staranise: A stone angel, holding a distressed woman in her arms. ([personal] Back off; this one's mine)
([personal profile] staranise Apr. 19th, 2014 04:25 pm)
Short Term 12 goes up on my movie list next to Oranges and Sunshine for amazing depictions of the helping professions and trauma.

Short Term 12 itself is a theoretically short-term placement facility for foster children, and the movie centres around the house's lead worker Grace and her boyfriend Mason, who also works at the house. Their work forms the backbone of their charges' days, since they create the safety and stability that give these kids a platform to launch from. God is in the details: Doing morning wake-up rounds, telling kids not to cuss, listening to children's poems and stories, enforcing time-out, and making birthday cupcakes.

The movie is pretty unique in another facet of intergenerational trauma it explores. That's when survivors of shitty childhoods turn around and throw themselves into the work of making things better for the children of today and tomorrow. Grace and Mason are so fiercely willing to go to the mat for these kids because they've been there. And at the same time: their work in all its difficulties has the potential to bring them healing. Being so steeped in a home that is about love and understanding and one's own personal willingness to step up to the plate and put pain into words is beneficial not only for the children, but also their caretakers.

It's also, you know, emotionally shredding.


Sidenote: I tried the kid who hates reading out on a comic book version of a Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode he's already seen, went to the kitchen to make tea, and came back to find him back at page 1, trying to read it aloud. \o/

So of course I've spent all my time since then worrying that I'll come back to work next week and find that his parents are pissed that I was encouraging his fixations on immoral/violent cartoon characters, and sitting around instead of being physically active, and therefore being forbidden to do that anymore. Let's hope not. *fingers crossed*
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
([personal profile] forestofglory Apr. 19th, 2014 03:48 pm)
I should probably be napping like a responsible sick person. Instead I'm online looking at the Hugo Awards Finalists which were announced today.

I have lots of feelings:

Very happy to see both Benjanun Sriduangkaew and Sofia Samatar on the Campbell ballot. The best fan writer ballot is amazing 4 women and 1 queer man of color. (They are all also great writers!) Also this may be the 1st year that best professional artist has gender parity. All three women on the ballot are great!

In fiction land I'm sad very few of my favorite short fiction pieces were nominated. Oh well, the I've read few of the other things and they are also good. “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” is just far too dark for my tastes. (Oh well, the voters tend to like things grimmer than I do.)

Some people who have behaved in disgusting ways online* had their fiction nominated. No way I could read it and give a fair judgment. Lots of other people seem to feel the same way. I suspect that the No Award rules are going to get a work out. (These are complex, but I think if more people rank No Award higher than a finalist then that finalist won't win. I tried reading the WSFS constitution, but I'm sick and it was confusing. I believe articulates 3.11.3 and 6.5 are the ones that mater here.)

I'm not sure how I feel about the Wheel of Time being nominated as a novel. Not sure it is really fair to compare with a shorter work. (To either WoT or the other novels.) Sets an interesting precedent anyways.

*This is an understatement, but I don't want to get into it.
starlady: (run)
([personal profile] starlady Apr. 19th, 2014 01:13 pm)
I'm going to Peru for a week (Lima and Cuzco) very early on Wednesday morning. If anyone has tips of things to do, things to avoid, I'd greatly appreciate them.

I also have two specific questions: if you've been and if they're applicable, how did you handle carrying around/bringing your laptop, and how did you handle using your smartphone?
Yesterday I saw CA:TWS again with [personal profile] iulia, and talked with her about how difficult it is to get a sense of Bucky's POV. So of course today I took a shot at writing it, and then decided that this constituted an actual story. So: story!

