October 2015


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Monday, October 5th, 2015 07:49
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Monday, October 5th, 2015 07:08
Well, baseball is over for another year. (For us at least -- my emotional involvement in the playoffs is now limited to rooting against the Yankees just to annoy my dad. Heh. Well, okay, and I will also be rooting for the Cubs, who haven't won a World Series in 106 years and who clinched one of the NL wild card slots, to break the Curse of the Billy Goat.)

We didn't go to as many games this year as usual -- we had a 13-game season ticket plan, but kept having to exchange tickets because of other obligations or just wound up skipping games because of other shit going down -- but we did attend the last three games of the season. Around the beginning of July or so, I asked Dad if he wanted us to get tickets for that homestand, since it was against the Yankees, and at the time it looked like there was a chance the Os might be in contention this year. Sadly, it became clear by mid-August or so, if not before, that we would not be in contention after all, but Dad and Mom came down for the weekend anyway, since we had a bunch of unused credit on our account that we needed to put towards tickets. (The season ticket deposit we paid so we could get tickets for last year's playoffs was $500; the season ticket plan we wound up with was like $130/person.)

Despite getting rained out on Friday (thus necessitating a double header on Saturday) and despite Saturday being cold and wet (much to my mother's displeasure), the games themselves were really enjoyable. We won all three, which gave us an actual winning season. (Exactly so, in fact; our final record was 81 wins, 81 losses, for a record of precisely .500.) Hey, we're Os fans, any winning season is a good season.

"I tried to get you girls interested in baseball the whole time you were growing up and you never cared, and now look at you," Dad said to me after the ALCS game we went to together last year. And that's true; baseball never interested me until I moved here and Sarah and I moved into an apartment that was two blocks from the stadium. Sarah said, well, if we're living this close, why not go to a game? At which point I discovered that live, in-person baseball is an entirely different animal than televised baseball: when you're watching it in the actual stadium, the strategy inherent in the game gets a lot clearer and what is stultifyingly boring on TV turns into an exceptionally pleasant way to spend an evening in the stands. (It doesn't hurt that Oriole Park at Camden Yards is widely held, justifiably so, to be the most beautiful stadium in all of baseball; there isn't a bad seat in the house.)

I never expected to wind up a baseball fan, but I was pretty sad when we moved out of the apartment and getting to games became so much less convenient!

Also of note this weekend: in between the day game and the night game of Saturday's double header, we had a few hours to kill, and because my mom was freezing to death, we wanted to spend them indoors. We wound up going to Geppi's Entertainment Museum, which is in the former train station building. (The stadium is on the former site of the B&O Railroad; the warehouse is currently Orioles offices, and the station is the Sports Legends Museum down and the Entertainment Museum up.) We'd never been, though we'd been wanting to for a while. It's a great museum, well curated and well presented, but let me tell you, walking into the first room and being confronted with their actual copy of Action Comics #1 -- the introduction of Superman, and the most valuable comic that exists -- in a case with seven or so other first appearances of various iconic characters is a hell of a moment. Even if it is a little disconcerting to later discover your adolescence on display.
Monday, October 5th, 2015 11:12
World On Fire (2011; apparently also called Miami Magma and Swamp Volcano) is something I picked up a few years ago while creating a collection of Terrible Geology Movies; I finally got around to watching it on Saturday night and it was actually surprisingly good.

I mean. Not the science, obviously; the science was gloriously wrong in all the ways one hopes for when one goes about buying this manner of thing. (THAT IS NOT HOW LAVA TUBES. THAT IS NOT HOW OIL FORMATION. THAT IS NOT HOW LAVA. :D) But... it passed Bechdel repeatedly (because the female PI kept talking to her younger sister, a "volcanology prodigy", about science); male characters died in a way that would have been fridging for the sake of the women's character development except they were too busy doing cool science to care particularly; bonus terrible CGI; and mind-bendingly wrong data security. A+ will probably watch again.

The Martian (2015) I unabashedly adore, because it is full of brave space robots and also brave space people and people making hard decisions as best they can and diversity in science and loyalty and brave space potatoes and did I mention the space robots. I cried most of the way through it (BRAVE. SPACE. ROBOTS.), I about corpsed when I muttered to [personal profile] shortcipher "... is that Sebastian Stan" and received the response "[confused look] who's Sebastian Stan?"

