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Sunday, April 26th, 2015 10:41
This morning as many other mornings. 4 or 5am. I am in so much pain I don't want to move. Then I'm in so much pain I have to move. (repeat several dozen times) Perhaps if I get my neck in just the right position. No maybe some other position. Maybe with the blanket between my ankles and lying on my side. Read a bit. Cat is meowing. Smear some voltaren on my neck and ankles. And wrists and fingers. And knees. Get up and use the bathroom and drink some water and have a plain tylenol. Attempt to placate cat. (Unsuccessful) Fall back asleep. Dream about pain and waking up and go through entire thrashing-around and trying to meditate cycle. Read on kindle, doze off, read, doze.

Wake up and fidget some more. Toe-wiggling and experimental ankle flexes. Feeling that I can't stand the pain in neck and shoulder. I get up and take half a tramadol and a skelaxin (for neck and left foot spasms) and have some decaf tea on the couch and read. Thinking back on times when i had trouble even holding a book. Will it be like that? Is this going to be a day in bed? Have I screwed myself up? Am I going to cry? Will zond7 be mad at me for fucking myself up? Will Moomin be disappointed and find me a very boring person? Why is my neck so stiff from the extremely gentle swimming around, or the plane? Is it part of ankylosing spondilitis? Did I get some sort of disease on vacation? Am I going to miss work? I finally fall asleep for real.

10am. Coffee. More of my book (Journalist and the Murderer, which is excellent.) Feeling cautiously human. I am up. Feel that I can't stand smell of the house. Wash dishes. Sit on couch & sort through unpacking bags. Deep breath! I should not have coffee, not good for me, but it is so nice.

Moomin tells me his opinion of the Three Musketeers (ridiculous thugs, why does everyone think it is so jolly that they go around killing people? everyone in book is an asshole. He keeps laughing in outrage. There is a graphic novel of the book where they don't sound like such jerks. Weird! I agree with him. We make fun of soldiers, chivalry, people with swords, and people who think it's a fun idea to burn down someone's inn just for kicks.)

Moomin has done the laundry. zond7 still asleep (evidence of him having his own late night insomnia is around). I am lying down to rest feeling sore all over but encouraged that I had enough energy to walk around the house and be productive.

Feeling mad urge to try to blog about our entire trip. Too many thoughts! It was all lovely!

But I steadily took painkillers to be able to be active, thus, my suffering now.

Stance has got to be: take the painkillers now, don't go off them, but don't be overactive, either. Activity like cooking or dishwashing or tidying or watering plants, sit on front and back porch, don't try to go out for several more days. Naps crucial.

Goals for this week: get through work days at least to 3pm, get to PT on Wednesday to swim, eat nicely but frugally (no take-out), keep house tidy, be well enough to go to the movies with the kids and zond7 next Saturday. Sub goal of taking very minimal drugs by end of week (ie half a tramadol zero, once, or twice a day).

Must remember to put cat-proofed water and plain tylenol and a tramadol by the bed tonight so I don't go through that horrible cycle of nightmare feeling pain.
Sunday, April 26th, 2015 23:22
... and I've now watched it about five times. It is, for me, glorious reassuring comforting fluff approximately as effective as 10 Things I Hate About You, and simultaneously I think it actually has a very great deal to say about choosing who to be and shit.

So let's start with a link to a meta round-up. In particular, this discussion of the economics that would be involved in dismantling the galaxy-wide industry of choice.

And here's another one about "geneticism".

More discussion of the film! )
Sunday, April 26th, 2015 08:09
via at April 26, 2015 at 03:00AM:

Tumblr: “The signs as —”

Sunday, April 26th, 2015 10:30
Up playing Ingress until 4 am, preventing a planned big blue field over my city, as part of a Germany-wide event.

But we did it, we had lots of fun and it was worth it.

Oh, and I reached level 15 last week!

Now back to cleaning the old flat so that we can hand over the keys and get the safety deposit back soon...
Sunday, April 26th, 2015 07:02
via at April 26, 2015 at 02:00AM:

gif request meme :bucklesbarnes requested marvel+favourite minor character
↳ Maria Hill
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 23:13
First handbell concert went well (have another one tomorrow with slightly different personnel); had dinner out with friends more than once; saw Diana Krall in concert; saw the Tallis Scholars in concert; caught the latest special exhibit at the art museum which included several small works by Dutch masters; saw the movie Ex Machina; found out my OSB talk proposal was accepted. Any one of these by itself would be the highlight of a typical week.

Not all was good news: I have to get new tires for my car, hot on the heels of Robby's car getting new tires last month, which is pinching things a bit. Also our trusty old Subaru quit on Heather, and needs a good bit of work done. We'll manage, though.