Daylight Breaks (638 words) by Dira Sudis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Amnesia, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

He knows two things without being told. There is a war. He is a soldier.

forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
([personal profile] forestofglory Apr. 19th, 2014 11:55 am)
Sick today. I've been feeling a bit under the weather all week, but yesterday afternoon my thort started to hurt, and things went downhill form there. I spent most of this morning in bed.
staranise: Chocolate-covered strawberries. ([personal] Absolutely delicious)
([personal profile] staranise Apr. 18th, 2014 10:33 pm)
  1. Good socializing day! I was out on the back porch painting wood finish on the handrails when one roommate made an awkward attempt at Friending ("I'm in my room for health reasons, but feel free to stop by if you need anything") and after considering whether or not to start the next project then, I put down my brush and went and asked her if she wanted any cookies and what she thought about my home improvement idea. So we talked, and she offered me some of the pizza she had coming, and mentioned she felt like using the main room's TV to watch a feel-good movie. Which turned out to be The Avengers so she and I watched that and our other two roommates joined us. It was a good evening.

    So, you know. I now have the kind of roommates that happens with.

  2. I still love the MCU like burning and all, but I've hit a point of overload with fandom where a lot of other peoples' fannishness hits me in a bad place and throws me off my game. I can talk with friends about our ideas, but coming across strangers going "Here is my theory!" or "Will none of you get this worldbuilding detail right?" hits me like nails on a chalkboard. So I am being a special delicate flower and staying away from basically all meta and quite a good deal of fic. If anyone else therefore would like to do Pointing of People at The Stuff for [community profile] i_knew_him it would fill a void, since I don't think I can do my link roundups anymore.

  3. Sometimes I remember that Flashpoint is gone and never, ever coming back, and I get sad all over again.

  4. It is god-fucking-damned NHL playoff season. I hate Canadian hockey culture, and NHL RPF fandom squicks me, so I'm working on limiting my sources of media input. Augh.

  5. I have a cold. It annoys the hell out of me.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
([personal profile] snarp Apr. 18th, 2014 10:30 pm)
Second Life is still pretty much the only thing like Second Life out there, and it is still a complete fucking mess.
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
([personal profile] owlectomy Apr. 18th, 2014 08:57 pm)
Foz Meadows wrote an interesting piece on female geeks and being excluded by default. Which brought to mind a game a friend of mine got last month called "Geek Battle." It's more or less Trivial Pursuit, except that your categories are things like comics, video games, science, and "geek life." (I can't remember what geek life is supposed to look like, although I think one of the questions in this category was about the color of caffeine?)

This is a really fun game to play, actually, if you play it with people who you're on a similar footing with -- my roleplaying group was pretty well-matched although some of us could remember the early days of arcade games better than others. But if you play it for long enough, it's very apparent that it's reifying a canon of "geek" that's centered on a geek culture that has been really exclusionary.

It asks you to name Arnold Schwarzenegger movies and Monty Python movies and Douglas Adams novels and Kurt Vonnegut novels; heck, I don't remember one question about manga or anime, and that's certainly as "mainstream geek" as old arcade games. Someone whose experience of being a geek came from reading Ursula LeGuin and Octavia Butler and watching wuxia movies would have been shut out.

If you look at the dust-up over whether you can be a "real fan" without reading or appreciating Heinlein, I think ... a lot of people are really invested in a definition of "geek," or "fan," that means we all have the same common reference points. And those common reference points are really important to people, or at least, that's the only plausible explanation for people who insist on quoting and requoting Monty Python long after it's stopped being funny. (They're important to me, too, or I wouldn't have gone to see Thor 2, which I thought was a pretty bad movie but showed up just enough on Tumblr that I felt I was missing out by not seeing it.) But it's not an accident that those common reference points usually end up being things that are made by white guys, you know? And then people end up recycling a canon of "mainstream geek culture" with lots of the diversity filed off.

I'll keep playing Geek Battle. I have fun when I play it. But it sucks that it plays into the idea that some people are better than others at being geeks, and it sucks that it puts a veneer of objectivity onto a really subjective, and biased, vision of what a "real geek" should know.
.... I wrote a thing. (I can't even bring myself to apologize for the title.) Thanks for the help with my questions earlier, guys!

Title: The Care and Feeding of Traumatized Ex-Assassins
Fandom: Captain America (movie 'verse)
Pairing: Gen
Word Count: 6700
Summary: Steve starts to notice someone's been in his apartment while he's not there. Set after Winter Soldier; SPOILERS.

