oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Mar. 30th, 2015 08:01 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] shrewreader!
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
([personal profile] staranise Mar. 30th, 2015 12:02 am)
I did get dumplings, thanks to walking to the grocery store early in the morning and buying gyoza. They were good, but not super filling.

I have felt extraordinarily crappy today. I think it lines up with missing my med dose yesterday and getting discontinuation symptoms, since I've been shaky, shocky, in pain, and nauseated.

Blah.

After dinner at my parents' I persuaded my dad to put Gallagher in his travel case and bring him over to the house. The cat-introduction routine begins with feeding them on opposite sides of a door, so they can associate each other's smell with good things. Both Emily and Gallagher were a little freaked by the change in routine, so when they did eat Emily was six feet from the door, hidden by the couch, and Gallagher was twenty feet down the basement steps in the territory he's used to. We'll build up from there, moving them closer and closer until the door can open (with the occasional instance where Emily gets locked in the bedroom as Gallagher roams the kitchen and living room).

*fingers crossed*

One of my SCA sisters has two-week-old kittens living in her back shed thanks to a feral mama-cat, and I... kind of want to see how Emily will react to a kitten. I would love to have a kitten. KITTEN.

Watched The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness today, which is a documentary about Studio Ghibli. Super thought-provoking for me, about art and what kind of art I want to make and who I want to make it with.

I have more to talk about since this week I've been thinking a lot about religion, but I feel like late at night when I'm tired is not the best time to type that up.

On the upside, my Employment Insurance payments FINALLY came through. FUCKING FINALLY.
mildred_of_midgard: (schreiben)
([personal profile] mildred_of_midgard Mar. 30th, 2015 01:25 am)
I'm declaring my Hunger Games fic done. It's 87,000 words, with six chapters. I'm sure it'll get some polish as I read and reread, and I won't be surprised if more scenes appear (my characters surprised me with one yesterday in a chapter I thought was long done). But I have reached the state that it was my goal to reach before Mockingjay II comes out.

I want to post it, but I'm still avoiding spoilers from Mockingjay. Not very well, I must admit, but I'm doing my best here. And people will probably post spoilery things in the comments, assuming they comment at all. Plus, if I start hanging out somewhere like AO3, it'll weaken my resistance to read what other people have written. Because I really want to!

So I'm trying to focus on my own projects. I have other shorter, stand-alone fics I want to write, plus a very, very AU sequel to this one (it's got about 25,000 words so far). I want to get back to my art history essay, now that I've knocked out all my Tolkien papers, had them accepted, and made the suggested revisions (and even had one appear in print!). I'm attacking genetics with somewhat more success than biochemistry. And I have my knitting.

Having a big knitting project like my wife's scarf is highly useful, by the way. It gives me something goal-oriented to work on when I'm too tired to focus on any of the reading and writing projects described above. And right now, we're in a big work crunch that involves me working many 3 am shifts (one on Friday, another one in an hour and a half), so being tired is a way of life. Less science, more knitting until this passes.

OMG YAY FIC, though. \o/ WOOT!
muccamukk: Clara and Twelve stand next to the TARDIS on an alien planet. (DW: Pretty)
([personal profile] muccamukk Mar. 29th, 2015 08:44 pm)
Beaches currently covered with tiny dead jellyfish and therefore blue. Nenya less enthusiastic about this than I would have thought.

There was an older male actor rambling on on the CD extras for... one of the series two EDAs, maybe "New Town," anyway, he got onto how it's good to have a strong female companion because girls need someone to identify with, since obviously boys are identifying with the Doctor, and girls don't as much. All this was in aid of how much he liked Lucie, which, fair enough. But, meh. The thing is, he's at least partly right though. I am more likely to identify with female characters than I with male characters. I'm also more likely to identify with emotionally supportive characters than with brash hero types. But still, that's kind of depressing, isn't it? A whole show where the woman's job is traditionally described as "assistant." We really need a female Doctor next. And a new show runner.

That said, I really like men's voices, not all men, but when thinking of speaking amazing voices, my list for women is pretty much Kate Mulgrew and Katherine Hepburn, and my list for men, especially men with deep gravelly voices, is very long. Probably something to do with finding my father and brother's deep voices very comforting, though I actually talk more with my mother, so who knows. I generally like podcasts and lecture series better when they're by women though, so it seems mostly to do with drama?

I'm considering making a cross stitch pillow cover with my mother's motto for the Canadian Coast Guard: "Don't shake your head too much, or you'll get dizzy and fall over." Possibly with the CCG logo? I'm not sure I'm that invested in embroidery though, and haven't the first notion of how to design that sort of thing.

