Two signal-boosts:

First: Free Admission to ITHACON40/Pippi to Ripley3, the Ithaca College Campus, Saturday May 2, 2015 10am-5pm. Special Guests: Bruce Coville and Laura Lee Gulledge. Free kids workshops include: comic drawing workshops, fantasy writing, steampunk art, superhero cape making, star wars armor workshop, Japanese sword, Belly Dance, Pathfinder RPG game, Game Space, and Zombie Ballroom.

ITHACON40 full guest lineup; Pippi to Ripley full program.

Plus a Friday evening event (also free):

7:00-9:00 Panel on Women Making Comics (Klingenstein Lounge, Ithaca College Campus Center), with Laura Lee Gulledge, Morgan McKenzie (published as “Maegan Cook”), and Danielle (Ielle) Palmer.

Pippi to Ripley is where I gave my Mary Sue talk a couple years ago; I can't make it this year, but if you can, check it out.

Second: the Tiptree Award is expanding into Fellowships, to "support the development of new work, in any form or genre, that uses speculative narrative to expand or explore our understanding of gender, especially in its intersections with race, nationality, class, disability, sexuality, age, and other categories of identification and structures of power" ($500 year, two recipients). The application process is being developed in coordination with micha cárdenas; applications are expected to be opened at the upcoming WisCon (May 22-25, 2015).
crossposted from Cogito, Ergo Sumana

screen capture of 'Another Sunday'When Leonard and I lived in the Bay Area and drove south to Bakersfield to see his mom every few months, he got a satellite radio subscription. I'd navigate the music channels and look at the device to see the name of the artist and ask him to guess. When he couldn't tell, he often guessed "REM" (for loud stuff) or "Belle & Sebastian" (for quiet stuff).

Right now I'm working on an ambitious fanvidding project and am thus watching a bunch of other ambitious fanvids (e.g., chaila's "Watershed", danegen's "Around the Bend", counteragent's "Coin Operated Boy") to take notes on technique (e.g., exactly how many 100%-dark frames serve as a good stutter in frightening montages, versus how many blank frames help reset the eye and prepare it for a new sequence). Just now I was watching "Another Sunday" by Jescaflowne, set to "We Built This City" by Jefferson Starship. I checked the timecode scrubber. "Hey Leonard," I said facetiously. "Did you know that rock songs used to be four and a half minutes long?"

He looked at my screen as we made up Freakonomics-worthy nonsensical explanations of why this used to be the case. "What show is that?"

"Stargate Atlantis."

At this, Leonard developed a hypothesis that Stargate Atlantis and Supernatural are like REM and Belle & Sebastian, viz., if he can't tell what fandom a vid is, and there are spaceships and lots of guns, it's SGA, and if there are no spaceships and nearly no guns, it's Supernatural.

As a data point, I've watched zero SGA and one ep of SPN ("Fan Fiction"), but have spent happy hours enjoying fic and vids about both, particularly the critical readings -- if you're waiting for Ann Leckie's next Ancillaryverse installment, you could do worse than reading "Second Verse (Same as the First)" by Friendshipper/Sholio. I wonder whether the same thing will happen to me with Teen Wolf.


Married Life at the Moated Grange

The Lady Mariana's devotion to Lord Angelo is a legend in Vienna. Did she not plead for his life before the Duke, in spite of being jilted by him, in spite of his aspersions on her character? Though he is a disgraced man, cast out from the Duke's counsels, she defers prettily to him when visitors come to the moated grange, asks his advice, even though everyone knows that it was her grasp of business that enabled her to recover her fallen fortunes.

Two lovely children, too!

Such a pity that Lord Angelo suffers so with his health, so frequently sick, and the physicians helpless to understand his ailment.

Even though Lady Mariana seeks the prayers of the sisters of St Clare, so noted for their sanctity, and in particular that holiest of the sisters, the former Isabella.


In the convent parlour, a screen. If they converse, the sisters may not show their faces.

Mariana puts down the bundle she is carrying.

'I no longer need this habit. Even that can no longer arouse him.'

'His health grows no better?'

'Nor will it. I thank you for the lending of it. I have my children - my darling babies. He owed me that, leaving me neither wife, widow, nor free woman for so long.'


