April 2016

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Friday, April 29th, 2016 23:10
1. Today was one of those days at work, but despite a bunch of people calling out and a bunch of crap going on, I got out of there only an hour late.

2. Tomorrow I can sleep in!

3. Earlier this week the forecast was predicting temps in the 80s this weekend, but it's actually been in the 60s and low 70s. I hope that continues for a while.

4. We had a nice walk this evening and stopped at Pollo Loco for dinner.

5. Look at this fluffy kitten!

Friday, April 29th, 2016 12:03
for my own records, more than anything else...

Read more... )
Friday, April 29th, 2016 02:09
The apartment is yet again entirely topsy-turvy, but in a continuingly more productive vein, as I am after completing the swap-bed-and-computer-desk project.

Wrapping up the post-conference work, and ramping up the applications again.

I have a cleaning goal: I would like the apartment to be presentable-to-Certain-Parties by the 13th. I think it's progressing in that direction, but you could not entirely prove it by one day's moved furniture. (I suspect that with a few modifications the current state would work, but I'd also like, you know, a few more places to sit. Although the idea of someone sprawling in characteristic fashion on my bed has its charms.)

This morning involved the dentist, and an obnoxiously deep filling (and a very annoyed nerve). I wound up taking a substantial afternoon nap because my brain could Just Not Even. (This also happens after eye appointments involving dilation, I find.)
Thursday, April 28th, 2016 23:45
1. We went to Costco this morning to see about a new prescription Carla got the other day, which she wasn't sure if Medi-Cal would cover or not (and if they didn't Costco would be the cheapest place to get it if we had to pay), and they did, so it was totally free! :D

2. Today was Alexander's birthday so we went out to lunch and karaoke. For lunch we went to ROC Sawtelle and it was so good, especially their "three cup chicken" and pickled cucumbers. We got there in between lunch and dinner so it wasn't crowded at all.

3. I didn't do much translating today, but I finally finished a big project I've been working on for a while, another collection of one-shots by Nishioka Kyodai. The scans haven't even been cleaned yet, much less any progress on typesetting, so I have no idea when we'll be releasing it, but I feel good about getting my part of it done.

4. We bought a few things while at Costco today and they gave us a box that is open on three sides and when turned upside-down makes an excellent fort for kitties. We call it the Fortress of Catitude.

Thursday, April 28th, 2016 20:48
Been afraid of saying anything, out of fear I'll scare away the motivation by mentioning it, but I've been playing guitar often enough / long enough that I'm finally starting to develop calluses.

I've been taking a scattershot approach: some evenings I follow a more structured approach (Andy Guitar when I've got the attention span; various apps when I don't). Other evenings I just sit down and play random songs from things people have put on the internet.

It's very nice to be able to sit down and have music come from my fingers. Like... like what, really, is this?

And because pop songs all take after one another, it turns out that even though there are like, a million different chords, half a dozen is enough to play most songs.

I'm still avoiding bar chords, but those come up so infrequently that I sometimes just don't *play* that one chord, and fill it in with my voice instead. (Cheater cheater <3)

I'm trying to wrap my brain around chord transposition. I've got something which takes an existing series of chord and transposes them, no problem. But then... I'm unsure what this means when I'm playing them on the guitar. Do I play on the same fret as I would pre-transposition, just with the new chord? Do I move one fret down for each step I've transposed? idk!
Thursday, April 28th, 2016 17:35
Anyone interested in doing Kew the Movies with me? I've booked tickets for myself and a friend for the Star Wars showing already, but I'm happy to have others join us and I am 100% up for seeing any of the other showings (Jurassic Park, Mean Girls, and Labyrinth). I am similarly up for potluck picnic dinners.

On the heartbreaking difficulty of getting rid of books:
After all, the romance of minimalism relies on invisible abundance. The elegantly empty apartment speaks not to genteel poverty, but to the kind of hoarded wealth that makes anything and everything replaceable and available at the click of a mouse. Things and the freedom from things, and then things again if you desire. If you miss a book after getting rid of it, Kondo consoles, you can always buy it again. Dispose and replace, repeat and repeat.

What should student doctors learn about sexual healthcare? This survey is being run by the University of Oxford:
We are redesigning courses for medical students to teach them what they need to know about sexual and genital health. If you have experience of going to the doctor for these issues, including asking about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, screening, or any concerns about your genital or sexual health, we would like to hear from you.

I am spending a lot of time at the moment watching two eaglets grow up.
Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 22:03
1. We got our new dutch oven today (not sure why Amazon needed to take a week to ship it, but whatevs) and Carla made a delicious pot roast for dinner in it.

2. I can sleep in tomorrow! I'm looking forward to that. We have plans in the afternoon, but the morning is completely free for sleeping.

3. I love the look on Molly's face here:

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 08:24
Manchester Asda introduces 'quiet hour' to help autistic shoppers

N.B. Despite the headline, it's not directed at autistic shoppers alone, but anyone who has difficulty with noise and disturbance.

(And how nice that the guy pioneering it is someone who knows about the problem first-hand from his experiences with anxiety, and is willing to be out about that.)

It still wouldn't solve some problems (like fluorescent lighting), and also it's at 8am when some of us are not capable of being human, but god, what a step in the right direction that people are actually thinking about this shit.
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 22:24
1. I went to bed early last night and actually woke up before my alarm this morning. I'm pretty tired now, too, so maybe I can get back on an earlier schedule where I'm not always dragging myself out of bed in the morning. That would be nice.

2. We were short two stockers today and work was pretty busy, but I was only about half an hour late getting out of there.

3. The other day Carla went to Walmart and they had twelve-packs of Mountain Dew Voltage!

4. I got so many cute pics of Chloe sunning herself in the window the other day.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 00:40
Zebrafish swimming in the courtyard.
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 10:00
I'll stop spamming cat pics quite as much once they settle in a bit more, but KITTIES.

Sarah called the vet this morning (a local cat-only practice) and the tech assured her that they view being a crazy cat lady as a badge of pride, and that we aren't anywhere near as full up as some of their clients. I'm trying not to take that as a challenge, heh.