I'm so, so stuck on my rarely written assignment. A tower of bears, all the way down. It's made doubly bad by being for a recipient I really admire, but who didn't leave a letter past DNWs and generally shipping preferences (which are good to know!). And I'm just... stuck. I have no idea what to write. Like at all.

I'm also not writing like six other projects I have on the go.

I miss my writing brain.

I feel like hot chocolate and brandy will help this situation, or at least my headache. And maybe a settle in with Far Side of the World.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
([personal profile] snarp Mar. 29th, 2015 11:24 pm)
Relatedly, the other night I dreamed that Caliborn had created a creepy glitchy puppet-dimension with The Power Of His Artist Soul, populated by living cloth puppets of various characters/real people which did his bidding.

The puppets didn't necessarily like it, and maintained some character traits of the people they were formed after, but were definitely not those people and were not able to disobey Caliborn. Very few of the puppets were Homestuck characters - there was I think a Yukio Mishima one? And most of the SDR2 cast, which makes more sense.

But he did have a puppet version of Andrew Hussie. He had sex with the Hussie puppet.

me upon waking: ...the guy did pretty much bring this upon himself.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
([personal profile] snarp Mar. 29th, 2015 11:21 pm)
tfw you accidentally start shipping two characters in your ofic in ways that fuck up plot shit

"these are my own characters, I don't have to write them this way, I can alter their character traits -"

"NOT ANYMORE YOU CAN'T"
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oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
([personal profile] oursin Mar. 29th, 2015 09:29 pm)

Still not feeling entirely the thing on Friday evening, so didn't make rolls - we had toast for Saturday breakfast instead.

Today's lunch: quail, which I spatchcocked and flattened and marinated in whisky, pomegranate molasses, tabasco, and avocado oil, and smoked over bourbon-soaked oak chips; served with sticky rice with lime leaves, tenderstem broccoli steamed with ginger, and flower sprouts stirfried with garlic and star anise.

This week's bread: Jordans' Wheatgerm Loaf from the Sunday Times Book of Bread - v nice.

snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
([personal profile] snarp Mar. 29th, 2015 03:19 pm)
An extremely serious work of Neprezi for blurds/eptified.

NEPETA: :33 < the pouncellor rolls to seduce the dragon!

VRISKA: Not this again!

TEREZI: OK4Y F1N3

TEREZI: BUT W3 H4V3 T4LK3D 4BOUT TH1S

TEREZI: 4BOUT HOW 1F TH3 POUNC3LLOR ROLLS TO S3DUC3 TH1NGS 1T 1S OUT OF CH4R4CT3R FOR H3R TO ROLL TO S3DUC3 TH3N SH3 G3TS 4 P3N4LTY TO S41D ROLL 3QU4L 3X4CTLY TO TH3 V4LU3 OF TH3 ROLL?

NEPETA: :33 < yeah but you're making that rule up!

ROSE: Alas, it is in the rule book.

TEREZI: 4LL 1’M S4Y1NG 1S, 1F YOU W4NT TO S3DUC3 TH3 DR4GON, YOU H4V3 TO 4CTU4LLY ROL3-PL4Y 1T! TH3 POUNC3LLOR 4ND H3R P4RTY H4V3 B33N PURSU1NG TH3 W1LY DR4GON WHO S4T ON TH3 C1TY OF LL4NKHM3OWR FOR M4NY LONG MONTHS NOW, SURV1V3D COUNTL3SS TR4PS 4ND T4UNTS! TH3 DR4GON H4S 3V3N STOL3N 4W4Y (4ND P4RT14LLY-34T3N) TH3 PR1NC3SS TO WHOM TH3 POUNC3LLOR H4S SWORN H3R LOY4LTY FOR 4LL T1M3!

TEREZI: T3LL M3, POUNC3LLOR - DO YOU R34LLY W1SH TO 3ND YOUR LONG STRUGGL3 4G41NST TH1S M4J3ST1C B34ST W1TH 4 JOK1NG “ROLL TO S3DUC3?”

VRISKA: Yeah, can we please quit screwing around and get something done, for once????????

NEPETA: :33 < ...all right, then! i WILL role-play it! the pouncellor will seduce her old rival with the very fiercest of furvor!

TEREZI: NOW TH4T 1S WH4T 1 L1K3 TO H34R!

VRISKA: Oh, my god.