On Thursday I'm going to Montgomery with Will's class to see the sights. I've never actually been before, so I'm looking forward to it.
Sunday, April 26th, 2015 08:37
Reminder to participants that your photos should be in the mail by this Thursday, April 30.

Details of the circle are here.
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 11:12
I signed up for a local SpecFic Write-In, where a bunch of us have showed up at a cafe to work at our various laptops and notebooks and sketchpads. I haven't written in ages, but I'm gonna try to get back into the swing of things.

I wanna write Melissa, so here's a quick Negative Coping Techniques bingo card )

And in case it comes, Positive Coping Techniques for the urban fantasy crowd )

Fic in the comments, hopefully.
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 19:41
Well, I've written "The 100" fic. I'm sure you're all surprised.

jewels in joy designed (2670 words) by sabrina_il
Fandom: The 100 (TV)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Bellamy Blake/Clarke Griffin, Clarke Griffin/Lexa, Bellamy Blake/Clarke Griffin/Lexa

I'm deliberately not posting the summary here since the summary/fic contains spoilers for the season 2 finale! So, don't read it if you haven't finished the show yet.

But, yes.

I think the weirdest part was discovering that, in my limited reading so far, my fic is apparently the fluffiest thing anyone's written set in actual canon (rather than an AU set in modern times) post S2. I'm very pleased with this, since I appreciate a fandom that can go darker than an already relatively dark show, but also very weirded out! I'm not usually outdone in this category.

The other weird part is that I am now apparently invested in a f/f/m pairing only the f/f part of which is canon. SO WEIRD ON SO MANY LEVELS.
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 08:02
via at April 25, 2015 at 03:00AM:

Escalante National Park, Utah by Quynh Ton
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 00:48
Despite it having been timechange weekend, I had got to bed early, and then woke up disgustingly early, fully perky and ready to get things done. I had a leisurely morning where I did not feel obligated to do any of the things, just get dressed and pack. It was fortunate that I'd woken early, as all of my alarms were set to only go off when I'm at home, and be silent when I'm elsewhere (like at work, but also at hotel). I hauled my stuff downstairs, checked out, and then realized that the valet queue was ridiculous. I promptly found a chair, parked my bags, and joined lobbycon.

I got a chance to chat with Wendy; that was nice.

I saw [ profile] ckd; the name on the badge didn't mean much to me, but the blue shark picture did. "Oh!" I said. I know that shark! You are a helpful person who I have known in passing for years! So that was nice. He passed along greetings on behalf of [personal profile] aedifica as well.

Having seen him sillydrunk and being a fucking perfect unicorn the night before, it was no surprise that Naamen was gloriously hung-over.

The next little circle over was having a fascinating conversation about Supernatural. I had thoughts and feelings. It was thus that I met [ profile] geardrops and [ profile] doriangrayscale.

For the record, my feelings about Supernatural season 5 episode 22 are as follows:

I was recommended "I Feel Better", by Hot Chip, which is … a bit surreal. I think this was around when lunch arrived, because Carrie had fries, and they were very very hot. There was basically nothing vegan on the menu, which is unfortunate.

Seanan had been Out of Town, but made an appearance for Lobbycon, in all her mantis shrimp rainbow hair glory. It was very good to see her!

We got around to exchanging twitter handles, and mentioned our strategies for dealing with some of the low-content sorts of people who seem to exist to recycle the same five links every three hours on Twitter. I was abruptly reminded of something I'd seen during an [off-topic] discussion of home automation.

"They're -- tweeting like a lightbulb," I said in disgust, and then had to explain.

Emma and Cynthia came back through, and that was great. Topics included Janelle Monae (yay afrofuturist art) and so many books and shiny things. There is a tool that will let you know when bands you like are going to be local to you, but I am not sure where to find it. I need to check out . I did not know that Ellen Kushner had written not just one but several Choose Your Own Adventure books:

At some point after the valet line had cleared out, I retrieved Vash to load most of the heavy things.

Shweta and husband re-appeared also, and I went fishing for mippos with my party cane. (I have a cane with a rainbow tie-dye scarf attached to the front, and I had added a little book of paper for the con.)

Eventually it came time for the wrap party. That included some review of what had gone well, and who needed to either be sat down with a sock in his mouth or shown the door.

So there was a panel (which I didn't wind up going to, but sounded very interesting if I'd actually been making it to any panels) about how Whitey Brings Civilization is a toxic meme in general, and maybe when we're writing we might not want to do that thing.