Read more... )
Monday, April 25th, 2016 23:26
1. I posted more manga! And there's still a few days left in the month, so maybe I'll even have some more to post before the month is over.

2. We went down to the mall to return a Funko Pop Wonder Woman figure Carla got last time we were down there, as it had some paint flaked off. They didn't have any of the Wonder Woman ones left and Carla didn't see anything else she really wanted, but they did have a Louise Belcher, so we exchanged it for that. :D

3. While we were down there, we had a tasty lunch at Steak and Shake.

4. I thought I might have to go in to work at seven tomorrow, but while I do have to go in a little early, it's only eight instead of eight-thirty, so that's not too bad.

5. The kitties have been taking turns with this tiny Amazon box lately and we both got some really good shots of Molly in it today.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 00:38
So...our ski club hosts a lantern ski two evenings a year, so people can putter along enjoying the trails and the twilight. They used to use oldschool kerosene lanterns, but the club got rid of them a few years back. It sounds like they were getting dirty and rusty, and nobody was quite sure how to make them less so.

Unfortunately, the candle lanterns that replaced them don't work very well. They don't provide any substantial illumination, and in the winter, the candles burn out quickly -- they don't retain enough heat to melt their own wax well, and burn down the middle instead of across their entire width.

I went looking for a better solution, and was surprised to find that new kerosene lanterns are actually still a thing sold in North America. Like, ones for real use, as opposed to collectables or antiques that are just supposed to sit on a shelf and look nice. So I ordered one.
Read more... )
Monday, April 25th, 2016 22:25
Hey, you know that point you reach when doing Ashkenazi Jewish genealogy? Yeah, that point.

I need to punch someone.
Monday, April 25th, 2016 21:57
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, April 25th, 2016 18:23
Volume two of Tera Girl starts off with another two-part chapter and I've got both parts (over 80 pages!) here for you today. :D

Title: Tera Girl
Original Title: 寺ガール (Tera Girl)
Author: Mizusawa Megumi
Publisher: Ribon Mascot Comics Cookie
Genre: Shoujo
Status in Japan: 3 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: When your father is a Buddhist priest and your home is a temple, life can be complicated. For Satoru, Hikari, and Ogami, the thought of who will inherit the temple and take over when their father gets old is always in the back of their minds, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Because Hikari loves the temple so much, it's been all but decided that when she grows up, she'll marry someone who can take over from her father, but when she falls for someone completely unsuitable, all three sisters find themselves re-examining their assumptions.

Chapter summary: Satoru has always been complacent, knowing that Hikari would one day take over the temple, but now she's not so sure...

Chapter 3: New Year's Eve Bells - Satoru - Part 1
Chapter 3: New Year's Eve Bells - Satoru - Part 2
Monday, April 25th, 2016 08:46
Previously unread (novella)

This is set in the same universe as The Night Angel trilogy books, focusing on how Durzo Blint came to be a wetboy in Cirenia.

Quite a good and interesting read, although quite short. Don't know how much sense it makes without at least some knowledge of the rest of the books.
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 23:24
1. Got to sleep in and have a leisurely morning before work.

2. Day off tomorrow!

3. I was pretty busy at work today, but I got everything done that needed to get done.

4. I've got a cutie Chloe kitten. :)

Sunday, April 24th, 2016 21:59
...that you're not a crazy cat lady until you have more than three per person. Which is good, because these two lovely ladies came home with us today:

EDIT: Ack, I keep forgetting that the site eats anything placed after photos.

Top one (the tabby) is Naomi, age one; bottom one (the tortie) is Ruth, age three. (Not their original names, but their original names didn't fit, and Sarah decided that we could follow the Biblical theme of Gabriel and Noah with Ruth and Naomi or the Weasley theme of Ginny with Bill(ie) and Charlie, and we figured Weasleys were asking for trouble.)

We were intending to get a sweet-tempered adolescent to keep Ginny company, since she's been bored and lashing out at poor, sweet, dumb Noah since Brandy (her partner in romping) died. Sarah made the mistake of looking on Petfinder, where we found these ladies listed as a "must be adopted together" deal, and since it's harder to place a pair and the SPCA is a kill shelter, Sarah went out to pick them up today.

They are in the guest room; the growling under the door between Ruth and Ginny is pretty funny. (Ruth is totally Naomi's protector. Such a good big sis.) Naomi hid under the bed when first brought home, but has ventured out now and even deigned to climb in my lap: she's got a big rusty motorboat purr and a tiny baby squeak. Ruth, meanwhile, has a mean headbutt when she wants scritches.
Monday, April 25th, 2016 01:55
When you realize you forgot the lamb shank for the #Seder plate, so you sub in your #Lego dinosaur skeleton. (And it happens to be the dinosaur skeleton from the Lego Women in Science set, so it can also count as your feminist orange on the Seder plate, too!)
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 15:34

Icon: Alaska Nanooks logo, which is a chiaroscuro image of a stalking polar bear (Nanook) in front of a giant blue and gold letter A.

Keywords: hockey, nooks.

The Nanooks are my home team, and I've been reading a lot more Check Please! which satisfies my need for a sports fandom with lovely queer characters and romance, without the risk of faves who irl turn out to be suuuuuuuuuuuper problematic.

Keyword updates:

Icon: text: "I have banned people from my journal for commenting in purple"
Text is mostly tiny black computery font, except for "in purple" which is magnified and purple.

Previous keywords: bitch, purple

General uses: when I'm being very and possibly irrationally cranky/picky about something, and when other people's way of doing things brushes up against my boundaries, I tell them, and they keep doing the thing

Current keywords: bitch, your font is problematic

Icon: a photo of a polished piece of rainbow fluorite. The central stripe is a very pastel lavender with a hint of blue-green, the top stripe is light purple, and the bottom stripe is a rich sweet blueberry purple.

