Back-to-the-office mishmash post

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:01 am
umadoshi: (read fast (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I rewrote SO MUCH MANGA this weekend (counting yesterday as part of "the weekend"). Other than a) the amount of time I spent waiting for my GP appointment yesterday morning and b) going out for ramen and having some social time afterwards on Sunday evening, I feel like rewriting is all I did over the past three days.

I also think that can't be as true as it feels, because I also finally finished reading K.B. Spangler's Stoneskin (which was wonderful, and I'm really excited for the [as-yet-unwritten, AFAIK] trilogy it's a prequel to), and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I finally saw the first two episodes of Star Trek: Disco last night.

OTOH, I read most of what I had left of Stoneskin yesterday morning while doing the aforementioned waiting for an appointment, most of which was my own fault. Last month's appointment used up the last of the injectable B12, so I got a new prescription from Dr. Awesome and dropped it off at the pharmacy to be put on file, but then I forgot about it until I was on my way out the door to yesterday's appointment. Fortunately the pharmacy is right next door to Dr. Awesome's office, and I called in to get the new B12 as I started walking, and they got it ready as fast as they could, but it still meant I was late to my appointment (although at least I was able to pop in and say "I'm here! Sort of...").

--I've got a small heap of ST:D reaction posts from all of you tucked away in Memories and was finally able to start sifting through the early ones late last night. I doubt I'm going to do much (if any) commenting on weeks-old posts, but reading them is fun. ^_^


--I'm blanking on another detail about Yuletide logistics. I feel like in previous year's there's been a page (on AO3?) showing all the names of who requested what fandoms (but I think not connected at all to people's optional Dear Yulegoat letters?). Is that right? Am I simply missing it?


--My third year of "only read books (novels, anyway) from my bookcase of purchased TBR or things I've purchased in ebook" is almost up, and the status of the physical bookcase is...dire. I'm not literally out of room to put any more books on it (especially since the bottom shelf has binders of CDs and stuff on it, so the TBR only ["only"] takes up four shelves), but it's not good.

Between that and my wallet, I truly need to buy fewer books. (And relearn the habit of making purchase suggestions for novels with the library, not just anthologies and graphic novels, without getting back into putting tons of things on hold there. No going back to the days of juggling a 300 or 400-item holds list, self. *stern*) Emphasis on the "and my wallet" part, which means not simply switching to buying a higher percentage of things in ebook. (Even if ebooks are usually enough cheaper that doing that also technically means spending less money.)

As is usually the way, I feel like there were other things I meant to mention, but I now have about an hour before I have to throw on proper clothes and head off to Casual Job, and I need to use that hour to proofread some prose. Yes.
umadoshi: text: "Aw Rachel, don't be scared of ghosts! They're only dead people." + "I know people. That's not helping." (AGAHF - ghosts)
[personal profile] umadoshi
[dreamwidth.org profile] mini_wrimo is open for signups until October 30!


Fannish/Geeky Things/SFF

"Hero-Princess-General Carrie Fisher Once Delivered a Cow Tongue to a Predatory Hollywood Exec". [The Mary Sue]

"Carrie Fisher Insisted That Leia’s Last Jedi Arc Honor All The “Girls Who Grew up Watching Star Wars”". [The Mary Sue]

"Who are Tessa Thompson’s LADY LIBERATORS?" "The Marvel Cinematic Universe has realigned how Hollywood thinks of blockbusters, franchises, and comic book movies. Though the films have been groundbreaking at the box office, it’s been nine years since Marvel Studios began the MCU and they’re still two years away from having a solo female led movie on our screens.

But if Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson has anything to do with it, that’s not going to stand. During a recent press conference for Taika Waititi’s much anticipated Thor film, Thompson regaled us with a rad story about confronting Kevin Feige with the possibility of an all-female Marvel movie."


A discussion on N.K. Jemisin's Facebook about the "magic system" (scare quotes hers) in the Broken Earth books. Spoilers!

Abigail Nussbaum on N.K. Jemisin's The Stone Sky.


Cute Stuff

"If You Ever Feel Sad, These 10+ Highland Cattle Calves Will Make You Smile".

September LaPerm pics from [dreamwidth.org profile] naye. These posts are always great, but I think this one is even better than usual.


