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Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 17:10
Comme des Garcons Series 2 Red: Sequoia. This goes on good cognac (and nothing else); during early stages of drydown develops an undercurrent of rotting wood and loam. It turns into hot sap and soil and a slightly crunchy layer of conifer needles underfoot on a hot day; it is glorious and therefore, naturally, discontinued. I will be keeping an eye on eBay for bottles of this.

+4 )
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 08:19
via at May 26, 2015 at 03:15AM:


you are a shared secret kept between cupped hands;                                   you are the first drizzle of spring, the laughter-filled nights of summer.

(there is static in your head and in your heart— breathe,                                      and remember that you are more than what your reflection tells you.) 


longing paces circles in your heart.                                                                       the want for more thrums just under your skin,                                                     and in your blood there are a thousand wolves howling,                                     necks craned back in prayer to the moon.

(you are not a monster for wanting more than what has been offered to you.)


count the stars,                                                                                               and count the distance between where you are and where you want to be.

(just because icarus fell doesn’t mean you will.)


stand beneath the night sky and let the wind run cold fingers along your arms;   let the air scrape your throat with each inhale,                                                   let it sit in your lungs like something precious.

(the night sky is deep enough to get lost in. just like life. just like you.)

                                                                                                                               you are not atlas, and they are not your responsibility.

(the weight of your world is heavy enough without trying to carry other people.)


one day, you will wake up and realize that you are happy,                                   and you should be around to see it.

(darling, you do not need to have it all figured out now.)


you are the nostalgia of swing sets;                                                                     you are the smell of petrichor,                                                                             you are a childhood lullaby, only half-remembered.

(who you want to be is never out of reach.)


close your ears to them—                                                                                     your dreams are no one’s but your own,                                                             so never let them take that away from you.

(you have a star within you, and it burns bright.)


you are not an island;                                                                                           you are the sky, and when you hurl down lightning and rainfall,                           you are not hurting only yourself.

(please treat others the way you wish to be treated.)


those memories are stamped onto your eyelids, I know;                                     but, when they come to you, unbidden, in the night,                                           do not cringe. do not cry. do not waste your time regretting.

(you are not who you were then.)


take down their pictures;                                                                                     delete their numbers from your phone.

(your garden is dead, dear; do not waste your love on corpses.)


you are the sting of tears;                                                                                     you are the first snowfall of winter, the burnished golds of fall.

(believe in yourself the way you believe in others.)

—to the signs: you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.  | e.c.s

just because Icarus fell doesn’t mean I will.
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 07:32
via at May 26, 2015 at 02:30AM:


Baby goat to cheer you up!

Sassy goat attitude!
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 06:59
via at May 26, 2015 at 01:45AM:


I wonder when exactly it was that Star Trek stopped being perceived as light, fluffy, not-really-legitimate sci fi that ~housewives~ liked and started being seen as serious nerd business that girls had to keep their gross cooties off. 

Also when did the Beatles start to be remembered as rock legends rather than a silly boy band teenaged girls liked?
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 09:08
I look forward to the day when I resign myself to never ever having my living situation figured out long term.

Meanwhile, I'm having a dilemma about an apartment. Don't think there's any advice anyone can really offer, but writing it out might help me sort through it I guess.

6 month lease )
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 02:00
There is a whole lot of Sad going on, not least because The Glorious 25th Of May; it's very tedious; so for this particular round of 2am Misery just have some flail about Orphan Black 3x06.

Read more... )
Monday, May 25th, 2015 20:13
I finally got around to framing and hanging [ profile] firin's prints, which I've had for a while. There was some excitement involving the discovery that American centimetres are (like everything else) larger than British centimetres*. At the moment they are hanging in our stairwell which is badly in need of a lick of paint (and has been since we rewired the house in 2007) but we've stalled a little in confusion about getting the hall windows replaced because our listed building status trumps fenster regulations but few tradesmen are prepared to take the risk.

The Prints )

As a bonus I also have photo of the print I gave claraste as a thank you for catering B's birthday and which very nearly made her cry.

