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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 14:13
This line popped into my head while working, and it's nagging at me to continue the story...

“Y’know, if I still smoked, this woulda been worth a couple cigarettes…”

Of course, that's Peter/Mel, post-coital, having had no-strings-attached sex, what else could it be?
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 12:27
Wednesday is comic book release day and of course GB is TODAY.

And I read on the GBFans forums that this issue is a doozie (and that it was available on iBooks last night) and I AM FREAKING OUT!

I want to know what happens!

I should not work on GB release day, I'm a wreck!

Especially since next month is the last issue. :(

I will miss this comic SO much.


But... Winston love! ♥

This is just going from comments of people who are trying to not spoil, who are commenting on the issue.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 16:15
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.

I’m not much of a night photographer for a variety of reasons, such as “wandering around in dark, isolated places with expensive gear and when you are a smallish woman is not recommended” and “I never carry my tripod because it’s awkward and extra weight” but thankfully I have friends who mitigate the first and cars that mitigate the second, so then it all works out.

My photographer excursion to Crater Lake is one of those rare times it worked out. We had a “wait, it’s too nice to go to bed” bit of folly, given that our plan was to get up at 4am to catch the sunrise. Alas, the lake was in cloud at sunrise, so those photos never happened, but the night ones totally did.

Here they are before editing:

The view from our "hotel" at Crater Lake (original)Our "hotel" at crater lake (original)

This was 30s exposure at ISO 3200, which is still rather noisy for my tastes, even with some post-processing to clean it up a bit. I think in future I might have to try cranking that down a fair bit.

Below is my first attempt at processing the photos base on what I knew to do off the top of my head. They’re not bad, but as I said, I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to practice night photography, and that includes processing as well as the physical taking of photos. You can definitely see some more colour and definition even in the small versions I’ve put here so you can see them all at once:

The view from our "hotel" at Crater LakeOur "hotel" at crater lake

So I read through a night photography tutorial and these are the images that resulted:

Our "hotel" at crater lake

The view from our "hotel" at Crater Lake

The first one’s maybe not that different from my own attempt, but the second one really pops, no? I guess I need to spend more time reading photo processing tutorials. Processing has been my weak point in terms of just getting it done, but it’s pretty impressive to see how much more I got out of that last image with a little help, I think.

[Note: I somehow failed to schedule this post when I was written, so that's why you're getting it so late after the photos were uploaded, in case anyone who follows my flickr stream was wondering, but I doubt anyone actually pays that much attention.]

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 09:21
- Chelsea begging for scritches early in the morning. She usually doesn't like too much petting, but when she's in the moody, she is the biggest suck to ever suck.

- Finished a first draft of a scene yesterday! It's very first drafty but it's nice to see progress. Nearly 2000 words in a day. I have a second day lined up for writing with [profile] zulu_mom tomorrow.

- Working on being a certified Adult. It takes lots of calls and emails. But I might have a line on a part-time job for this semester. Since I'm probably taking a leave starting in January, it'll be nice to save up a bit in advance.

- Maddy hasn't thrown up in several days! Five, to be precise. (Yes, I have a spreadsheet dedicated to tracking this kind of thing.) She's always been an occasional up-chucker, but recently it was every week, then every couple of days. We went to the vet and were prescribed antacids and a GI food. Maddy has learned to be so good about getting pilled! It still takes two of us, but she doesn't growl anymore, and swallows like a good girl. (Heh.)

- Feeling pretty good even though I had too much caffeine yesterday and my brain was racing for two hours last night so that I couldn't fall asleep. Will the energy last? Perhaps not. But a person can hope.

- Planning on seeing friends this weekend!

- Good games night with other friends last weekend!

- Getting critted at writing group today--my group is very good and thoughtful and has already helped a lot with my world-building. Things to think about for draft 3.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 09:46
Reading up on Sumerian mythology at work... and found the following info:

The Abyss or the Void mentioned in Genesis 1:2 has, in the original Hebrew has a close etymological link with Tiamat.

What the… I knew they borrowed stuff from other Mesopotamian mythologies, but that is getting interesting. I knew about the Epic of Gilgamesh having inspired the Flood story, but this is… wow.

Okay, can someone exorcise Ray Stantz from my brain, now? I need to work.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 13:21
I have nothing to talk about that's cheerful (trying to frantically sell my furniture, dealing with family drama, dealing with asshole "roommate", dealing with landlady, dealing with movers, packing up all my earthly belongings, preparing for the joyful weeks I'll be spending sleeping on people's couches, doing all of this in addition to working full time - fun times!) so let's talk about Outlander.

book spoilers )
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 08:19
Volume 2, issue #19 is due out today.

We're only picking it up Thursday, and I can't wait, so I'll probably download it in the meantime (if it's up by tonight).

I read the preview, and Holy Crap! I don't know what is going to happen, and how is this going to end. It's a good thing I know Ray has plot armor, because holy shit, it's not good.

Apparently, this issues sees the conclusion of the Tiamat thing, with issue 20 being the aftermath and the wrapping up of Volume 2 (and maybe the actual end to the series, although an eventual Volume 3 has been hinted at, depending on things they won't divulge, and apparently, it's NOT sales).
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 11:34

Brief pause in the stream of Dresden Files re-reads. Now I am reading the first two (this and The Fractal Prince, as-yet unread) in Rajaniemi's Jean le Flambeur series).