Miscellaneous

"We Don't Do That Here". "I have a handful of “magic” phrases that have made my professional career easier. Things like “you are not your code” and my preferred way to say no: “that doesn’t work for me.” These are tools in my interpersonal skills toolbox. I find myself uttering phrases like, “right or effective, choose one” at least once a week. This week I realized I had another magic phrase, “we don’t do that here.”"

Brian Fies' "A Fire Story" is a short comic about him and his wife being burned out of their home in the wildfires.

"Art Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities". (I haven't read the book, but the art is really neat.)

"Photographer Gets Bitten By A Deadly Black Mamba, Still Manages To Finish The Photoshoot". (Many beautiful snake photos!)

"Native-Land.ca: Our home on native land". Searchable map of North America's First Nations territories and pre-colonial histories. "There are over 630 different First Nations in Canada (and many more in the USA) and I am not sure of the right process to map territories, languages, and treaties respectfully - and I'm not even sure if it is possible to do respectfully. I am not at all sure about the right way to go about this project, so I would very much appreciate your input."

"Creating Gender Liberatory Singing Spaces: A Transgender Voice Teacher’s Recommendations for Working with Transgender Singers".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "Pumpkin Spice and Needles: Bookish Autumn Cross Stitch Patterns".

"Video game developers confess their hidden tricks at last".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] alisanne, "Why Do We Cook So Many Foods at 350 Degrees?" [Mental Floss]

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 09:43 am
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
[personal profile] cimorene
Last week my coworker and I were in charge of preparing Halloween stuff for the upcoming display at the store, and Friday we were dressing the mannequins. Our boss's idea for the adult femme mannequin was to dump fake blood Carrie-style over this hideous 90s polyester Death Becomes Her-looking wedding gown, but on the day when we went hunting through the copious amount of Stuff to be found at our store, we didn't have any fake blood or paint.

I would definitely advise anybody to NEVER mix nail polish into hair dye. If you thought the fumes from hair dye couldn't smell worse, you were apparently wrong.

Obviously, I could tell it was a terrible idea when it was suggested, but in the absence of other colorants I was willing to experiment. Next time I will make sure any experimentation takes place outside for sure though. (And I would veto the nail polish outright, even if it means the remaining color is too orange.)

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:02 pm
archersangel: (blah)
[personal profile] archersangel posting in [community profile] books

This is one of those books that I went back-and-forth on even put to the list of books to rent from booklender.com, much less actually putting it in my "impending" books list at the site. I kind of regret it.

It feels like it's two different books. One is about a former teen pop star that got dropped from her label after wanting to sing her own, more serous, songs instead of the "bubblegum pop" stuff they wanted. Then her mom ran off to Argentina with her manager and all of her money. Followed by her finding her fiancee (in a boy band at the same label) cheating with the latest (20-something) pop sensation. Because she has no money she has to move in with her ex's brother (who's the black sheep of the family) & take a job as an assistant director at a college dorm.

The other is a murder mystery of the "cozy" kind. I prefer cozy mysteries (where they don't go into gory detail & are light on sex & violence) but this one was kind of "fluffy" except for a knock-down-drag-out fight at the end.
Also at times if felt like it was trying to be a third book about how being a size 12 is not fat & is the size of the average American woman, you know. And if you don't know, you should.

Over all I had a hard time getting though it & would've quit it, but I wanted to see who did it & why. Seriously doubt I will be reading the others in the series.

FIC: A Sunset Romance

Oct. 15th, 2017 12:20 pm
gramarye1971: Old Ways (TDIR: Old Ways)
[personal profile] gramarye1971
Took me much longer than I expected to whip this fic into a final shape, but it feels good to post it now. So have a story wherein even my fake dating reads like gen-fic, and I can't stop myself from finishing with an A. E. Housman quote because I am predictable like that.