So Whitey McMansplain in the audience stood up and started talking, apparently. Read more... )

Eventually the wrap party too was wrapped. Wendy and some guy who also had some muscles carried some soda down for me, as I was willing to take some home, but was sort of limited in what I was willing to carry at once. We loaded it up into my car. The valet dude on duty observed that the car sort of felt like he was going to die when starting. This was a Known Problem.

I headed home, not being quite up for Dinner With People after such a delightfully social weekend. This is such a lovely fun con, and I'm planning to return next year.

I curled up in bed early (for me). Before I fell asleep, I remembered that Aahz had been wearing an "I Break Rule 6" button, so I googled the phrase to see if I could find out the backstory. The backstory is amazing:

My unexpected early rising schedule would continue for some time yet.
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 07:14
via at April 25, 2015 at 02:00AM:


if steve has to die in civil war the only way i’ll accept it is if his death scene is gay and cliche af. he lies dying in bucky’s arms. bucky says something about how he can’t die he just got him back!! there’s some symbolic thing of steve giving bucky the shield as a prelude to buckycap. there’s forehead touching. seb stan does the thing where he cries while looking really hot and really gay. they either cut out all the sound or play some slow depressing music in the background. a montage of people looking sad follows. natasha beats up a punching bag. sam’s running shoes lay neglected in a corner. bucky drinks himself unconscious in a seedy bar. tony does the same but in his penthouse. everyone contemplates the meaning of the death and the universe.

i fucked up i’m sad now and I did not think this through well at all fuck me

That went very Soviet Russian toward the end. Needs more snow and poverty though.
Friday, April 24th, 2015 23:30
1. So busy today at work, but I did get some of the stuff done that I'd planned to do...

2. We've taken a walk or bike ride almost every day this week. :)

3. I'm really enjoying playing Mario Kart again.
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 04:23

Zurako design painting

I finally bit the bullet and started laying out the designs on these kimono, which is honestly terrifying. Originally Zurako’s was going to be silk embroidery but 1) my embroidery skills are lackluster and 2) I only have three and a half weeks to the con. So I got some Jacquard Lumiere fabric paint, which is still a little stiffer than I’d like, but has a lovely color (this one is Burnt Orange), and set to work. The sleeves are almost done, and I should be able to get the body done tomorrow.

Then I have to do a billion gutta outlines for Paako, dye it, and get the gutta drycleaned….

Friday, April 24th, 2015 19:51
I FOUND A SOURCE FOR THE RUNES! Once you have the Academy of Magic up and running, you can choose to put in an order at the Faculty of Water, Air, Fire, or Earth; when you collect that order you're issued a time-limited quest of 1-8 hours, and completing that quest gives you a blue, yellow, red, or green runestone.

\o/ Observatory, here I come!
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 00:16
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Parked next to an old-timer today. (Columbia Roadster, held together with spit and duct tape.)
Friday, April 24th, 2015 15:57
1. There is a blackbird nesting directly above our front door.

2. I was sufficiently sad on my way back from this afternoon's errands that I ended up buying a pair of sparkly metallic blue skinny jeans from a charity shop on my way home. It has a terrible blue faux-rhinestone button.

3. I have achieved food by dint of stopping off at a food market in the William Morris Square in Hammersmith. It was just closing up and apparently I looked sufficiently smallsad that aunty decided the correct response was two of onion bhaji. Consequently I have also taken some painkillers.

4. Sent scary e-mail #1 pulling out of teaching on Monday.

5. Sent scary e-mail #2 requesting some more bloody paperwork for the council.

6. E-mailed my supervisor a status update.

7. Booked an in-person GP appointment (it is not for a fortnight but I cannot in point of fact bring myself to care).

8. Printed out train tickets for this weekend.

9. Printed out some more benefits-related paperwork.

10. Washed and clothesed and spent some time outside.
Friday, April 24th, 2015 12:56
... yesterday Charing Cross phoned me up to ask if I was okay moving my next appointment with them from the morning of the 7th of May to the afternoon of the 30th of April. Which, well, yes - but also if they'd given me any kind of sensible amount of notice on that, I'd have been able to (1) apply for a postal vote, (2) stay down in Cornwall for Furry Day, and (3) aid and abet my mum in Visiting my baby brother in Bristol on our way back up. As it is my aunt and I have train tickets that rely on my railcard bringing us back upcountry on the 6th, and I am Irritated.
Friday, April 24th, 2015 08:02
via at April 24, 2015 at 03:00AM:
“Know your value.”
- Hayley Atwell’s advice to female fans of Agent Carter
Friday, April 24th, 2015 00:12
1. I finally made the tenpura today and it was so delicious! I really would love to have it more often, but it's just such a pain to make... I made a lot and it took about an hour to cook it all, all of which was time spent entirely there at the stove. Definitely a dish I only want to make on days off, but it is worth it!