Imagine, if you will, a highly technological future, where on one hand you have a bunch of uploaded people ceaselessly duplicating themselves in silico and running their minds on a compute substrate in orbit way outside the asteroid belt. And also a whole bunch of people running in what is considered the most privacy-aware human (well, technically post-human) society in the Solar System.

Welcome to a wonderful world of implications, mysteries, unintended and intended consequences and a fair chunk of crypto theory hidden in fiction.

It's a damned good read, but I am still noticing new things and I get more and more disturbed, every time I read it.Maybe you want to be disturbed too? It might be good for you...
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 11:01

All the things Dresden did through his life have finally caught up with him.

I won't say anything else.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 10:59

Another book that starts with something deeply unexpected. Susan Rodriguez, Dresden's amore of years past, turns up. Then she goes all "our daughter is in peril" on him.

And then shit starts cascading, in a fecal avalanche of disgusting proportions. In a way that leaves Dresden very surprised towards the end.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 10:55

Any day that starts with someone who's spent years following your every action, in the hopes of catching you doing something wrong, so he can separate your head from your body, using a sword that can cut through spells (as well as flesh) turning up at your door is not a good day. Especially if they're bloody, injured and claim to be on the lam from the White Council, on whose behalf he was watching you and hoping to kill you.

But, that's pretty much what happens to Dresden in the first chapter of Turn Coat and it doesn't slow down after that. Quite a few things that happen will have further reprecussions for young Dresden.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 10:52
Re-read (and catch-up).

Dresden learns, again, that making deals with the Faerie frequently turns out not as you would suspect. Mab strong-arms him into protectingGentleman Johnny Marcone, Chicago ganster extraordinaire (you're definitely beyond ordinary if you're a signatory to the Unseelie Accords).

Even better, Summer is after his behind. This is, not entirely surprising, absolutely no fun at all. But, for some reason, Queen Titania is bearing a grudge, imagine that...
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 10:48
Reread (and meme catch-up).

Harry is called to a suspected suicide. The victim turns out to have been mentally controlled and there's assorted traces leading him to believe there's been magical murder afoot.

Turns out this is not the first and there's a serial killer targetting people with minor talents.

A whole slew of characters from previous books make a re-appearance. Nothing is happy in Dresden's Chicago.
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 22:56
1. Super busy day at work, so much so that I completely forgot to order stuff I usually order on Tuesdays and now I have to go in tomorrow morning and order it. But I'm glad I remembered now, before it's too late, and if I go in tomorrow for an hour or so, that means I can take a short day somewhere else.

2. Because I was so busy today, I didn't get to take my lunch until late, which meant I could go to Taco Bell and get a Baja Blast Freeze! I stopped getting them all the time because now that I go in to work earlier my lunch doesn't fall during their happy hour and I'm unwilling to pay full price when I know that I could get it for a dollar if I just went during that time! XD

3. The pet adoption lady stopped by tonight to give us some eyedrops for the kitten's runny eyes (a condition she already had when we adopted her, and the lady said to let her know if it didn't clear up soon and she would give us the drops; I just think she didn't have them with her at the pet store). Hopefully that will clear up soon. She's also sneezy but I think that's just from the dust. I vacuumed before we brought her home, but she keeps getting into all these nooks and crannies that are not as well cleaned. :-/

4. Speaking of the kitten, I think we've settled on Heidi for her official name, because of all the hiding she likes to do. XD (Though I mostly seem to call her baby or kitty when talking to her.) Every time I think we've figured out all her hiding places, she finds somewhere new. First it was the desk cupboard, but now her new favorite place is inside the sofa. Last night I found her underneath the sofa, and then this morning I could not find her anywhere and started to wonder if maybe she'd actually gotten inside of it. Then as I was kneeling down next to the back of the sofa wondering how I could go about trying to find out if she'd gotten inside somehow, I heard a snuffling that was definitely coming from the sofa! Then I remembered that the back of it has velcro at the bottom to lift up the fabric so you can take the sections apart to more easily move it, and sure enough when I lifted up the fabric of the section where the snuffles were coming from, there she was.

Tonight she got really, really playful and also very cuddly. She definitely seems to be getting used to us. She has happily snuggled when we picked her up before, but that required some chasing to get her, whereas tonight she was actually coming to us.

Here is your cute kitty pick of the day.
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 21:17
I need to get my pet bird to stop masturbating!

She's so randy that she does that, and lays eggs and we don't want her to lay eggs, because that depletes her calcium and can be super dangerous to her health.

But crap, she won't stop mating with her cage, and her water bowl, and her food bowl (she's a promiscuous little thing, lol).

