26 July 2017 @ 08:34 pm
So, I was having a minor crisis on Twitter, re: Dreamwidth and the soul-crushing inadequacy I feel every Reading Wednesday because I am not reading ... well, novels anyway. I used to be a hopelessly devoted reader, but sadly college cured me of the habit. My local library, alas, is also not that great when it comes to books -- I sigh daily for the great and beautiful Minneapolis Central Library! Even thought that ledge was extremely dangerous, re: falling icicles.

ANYWAY, I WENT OUT AND BOUGHT TWO (2) used books -- The Complete Short Stories of Flannery O'Conner and Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken. Usually I've got no time for published Jane Austen fanfiction, but it is Joan Aiken, so we'll see.

This afternoon I got two very nice comments on some old, old Stucky fic (like, written before Winter Soldier came out Stucky fics) and I got to wondering how I'd tackle this pairing now, in the year of our Lord 2017, and if it'd be different than how I did it it back in 2011/2012. They say every cell of our body changes in seven years...

I might just try it out to get out of my sports anime rut. I think the Cap side of the MCU is the only part I'm actually caught up on. I don't really follow anything else, although I'm looking forward to Black Panther and also RIDICULOUS BEARD STEVE AHAHA (CEvans finally did it! He finally got to wear a beard to work!)

Also d'you think I'd be able to watch Thor 3 if I skipped Thor 2?
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtful
 
 
26 July 2017 @ 10:49 pm
Ow  
So I got kicked in the chest last Sunday. Well, upperchest/shoulder. Swimming: a more dangerous sport than you'd expect!

Was okay most of Monday, then began hurting in the evening. It's been hurting, with varying degrees of intensity, ever since. I hurt more in the evenings than mornings, but overall I thinkit's getting better. (I have an unrelated doctor appointment on Friday, so if it still hurts by then, I'll bring it up.)

Anyway, I've been taking it easy and avoiding moving that shoulder. That's why I've been mostly off the internet for now. Tomorrow I'll off the internet because I'm going to see Valerian! That should be more fun.
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26 July 2017 @ 08:49 pm
The first week of school holidays; a big to-do list to get done at both home and work before Helsinki; in particular a big code push early on Tuesday morning.  I had a whole carefully worked-out schedule of when Tony and I would be at work and on leave and working from home and doing childcare runs.

Early on Monday morning, I woke up very suddenly and proceeded to have a very thorough stomach upset for much of the day.  My boss is the best boss, for taking over and sorting out my Tuesday work for me.  I had to reorganise the cleaner, and my routine bone marrow appointment due today (because taking a potential stomach bug into a ward of cancer patients is distinctly antisocial) and completely redo the who-is-home-when plan for the week.

But I was at least able to work today, and (fingers-crossed) I'll be back in the office tomorrow.

The most exciting thing this week has at least gone to plan so far.  My dad made a flying visit today to collect Nicholas for a long weekend at WOMAD. His first time away from home without a parent in tow; not his first time away from both parents though, and it should be a lot of fun for them both.  I look forward to hearing all about it on Monday.
 
 
 
26 July 2017 @ 07:44 am
I was inviting people to ask me questions on Tumblr last night, and one of the things I ended up talking about is what makes me fall for things (books, movies, TV shows) in a fandom kind of way. I decided to post that here as well, because it took me a long time to figure it out but I did eventually figure it out, and I thought it was interesting. There are always a few outliers that don't quite fit this, or fit it in unusual ways, but for the most part, this is what makes the difference for me between something I merely like, and something I write fanfic for and can't stop talking about to anyone who'll hold still long enough.

Cut to keep from clogging your reading page )
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26 July 2017 @ 10:39 am
Let's get the political complaining off the top of my journal, and talk about One of your favourite classical songs.

Because I always end up picking Fauré's Requiem every time I answer a meme about music, I'll stick to a strict definition of 'song' and go with Les roses d'Ispahan instead:

video (singing over animation of the score) )

The story behind this is that I fell in love with Fauré when I heard the school choir singing the Requiem when I was 12, and the singing teacher saw me falling in love and decided to try to teach me to sing, even though I notoriously couldn't hold a tune. And we talked a lot about singing Christian sacred music, but she also pointed out that Fauré wrote plenty of secular stuff, so I could learn that. Alongside lots of simpler things more appropriate for a beginning singer. And I loved all the repertoire I learned, but Les roses d'Ispahan best. Spending absolutely months trying to learn songs that were too hard for me gave me an appreciation that just listening to them never would.

Or, if I'm going with a strict definition of Classical, to get even further away from always going on about Fauré... most of the music I like is either Baroque or Romantic really, but I'm not against the entire Classical period. So let's go with Schubert, whom I always reliably like. I'm choosing the song Heidenröslein for the tune, even though I'm not wholly enamoured of the lyrics. I mean, it's Goethe, but it's also about the poet destroying his lover to punish her for rejecting him. Also because I discovered recently that there's a Rammstein song alluding to it, so I'm using the meme as an excuse to tell you about that.

video embed, containing religious violence )
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Current Location: Keele University, Staffordshire, England
Current Mood: cheerful
 
 
26 July 2017 @ 01:25 pm
  1. I should know better than to try working through the Thermomix site to order parts.
  2. It seems a little disingenuous to be told 'oh, the site doesn't work properly under Safari*' for a multi-million dollar/multinational company, when according to a quick google search, Safari has 30+% of the web browser market in Australia, and thus this must be requiring more phone staff as a result.
  3. When my (second hand) Thermomix dies, I will be replacing it with something I can buy spare parts for off Amazon**/from Target/without having to register as a user for yet another site.
  4. I'd like to be embarrassed about the fact that I swore at the phone monkey, but I'm still angry about the fact that she tried to blame the issue I was having on the browser I wasn't using, and then just pulled back to say 'oh, but you are on a Mac'. F*** you, phone monkey.


