July 2016

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Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 00:37
1. Today an employee was back to work who had been off for almost two months due to a broken hand. We had to fill his position in the meantime, but there was a new position open for him that I think will suit him better, and he seemed happy and much more relaxed than he had been, so I'm hoping that works out. And also it was just good to have him back. He's not someone I would call a friend, even a work friend, but he's a good worker and we have so many new people it's good to have someone back who's been with us a few years and knows what's what!

2. I was in meetings most of the day at the Gardena store, which meant I didn't get much done at my store, but things are going smoothly enough at the moment that there wasn't actually anything urgent I had to do, so that's good.

3. I had hoped to see my former co-worker who transferred to the Gardena store, but I didn't get there until a few minutes before the meeting started, and by the time we were done, he'd gone home for the day, but he messaged me on Facebook and we had a long gossipy chat tonight and that was fun. (I miss having him around at the store, but he seems really happy with his new position, so.)

4. Look at this sweetie!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 00:10
The winner for first class to write home asking for help with Will: Social Studies!

Mitigating factors: he is sick with a cold this week; he hasn't been sleeping well; it's his first class of the day.

The good news so far: he's only struggling to complete his work in that one class, according to his aide. After social studies, he has P.E. and Math; the rest of his classes are after lunch.

Anxiety levels through the roof as the social studies teacher said, "I don't want to punish him, but..." Also he called me Mrs., which got my hackles up. Respect shown to women should not be qualified by apparent age or martial marital status; I always use Ms. and have come to expect the same from others. However, this is the first time Will has had a male teacher and I don't want to antagonize him by going Full Metal Feminist on his ass... at least, not immediately.

So I spent 3-4 hours this afternoon problem-solving with Will and writing emails to the social studies teacher and the IEP aide. Then I went to bed early because fuck this. Of course now I'm awake again, but hopefully not for long.
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Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 01:57
I apologize for skipping a month. (Why didn't anyone remind me?)

What have you all been up to?
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Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 01:54
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 20:20
I've always confused Meglos and The Creature from the Pit which, it must be said, I've always assumed was just me. But halfway through Meglos tame layman noted it was "very like" Creature from the Pit as well. While John Nathan-Turner attempted to put a very different stamp on the show, Meglos feels very much like a leftover from the Graham Williams era, and in particular one of the less loved stories.

It's not just similar to Creature from the Pit in general tone, it has a jungle planet, a high profile female semi-antagonist, comedy ruffians (whose humour is more hit than miss) and a fourth episode that goes off on a bit of a tangent (though not as much of one).

Its production is better than that of Creature from the Pit, but that sadly isn't saying a great deal and it has a joyless feel to it (possibly because Tom Baker was ill (if I recall events correctly) and possibly because it is a Graham Williams' style story being produced by JNT). Tom Baker should be unstoppable in the double role of the Doctor and Meglos but instead is strangely muted. It doesn't help that the Doctor doesn't actually manage to get out of the Tardis until episode 2, making the whole of episode 1 feel like set-up.

The casting of Jacqueline Hill (who had played Barbara back in the original Tardis crew) is the kind of stunt casting JNT was keen on but this case seems oddly ill-conceived in retrospect - not famous enough to bring in casual viewers and fandom and general geek culture wasn't anything like as high profile in the 1980s (though JNT was an early show-runner to recognise the value of playing to the fans) - and, for whatever reason, she doesn't really dominate in the way you would expect as the celebrity cast member.

All in all, it's not terribly good. It's not out-right bad in the way that The Creature in the Pit is in places, but it fails to be particularly good in an retrospect.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 10:37
Several things I recommended during Worldcon just now:

I had a very good time at Worldcon and am recovering now.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 08:11
Last night was open house at the middle school and it was So. Stressful.

We had to bring our child's class schedule with us and attempt to navigate to each period's classroom in turn, in an unfamiliar building, with only 4 minutes between presentations that only lasted 7 minutes. Of the six classrooms I visited, only two had handouts with contact info. It felt like sorority rush. "Nice to meet you, bye!"

I had also hoped to meet Will's new IEP aide, who had said in an email that she would be attending, but haha of course that didn't happen. I still don't know when and how often he is receiving her assistance.

I did learn a few things:

Read more... )

In summary: I am probably struggling more than Will is right now, and as long as he's doing well, I should try to relax a bit. I'm very annoyed about having to check each individual teacher's web page, though. The intermediate school also had teacher web pages, but everything important was communicated in emails and handouts.

Update: Now Will tells me he is meeting with his IEP aide before MWF lunch, and other times as needed, but she is not providing in-class assistance.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 11:52
I have very clear memories of my ten-year-old self being immensely, deeply unimpressed by Rothko and Mondrian. I was very angry about why this constituted "art"; my definition of art explicitly excluded square canvases painted a single colour.

My ten-year-old self is gently unimpressed every time I stop dead in front of a six-foot-square matte black canvas in an art gallery, wonderstruck, and go "hmm, yes, isn't it fascinating what's being done here, isn't this good."

I am nursing a theory that the main differences between me-then and me-now are:
  1. I'm no longer in a situation where my autism is actively decried, and have internalised that it's okay for particular colours or shapes to make me happy, just because, and (as a superset, really)
  2. I've started believing that it's okay for me to have and experience emotions full stop (and am sufficiently well medicated that I can and do).

Which means that, over the past few years, I've stopped interpreting modern and especially abstract art as, fundamentally, threats: I've stopped responding automatically with defensive suspicion and fury to forms of art that (crudely!) exist to make me feel things.

There is nuance to this, of course. Seeing the Barbara Hepworth exhibit at the Tate Britain, the (possible? probable?) reasons for my emotional response clicked into place when I read that a lot of her more abstract work was in response to or in dialogue with her feelings of being cradled by landscape, and particularly by the Lake District and by Cornwall; all of a sudden it was obvious to me that the sense of home-and-safety-and-familiarity I get off those sculptures is, in fact, the same sense of awe and belonging and recognition I get staring out to sea or feeling dwarfed on valley floors or what-have-you.

That was followed up by another visit to the Tate Britain, one day I wound up in the right area of London with some time to kill, where what I'd intended to do was poke my nose into some of the public galleries. I saw War Damaged Musical Instruments advertised on the website and ignored it -- and then stopped dead in the middle of the hall it occupied, the moment I got there, and spent twenty minutes sat there crying.


One of the things I've been gently sad about for quite a long time is that I'm a classically-trained musician who is mostly very, very bad at listening to classical music unless it's something I've played or am preparing to play, such that I'm listening as a technical study. (I think I've talked before about mostly relating to music as either a technical study or a vehicle for lyrics, but if not I can give it a go.) I'm starting to think it might be time to have another go.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 00:17
1. Carla arrived safely in Chicago (by plane) and then in Rockford (by bus) and finally in Beloit (by car). She's driving down to her folks' tomorrow with her aunt and uncle.

2. I had so much trouble falling asleep last night despite being tired and then had to get up at five to take Carla to the airport, but thankfully I was able to fall asleep easily when I got back home and slept most of the morning.

3. I got some housework and some translating done today.

4. Not only did I see another preview for Yooka Laylee (upcoming game by the makers of Banjo-Kazooie) today, but I also found out there's going to be a sequel to Oceanhorn!

5. Caught the babies cuddling this afternoon.

Monday, August 22nd, 2016 19:49
[CW: rape] I Anonymously Reported My Rape for the Anonymous Attention, by Nicole Silverberg for Reductress (2016-08-17). See, you can write humor that deals with rape and that's actually funny.