Laughed out loud several times in addition to crying, applauded it a fair bit, was gently horrified by the approach to spacewalks but whatever, am now intending to actually acquire and read the book. Probably also the DVD, because I think this can go on my safe shelf. Much gratitude to my useless ex for coaxing me out of the house and to the cinema.
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 23:43
It's amazing how much time I have in a weekend, now that I'm only asleep for 33% of it, not 50% of it.
I can, in fact, survive (computer-wise) for an entire weekend on only mobile devices, provided that one of them is an iPad. Although technically a laptop is mobile.
D is a precious cinnamon roll, too good for this world, too pure. I fear for her. #BSG S1
The Jacket of Holding will not pack itself. There are things that go in its pockets.
Don't forget to take or bring your pills in the morning, despite the presence of that pill fob on your keychain. That's there in case you actually forget, or get stranded overnight somewhere.
We already took out the trash, but it wouldn't hurt to put a bag in the kitchen trash on the way out.
The envelope is in your bag; please try to go to the bank if you're up early enough.
Check outside the door, to see if there are any other suspicious-looking spiders trying to take up residence.
Monday, October 5th, 2015 01:12
1. We're actually having some cold weather! It's supposed to get back up in the 80s by the end of the week, but right now I'm just enjoying the fact that it's cold enough to want to close some windows and maybe have a second blanket on at night.

2. It was super busy at work both yesterday and today, both in terms of customers and all the stuff I had to do.

3. There was no Bob's Burgers tonight, but there was Simpsons and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

5. Cuddly babies.

Monday, October 5th, 2015 06:59
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Most of my energies have gone into the house lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been making things too, just that I haven’t had as much time for writing up of late. So here’s what’s currently on the needles while I start sorting through the backlog of photos and creations:

A simple hat in progress

This is from a little ball of Misti Alpaca that I picked up on the last day of my tatting class (more on that later!) as a treat. And it *is* a treat. I wish I could justify the cost and time of a sweater made out of this stuff — its light, soft, and seems pretty warm. Maybe someday.

The plan, half-executed, is to make a little tiny soft hat that can be stuffed in a jacket pocket. A thin tuque, I guess. Since it’s dark, it currently reminds me of what my sister and I called “crime hats” on Buffy (due to her penchant for putting on a tuque before doing anything vaguely criminal in a several episodes).

Pattern so far:

Yarn? Misti Tui from Misti Alpaca. Sport weight, chains of thin alpaca.

What’s the gauge? 6 st/inch on US 7 (4.5mm)

What’s my head circumference? Around 21 inches

Since I didn’t want much negative ease (i.e. stretch), that meant 21×6 = cast on 126 stitches

Brim ribbing: k3, p1, k1, p1 repeat 21 times

Repeat brim rows until you reach an inch or so then switch to stockinette

My plan is to continue the stockinette without decreases to make slight kitty ears. We’ll see how it works out!

Monday, October 5th, 2015 00:11
Now that I finally feel capable of reading regularly again, I have often thought of starting a reading challenge the coming year. Most challenges I know of, require an amount of books that I just won't be able to finish -- my average so far is one book a month, one and a half at most. So I decided I'd create my own challenge... and ask for your help to fill it content-wise :)

Main rules:
♣ Reading no less than 12 books in 12 months is my goal.
♣ Authors must be women or people of colour (or both, obviously). Anthologies only count when at least 75% of the contributors fit these criteria.
♣ The length of the work in question doesn't matter - if it's a 100-page comic it counts just as much as a 600-page novel. Age is also irrelevant.
♣ It's okay to give up on a book, but it doesn't count for the challenge no matter how far I got before giving up. If the opposite happens and I finish a book much faster than expected, I may take a book off my own shelves to read for the remainder of the month.
♣ April is my birthday month, where I get to choose any book I want.

So basically that leaves me with 11 empty slots to fill with your suggestions, and 3-5 extra slots if I read faster than usual or don't finish books. At the end of the month, I will write all suggestions on scraps of paper and draw the winners out of a hat pot!

Hints for suggestions:
Authors: as already mentioned, POC and/or women authors only :)
Genres: my favourites genres are fantasy, horror, erotica and non-fiction... but I would also like to dip into some genres I am not well-read in at all: noir, non-fiction: history, and romance.
Length: My books had an average page length of 515, so I think that's a good guideline. A hundred or two hundred pages more shouldn't pose a problem, but doorstopper books certainly will.
Topics I have an aversion or apathy towards: fae/faeries (ETA: see this comment for clarification), gritty gruff dude protagonists, manchild protagonists, overwhelming heterosexuality with bonus gender essentialism, shapeshifters, all those run-of-the-mill paranormal/dystopian action/romance series with approximately 200 sequels that got turned into a TV series or movie trilogy. And generally, if it's fiction, the less -isms (sexism, racism, homo- & transphobia, sexual assault etc.) the better.
Topics that will give your books bonus points: GLBT content & protagonists, vampires, medieval history, well-written sex scenes (fanfic has raised my expectations), feminism, intersectionality.