* I wasn't using Safari, but it was the thing I said first, and then realised I wasn't using my machine. I was using Firefox, which according to aforementioned search, has <10% of the Australian browser market.
** this list of places I'd rather order from should be indicative of how angry I am, because I *never* voluntarily order from Amazon -- the only reason I do is if it is the only option.
 
 
25 July 2017 @ 09:30 pm
 
[personal profile] jothra went to a library sale last week and asked if I had any requests: "Weird 70s Gothics? Trixie, Belden?"

"WEIRD 70S GOTHICS PLEASE," I said, and Jo duly carried out her commission so well that I don't know if anybody's ever going to top it:



Portrait in Jig-Saw is apparently so obscure it doesn't even have a Goodreads page, which, having read it, I can honestly now say is kind of a shame.

Our Heroine's name is Alixander David Somerlaid MacDonald (I KNOW), otherwise known as Alisdair; she is a Strictly Sheltered Heiress who has been raised in a Freezing Castle in Complete Isolation and Solitude with only occasional visits from her father until she comes of age on her 21st birthday.

...for the record, the year is 1973.

My legit favorite part about these spoilers is that the entire plot relies on an alternate universe where the world's most famous postmodern novelist is a Thai princess, I want to live in THAT universe! )
 
 
25 July 2017 @ 07:11 pm
Last week's F win was a tie between The Dragon and the George and Goblin Quest. I am waffling over which one to pick. Goblin Quest had discussion in the comments, but on the other hand, reading it would break my unbroken streak of not having read any of the many Hines novels I own.

K winner was the Callahan. I am going to keep Callahan's Crosstime Saloon but this may be the nudge I needed to just drop the rest.


Anyway, this week's FMK theme is SF by Anglophone Writers of Color. We will pretend the reason it was tough to get a set of ten together for this is that when I get one of these it doesn't linger as long on the to-read pile. (Actually, it was tougher than I expected because finding out race for a lot of SF writers - especially older and more obscure ones - is not simple. There does not seem to be an easily accessible and accurate masterlist of SF Writers of Color out there. And at some point, for some of then, I found myself thinking that if they aren't interested in making their ancestry part of their public bio, I need to not be looking this hard. I never did figure out if Philip Jose Farmer is actually in any way Hispanic.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Butler, Delany, Hamilton, Hurston, Martinez, Mosley, Reynolds, Takei, White, Wilson )
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25 July 2017 @ 07:25 pm
Poll post coming soon! But first, I have finished Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire!

It was fun! I enjoyed it! The characters were great! Much like the other McGuire I have read, I felt like the more I thought about it, the less there there was there! (I can't think of a single piece of internal evidence other than Verity's word that it took place in Manhattan instead of, like, Columbus, Ohio. The Price-vs.-Covenant thing really doesn't work with the logistics that are set up in the book. Verity's main character note is that ballroom dance is the most important thing to her, she tells us this at least every fifth page, and yet at no point does she ballroom dance, even as practice. Etc.)

And I did really like the variety of cryptids and the cryptid community, but the "cryptozoologist" thing still bothers me, in that a cryptozoologist is a very specific thing situated in a very specific time and culture - it is not something like "witch" that has enough meanings with enough history you can basically go with whatever - and I would really really love to read an urban fantasy about cryptozoologists - and Verity Price is really really not one. (I mean, you could make a cool backstory about how the Prices and allies adopted the terminology ironically in the 60s to further distinguish themselves from the Covenant - or that Sanderson got himself in WAY over his head with a Price girl at some point and came out very confused, which is a fanfic I would definitely read - but she does not seem to be doing that.)

But! It is a urban fantasy in which ALL OF THE SEX IS UNAMBIGUOUSLY AND EXPLICITLY CONSENSUAL, and I didn't even know that was a thing that existed, so I will forgive it A LOT for being that. (I would also enjoy the fanfic about how Price family sex education includes a unit about how part of their mission is to introduce the urban fantasy community to the idea of "affirmative consent" which it had previously lacked entirely.)

I have Down Among The Sticks and Bones on its way from the library, but I have learned it is NOT about the Skeleton Girl (with that title how is it not about the Skeleton Girl?) so I find I am not that excited about it coming.
 
 
 
25 July 2017 @ 05:25 pm
I feel completely out of step with most of my friends politically. UK politics, very gloomy )
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Current Music: Spin Doctors: Two princes
Current Mood: despairing
Current Location: Keele University, Staffordshire, England
 
 
 
25 July 2017 @ 09:53 am
How did your weekend reading go? If you planned on anything specifically, did you read it?
 
 
Title: Excalibur
Artist: [personal profile] goss
Rating: G
Fandom: Merlin (BBC)
Characters/Pairings: Arthur Pendragon (with Excalibur)
Content Notes: This one's a pencil sketch. My choice of object was inspired by this gif set on Tumblr. I had to make up certain parts of the sword for both perspective drawings, and found this YouTube vid really helpful as a starting point: How to draw a sword in perspective.

Preview:

(Click for larger image at my journal)
 
 
 
24 July 2017 @ 04:25 pm
 
 139 x Galavant



@ my DW
 
 
24 July 2017 @ 01:53 pm
Title: Free Fall
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Pansy/Ginny
Rating: G
Prompt: "ROPE" for [community profile] femslashficlets.
Word Count: 100
Summary: Pansy trusts Ginny to always catch her.

[READ HERE]