Previous keywords: fluorite, huggy rock
Current keywords: fluorite, huggy rock, purple
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 05:07
So I headed off to phone's party! phone lives not that far away from the conference venue, and the party was already swinging pretty vividly when I got there. I found parking (leaving a space behind me) and came in, bearing a small potted rose and the tray of sandwiches. The apartment was cheerfully decorated visible from outside with some delightful purple fairy lights. The level of sparkle visible from without was only a hint at the level of sparkle within. phone's boyfriend answered the door. He is an elegantly flamboyant man of a certain age, with a flair for striking outfits and costumes. On this occasion he was wearing a skin-tight silver jumpsuit with a mesh sweater over top and also amazing high-heeled silver holographic boots. He was not the only person wearing a super-sparkly outfit that night, as there was a guy in a long robe and top hat both made out of flat-sequined silver fabric (with reflectors larger than my beloved late disco ball dress, but similar). There were all sorts of colored sparkly lights. I got a drink and found a chair in the corner, where I wound up chatting with Jen, who has a small flock of chickens and a number of amusing (and occasionally terrible) stories involving them. Exactly my kind of person. Her husband was also at the party. phone tried to troubleshoot the rainbow fairy lights.

I texted Purple to let him know I was there, since I hadn't seen him. He texted back to say he would be there in about 20. And in about 20, I saw his silhouette through the patio door, and then he was coming out back and saying hi to phone and taking his accustomed place next to me. We had a silly exchange and he ruffled my hair. When he wandered off to grab a drink after a while, the party shifted around, and a small crowd gathered in my corner. I noticed him come back with drink in hand, notice the crowd, shrug, and strike up a conversation with someone near him. I wasn't bothered: Jen and I were getting on quite well.

Jen is a non-techie. phone's boyfriend is a non-techie. Jen, Jen's husband, phone's boyfriend, and I got in a discussion about some of the ways that conversations involving techies can go. The phrase "I need sympathy, not troubleshooting" can be key. (I looked fondly over at the very nicely sympathetic techie holding the neon green drink, holding forth on some topic with phone.)

The party shifted again, and sight lines between Purple and me were restored. We flashed an ironic wave at each other, and Purple made a semi-apology for not having come back directly that matched my assessment. (And, again, I'd been having a great time talking to Jen, so it wasn't like I was completely on my own at this party, even though I knew three, now four, people there out of quite a few more than four.)

It turns out that not only was Jen's husband at the party, but Jen's husband has known phone for years and years and years online, and has also known Purple for years and years, but this was the first time they'd met in person. The meeting was pleasing to both of them, and I was delighted to witness it.

It began to get chilly, so everyone went inside. I had already passed my step count for the day, so standing up was not the best idea for my back, but it was the best idea in light of the crowd. I wound up in the kitchen chatting with Jen's husband, tucked comfortably in a corner at Purple's elbow. There was enough light, finally, that I could see what was on my plate. I sighed and showed Purple some diced bell pepper. He laughed at me, and explained to Jen's husband that I had been in an un-merry war with work catering over bell peppers.

Jen's husband changed places with phone's boyfriend, and desserts were sampled. Someone found the raspberry bars; Purple nabbed one; I asked if he could pass me one; he handed me the first while claiming another for himself. Raspberry bar relay. Despite my back's complaints, it was nice being there: insulated from the most intense bits of crowd, but still engaging.

phone wandered up and chatted with us while his boyfriend circulated. People started filtering over to say goodnight to phone and wish him happy birthday, including the guy who had been wearing the disco ball robe until he'd changed back into street clothes.

At length the party size shrank, until at last it was phone and his boyfriend, Jen and her husband, Purple, and me. I was in one corner of the couch, Jen was curled up next to me, and eventually her husband sat down at the other end. "Fuck" is not just a spice, it's punctuation, except most editors would take a red pen to that many punctuation marks. It turns out that when Jen and I get going, we might sort of feed off each other a bit. phone likes it when I swear about the helldesk software, because when I get going, I really get going. Sometimes I get somewhat creative beyond the mere f-bomb, too...

At one point someone claimed that the iPad was not a data entry device; I declared that one could helpfully render it one by means of a portable keyboard, and that I had one in my pocket. Purple claimed that I had too many things in my pockets. Someone, perhaps phone, made a "Precious" joke, and my hand diverted its path. I had been going for the pocket that contained the keyboard. I was now going for the shorts pocket with the little brocade box with the mirror inside: the one that just that morning I had loaded with a few BPAL vials, a USB stick, my pair of shiny peacock earrings, a lip balm, and other bits of jewelry that I hadn't wanted to wear while possibly hauling tables around at the conference. Including -- I held a shiny silver ring aloft. phone cracked up.

Shortly after midnight the party broke up. Purple had parked right behind me, so we walked out together. He stuck around while I fished through three bags in search of my satnav, which I found in the last place I looked for it, then very carefully dodged the spikes in my hairdo after hugging me goodnight. I'm not usually quite so spiky!

To say "this party was better than any of Shawn's parties" demeans this party merely by the comparison, but that's the only referent I have for some of the vibe. This was what Shawn's parties wanted to be when they grew up.
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 03:54
Let's start with the Internet of Shit. I had an Internet of Shit moment right before going to bed, which resulted in me on the phone with Belkin going "I don't have time to give you my name and email, I just want to turn off my light so I can go to sleep and I don't want to move two shelves" in the most pathetic of tones. I have a relatively ancient iPod Touch which won't run the latest version. In the not-latest version, which I have, when there's a "cloud outage" there's a friendly notice that you can still use the app to control your switches on your local network. Except ... the notice covers over the controls entirely, and it's iOS and unlike Android there's no motherfucking back button. And however you clear running apps from memory in whatever old-ass version of iOS I have, it wasn't how the customer service agent was describing. After a few rounds, we tried rebooting. That worked.

Then I woke up about 15 minutes before my alarm, and very sensibly stopped reading a thing in the middle of the thing and went off to the conference when my snooze-alarm told me that I had 1 hour until setup started.

I got there 15 minutes early from the planned unlock time. I saw another little (white?) car pull up and it was the chair emeritus.

By the time someone got there to let us in, about 6 of us, maybe more, had gathered. I chirpily spun it to CE as "having crucial hallway conversations", which made her laugh. (Context: she had no idea how to pose this in a helpful fashion.)