TEREZI: SO: HOW W1LL TH3 POUNC3LLOR PL4Y TH1S? 1 R3M1ND H3R TH4T H3R R3L4T1ONSH1P W1TH TH3 K1DN4PP3D C4TK1N PR1NC3SS (PL4Y3D BY 4 C3RT41N 4BS3NT NON-F3L1NO1D PR1NC3SS WHO H4S UNW1S3LY SK1PP3D TH3 P4ST TWO S3SS1ONS) W4S V3RG1NG ON TH3 BL4CK B3FOR3 TH3 DR4GON C4RR13D H3R 4W4Y TO H3R L41R!

TEREZI: W1LL TH3 POUNC3LLOR M3R3LY TOY W1TH TH3 DR4GON'S BL4CK 4FF3CT1ONS WH1L3 R3M41N1NG LOY4L TO TH3 PR1NC3SS? OR 4R3 H3R F33L1NGS FOR TH3 B34ST G3NU1N3?

VRISKA: Oh my godddddddd...

NEPETA: :33 < hmm... rose, can your guy shapeshift me?

ROSE: Given a live sacrifice of appropriate “narrative weight,” the wizard *could* transform the pouncellor into a dragon. However, he is willing to take so drastic a step only for the sake of true hate or love - not merely to avoid a confrontation.

TEREZI: LOOKS L1K3 YOU'LL N33D TO B34T BOTH TH3 W1Z4RD *4ND* TH3 DR4GON'S P3RC3PT1ON CH3CKS 1F TH3 POUNC3LLOR 1NT3NDS TO TR1FL3 W1TH TH3 B34ST’S STR4NG3 BLOODL3SS H34RT! 1S TH3 LOY4L 4DV1S3R TO TH3 QU33N OF TH3 C4TK1N D3V1OUS 3NOUGH TO D3C31V3 3V3N H3R FR13NDS 1N SUCH 4 W4Y?

NEPETA: :33 < the pouncellor’s intentions are pure! it is her heartfelt intention to capture the dragon’s bloodpusher, which i assume is in a box somewhere nearby, and carve her name into it!

TEREZI: THE DR4GON WOULD B3 D33PLY MOV3D COULD SH3 H34R TH1S!

NEPETA: :33 < - but the dragon did kidnap the princess, so maybe the shape-shift step isn’t even necessary? i don't know, how big actually is the dragon?

TEREZI: 4NT1C1P4T1NG SUCH 4 CONC3RN, 1 H4V3 PR3P4R3D 4 D3T41L3D 1M4G3 SHOW1NG SC4L3

VRISKA: OH MY GOD I AM LEAVING

ROSE: The wizard is fully prepared to sacrifice the Marquise for this scheme. Or really, pretty much any scheme.

VRISKA: The HELL he will!!!!!!!!

Remind me what century we are in, again? An admissions tutor at Cambridge University claims private schools are teaching women how to sit demurely to improve their chances at an Oxbridge interview.

This is particularly weird if they are applying to study his subject, which is clinical veterinary anatomy. Which I assume leads to working in a field in which elegance is not the prime requisite, being able to cope with sick animals and their bodily effluvia is the desideratum.

I can sort of see that possibly Today's Yoof, in an entirely gender-neutral sense, may need some pointers to appropriate interview conduct, as in, put your phone away and mute it, sit up straight and do not sprawl, try not to look as though you pulled on the first thing that came to hand when you dressed that morning... (surely men sprawling and slobbing in that situation is rather frowned on as well?)

But I am also aware of the distractive effect on women and their concentration on Matters of the Mind if they have to worry about their slip showing, are their seams straight, whether the sight of their well-turned ankle is distracting A Male - it's not as though there isn't enough around already without them worrying whether they would graduate from the Lucy Clayton School of Modelling with honours, where I believe one test was getting in and out of a sports car in a short skirt without flashing.

I'll be over here in a mismatched pair of blue stockings.

*The very creepy Mr Turveydroop, famed for his Deportment, Prince Regent fanboy, in Bleak House. Even Dickens thought this sort of approach a marker of creepdom.

The thing about writing long stories—at least for me, at the speed I write and the length I write and with my brain’s particular propensity for being a machine that produces enchanting ideas that all want to be 200,000-word stories—the thing about writing long stories is that it requires discipline.

This is just the way the arithmetic of writing long stories works out: on a lot of the days you spend writing a long story, you are plugging away in the middle of something with the excitement of starting long behind you and no hope of ending. On a lot of those days it is not your favorite of the stories bouncing around in your head. On a lot of those days you don’t want to work on it, or you have lost all faith in it, or you darkly suspect no one wants to read it. (I’m not asking for reassurance here: I’m just saying, this is the inevitable way things go in my brain, over time.)