2. Well, we didn't get a definitive answer from the vet, but we did get some antibiotics to try out and see if that helps her gums. I hope so! Meanwhile, now that we're giving her her old food, she's eating just fine...

3. We took a nice walk this evening. It's so nice now that it stays light later. It really makes me want to take evening walks more.

4. We got the new Mario Kart DLC! We only did a couple playthroughs of each of the new levels, but they all seem pretty fun. We're both so out of practice, though, as we haven't been playing at all recently. I want to start playing more often again.
Friday, April 24th, 2015 07:13
via at April 24, 2015 at 02:00AM:
“Surprise, bitch. I bet you thought you’d seen the last of me.”
- Ahsoka Tano, Star Wars Rebels (via incorrectstarwarsquotes)
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 22:35
For reasons which don't need exploring at this juncture, I got to thinking about Barrayaran rites. There 's the one where the Armsbearer* takes oath to the Vor, and (like any reasonable binding rite) the Vor promises to do right by the Armsbearer. There's the one where the Armsbearer petitions the Vor for release and the Vor releases the Armsbearer.

* Eventually, Barrayar will deal with a Herm, a Ba, or some other non-binary individual taking up arms.

Armsbearers are only human, and in the course of everything that's gone down since the Time of Isolation, there have to have been enough who have scarpered or otherwise betrayed their oaths in a non-immediately-fatal way that they've had to be replaced. Barrayar being Barrayar, everything will need to be done properly, so I imagine there's some sort of ceremony for formally dismissing the absent Armsbearer from their duties, so the Count never exceeds his twenty at any given time. (And, Barrayar being Barrayar, there have got to be various machimi plays in which an Armsman appears to have betrayed his oath and then either comes back just in time before being formally cast off, or tragically comes back just too late and everyone suffers the consequences/regrets.)

Likewise, Vor are only human. At some point in the great tapestry of Barrayaran history, some Vor has to have betrayed one or more of their Armsbearers badly enough to violate the standards of the most lackadaisical of Emperors. I'm talking full-on "march into this mutagen for no good reason" bone-deep abusive horror terrible. In the Barrayaran military, it would be well past illegal orders. And in the face of that, what's an Armsbearer to do?

Some Armsbearers might well realize the limits of what a mortal ought to put up with, and call it quits. Some Armsbearers might take their oath deep enough to stand through even that, to the point where the Emperor might intervene and discharge them of their oath. Sometimes a Vor might betray an Armsbearer and then flee. In the absence of the responsible Vor, the heir would most likely hold the responsibility, or the nearest reasonable authority. The Armsbearer might have the choice of taking oath to the heir or choosing freedom.

What form would all these ceremonies take? Barrayaran oaths are very hand-centric, the hands of the vassal between the hands of the lord. One does wonder how people with limb differences manage on Barrayar -- does a hand lost in battle affect the ability to take or give oath? How about arthritis?

I could see an emperor having some terrible excuse for a Vor frog-marched in front of him, required to kneel. Perhaps the Emperor would hold the Vor's hands between his, looming over his subject and physically compelling obedience. If touching the erring subject was beneath the Emperor's dignity, perhaps two of the Emperor's armsmen take a hand each and place the Vor's hands around his Armsbearer's hands. The Vor would be made to recite the words of release, perhaps at the point of a sword or nerve disruptor. I think Gregor might take a grim pleasure in watching the Armsbearer's hands fly free, requiring the Vor to perform the last duties of a Vor before stripping him of his title.

Without another Vor, without the Emperor, left abandoned -- what might an Armsbearer do, to lay down arms in defiance of a deserted Count?
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 09:31
Do not put both your legs on your boyfriend's lap and then lean back in your chair. Learn from my fail.

Ow. I'm gonna have a headache today.
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 08:23

Photo taken by me in London, December 2006

I take this moment to remember Debra Boyask (of many nicknames, [ profile] badasstronaut and Teacake being two of them), who died two years ago today on April 23, 2013. I have thought of Debra every day since then. I am far from the only person about whom the same is probably true. She left behind a trail of material reminders, such as her comics; her friends from the UK comics scene made a memorial comic for her. I have a pile of mix CDs she made for me, though the one she titled "Tech Sex in Space" has the most memorable cover.

Two robots making sweet, sweet love

I wrote about Debra's life, at least as I knew it, when she died. There is, of course, nothing new to say about her life that couldn't have been said then. But what does change and grow after somebody dies is memory -- that is, other people's memories of them.