The Blood-bag: Co-narcissists and Narcissists in Tech, by Marlena Compton and Valerie Aurora (2016-08-22). On people who enable narcissists (i.e. most people who work in the tech industry.) The "blood bag" metaphor is so good.

How To Make a Real Commitment to Diversity, by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (2016-08-17). The description of professors who give lip service to diversity in their programs but refuse to take the slightest risk to encourage it (or even to, you know, discipline predatory people) is so familiar.

“You Do Not Exist To Be Used”: Dismantling Ideas of Productivity in Life Purpose, by Gillian Giles for The Body Is Not an Apology (2016-08-17). "You do not exist to be used."

Shameless plug: buy a "San Fran Trans Co" shirt from my friend's collective!

What It's Like to Have 'High-Functioning' Anxiety, by Sarah Schuster for The Mighty (2016-06-27). In general I don't find "high-functioning"/"low-functioning" typologies to be useful, and I don't find everything in this article rings true for me, but some of it does.

Meeting the Free Speech Crusaders Who Want to End Political Correctness, by Sam Kriss for Vice (2016-08-17). This line is brilliant, about why Internet trolls love citing the notion of "debate": "It's not hard to see why: only in a formal debate do you have to give stupid and boring ideas a hearing they don't deserve."

The Troubling Trendiness Of Poverty Appropriation, by July Westhale for The Establishment (2015-11-23). "It’s likely, from where I sit, that this back-to-nature and boxed-up simplicity is not being marketed to people like me, who come from simplicity and heightened knowledge of poverty, but to people who have not wanted for creature comforts. For them to try on, glamorize, identify with. "

I, Racist by John Metta (2015-07-06). "But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings."

Activism, Language, and Differences of Opinion, by Julia Serano (2016-07-19) -- links to some of Serano's greatest hits re: language, politics, and social justice.
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Monday, August 22nd, 2016 17:02
Shall we begin with Lemonade remixed? And continue on into the idea that not all songs that look like they're about men are about men.

The Impact 25, 25 women who have done great things and accomplishments in the world of sports, each given the Marvel hero treatment.

Methods for catching genuine childlike wonder.

Kings and leaders of various African and Middle Eastern nations that aren't all Pharaohs.

Fashion spreads involving really attractive women. A woman orc in cheesecake pinup fashion. An attractive and colorful mermaid. Dolls for the Vampire in you. Sailor Moon characters remagined in pinup and nose art styles.

Nickelodeon continues on their tradition of their acceptance of today's reality by putting a married gay couple in one of their cartoons.

So, a couple of posts back I mentioned a figure skater who did a Sailor Moon routine and got to meet the creator of Sailor Moon not too soon afterward. Here's the performance of the Sailor Moon ice routine. The decisions on the costume change were spot on, and the poses and synchronization to the music track work very well.

The power struggle that can develop between showrunners / authors and fans over the direction their work should be taking, now that fans have a lot more platforms to express themselves in numbers. That the article calls it an ideology suggests that they're listening to the loudest voices without understanding them, to me, as many of the very loud voices in fandom are about representation of reality in character choices, and that domains of fiction should be able to have characters that represent the diversity of people, without the diversity being the spotlight thing for that character. Now, however, instead of in zines and letters pages, fans are able to express themselves on broad broadcasting platforms like Twitter and Tumblr, and archive their work publicly on the Internet for others to see. The fans are better-connected now, which makes it easy for them to amplify their voices like an Occupy microphone. And if creators take the same tack that most figures did when confronted with an Occupy microphone, they shouldn't be surprised to see the voices arrayed against them getting louder and more insistent that they be heard.

The Supreme Court of the United States says people convicted of domestic violence charges should not have guns. Even if what they did was not deliberate - with weapons, a moment of passion can be deadly.

The history of gestures regarding the address of the United States flag by its citizens...and why there may not be a whole lot of attention paid to it.

If you seek to bring more people to a spiritual life and spiritual fulfillment, work to remove the impediments that prevent them from doing so. Social justice is spiritual work.

The Republican candidate may have insinuated that the Democratic candidate needed to die, lest she select Supreme Court justices that would narrow the scope of the right to have weapons.

Unsurprisingly, young people have issues with sex, often involving how to get to an orgasm or to prevent doing so too quickly. Perhaps because sex ed still doesn't include the part where good consensual sex is supposed to be about mutual pleasure and being able to say what does and doesn't move toward that goal.

There is a distinction between the idea of finding someone sexy and framing them to be sexualized and objectified. For the most part, objectifying happens to women characters, so perceiving the difference between how men are framed and how women are framed helps point out the difference.

Catholic hospitals still refuse to "do no harm" by not providing contraceptive and abortion care and not referring patients to those who will.

Before marriage, adoption was a method that gay couples could use to ensure rights and privileges were appropriately arrayed.

Trying to tell people in service work about your emotional states was a failure. Telling an intimate partner about it produced the connection desired. With an interlude of how horrible it is that men are socialized into a limited set of acceptable emotional expressions. So, two of of three (bad on emotional suppression, good on talking to friends) toward a good model of communicating feelings, at least. But spending the majority of the time talking to cashiers or other women in mind where they couldn't directly not engage him probably gives the writer the wrong impression about the world around them.

If your house is on fire, metaphorically, there are decisions that need to be made about whether to save it, and how to go about either getting out of it or bringing in the professionals to help put it out. The idea of the pod, who are the people you turn to for help with violence done to you or to get accountability for violence you are doing.

Avatar Cat. Crown Prince Zuko and his dragon. There's a whole idea there somewhere about how caring for a small dragon helped Zuko learn how to care for himself.

A thing to remember and put very close to my heart: Being brave and strong doesn’t mean that you have no wounds. Being brave and strong means being wounded, injured, and forging ahead anyways even if you’re close to collapse.

A story of twelve sisters lamenting what has been lost. A story of twelve sisters delighting in the dance. The cyclical nature of our stories are supposed to help us when we are down and when we are up.

On burnout and how it might be a symptom of not having made all that many decisions autonomously in life.

The assumptions of the world that a capitalist society insists are unbreakable truisms.

At a speech most White people wouldn't watch, Jesse Williams spoke truth about what life is for Black people. More of Mr. Williams. And physical intervention in the use of racial slurs.

Portland, Oregon still has a thriving black community, even with the gentrification that's making it harder for everyone to live affordably there. Consult BlackPDX for locations and listings of Black-owned businesses in and around the city.

Luke Cage is a hero needed right now, and it will hopefully be an awesome show with awesome people. Hulu wants Runaways to come to television, which can also increase the diversity on the television machines. But we note, as the Mary Sue does, that these shows are being commissioned by subscription television services, and not for display on cable or broadcast networks. Diversity and stories of our times are apparently not good enough for the regular airwaves. Star Trek: Discovery also needs to continue with diversity of cast, but also be set away from any of the established timelines.

Take My Wife involves two lesbians putting on a comedy show and living their lives outside of that.

Josika Nicole on coming to your identity and them embracing it.

Yotsuba&! is excellent manga. Go read. Squirrel Girl is awesome. Go read.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has been tapped to help with a live remake of The Little Mermaid. Guess that Ham4Ham was a premonition.

The cancelation of Agent Carter was apparently solely a network decision without consulting Marvel.

The new Ghostbusters movie is a strong critique of the academic system and its requirements.