She does not have an actual male bird mate, but she won't stop!
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 17:39
My beloved bicycle Buttercup has had a catastrophic failure of a weld!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 20:44
kaberett: ... chris
kaberett: chris I have broken everything enough
kaberett: that alt+ctrl+f2
kaberett: doesn't give me a terminal
kaberett: please tell me you're impressed
Chris: ...
Chris: *how.*
Chris: this is the machine you just reinstalled, right?
kaberett: no this is the desktop
Chris: oh ok
kaberett: chris
Chris: so I mean it's possible that xorg.conf contains DontVTSwitch I guess?
kaberett: how did I do this
kaberett: it didn't ought to
kaberett: how do I fix the thing
kaberett: sorry the clarifying point
kaberett: is that it's failing to load the graphical desktop either
kaberett: which is why I'm even trying
kaberett: :-p
Chris: ah
Chris: ..
Chris: but I mean, is it showing you some empty/faulty graphical screen which you then can't switch away from, or..?
kaberett: black featureless screen of d00m
Chris: (or something text based I mean)
kaberett: it briefly shows me a text-based login prompt
kaberett: which gets REPLACED
kaberett: never to be seen again
Chris: ...
kaberett: ... there's the additional special
kaberett: (yes there's more)
Chris: those sure are some impressive sharks you've got there.
kaberett: (do you actually want to hear it)
Chris: yes
kaberett: okay so
kaberett: I was fucking around with installing some more xserver-xorg packages
kaberett: on the grounds that the internet suggested that was a reasonable fix for the issue I'm having -- ... was having? -- with saving xorg.conf
kaberett: and nothing obviously broke
kaberett: ... until I went away to the kitchen
kaberett: ... and came back after the screens had gone to sleep
kaberett: ... whereupon um
kaberett: ... they wouldn't wake up again?
kaberett: I got a brief flash of background+mousecursor every time I hit space or moved the mouse enough to trigger
kaberett: ... you're proud
Chris: wtf.
Chris: *applause*
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 18:00
18 hours until the thesis has to be handed in. And no, it's not done yet.

Poor husband. I hope he can sleep all afternoon tomorrow and then we'll go somewhere nice to celebrate.
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 16:36
And on the off-week of my fortnightly pattern, too. Time to catch up where I'd gotten behind.

What Are You Reading Wednesday:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

For work: George Duby (ugh), and a book on Chrétien that was co-written by a cabal of lady scholars.
For funsies: Baraba Baynton's 'Bush Studies', on the alkido app; Jan Clausen's 'Apples and Oranges: My Journey Through Sexual Identity' (the latest in my bisexual angst reading list); and the audiolivre.fr recording of La Petite Princesse.

What did you recently finish reading?

Positive mention goes to the short story A Box, a Pocket, a Spaceman by E. Catherine Tobler at Lightspeed Magazine.

I don't normall review work reading, but these two are unusual:

The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of EmotionsThe Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions by William M. Reddy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Deserves special mention for being personally useful to think through as well as academically interesting.

Friends: Why Men and Women are From the Same PlanetFriends: Why Men and Women are From the Same Planet by Lisa Gee

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a really weird read. I ought to have liked it - it's about some of my favourite topics, through a mix of literary, sociological and interview-based evidence. I liked the connections Gee drew between the way friendship functions and the way cross-sex kin bonds function. But actually the book drove me bonkers: it was insufficiently critical of its secondary sources, sprinkled with evo-psych, and tried to blend feminist thinking with accepting the premises of "The Surrendered Wife" (which I haven't read) and "In Defense of Modesty" (which i have, and it too pulls that weird trick of sort of accepting feminist logic and then offering regressive solutions).

I also finished with 'Love, Friendship and Faith in Medieval and Early Modern Europe' and Yasmina F-J's 'La Jeune Fille et L'amour'.

From the nominally fun reading list:

Fat Is a Feminist IssueFat Is a Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was *weird*. It was an interesting read, which posed engaging questions about gender, body issues, weight, and food. I don't think of myself as someone with disordered eating habits, nor particularly angsty about my body (less so than many women, I think), but it got me thinking about the food/self-care axis again, which is always relevant when I'm depressed.
Thoughts it gave rise to, and thoughts on the dated nature of the book )

Me Talk Pretty One DayMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was pretty delightful. The opening essay - in which the Agent comes for David during his fifth-grade afternoon lessons and takes him away for endless lessons in failing to pronounce the letter "s" - was bright, engaging and hooky. I liked the second part, which mostly deals with the horrors of learning French, a lot more though, for what I assume are obvious reasons.

I was mostly bored with Sedaris' tales of his drug-fueled escapades, and it bothered me that he didn't seem to acknowledge that, if his father really does twit his sisters constantly about their weight, *this is really dickish behaviour*. It seemed like he wanted to celebrate Amy Sedaris' victory over their dad in that arena without actually condemning Dad's behaviour, which felt unbalanced.

What do you think you'll read next? I've packed up most of my books, including the to-read pile, for moving, so I suspect it'll be something on the Kobo. Or something at friend L's place: she has a copy of Mrs Beeton's!
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 07:18
via http://ift.tt/1qmnmh0 at August 26, 2014 at 02:00AM:

Clue (1985)

I have always and will always turn to this film when in the depths of despair.  
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 01:13
And, once again, I'm reminded of the intensity of being me. It's awfully hard, finding that balance between "invite someone in" and "drive them up the wall with my extremes".

Living life as someone who prefers radical edges instead of the middle way is ugly sometimes, and the flashes of deep intensity that come with deep feeling or decision making...well, they are so big that I want to share them in a way that I can get feedback that they are received, but I also don't want to drive someone away by exposing them to the vast width of my pendulum, you know? Heard, received, understood is asking a lot from someone who prefers a path of moderation. Finding my life-balance means either not inviting my primary partner into these flashes or having a partner who can walk through the moments when I burn the hottest without fear but cannot maintain the balance of the daily trundle.