Claraste's )

As a side note [ profile] firin has concluded that, due to circumstances beyond her control, the business in its current form isn't sustainable and she's having a clearance sale at her Etsy shop.

*B. has pointed out that, in fact, it isn't that their centimetres are larger, it's that when they label something 35x50cm they actually mean 14x20 inches.
Monday, May 25th, 2015 09:46
Saw this movie late, after unfortunately consuming quite a lot of hype despite avoiding clicking on spoiler cuts, and now writing my review late, after most people have written theirs.

you will be shiny and chrome )

Finally, outside the cut, for anyone who enjoyed Furiosa in this film, allow me to strongly recommend Kameron Hurley's book God's War, the protagonist of which is extremely similar to Furiosa. My favorite non-spoilery quote about her is:

The world could burn around her, the cities turn to dust, the cries of a hundred thousand fill the air, and she would get up after the fire died and walk barefoot and burned over the charred soil in search of clean water, a weapon, a purpose. She would rebuild.
Monday, May 25th, 2015 08:35
via at May 25, 2015 at 03:15AM:



#my favorite Tom Cruise role ever

#turning a small child into a vampire so your lover will be forced to co-parent with you and won’t leave you: get on Lestat’s level

I keep waiting for a gay vampire movie but then i remember Interview with a Vampire happened and literally it cannot get any more homoerotic camp than Brad Pitt being all “omfg I’m reborn as a denizen of hell” while Tom Cruise basically serenades him with the music of the night 
Monday, May 25th, 2015 07:43
via at May 25, 2015 at 02:30AM:
“Sometimes, burning bridges is the only way that can prevent you from going back to places you should never have been in the first place.”
- (via suchvodka)
Monday, May 25th, 2015 00:20
1. Not only is tomorrow my day off, but Memorial Day is one of the company's paid holidays, so I get paid to not go to work. Woohoo!

2. I had some nice cuddle time with Heidi in my sweater tonight while watching TV.
Monday, May 25th, 2015 06:52
via at May 25, 2015 at 01:45AM:

“You’re a brave girl. I’m so lucky to have seen you grown.”


Every time I watch this movie I cry. Ugly cry. With snot.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 19:30
This was my day!

Notary for passport form
handed off noisebridge docs
got z. his package
put all the jars of coins in the garage ready to be coinstarred
got my data off an old laptop onto a 1TB hard drive
hired a guy to come move the fridge and the kids' bunk bed
mopped behind fridge
scrubbed out freezer
bought cleaning supplies to scrub freezer etc
cleaned out the kids' beds, which were nastily full of trash, dust, cables, old socks
gathered up 5 loads of laundry
mailed c. to ask her to come do all the laundry tomorrow
ordered new checks
paid bills
threw away a lot of papers
looked for a.'s keys (failed to find)
looked for m's wallet (also failed)
z. came over
the guy who is treasurer for NB came over
a. came back home from her mom's and i fed her dinner
emailed people about work thing, worked a bit

A very responsible day. I think I did too much scrubbing and walking. I laid down in between doing everything at least. The house still overwhelmingly has crap all over the place.

I am trying to look for some WisCon posts and reading a bit of the tweets but am just too domestically overloaded to feel engaged.

The fabulous bit of the day is that I did get a lot of my old data. WHEW.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 15:49
Previously unread.

It is with some sadness that I read this book. Pratchett's books have been an important part of my life, in many ways. So that makes me sad. Another thing that makes me sad is that it feels as if Terry's illness is noticeable in the work. It is not bad, but I have this nagging feeling that perhaps it isn't as good as it could be.

That aside, if you have, on the whole, liked the Discworld books, especially the Moist von Lipwig ones, you will probably enjoy this one as well.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 08:25
via at May 24, 2015 at 03:15AM:

“Starbuck to all Vipers, do not fire.”
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 07:58
via at May 24, 2015 at 02:30AM:

Bismuth crystal.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 00:30
1. I usually bring home quite a lot of free meat from work these days, but today I got what is probably the best catch ever: almost half a pound of tuna sashimi that is "sale" priced at like $38 pound. For free! No discoloration or anything. So we made tuna tataki with it and it was SO GOOD.