In my current period of rapid personal growth and change, I remember my previous such period: the end of 2006 and beginning of 2007. For me, those memories are all organized around Debra. I ask myself: "Should I make this about me? Somebody, after all, is dead." But if I didn't make it about me, I'd be doing a disservice to Debra's memory, to my memory of her, to the only thing I have direct control over that keeps her in some sense alive. To be true to those memories, I have to be as personal as I can, in my thoughts if not in my writing.

I had known Debra online for five years when we met in person, but when we finally did, I had no idea what to expect. I didn't expect that we would end up in bed in her house in Bristol, a house whose interior will always represent safety and liberation in my mind.
Stairs with a deep red flowered carpet

I didn't expect that neither her life nor mine would ever be the same again as a result. It's fortunate that sexual liberation can happen at any age. I was 25 at the time and she was 40, but I think we both experienced quite a lot of it all of a sudden, in ways that had an enduring influence on both of our lives even if our on-again/off-again romantic relationship was not enduring. (Our friendship was, up till the end, and the eventual flickerings in and out of our romance never did any lasting harm to our friendship.)

I can't speak for Debra as to what I meant to her, and don't wish to. What she meant to me was this: she was the first person I was intimate with who -- I thought -- saw me for who I really was. In fact, she was possibly the only person I've been intimate with where I felt like I was truly present, and that she was truly present with me. There were ups and downs, mostly due to me having unresolved issues (still not resolved) that make it hard for me to be present for anybody (which is also the main reason why my other relationships didn't go well; I'm neither blaming my other partners for how things went nor absolving them completely here). But when it was good, I felt like I was dealing lightning.

This is, of course, personal. But as I said in the beginning, I feel like to not be personal about it is to be untrue to who Debra was, particularly who she was to me but not only who she was to me. Debra chose Kate Bush's song "Feel It" as one of the songs for her funeral, or at least I assume she chose it because it's not a song you would choose for anyone else's funeral. And she was bad-ass for choosing it -- [I am informed that Debra did not choose the song, but still, someone who knows her well must have.] a song about sex, love, meaning and connection that I appreciate more now than when I first heard it then.

"God, but you're beautiful, aren't you?
Feel your warm hand walking around"

I'm sad to say that when I knew Debra I wasn't entirely ready to feel it, yet, not everything, anyway. But she was a person who came into my life by chance and gave me what I needed in order to start trying. I like to think I returned the favor, but of course, I'll really never know; not knowing is all right, though, because my memory of her is more than enough to hold.

"I won't pull away, my passion always wins
So keep on a-moving in, keep on a-tuning in"

A rainbow above a roof, with a diagonal perspective
Photo taken by Debra, January 14, 2007

When I got the news about Debra, I was reading Facebook in the Mozilla Vancouver office, looking for a distraction but not expecting the one that came to me. I emailed my mentor to say what had happened and that I was taking the rest of the day off, went outside and walked down the Vancouver waterfront, not quite aware of either my surroundings or the thoughts in my head. I remember that I ended up at Little Sister's and bought a rainbow umbrella to remember her by, because of the time when we were driving in the countryside around Bristol and we were having an intense, left-brained conversation about gender, queerness, and identity and suddenly a rainbow appeared in the sky like a sign that the important stuff wasn't the ideas stuff.

But on that day, and for the month that followed, I couldn't really feel the grief, except maybe once or twice after listening to Neko Case's song "South Tacoma Way" on repeat for a while. I won't say I'm feeling it all now, either. My own inability to fully feel her loss compounded the pain of losing her.

Somehow, the only picture I could find of the two of us together was one she took of our shadows somewhere in the Columbia River Gorge, when she visited me in Portland in December 2008/January 2009. The icon I used for this post is also from a picture she took of me during that trip (which was the next-to-last time we saw each other in person).

And while I don't think Debra would have liked it (our musical tastes didn't overlap a whole lot), I also think of her when I listen to the Mountain Goats' song "Matthew 25:21":
you were a presence full of light upon this earth
And I am a witness to your life and to its worth
It's three days later when I get the call
And there's nobody around to break my fall

Oh yeah, and one more thing:

Fuck cancer.

Two shadows in the snow
Photo taken by Debra, January 2, 2009
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 08:07
via at April 23, 2015 at 03:00AM:
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 07:04
via at April 23, 2015 at 02:00AM:
“Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else’s liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back. The true witches know that.”

The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle

(via queenofattolia)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 23:12
1. Today was super hectic but I got everything I needed to get done done and I don't have to go in tomorrow!

