(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:15 pm
tielan: (HP - not strong)
[personal profile] tielan
I just want a few hours in which to let my brain percolate these ideas, when I don't have to be sleeping or at work. Is that too much to ask?

(Apparently yes, yes it is...)

I am thinking about singing "I Know Him" for the #Ham4All challenge, with a small twist. I'm just not sure that I can carry it off!

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2017 07:17 am
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Friends, I'm thinking of starting up a collection on AO3 where we can all write first kisses of our favorite fandom pairings (or threesomes, or more) in much the same vein as [community profile] mcsmooch back in the day. (How I wish journal comms were still a thing, because that would be so much easier!)

I plan to do some hunting around later today to figure this all out, but if anyone knows of a cheat sheet for how to essentially run a comm through AO3 I would be glad to see it!

More news as I get this going . . .

PEDTM: Day 26

Jul. 26th, 2017 08:34 pm
mirabile: (Saguaro Sunset)
[personal profile] mirabile
Hurray, the electrician came! And he worked really hard and charged less than his estimate! We like him, so so much more than the electrician our contractor had hired. We have already started another list of things for him to do -- in about a year or so. Tomorrow our contractor will be back and theoretically there's only a day or two at most for him to do and then we. Are. THROUGH.

I was up early to swim my laps and then mostly hung around with Webster while the electrician worked. I made peach cobbler and lentil-rice soup, did some laundry, read, and watched Master of Lies, about Bernie Madoff. That was such a creepy movie. I also listened to some early episodes of My Favorite Murder and it was interesting listening to Karen and Georgia figure out how to work the podcast.

Now I'm in bed and about to listen to the latest Magnus Archives episode. I need to write about that podcast. It is so beautifully written and performed, and I've grown to care so much about the characters, and am so curious and a little worried about what will happen next.

Webster discovered this beautifully written essay, The Geologic Origin of the Sonoran Desert. I'm about halfway through but will re-read it, I can tell. That's where we live now, by the way: in the Sonoran Desert. It's a hot, mean place, nothing like the loving green of home.

uplift

Jul. 27th, 2017 12:40 pm
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
Oh man, how I need Spotify AU's #ThrowbackThursday for some cheerful 80s pop...

I'm presently being rickrolled and I'm okay with that...

eta: Now it's to Mel and Kim's Respectable...

hours later: Love in the First Degree - LOL. I don't know how long since I heard this one!

Does anyone else always think of Practical Magic when they hear You Were Always On My Mind by the Pet Shop Boys?

And now it's Whitney with I Wanna Dance With Somebody. I love this song so much.

layers and layers

Jul. 26th, 2017 06:30 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
If you want to understand what is going on in DC, you have to think of it as a layer cake, one of those many-layer tortes, or maybe as layers of rock in geological strata, from sedimentary stuff at the bottom of a lake and igneous and metamorphic rock shoving up and transforming because of heat and pressure, with magma at the bottom of it all, or at the center, depending on the diagram you learned from.

What am I talking about? Stuff where Trump opens his mouth and sick toads fall out and sit on the sidewalk, blinking and vomiting. Ugly sick bloated toads, like the speech to the Boy Scouts and the outrageous dismissal of all transgender military personnel.

(My apologies to all truly healthy toads throughout the country, living their lives peaceably, eating flies and mosquitos and staying far from politics.)

I know these things are serious. I know. The president is trampling on people's value, on people's lives, in every direction, cynically and carelessly. But you cannot take them as the only thing that is happening. Horrible as they are, they are only the poisoned icing on the cake, the noxious smoke from the volcano, the peeling top layer of slate. They are *meant* to get you mad. They are *designed* to keep you upset.

Why? So you won't pay attention to what's going on behind the scenes, down there in the strata. Down there, the separation of church and state is being eroded. Women's right to have a say about how their own bodies are treated is being chipped away. The little tiny things we do not see that have huge effects, things that pile up, like permission to get past environmental checks before running oil and gas pipelines near drinking water. The elimination of much of the Congressional Budget Office staff because they vetoed Trumpnocare. I could go on and on. Often I do, and you see it here; sometimes I don't even put it here because it gets me that upset.

I am not saying not to be upset. It is upsetting. Transpeople should be able to serve in the military without comment. To say otherwise is a violation of equal rights under the law. Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts and other young people's groups) should not have to listen to insane political harangues, should not be put into that arena. National monuments, parks and seashores should stay untouched by developers, drillers, exploiters.