The way that the Albuquerque Police Department intended to prevent anyone from reforming them while they continued to shoot people. Algorithms that reflect the biases of society need to be left unused when discovered. Regardless of where those algorithms are being deployed. Or for what purpose they are being put to use.

Trying to trademark an identity and sending cease-and-desist on it is generally a bad life choice and exposes how much extra work and funding entities such as the patent and trademark office need to prevent abuse.

Surveillance using the PRISM program wrongly targeted a New Zealand democracy activist at the request of the NZ government.

Transparency is a requirement for any public health organization that wants to try and combat an epidemic. Having a history of transparency is also a helpful thing. As is making sure your clinics in the most rural places are funded and staffed.

The Voice of Night Vale is also HIV positive.

Florida's open records laws contribute to the weirdness of Florida news stories, which means other states could get their own interesting bits of their governments would also apply transparency.

Listening to audiobook is the same cognitive load as reading things. So it's not cheating, and often better, to have someone narrating to you.

Work smarter, not harder, by not putting in more hours and by leaving jobs that insist you put in more time instead of being able to think through problems. Use recovery periods offered to you so that you may come back to your work (or whatever else) recharged and ready.

The passing of a pioneer of women in anthropology.

Creating frosted floral arrangements on cakes, succulent flowers version.

An acceptance speech for those who banded together to defeat a small number of rabid ideologues.

Advice for musicians and artists about getting beyond both the technical and the self-serving to get to the point.

In comedy, timing is everything. An attempt to suggest that being shy in person may be a contrast of having good skill at writing.

The iron-rich waterfall of Antarctica, a tearoom constructed in harmony with the tree that supports it, planters felted into animal shapes, what studying bones actually says about the person whose bones they are - not as much as one might think..., and a necessary, if artificial, salt sea.

In technology, musical prowess with vegetables, giant bronze statues, the origins of pink lemonade, HG Wells' prescience of the future, the possibility that a deja vu is the way the brain tries to fact check memory, illusions people have about their memories and their recall, the opening of research funded by NASA, a global view of a meteor shower, various less common vending machine products, a loom made of LEGO bricks, and the appeal of driving vehicles.

Physics of wheelchair use, with nice explanations as to why chairs work the way they do. Fashion for chair users.

Websites for learning, practicing, or expanding various skills.

The quotative like as a linguistic stopgap, rather than just a Valley Girl tic.

Tree communication networks, the return of water voles, the death of a matriarch of tigers, the problems of invasive species, like goldfish, cats that would like your appreciation, Kate McKinnon as servant to her cat,a garden full of plants that will kill humans, birdsong sang in the egg that affects development based on temperature, cats as vehicles for instruction on consent, photographing frozen flowers, nature documentaries with comedy show subtitles, and balloon animals beyond the standard ideas.

Last for tonight, even though it might normally go at the front, Chloe X Halle, young girls scouted by Beyoncé, sing the national anthem.

And book opening lines, which I managed to muddle my way to a perfect score on, despite not having read most of the books the lines came from.

Finally, finding the actress who played the only live version of Carmen Sandiego. Nice work, detective.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 13:37
Reread.

This is the fifth and concluding volume of Fenn's Hidden Empire pentalogy. Rather hard to speak cogently about it without pretty much giving everything away, so I won't even try. It's well-written and the main reason for long delay is "WorldCon" (and to some extent "there were plenty of unseen films I was interested in on the plane(s)").

It's probably best to start at book #1 and continue from there. All in all, eminently readable.
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Monday, August 22nd, 2016 18:26
[22 18:22] <Sophira> Hopefully this actually works now.
[22 18:22] * Sophira sends computer bugs to the inferno
[22 18:22] <Sophira> :(
[22 18:23] <Sophira> send computer bugs to the inferno
[22 18:23] <Sophira> send computer bugs to the Inferno with a capital I
[22 18:23] * RWHell sneaks out a scaly hand and grabs computer bugs with a capital I!
[22 18:23] <Sophira> ...right.
[22 18:23] * RWHell 's depths emit a sudden roar as it expels an exterminator. (stayed in Hell for 106 days)






[22 18:24] <Sophira> (somebody is going to be real confused when that last one comes out again)

#684 -- #dreamwidth-bitch, 2016-08-22 - submitted by [info - DW]geekosaur in Dreamwidth

Monday, August 22nd, 2016 17:48
... for bug-characterisation purposes. Sorry, folk. <3
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 07:33
Unless I missed tagging something, this is my first meme participation in 5 years... but I think that's because memes aren't as common as they used to be?

1. Why did you sign up for Dreamwidth?

Because Mark asked me to get involved, about 6 weeks before open beta happened, IIRC. I had Perl experience and a lot of free time, and the rest is history.

2. Why did you choose your journal name?

Ancient history: Kareila is a name I first used for an RP character in high school. Sometime during my sophomore year of college, I was invited to join a social MUSH, and that's the username I decided to use. It's been my primary online identity ever since.

3. Do you crosspost? Why or why not?

I still crosspost for the benefit of my few remaining loyal LJ readers, but all my crossposts are locked there, even if they're public here.

4. What do you do online when you're not on DW?

Email, Twitter, and Facebook. Streaming music and YouTube. The occasional online game.

5. How about when you're not on the computer?

Reading books, watching sports, playing console games, hanging out with loved ones, or sleeping.

6. What do you wish people who read your journal knew about you?

After all this time, I have no idea what my readers might not already know about me, especially the ones who have met me RL (most of you).

7. What is your favorite community on Dreamwidth?

Probably [community profile] dwqdb. I'm also very fond of [community profile] kareila_books and [community profile] changelog_digest, but I'm biased in that regard.

8. What community do you wish was more active?

I'm going to say [site community profile] dw_dev even though that's sort of cheating.

9. Are there two people on your reading list that you think should meet?

If I had to choose just two that I don't think have met already, I'd go with [personal profile] azurelunatic and [personal profile] siderea.

10. Tell me about your default icon.

Many of my icons are TV/movie/cartoon characters that I strongly identify with. My default icon for some time has been Sam Sparks from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I've kept that as default for several years now because I particularly like how it looks with my journal theme.

11. What features do you think Dreamwidth should have that it doesn't currently?

As one of the lead devs I find it uniquely hard to answer this question. At this point, if a feature doesn't already exist, it's because either I don't personally want it or else it's Too Much Work. (Or possibly a Work In Progress.)

12. What do you consider the five most "telling" interests from the list on your profile?

My interest list has been woefully neglected since LJ days and could stand to be updated, but from what currently exists: ChaoticMUX (the social game I ran for several years before everyone emigrated to LJ), choral music (I sing a lot), geophysics (my college major), INFP (my MBTI classification, which I find helpful when debugging interpersonal interactions), & xyzzy (reflecting my early love of text-based games). "Entropy" and "wishes" are also ChaoticMUX references.

13. Do you have any unique interests on your user profile? What are they? How'd they get there?

I used to, but I don't any more - careful inspection of my LJ profile reveals that I removed 2 unique interests from my DW profile (they weren't unique on LJ). "Games Magazine" which I still subscribe to, and "Digital Blasphemy" which is a CGI wallpaper artist I used to patronize.