I am going to close the suggestion period at the end of October, so that I have enough time to order most of the books and have them shipped to me. If you want to make it easier for me, you can go to the medimops page in advance and check in the search field if they have your suggested book available for purchase! (Bold price & orange button means it's available, greyed-out means it's out of stock)

Linking this to other bookworms would be appreciated.
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 22:15
post-tags: instagram, crosspost I think #TraderJoes won the #PumpkinSpice War of 2015.
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 17:07
so i got out of the house, got fed and taken care of, got snuggles (though not the ones i really wanted) and hung out with a toddler dressed like an 80's fitness instructor.

tomorrow i go to work, finish a presentation on some software we're going to start using, and not stab people in the face.

you win some, you lose some.
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 19:23
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Apple-picking. Before the squirrels and bunnies eat them all.
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 10:52
Sorry about the crummy and poorly written update, but since people keep asking me:
  1. Hardwood floors are in and don't stink so much any more from the finishing (it was really bad for a week or so)
  2. Tile floors are started, but the decorative tile bit is apparently slow-going. No ETA.
  3. Still no baseboards, but they'll happen after the tile is done.
  4. I still want to do one more coat on the laundry room but ugh, so tired of it all.
  5. Still some touch-ups where we got wall paint on the ceiling but I need John for some of them so they'll keep 'till after he's back.
  6. I think we're probably hiring pros for the rest.  Definitely for the tall parts, but we've been so wiped out lately that I think paying pros is the right compromise.
  7. Unpacking has started, but it's slow because I can't carry that much on my own and we don't want to put up all the shelving until the baseboards are in.
  8. There's still a *lot* of cleanup needed from the construction and reno; there's drywall and sawdust everywhere and tape and paint buckets and ladders in random locations around the house.
I'm without support this week to deal with cleanup and minor unpacking.  Let's be honest, I was without very much support last week too because he had demos to prep, and the week before that because he was getting artemis ready, and there was the week where J's parents were visiting (which was a nice break!) and there was some travel before that too.  J's doing the best he can given his travel schedule but between his travel and mine we're looking at only a handful of days of overlap where we're both in the same city for all of October.

We got some living room furniture up while we were both here so I can sit and read in my big comfy chair, and that's nice.  And now when I clean things they don't immediately get covered in sawdust or drywall, which is an amazing luxury that has not been true for all of September and some of August. Hopefully we'll be able to find a new cleaning service, but there's not much point at the moment.

I did get my desktop up and running so I can play video games for some escapism.  Still haven't found most of the cables or my keyboard and mouse, so it's kind of cobbled together and has no sound, but we made do last night.

Did some digital cleanup today too.  Reviewed a couple of ebooks that I won't repost here because frankly, they were both in need of editing (The down side to getting free books off the internet in exchange for fair review, I guess), but you can read them at that link if deeply flawed larpers and psycho-magical crime-fighting lesbian vs lovecraftian horrors are your kind of thing.  You'll be disappointed, though; I was.  Answered some emails that had been sitting in my inbox; if you were expecting an answer from me on the subject of something or other, re-send because I'm pretty sure I answered anything that still needed answering but I might have been heavy-handed with the archive button.  Declined some job interview related requests.  Unsubscribed from a lot of mailing lists, probably should unsubscribe from more since I'm not really reading them.

I've got a bunch of of posts I need to write and queue up on my maker blog, but not sure if I'll get started on those tonight.  Want to hit up the farmer's market and I'm betting once I'm outside coming back in to sit at a computer for hours won't seem so appealing!

Sunday, October 4th, 2015 18:37
Well, I have finished a new draft of my scifi novella! \\\o///

It's about 35k (up from 24k of the previous draft), and I love it a lot. I also think some things about it aren't working well, and I need outside perspective to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it (you don't have to know how to fix it, I just need to know what you think is wrong).

So, I am desperately in need of beta readers!

Let us first introduce the novella:

Summary: Claudia is a disgraced military veteran sent to manage a school of no importance on the outskirts of the galaxy. Vrei must figure out how to save her residential district from the scrutiny of the new Headmistress. Kim must find a way to bring order and stability to his district, in the wake of a tragedy. Ebie must barter and trade to keep the person she loves most out of harm's way, before the clock runs out and the school faces its end-of-year reckoning: Transfer Day.

...OK, I don't know how great that summary is, but a few years ago the idea of sharing even that in public made me want to climb under tables, so, this is progress. Here is a rough idea of what the story's about! I will also mention the story has references to off-screen child abuse and child sexual abuse, so while none of that is graphic, please consider this fact if you'd like to volunteer.