But yelling at Trump, writing to him, even if it feels good to you, won't make a difference. He does not give a flying fuck about any of us -- why would he care about how any subset of us is affected? He thinks health care costs $12 a month. He probably thinks someone who is transgender changes their clothes on a train, or in transit. There is no limit to his lack of understanding and his lack of caring about anything he doesn't understand.

Keep your eyes on the small stuff, the bits and pieces that aren't on page one. Look for what's on page six or the back of a section, with a smaller headline (or in places like The Hill or Politico or other politically based newsletters. Pick one or two areas that interest you, and follow what is going on with them.

And then write your Senators and Congresspeople about them -- on their own email system. (yes, here is that contact list again.) They cannot ignore mail from their own constituents for long. If the time is short, phone and ask to talk to a staff person, instead of leaving a message. Tell them what you think, what you want, briefly and to the point. Tell them you're outraged, when you are. Tell them what you think of what Trump is doing, and (if your rep or Senator is Republican) how can any thinking person possibly agree or support this, because (up to three good reasons). And then, "Thank you for hearing me as a constituent", and give them your name as it is on the voter rolls so they can look it up. Once a week. Pick one thing a week. The staffers should start recognizing your name, your voice.

And keep an eye on the vulnerable Republican seats, House and Senate, the ones that can be overturned in the next election. Support the people running in the primaries to oppose the heartless idiots in office.

Do not be taken in by the sparkly floor show with the mouthy MC. Keep your eyes on what's happening behind the curtain, up in the lighting gallery, over in the wings. That's where things are being done. Look for possible trades and swaps -- Reps and Senators voting for things they should not vote for -- and ask them why they are making such poor, harmful choices? Who benefits from these choices? Follow the money, but also follow the influence. Who's being bought and sold here?

I trust you, all of you. I don't know you that well, but I trust you to do the right thing insofar as you know what it is, and to ask good questions when it isn't obvious. Go find the molten lava under the rock and raise hell. Go and comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, because every one of us matters.

follow-ups

Jul. 26th, 2017 04:53 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
1. Re coffee ice cream: Kineticatrue was in western NY recently, just after I wrote about coffee ice cream, and she brought me back two half-gallon tubs of Perry's Ice Cream, the brand I grew up with. One of them is Coldbrew and Cream -- stripes of good coffee and vanilla -- and the other is something like Bittersweet Sinphony -- espresso ice cream with dark chocolate chips in it. That one is more or less the precursor of my favorite Ben & Jerry's, Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz. Yum! Thank you!

2. Sometimes not doing research for a long time because of the cost of travel, and health issues, pays off.

When I started looking for information on Ebenezer Allan, in particular some information on his correspondence with Gen. Haldemand in Quebec, I stumbled across the Michigan Historical Society's annual publications from the late 1800s -- which specialize in the history of the Great Lakes region. And they have published in four volumes Haldemand's correspondence since he was assigned to this region (he had previously been in Florida, I'm sure I don't know why) from 1776 to about 1790. And it's all scanned in online now.

I have the links so I can read it on computer, but that's kind of tedious when it's 1800 pages or so -- and I want to know more about the context. So I am downloading the volumes, one at a time, to my Kindle, reading and making bookmarks; when I'm done, I can go back to the online version (which does not have transcription errors) and copy/paste or type the relevant passages with the bibliographic data (which doesn't come through completely on the Kindle).

Where I'm reading, at the moment, Haldemand has arrived, and is telling the officers running various forts that they are spending way too much money and they have to cut back, and can't the soldiers live on venison and fish they catch from the lakes? I have already read a later letter back to him from Brigadier MacLean, who ran Fort Niagara, about the problems of running out of treaty-specified gifts to Indians of various tribes -- they are supposed to get trousers and he only has shirts, and has had to borrow some from the men, which is not right, and even get some from Fort Erie -- and as I read it I can see MacLean gritting his teeth and trying not to scream because he's writing his boss -- but it comes across at times as *massively bitchy* in the best understated British sense of it. One of the references I already have is a letter of MacLean's to a friend (filed under Scottish Immigrant Papers in the Archives of Ontario) where he lets his hair down and his ire out of the bag and says exactly what he thinks of what's going on when Haldemand did not send the troops to back up the ones retreating and how angry and disappointed everyone was: "The Indians say, "The king has a fool for a general." I cannot disagree."

This is going to be *fun*.