Title: A Sunset Romance
Fandom: The Dark Is Rising Sequence
Rating: G
Relationship: Merriman Lyon & Miss Greythorne (or perhaps Merriman Lyon/Miss Greythorne)
Summary: At the end of the summer season in Trewissick, the Professor has returned to stay at the Grey House. This time, however, he has brought a lady with him...and from the look of things, their relationship goes beyond anything that might be interpreted as mere friendship.
Notes: An expanded version of a trope prompt ficlet, courtesy of the ever-delightful [personal profile] rymenhild, who requested fake dating, Merriman Lyon. Once I stopped giggling at the prompt, I started to see how it might actually work! So continuing my original response, here is a few thousand words of Merriman and Miss Greythorne fake dating, set in the autumn between the events of Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark Is Rising. (Also on AO3.)

A Sunset Romance )

A small mishmash update

Oct. 15th, 2017 12:47 am
umadoshi: (ocean 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
I took a stab at catching up on replying to comments, but I suspect I'm not gonna get completely caught up. *stares grimly at browser* I did at least manage to get back under 100 open tabs. That's something, I guess.
Oh-so-mercifully, I don't have Casual Job work on Monday, which means I'm merely very stressed about my freelance deadlines for the coming week, where before yesterday (when we found out about Monday) I was closer to "I'm only managing to not panic because I know it won't help".

Our odds of getting bulbs in or getting any other garden work done this weekend (basically everything else falls under "fall cleanup", I guess?) still seem low, though. Dear ground: please, please do not freeze solid this month.

I keep finding myself trying to think of how long it's been since I wrote any words at all. It may be just as well I haven't figured it out yet. Even trying to piece it together is disheartening.

In "Kas is tremendously awesome" news, a week or so ago Ginny brought a piece of a recent Kas-made lemon loaf to the office for me, and it was wonderful, and in my happiness I mentioned that it'd been a while since I'd had his lemon loaf and so it was delightful to have a piece. (He used to make it quite a bit, but has been tending to bake other [also excellent!] things for the last while.) Ginny relayed that to him, and next thing I knew, Kas had made me a lemon loaf. *melts*

(no subject)

Oct. 14th, 2017 02:40 pm
skygiants: Mosca Mye, from the cover of Fly Trap (the fly in the butter)
[personal profile] skygiants
I was resigned to waiting until October 17th for A Skinful of Shadows to come out in the US. However, [personal profile] izilen, horrified at both the long wait after the UK publication and the clear inferiority of the US cover, acquired a copy on my behalf and mailed it over the ocean -- after first warning me it was the darkest Frances Hardinge book yet.

Having now read it, I don't know that it's actually that much creepier than the first third of Cuckoo Song, or the bits of Lie Tree where Faith in her deepest self-loathing slithers snakelike through the island purposefully destroying everything she touches. It definitely has a higher body count -- a much higher body count -- but I mean it's a book about a.) ghosts and b.) the English Civil War so maybe that's to be expected ...?

Like many of Hardinge's books, it features:
- a ferocious underestimated girl struggling to hold onto a sense of self in a world that wishes her to have no such thing
- a recognition that the people you love and who believe that they love you will sometimes betray you, sometimes for reasons they believe are good and sometimes not
- a ruthless and terrible female antagonist whom the heroine cannot help but respect and admire
- a struggling journey up out of solitude towards a coalition built of necessity with the least likely individuals
- including an undead bear
- admittedly this is the first Hardinge book to include an undead bear
- it is also the first Hardinge book about literal ghosts, a lot of ghosts, a lot of very unpleasant and sinister ghosts but also some ghosts for whom I have a very deep affection, including the very bearlike bear.

I also have a great deal of affection for Makepeace - the illegitimate scion of a very old noble family that is quite confident it will be able to chew her up and spit her out, and finds itself repeatedly mistaken. I don't think I love her yet quite as much as Trista or Faith or Mosca, but that's what I said about Faith right after I read The Lie Tree, too, and LOOK AT ME NOW.
umadoshi: (Pacific Rim - kaiju blue (tinny))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

Old but still fun: Sarah Rees Brennan's Pacific Rim recap.

"Avatar: The Last Airbender comic gets new creators, new designs: EW has an exclusive look at Faith Erin Hicks and Peter Wartman’s take on the fantasy world".

"#LeiaIsWithUs – Let’s Honor Carrie Fisher Opening Night of Star Wars: The Last Jedi".

"10 Years Later, Bryan Fuller Would Drop Everything to Make More Pushing Daisies".