2. One reason it was hectic this afternoon is because the health inspector finally came. We were expecting an inspection at any time, but of course she came on the day when my manager was not at the store and was unreachable because he was in an all-day manager meeting at the main store where they all have to turn their phones off. But I was able to handle everything myself, and although we got dinged on a few things, we did still manage to get an A (though just barely).

3. We have been worried about Heidi and are taking her to the vet tomorrow. Last time we took her to the vet, the vet noticed her gums were red and said she might have a chicken allergy as that is a common cause. So we tried to stop feeding her stuff with chicken, but found that chicken is in almost all cat food, even stuff that says it's other flavors. But since we weren't sure that was the problem, we figured we'd just try to lessen the amount of chicken and see how things went. Well, it's now been several months and her gums were still just as red, so we decided to cut chicken out entirely, and got her some all-fish stuff.

The past week she's been really lethargic and barely eating and we were starting to worry that maybe she was really sick, so tonight we decided to try one of her old favorite foods and see if she would eat that...and she gobbled it up. So basically we still don't know what's going on with her gums, but the lethargy and lack of eating was not due to her being too sick to eat or her gums hurting too much to eat, but rather her just being SUPER PICKY and refusing to eat. *headdesk*

I already knew she was picky. When we first got her, she would eat any food we put out, but she slowly became much pickier, but this has just gotten ridiculous. :p Still, we're so relieved that she actually ate more than a few bites of something, and hopefully the vet will help us figure out what's going on with her gums tomorrow.
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 00:23
So somewhere Chris Evans laughed at an offensive joke and I may have unwisely kicked a hornet's nest and in short, if the Internet comes after me with torches and pitchforks I may be a bit hard to reach but Dreamwidth comments fall under the category of "fannish email".

Having forewarned people will, I predict, cause my post to now have the irritating effect of a soft and downy feather falling gently on the internet's skin.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 22:00
[ profile] sophievdennis gave me A Slip of the Keyboard, a collection of Pratchett's non-fiction writing, as a birthday present. I was, inevitably, about half way through it when news of his death was announced. It's a collection of short pieces, mostly written either as speeches or for newspaper columns. As a result many are quite slight and, in volume, they can become repetitive as he revives a turn of phrase, or makes the same point a second (third, or fourth) time for a different audience. Still, there is a lot here of interest. They are grouped together more or less thematically, starting out with pieces about writing and meandering through his experiences on book-signing tours, his championship of fantasy writing and some more biographical pieces until the final section documents his diagnosis of Alzheimer's and his championship of the right to an assisted death. I think I most enjoyed his advice to book stores on how to host a signing, though his convention speeches were entertaining as well. Sadly I think the last section is the weakest, possibly because he was no longer at the top of his game, but equally possibly because, for a change, he was seeking to be serious about something serious and that was somewhat out of his metier. The arguments lack breadth, particularly in regard to the state of the NHS and its causes, and a betray a somewhat rose-tinted confidence in the wisdom, stubbornness and clear-sightedness of the elderly.

When all is said and done though, he was very clear that he wished to die in his garden, listening to Thomas Tallis. I gather he died at home, with the cat on his feet. I hope that Tallis was playing.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 11:43
Mwahaha, my pull request to enable HTTPS Everywhere on all DW subdomains has just been merged. They were super nice and quick about it.

(All the delay was on my part because I was travelling over the weekend so didn't submit the pull request until now).

Just need to figure out when it becomes publicly available and then maybe I can post over on [staff profile] fu :)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 18:29
I am looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of my holiday. :)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 09:43
testing https everywhere...
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 17:27
[personal profile] thatyourefuse: Five Perfumes To Wear While Watching Penny Dreadful

All you scent/fandom geeks: what scent or selection of scents should one watch to wear your show of choice? Pick your olfactory playlist!
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 03:18
I found the form to start the legal rename process.

The part that's giving me trouble is the last name.

My name is Azure Jane Lunatic.

"Lunatic" is not the sort of last name that is great for a job application or a driver's license.

All the other last names I try on have felt wrong. The worst ones are the ones that are closest to right. They look almost right but when I try them on and imagine my manager using it, or with an honorific, it's suddenly like wearing a high collared raincoat a size too small at 80°F with 80% humidity, and I can't breathe anymore.


I don't want to do this twice.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 10:04
Previously unread.

This is unusual, it's a recent-ish vampire book that i actively like (rather than, say, find perfectly fine readnig, but not excited about reading the sequel). This may mean that it is a very good vampire book indeed or that it is, as vampire books read by vampire book lovers, a complete and utter failure. And interestingly, I really can't tell the difference.

Anyway, our viewpoint vampire is a female sneak thief / PI kinda gal. Who gets a commission she can't say "no" to. Then things start going sideways.