The first time it happens is after one of Sam's VA meetings. )
thistleingrey: (Default)
([personal profile] thistleingrey Apr. 18th, 2014 02:31 pm)
Some things I've wanted to do for weeks or months (incomplete):

* Read more than two pages of a recent francophone monograph whose focus overlaps that of my nearly ten-year-old dissertation. I want to read it; a few years ago it would've been difficult, but now I want to and there is not enough time.

* Have less upper thoracic pain, which half the time yields neck pain as well. Yes, I would rather read that book than experience less pain---something about relative plausibility.

* Learn the lyrics to "Let It Go." Half an earworm is more frustrating than a proper one. Reason thinks that "Let it gooooooo, when the door slides, let it goooooo"---something she's learned from a classmate---is not the same song as the thing Idina Menzel has recorded, which I've played once for her without the distracting visual. She says that two nearly five-year-old classmates also know a "let it go" song, which is different again. Heh. But of course I get the official one stuck partway every time someone says those three words; I want to ungarble my brain. Better perhaps if I could also learn the 25-language version (now with faces! h/t [personal profile] jae) by rote, since it and Menzel's run interference upon each other.

* Have a functional computer. My laptop, a three-year-old Lenovo ThinkPad X220, currently runs Win 8.1 Pro and has had a fragile explorer.exe process since the .1 upgrade, i.e. the Windows desktop keeps freezing and needing to be reinvoked (hitting the Windows key a few times does it). Without a happy explorer.exe, one cannot switch from one window to another except by clicking on it---bad if something's edge isn't visible---and copying/moving/etc. files is interrupted. The X220 shipped with Win 7 Pro; Lenovo continues shipping Win 7 with current ThinkPads; I am reinstalling Win 7 this weekend, albeit by hand because the Thinkvantage restore partition is broken. 8 has never done anything meaningful for me, anyway.
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
([personal profile] yhlee Apr. 18th, 2014 03:43 pm)
Random links? I'm trapped at Joe's work. Foxes especially appreciated. Here's my linkcontribution: Vegetarian fox is just babysitting [].

Alternately, let's play shag, marry, toss off a cliff! Anyone?
yhlee: (SKU: Anthy/Utena (credit: sher))
([personal profile] yhlee Apr. 18th, 2014 12:49 pm)
42 stories published at some point by my count.

Male main characters/protags: 14
Female main characters/protags: 28
Unspecified sex/gender/whatever: 2
Also, "characters" is meaningless applied to "A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel," which is doing the Olaf Stapledonian thing with civilizations, sorry.
Of those characters, one (Loi Ruharn from "Wine") is FtM; everyone else is defaulted to cis.

Het main characters/protags: 6
Lesbian main characters/protags: 2
Bi main characters/protags: 1
Everyone else defaults to unspecified. (Well. Shuos Jedao is bi in Ninefox Gambit but there is zero evidence for this in "The Battle of Candle Arc," so I have him listed as unspecified. I really doubt he had any time to think about sex at Candle Arc.)
Um. I have one gay male pair in "Echoes Down an Endless Hall," whom I managed to kill off, although I also killed off the entire rest of that squadron except the one dude who...escapes only to be brainwashed and cyborged by his own side.

Yeeeeeeeeeah this needs work, although I am super super super reluctant to write trans* characters not because trans* characters are evil but because I'm trans* and I really don't feel like bleeding onto the page for other people's freaking entertainment reading, thankyouverymuch.

cut for raw data )
boosette: (Default)
([personal profile] boosette Apr. 18th, 2014 12:07 pm)
4 extra-thin steaks (came in 1 package)
garlic salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
cilantro to taste

season the steak on one side, cook for 1 minute on each side on high. (or ~90 seconds on a george foreman grill?)
Let cool a bit, roll so they're long, and slice into strips. Good for quesasillas and sandwiches, for which:

chop some of the strips together with cilantro ± onion if you like that and om nom nom.

makes 4 servings, ~70¢ per.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
([personal profile] snarp Apr. 18th, 2014 01:09 pm)
fall down stairs
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
([personal profile] sholio Apr. 18th, 2014 08:22 am)
For those of you who are familiar with the Marvel movies, I have three questions:

- Do we ever see Steve's apartment in the new movie, or get any indication where he lives? (I'm really hoping the answer is "no" here.) ETA: Ha, yeah, and as soon as I posted this and then left for campus, I remembered which scene takes place in his apartment. OOPS. I think I have a workaround, though.