Lord Angelo lies abed, mortally sick. No-one comes.

The door opens. Marianna looks in.

'Why, my lord, you have not drunk your posset.' She comes further into the room. 'Here, let me help you to it.'

He stares in terror, but is too weak to resist when she lifts his head, raised the cup to his lips. 'This will cure what ails you.'


Black suits the Lady Mariana, as she follows her husband's coffin. The heavy veiling hides the smile on her lips. Five years. Five years, measure still for measure, Angelo has suffered. No-one would have believed claims made by such a disgraced man against his so obviously loving wife.

Now she is free.

so it actually kind of bothers me that curcumin and bioperine - which are basically curry reduced to that degrading format known as the "dietary supplement" - work better than naproxen or acetaminophen for me.

(Haven't yet done a test with ibuprofen, and combining aspirin with naproxen gives similar results to the curry pills.)
(See, I DO have a Star Wars icon!)

In other news, yes, your dog loves you.

Oh, man, this flowchart about whether to go to law school. Yikes. If it had existed in 1989, my life would be very different now.

Chris McDougall's Born to Run kicked off the minimalist running movement. He's hoping to do the same with parkour in his new book, Natural Born Heroes. I admit that I'm intrigued by some of the exercises in this excerpt.


I think that unionized worker-owned cooperative cab companies are a great idea.

Because it's Tracy Chapman, performing Stand By Me on the David Letterman show. I can't believe she's aged at all, because her voice is still gold. (H/T to N on Twitter.)

This is a killer fan-trailer for the rumored Black Widow movie. Great use of non-Marvel source.


In other news, my regular running partner (my sister) has been diagnosed with arthritis in her knee and isn't supposed to run downhill or run hard anymore. This is terrible for her, since she's identified as a runner since she was 14. It's also bad for me, because she expected me to run with her Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6AM for the last seven years.

How will I outsource my discipline now?
Title: Hannibal Rising (Hannibal Lecter Book 4)
Author: Thomas Harris
Published: New York: Delacorte Press, 2006
Rating: 1 of 5
Page Count: 336
Total Page Count: 157,360
Text Number: 459
Read Because: continuing the series, ebook borrowed from Multnomah County Library
Review: This is Hannibal's backstory and the evolution of his sociopathy--and it's unexpectedly boring. What was functional when seen in enigmatic glimpses feels predictable when writ in full, making Hannibal too much like Harris's episodic serial killers: thoughtful but traditional in creation and, worse, never as interesting as Harris believes. Combined with the racism and fridging and off-color premise, it's a universal disappointment. This book isn't worth it, even and especially for fans. Hannibal is supposed to be different, more profound, but this book makes him into more of the same; skip it, and let him retain his mystery.
My mental health is such a fucking headtrip sometimes. (I know, sounds like a tautology, but–normally my reality testing is fairly good.)

About six months a lot of my bullying-sourced crazy got triggered like mad and my head went back to the place that I am awful and unlovable and everyone is going to desert me. So, since last autumn, I’ve been low-level convinced that at least half the people I know casually despise me. If I haven’t kept in touch over the winter odds are I’ve been thinking, like, “It would be awkward to force myself on people who dislike me so much. I’ll have to save making amends and mending fences for when I’m more recuperated.”

I’m better in many ways these days but the residue of crazy clings. So when I extend little gestures of “Do you still hate me now?” to friends and acquaintances and they’re just friendly and glad to hear from me, it blows my fucking mind every time.
(We marathoned a lot more of it last night than we were really planning on. Send help.)

Some spoilers )
Most of my nightmares are about lying on my back unable to move while something bad happens over me: I've been stabbed in the chest and am too weak to get up and the Bad Guy is about to stab my eye (I once started talking in my sleep during a dream like this and scared elongated_tito, who was in the same room), or someone's doing surgery on me and I'm still awake but can't move, or I'm hiding between two objects hoping the bad guy in the room doesn't look down, or I'm trying to use an immateriality charm that'll protect me from the RAIN OF KNIVES but if I move even a little... etc.