I have tried both, and I know which I prefer.
Monday, August 25th, 2014 23:15
1. The (still unnamed) kitty is getting used to the house and us. She still spends a lot of time in various hidey-holes (she especially likes the cupboard of Irene's desk, which has a fairly large pass-through for cords so she can get in while the cupboard door is still closed and then just hang out in there; it's also nice and warm because it has hard drives inside), but the difference between yesterday and today is pretty noticeable. Tonight she explored around the house a lot while we were watching TV and then later while we were in the computer room she got super pouncy and playful and was bounding all over the room. Here's a pic of her just after she pounced on a particularly dastardly shoe.

Thanks to everyone for commenting on yesterday's kitten post. ♥

2. This weekend's sales were really great. People seem to be buying a lot of the new items we got in during our remodelling.

3. Irene made a delicious roast chicken for dinner tonight and there's a ton of leftovers, too. (I think I may make a chicken salad for lunch tomorrow.)
Monday, August 25th, 2014 22:21
I finally got a volunteer to help out with this series, so since I already had the next chapter translated, we were able to get it out quick! :)

Thanks to Ai for cleaning and typesetting!

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 + Ai
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: Hikari's dad finds out she's been visiting a church and does not approve...

Chapter 1: Fukufukuji - Hikari - Part 2b
Monday, August 25th, 2014 20:41
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Monday, August 25th, 2014 23:35
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Signs you do your grocery shopping in Massachusetts. #wicked
Monday, August 25th, 2014 15:40
I rolled a critical failure on my attempt to readjust to my own timezone coming back from London. Last night I couldn't get to sleep til about 2:30, which I think puts my body clock somewhere over the Pacific. Sigh. I'm hanging in there today, though.

It was a great trip! I went to Worldcon, and then spent a few days sightseeing with [livejournal.com profile] ckd and his parents. I got to spend time with lots of people I like, and meet a pleasing number of new people I also like, and eat tasty food, and visit the British Museum. (Text from my sister while I was at the museum: "Almost like visiting Narnia! You mean it's actually a real place, and not just a character in ten thousand British novels? :)")
Monday, August 25th, 2014 10:48
I actually got an idea for a fanmix and went out and made it! It's a G Callen fanmix. I even made a cover and annotated it with meta. Go me.

Nothing Like Shelter from star-anise on 8tracks Radio.

Monday, August 25th, 2014 16:02
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.

This one barely counts as a maker-y thing, in that all I really did was string some letters onto a faux-leather strap, but I think it’s hilarious and needed to be shared:

Necklace with the letters WTF on it. WTF Necklace

Actually, this was much harder than it should have been. The necklace strap came pre-assembled and had to be disassembled so I could thread the letters on, which normally wouldn’t be too hard but I can’t find the relevant jewelry pliers so I wound up using these round ones which were totally unsuited. And then once I got it off, it turns out the darned letters have holes that aren’t quite big enough to easily thread the pleather through (or equally, the pleather was a bit too sticky for the length of threading required), so then I had to MacGyver this threading implement with a piece of wire that had been originally used to hold the bead in the package. My original plan of wrapping the wire around the pleather didn’t work because the wire was too thick, and then I wound up accidentally stripping half the wire inside the bead when I tried, and finally I had to find a needle and poke a hole in the end of the pleather and convince the wire to get into this much smaller hole so that I could hook it around and finally get the darned beads on the strap.

So, um, yeah. Totally easy, of course!

I can’t really take credit for the idea exactly: I saw a gal at defcon with a beautiful monogrammed purse that said WTF all classy-like (in as much as one can) and then beads were on sale when I went in to get stuff at the craft store and I was going to get my initials (which are funny enough in and of themselves) but then I decided I needed this too, because I am such a classy individual.

The instagram-clone filters prove it:

Necklace with the letters WTF on it. WTF Necklace

The thing that bugs me about this is that the holes in the beads aren’t exactly at the same height, so my necklace has a kerning problem. Can you see it? I really can, but I suppose I don’t actually have to look at my own necklace all day, and everyone at work is much too polite to stare randomly at someone else’s chest, so I figure it’s only the font geeks who’ll catch it.

Monday, August 25th, 2014 14:41
in which Ikki and Iskierka are besties 5eva.
Monday, August 25th, 2014 08:13
via http://ift.tt/1vDOdpx at August 25, 2014 at 03:00AM:




#pirates of the caribbean was kind of a formative influence #so here’s the thing #after years of chasing curses and hearts and fountains; losing the pearl and winning her back and losing her again #after rum enough to drown his sins and sorrows both#captain jack sparrow wakes up one morning and he’s immortal #just like that #no deals with calypso (he hasn’t been able to find her since the brethren court broke her chains) no desperate double-dealing #one morning he just…stops #stops aging stops dying #he gets the seas forever—except #except #the edges of the map are closing in #the lure of undiscovered treasures is waning and merchant ships are becoming better defended #the day that the East India Company takes Shipwreck Island; Jack feels a great chapter in the world’s history close #(he flees to the Barbary coast with the rest of his ilk; but the romance has gone out of it—the is too much desperation #too much hunger too much blood to it nowadays #the age of the swashbuckler won’t live out the decade) #I imagine this thing he’s chased all his life would crumble through his hands as he bounced from ship to ship #he never gets used to the square rigging on the clippers; though they lead to some good work running tea from china #but the first time he sees a steamship he nearly walks off the dock out of shock #of all the ways sailing would have changed; who thought you’d get rid of the /sails/ #(he swears he’s never getting on one of those monstrosities; let alone sailing on one) #(he manages to hold out until 1893 when the longing for the sea overwhelms him and he decides that even #that ghastly smog and the humming of the engines can be endured) #sometimes he’ll see calypso out of the corner of his eye—leaning on the deck railing; darting alongside the ship with the dolphins #(someone in the early 20th century tells him they’re not fish and he nearly busts a gut laughing) #he wears a hundred names and a hundred looks; cuts his hair short or grows it long #calls himself american; spanish; english (british); caribbean #he has two dozen different copies of Stevenson’s Treasure Island—it reminds him of something gone and half-forgotten #and in 1920 when Seitz comes out with Pirate Gold; Captain Jack Sparrow is in the first row (x)

And then in the future, everything changes. He’s been through it all, of course-watched humanity rediscover the heavens above them, watched them begin to wonder what’s out there. He cheered with the rest of the world when they landed on the moon, cheered as if he’d found Isla de la Muerta all over again, because there was something new. New treasure, a new horizon. But then they stop going, stop exploring, and he goes back to riding tankers across the rising seas. So he’s surprised when one day he wakes up from a night with his bottle of rum (his truest companion), and hears that there’s colonies on Mars now, and they need ships to supply them. He spends the next decade crafting new identities, learning all he can to qualify for the job, and after several tries (and even more faked deaths-this immortality thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the age of the inerasable digital self) he gets it. The ships go nearly constantly now, the needs of the terraforming project creating an unbroken line of vessels from Mars to Earth and back again. “Show me that horizon,” he whispers to himself, his personal prayer of thanksgiving, each time they leave orbit, because the worlds, the stars are in motion and it’s never the same, with nearly three years for a round trip the ports are always different, even if they keep the old names. And finally one trip something goes wrong with the reactor, they’re too low on power and have to deploy the backups, and Jack (Lucky Jack, they call him, for he survives too many things he shouldn’t but science has yet to accept that maybe some things weren’t old wives’ tales after all) goes out for the spacewalk to bring up the solar panels. And as they rise, geometric patterns black against the sun’s glare, he’s struck by a powerful sense of déjà vu, because it’s all here-wind and sails, a ship beneath his feet and stars above his head, horizon in all directions. He wonders, for a moment, if the reason he’s still here is because the universe wanted a witness, to mourn the end of one age of exploration, and rejoice in the birth of the next.

Thank you for writing this. It made me cry, but oh I am so relieved to see the yearning for the stars.

That shouldn’t have given me as many feels as it did… 

Ooo, shivers.  (shivers me timbers?)
Monday, August 25th, 2014 07:21
via http://ift.tt/1snFyp6 at August 25, 2014 at 02:00AM:







A large part of my adult, career-related life has been lived by Susan Ivanova’s examples and wisdom.

i don’t really know who this is i think she’s from babylon 5 but AWESOME

Oh man.  MAN.  Man.  Lemme tell you about Susan Ivanova.

Susan Ivanova, second in command of Babylon 5, has been through a lot of shit.  First, off, Babylon 5 is a deliberate melting pot of a place where. after a really bad war, different species can come to seek peace.  Earthgov is skeptical about it.  The other species governments are skeptical about it.  As a result, the station often stands between the universe and very bad shit going down. 

Commander Ivanova is in charge of operations.  All the day to day stuff.  She handles it pretty well.


Mostly, anyway.

She is not here to put up with anyone’s shit.  Not even if you’re from Earth.

She’s second in command of a station with captains that are perpetually putting themselves and the station through a lot of political… well, ugly politics.  She’s often the one left behind, having to tell folks the Captain is not available and she’s in charge.  Honestly, for having to be the grownup among so many damned children, she’s very well liked. 

She’s not all business, though, she’s a great friend as well as commander, with a lovely, dry, gallows sense of humor.  I’m not sure there’s a person on the station who doesn’t have a private joke or at least a friendly word with her (provided they’re not fucking up her schedule).

Her family is Russian and Jewish, and it actually comes up from time to time.  She occasionally sends a shout out to god (she’s not practicing, iirc, but she still identifies as Jewish and keeps a few traditions), She commentates often on her Russian heritage.

Susan Ivanova: I know, I know. It’s a Russian thing. When we’re about to do something stupid, we like to catalog the full extent of our stupidity for future reference. 

She meets up with family and friends from her past and doesn’t shy away from them:

Lt. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: So how are things back home? Rabbi Koslov: They change, they stay the same. Russia is Russia. Your father used to say: “If regret could be harvested, Russia would be the world’s fruit basket.” 

She had a rough time growing up - her mother was a telepath, and in this universe if you’re telepathic and human you have two options: join a quasi-militaristic organization called the PsiCorps that will immediately take you from your family and control your whole life (they even have a saying: the Corps is Mother.  The Corps is Father.  It’s as chilling as you think,); option two is to take some drugs that suppress your abilities.  Ivanova’s mother chose the second option, and after a long, ugly period suffering under the effects of the drug, she took her own life.