The morning got off to a rough start because nobody quite knew what they were doing, and everyone was duckling-ing after me, but fortunately past-me had Written Lists, and also had printed them out, and had broken things done in terms of tasks as well as roles, because I had foreseen that Morning Stuff might have an over-abundance of people trying to do one role and not enough of any of the others, so I sort of decreed that Morning Stuff would have everyone pitch in until people and food started showing up.

I think I was right about needing to buy bowls, for the record. :-P

The food arrived and that was okay. People started checking in and that was okay. The paper check-in list worked like a charm with no terrible woe, and having a ticket type that said essentially "Volunteer - Check in with Azz" served to redirect everyone who was a speaker or volunteer to check in with me after doing the normal check-in! Which was good!

I am so proud of my volunteers. They came together and did the thing, and even when I was completely incoherent from trying to do all the things at once and make all the decisions at once, they followed my lists and I was able to delegate them to do things! All I had to do was say "Yes, that needs doing. You, do #1. You, do #2." and people did it!!!

Instead of 3 tables for the 3 lower-tier sponsors, there were 2. It being bad form to make people share a table, I liberated 2 of the little round tables from the speaker green room, hauled them out, got someone to help me scootch the two beverage coolers onto separate round tables, then carried off the 6' table to the sponsor area of the lobby to deploy.

We were missing a dedicated person on the food, but I was able to fill in at the expense of having someone not at the front desk 100% of the time. It worked partly because there was a recruiter table there, and it was a group that is on long-standing great terms with the organization. So there was that! We needed someone at the front because the event space was not super private -- randos would barge up, and would occasionally wander back to try and scam free food.

The event did not start on time. The first panel ran over. These combined made the carefully-crafted morning schedule go kerplooie. My amazing room wranglers sailed right on through and set timers to follow the timeframe, and everybody was okay. I needed to print 3 sheets of "and this is what is in this room when" instead of 2 -- one for each entrance, plus one for the room-wrangler.

Just before lunch, we'd nearly run out of bottled water, and were down to our last half-bag of tangerines. I was summarily dispatched to Costco, and picked up two flats of bottled water and two bags of tangerines. I think I could have safely have got 3. I had very good luck with parking (partly because I decided to try for the furthest-away spots) and got there and back in record time.

Lunch arrived during the second passing period (of three), so the schedule pivoted: grab lunch now, hit third tech talk, then have a brief social-and-food-if-you-missed-it-earlier window and then dive straight the fuck into the workshops.

There were vegan-and-gluten-free meals which they'd got from the shop across the way; we worked it by setting the whole paper bag on one of the lesser-traffic tables and writing "VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE" on the bag in Sharpie. This way it was visible to people who'd need it without asking, very clearly reserved for people who needed it, and not sitting there and looking visibly delicious for people who ignore signs.

Midway through the afternoon, about an hour before the earliest time the tea (coffee and tea and cookies and mini bundt cakes, with non-gluten-containing chocolates and tangerines and Kind Bars) was set to arrive, R was fading fast and complaining that she needed sugar. (She had also underslept.) I towed her gently along after me into the green room and retrieved some fruit jellies for her, from my Magic Bag of Trader Joe's Food Which I Made Sure To Get So Nobody With Atypical Dietary Needs Would Starve. She started to perk up, and eventually did cave and had coffee.

The workshops let out early, so tea time happened a little scattershot, and everybody piled into one room for the last panel and wrap-up. I started packing up and breaking down, knowing that it would be a while and otherwise I wasn't doing anything else. I used the now-empty trays from the cookies to separate the leftover sandwich halves into more easily carried portions that someone might take home without worrying about where to put it or if they were going to get through all of those. I claimed one. (After lunch they went in the fridge. Thank goodness for fridges.)

Various people stayed to help clean up. The actual most involved part was me sorting out my stuff back into its boxes, because I had brought A Lot Of Things, many of which were useful. See: tape, label maker, markers, other tape, other markers, and gods know what else.

([twitter.com profile] acidhelm rocks, incidentally.)

There was a small convocation in the parking lot and then we-all split our separate ways. R had been invited to the party at phone's, but was too tired and was going home directly. My way was in the direction of the party at phone's. ;)
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 11:35

This is the fourth InCryptid novel. This time, we're ranging further than normal. Specifically, we follow Alex Price and his beau back to her native Australia, for the express purpose of trying to deal with a troublesome werewolf infestation.

Yep. Werewolves. It doesn't get any worse, does it?

Anyhow, excellently readable book, with some more Aeslin mice action than you may be used to. Interesting stuff.
Sunday, April 24th, 2016 00:31
1. I posted more manga, woohoo!

2. So yeah, it kind of sucked going in to work this morning when I had been looking forward to sleeping in, but I was nice to get home early and not work until after nine, so that part was nice. We took a walk when I got home, and I made dinner, neither of which I really would have felt like doing if I'd been getting home that late.

3. The dinner was yakisoba, which I hadn't made in ages and was very tasty.

4. I love this pic Carla got of Molly tonight so much!

Yesterday Carla got out the little bag of catnip that came with one of their toys, in order to refill said toy, but after refilling she just left the bag on her desk. Tonight we came in the computer room to find the entire floor covered with catnip and the cats totally nipped out. XD Molly was rolling all over my desk chair and Chloe was biting at the half-empty catnip bag on the floor.
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 19:37

Title: All Out!!
Author: Amase Shiori
Publisher: Morning Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + Anima Regia
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Gion Kenji is short and perpetually pissed off about it. Iwashimizu Sumiaki is tall but timid. Although it's bullies that bring this unlikely pair together on the first day of high school, it's the rugby club that will make them friends.

Chapter Summary: Having gotten over his fear of facing Miyuki on the field, Iwashimizu gets serious about the game. Meanwhile, we get a flashback to the first game between Keijo and Kanagawa High.

Chapter 6: What's Important
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 21:00
My awesome-mazing friend [personal profile] pinesandmaples is having a fundraiser for some dental care they need: donate a dinner plate to a Women and Children's centre in New Orleans if you are able and so inclined. (Or if you are in New Orleans, get a delicious plate of foods from them, and feel my burning jealousy from the North. :P) 
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 13:22
Teeth are the boobs of the face.
Teeth are the eyes of the lower face.
Teeth are the things that make sure I can eat because eating is something important. Boom. There we go.