I can not in any way make predictions about what other people will think about this one.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 08:05
via at April 22, 2015 at 03:00AM:

gods for the modern age: loki

come with laughter on your tongue and a con in your back pocket. bring the storm. bring the fire. bring monsters into the world. be mutable and fluid. never be the same thing more than once. and when they ask you how you did it, don’t say anything—after all, a magician never reveals his secrets.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 00:20
I learned that it's possible for metformin (the most common medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes) to cause vitamin B12 deficiency in some individuals, which can cause funtimes like peripheral neuropathy, fuzzyheadedness and mental impairment, and a host of other things up to and including permanent nerve damage! Since peripheral neuropathy is one of the things metformin is supposed to be saving you from (it can be a result of chronically high blood sugar), this is extra exciting and hard to narrow down. Especially if you have no idea it's possible.

In conclusion,
(An animated GIF of the words "The More You Know" with a rainbow cartoon comet)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 07:02
via at April 22, 2015 at 02:00AM:
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 23:30
1. I got almost all of my displays made, so tomorrow I should be able to finish that up, get my sales batch made, get my orders done, and then not have to come in on Thursday. *crosses fingers*

2. I took a sandwich for lunch today and took sandwiches several times last week. I haven't been taking my lunch with me for quite a while because I don't have time to make anything (even a peanut butter sandwich) in the morning and don't usually have leftovers to take, but I want to get back into the habit again. I've actually been waking up before the alarm lately (at least on my 8am days, though I kind of doubt I will wake before the alarm tomorrow, since it's set for six), which gives me time to fix something for lunch.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 04:35

Project Day

  • finished waistband and zipper on Kanaya’s red skirt
  • sewed clasp on to green overskirt for Beforus!Kanaya
  • threw together base pants and shirt for my Gintoki remake
  • grafted the shoulder seams on the  Ugly Cardigan and wove in ends
  • did ALL the topstitching on my t-shirt quilt
  • replaced the armor padding in my Magneto gloves

Not pictured - three loads of laundry (not yet folded), the shoulder seam I grafted and then had to completely take out to do over because I fucked it up.

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 20:11

Some very kind soul bought me paid time. Thank you, Paid Account Fairy! You made my day and my day was pretty good, so you making it is pretty awesome. I will do my best to pay it forward.

Purple Hair
Hair, still wet, fresh from dying it Violet Vixen.

I dyed my hair! I shared the news with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, [personal profile] woggy and my friend Linda, so now it's coming to Dreamwidth! It's called Violet Vixen. I didn't go with a tube this time, I bought a box dye. I don't normally buy a box dye because they don't seem to last as long, but the purple I got last time didn't even last a week and that's a professional dye. This will probably last much longer. My hair seems to like being dark purple.
Having freshly dyed hair will probably get me in a little trouble tomorrow at work, but I doubt it. They've gotten used to my hair changing colors. I mean, if they can live with the bright cerulean blue that it was last summer and this fall, then they can live with a deep purple.

Brent's still on the coast, still got poison ivy. He says he probably won't be home until Friday and as long as he gets home before I do, that's fine. We leave Friday for Beltaine in Memphis. I need to bake cookies for that. Gotta do that tomorrow. Tonight was not a baking night. It was a hair dying night!

I have gotten so much use out of the speaker Dad gave me for Christmas. It's a little Bluetooth Bose ColorLink and it's so nice to have music again. For a while, we didn't have music except what came out of the computer speakers and then I ... kinda blew those out. When Rush's 2112 says 'To Play At Maximum Volume', you play at max volume. And oh, it sounds good on this Bose speaker. Dad says it's a very middle speaker. When I asked him to explain, he did. It's a very midrange speaker, no great bass or soprano, but really good, middle sounds. I don't need great throbbing bass or painful high tweeting. This works great for me. I've probably had it on four nights out of seven, and when you do that, you get a lot of use out of a good speaker. It's also portable! It can go to any room in the house! You can soak in the bathroom while it sits on the vanity/sink-thingie, or it can sit on a dresser as you put away clothes in the bedroom or a desk in the front room while I fight with finding space for things that we use frequently! It connects via Bluetooth, so I think I can hook it up to my computer as well as my ElderDroid. (That's my smartphone. It's never on data, though. I share that with Brent and Mom, so I leave it on WiFi all the time or wait until I can get to WiFi.)

Oo, hair's dripping a bit. Better go squeeze it with a towel again and see about combing it out. I'm so excited about my hair!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 19:37
1. Things appear to be moving in a generally positive direction. I might, however, need to start keeping spare knickers at work.