So, what I need:
* People who can read 34k in the next 2-3 weeks and give me feedback
* Feedback that is primarily about: plot, characters, worldbuilding. Does the story work? Did it draw you in? Which parts of it seemed boring or unnecessary? Which parts seemed exciting and intriguing?
* Things I do NOT need at this time: help with prose, SPAG, line edits. (I mean, I never say no to edits! But it's really not necessary right now.)

ARE YOU A PERSON WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN DOING THIS? Please leave/send me your email, and whether you're OK working in gdocs or prefer a different format/program.

If anyone actually volunteers for this, I expect I'll send you the draft within 12 hours of posting this entry.
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 15:21
[livejournal.com profile] daniel_saunders commented on my review of The Crusade, that he'd not managed to get hold of a copy of the novelisation. I'm not actually sure that any of the illustrations in the novelisation are from telesnaps, though some are closer to the televised episode than others. Under the cut are three from scenes that definitely didn't take place in the actual show.

Images not appearing in The Crusade )
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 01:07
post-tags: instagram, crosspost "How old are you?" "I'm 40." "… you mean you're TEN TIMES OLDER than me!!!" Happy birthday, D.
Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 13:32
(And I do mean FIRST.)

The game box contained a smaller box that looked like a typical LEGO construction set, so we opened that and built it first. Then we loaded the game disc into the console, which took another half an hour to download necessary system updates. Don't make the same mistake we did - let the updates download while you build the portal.

The construction set comes with three bags of pieces. Bag 1 is the minifigures, Bag 2 is the portal, and Bag 3 is the vehicle. But the paper instructions only cover the first two. The third set of instructions is inside the game itself.

So we built the portal, then waited for the updates to install, then watched the introduction and about ten minutes of cutscenes introducing the three main characters. Once we finally got to an area where action was required, it was very dark and hard to figure out what to do. Eventually all three characters completed their simple tasks, and the game prompted us to build the portal... which we had already done. But it's nice to know the instructions for the portal are also in the game, in case the pamphlet gets lost.

Then we got the in-game instructions for the first vehicle model. Once we finally built that... it was time to quit, because we had places to go.

As first impressions go, I am underwhelmed, but on the bright side, all the quirky character humor is intact, and I'm interested to see what possibilities are opened up by the new components of the game. With three of us playing together, we were all kept busy: I controlled the game pad, Will took charge of building things, and Connor was responsible for positioning items around the portal - which has color-changing LEDs and looks really nifty.
Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 11:17
Every few months, I run through [site community profile] changelog compiling a list of who has been contributing patches to our code repository, with the understanding that this is not a competition, or any sort of "high score" list. It's intended as a guide for casual developers, to discern not only our most prolific contributors, but also those who have contributed to the project most recently and therefore would be more likely to provide a timely, informed response to development questions. That is why the list is sorted by "Latest" instead of "Changes".

In general, one commit on Github equals one point in the "Changes" column, but fractional points are awarded for collaborative efforts — the most common example being a new S2 theme, where usually half credit is awarded to the theme author and the other half to the person who converts the theme into a code patch. Due to the nature of development, some changes are massive contributions of new code, and others are tiny tweaks; there is no correlation with the amount of effort involved. We are grateful to everyone who helps to improve Dreamwidth, in ways large or small.

I last compiled this list at the beginning of June. Since that time, we have welcomed three new contributors: [profile] dteklavya, [personal profile] pseudomonas, and [personal profile] sgsabbage. Congratulations and thank you again! Also, we have hit a milestone: 150 unique contributors to the Dreamwidth code base!

  #  User                      Changes     Latest
  1. kareila                     910.5     Wed Sep 09 17:31:01 2015 UTC
  2. mark                        544.5     Sun Aug 30 03:12:20 2015 UTC
  3. kaberett                       25     Fri Aug 28 11:35:52 2015 UTC
  4. sgsabbage                       7     Wed Aug 12 21:37:43 2015 UTC
  5. me_and                         22     Mon Aug 10 09:29:04 2015 UTC
  6. pseudomonas                     3     Sat Aug 08 09:45:06 2015 UTC
  7. angelikitten                    1     Wed Aug 05 19:50:20 2015 UTC
  8. exor674                     349.5     Tue Aug 04 21:03:54 2015 UTC
  9. hotlevel4                      47     Sat Aug 01 01:10:02 2015 UTC
 10. fu                         2167.5     Tue Jul 14 23:44:50 2015 UTC