You can imagine Susan is not thrilled with anyone associated with the Psicorps. But when a Psicorps telepath named Talia Winters comes on board, some interesting things happen.

At first she avoids the hell out of her.

But then, eventually, Susan doesn’t mind her so much.

Talia reaches out, and turns up at Susan’s quarters late one night.

They actually become real friends.

And you know, they have scenes like this.

And then, when Talia is gone she confesses:

Susan also later falls in love with a man named Marcus Cole, which means for my money she’s the first bisexual lady in space that I ever saw on TV.  Possibly ever.

For all that though, for her friendships and lovely jokes and cuddly-as-a-cactus-flower appeal, they never ever forget how good she is at her job.  She is shatteringly competent.

She is a military commander, and from time to time, she shows it.

Also, she was airlocking people before it was cool.

The whole crew is in on the airlocking thing, really.  They support her airlocking habits.  It’s lovely of them to do.

In summation:

Commander Susan Ivanova, bisexual Russian Jewish space princess of my heart.  Forever.  Watch this show.

Always share St. Ivanova.

YEESSSS. Babylon 5 fandom, we yet live!!

And did we mention the part where she coopted part of the hydroponics bays so that she could grow coffee to prevent her from committing homicide?

Susan Ivanova is my queen.  Also my rebbe.

(I refuse to call her St Ivanova because what part of “Jewish” are we forgetting, thanks for the erasure).

#another on the endless list of shows I want to get around to watching

YES. Yes, you do. It has its problems, it’s the first show to do all its SFX by computer (Amigas with Video Toaster cards) and sometimes it looks it, and it starts slow but god damn once it gets going it is fucking amazing and awesome.

Also, Ivonava and Talia’s relationship is canon and confirmed and intent, and the only reason it stopped when it did is because Talia’s actress wanted to leave the show to do other things nobody cares about.

I have never stopped wanting to be her when I grow up. 

I’m not entirely sure what those of Jewish faith have in place of Saints, but whatever they have, Ivanova is one of them.    She is a legend and when I am having a bad day, I think of what she would do.  
Probably airlock my coworkers.  Quickly.  
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 22:54
We got a kitten today! She's four months old and doesn't have a name yet. We keep calling her Dingus Junior because of a Simpsons episode we were watching tonight, but don't want that to actually be her name. XD I posted a couple pics on instagram and Irene has some pics, too. (I usually crosspost instagram stuff to twitter and facebook and sometimes tumblr as well, so if you want to see more kitty pics, it might be good to friend me there (or of course on instagram) as I know I won't always remember to link later on DW.)

It felt like everything was going wrong today when I was trying to get this cat, but things worked out! I wanted to rent a zipcar because while the place we were adopting from is only about a mile away, I didn't want to walk home with a cat and all the cat stuff and the bus that goes there doesn't run on weekends. But the closest zipcar to us was checked out until 3pm and the adoptions started at one. We wanted to go early because we were afraid everyone would all be adopted if we went later, so I found another car not too far away that said it was available.

First thing that went wrong is when I was almost to the car my bike got a flat tire, so I had to walk it the rest of the way. But even worse was when I went in to the lobby (this car was parked at a condo building) the concierge said that while they are going to have a zipcar there eventually, they haven't started the program yet. D: I called zipcar and they were insistent that the car was already there, but the guy showed me the space where it would be and it was empty. He said the building had only been open for a couple weeks and that parking garage was still kept permanently locked because it wasn't yet in use. He called another nearby condo building that was managed by the same company and the guy there said they have a zipcar, so I walked over to see if there was some mistake, but the guy described a different car and when I got down to the parking space, it was checked out for the day anyway! So I called zipcar again and had them cancel my reservation, then reserved the car closer to home that wasn't available until three.

But the area I was in was only about six blocks from the place I bought my bike, so I walked it over there to get the tire fixed. I'm glad it was close, because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go to the place by home until Wednesday, but this way I was able to get it fixed right away. And even better, it turned out I had some credit on my store rewards card and that covered most of the cost of the repair!

While I was waiting for them to fix the tire, I walked two blocks to Jamba Juice and got a peanut butter chocolate smoothie, which was both super delicious and just what I needed after tramping around town in the hot midday sun.

So then I was able to ride back home rather than walking all the way with a flat tire, and once I got there it wasn't that long before the next reservation, which Irene just walked to with me, because it was in the same direction as the kitties and didn't make sense for me to get the car and then come back for her. This car was where it was supposed to be and everything was good, so we headed over to the pet store and they still had tons of kitties left.

They had lots of really tiny kittens, a few bigger kittens, and a couple adult cats. The tiny kittens were soooooo cute but also seemed really fragile and a bigger kitten seemed like a good compromise, with the cuteness of a kitten but not quite as "eek, might break it!" feeling. XD

Once we got her home, she did a lot of exploring and then seems to have found some favorite spots in the computer room closet, including a small space on top of a box of comics that she is sleeping in tonight. :) Hopefully she'll get used to the house and to us soon.
Monday, August 25th, 2014 01:40
More in the Things I Am Not Writing file:

Steve Rogers, given the backstory Marvel has for him, almost certainly knows The Little Red Songbook back and front. So, he's wandering around whistling "Dump The Bosses Off Your Back" or "The Preacher and the Slave" or "Stand Up You Workers" -- something that was originally a hymn, since a lot of those Wobbly songs were set to hymns; they were tunes everyone knew and could sing -- and someone hears it and thinks he's missing church, and then he starts singing...