ETA: The other places this info is available is in Michigan and in Quebec, neither of them near enough for convenient research, certainly not for the time to read all 1800 pages. So this is truly a gift.
monanotlisa: Dutch pulls Johnny's ear to check for a tech implant (dutch & johnny - killjoys)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
[personal profile] mirabile, I received your Get Well Soon flowers -- thank you so much! They cheered me up a lot today on my last day of recuperating at home, and will continue to do so at night.



(Feel free to click the thumbnail.)

Also, y'all, I love this show, especially this season: Killjoys up to & including 3x04 ''The Lion, The Witch, and the Warlords'' )

PEDTM: Day 25

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:55 pm
mirabile: made just for me (Default)
[personal profile] mirabile
At last, a fairly quiet day! Had a nice early morning with Webster, then off to spend a few hours with Mother. We mostly sat and talked, though around noon I took her to the independent living part of her assisted living facility, to the cafe there. She had a chocolate milkshake and I had a bowl of (very good) tomato soup. Then we rolled around visiting places I hoped she would remember: the library she used to work in and the gift shop she used to keep the books for. She seemed to come in and out of the memories. Then we went to look at the door of her original apartment, where she lived for her first eleven years, and on a whim knocked on the door of her oldest friend, who was there. So we had a nice chat and plan to get together for lunch in a couple of weeks.

After we returned to her apartment and sat for a bit longer, I came home where I collapsed for a while. Never did practice my ukulele but I did play piano for about thirty minutes, and we worked in the yard despite the heat. When the sun went down enough we jumped in the pool to cool off.

Tomorrow the electrician is supposed to be here; fingers crossed.

Right now: sleep. I can barely keep my eyes open.

Dryden seems apropos

Jul. 26th, 2017 08:52 am
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
When churls rebel against their native prince,
I arm their hands, and furnish the pretence;
And housing in the lion's hateful sign,
Bought senates and deserting troops are mine.

~ John Dryden, 'Palamon and Arcite' ~

FedEx: A Dramatic Tale

Jul. 25th, 2017 06:38 pm
settiai: (Blue Beetle/Booster Gold -- dreadable)
[personal profile] settiai
As I've mentioned in the past, I tend to have trouble whenever I pay FedEx extra for an evening delivery (between 5-8pm). Unfortunately, if I order anything that needs a signature, that's my only option as I'm not home to sign for packages earlier than 5pm. So requesting evening delivery is the only way for me to actually get what I order, since they won't deliver after 5pm unless you pay extra.

Cut to the last week of June. I ordered two packages that were scheduled to be delivered on Thursday, and I paid for evening delivery. As has happened several times in the past, the packages never showed up as being on the truck to be delivered. So around 7pm or so I called customer service and started a paper trail, as well as started livetweeting the whole story on Twitter.

FedEx managed to get in touch with the local facility, who told them the package was out for delivery. The driver just hadn't scanned it when he left. ("Uh-huh," I told the poor customer service rep with more than a little skepticism.) This gets a bit long, but it's honestly a rather amusing story. In retrospect, at least. It wasn't so amusing at the time. )

... and that's why I will never again order from any company that only offers FedEx as a shipping option.

GRRRRRRRRRR

Jul. 25th, 2017 05:42 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Senate vote to proceed toward removing the Affordable Care Act: 51-50. That's 51 votes against health care in America.

This is not the final word on the matter-- keep yelling, talking, chanting and singing at them. Keep on standing up for the health of everyone in America.
monanotlisa: AtS's Fred, reading a book, in olive-green soft coloring (fred - ats)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Because my wife purchased it after watching the movie trailer, I too read the book, mostly in waiting rooms: A Wrinkle In Time )

I may pass on the follow-up books of the quartet (the ones I haven't read already), but I'm definitely looking forward to the movie, which looks visually stunning and well-cast.

Crossovering

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:17 pm
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
Trying to work out combinations and what I want from them is HARD, yo!

In fact, trying to write anything right now is difficult.

PEDTM: Day 24

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:39 pm
mirabile: (San Francisco)
[personal profile] mirabile
Another difficult day. In fact, I just told Webster: I have hit the wall. I need to curl up and just be for a while, you know? He knew.

Today we saw the neurologist our primary care physician recommended. She was a bit chillier than I would have liked, but she did seem to listen. The issues are several, according to her. Biggest is that neurology no longer recommends any narcotics for migraine pain. Which is, imo, stupid as shit, but hey. My doctorate is in literature so what do I know. Anyway, she has referred Webster to a pain management specialist (he used to be a surgeon according to his bio), whom she says will write the Rx for pain meds. She repeated several times that she does not believe he will refuse Webster the demerol, because he has used it successfully for almost twenty years now.