Or I've just fallen down and lost motor control while trying to do something important. I have occasional anxiety dreams like that: trying to walk but falling down every few steps, not being able to use my hands or talk. But this is usually just annoying or mildly frightening without the lying-on-my-back aspect - that's where it turns into something I'd classify as a nightmare.

The thing is, unless there's some childhood incident I've totally forgotten, I do not have significant real-life trauma like this. I never ended up lying on my back during any of my dumb kid fights, and the only time I recall someone actually knocking me completely off my feet, I landed on my side. And my three official Worst Traumas did not involve any physical violence. I think these nightmares are about another nightmare.

Read more... )
The title is somewhat misleading - only about half the book takes place on the farm, and she's only there for a few months. But that's okay because the title successfully convinced me to read the book, and the book is great. It's the letters home of a young woman traveling through North America for six months in 1882 with her sister.

So it begins by detailing their travels from England to North America, and then the visits to various eastern US cities, and train ride out west, until eventually they reach Manitoba. They spend several spring/summer months on their brother's farm 17 miles out from Winnipeg, and spend most of this time working very hard on the farm. Then they move on further west to hang out in the Rockies and admire scenery and learn about mining. And then they go home.

The thing that struck me most is how cheerful the author is. She's working hard, and doing some pretty uncomfortable things, and yet her outlook is always positive - she's having the time of her life on this trip and nothing will stop this being the case.

I'm very curious about more of the backstory of this woman and her sister and their trip. Why did they decide to make this trip? Why did their family feel okay letting these two young women do all this traveling on their own? And so forth. She's clearly from a high-class background, what with all the letters of introduction they have to important people, and the money to make this trip, and all that. And they've never done anything like having to cook for themselves before going on this trip, which seems to have been something of a steep learning curve in terms of doing things for themselves.

The writing is charming and full of lots of great details and a definite sense of humour. I thoroughly enjoyed it. (My one warning would be that there are a few bits of period-typical racism.)
Please note that I am not actually going to die, I just feel shitty.
I dreamed about his new show that's basically just the dude being upset that women liked Madoka. A bunch of magical girls are at a magical girl boarding school, and each episode is about their vicious in-fighting, usually culminating in at least one death. Which is the purpose of the school - there can be only three magical girls at a time.

It takes a few episodes for the deaths to start. We're initially introduced to three specific girls as the protagonists, with one in particular, who's Robin Hood-themed and has invisibility powers, being set up as the heroine. A couple episodes in, Robin is thrown into conflict with one of the other two, panics, and kills her.

When she calms down, she immediately starts rationalizing what she did to herself and the two or three other kids who talk to her. Then, to drive home the point that this is not the first time Robin has killed another child, she finishes up the episode by killing three other girls.

There's a flashback episode about a girl with some sort of healing power, who we haven't seen at the school yet - we assume she's about to be recruited and will be the transfer student who becomes the new protagonist. She's trans and living with another trans girl, and it's pretty cute right until the other girl is horribly murdered. Then we move forward forty years and find out that healing-girl is the evil dean.
I've hit my limit with Acronis's mysterious failures.

Needs to have incremental or differential backup options as well as automatic deletion of old versions.
oursin: The Delphic Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel (Delphic sibyl)
([personal profile] oursin Apr. 18th, 2015 10:46 am)
[N]ot everything in life can include everyone.... The other day, I heard a famous actor complaining that National Siblings Day (not an occasion most people have noticed) was an insulting kick in the teeth to only children, who have no siblings to celebrate. It did strike me then that we might be losing the crucial differentiation between “something that seems benign enough and just isn’t aimed at me” and “something that isn’t aimed at me and therefore must have been invented solely to bring about my destruction”.
(Sophie Heawood, good column on why is David Cameron so afraid of single parents?)

This very much articulates things I was thinking during the week in the context of the Current Unpleasantness: that there are lots of things I have no desire to do but I am happy to live in a society where people who actually do those things can do them: e.g. go to Glastonbury Festival (the thought of which, blud thikkt wiv cold), swim in the Hampstead ponds (am weak swimmer, also, moorhen poo); that talk I heard from someone about Brixton gay squats and communal living, even unto shared underwear, where I was DO.NOT.WANT as anything I would do but, hey, diff'rent strokes, etc.