And I have some serious toothsome issues right now. To spare our dental horror folks, I'm going to give a super vague description of what is happening in my mouth right now: I have a problem with a tooth that VERY MUCH FOR SURE SERIOUSLY needs to be fixed by a dentist. (More details available via PM if you would like to know the whole, absolutely wild story.) At this point, I'm doing the "living with symptoms" dance. I wear my retainer and eat carefully, let's just say.

Thankfully, I have a dental appointment! It's a low-cost dental appointment with the very awesome students at LSU Dental School! My screening is on Tuesday, May 3. I need to be able to pay the initial $150 fee that day, and I do not have that kind of spare money. Really, I don't. I've managed to live inches above the poverty line while throwing money at all kinds of debt. But I don't have the money to fix this problem, which really needs to get fixed.

Since I live in New Orleans, I'm going to try and pay for this appointment the New Orleans way: supper plates!

I'm going to cook a mess of food and use the profits from the plates to pay for my dental care. It's a delicious solution.

The plates will be ready on Tuesday, April 26 from 4p until, and they cost $10 each.

Here's the menu:
  • Catfish courtbouillon over rice
  • Honey-glazed carrots
  • Garlic soy green beans
  • A sugar cookie
  • A cold can of coke

    (To save you the search, here's a link that says more about what Louisiana-style courtbouillon is. It's delicious.)

    If you're a local and want a supper plate: you can pick it up at my house! Comment to reserve your plate, and I'll PM you my address and phone number so you can swing by to get your plate. Locals can pay cash on site or PayPal me before you get here.

    If you live on the internet and want a supper plate: you can sponsor a plate for one of the shelters here in New Orleans! I know this isn't as exciting as getting your own plate, but you can support me getting the dental care I need while feeding someone on the ground here. My first round of plates will go to Hagar's House (which is the only shelter in town that offers beds to trans women). If y'all sponsor more plates than Hagar's House has residents, I'm going to send the next round to the New Orleans Women and Children's Shelter which is in my neighborhood. If there's more sponsorship than that, I'll talk to the folks at Covenant House or Grace House or St. Anna's to see where the need is. Internet folks should reserve their plates with a comment here and PayPal payment.

    If you'd like to fact-check any of this, here's the website for the LSU student clinics that talks about what my screening will cost and the process I'll go through to get care. I am also friends here on DW with some folks who have known me for a very, VERY long time and can verify that I am (a) not scamming and (b) really trying to make shit work and (c) make good food.

    Thank you so much!
  • Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 03:35
    Asking for a friend, being vague on purpose: their early-teens child has been feeling various "oh shit I feel like I might not be the gender I was assigned at birth" feels lately, and confessed those feels to Friend. Friend, who is very cis but fairly good on gender issues, had a good talk with Child (and introduced them to the concept of gender-fluidity, which Child found very reassuring and intriguing, and reassured Child that it was not something they had to figure out right this second), and they left the conversation with Child feeling pretty good about things: yay!

    I know I have a lot of you out there who have a lot of experience with gender-questioning, transness, genderqueerness, and the general process of explicitly interrogating your gender. Does anybody know, offhand, of a good set of resources Friend can consult? Looking specifically for resources from both ends: both "things that the cis parent of a questioning child can use to figure out how best to support their kid" and "things that a parent can give to a questioning child to help them". Friend has of course asked Google, but for things like this, I figured a personal recommendation/endorsement of particular resources would be better.

    Friend does not want to splash their kid's issues over the open internet and so will probably not be replying to comments, but thank you on their behalf. :)
    Friday, April 22nd, 2016 23:59
    * The laptop is charging. It's on top of the file box, under the bag.
    * Take the bag too, and the charger.
    * Don't forget the iPad or I will shiv you. Retroactively.
    * Today would be a good day to wear the fancy hair thing.
    * Watch, fitbit, clippy, headset. All of these things will make you mad if you leave them off.
    * Don't bother to eat. There will be breakfast soon enough.
    * If you really want to make coffee, you may. You'll need it.
    * Under no circumstances allow R to have more than two chocolate covered espresso bean at a time.
    * You will have to be up and running ALL DAY. phone's party follows! (remember: Purple's going!)
    Friday, April 22nd, 2016 23:29
    1. We went to Shake Shack tonight for dinner. It's pretty pricey, but was really tasty.

    2. Today was one of those days where it was just one thing after another at work, but by some miracle I actually got out of there on time despite that.

    3. I was really looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, but as it happens I need to go in early instead of my usual afternoon shift. But on the bright side, that means I will be home earlier, and also I'm really tired right now, so hopefully I can get to sleep early and still get a good night's sleep even with having to go to work in the morning...

    4. Kitties have been doing so much cuddling lately! So cute!

    Friday, April 22nd, 2016 00:05
    1. I posted more manga, woohoo! And also finished another translation, so even as one manga left my backlog queue, another was added to it. :D (I currently have nine chapters of various things in the queue, although one of them is something I have to do the typesetting for myself.)

    2. I had been planning for some time to go get blood drawn today and I actually went and did it rather than putting it off for another time!

    3. We went to Target to get a few things and as always checked the cat food aisle and not only did they have Fancy Feast multipacks on sale, but if you bought two you got a $5 Target gift card. There are plenty of things where that deal would not get me to buy more, but cat food is not one of them. We will always need cat food, after all.

    4. It's definitely a lot cooler today than it has been.

    5. We stopped at Costco while we were out today as well and it was seriously the best Costco trip I've ever had. The store near us is usually horrible both in the parking lot and in the store, but it's recently gotten even worse as they closed off part of the parking lot in order to expand the store. Meanwhile they're building a new parking structure next to it, so in the end there will actually be more parking, but for now it's so bad. But! When I was talking to my mom last week she mentioned that they are opening an hour early now to try and alleviate the parking situation, so we got there at nine and wow, it was like being at a totally different store. Hardly anyone there at all. I think a lot of people don't realise the hours have changed.