 11. dteklavya                       2     Tue Jul 14 06:52:15 2015 UTC
 12. momijizukamori             222.66     Thu Jun 25 23:01:08 2015 UTC
 13. forests_of_fire                 2     Thu Jun 25 21:13:22 2015 UTC
 14. timeasmymeasure             14.58     Thu Jun 25 06:38:48 2015 UTC
 15. forthwritten                  1.5     Thu Jun 25 03:50:50 2015 UTC
 16. woggy                          16     Wed Jun 24 23:55:23 2015 UTC
 17. pauamma                       125     Thu Mar 26 00:59:01 2015 UTC
 18. purplecat                    17.5     Wed Feb 04 05:09:44 2015 UTC
 19. azurelunatic                    3     Mon Dec 08 18:51:00 2014 UTC
 20. baggyeyes                     2.5     Thu Nov 13 18:02:17 2014 UTC
The rest of the list... (150 total) )
Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 01:10
1. I got to a point in Super Mario 3D Land where I was just stuck and not having fun anymore, so I put it away and picked up Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, which I had set aside halfway through for some reason. I ended up playing that for like an hour and a half tonight, so that was fun. I already have the next one, as I got it last Christmas but never got around to playing it yet, so I will be ready when I finish this one. :)

2. I forgot to mention it the other day when I watched it, but Sunday's Bob's Burgers was SO GREAT. Seriously one of the best episodes ever. I was laughing so hard.

3. I've got some really cute kitties.

They've been playing in the bathroom so much lately. Between their newly discovered love of the bathmat and their newly discovered ability to jump up into the window there, it's just a super fun place to be (they already loved playing in the bathtub/with the shower curtain).
Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 00:03
Thursday night: poodle. He's malfunctioning slightly (being 10 by now) and is now on 4x daily pills.
In the middle of the night I woke up with sensory hell due to my hands itching, enough so that I went home to get a pair of gloves to deal with it.

Work was somewhat surreal. lb got the new IRC server set up under his desk, and a few of us poked around on it and made sure it was stable before inviting everyone over. He sent messages in all the channels about what was up, and prepared to do the swap after lunch.

Since I'd been in early, I opted for earlier lunch, and with lb's table. I advised Purple of my plans, and he thought that sounded like a good idea, and decided to join as well.

Mr. Wizard Beard had been at lunch also; afterwards, he offered to show Purple some hardware in his server room, and asked if I'd like to come see as well.

This was my first time inside a full-blown server room. I'd peeked into a room in which there were a few racks which housed some of archive.org before, but that was a room with a couple racks. This is a room with rows and aisles and at least three ginormous cabinet air conditioning units. Mr. Wizard Beard explained some of the provenance of the servers: this one is from that vendor, the other one is from the other one, and they wanted to do X but then plans changed, and now they're doing Y, and we had to do something else with X hardware...

The door has a sign on the outside: NO FOOD. NO LIQUIDS. Read more... )
Friday, October 2nd, 2015 17:30
Today's Captain Awkward has a) prompted me to make myself scrambled eggs and toast, and b) reminded me that a few years ago I actually discovered a great response to men who proposition me as a unicorn, saying, "My wife and I are polyamorous." I look at them with wide eyes and say, "Wow, you must really like talking about relationships and feelings."

No man I've tried it on has yet failed to flinch and quail before that, and so I travel on toward spinsterhood. (Being able to deal with intense feelings dissections is basically a prerequisite of being my friend, let alone lover.)


Thursday's interview was so-so; I chatted on well with the interviewer but she admitted at the end that I was the third-choice of three final candidates, so I probably won't get it. TBH I'm not that broken up about it partly because the org was so... White, and affluent, so Happy Families Doing Happy Things, that I felt bizzarrely out of place. Like, it was the kind of org I could imagine my realtor brother's family joining if they fell into its population, going to their Thursday night social group. And I'm used to grit and trauma and the things you say when you know nothing you say can adequately address what somebody's just shared with you. So. It would be good money, but... I'll be a bit relieved if I don't get it.

I'm a bit discouraged with my writing right now, and struggling to find the will to write even when I do feel crappy about it. I lose faith a lot in whether the things I'm writing are worthwhile, even when I intellectually know that I mostly think they are.
Friday, October 2nd, 2015 21:02
As someone who basically grew up with the Target novelisations of Doctor Who, The Crusade is a very weird experience*. The Crusade is one of early Who's high-concept historicals, before the concept of a purely historical Doctor Who story was, essentially, cast aside. In The Crusade the Doctor and his companions must master the complex politics of the third Cruade in which Richard I faced off against Saladin. What is strange about it is that this is also one of the very early Doctor Who novelisations and I hadn't realised quite how much freedom David Whitaker had taken with the plot.