Intersecting with people who do not want to pay for public services which they do not personally use, without thinking about the benefits of living in a society which provides those (I do not have children but I am strongly in favour of better childcare facilities and education).

Which segues on, possibly not entirely intuitively, into post on the CU in which somebody pointed out that things which tend to win awards are those which are perhaps not subverting the tropes but at least doing something different with them, but the works which sells huge numbers are often those which are doing the tropes straight and uncomplicated (Chosen Ones, car chases, space battles, etc etc etc).

Which made me realise that there are various subgenres which, hedjog don't read as a general thing, but there are things that hedjog do read which are within those genres but begin from the trope-subversion - e.g. I was inhaling those Courtney Milan 'Brothers Sinister' romances some months ago.

(Have just started something that I thought was going to mix it up vis a vis tropes, and a short way in, am really not so sure. O HAI the exceptional bookish young woman thrown among tittering slaves to fashion...)

But, you know, maybe you have to have those things. And sometimes even the most stock trope of narratives can be kicked up several levels by the way it's done. Anyhow, I don't go around saying OMG we should ABOLISH milsf or alpha shapeshifter urban fantasy. Take it away, Sly and co:

thistleingrey: (Default)
([personal profile] thistleingrey Apr. 17th, 2015 10:12 pm)
* Upon being asked why Reason likes Pete the Cat (we have two slim books, one in which his brother teaches him to surf (it's okay to be afraid, but it's more fun to surf) and one in which he hates everything that reminds him of bananas after eating one "bad" banana---neither of which I've bought), Reason has said that it's because he's sort of a cat. Delicate follow-up querying suggests that it's more interesting that he does these things anthropomorphized; if he were a human child or truly catlike, it wouldn't hold her.

I'd wondered because anthropomorphized anything rarely made sense to me, in childhood or since. And yes, my paraphrase, because she does not know the word "anthropomorphic" yet. (She can nearly say five-syllable words consistently without slurring two of the syllables together---sometimes she does, sometimes not---but this one's concept remains a bit tricky.)

Of notional relevance: [ profile] sartorias's recent post.

* Our CSA wants non-egg subscribers to try their eggs. Two chicken eggs were in a little carton in our box, accordingly, which darkforge picked up exceedingly late that evening. It's been warmish, but I had compatible leftover soup, so I steamed the cracked egg into nearly hard-boiledness atop the soup solids (at a low boil for two minutes, then left with lid on and stove heat off for fifteen minutes). Since the egg hadn't been washed, I figured that it'd do, and indeed I haven't succumbed to a vile infection. Now I need to do something with the other egg, since I'm not daring enough to repeat the was-the-day-too-hot coin toss upon Reason. Usually one egg is consumed in our household every other week via Reason's banana-oat "bread," a piece of which accompanies her daily to preschool as replacement for their (almost devoid of nutritional content) slice of gluten-free toast.

* I have passed beyond strrrress for the dayjob, which is sort of bad because detachment means not noticing potential warning signs, IME.

* On that note, perhaps some light reading to close the day instead of continued computer use.

snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
([personal profile] snarp Apr. 17th, 2015 11:09 pm)
I am definitely going to die in about an hour, two hours. Or eventually.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
([personal profile] sholio Apr. 17th, 2015 04:57 pm)
Outside-the-cut comments: still really enjoying it. Of course ... superheroes. You could probably put a cape on a beach ball and I'd watch that.

(Although Marvel superheroes don't really have capes on their costumes, do they? Magneto does, I guess ... he's the only one I can think of off the top of my head.) ETA: Okay, yes, as [personal profile] st_aurafina pointed out, I'm forgetting Thor of all people. Among others. Still, capes don't seem to be quite as much of a thing for Marvel superheroes as they are over in the DCU.

Spoilers up through 1x06 )
yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
([personal profile] yhlee Apr. 17th, 2015 06:30 pm)
I want to hole up with my keyboard for a year and just churn out music, music, music. So many ideas! C minor! Chords! Syncopation! Tactus! Head asplode! schedule for the rest of 2015 makes this completely impossible. *cries*

But until Joe gets home to take us out for dinner, I can play.


rachelmanija: (Default)

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