2. Not only did I get a decent amount of stuff done at work today, I also did some translating this morning.

3. I remembered to do my weekly report on time. (It's supposedly due Saturday nights, but I never have time to actually do it at work, and a lot of times I mean to do it when I get home but then forget.)
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 07:06
via at May 24, 2015 at 01:45AM:

“A Cat’s Guide To Taking Care of Your Human” 
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 21:26
Listening to how he plays piano, blowing my mind. He makes glenn gould sound like a soulless prancing robot pony. I am listening again to beethoven sonata in d major (pastoral) which i played the hell out of in high school (painfully learning bar by bar so i know it really well to listen to) and rhodes is so brilliant with it that I am feeling embarrassed for my attempts to emotionally interpret it. crap! he plays bach so well i'm in tears! good stuff.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 03:43

Saying the design ‘evolved organically’ is basically a fancy way of saying 'I made everything up as I went along’ or 'this is completely and utterly BS’d’, all of which would be true. 

I started with some really basic concepts - I wanted a veil, I was leaning towards a hair bun, and I wanted a lot of green, mixed in with blacks, whites and silvers. I initially looked at medieval/early Renaissance designs, because that’s where Sollux and Karkat’s designs had their roots, but everything was too loose and blocky. I also discovered how absurdly hard it is to find the right shade of green, which kind of cut down on how big things could be.

I stumbled across this lovely fanart of Kanaya and had the mental argument of 'but Victorian designs are so overused for steampunk’ versus 'but it works so well!’. Because it really does - things can be impecably tailored and covered in trim while still being very Proper. Kanaya isn’t the rebel that Porrim is. I put the bustle together using this tutorial from American Duchess, and then the petticoat and actual skirt were me visually dissecting Truly Victorian’s Four-Gore Underskirt and Petticoat pattern drawings because I wasn’t going to pay $14 plus waiting for shipping for a pattern that is basically a bunch of rectangles. I made the dubious choice to do stitch-lines in silver metallic thread on the black I had because next to terieri’s Eridan I felt woefully underblinged.

The jacket is made out of two yards of dupioni from Silk Baron that I ordered all of a week and a half before the con, and then had to over-dye tint because it was too blue. The base pattern started out as the top to this awful Southern Belle outfit, which I re-cut the neckline on to be higher, and modified the shape of to be similar to this pattern for a cuiraisse bodice (which I did convincingly enough to fool gothichamlet into thinking I’d used a TV pattern). I also did about a million rounds of fitting, because this was going over a corset, and had to look properly tailored. Someone - either terieri or pyropi - suggested doing puff sleeves, and while I didn’t feel like going full-out mutton-sleevee, I did incorporate some looseness in the shoulder, with the bonus of NOT HAVING TO FIT THE SLEEVE, aka my least favorite part.

The overskirts were basically 'shit I need sommething to break up these huge blocks of color SHIT I dyed that green unevenly I need something else’ along with 'ugh all these beaded trims are expensive and ugly, wait we have four yards of silver bell and bead trim at the house’. The green overskirt was inspired by TV’s waterfall overskirt, and the white was inspired by this lovely draped asymmetrical skirt, which I couldn’t quite capture myself, but loved, along with a touch of this design for the trim.

In short I have no idea how I managed to pull this off before Katsu, nevermind having it look good.

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 13:15
some days are just a sleep training failure and that's okay
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 19:15

Cheltenham Science Festival continues to consume most of my attention. This is me painting the "robot table" the lego robot dinosaurs will be on. The idea is that there should be some "water" and a "path" which the dinosaurs can follow to find the water.
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 22:38
Originally posted at

It’s been alternatively sunny and cloudy in our last week in our current house. Dark clouds gathered and thunder rumbled as we heard that second hand furniture buyers are booked up into June, and can’t come and help us with our nice wardrobes which we’d be sad to trash. The sun shone and birds sang when the friends we had over for dinner on Thursday turned out to be moving in the same week we are, only to an apartment with absolutely no storage whatsoever, and they would take our furniture from us. Little rainclouds descend every time some unreliable jerk from Gumtree fails to pick up stuff from our front porch. And so on.