More under the cut )

I'm glad I saw this. It is a piece of Doctor Who that is attempting to do something that has not been attempted since the show abandoned its interest to educating about history. That said it is, in a way, more educational about the limits of studio-bound Doctor Who in the 1960s, and 1960s attitudes to race and class, than it is about the third Crusade itself. For a reader of the novelisations it is also weirdly different to expectations. Like at lot of Hartnell's shows, it is more interesting as a view upon avenues that have subsequently closed, than it is in and of itself.

*also I'm quite drunk, please attribute spelling errors accordingly.
Friday, October 2nd, 2015 08:34
Heather and I went to see The Intern last weekend, which was a fun, frivolous, feel-good movie. While we both enjoyed it immensely, it was only upon further reflection that I realized the main character (Ben, played by Robert de Niro) is basically me.

Follow along: after a traumatic life event (him: retiring and losing his wife; me: moving across the country and dealing with new parenthood), our hero seeks a new community and new purpose in life. Upon receiving an invitation to join up with a new outfit, our hero quietly observes the goings-on and tries to find ways to feel useful and valued. Once that usefulness and value is recognized, our hero is tirelessly loyal and giving to their new comrades.

Well, I do get tired sometimes, I guess. But yeah. He's probably also INFP.
Friday, October 2nd, 2015 11:43
So, like many (?) I have recently been enjoying a lot of excellent Hannibal fic. I've actually been reading Hannibal almost since the the beginning of the fandom - when so many SPN writers migrated en masse to Hannibal and AO3 was flooded with "not-a-cannibal!AU"s. I am, however, unable to watch the show because my tolerance for horror is zero and even watching a few graphic scenes would probably give me nightmares for a week. (I'm someone who doesn't mind the actual content, but the intent. For example, Chuck Palahniuk's early books are full of horror-like imagery, gore and dark humor. I loved them! But once he switched to writing horror, the same exact content became impossible for me to read. I quit the very first book halfway through.)

Anyway, at this point I've seen fanvids, clips, read fanfic, read ACTUAL EPISODE SCRIPS, looked at sketches and interviews and other behind-the-scenes stuff, enjoyed fanart. I don't know what the cutoff point for being in a fandom is - even I, who's always read liberally in canons I knew nothing about, feel like "being in a fandom" when you have no intention of ever watching the canon is stretching it a bit. But, consuming so much material has given me Thoughts, so, here we are. Meta about fic for a show I will never watch.

what's interesting to me about the gender dynamics of the main pairing )

The other thing I've found fascinating is how much tension there is in the Hannibal fics I've read. Let me make a grand statement: I've never been in a fandom where generation tension between the two leads was so easy. Never. Hannibal fic can, in a universe without homophobia, make Will and Hannibal's first kiss seem more intense than "finally doing it after 50k of pining" sex in other fandoms. That is absolutely remarkable to me, and I've spent some time trying to analyze why.

On narrative tension )

Anyway, if you don't care about any of this, let me just share this amazing fanvid with you (it doesn't trigger my horror issues at all, though it does contain graphic imagery), which I've been rewatching over and over again lately. Mostly it accentuates the amazing nuances of Hugh Dancy's acting - his casting was brilliant, I think, not only because no matter how much you slow down his performance in gifs he' still doing something fascinating with his face in every frame, but also because his features lend themselves so well to built-in vulnerability.

Friday, October 2nd, 2015 00:35
1. That paypal transfer for last month's translation and tomorrow's paycheck just hit my bank and wow, there's a lot of money in there. (Which will all be gone in a couple days when I pay bills, but is still nice to see.)

2. I went over to my mom's today to help them with some computer stuff, which was thankfully all minor issues that were fixed pretty quickly.

3. Alexander came over this afternoon and we went to Walmart. They have the same kitty treats at this one that Carla got when she was back at her folks', which is good because we're down to just one and the babies love these sooooo much.

4. I'm so glad we got the pet-proof screens!

Friday, October 2nd, 2015 02:13
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Night blooms and decays. #Hipstamatic #Oggl #HelgaViking #Otto
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 20:07
Apparently I read no books in September. I attribute this to a) work being stressful and b) knitting a ton, and I do read while I knit but it's almost universally fanfic as it's on my computer and I can flip to a file with the pattern and back easily, blah blah blah. So this list is pretty short.

books what i read july august sept )
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 18:24

The forums over at track-chinapost.com offer some fascinating sociological observations.

(~500 words) )
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 13:57
I didn't get very much dev work done in the month of September. Apologies to anyone who missed my virtual presence - my mom, dad, and best friend are all dealing with various ailments and one of my kids unexpectedly decided to join the Cub Scouts. I think I spent more time in my car than at home. In fact I am actually in a hospital waiting room as I write this entry. Tethering FTW!