- What does Steve call Natasha? Does he use her full name or nicknames? Or does he ever use her name at all?

- And finally .... is there an active fic comm(s) for announcing Avengers fic?

(You can probably guess exactly why I'm asking all of these ...)
umbo: Phil Coulson looking adorable (phil coulson adorable)
([personal profile] umbo Apr. 18th, 2014 10:21 am)
This is what I wrote to say at the memorial service this afternoon.

It sounds trite to say that I am who I am because of my father, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. There are so many ways that he influenced, inspired, and impacted me that I could never list them all. A couple specific ones are on my mind this morning.

The first was science. Dad loved being a scientist, and he nurtured that love in me from the beginning. Other kids asked for Barbie dolls for their birthdays—I asked for a microscope. Not only did I get one, my dad also brought me pipettes and slides and other stuff from the lab at work so I could look at all the pond water specimens I wanted to. On another birthday he got me a series of science experiments, one arriving each month for an entire year. Because of Dad, because he shared that love of science with me, I took three years of high school biology and both honors chemistry (because of course I had to take chemistry) and honors physics.

I moved away from science when I graduated from high school, but I found my way back there when I went to nursing school, and especially when I started teaching nursing. Now, whenever I discuss the pharmacological action of certain drugs with my students, I talk about hydrogen ions and their role in creating the acid in the stomach—and I always reference my dad.

The other thing I wanted to talk about was Dad’s enthusiasm, the way he was a fan of things. For him, it was mostly about sports—when I went to Ohio State for grad school, I had to promise him I’d still root for Michigan in the Ohio State game, and he used the “Ohio State Dad” t-shirt I got him to wash the car. I didn’t care about golf, but he and I shared a love for the Detroit Red Wings. I thought when my parents moved up here, he and I would have a chance to go to a game together, but that wasn’t meant to be.

Besides sports, though, Dad loved the Harry Potter books and movies, and the Lord of the Rings movies. Even though he wasn’t always excited by the same movies or books as I was, he was still excited for me. When he went into the hospital and found out I was flying up here, he asked if I was bringing any of my comic books. Every time I went to visit, he and I went to a movie—the kind of movie my mom didn’t care to see. I saw every single Lord of the Rings movies with him, along with the first two Hobbit movies. I can’t believe I’m not going to have him with me when the third one comes out in December; it won’t feel right not going to see it with him.

Because Dad was a fan, I am a fan. I may be a fan of different comics from the ones he read as a kid, and I may care more for the ever-growing series of Marvel movies involving the Avengers than he ever did (although he did see Thor with me, years ago), but that enthusiasm, that willingness to throw away any pretense of adult sophistication and just get excited to see beloved characters on screen, that’s an incredibly important part of who I am as a person—and it comes from my dad.

So tonight, when the Red Wings play the Bruins in the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I’ll be rooting for Zetterberg and Datsyuk and the rest, and when the last Hobbit movie comes out, I’ll be thinking of Dad when I watch it.
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
([personal profile] yhlee Apr. 17th, 2014 05:33 pm)
I...may never be able to Exalt because lizard's reaction was "That's mean." Which probably means no breeding for me. :p And lots of grinding for more nest space? But we'll see.

ETA: Well, we have a nest of three eggs going because lizard wanted to try breeding before I managed to tell her about limited slots and Exalting...we'll see...

Read more... )

Thank you to everyone who helped us get started! I am, um, stupidly addicted to the Coliseum, which has been my gateway drug into Final Fantasy I...


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