(Also, if there isn't a story out there about the first time Steve reads Allen Ginsberg's "America", there really should be. America, when will you end the human war?)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 23:57
Two thoughts about television from the UK tonight:
  • I hope Netflix has taken note of my fondness for opulent, under-appreciated British dramas. I also hope the BBC, SkyTV, and iTV keep making such gems for me to fall in love with before realizing that I can't squee with anyone I now about how beautiful they are.

  • It occurred to me the other day that the way Doctor Who keeps getting cast re-enforces the vague North American theory that there are only like 12 actors and actresses in the entire UK.* If the Doctor and companions keep "stealing faces" from other people, I guess there is a shortage of talent. Mmmm hmmm.

    * I know this theory to be totally untrue. There are loads of talented folks working in film and television in the UK and Ireland. Doctor Who just happens to be run by a small group of fuckwads.
  • Sunday, August 24th, 2014 21:30
    I've started listening to the audiobook of The Spymaster's Lady, by Joanna Bourne. It's great fun so far. She's a French spy who believes in the Revolution! He's an English spy whose mission is to capture her. They're locked in a dungeon together with a common enemy. WACKY HIJINKS ENSUE.

    And yet, on return to the romance genre, I'm reminded of my dislike for this whole trope where from their very firstest meeting, the hero and heroine already have unreasonable raging hard-ons for each other.

    I pondered on it more (and how that's not how I experience sexual desire) and am now wondering if that is the way some people experience it? I'd just attributed it to romance's absurdly accelerated timelines in general ("Our fourth date went well! We're getting married in the fall," cried the contemporary hero) but hey, maybe for some people that's just reality?

    It might explain some things.

    I do like this book a lot--enemies forced to co-operate is a favourite of mine, see also Shards of Honor--but when all's said and done, I prefer the fanfic world's "we have long been friendly intimates, but now we smoulder" slow burn storylines.
    Monday, August 25th, 2014 02:29
    I wanted some sufficiently-subtle-as-to-be-wearable iron Because Reasons and look what eBay waved at me.

    also, thank you all so much for the comments on the DLA post -- is v much appreciated <3
    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 18:56
    If I want to leave the house to accomplish dinner, I need to put clothes on. If I need to put clothes on, then I need to shower. I don't want to shower, even though I should. I don't think I've showered since *counts on fingers* Wednesday night.

    I also don't particularly want to order in a pizza so I don't have to deal with the above. Dilemma.
    Monday, August 25th, 2014 08:07
    Originally posted at http://puzzling.org.

    Aside from having a memory that I twice successfully skied nearly half a lifetime ago, there were two things I’d been told about skiing that tempted me back. One is that it is somewhat easier to learn on carved skis, but the other bigger consideration is that being tall is apparently essentially a complete disadvantage in snowboarding, where holding your centre of gravity pretty much above the board at all times is the key skill. In skiing, this is not so. I asked a few people, and someone I know who is quite good at both agreed that with my snowboarding skill level, I really wouldn’t be losing a lot by switching to skiing.

    Our trip didn’t begin promisingly. First there was the usual agony of planning a holiday. We had thought to return to New Zealand, but I decided I didn’t want to deal with pumping for A in a daycare and so we’d have to switch off caring for her. There’s essentially no on-snow accommodation in New Zealand; I imagined the experience for the person sitting with the baby in a crowded snow cafeteria all day with a shudder. And the difficulty getting V onto a bus up a mountain each day and entertaining him for an hour in each direction. Then we considered Perisher where we’d been before, but it was ludicrously expensive. So we settled on Thredbo, which is also far from cheap but has more beds and is also a genuine village in its own right. Important, I thought, if I once again got too injured to continue and wanted to do something else with my time. I was tired from planning long before we left.

    Even less promisingly, the morning before we left, V woke up and was sick. To be precise: he was sick on the baby, setting a new record for contagious behaviour from my children even exceeding the time A stuck her snotty finger up Val’s nose in the US. We didn’t have the food we’d planned to take and we didn’t have snow clothes. So we waited a while and took a pale and tired V for clothes and generally considered the following day with fear.

    V was bewildered and annoyed to get up before the sun, something I think we’ve never got him to do before, and especially since we then hustled him onto a city bus, and marched him across Central and onto a coach. (We can’t easily take a taxi with a baby under one year old, something that also caused a lot of problems on my US trip.) He was then annoyed that we had promised him the very interesting experience that the coach would have a toilet and it didn’t, which was nothing to our reaction to the prospect a seven hour coach trip on a coach without a toilet. Meanwhile, I contemplated the joy of seven hours on a coach where all but three of the seats didn’t have enough leg room for me. (About every two years I have the brilliant idea of taking buses places instead of driving, and each time I board only to remember that I don’t actually fit on them. Oh.)