I will try to get all the recent pull requests reviewed in the next few days. It's about time for me to do a new Current Contributors list as well. However, I don't anticipate doing another code push until the end of the month at the earliest - most likely I will wait until after [personal profile] kaberett's London contributor event, which is scheduled for November 7th.
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 17:41
The list... )

Linear extrapolation says 136 works. This may or may not pan out, due to Reasons. Part of those reasons are "there's a fair few short works here. Anyway, seevral new authors this month, in no small part thanks to the recommendations on the "stuff I have read and liked" thread on Making Light. So that may be worth having a look at.
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 16:41
Every Thursday, I share with you one or two songs that caught my ear this week, tell you what album they are from and how to obtain them (if applicable), and invite you to do the same in comments.

"How Fortunate The Man With None" (german: "Salomonsong"), written by german playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956).

Dead Can Dance's version, from the album Into The Labyrinth (1993).

Daniel "Danny" Cavanagh's cover version, from the DCD tribute album The Lotus Eaters (2004).

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 14:50
[personal profile] enigel and I were going to go to a show in London, by John Finnemore of Cabin Pressure fame. Unfortunately she has a clash, so we're selling our tickets on GetMeIn. It's Wednesday night next week.
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 09:09
Early this year, I created a profile on codementor.io. I wasn't sure if I would actually get paid, but I figured I had nothing to lose! I had plenty of time, as I was searching for a job, and I like helping people.

I was a bit nervous at first -- "What if I can't figure it out?" -- so I only offered to help with requests well within my expertise. It can be a challenge to get started on a reputation-based site like codementor, and I wasn't getting many responses yet, so I started altering my strategy. What I suggest, based on my experience:
  1. Select the "15 minutes free" option on your profile -- it really helps get new clients.
  2. Start out with a relatively low hourly rate and increase it slowly as you get more clients.
  3. Connect your github, linkedin, stackoverflow, etc. to your codementor profile. Try to answer at least a few questions on stackoverflow, and have a few interesting projects on github. At this point I have many starter and sample apps, most based off session work.
  4. Be willing to chat with people for a few minutes to get a sense of their issue, and only start a paid session if you think you can help. If the issue is very simple, just give the person the answer for free. They are more likely to give you a good review and to come back to you later, and they might even tip you!
  5. Stay logged into the site, and watch incoming requests. Often, the quickest person to say "I can help" gets the session.
  6. When you offer to help, give some of your advice or insight into the problem -- this lets people know you understand and have something to offer. If that is enough for them to solve the issue themselves, great! Again, they are more likely to come back to you in future and to write a good review, plus they might even tip!
  7. It's often helpful to ask more questions, either on their request or in chat.
  8. Sometimes people's requests do not give a good idea of what they actually need. If you begin the session and realize it's not something you can help with, I recommend letting them know immediately, apologize for the misunderstanding, and let them seek someone more qualified.
  9. Offer to help even if you don't know the technologies in question. Be totally up front about your level of expertise, and let them know you can take a look. So often all that's required is a second set of eyes, and there might not be a mentor online with experience in those exact technologies.
  10. Sometimes you won't know the answer or it will take longer than you expected, and that is ok. Check in with the client about timing and whether they want to continue. Interestingly, some of my best reviews are from session where I didn't know the answer off the top of my head. Clients really appreciate watching me go through debugging and other problem solving processes.
  11. Go slower than you think you should, unless the client really wants you to rush. Take the time to explain to people what you are doing and why.
  12. Decide how long you are willing to wait if client doesn't show up for a scheduled session. I generally wait 10-15 minutes if there are other people asking for help, longer if I have nothing else pressing.
  13. Take on long-term mentoring if you can. The rate is less but it's a great opportunity to hone your skills and get some reviews.
It's now been over 6 months, and often people message me with questions before I can even offer to help. I've had days when I was mentoring non-stop from dawn until dusk! I'm very happy to finally be doing work that is useful, appreciated, in line with my ethics and social goals, fun, and well paid. :D
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 00:16
1. Day off tomorrow!

2. I did indeed come home and take a nap today and it was very nice. (Though I felt kinda groggy afterwards.)

3. I finally got paid for that big translation job last month! The payment was via paypal, so I have to wait for it to transfer to my bank, but I'm pretty excited about paying off some credit cards with that.

4. We got pizza for dinner. :)

5. Carla has taken so many cute kitty pictures lately but I've slacked on posting them online. Here's a couple close-ups I posted tonight, though.