14. Did you have a gateway fandom? Still in it? Why or why not? Is there a community for it on DW?

I suppose my gateway fandom was Monty Python, in the sense that it led me to alt.fan.monty-python in the pre-WWW days, and that led to my friendship with [personal profile] hkellick which led to ChaoticMUX which led to everything else. I left that particular newsgroup a few years later, but I'm still a fan, as evidenced by that ficlet I posted the other day. Teenage exposure to Monty Python and Douglas Adams gave me the "yes, this is all really ridiculous" perspective I needed for my mental health, and I'm completely inseparable from their influence. I don't think there is a DW community dedicated to Monty Python, but since they haven't done much new original work in the past 30 years, I don't consider it an oversight.

15. What's your current obsession? What about it captures your imagination?

My previous post already covered this.

16. What are you glad you did but haven't really had a chance to post about?

Recently? Uh... (thinks)... last week I watched the first three episodes of Mr. Robot. I don't manage to watch a lot of scripted TV, mostly just sports and competitions, so that was kind of a big deal. Also, the usual suspects have been doing a sporadic Bond Roulette, viewing (and mocking) all the James Bond movies in random order; we just passed the halfway point when we watched Skyfall on Saturday night. There's one other thing I did recently that I haven't written about yet, but that's redacted until the end of the month.

17. How many people on your reading list do you know IRL?

Just going off my access list: 49/58, but that doesn't correct for duplicate accounts. Still: most of you. For my entire subscription list, it's closer to 50/50.

18. What don't you talk about here, either because it's too personal or because you don't have the energy?

Assuming I have the energy, the only things in my life I try to avoid talking about are my personal relationships with others except in the most general terms. If they're not reading, it's talking behind their back; if they are, it can devolve into he said/she said when there's any disagreement. Occasionally I need to make a mental health exception, but as a rule I try to avoid it.

19. Any questions from the audience?

I don't know, are there?

20. Yes, but what are your thoughts on yaoi?

I don't have any? I mean, I know what it is, but I don't swing that way. Yuri, maybe. It's been years since I consumed any anime or manga on a regular basis, though.

21. What's your favorite thing about Dreamwidth?

The people. Honestly, that's my favorite thing about pretty much everything I love.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 08:23
Thankfully, I don't think anything's actually fractured from my fall down the stairs. (Did not bother going to have xrays done, because even if I had fractured my tailbone, there isn't much they can do about it except prescribe painkillers and tell you to ice it, and I can't accept painkillers from anybody but my primary prescriber and I'm already doing the ice thing, so.) Still hurts like fuckery, but I have plenty of painkillers and I've finally figured out a way to lie in bed that doesn't either a) make it hurt worse or b) make everything from my waist to my knees tense up, so.

Insult to injury: period cramps. NOW IT HURTS FRONT AND BACK, ARGH.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 08:22
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, August 22nd, 2016 01:03
1. Sales were high this weekend. Hopefully that trend will continue as we get out of our yearly summer slump.

2. I have to take Carla to the airport around 5:30 tomorrow morning, but it's my day off, so at least I can go back to sleep as soon as I get home.

3. Chloe is super cute even when she's grumpy about having her photo taken.

Sunday, August 21st, 2016 20:02
Ugh, my foot's been bothering me more lately. I mean it's been bothering me since I was pregnant; apparently ligaments loosen in pregnancy. But now it's bothering me more consistently and more annoyingly. It's the ball of my foot, not my old soccer injury in the arch of my foot. I realized recently it's been bothering me enough that I think of it as 'normal' for it to hurt, in a low-grade achey way, all the time. When I thought about my other foot, it was with a sort of surprise--hey, that other foot doesn't hurt every step! In fact it doesn't hurt at all! Weird.

I know I really should schedule a doctor's appointment--I'm due for a physical as well. And a gyn exam, sigh and ugh, including pap smear (every three years). Then I could ask for a referral. And if I get a referral then my insurance covers most physio. And I really do like my physio and I should go back to her and I should commit to any exercises she sets for me. And I should probably buy new shoes. And I should wear shoes indoors for more support, as she told me last time, except I hate wearing shoes indoors and it would mean I'd need two new pairs, one for inside. And while I'm at it I should probably bite the bullet and see a podiatrist--there's one at my GP's practice--someone who specializes in what I have, which I believe is called a neuroma or something like that. A foot thing.

So this is an adulting thing that I should do and I just haven't and I don't want to and ugh. So I am whining. But whining sometimes helps me get stuff done. So. *waves at this mess all up in here*.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 01:25
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.

My favourite local yarn store, Black Sheep at Orenco, got turned into a pokémon gym with the advent of Pokémon Go, and I was so pleased by this that I thought I’d make a pattern! Now, pokéball patterns are a dime a dozen, but what I wanted was something that would be easy to print up nicely and give away, so that’s what I made. I’ll have a batch to give away at Albuquerque Mini Maker Faire on Aug 27-28, and hopefully the lovely folk at Black Sheep at Orenco will let me give away some there too.


Here’s the pages as images, but if you’d like to print it yourself or save it in your collection, I recommend the Pokeball postcard pattern pdf. It’s intended for a 4×6 postcard, or both sides will print onto a single 8.5×11″ sheet of paper.


Pokeball-pattern-1


Pokeball-pattern-2


(The text version of the pattern is at the bottom of this post)


Need help? There are lots of great tutorials out there, including video tutorials on youtube. If the first one you find doesn’t work for you, there’s many more options!


Here’s a few tutorials you might need for this pattern:


Still confused? You can probably also find an expert or a class at your local yarn store.


Love the pattern and want to thank me? Here’s a few things you can do:


  1. I don’t take tips, but I love seeing photos of what people have done with my patterns, so feel free to drop me an email at terri (at) toybox.ca.

  2. Make a pokeball and leave it for someone to find at your local pokestop or gym!

  3. Buy something at Black Sheep at Orenco so my favourite yarn store stays in business. (If you’re a crocheter and haven’t tried Teresa Ruch’s tencel, I recommend splurging on a ball and making a shawl or scarf. Such saturated colours with beautiful shine; the pictures hardly do it justice!)


Feel free to print this pattern out for friends or strangers and do whatever you’d like with your pokeballs! (Although please don’t hurt anyone with them!)


Crochet PoKéBall


A free amigurumi pattern by Terri Oda


Materials: Yarn in red, white, black. Crochet hook appropriate for yarn or smaller to avoid holes.

Yarn needle. Stuffing (polyfill and/or beans work well)

Picture uses worsted weight and size I or 5.5mm hook.

sc single crochet

inc increase by doing two single crochet in a single crochet stitch

dec “invisible” decrease: pull up loop in outside-of-ball half of next stitch, then full following stitch. Finish by pulling though all 3 loops on hook.

When starting your next stitch, be careful not to re-use the 2nd stitch in the decrease by accident.


Button:

0 (white): 6 sc in a magic circle loop

There are great tutorials for magic circles online!

1 (black): Switch colours to black, 2sc in each stitch (for total of 12 stitches)

Cut yarn, leaving a long black tail for sewing

Ball:

0 (red): 6 sc in a magic circle loop (6 stitches)

1 (red): increase (inc) 6 times (12 stitches)

2 (red): inc in next stitch, sc in following one repeat 6 times (18 stitches total)

3 (red): inc, sc, sc 6 times (24 stitches)

4 (red): inc, sc 3 times 6 times (30 stitches)

5-7 (red): sc around (30 stitches)

8 (black): change to black, sc around (30 stitches)

Don’t worry if your colour change looks obvious, it will be covered by the button.