    6. We had super delicious kimchi fried rice for lunch (and I had it again for dinner) and also made a mint chocolate cheesecake. :D

    7. Tonight we watched the season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which I had totally forgotten about Tuesday. I wasn't in love with the Pimento storyline, but I have liked these last few episodes a lot.

    8. Tummy fluff!

    Thursday, April 21st, 2016 22:37
    What are you currently reading?
    Nothing at the moment. Oh wait, no, I did start something, but only got a few pages in. It's a book I got from BookMooch a few weeks ago, The Sweeter the Juice, which I feel I must have put on my wishlist years ago after seeing someone post about it on 50books_poc or something. It seems interesting, but as a physical book rather than ebook, it's probably going to take longer to get through.

    What did you recently finish reading?
    I finished reading a book. A whole other book. In like four days! Whaaaat?

    The book I finished reading is the one I mentioned in my last reading post as something I was considering next, Francis Hardinge's Cuckoo Song. It was so good! I got totally sucked in and it was really hard to put down. I don't think I've been this into a book in a long time.

    I'm really glad I went into it unspoiled because the beginning was just so intriguing and I was right there with Triss trying to figure out what the hell was going on. I was at first a little disappointed with the answer, but soon got caught up in the rest of the book.

    Non-spoilery summary: It's set in England after World War I. Eleven-year-old Triss falls into the river while on holiday with her parents and younger sister Pen, and when they pull her out she can't remember anything and strange things start happening. Her parents reassure her she's fine, but her sister now seems to hate her. Triss doesn't know what's wrong with her and fears she's sick and/or going crazy.

    More spoilery summary! But really I think it's best read without knowing anything. )

    My (spoilery) impressions ) Anyway, it's really good!!

    I also read vol. 10 of Ore Monogatari!!

    What do you think you'll read next?
    I downloaded vol. 11 of Ore Monogatari!! today and since I'm still in the mood, that will probably be my nighttime reading tonight. I also found that 7 Seeds 31 is out, which I may read right away or not. I love that series so much sometimes I hold off on reading new volumes because I know I'll be left wanting more once I finish it. Oh, and there was a new volume of Shimura Takako's Musume no Iede as well, so there's that.
    Thursday, April 21st, 2016 20:31
    I didn't do this meme last year, idk why, probably busy, but also maybe because I wasn't writing anymore. And I'm still not writing anymore, but having several hundred fics on AO3 means that even without producing any new content, I get a steady stream of daily kudos, and based on the fic titles I've been seeing show up in those emails, I think there's probably been a lot of change in my most popular stories. (As I mentioned the other day, The Force Awakens has awakened people's interest in my old Star Wars stories, for one thing.)

    Top 20 of 2016 by hits )

    Top 20 by kudos )

    Well, probably not many actually read this post, but I like having a record like this, especially since I almost never look at my stats page except when doing this meme, so it's a surprise (except for things like the increase in popularity in VC and SW fics, which I could guess by the daily kudos). I should definitely try to remember to do this every year, even if I never write anything new.
    Thursday, April 21st, 2016 18:31
    Ubuntu 16.04 was released today, with one of the highlights being the new Snap package format. Snaps are intended to make it easier to distribute applications for Ubuntu - they include their dependencies rather than relying on the archive, they can be updated on a schedule that's separate from the distribution itself and they're confined by a strong security policy that makes it impossible for an app to steal your data.

    At least, that's what Canonical assert. It's true in a sense - if you're using Snap packages on Mir (ie, Ubuntu mobile) then there's a genuine improvement in security. But if you're using X11 (ie, Ubuntu desktop) it's horribly, awfully misleading. Any Snap package you install is completely capable of copying all your private data to wherever it wants with very little difficulty.

    The problem here is the X11 windowing system. X has no real concept of different levels of application trust. Any application can register to receive keystrokes from any other application. Any application can inject fake key events into the input stream. An application that is otherwise confined by strong security policies can simply type into another window. An application that has no access to any of your private data can wait until your session is idle, open an unconfined terminal and then use curl to send your data to a remote site. As long as Ubuntu desktop still uses X11, the Snap format provides you with very little meaningful security. Mir and Wayland both fix this, which is why Wayland is a prerequisite for the sandboxed xdg-app design.

    I've produced a quick proof of concept of this. Grab XEvilTeddy from git, install Snapcraft (it's in 16.04), snapcraft snap, sudo snap install xevilteddy*.snap, /snap/bin/xevilteddy.xteddy . An adorable teddy bear! How cute. Now open Firefox and start typing, then check back in your terminal window. Oh no! All my secrets. Open another terminal window and give it focus. Oh no! An injected command that could instead have been a curl session that uploaded your private SSH keys to somewhere that's not going to respect your privacy.

    The Snap format provides a lot of underlying technology that is a great step towards being able to protect systems against untrustworthy third-party applications, and once Ubuntu shifts to using Mir by default it'll be much better than the status quo. But right now the protections it provides are easily circumvented, and it's disingenuous to claim that it currently gives desktop users any real security.
    Thursday, April 21st, 2016 17:29

    Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
    Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
    Author: Shimura Takako
    Publisher: Kiss
    Genre: Josei
    Status in Japan: 3 volumes, ongoing
    Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
    Scanlation Status: Ongoing
    More Info: Baka Updates

    Summary: 31-year-old Mame has been in love with her childhood friend Souta ever since she can remember. Despite multiple rejections, her love has stayed constant. It's become a habit more than anything, but is it one she'll ever be able to break and get on with her life?

    Chapter Summary: Yu invites Mame to her birthday dinner, but Mame already has plans: a mini class reunion for those of her old classmates who are still single.

    Chapter 4: Enchanted
    Thursday, April 21st, 2016 10:46
    Once upon a time there was a popular hashtag where women-and-those-who-caucus-with-them had real talk about some of the bullshit they face in regular life. And inevitably, that hashtag attracted the attention of some of the little shits who think that such things are like a conveyor belt of new victims to bully endless lols.