"'Pushing Daisies' Writers Reunite to Talk TV's Darker Turn, Increasingly Lax Standards".


Miscellaneous

The replies to this tweet about people's random mishaps are amazing and hilarious.

A Twitter Moment: "Fómhar: Irish words about autumn and all things autumnal".

"Giant Straw Animals Invade Japanese Fields After Rice Harvest And They Are Absolutely Badass".

"We just found nineteen new species of gecko in one tiny area".

"10 Underseen Indies From the Past Year on Netflix".

"You deserve better than emotional abuse: We hear this in the abstract, but we don’t always know how abuse looks".

"I’m Done Debating Racism With the Devil: White people playing devil’s advocate in conversations about race are completely counterproductive to actual progress".

"The Rock Test: A Hack for Men Who Don’t Want To Be Accused of Sexual Harassment".


On Atlas Obscura:

--"Canada’s ‘Great Trail’ Is Finally Connected".

--"The Women Who Rode Miles on Horseback to Deliver Library Books".

--"The Banned 1910s Magazine That Started a Feminist Movement in Japan".

--"The Gruesome History of Making Human Skeletons".

--"Get to Know Your Japanese Bathroom Ghosts".

The Water Dragon's Bride, Vol. 3

Oct. 12th, 2017 12:12 am
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] books
The Water Dragon's Bride, Vol. 3 by Rei Tōma

Spoilers ahead for the earlier ones. . . .

Read more... )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
[personal profile] cimorene
There are a lot of immigrants at the Red Cross where I work, and for the most part, the Finnish people around us are not racist. (If you are, coming to work for the Red Cross at all strikes me as counterintuitive, especially in our store, which is obviously and explicitly fairly international. But evidently applying and sitting through the introductory presentations and signing the contract endorsing the Red Cross’s mission and principles is outweighed for some people by the benefit of working there. Maybe said presentations were sufficiently multisyllabic to avoid jostling them into cognitive dissonance in the majority of cases.)

A few weeks ago, I was shocked and dismayed when two coworkers started up some racist anti-refugee ranting loudly and clearly in the breakroom (not even anti-immigrant, anti-refugee: as well as angry and shocked you have to fight through the jaw-dropping irony! It’s like, "THIS IS THE LITERAL RED CROSS!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?") (Choosing the breakroom put them in potential hearing of any one of our refugee employees - I think we have three right now, out of twenty-something staff). I jumped in and started contradicting their statements, after eventually reassembling the ability to make complete sentences (which is hard enough in English when I’m angry). There was some awkwardness on their part, and then they changed the subject, awkwardly.

Since then they both have acted pretty much normal, and for weeks I found myself, to my horror and confusion, responding automatically to them as to other coworkers, then walking away thinking, “Stop smiling at racists!” I don't WANT to smile at racists! But I was raised in Alabama, and my customer service persona comes with an automatic smile. Even weeks of self-castigation didn’t manage to get me to the point of the ritual “Good morning”s and “Thank you”s without a smile. I think I managed to successfully switch to the expressionless nod (and mumbled answer to verbal greeting) just a couple of days ago.

But now there's another problem! I have learned third-hand that our new cleaner has been racistly rude to a gentle, kind, warm, polite, helpful, generally ray-of-sunshine immigrant coworker. I haven't witnessed this personally, though, and she's only been perfectly pleasant to me, so I can't help feeling that while it might be morally correct to shun her to the extent permitted by professional interaction, the cause wouldn't be understood. I suppose it doesn't necessarily have to be, though; a mean racist is also basically undeserving of the spoons we spend on social performance, as well as of social civility from other people in general, even if shunning cannot fulfill its social function of enacting the norms of social acceptability.

I still wish I could get the racist yellers in trouble, but I couldn't quite see making a complaint to the boss about it. And I forgot to bring the subject up on Monday when I saw my psychologist.

Seeds of Blood

Oct. 10th, 2017 07:53 am
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] books
Seeds of Blood by C. Chancy

Sequel to A Net of Dawn and Bones. Spoilers ahead for that.
Read more... )

Stolen Magic

Oct. 9th, 2017 11:39 pm
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] books
Stolen Magic by Marina Finlayson

An alternate world urban fantasy.

Read more... )
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