Overall, at the moment we are proving to be a cheap way for other people to furnish. Earlier today two weedy young removalists came today and effortlessly hefted our sofa bed, bookcase and barbecue to Julia’s place. (I got to assume the risk of transporting the gas bottle for the barbecue; that they don’t do.) Our older bikes are off to Bikes For Humanity. Our largesse is getting down to a cheap white cupboard and some plastic outdoor chairs. Thank goodness.

Tonight the up and down reached amusing proportions. Because we will now have a cross-suburb childcare run to do, we’re considering buying a car again after several delightful years car-free, and tonight Andrew did our first test drive for a car on sale by a private seller. All went well with the drive, fortunately, well enough that we took the vehicle identification in order to run the standard checks. And so we sat in a McDonalds running the history checks… to discover that it had a write-off history. I guess there are situations where I’d buy a repaired write-off, maybe (although for the last couple of years that hasn’t even been a thing that’s possible to do in NSW) but buying from a private seller who didn’t disclose it isn’t one of those times. Then on the way home, A had such a nasty cough that we had to stop the car so that Andrew could take her out and hold her up so she’d stop sounding like she was choking on a fully grown pig. She was overtired and frantic and he had to fight her back into her carseat. Then we made it another couple of kilometres before I shut V’s window using the driver controls… right onto his hand, which he’d stuck out the window.

V’s hand is fine. A can still inhale. We don’t have a car that’s a undisclosed repaired write-off. Sunny day.

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 07:23
So, [personal profile] elisem stopped by on her way to Balticon, and we mutually enabled each other: she got me and [personal profile] sarah hooked on Ingress (more info on Wikipedia, since the website is not at all that informative; the pithy explanation for it is "It's a game of virtual capture the flag"), and I got her hooked on Bush Whacker. \o/

Sarah's already level 5 and I'm already level 4. This is apparently a Very Fast Progression, given that we both signed up on Thursday, but I have infected Sarah with a bit of my "that escalated quickly" attitude toward life, so. :)

(If anybody wants to start playing, let me know, I'll send you an invite.)

We are both playing for the Resistance. Baltimore is apparently a heavily Enlightened town, which means plenty of tasty, tasty AP. Last night we were out wardriving (Sarah driving the car with me double-fisting both our phones hacking the portals we were passing to get the loot from them) and on our way back home, we thought, hell, let's capture the portals nearest our house. So we pulled into the driveway of the church nearby -- many of the portals are churches/museums/memorials/sculptures/etc -- and managed to take it down. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, a car came tearing in and two minutes later the portal was green again. We made someone leave the house at midnight to come recapture a portal. It was kind of the best thing ever.

We are leaving tomorrow for a five-day cruise in the Bahamas. I am looking forward to seeing what portals we find on our way. :D
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 08:27
via at May 23, 2015 at 03:15AM:
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 07:42
via at May 23, 2015 at 02:30AM:


90% sure mcgonagall retired the day she sent out james sirius’ hogwarts letter because no fucking way she is teaching a boy named james sirius potter

#a boy named James Sirius Potter#whose mother was a Weasley#a boy who was a mixture of Potter Evans and Weasley#raised on stories of the Marauders and Fred and George#and his mother and father and their friends#a boy with a map an invisibility cloak and probably no sense of personal danger#yep sign me up for retirement
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 06:51
via at May 23, 2015 at 01:45AM:


when your child comes to you and says “this is something that makes me uncomfortable and unhappy and makes me not want to spend time with you” and you respond with a 20 minute speech that boils down to “deal with it because life sucks” you have no respect for your child and you need to change your parenting tactics

i made this a month ago and the worst thing about it is that so many people can relate
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 22:35
1. I get to sleep in for three days in a row! Looking forward to that.

