — William L. Hamilton, The New York Times, 28 Nov. 2002

Did you know?

The word yeast has existed in English for as long as the language has existed. Spellings have varied over time—in Middle English it was yest and in Old English gist or giest—but the word's meaning has remained basically the same for centuries. In its first documented English uses in the 1500s, the adjective yeasty described people or things with a yellowish or frothy appearance similar to the froth that forms on the top of fermented beverages (such as beers or ales). Since then, a number of extended figurative senses of yeasty have surfaced, all of which play in some way or another on the excitable, chemical nature of fermentation, such as by connoting unsettled activity or significant change.



 
 
21 September 2017 @ 10:32 pm
The bad decision train left at 4am, with me too tired to stay up until noon, and with too little sleep available to wake up at 11, so I didn't get to temple this afternoon. I did temporarily wake up at the appropriate time, but then I was like "there's no transliteration in the books and you stumble too much to say the prayers, so you won't get anything out of it anyway, and you'll have to park across the street which will be a hard and painful walk and your back will hurt before you even start standing up to pray. So I talked myself out of it and went to sleep.

Kevin called at 11 and said he was done with work for the day because he has to work Saturday. Then when I woke up at 2 he still wasn't home. Apparently he called Brian and wound up going out to lunch with him, and decided I wouldn't know because I'd be at tmeple, so he didn't tell me he wasn't coming straight home, and I was very nervous by the time he came home. Now he has two days of working from home, plus he gets to get off early on Friday (next Friday I think not this Friday), to make up for the hours he did work today.

We talked a little bit, then I went to Panera to meet Tia and Klepto. I wrote over 1000 words on my Star Trek short stories, and then started reading DW for about half an hour because my brain was just not having any of it. My brain had better get over this not having any of it by November because I'm relying on a successful NaNoWriMo to finish my goals for the year. I think it'll be better when I have a novel I'm writing instead of the short stories. I hope.

Came home, read LJ, read my bat mitzvah portion over again - the first half of it came easier, the second half came harder for some reason, even though I know most of the words in the second half of it. Read my Bible, and generally prepared for the end of the day.

Anyway, Shanah Tova to the Jews, and Happy Mabon to the pagans, happy Friday to the rest of you.


Another Friendzy


happy fall multifandom friending meme!
 
 
In All This Wide World (10252 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Pining, Action/Adventure, Dinosaurs, Happy Ending, Avengers Vol. 3 (1998)
Summary: Tony's known Steve for ten years. With the formation of a brand-new team, with their bright future ahead of them, Tony's decided that it's finally time to ask Steve out. Now. Today. But his plans are interrupted when they have to go to the Savage Land -- where, of course, they are marooned together. Just the two of them, miles of jungle, profusely-bleeding injuries, and packs of vicious carnivorous dinosaurs. Not only are they not going to get to go on that date, they may not make it home alive at all.

This is my entry for the Superhusbands Aluminum Anniversary Anthology free digital zine, released today, of interest if you enjoy Steve/Tony. I collaborated with [personal profile] phoenixmetaphor, whose art can be found here.

The zine requirements were (a) nothing explicit and (b) no AUs and it took us FOREVER to come up with something that would be fun for me to write and her to draw until we hit upon DINOSAURS. Rawr. So here's some Savage Land h/c.

(Also, here is AIM Raptor, who did not make it into the story itself but is present in all of our hearts.)
 
 
 
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 12:19 am

Posted by John Scalzi

Featuring an Amish gentleman on a recumbent bicycle. As all the best first sunsets of fall do.

So long, summer. You did all right.


 
 
 
21 September 2017 @ 08:28 pm
 You can claim this pinch hit by commenting at the Google Group or e-mailing the mods at femslashexmod@gmail.com. Don't forget to include your AO3 username!

Pinch Hit #12
Fandoms: Degrassi: Next Class, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, GLOW, The Good Place, Big Love
Medium/s: Fanart, fanfic
 
 
21 September 2017 @ 07:22 pm
On a more trivial note (yes, yes, the world is ending, and I'm blogging about telly), I really enjoyed hate-watching Defenders. Which is to say that it was nearly all shit except for the scene where Luke Cage teaches Iron Fist about white privilege. I mean, I can't believe I wasted like 8 hours of my life but in the same way, it made me feel like a better writer because I didn't write it.

spoilers )
 
 
 
 
21 September 2017 @ 06:09 pm
 I watched the first season of The Good Place a few weeks back when Netflix added it and the season 2 premiere last night.  It's excellent, but it really is a show best watched knowing nothing but the general premise.  I actually did go in spoiled, due to tumblr fandom's need to gif one actor's perfect comedic timing in the season 1 finale, and it was interesting to see all the clues as I watched it, but I also wish I'd gone in unspoiled.

I'm not usually a fan of sitcoms (including this, I just barely need two hands to count the US sitcoms I've watched as an adult) and this one is rightly loved both by sitcom fans and people who don't usually watch sitcoms.  Season 1 is on Netflix and season 2 is on Hulu, and I think NBC's website has all episodes.
 
 
21 September 2017 @ 06:44 pm

⌈ Secret Post #3914 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 08 secrets from Secret Submission Post #560.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
 
 
21 September 2017 @ 09:56 pm
Did a round of donations tonight. So much going on, but hopefully little bits can help. Skuld's done her 5 Calls once this week, and I'm trying to cheerlead/threaten her to do another round.

It feels really Peak 2017 that it's difficult to write about anything in my own life without prefacing it with the above... Things are pretty terrible, and I feel vaguely guilty for having good news?

But - I have good news:
Skuld's Swedish residency permit was approved!!!

What this means is: she is allowed to move to Sweden! And live there permanently! (And then after three years she can apply for citizenship!!) And it only took... a year and two months and a couple of weeks?

More good news:
I found an airline that will fly our cats out of Britain in the cabin rather than the hold!! The reason I missed it last time I did research was that they have no direct flights (boo), but it's a reasonably fast 4 hours airport to airport and it means we won't have to entrust the kitties to strangers and have them fly in the hold (I know people who've had pets "lost" from the hold so THANK GOODNESS) and they can come with us and we can get them all moved within a day!

And this means that we actually have a timeline. This is actually happening. We're getting out of Brexit land and moving to Sweden with our cats and starting exciting new jobs - all before the year is out.

I think it'll go like this )