    It all worked out though; the bus made a few loo breaks, and V was well enough to not be miserable but sick enough to spend most of the trip asleep or staring dreamily out the window rather than, as we’d feared, spending the whole trip in perpetual whine-motion. A still isn’t crawling, so she spent the trip strapped to me or Andrew mostly happily except for occasional annoyed screeches. Towards the end of the trip, I was the one climbing the walls, squashed into the bus and nauseous from the bus’s heating level and A’s body heat.

    The agony was not over: we were disgorged from the bus with two little kids and two giant and heavy suitcases, went briefly to see the tobogganing and then went to pick up all the gear — two sets of skis, a snowboard, three sets of boots, my stocks, three helmets — with a tired V who was very keen to ski and who believed that we were going to get off the bus and immediately all ski down a mountain together.

    I have to hand it to Thredbo: their hire gear places are frighteningly efficient, with 8 separate “stations” each staffed by multiple people who sit you down, pop your feed on sizing guides, stand you up, eyeball you for ski length, strap everything together, tinker with it, and send you on your way.

    Even so, it was tough. V had a small tantrum that we weren’t getting him stocks, believing it’s not possible to ski without them (only very advanced children are allowed to use them in the children’s ski school), and a very long epic tantrum as we painfully loaded all our luggage and gear onto a minibus packed with other skiers. Once we had fought all our stuff back out of the minibus, we had to slowly leapfrog it up a steep driveway and steps to the apartment we were staying in while V cried that his skis were so very very heavy, can’t you carry them Mama please? What, with a 20kg suitcase, my skis and stocks, and the baby strapped to my front? (Various adults who saw this trainwreck in action would make sad pitying noises before they saw the baby. After that, they’d just squeak and flap in alarm.) The owners of the accommodation were horrified and helpful once they’d discovered all this and helped us into the flat where we used the very last of our energy for sorting out the following morning’s piles of stuff.

    Actually, no, I tell a lie, I used the very last of my energy walking several hundred metres down the hill and back up in the icy dark to buy additional groceries, but this was actually a blessed emotional getaway. (And Thredbo is actually quite warm, it was probably only roughly freezing.)

    It’s not a destination designed to be reached on public transport, that much was clear.

    We set our phone alarms for the distressing time of 7am, and in our last tragic act, failed to check how to set the thermostats properly before going to sleep, leaving them on MAX and sweltering all night. And so it began. Not entirely as it was to continue, you’ll be pleased to hear.

    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 13:10
    This most recently observed when I was thinking that a lot of people know cat body language for expressing general affection, but not many people know chicken body language.

    and *gently pecks a random speck of something off your face* is therefore something which needs serious explaining.

    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 22:14
    Because I've been doing a shit ton of writing the past week (FINALLY DONE EDITING THE 40K FIC. Now trying to decide how to tweak the ending.) and because I need all the distraction I can get.

    give me a number )
    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 13:34

    Anybody want a nearly full frimp of BPAL's Queen? Used it once and oh my god it smells very strongly of Ivory soap and cleaning supplies on me. I can't wear it, it makes me sneeze my head off.

    edit: and I can't get it off even with alcohol wipes!

    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 16:21
    todo )

    tada )
    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 09:14

    Making flapjacks! The British flapjack, not the American one. I'm using this recipe from the H2G2. I remember when the BBC hosted that, too. It's where I got my recipe for Bara brith.

    Brent's working Sundays again. This bites for several reasons - we were going to start trying to find a church that didn't rub me the wrong way with the clergy (like the two Episcopal churches here in town do) and that didn't make him antsy.
    I have Feelings about the way clergy and the congregation should act towards new people in the congregation (and how to act during the Peace, for that matter) and They Did Not Pass my very simple standards. A ten minute Peace? Gossip during the Peace?! And not to mention I was told I couldn't sit where I sat, that was someone's pew, even if they weren't coming to church that day? And we weren't given the blessing at the end of the service that's in the BCP?!


    I digress.

    Brent's working Sundays but not Fridays. I guess I'm going to have to make a list for Fridays of stuff that needs to be done on his weekend (Friday and Saturday), while I spend time doing stuff on my weekend (Saturday and Sunday). There will be stuff that can be done by both of us on Saturday.

    My grandparents came down yesterday and we did lunch and froyo. It was very nice and it was good to see them. Grandfather is looking good - a little quiet, but I hear that's because he and the dog had a night with the raccoon. Cameron is her usual self. Cheery and chatty and generally pleasant to be around.
    Mom was.... trying to guilt me into coming up? And kept trying to get me alone? And I am not having with that. I am not down with your emotional abuse and manipulation anymore, Mom. I know better. At least she kept it minimal this time - thank you Grandfather and Cameron for being there!

    We switched officers around in the Shire this last meeting and the new Herald is very confused because the new Seneschal is asking for a report that was sent to the old Seneschal and the new Herald doesn't have it and didn't know where to look. Bless. I ended up redoing the report and sending it along. As soon as Master Rory gets done with the new Warrant Request form, I will no longer be Herald, Shire of Dragoun's Weal. Instead, I will be a Pursuvient. Bran Finn wants to bring back Gleann Abhann's strong Heraldic traditions. I am down with this! I am willing to help! And Bran Finn knows this. Eeep.

    It's time to start planning for Gulf Wars again! Anyone coming this year?

    Sunday, August 24th, 2014 13:37
    I just watched the new Doctor Who.

    I think I might be done forever. :(