2. We had pizza for dinner tonight and I got Hawaiian, which I haven't had in a while. It was so delicious!

3. Tomorrow is the end of the pay period and I got most of the time card corrections entered today. Aside from any mistakes there might be tomorrow (hopefully none), I'm all done. I have to say, while there are things that annoy me about Kronos, it does have some advantages over TimeForce, the main one being that it doesn't take ages to enter changes.

4. Apparently Heidi was very interested in birds today. So interested, that she noticed them from her nest all the way across the room from the window and got up and went over there to see them (just needed some help getting up on her window seat) and actively watched them for a while.

Bird-watching kitty )
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 18:11
Maddy wonders where the birdies is. Answer: they're cheeping a lot and tantalizing her from beyond the screen door.

It's a gorgeous hot clear day here. Met up with a friend, her husband, and kids to go for a walk in the nearby provincial park. It was lovely in the shade, which there wasn't much of. Phew! I should've worn shorts. Or at least not black everything.

We just moved into the current place last September, so now we're starting to see the effect of having those lovely big windows on our west-facing exposure...very greenhouse-y. I've got the windows and the patio door open, and two fans going, and I'm working on convincing [personal profile] bell that we may need curtains sooner rather than later. I'm also pulling for more insulation in our ceiling! (She's very persuasive in her own right that we should start by regrading our yard to ensure proper drainage. But really, all these projects, worthwhile though they are, will probably wait until I'm not on maternity leave.)

Man, I bet our condo association wouldn't think much of us installing solar panels on our roof. But days like today, it'd so be worth it.

Luckily, the basement where we sleep is lovely and cool. I think I've finally figured out a good curtain system for our bedroom so that it's dark in there early when L goes to bed. It mostly involves towels and paperclips. I am resourceful!

Today there is a possibility that I could write. But I'm so exhausted, I may not. But the important thing is, I could! If my braincells were working. So there is hope. I feel good about that.

I hope y'all's Fridays are going well!
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 18:04
Done, dusted, tied up in a bow. Poked with a fork. Emailed to [personal profile] graydon with strict instructions to ignore me when I email him at 3am with ONE MORE THING.


Please feel free to provide Wild Rumpus and Shenanigans of a celebratory nature in comments. Pictures of sheep and pangolins particularly welcome.
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 20:39
Way back when, near the beginning of this Randomiser lark, we watched The Savages and I was struck by how strong Dodo was when I had mentally classed her with a lot of the sixties girly screamers*. The Ark is her first proper story and she's really good here too - robust, cheerful, and a lot less clingy than a lot of sixties teenage companions end up being.

More Under the Cut )

As 1960s Doctor Who goes, this is pretty good. It moves at a nice pace, the ideas are interesting, and the Tardis crew have a good fun dynamic (and is a crew that are fairly under-appreciated in fandom). On the downside some of it is pretty by-the-numbers and the costumes really let the production down.

*and yes I know they all have saving graces (though I sometimes wonder about Victoria, whose written incarnation in the Target novels I was very fond of as a child, but who has always underwhelmed me on the screen), but Dodo, like Zoe Herriot, seems to have a bit more going for her than most of them.
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 09:54
Sort of a rant. Sort of an intrigued.

There have been many (more eloquent than me) tirades on the nonsense of gendered baby clothes (TFV has a particularly good one), kid toys, etc. So not really going to reiterate those here. I think sensible people can agree it is nonsense to enforce gender expectations on a tiny human who has no concept of gender yet at all.

Just wanting to share some thoughts/experiences I've had on the subject lately.

Maybe I'm just insulated or something, but I only regularly encounter two baby questions from the general populace:
1. When are you due?
2. Have you found out what you're having?/ Are you having a boy or a girl?/When do you find out?

First one is easy to answer - Aug. 21st. Yes I'll be huge and hot all summer but that's ok. /smalltalk. Pretty standard script.
Second one als easy to answer. No, we're going to be surprised. I do get a variety of interesting responses from women (men all seem to have the same answer - "Oh. Ok.")