Some days are good, some days you have a clever idea or you are writing an exciting! big! thing! but a lot of days you’re kind of just plugging away—writing something necessary, or something that will turn out to be someone’s favorite bit six months from now, but on any given day when you’re writing a long story it’s just putting one foot in front of the other, laying down more words, sticking with the thing you’re writing in the faith that eventually you will come to the end of it and you will have produced a long story, because there is no other way for me to produce a long story.

...This slightly grim writing thought brought to you by the game of Steve/Bucky 2048 I just played, hoping it would let my brain rock-tumble its way toward some productive thoughts on any of the things I really need to work on today. Instead I had a really! important! insight! into the emotional arc of the A/B/O marriage of convenience fic I’m not writing. Thanks, brain, but I’m still going to have to work on a bunch of other things today instead of that.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Mar. 29th, 2015 12:38 pm)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] thatyourefuse!
sholio: Sebastian Stan as Bucky (Winter Soldier Bucky)
([personal profile] sholio Mar. 28th, 2015 11:46 pm)
I'm rereading The Rook by Daniel O'Malley, which is still just as excellent the second time around. As an additional plus, I can't remember the solution to the central mystery, which means I'm weirdly unspoiled considering I've read this book before!

The first time I read this book, though, was before I watched Winter Soldier and subsequently spent most of a year in a fandom that's largely focused on a character who is defined by amnesia and identity issues. That's pretty much what The Rook is about too, and it's just really fascinating to read it now, because what it does is different from what nearly all Winter Soldier fic does. (At least, I should say -- the fic as it existed when I first got into the fandom, when I was reading just about everything. Now that I've drifted away from it, while I do still dip back into reading in the fandom occasionally, I burned out utterly on Bucky recovery fic, so I'm not sure what is out there now.)

Anyway, without getting into spoilers beyond what's in the first couple of pages, The Rook begins with the protagonist, Myfanwy, becoming aware of her surroundings in a park. She's surrounded by dead people, which circumstances suggest she killed, and has no memories before this moment. All she has is a letter in her pocket, written to her by her (or her past self, rather) before she lost her memories, telling her what her name is and giving her instructions for what to do next.

Cut not for spoilers - there are some for both canons, but they're mild ones - but rather for length, since this turned into a fairly lengthy ramble )

ETA: While I was writing this, MY SORRY EXCUSE FOR A LOVING HUSBAND STOLE MY BOOK. This is what I get for telling him it was good and he should read it. I meant after I was done.
muccamukk: Eight from Night of the Doctor, looking sombre and beat up. (DW: Battered)
([personal profile] muccamukk Mar. 28th, 2015 11:24 pm)
No birds this edition.

Continuing with Eight and Lucie, listened to the pretty okay "The Skull of Sobek" by Marc Platt, which did have some amusing bits with monks, and some good Doctor and Lucie banter, but mostly was boring stuff about evil crocodiles, and blah, blah no one cares, plus Lucie was mind controlled for half of it. However, the planet was entirely blue, so it would probably be Nenya's favourite episode ever could she see it.

"Grand Theft Cosmos" by the always reliable Eddie Robson, however, was wall to wall delightful. They're all trying to steal things! Lucie's pretending to be royalty! So is the Headhunter! There's a programmable hypnotiser thing! And a golem! And trains! And the king of Sweden! SO SILLY! Probably one of my favourite episodes.

"The Zygon Who Fell to Earth" by Paul Magrs, however, not so much. It's a good plot, though a common one, with a former warrior trying to go to ground and live a peaceful life, and in so far as that goes it was well done, but there's pretttttty much no reason for the Doctor have concealed a certain bit of information from Lucie, save for it to cause drama later, and it more or less stripped what agency she had left after being replaced by a Zygon most of the episode. Plus the cute gay Zygon died.


Over in the realm of The Musketeers we face an equally mixed bag, or some things I liked, and SO MUCH RAPE. I'm caught up now, and I think I'll just review the last three episodes together, behind a spoiler cut )

I don't know how this show went from my favourite forever OMG! (excepting Sinbad, of course), to something I'm actively considering not watching next year. Though, that's not true. I'm pretty sure it was all the rape. Though, who am I kidding? I'll be back for Howard Charles' laugh and Milady.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
([personal profile] mme_hardy Mar. 28th, 2015 09:50 pm)
My daughter and my husband and I drove half an hour to the sea. It will never stop being amazing to this landlocked child that half an hour gets us to the Pacific Ocean. It's magic.