However -- and we have no issue with this -- her goal is to find a prophylactic that will prevent the migraines and therefore obviate any need for pain meds. Unfortunately the very first choice is something Webster tried years ago and hated (Topomax). She still wrote him a Rx for it because it's now time-released, but he has decided not to even try it. I'm a little hesitant about that decision, but it's his life and his health so I'll support him.

It turns out she is a big believer in Botox for migraines. Has anyone tried that? She says most insurance companies are hesitant to approve it because it's expensive, but she is going to start working on them. Webster is interested in trying it, so that's good. We have another appointment with her in about three weeks so he'll tell her about his decision then, and we should hear about our insurance company's decision at the same time.

Best of all she says something new is coming out in January that she is really excited about. I knew immediately what she was referring to: Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP). I've been reading about it for years. So even if the Botox doesn't work (and apparently it takes nine months before you know if it does) there's something new to try.

Theoretically the pain management people will call us in a day or two to set up an appointment. We are both very very nervous about that. We've had so many bad experiences with doctors over the years. Kaiser Permanente was a god-send and leaving it was the hardest thing about moving here. Why the shit Kaiser isn't everywhere I cannot understand, but it isn't so we're stuck for a while. The stories I could tell you about our pre-Kaiser doctor experiences would, I assure you, freak. You. Out. So I won't because I don't like remembering them.

The best thing about today was that it rained! Really rained, a nice steady rain. The air smells wonderful. No more rain in the forecast for a while, so I'm glad we were driving around in it.

In a few minutes I'm going to pour myself a small glass of pinot grigio and listen to the latest My Favorite Murder podcast. I don't feel ready for another Mother's day tomorrow so I need to get some rest.

Links! I have two today. First, via Jason Kottke, a ten hour (TEN HOUR!) Youtube of wonderful nature sounds -- I'm listening to the ocean. God, I miss the ocean. There are others, too; you can read about them here.

Also via Kottke, a series of very short stories concerning how you knew you'd found your person. I found some of them charming, some of them sad. And of course they made me think about my relationship with Webster, which is, I think, a good solid relationship but I'm not sure I believe in having a person in the sense the author meant. Do you?

Finally, not a link but thoughts I've been having a lot lately: how much I miss home. I love our house and I love being so close to Mother, but I miss the west coast. Achingly so. I miss the ocean. I miss how near Yosemite was. I miss our vacations in the eastern Sierra. I miss my friends. I miss the fog. I miss the wine country rituals. I miss Kaiser. I miss how Democrat it is! I miss it all so so much.

And while thinking that I realized that I also miss my mother. The woman I spend so much time with is of course my mother, but she's not the woman I grew up with, who owned two business and traveled the world and played golf and cards and had parties. She's gone forever.

Okay, now I've made myself cry. I think I better get that wine. You all have a good night, okay?

A fannish update...

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:15 pm
settiai: (Liara -- bleeding_muse)
[personal profile] settiai
Now that I've talked about real life a bit, I guess it's time for a bit of a fandom-related update. I'm not watching a lot of television lately, and the handful of shows that I am watching tend to be webseries rather than more traditional series. We'll see if that changes in the coming months?

I finally was able to start playing Mass Effect: Andromeda and have fallen back in love with the whole ME universe. I know a lot of people didn't like ME:A, but I really loved it. It's not my favorite game (that's still ME2), but I do think it might have moved to the #2 spot on my list. Could it have been better? Sure. But that doesn't mean I don't love it (and the characters) any less.

On a somewhat related note, I still love Dragon Age. I haven't been playing it as much lately, since ME has been taking up so much of my time, but I've gone back to working on fic. Which is a good thing, because DA is one of those rare fandoms that makes me want to write longfic. Even though I kind of suck at writing longfic and take forever to finish stories that are more than 5000 words.

I've also continued with my Critical Role obsession, to the surprise of nobody. The current storyline is slowly drawing to a close, and I'm expecting Vox Machina's tale to come to a close by the end of the year. Which makes me sad, since I love the characters. But on the other hand, a new story! With new characters! My chances of convincing people to start watching will greatly increase when they don't have 400+ hours to watch in order to get caught up.