"How fun! I wish I'd kept it a surprise./My first we were surprised but not my second./ My husband wanted to know so we found out.", or some other story about their experience. Generally positive and nonjudgemental.
"Oh I'd go crazy not knowing!" These ones we all sort of agree to disagree, I say something along the lines of, "well, we're excited regardless" and it gets the point across just fine.

However, leave it to Judy to keep pushing the point, and inventing a new response
"How would you know what to BUY?"

I was slightly floored. I stammered something like, "things with puppies on them!"

But really -
Diapers come in white.
Cribs come in wood.
The pack-n-play is brown, with animals on it.
Strollers come in any color you'd like, and my opposition to the pink or yellow ones at babydepot were really that I don't like pink nor yellow that much, when blue or green or purple are options.
Yes, some clothes say "little boy" or "little girl" on them, but certainly not all.

To be honest, I haven't yet faced "having" to buy gendered anything!

Baby gear (the big stuff) is most often generic, as it may be used for several kids.
Diapers are the only thing that might actually depend on sex (as they actually involve genitals), but don't seem to actually distinguish.

Clothes are probably the closest to "tricky". The new clothes stores often seem insistent on a pink vs blue aisle. But I don't shop at new clothes stores (they are scary. And unnecessarily expensive!). And I've had tons of success at thrift stores (my standard shopping locale). Yesterday I walked in to one I haven't been to in a while, and started flipping through baby clothes. I had a dozen adorable outfits with no genderedness in about 5 minutes (and then I stopped, despite having only made it through a rack and a half). I paid $9.23 for them and went home.

It might get more difficult as baby gets bigger - I haven't much gotten out of the teeny tiny 0-3 month catagory. And maybe it helps that I am thrilled to put a girl in a tiny blue romper with a spaceship on it. Or a boy in little blue bloomers and gown (did you know we've only stopped putting under-3 set boys into dresses in about the last 90 years?).

I'm more baffled at the notion that baby's sex matters than in finding awesome things to buy.
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 11:40
This is obvious, but as I moved to an affordable apartment this summer, I lost access to planting food. 
As I lose access to planting food, I pay more money for food.
As I pay more money for food, I need an affordable apartment more.

Time to start seriously foraging, I suppose. It's just interesting how at every darn step, things seem to stack up. 
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 15:32
... Switzerland. Where I am spending 4 days with the husband, the parents and sisters in-law and their boyfriends.

We're 1500 meters up, so it quite chilly. But pretty!
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 08:25
via at May 22, 2015 at 03:15AM:


one time i took a picture of a tiger at the zoo and the tiger smiled for the picture it was very great and the best picture i’ve ever taken
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 07:37
via at May 22, 2015 at 02:30AM:

Studio Ghibli (1986 - 2014) (Click images for better quality!)↳ Ghibli means ‘hot wind blowing through the Sahara Desert’. The name was used for Italian scouting airplanes during World War II. Miyazaki, who loves airplanes (and Italy), named his studio after it.
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 00:30
1. I was hoping to get out of work by one or one-thirty today and it ended up being more like two or two-thirty, but it still was less than a full day (yay) and at least the money for overtime is good, so there's that.

2. Kitty doesn't seem interested in much wet food at all, but she is eating a lot (for relative values of "a lot") of treats and drinking a lot of water, so at least she's got something going in her tummy.

3. The strawberry swiss rolls I love are on sale this week at work.

4. We took a nice walk this evening.
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 06:48
via at May 22, 2015 at 01:45AM:



im a bad person who thinks bad thoughts like ‘ew what is that girl wearing’ and then remember that im supposed to be positive about all things and then think ‘no she can wear what she wants, fuck what other people say damn girl u look fabulous’ and im just a teeny bit hypocritical tbh

I was always taught by my mother, That the first thought that goes through your mind is what you have been conditioned to think. What you think next defines who you are.