    I have a conference on Saturday. This is Wednesday night, and at the time when I poke my face back into my mentions because I see the tab has lit up, and I need to take about 30 seconds between Doing Things and get my brain back a little, it is a half-hour until the "omg it's 3 days ARE WE READY" phone call with my boss on this project. I am a little daunted by the volume of remaining work, but it's Wednesday night and we got this; I'll be working my ass off for the rest of the night and the two subsequent weekdays in order to make it happen.

    I poke my face into my mentions, and I see that some little asshole who thinks he's clever has said something he thinks is funny and hopes is hurtful in reply to my tweet.

    My response is maybe 5% hurt and 95% murderous rage. I don't own firearms because I don't trust my impulse control, and in that moment I was honestly feeling like there is no possible redemption for the sort of person who thinks that going into a hashtag like that and saying that sort of thing is a fun form of entertainment. If the guy had been in front of me I might have straight-up punched him. Instead, I blockreported him on Twitter.

    Street harassment is something that can escalate quickly. They always seem to zoom in on when you've just had an ass of a day, maybe your pain levels are through the roof, and some guy decides that you need to spend more of your attention on HIM, and if things don't go the way he wants them to, he may escalate in weird and unfortunate ways, including actual assault, following you home or until he gets bored, or more extended stalking. It does often end with no assault and no stalking, but the ways in which it could go suddenly and deeply bad with no warning mean that it's appropriate to prepare to respond to a threat to your life when you receive street harassment.

    Certain kinds of online harassment have enough in common with street harassment that it rings the same bells, and the now (very sadly) common escalation of SWATing means that online harassment that escalates is a very real physical risk. I didn't think this guy would actually notice that I'd blocked him, and he was harassing enough people that I doubt he'd have been able to trace any consequences-from-Twitter back to me, but it was an unfriendly reminder that like it or not, I live in a society where I'm considered an acceptable target if I call attention to myself in public, or sometimes even if I don't.

    As adrenaline spikes go, this one was moderate. It wasn't nearly as significant as the time I didn't inspect the cord of a small bedside appliance before plugging it in, and sparks shot everywhere and I killed the power strip (rest in peace, power strip, you performed your job adequately!) and then I stripped my bed and stayed awake for two hours before putting it back together and going to sleep because I didn't want to literally die in a fire. It wasn't as significant as the time when I enjoined a guy in the middle of a domestic row to go take a walk. I knew I had about 30 minutes to an hour of unpleasant activation in front of me, and that normally I would deal with this by doing something physical, like doing the laundry or other involved housework, to burn off the adrenaline in a safe, relatively comfortable, and productive way.

    Instead, I was editing MS Publisher files with an annoying lag because the images were a little too large for my under-powered computer to be happy about shoving around in real time, and in a mindset of write the other fifty-one!. With a phone call in half an hour.

    I was also pessimistic about my chances of blockreporting him on Twitter even doing anything. I have heard that Twitter is making some changes to how it handles reporting of bad actors. But based on the experiences of some people who have been getting some Really Not Okay things on Twitter and Twitter saying that it was totally okay -- an account that appears to be 100% trolling that ought to get you suspended from high school and a conference with your mom, but not actually making death threats or rape threats? PESSIMISTIC. That made my reporting feel futile, and the bad UX of the Twitter reporting workflow made me go out of my way to look at shit that I didn't want to be looking at. (Possibly more on that separately.) So instead of the Twitter reporting serving as an outlet for my rage and a point of closure, it amplified it in a way where I wound up more globally despairing of anyone ever being able to do anything about active shitwheels like this dude. Because it's never just one asshole, it's the culture of impunity where one asshole feels like yeah, he can spend a couple hours each day being a dick online and nothing bad will ever happen to him for it. One bad apple puts the rest of the barrel in danger. (That's what that saying means. If you have one bad apple, you had better remove it immediately and completely, or the rest of the apples in the barrel will think that decay is a SUPER GREAT idea, and they should try it too. It does not mean "don't worry about him, it's just an isolated incident.") I'd guess that the Twitter barrel is about 25% rotten at this point.

    So combine adrenaline, rage-turned-to-despair, and a very large task in front of me, and now I'm feeling jittery and miserable, and the feelings attach themselves to the conference and the work in front of me. Totally normal physiological reaction. I just don't have the time for it right now, and yet I've got to deal with it. It's not fair, and [insert violent revenge fantasy here].

    The other party to the call was running late, and bumped it out half an hour or so, which did give me the time to recover. So by the time we actually got on the call, I was feeling okay and we compared notes and checklists. I still won't get that half-hour back, and the fact that some people will say "oh, it's just a message online, what's the big deal, turn off your computer if you're that sensitive" makes me want to punch the whole world.
    Thursday, April 21st, 2016 21:12
    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.

    Simple Minds - This Earth That You Walk Upon (1981)
    (I embedded a remastered version done by Dexbam, who creates tons of 80s remasters mainly for fun.)

    This song began as just an instrumental theme on the single Love Song, then got recorded with lyrics for the album Sons And Fascination. Both versions use the same title though, which lead to mix-ups: For instance, the box set Themes - Volume 1 was supposed to contain the instrumental but got the vocal version, which was later corrected on the Themes box set.
    Thursday, April 21st, 2016 00:21
    1. Day off tomorrow! I've got stuff to do, but I can sleep in.

    2. We got pizza for dinner. :D

    3. Ever since The Force Awakens came out I've been getting a lot of kudos (and even some comments) on some of my old Star Wars fics. :D

    4. These kitties!

    Investigation time!
    Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 23:39
    is finally cooling down from today's high of 36C (~96F). unfortunately it's still about 25C (80F). and the people next door are hosting a surprise birthday party. the guest of honor did not arrive until after 10pm. it is now almost midnight and they are showing no signs of ending the celebration. sigh.

    sleep is for the weak, right?

    (in other news, today there were chickens and turkeys and peacocks and goats. and lots of tasty food.)
    Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 16:08
    I am so ready for this week to be over. SO READY.

    Except not because with every passing day the date when I will be homeless with a bad back and no thesis grows closer and um, that is not Fun Times.