9-11 (white): change to white, sc around (30 stitches)

12 (white): dec, sc 3 times 6 times (24 stitches)

13 (white): dec, sc, sc 6 times (18 stitches)

Start filling ball. You may need to stuff more as you go

14 (white): dec, sc 6 times (12 stitches)

15 (white): dec 6 times (6 stitches). Last chance to stuff!

Cut thread and pull through to close circle.


Sew button onto ball, covering the area with colour change. Toss at a pokémon to catch it!

Sunday, August 21st, 2016 18:16
We went to Forbidden Corner for Valkyrie's birthday. It wasn't 100% successful since G had a meltdown in the tunnels (as discussed elsewhere) but it ended with smiles. It's a very odd place - a weird combination of wild imagination and twee. I'd have liked to explore it more thoroughly but that was not to be.

Pictures under the Cut )
Sunday, August 21st, 2016 01:18
1. Carla got her ticket to go back to her folks. She managed to get a pretty cheap flight on Monday (a direct flight and one that leaves and arrives at decent times, even!).

2. I got a bunch of expired Hi Chew for free from work the other day (Japanese flavors, not the US stuff) and it's still nice and soft and also very tasty. I love Hi Chew so much.

3. I'm up later than I meant to be but at least I can sleep in tomorrow!

4. I've got sweety kitties.

Saturday, August 20th, 2016 21:52
  1. Why did you sign up for Dreamwidth? I was not in the room where it first happened, but I was in the room where it continued to happen, after [staff profile] denise and [staff profile] mark announced Hypothetical Journal. Therefore I was so there. [identity profile] azurelunatic.livejournal.com is userid 50, although I waited a little longer before actually creating my permanent journal, in case something needed doing, testing-wise.

  2. Why did you choose your journal name? There was a punk band name generator on mp3.com back in 1997-ish. There were a number of silly names that I wrote down, but this was the one that magnetized me. It compelled me, even though I was hesitant to commit for a few years.

  3. Do you crosspost? Why or why not? "Somebody That I Used To Know" is my song for LiveJournal. "I don't want to live that way." (Yes. I do have to treat them like a stranger.) I do not crosspost, but I did set up a syndicated feed for the public entries there, for the ease of my friends who still live there.

  4. What do you do online when you're not on DW? Reading fanfiction, email, Twitter, IRC, ICB, various other forms of instant message. Sometimes clicky-games. Writing, though that can be offline as well. Work, too. Many of my previous jobs have been heavily computer, if not 100% online.

  5. How about when you're not on the computer? Housework, spending time with family and friends, reading books, the portions of work which are not computer-enabled. Errands. The odd walk.

  6. What do you wish people who read your journal knew about you? I'm fairly social for an introvert, but at the end of the day that's who I am. This means layers and layers of self-protection against exposure to too many people.

  7. What is your favorite community on Dreamwidth? Lately it's been [community profile] awesomeers, actually. A daily-ish reminder that I am still doing things, even when they seem small.

  8. What community do you wish was more active? I miss the regular screaming in [community profile] capslock_dreamwidth.

  9. Are there two people on your reading list that you think should meet? I was just running an encircling meme! [personal profile] sithjawa and [personal profile] silveradept should meet, though.

  10. Tell me about your default icon. My default icon shifts like the Aurora Borealis in the solar winds. Right now it's the Bastard's Prayer, from Lois McMaster Bujold's Five Gods universe, and it goes like this: "And the Bastard grant us, in our direst need, the smallest gifts: the nail of the horseshoe, the pin of the axle, the feather at the pivot point, the pebble at the mountain's peak, the kiss in despair, the one right word. In darkness, understanding." As soon as I met the Bastard, I knew that I was one of Theirs. They are the god of the out-of-season and weird, and while Bujold defaults to "Him", I feel rather strongly that the Bastard's gender cannot be encompassed by normal measure.

  11. What features do you think Dreamwidth should have that it doesn't currently? This is a difficult one for me too, because when I think of one it goes into [site community profile] dw_suggestions. More work on the API and image hosting would be awesome of course!

  12. What do you consider the five most "telling" interests from the list on your profile?

    • the bullhorn of viola swamp: This is the magical item from Hogwarts which I would pull out of the Sorting Hat.

    • center for talented youth: Nerd Camp, which I adored. This probably says a lot about my childhood.

    • fishmumming the unfishmummable: While I wouldn't claim to have a "maternal instinct" as such, at some point I became the most likely grown-up in the room. Unless [personal profile] synecdochic is in the room, at which point I revert to being the one most likely to cause an item to be added to the local equivalent of Skippy's List.

    • magick: extra k and all.

    • [unicode goes here]: I wouldn't be me if I didn't test systems that I'm trying to use by also trying to break them. (Hold my flower.) I also have an enthusiastically frilly and/or sentimental side which is well-represented by the odd flower.


  13. Do you have any unique interests on your user profile? What are they? How'd they get there? I've got a bunch. They mostly got there as the result of bizarre injokes and references, some of which I have already forgotten.

  14. Did you have a gateway fandom? Still in it? Why or why not? Is there a community for it on DW? It was, technically, Star Trek. The animated series. As novelized by Alan Dean Foster. Or perhaps it was Pern. Dragonsong got me hooked on science fiction and fantasy. Star Trek introduced me to other people who liked the same things I did. Slightly different gateways. There are various Star Trek-related communities about. I haven't sought after Pern-based community, though I hear there are excellent angry feminist rants available in other parts of the internet. And I do love me some angry feminist ranting.

  15. What's your current obsession? What about it captures your imagination? I don't believe I have a fannish obsession at the moment. Generally, though, the common themes when I dive deep into something tends to be that there are a lot of things to be discovered and delighted over. ... Or yelled about. I've had projects at work which qualified as obsessions where there was more yelling than delight. Still a lot of things to discover. So, infinite discovery with strong emotion, perhaps?

  16. What are you glad you did but haven't really had a chance to post about? I ... did not walk into any stationary objects on the night of June 23rd??? I mean ... the most recent thing that I am delighted with has been the removal of my murderous uterus, but I've had the chance to post about that. So ... *hands*

  17. How many people on your reading list do you know IRL? I stopped counting about 25% through the list and had already hit 30-ish, just with the people I have met at least once in person that I could think of, not including the people I have never met in person but who have become a part of my life. A lot.

  18. What don't you talk about here, either because it's too personal or because you don't have the energy? It turns out that with an appropriate and sufficiently tight filter, I will talk about a lot of things on Dreamwidth. But there are a lot of things I won't talk about in public. Other people's business, mainly.

  19. Any questions from the audience? Do feel free!

  20. Yes, but what are your thoughts on yaoi? The format isn't my thing, but being queer means that m/m romance is My People, even though one might argue that people who look like me are not fully represented in it.

  21. What's your favorite thing about Dreamwidth? I'm going to say what I said elsewhere: the conferences. I feel that some of the loveliest and luckiest moments in my recent life have been at conferences where People From Dreamwidth were about.
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Saturday, August 20th, 2016 22:10
Twenty-five years ago, give or take, the Oxford Arthurian Society used to hire out the Yellow Minibus of Doom and tour the country admiring miscellaneous castles, stone circles and anything that seemed vaguely related to King Arthur. We did this for a day in Michelmas Term, a weekend in Hilary and then a full week at the end of Trinity. The day trip was always the same itinery - White Horse Hill and Wayland's Smithy, West Kennet Longbarrow, Silbury Hill, Avebury Stone Circle, Winchester (if we could squeeze it in) and then ending up at Stonehenge around dusk because some bright spark had discovered, at some point, that if you wrote to Stonehenge and claimed to be a terribly serious student society, they would would let you in after hours and you would be free to wander among the stones.