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 01:41
Rubbing a bit of antibiotic ointment - Polysporin or Neosporin or whatever - into your cuticles at night will give you shockingly healthy and attractive cuticles and nails. Works fast, too.
Thursday, May 21st, 2015 17:41
1. I physically feel like crap. I'm noticing that a lot of my pain levels are directly due to missing doses of medication--both the SSRI discontinuation, which gives me muscle ache, and the lack of vitamin D, which means I don't get up in the morning and sleep heavily and make my aching muscles worse. Blah.

2. WHY DIDN'T ANYBODY TELL ME KATE MARTINELLI WAS A LESBIAN. I kept hearing, "Oh, the Martinelli mysteries have even more LGBT representation than the Russell ones" BUT NOT THAT KATE WAS A LESBIAN.

3. I have new audiobooks after listening my way through Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London and should go outside with my handy dandy bluetooth wireless headphones and work on constructing my garden beds.
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 09:08
Originally posted at

I recently ran a “photo circle”, consisting of a small group of people sending prints of their own photographs to each other. It was a fun way to prod myself to take non-kid photos.

My four photos were:

Photo circle: sun in the eucalypts

I took Sun in the eucalypts in the late afternoon of Easter Sunday, as the sun was sinking behind the eucalypts at Centennial Park’s children’s bike track. I tried to take one with the sun shining through the trees but didn’t get the lens flare right. I like the contrast between the sunlit tree and the dark tree in this one. It feels springlike, for an autumn scene.

The other three are a very different type of weather shot, taken during Sydney’s extreme rainfall of late April and very early May:

Photo circle: rainstorm

This one has the most post-processing by far: it was originally shot in portrait and in colour. I was messing around with either fast or slow shutter speeds while it poured with rain at my house; I have a number of similar photos where spheres of water are suspended in the air. None of them quite work but I will continue to play with photographing rain with a fast shutter speed. In the meantime, the slow shutter speed here works well. I made the image monochrome in order to make the rain stand out more. In the original image the green tree and the rich brown fencing and brick rather detract from showing exactly how rainy it was.

Photo circle: Sydney rain storm

This was shot from Gunners’ Barracks in Mosman (a historical barracks, not an active one) as a sudden rainstorm rolled over Sydney Harbour. The view was good enough, but my lens not wide enough, to see it raining on parts of the harbour and not on other parts. All the obscurity of the city skyline in this shot is due to rain, not fog.

Photo circle: ferry in the rain

This is the same rainstorm as the above shot; they were taken very close together. It may not be immediately obvious, but the saturation on this shot is close to maximum in order to make the colours of the ferry come up at all. I was the most worried about this shot on the camera, it was very dim. It comes up better in print than on screen, too. The obscurity is again entirely due to the rain, and results in the illusion that there is only one vessel on Sydney Harbour. Even in weather like this, that’s far from true. I felt very lucky to capture this just before the ferry vanished into the rain too.

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 22:35
Title: Pipeline
Vidder: Sumana Harihareswara ("brainwane")
Fandom: Multi (documentaries, movies, TV, comics, coding bootcamp ads, and more)
Music: "Blank Space", Taylor Swift
Length: 3 minutes, 11 seconds
Summary: The tech industry has a blank space, and is quite eager to write your name.
Content notes: Implied verbal/emotional abuse, a few seconds of very fast cutting around 1:50
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike (CC BY-SA)
Download: on Google Drive (165 MB high-res MP4, 23 MB low-res MP4, 98 MB AVI), or at Critical Commons with login (high- and low-res MP4 and WebM files)
Stream: at Critical Commons (choose View High Quality for best experience)
Subtitles file:

Premiered just now at WisCon 2015 (the vid party).

Embedded video below:

50 sources (28 video, 22 still) )

Thank you to my betas:

  • Skud
  • seekingferret
  • were_duck
  • Leonard Richardson
  • Teresa Nielsen Hayden
  • and others.

Feelings and interpretation:
You don't need to read this )
About 75 hours over 2 months )

This vid is under CC BY-SA and I hope people feel free to remix it, redistribute it, and otherwise enjoy it, as long as they attribute me as the vidder.