Speaking of which, Dungeons & Dragons continues to eat a lot of my free time. I have two weekly games that I play in online via Roll20, one on Friday nights and one on Sunday nights. Then I have another Roll20 game on Saturday nights where I'm the DM. And then, because I have no sense of self-preservation, every other Sunday afternoon I walk over to the gaming store near my apartment to play in another campaign.

So, basically, every other week? I play four D&D games in a little over 48 hours. And even when I'm not cramming four games in, I'm still playing three. Which isn't much better.

Oops?

Um, let's see. What other fannish things should I talk about?

Geek and Sundry and Alpha are behind most of the webseries that I'm watching nowadays. There's Critical Role, of course, which I've already mentioned. Then there's Eric's TBD RPG, an awesome Doctor Who RPG that just recently came to an end and was replaced with Shield of Tomorrow, a Star Trek RPG. Oh, and Sagas of Sundry which is just... gods, it's hard to describe. It's creepy and amazing and I highly recommend it.

I'm not watching Vast yet (another one of their RPGs), but I've heard good things about it. It's definitely on my list, whenever I have free time again. (I also watch The Wednesday Club, but it's a bunch of geeks sitting around and talking about comics for two hours each week rather someone I'm particularly fannish about. It's a lot of fun if you like comics, though.)

Based on the recent Doctor Who casting news, I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be able to start watching regularly again. I managed to watch some of the episodes from this most recent series but not all of them. Still, the ones that I was able to watch reminded me just how much I miss this show. I really hope that, once Moffat is gone, it will feel more like Doctor Who to me again.

The upcoming fourth and final season of Star Wars: Rebels has me both excited and terrified. I want to see what happens, but at the same time... well, it's Star Wars. I know going in that there was a good chance a lot of the characters wouldn't actually live through the show. The question is this: who and how?

I really need to start thinking about Yuletide and what fandoms I want to nominate this year, since it's coming up fast. This might be the first time in years that I haven't even started thinking about it yet, though. That will deserve its own post in a few weeks, when I try to start brainstorming.

A long overdue RL update...

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:42 pm
settiai: (Cass -- shoemoney2night)
[personal profile] settiai
So, yes, I'm still alive. Life in general has been busy lately, and the little bit of spare time I've had has been taken up by D&D and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Oops?

Work has been ridiculous lately. It's not really something that I can talk about in detail, but there's definitely quite a bit of tension between the higher ups and, well, a large percentage of the employees who aren't being paid six figures annually. Let's just say that the amount of work expected of most employees has gone up while salaries haven't (except for the higher ups, who magically were able to get raises when people making significantly less than them weren't), and I'm very worried the directors are going to find out first-hand just how screwed they are if a large number of people all turn in their notice and walk.

Mainly because I'm not in a position where I can afford to do that, no matter how much I might want to sometimes. Which means I'll also be somewhat screwed if anyone turns in their notice.

Add in the aforementioned extra work and the fact that several people have been out for health-related reasons, meaning our workload is even heavier, and... well, needless to say, it's not been fun.

Let's see... I should probably talk about the cats, huh?

Garrus and Percy are getting along surprisingly well. The first few weeks were a bit rocky, but once they got used to each other (and realized just how similar they are), things became a lot smoother. They're at the point where they're regularly grooming each other and sleeping just a few inches apart, which is a lot better than I was hoping for after less than two months.

I still miss Tali a lot, obviously, but the fact that Garrus and Percy are getting along so well is definitely helping. Percy is a doll, and I'm already at the point where I can't imagine him not being here. I just, you know, sometimes wish that I could have had all three of them, even though the realistic side of my brain knows that I never would have met him if I hadn't lost her.

VividCon is next week, which... I have complicated feelings about. Brain weasels! Aren't they fun? )

Anyway, I'm hoping that my brain weasels will go away once I'm actually in Chicago. At the moment, though, I'm not nearly as excited about the con being next week as I usually am by this point. Which makes me sad. Hopefully that will change somewhat over the next week-and-a-half?

... oh, I just realized that I never posted about my week of hell with FedEx here on Dreamwidth. I should rectify that. I want to make a separate fandom-related post first, and then I'll post the whole terrifying tale.

2182 / Orphan Black, 5.07

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:51 am
siria: (Default)
[personal profile] siria
The Thor: Ragnarok trailer looks just delightful:



Who knew I'd end up anticipating the third Thor movie over the next Avengers one? But Infinity Wars looks like it will be over-stuffed and unsatisfying on a character level, whereas this looks like quirky fun.

Orphan Black, 5.07, Gag or Throttle )
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