I'm not sure quite when and how the idea arose to re-create this experience for the [livejournal.com profile] primeval_denial crowd. The Yellow Minibus of Doom has long gone to the great Yellow Minibus in the Sky but we had enough drivers that it was feasible to attempt the trip in cars. Being rather wealthier we also opted to book ourselves in to the Amesbury Travelodge and make a weekend of it.

Investigation revealed that one can no longer write to Stonehenge and claim to be some kind of earnest society (we were going to go with "writers' group" which excuse has served us well in the past) but instead there is now procedure and anyone can get in for the coughing up of £35 per head. We also discovered that if you want to wander freely among the stones at about 5.30pm on a Saturday in July you need to book your slot considerably earlier than January. After a certain amount of emailing back and forth it was decided that 6.30am on a Saturday morning was the lesser of the various evils on offer.

So we started the day at Stonehenge under the watchful eye of two security guards who had instructions to expel us from the site if we had the temerity to touch (or lick - they were very specific about the no licking rule) the stones. [livejournal.com profile] fredbassett and [livejournal.com profile] bigtitch are currently on a quest to collect as much ancient graffitti as possible and so spent a lot of time peering closely at the stones and consulting with the security guards (who might not have been historians or archeologists but who had heard an awful lot of historians and archeologists go around the site) who were obviously only too happy to give up on the lurking and staring and instead talk about graffitti. [livejournal.com profile] fredbassett and [livejournal.com profile] bigtitch found a cock and balls on a fallen menhir and pronounced themselves thoroughly satisfied with the trip. Apparently there is an ancient graffitti facebook group and they were looking forward to posting their up close pictures from Stonehenge.

We then went to the Little Chef next to the hotel for breakfast and returned to Stonehenge after it had opened in order to check out the new exhibition and extensive gift shop.

We then went on to Avebury, where [livejournal.com profile] fredbassett and [livejournal.com profile] bigtitch found more graffitti and the sun rather unexpectedly came out and shone fiercely, revealing how woefully unprepared we all were in terms of sun hats and sun cream.

After lunch at Avebury we headed for West Kennet at which point it became clear I had broken some of the party (too tired to look for graffitti) and wasn't going to be allowed to do more than look wistfully in the direction of White Horse Hill and Wayland's Smithy.

On the Sunday we headed in the opposite direction towards Old Sarum which would bring various people closer to their trains, had lunch in the pub by the castle and then went our separate ways.

Photos under the Cut )
Saturday, August 20th, 2016 22:16
Wheelchair physics -- deliberately designed to be generally accessible and written by a physicist in collaboration with a wheelchair user. Links onward to a more in-depth PDF, which is probably something to read after I've slept...
Saturday, August 20th, 2016 14:46
... because I have just made P read it, and then we stayed up til 1am talking about it, and I haven't talked about it here yet because Too Many Feelings, which I will now attempt to sketch.

(Spoilers within!)

Read more... )
Saturday, August 20th, 2016 18:31
Currently: Making progress again on Christina Stead's For Love Alone, finding it easier to face the fact that the protag IS going to pursue this useless man now the narrative has them in the same city again. Behold, the amazing ability to describe from the past the kind of man I, Amy, am going to be daft enough to date in the future.

Glenarvon, but I'm a bit stalled on that. Best Australian Poems 2015. Jenkins, Ford and Green, 'Spreadable Media'.

Recently Finished:

Hexbreaker (Hexworld, #1)Hexbreaker by Jordan L. Hawk

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I read a short story from this 'verse in 'Charmed and Dangerous' and promptly REQUIRED ANOTHER. I would require ALL THE STORIES except there don't seem to be any more. It's very upsetting.

The world-building is *great*, Hawk has a solid grasp of plotting for detective fiction, and the witch/familiar dynamic hits all my buttons. All of them. (I blame the teenage diet of weird fantasy novels - I'm a sucker for magical destiny bonds, don't even ask.)



Charmed and DangerousCharmed and Dangerous by Jordan Castillo Price

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Anthologies are weird. There's the story you came here for (in this case, I wanted KJ Charles' 'Queer Trade', and I got it, and lo, it was good. Better than the associated novel 'Rag and Bone', I think), but there's always going to be a slew of stuff that's just not in its league. If you're lucky, there will also be a couple of stand-outs that blow your expectations out of the water.

The stand-outs in this one were Gin Hale's 'Swift and the Black Dog', and Jordan L Hawk's 'The Thirteenth Hex'. The Hawk one reminded me very much of KJ Charles' work: different setting, but similar stylistic choices and dynamics. Including bonus -magic bonding-, to which I am weak, as we have established. I promptly went and purchased the associated novel and loved it very much.

Gin Hales' 'Swift and the Black Dog', though, that was something else. It was... okay, so the protag is a 30-something dude who in his late teens survived victorious in a Special Teenage Magical Rebellion (you get details filled in throughout the novella - just enough info in the beginning to fill in the sort of generic expectations you'd have of the Hunger Games or the Insurgent books). Some of his friends now work in the tangled bureaucracy of the new state, others are dead (and it takes most of the book for the reader to sort out which died in the revolution and which died in Suspicious Circumstances under the new regime) and Our Hero is now a washed-up cynic with recurrent substance abuse problems. And then he gets a message from one of his former allies that he can't ignore... etc. The world-building is *fantastic*, the character work intricate, and the narrative structure, relying as it does on a mixture of analepsis (internal monologue, unreliable) and reader assumption from generic conventions, is masterfully done.

I have not yet purchased any more Gin Hale books, since there are no others in this specific 'verse, but I certainly will be looking up her other work eventually.

Some of the others had memorable features - the world-building in Rhys Ford's 'Dim Sum Asylum' was pretty interesting; Astrid Amara's 'The Trouble With Hexes' was particularly interesting in the way it structured its romance plot around estranged exes rather than a meet-cute. But Hawk and Hale were the real take-aways here.



Hutcheon with O'Flynn, A Theory of Adaptation second edition. YES GOOD. DO RECOMMEND.

Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2)Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Oh, I liked this every bit as much as Dealing with Dragons! The storyline seemed clear and streamlined in a way Dealing hadn't been, I think. I was particularly fond of Herman the Dwarf.

I am very sad no one has turned this book into a hit stage musical yet. It'd be much more suited to that format than Dealing would - you only need one dragon puppet, and that one doesn't have to fly. You could probably do Dealing With Dragons as a broadway musical, but not as a community one, whereas I think Searching would be do-able. And it could be written to fill in sufficient backstory from Dealing via sung montages. I'm really liking the idea of Cimorene and Mendanbar singing their intros as a distanced duet from either side of the stage, one of those duets that are only musically interactive, not narratively. (Cimorene should be a mezzo, obviously. Kazul is a female tenor or even baritone. I don't make the rules I just impart them.)



Calling on Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #3)Calling on Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Cute! I didn't like it as much as I did the previous two, but I can't put my finger on why. Maybe because the ending frustrated me - I didn't WANT a set-up for book four, I wanted a happy ending!



Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4)Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Hmm. Okay, this was engaging and snappy and all-round good. And after the previous three books I suppose a "young hero on a quest" is a change, but meh. I could just read Parzival.

Related to all of books 2-4: obviously the plucky young royal dude, although uninterested in Simpering Princesses, falls in love with the first and indeed only plucky young woman he meets. And for some reason she reciprocates! My kingdom for a male-female friendship quest, is what I'm sayin'.



LaviniaLavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Oh my goodness, this was... I don't think I can accurately describe what this was. Very Relevant to my Professional Interests, yes.

I have to say, though, I was totally surprised to find Aeneas and Lavinia having a stable marriage? Here's the part where I admit I've never read the Aeneid, but I have read bits of the Roman d'Eneas, and lots of commentary thereon. I knew the Eneas and other medieval versions amplify Lavinia, and the Eneas does the weird implications-of-sodomy thing, but I didn't realise the scene where Aeneas leaves Lavinia and she stands on the hill muttering imprecations about how maybe if she'd worn breeches she could've kept him wasn't only innovative in its sexual specificity but in having him leave at all! The Aeneid ends with him marring her and settling down! (This book goes on to some time after his death, but that's by the by)

Things to do: read Aeneid. Read Eneas properly. Marvel.



Up Next: Unsure. Might give Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children another try.
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Saturday, August 20th, 2016 06:08
Guess who went to go walk down the stairs, put her foot down in a pile of cat vomit and had it slide out from under her, and fell down an entire half-flight of stairs on her tailbone last night? Go on, guess.

Tailbone's hella bruised (may be fractured), left elbow is skinned like a motherfucker, and I wrenched my right shoulder so badly I think I may have torn some of the muscles in it. (Also, I was covered in cat vomit, sigh.) And I was already sick with some kind of viral thing, which had just started settling in my chest, so now every time I cough there's a shooting pain through my tailbone.

I'm not having a good week, sigh.
Saturday, August 20th, 2016 00:57
1. I got off work pretty much on time today.

2. Carla got a text today from her sister that her mom is in the hospital. It looks like she had a stroke, though thankfully a fairly mild one. Hopefully she can be released in a couple days. They're keeping her right now for observation and to get her some fluids since she was very dehydrated. So it could definitely have been a lot worse, but please think good thoughts for her. Carla will probably be flying out there in a couple days, too.

3. Molly was super cute all curled up in this box all afternoon.

Friday, August 19th, 2016 22:41
Been a while since I did book reviews, eh? Not going to bother to catch up, but here are the books going back to the library this weekend:

Alien Proliferation (Alien Novels) by Gini…
Alien Proliferation (Alien Novels)
by Gini Koch

Amusingly, this is from the same series of the last book reviews I did, back in March! That was book 1, I'm now on book 4.

Series is still full of sexy aliens and crazy terrorist plots. Loving the characters and the way the author doesn't feel a need to pry apart established relationships in order to feed the drama. That actually matters quite a bit to me -- I get tired of longer series when they keep doing that, and here instead our main characters are growing into their relationships while chaos swirls around them. Less loving how brutal the bad guys were in this one. Still love the characters, but I might have to move this series from my personal "fun romp that will cheer me up" pile to a "read when you're ready" one.

Hair of the Dog (A Melanie Travis Mystery)…
Hair of the Dog (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
by Laurien Berenson

Also a book 4! This is a poodle mystery series my mom recommended to me after she saw how often I post pictures of dog shows (one of my coworkers breeds champion wolfhounds and I try to go out to some of his local shows when I can). It's a cozy mystery series set against a backdrop of dog shows, and it's everything I wanted in such a series. Sure, by book 4 it's getting a bit ridiculous that this amateur keeps getting surrounded by murders... but on the other hand, I can sort of see how police wouldn't get all the nuance of dog-show-based motives so at least our amateur sleuth has a clear role. It's been a while since I read the previous book, but book 4 had me right back into the swing of things in no time. Very fun!
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Friday, August 19th, 2016 12:44
I was grinding to a halt on writing and eventually I realized it was because I'd lost my sense of the characters' voices. So I decided--going against a previous decision to FINISH A DRAFT DAMN IT--to go back and edit/rewrite, because that tends to make characters clear for me. I have to ask myself for every scene "what is the emotional core here and why, and how does it connect to the emotional arc?" And that is the best way to find characters again. For instance I realized that a character was acting all surly and I didn't know why; he just didn't want to talk to this other guy, and was mad at him, and I was like, dude, what's your problem? And then I realized, oh yeah, he's embarrassed because he's been caught in a low-status act, so that he looks bad and his family looks bad and... The scene is much improved. I did his middles and now I'm doing the other guy's middles, which is fraught because he's pregnant and he doesn't know whether to keep the baby or not. (This being Twine, he does both.) So the editing/rewriting's going well.

But it does slow down writing considerably. Nevertheless, onwards!
Friday, August 19th, 2016 00:29
1. It's been such nice weather lately. It looks like it's going to continue till at least the end of the month, but that just makes me scared that we're going to have a super hot September and October like we did last year. -_- I'm enjoying it while it lasts, though!

2. Our porch light went out last year or earlier this year and it's not the bulb but something in the wiring, so we haven't had the money to get it fixed even though I really hate having the porch be so dark (especially like when we have food delivered or something). Then recently Carla happened to see a little solar powered light on some Amazon deal and we bought one and today I finally got around to installing it and it works great! It's not super bright, but it's better than nothing and will do until we can get the wiring repaired. It's motion triggered, which I was kind of worried about because that can be annoying, but it doesn't seem to be overly sensitive. It's pretty exciting to have light again! Almost makes me want to order pizza or something. :p

3. I'm lagging a little behind on some of my manga this month, but I got another chapter finished today and off to the typesetter.

4. I got so many cute pics of the kitties today! They were just chilling on the bed while I was reading this afternoon.

Thursday, August 18th, 2016 18:48
Pain kicking in big time, ankles, knees mostly. I am definitely glad I stayed moving very gently in the pool and didn't get vigorous or go any longer than 30 min.

Anyway pain and I will lie still, do some cbd stuff, and put on ice packs.

I still feel invigorated on some level, and happy.
Thursday, August 18th, 2016 17:26
What are you currently reading?
Currently reading Amaama to Inazuma vol. 5 and still enjoying it. Carla wants to try out the anime, so I'll probably be watching that soon as well, though we haven't started yet.

Bookwise, I'm reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, though that's more a "started but then got distracted" sort of thing than actively reading. I had just started another book when this came out, so although I read the first chapter or so, I set it aside to finish my other book. Now that I've finished the book I was reading, I'll probably get back into this again. All the spoilers I heard about it sound awesome, so I've been looking forward to it.

I'm also reading The Sweeter the Juice by Shirlee Haizlip, a memoir of a black woman whose mother's side of the family began passing for white and cut them off. I started this months and months ago, but since it's a physical book rather than ebook, it kind of got lost in the shuffle. I started it up again yesterday and am enjoying it a lot.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished a reread of The Westing Game. I loved this book as a kid and read it several times, but unfortunately it just does not live up to my memory. It was okay, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

I also read vol. 4 of Amaama to Inazuma.

What do you think you'll read next?
Mangawise, I just got the new volume of Koiiji the other day, so as soon as I finish Amaama to Inazuma 5, I'll probably read that. Vol. 5 is the last of Amaama to Inazuma that I have on my ipad, so I'll be taking a break from that for a while anyway as I'm really trying to clear stuff off instead of just adding more new stuff.
Thursday, August 18th, 2016 19:04
looking for advice / thoughts / tips on kinesiology tape. specifically for knees, if possible.
Thursday, August 18th, 2016 20:06



The first president on the left and the second on the right on the occasion of the second stepping down. Presented because in an idle moment today I googled the second president and found someone I think may be him on LinkedIn, though said person seems to be a very serious insolvency practioner which I find difficult to reconcile with a man who used to shout Lousiesie across the room at me. He also looks wierdly like Riley Finn from Buffy which is more than a little disconcerting.