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 18:44
So a few weeks back I acquired the twinkiest jeans, as discussed: blue metallic sparkly "super-skinny" jeans with an enormous blue faux-rhinestone button fly. I was wearing them for the interaction with the splendidly queer nurse, and I mentioned to my mother that part of the reason I'd thought it might be even a tiny bit okay for me to ask him about his partner was that I was wearing clothing that read as sparklegay too.

My mother, who had been great up to that point (and as we know is generally great these days), said something to the effect of "Ugh, I don't think it's fair that any one group should get the monopoly on bits of clothing and what they mean."

That's the context; this is my attempt to put my thoughts in order enough to e-mail her an explanation. (It's extremely focussed on the context of choosing to make legible otherwise invisible characteristics; obviously I'm leaving a very great deal out for the sake of Explaining Stuff To My Mum.)

Read more... )
Thursday, May 21st, 2015 12:28

Hello! I need some advice on newspaper clippings, specifically clippings from local newspapers for local history purposes.

At the moment, I'm physically clipping articles out of the newspaper and glueing them to sheets of A4 paper, then labelling them with name/date/page of newspaper and subject of article (usually a specific local business [someone else is doing this for specific local people]). This is a giant faff.

What I would like to do is take photos of the articles, label them in the filename (perhaps with keywords too), and back them up in multiple places. However I wonder if copyright law would stop me sharing these photos with others in the future. Or if there's any other disadvantage of doing it this way.

I would like to preserve these clippings (physical or digital) for the long term; they might eventually go to Croydon local studies, or to the CNHSS. (I'm aware of newspaper digitisation projects, e.g. the excellent British Newspaper Archive, but I do think it's worth preserving things in more than one way and with more than one focus.)

Any advice?

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 10:10
Previously unread.

Slowly chewing through the Hugo Novel Nominees backlist (well, I say "slowly", I am now at 4 out of 5 read).

This is, in my honest opinion, a pretty darned readable book. It's, however, somewhat slow (there's a lot happening, it's just... not full of action; there are a few action scences, but...). It is essentially a book centred on politics and political awareness (that of the eponymous "Goblin Emperor").

I would be delighted to read more works set in the same fictional universe. And, to forestall the question I expect to see in comments, soon, "yes, I think it is better than Ancilliary Sword".

If you think you might like political fantasy, this is well worth trying. If you like coming-of-age fantasy, the same. If you like rip-roaring adventure and/or bodice rippers, there are most definitely books that will serve you better.
Thursday, May 21st, 2015 08:09
via at May 21, 2015 at 03:00AM:





What if oxygen is poisonous and it just takes 75-100 years to kill us?

My science teacher said he thinks that’s true actually

Yeah this is actually pretty much exactly what is going on. It’s why anti-oxidants are such a big deal. Bonus fact: oxygen oxidizes stuff in your cells or, in other words, it’s not toxic, just setting you on fire

very very slowly.

What if there are aliens out there but they subsist on entirely different substances and they’re just scared as shit of us and our crazy ass hell planet? Once in a while some alien anthropologist type suggests checking out the people on this inhabited planet out towards the galaxy’s edge. The other aliens just look at the naive academic with horror. No!! We do not go to that world. That is where the DEATH BREATHERS live. They recreationally consume poisons and are more or less composed of biological fire. Their atmosphere is made of rocket fuel. We must leave the DEATH BREATHERS in peace. Do not go there. Do not.
Thursday, May 21st, 2015 00:15
1. I managed to get out of work today with less than an hour overtime, which usually does not happen on Wednesdays.

2. I have to work tomorrow, but only for a few hours in the morning.

3. I have the sweetest kitty ever.
Thursday, May 21st, 2015 07:17
via at May 21, 2015 at 02:00AM:



The Eddie Izzard Doctrine

I didn’t go to uni for history to not reblog this

Eddie Izzard makes a good point.
Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 20:48
If I die tomorrow, I hope people remember me as someone who rescued cats and spoke my mind.
Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 19:18
Today I was able to do a few chores in the evening, and read dw, and actually comment on people's posts! It feels so good. The price I pay is waking up at 5 AM, but I think it's worth it.