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

- E. E. Cummings
I came across a book while the lizard and I were decluttering that she didn't want anymore, but I sure did: Usborne Pocket Art's How to Draw Buildings. I don't know a huge amount of Usborne (I believe they're a UK children's publisher?) but I used to be a fan of their puzzle books, and I've liked their other stuff that I've encountered. How to Draw Buildings is an extremely compact, friendly guide to drawing architecture. It literally fits in my jacket pocket (measuring 5.5" square), and the fact that its audience is children means that I have some hope of following along. :) In fact, I have wanted to draw spaceships for the longest time without having the faintest clue how to do so other than tracing comic book examples, so I have ordered a used copy of Usborne Pocket Art's How to Draw Spacecraft for under $4 through Advanced Book Exchange.

Here's an example of a two-page spread on how to draw castles:


The how-to is compact but easy to follow, while the fully-rendered example gives the learning artist something to aspire to. I'm guessing that's colored pencil and I'm pretty sure I couldn't get effects that nice without working real hard at it. Notice also the inset on the "Cartoon castle" for fun's sake and the concise tutorial on using perspective. I would find it difficult to apply perspective straightaway to something as complicated as a castle like the examples shown, but it's good to know about it. In a book this brief (24 pages) I don't expect anything in depth, just encouragement and some simple tutorials for stereotypical examples of things like haunted houses and castles and skyscrapers. I cannot wait to try the skyscraper tutorial. I adore cityscapes.

I decided to try to put this in practice and went outside to sketch the house across the way. This had the additional advantage of not being too difficult in the sense that it's a head-on view, no weird angles. I won't pretend it's great art (I'm not sure it's evident the scrawl on the left is a parked van in their driveway--all the houses around hereabouts are up on mini-hills because the roads flood during the heavy rains we get sometimes) but it's the thought that counts? I'll have to get in the habit of bringing a small sketchbook with me and doing doodles as I go.



Mostly, the moral of this for me is that books aimed at children can be aces, as I think people like [personal profile] dsgood and others have said.
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yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
([personal profile] yhlee Mar. 28th, 2015 08:54 pm)
One of the items in my possession, courtesy of my mom, is a Queen Seondeok manhwa with this cover. Looks reasonable enough, right?



(Please don't ask me for translations; my Korean is not that good. I think hanguksa is "Korean history" and "manhwa" is, of course, "comic," but other than that, who knows?)

The manhwa art style is frequently the more exaggerated comical style that I used to see in Korean manhwa on TV ("manhwa" can be used for animation as well), as in this interesting sequence that seems to suggest that a celestial horse has just laid a golden egg:



And then I still haven't figured out why the king is accosted by the appearance of a dude in Western costume:



(Hint: Queen Seondeok reigned in the 7th century.)

By the way, those gold antler crowns were a legit Silla thing. I always thought they looked kind of silly (also, heavy).

Mostly, I had to share the egg-laying horse with y'all. :)
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snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
([personal profile] snarp Mar. 28th, 2015 09:56 pm)
Am I going to totally die of serotonin syndrome if I take one of Mom's sumatriptans

Due to Pristiq
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kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
([personal profile] kate_nepveu Mar. 28th, 2015 07:39 pm)
The online tax filing through the state is actually good?! As in, I stopped paper filing our taxes because calculating just the tax due in NY (not our taxable income, just, here's a number that's taxable, now what is the tax due on that) had me tearing out my hair. But I had to file a tax return for SteelyKid this year [*], and the state online version added things up and calculated tax due for me, which was great—I had to file a 1040 for her and the fillable PDF doesn't even add things for you. (It turns out I could have gotten free software to efile for her, which I will remember next year, because calculating the tax due on her federal return required a 27-line worksheet.)

[*] Okay, I didn't have to file a separate return, I could have put her income on ours, but then that would cost us more taxes, whereas filing hers separately meant zero tax due on her income. (We put a monthly amount into an account in her name for college, because Chad's college has a really good tuition benefit and so a 529 account doesn't make sense, and this year the earnings on that exceeded the threshold for filing.)

Anyway: New Yorkers! File your state taxes online!
I finally managed to write something for my h/c bingo "tentacles" square! \o/ I'd been trying to figure out a way to write that one for White Collar, and that was ... challenging. (I'm only six squares away from a blackout now!)

Title: Another Day at the Office
Fandom: Agent Carter
Word Count: 2100
Summary: There's a kraken attacking New York. Good thing the SSR is around. (Lucky them.) For my h/c bingo square "tentacles". Takes place after Season One.
Crossposted: http://archiveofourown.org/works/3634254

Another Day at the Office )
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