Have sent a message via LinkedIn. We shall see if it's really him.
Thursday, August 18th, 2016 17:49
The next three days will be a flurry of activity and lack of internet access for me, so I just... needed to leave a note here, I guess? For some reason?

I'm alive guys. Hi.

I've been watching Jessica Jones, which I swallowed in 24 hours when it first came out because I'd been contracted to write a review, and then ironically the review didn't come out for like 6 months, so I felt weird about going back to rewatch - like, what if I had more thoughts? What if my opinion changes before the review is published?

Anyway, I did write a rambly Jessica Jones review on this journal and it's interesting for me to note how much more I love this show, a year later, watching it for pleasure without the pressure of having to form an opinion.

Mostly, the first paragraph still applies:

Jessica is literally the heroine designed for women like me. Her aesthetic, her musical tastes, her cultural references - she's a mix of Buffy and Daria and Wednesday Addams, a girl who clearly came of age at the turn of the millennium and stayed there. That and the fact that she's meant to be fucked up make me feel such an immediate sense of connection and comfort with her narrative. Also the fact that she doesn't wear heels, rarely wears dresses, and generally doesn't perform femininity the way absolutely every other character in the MCU does, my god what a RELIEF to see that on my screen.


It's interesting because I really do feel such an immense sense of connection with Jessica, still. Watching her is comforting because of how ~like me~ she is, even though we really have almost nothing in common, even comparing her fictional biography with mine.

I don't really have time to elaborate on that now, the real reason I mention it is because of how... I'm at a very low, sensitive point right now, emotionally (I've had a migraine for the past 4 days, I've been at work for the past 2, in addition to my usual one trillion things; this morning I literally woke up in tears over how much I felt like a failure), I'm crying at work over Glamour articles, so watching this show is... not easy. SO so not easy. It's a show about psychological torture, with multiple characters graphically killing themselves on screen, it's a show about abuse, about being trapped, about PTSD, about being haunted by your demons.

And yet, even as it sits like a weight on my chest, episode after episode, something about it feels... necessary. Not uplifting, but like an anchor, like a hook pulling me forward, helping me keep my head above water.

Jessica Jones is about a woman being overwhelmed with every terrible thing that could ever happen, driven to the edge, but about a woman who pulls through. Minute by minute, episode by episode, Jessica manages to swim rather than sink, and with how much I identify with her, that's a really weirdly comforting story to witness.

I really shouldn't watch this canon as comfort food - it's literally about dealing with trauma and I need more puppies and rainbows right now - but... there's something powerful, about watching a woman survive. If Top of the Lake (Jessica Jones' spiritual ancestor) didn't include on screen rape, I'd probably go rewatch that as well. (PSA: Jessica Jones does not contain a single rape scene on screen in any way.)

Just, I love this show so much, as it turns out. So, so, much. It's a fucking masterpiece of storytelling and it doesn't get nearly enough credit. Even just for its polished, brilliant structure as a season of episodes.

When it came out there was a tendency to compare it to Daredevil, which is like comparing a bar of gold to a pile of trash, but honestly Jessica Jones shouldn't be compared to the Marvel canon at all. It's so, so much better than anything they've done, and it serves an entirely different purpose. There are no effects on that show. No grand battles.

There is just a woman surviving, thriving, winning, holding onto sanity and her sister so hard her fingers bleed. It's about a woman doing the right thing, over and over, until she figures out the book on doing the right thing wasn't written by the victims. And then she does what she has to.

I love this show so, so much guys. And it's so hard to talk about it without spoilers. Jessica and her sister and her adopted daughter/younger self, and the license to be a woman of no ambition who's just trying to make a living in this goddamn city.
Thursday, August 18th, 2016 00:10
1. Day off tomorrow! I'm pretty excited about that. Today wasn't as hectic as yesterday, but it was still kinda hectic. Looking forward to relaxing.

2. A guy I hired a couple months ago, really fast learner, excellent employee, someone I'd really hate to lose, told me a few weeks ago that some stuff was going on where he might end up having to quit, but today he got the news that it all resolved itself and he can stay, so I'm really relieved about that.

3. I finished another book last night, putting me at ten so far. I'm aiming for fifteen, which seems like a totally doable goal at this point, especially since I have two other books in progress that I will probably finish this month. I still don't make nearly as much time for reading as I'd like, but I've been doing better this year!

4. It's so nice and cool this evening I've actually been wearing a sweatshirt around the house.

5. Carla spotted Molly peeking out of this box in the closet and I managed to snap a pic (actually a few) before she got up and left.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 23:43
Friday was the usual dinner out with Purple and Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. I had no idea where I wanted to go, just that it shouldn't be too far. Purple picked a place not too far from old-work.

The timing worked out such that when it was time to actually leave, there was a conversation that I was in the middle of that I didn't want to just bail on. But the other party to the conversation was aware of my schedule, and adamant that I should not miss dinner on their account.

We wound up talking on the phone. It was a good conversation, running the full course from the usual sort of daily grievances we discuss, to the sublimely silly. By the time I hit the parking lot (and got pinned in the car for a few minutes as the van next to me loaded up their kids) I was giggling again, and went in to see Purple with a silly smile.

I was a little spacey through dinner, partly as the result of nice conversation, and partly because I was still just very tired and quiet and didn't have very many things to say about Game of Thrones.

Purple and I chatted in the parking lot, as is the custom. I headdesked at him some. He was encouraging, and just enough of a sarcastic bastard.


Sunday was the birthday, I believe the 30th, of one of the guys from the ghost team. Most of them are based in and around Palo Alto, so many of their dinner meetups are on a half-hour's notice, which is not quite enough time for me to get from schlubbing around the house to out the door, let alone from Pacifica to Palo Alto.

This time, there was early notice, so I found something comfortable and set out at the appointed time. It was a place I hadn't been before. The tiny parking lot was overfilled, and there was nowhere to go but back out onto the main drag; you couldn't go on the back street and circle around. So I found street parking, and jaywalked over just in time to encounter four of the other five of us who were coming.

Three of them are roommates, which can often be entertaining. 2/3 of the table was playing Pokémon Go. Mr. P and I were the holdouts.

One of the themes of the night was scallops. The guys enjoy their seafood. They also enjoy their steak. One of the guys had been debating whether it would be scallops or dessert. "Scallop cheesecake!" I contributed, cheerfully.

The concept was not well-received.

One of the guys is apparently notorious amongst the crew for eating at approximately the same rate as Zeno said that Achilles chased the tortoise. Except he would have started off as the tortoise. This had the effect of slightly delaying dessert for everyone else. By the time he was in fact ready to order, all of the good-natured chirping from the table caused him to say "Cheesesteak" instead of "cheesecake". Hilarity was the order of the moment.

I ... may have a mild crush on Mr. P. He is a very quiet geekfolk who appears amiable and with a wicked sense of humor when he has something to say.

I got to talk with Dawn on the drive home from that dinner. It was good to catch up with her. I had a few things to say about a situation that one of my friends is in. They were ... not especially good things. It was good to have that conversation, too.


Neither Purple nor I were quite feeling the dinner thing Monday, so we decided to retry on Tuesday.