    Anyway, I have so much actual shit to do and so little time and energy it's not even funny but here are two cool things that happened:

    1. My thesis adviser told me to apply for a national grad student conference my uni is hosting this year, and I did - half-assed proposal written and sent literally 20 minutes before the deadline - and today a friend ~in the know~ told me I'd been accepted. Apparently 16 people will be presenting overall, only 6 from my department. Of course because of my terrible proposal they found my subject confusing but they were intrigued by my methods so they're putting me in the "innovative methodology" section. Which... I have no idea how that'll go since I just did interviews over the internet and everyone else in that section actually sounds... REALLY INNOVATIVE.

    Anyway, this is an utterly useless honor since I'm not really planning a career in academia at this point. I tell myself that maybe it'll let me send out the bat signal, and if any other grad students attend (which, idk how many actually will) maybe fan people will find me afterwards and we'll be friends? IDK.

    2. Many years ago I wrote a short story. Last year I sent it to a publication, and it was accepted into an anthology, and now apparently you can pre-order that anthology which comes out in June.

    I cannot actually tell you how amazing that post is to me. First of all the idea that you can PRE-ORDER something I wrote. LIKE. That has never happened and is EXTREMELY EXCITING.

    But also: the advanced praise for that anthology? It's Martha Wells, one of whose books I JUST BOUGHT THE OTHER DAY no joke, and the guy who wrote the iZombie books which are, you know, A POPULAR TV SERIES now. Like... OH MY GOD.

    Also the names on the cover? The first person on top has like 7 books out. When I got accepted to this anthology I was first-time-author as you can get. LIKE.

    Anyway, look at my spiffy updated bibliography. EEEE.
    Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 23:40
    1. I actually got off work on time today! Kind of amazing.

    2. I got yet another chapter of manga finished up and am very close to finishing a full volume of one-shots that I've been plugging along at (though that will still be a long time before release, since no typesetting has been done on it at all).

    3. The kitties were being sweet cuddlebuddies this afternoon and Carla managed to get some good pics of them. :D

    Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 22:09
    Currently Reading: Still plodding through Portrait of a Lady a few pages at a time, mostly in the bath. Current e-book is Christina Stead's For Love Alone, because an essay in Meanjin convinced me I should try it.

    Recently Read:

    Lives of Girls and WomenLives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    I really liked this. It had one of the things I value in more or less realist modern fiction: a strong sense of place. It's set somewhere in rural Ontario, in the seventies, and it has... oh, I don't know, it's not as if I've ever been to rural Ontario, but the rural-ness felt *right*, the small town in a big continent thing.

    The title is apt: there are men in this book, mostly as objects of annoyance and sexual curiosity, but the book is about girls and women, and the protagonist's measuring herself by and distinguishing herself from the women around her.

    Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible ThingsFuriously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    I did like this, but perhaps not as much as I liked Let's Pretend This Never Happened. Sometimes Jenny Lawson's humour crosses lines into something that annoys rather than entertains or provides catharsis for me - I don't follow the blog, I like to keep my Blogess doses discrete. But then, it's worth it for the bright moments that shine through - the chapter on antipsychotics, for instance, is glorious.

    An example of humour that annoys: most of the Australia chapter. It's not that I don't like jokes about Australia and at Australia's expense, it's just that most of these ones were... surface level. Oooh, kangaroos. And then there was a throw-away line Lawson having heard that Indigenous people used to commit cannibalism, sort of covered over with "can you blame 'em, i'd eat people who turned up on my land too", with *absolutely no consideration* of the racist, imperialist and often outright fabricated context in which these accounts circulate. Not being Australian is no excuse: you live in fucking America, you should have the common sense to think critically about any story that involves "savages" doing stereotypical "savage" things! (Mind you, in some places pre-colonial societies DID practice cannibalism and /or headhunting, and the wholesale banning thereof has been known to lead to social breakdown! It's an interesting topic and not one for throwaway jokes!)

    Meanjin Vol 74, #4Meanjin Vol 74, #4 by Jonathan Green

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Subscribing to Meanjin was an excellent life choice. I particularly recommend the essay Sydney Takes Shape, which spurred me to start on Christina Stead.

    For work: Jenkins, Convergence Culture, very good, very interesting; and Sexual Culture in the Literature of Medieval Britain, some good chapters and some good spots in the intro but also some deeply alarming ones. You don't just quote Zizek saying that protest against sexual harrassment is protest against sex itself and not INTERROGATE that, geez.

    Up next: I am full of work energy and have borrowed MANY BOOKS out. Stuff on rewriting, translation, movie medievalism, the gentry in middle english romance, all kinds of stuff. I've got the autumn issue of Meanjin to keep me occupied backstage during Chitty Chitty next weekend, too.
    Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 00:11
    1. I slept in and relaxed and had a good day off.

    2. I did a ton of translating, including finishing three things off (one of which I even got posted). Feeling really good about that, especially since that's now all my monthly chapters that are done so I don't have to worry about scrambling to finish anything before the end of the month and can use the rest of the time to work on other stuff.

    3. It was hot, but not too terrible just sitting around the house.

    4. We had some chicken in the fridge and Carla ended up making a tasty cheesy jalapeño chicken casserole thingy for dinner.

    5. I got a thing in the mail today from Kaiser saying that if I did a survey I could get a $20 Amazon gift card, so I did and I didn't even have to wait at all for the gift card, it gave the link at the end of the survey! Carla had been wanting to get a cast iron dutch oven for a while, so since the one she had on her wishlist had come down in price quite a lot, we went ahead and got that. With the gift card, it brought the price down to only $40!

    6. Kitties!

    Monday, April 18th, 2016 22:42

    Title: Yasha
    Author: Yoshida Akimi
    Publisher: Flower Comics
    Genre: Shoujo
    Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Molly
    Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
    Scanlation Status: Ongoing
    More Info: Baka Updates

    Summary: Twelve-year-old Sei lives a normal, quiet life on a small island in Okinawa until one day a strange man who seems to know his mother shows up and tries to kidnap him. After that, nothing is normal or quiet in this sci-fi thriller from the author of Banana Fish.

    Chapter Summary: A surprise reunion...

    Chapter 43

    And we've reached the end of another volume! For those who want it, here's the complete download for volume 8.