2. Got back to town on Sunday. Was a really nice vacation. And a true break. I love mom and dad's new apartment - feels like home. We spent a lot of time just hanging around. Day trip to the science garden, time with not!family for Passover and the following Shabbat, Ein Hod, Zichron Ya'akov, and I'm sure some things I'm forgetting. Then I wandered off to volunteer with the army for 5 days, then home. Met some of their friends too. (One of the couples has two sons ~my age who I was at uni with. One of the sons was a bio major. I have /no idea/ who he is.)

3. Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, on an army base, is quite the experience. We, the volunteers, got to participate in the ceremony -- everyone on the base (maybe a hundred or so people) lined up in the parking lot / parade grounds in front of the flagpole. 2 minute siren at 10 am, everyone standing at attention. Then two officers gave speeches, one of them read the El Maleh Rachamim [G-d full of Mercy] prayer, then a soldier sang, another soldier did a reading, then the singer did another reading. We sang the national anthem, and that was it. Maybe a half hour, and I didn't understand much of the speeches, but it was very moving.

4. I wish I could have stayed through Memorial and Independence Days. I think I experienced that in 1985, but I have no recollection. Instead I left the parental units with a translation and schedule of events that was in the local paper. Memorial Day starts/started tonight. It's already weird not being there.

5. I lost count of how many people asked me when I was moving to Israel. At this rate, never. I have lots of reasons. Please stop asking.

6. Work ... continues apace. Still catching up from so long away. Everyone is still nuts. Four subpoenas on the agenda. Plus I need to put together my presentation that I'm giving in about a month. Eep.
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 18:47
Long but interesting article about a young man's experiences with walking around Canadian cities while black

The white friend who posted this mentioned that he's walked around the same cities for 6+ years without ever being stopped and carded.

I've been stopped only a couple times, mostly when walking around late at night, though never asked for ID. I always chalked it up to being a woman on her own, needing some sort of "protection" or whatnot. Only just now occurred to me they may have thought I was a sex worker.

The carding program is disturbing. While documenting interactions with the public seems wise, it doesn't sound like that's what it is about, and not having to explain that it's voluntary to provide ID is messed up.
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 21:18
This is a very different tale to Evolution of the Daleks/Daleks in Manhattan and yet one is inevitably drawn into comparing the two largely, I suspect, because they are both early season Dalek stories set in the first half of the 20th Century.

More under the Cut )

I quite like Victory of the Daleks, it doesn't feel as stupid as some of the dalek stories that immediately precede it, but it doesn't really grab me either. For all its flaws Evolution of the Daleks/Daleks in Manhattan at least had big ambitions, I'm not sure this did.
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 20:10
I had my first piano lesson yesterday. It was a test lesson free of charge, and the bottom line is that I was pretty disappointed and won't be going back to that teacher.

The two main subjective things were that a) there was a major language barrier, and b) I would really like to play a mechanical piano during my lessons.

The teacher was nice enough, but struggling with German, especially when it came to explaining what I was supposed to do and that's just no good for me. The guy at the music shop said she was Chinese and I suspect she got at least some of her music education in the US, or lived there or something, because she kept falling back to English when she didn't know something. While I am fine with English I'd rather not deal with a communications barrier when I am already stressed out by learning something new. She was also talking quietly even when I indicated I couldn't understand her. Since I am deaf (or so close to it it doesn't really matter) in one ear that's also no good.

The piano part is maybe an odd preference, but they also had a Yamaha 535 there, the same model as mine. I'd really like to play a mechanical one, or at least a higher quality digital one, at lessons. Just so that I am exposed to something else.

It was also a generally strange lesson, much different from what I expected. I expected a lot of talking about what I want to learn and what I already know, so we could see whether the chemistry fit. Instead we talked for about two minutes and then she thought me how to read sheet music for a while, which I already know how to do (slowly, but I really don't need to be taught how long a half note is...) and then I was supposed to play stuff from the sheet. It made me feel like the lesson was designed to rush me to some kind of sense of achievement, playing something recognizable by myself. I'm sure that works for a lot of people, but it just makes me feel rushed. I mean, I am happily practicing scales at home and nerding around about music theory. I am not in this for the quick success.

But basically, I am just rationalizing that this is a bad fit. I managed to get over my people pleasing trait and rushed out after the lesson mumbling something about calling after I thought about it instead of letting myself be talked into signing up. Yay me.

So now I am back to trying to find someone to teach me and, in the meantime, teaching myself. Which means I just spent 40 happy minutes playing C, F and Bb major scales back and forth and then slowly reading and playing the first few notes of "Für Elise". Music is interesting :-)
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 13:59
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