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 02:44
if any of you feel like telling me I'm not awful for having called the Met on an attempted burglary I'd be very grateful (violent in that we've a smashed window but bars on all the doors etc)

(I know it's dodgy as fuck to call the Met at any point for any reason and I'm feeling awful about it)

(we're all okay, and the police have two suspects in custody with plausible forensics on them once forensics have been by)
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 19:43
Well, I had an interesting interview today, and then I picked up another one for tomorrow (from a resume I sent out last night, whaaat).

Today's interview was a group interview--there were supposed to be five of us, but it ended up being just four. Since there are five positions open we didn't have to stress too much about competition. We had to do some group activities like making words out of scrabble tiles together, as well as individual parts where they asked things like, "A 13-year-old girl you are working with shows you this video, how do you respond?" and played Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke performing "Blurred Lines" together, and we had to write a paragraph answer.

They also asked us to take two handpuppets and improvise a skit as if for a child we were working with on a given theme, like "homework" or "cleaning your room". I feel like I did pretty well on that, actually, as Procrastinator Coyote was haunted by the spectre of Homework Raven.

Anyway, they seem like a good place to work (By now my response is very, 'You look like you have a good HR department, EXCELLENT.') I hope I get the job. But even more, I hope it's one of several offers that I get to choose between.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 22:51
post-tags: instagram, crosspost The journey of buying + cooking with your senses. @ruthreichl #Hipstamatic #Oggl #Foxy #DC
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 21:59
Recipe in fact by John Meecham, one of his chefs; features in the book Jerusalem, which actually made me cry a bit when I read through it at [personal profile] aella_irene's earlier this week (because homefood, and because unity, and because all sorts of things).

I in fact had been craving rice pudding for a little while, long enough at least that I bought some pudding rice a few weeks ago and hadn't got around to doing anything with it; and we had some double cream in the fridge from my profiterfails a week or so ago, and a four-pint flagon of milk that needed using up. Ergo.

Read more... )
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 11:02
The guys came and fixed my stove while I was at work yesterday.

Caller: Azure Lunatic
Priority: High
OK to enter? YES
Category: Appliance
Access notes: I'm unlikely to be awake before 10 or 11 am.
Problem description: The breaker for my stove tripped while I was baking.

Technician Notes
Time: 2:00 pm
Date: 9-29-15
Material: Replaced bad oven receptacle light (shorted) and reset breaker

The weird thing is, this exact same stove had this exact same problem several Novembers ago.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 14:44
tada )
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 13:04
Overview of my emotional response to the book; no spoilers, I don't think.

Read more... )
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 08:27
A quiet one this month! So I'm also going to use this post to flag up that I'm holding a Dreamwidth contributor social in London on the 7th of November -- details at link, everyone welcome!

Read more... )

7 total issues resolved
Contributors: [github.com profile] kaberett, [github.com profile] kareila
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 01:12
I have advanced from a little shaky to tired and somewhat headachey, but!

I am yet again the person who stuck their neck out about infrastructure stuff. As the somewhat inevitable result, I have been voluntold as the person who is now responsible for the workplace IRC server.

Mr. Wizard Beard has been involved, to find a corner on a box. (Mr. Wizard Beard is the person who will stab you if you drop one crumb in the server room that lives in the back corner of the office building that lb, Purple, and radius are all in.)

There are several retired IRC admins who spend time on the server, who might be bribed out of retirement with chocolate and/or jellybeans.

The existing VM has been up for nearly 2 years now with scarcely a bobble, so that aspect of it seems least likely to attract trouble.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 01:02
1. Tomorrow's my early day. Due to various stuff, I did not have to go in early the last two Wednesdays and it was so nice! Tonight I stayed up later than I wanted (I'm about to go to bed now, but it's already after one) and I'm sure I'll regret it tomorrow, but at least I can come home and take a nap if I want, and I have the next day off. I'm kind of already looking forward to a nap tomorrow afternoon. XD

2. We are experimenting with letting the kittens in the bedroom at night and so far it's going okay? This morning I woke up with Chloe sleeping by my pillow. :)
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 22:10
1. Sometimes thrashing out my crazy, even though I don't know what I'm doing at the time, has seriously positive affects. Like freeing me up to joy.

2. I remembered that my meds ran out last Thursday and got more! (Not-great thing: I need to make phonecalls and wrangle to get the right people to pay for them. Good thing: My pharmacist knows me and advanced me this week's meds without making me pay)

3. I HAVE A JOB INTERVIEW TOMORROW. With a place I've applied to four times this year, and they finally deigned the notice me.

4. And I hammered out a bunch more job applications tonight.

5. While eating raspberry white/chocolate cake