yuuago: (Spiritual - Marzanna - Close)
[personal profile] yuuago
☆ Driving once again leaves me frustrated. I have difficulty lining up the vehicle when parking, and of course my father is no help. "You just have to line it up along the imaginary centre line and -" Dude, if you didn't notice, I have difficulty with spatial processing... grumble, grumble. Yes, it does indeed look like another professional lesson is in order - with the last one, we didn't have much time to practice parking at all. Something to focus on for the next....

☆ Pleasant surprise today: RAINBOW CROSSWALK. Saw it from the bus while I was heading to work. Looks like Pride YMM's request was granted. I'm so glad. It's just so nice to see. ...Part of me is like "Just wait, it'll be vandalized before the end of the week" but - hopefully that won't actually happen, and when I go downtown on Saturday morning I'll be able to get some pictures of it. <3

☆ Year in Hereafter: Fuck yeah, the print version is finally available! *_* Via gumroad. I'm very happy about this. <3 It'll be SO nice to read it through in print... Paper format is just so much more to my taste. (And shipping isn't as much as I thought it would be, which was nice.) I had been thinking about paying for a second set to do a raffle, similar to what I did with the SSSS book, but I don't know if that will be possible at this time for various reasons. ...Anyway. Comic-wise, we're moving toward the pages I have seen previews of. 8) I am extremely excited. 8) EXTREMELY.

Trivial personal former relationship venting )
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
"All the Colors You Thought Were Kings" by Arkady Martine [Shimmer]. Heart-stoppingly gorgeous space opera, stars as sharp as knives. I wish I wrote half so well.

This was exactly what I needed to read tonight.

Tomorrow there’ll be ceremonies and presentations, and then your nanite horde will be calibrated for shipside on live broadcast for the entire Fleet to see – another cohort of kids full up with starshine micromechanics, bound to service and obedience, gone off into the stars. You’ve been dreaming about it since you could read. You want it so much you’ve spent the last three months feeling like your chest is going to burn out from longing.

The night after tomorrow, though. You can’t let yourself dream about that.

Under the drape of your overjacket, snugged up to your spine like you’re its best lovecrush, are the disassembled pieces of a sniper rifle. Nestled right at the small of your back is the lead-shielded explosive heart of an electromagnetic pulse bomb.
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Jul. 25th, 2017 06:38 pm

FedEx: A Dramatic Tale

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.
Jul. 25th, 2017 05:36 pm

Back from Germany

feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
[personal profile] feuervogel
Uh, hi, I guess I didn't update my journal very often. I kept a paper one, though! Because I needed to keep track of stuff so I can turn in a paper for the people who gave me a grant.

Hamburg was nice; I met with a professor whose research interests me, and he gave me some advice on things to look at (including some translation theory, even) and wanted to hear more about my research in the future, because it's an interesting topic. (So I know one place I'm going to send my exposé once it exists, even if the prospect of living in Hamburg doesn't fill me with glee.)

Dresden was AMAZING. I really liked it there, and the Altstadt was beautiful, even if half of everything was under construction. I took day trips to Leipzig, Bautzen, and Pirna, and Ben and I went to Saxon Switzerland, which is a place I could definitely go back and spend a week in a cute vacation rental or hotel and go hiking and work on a novel. But there isn't a university for me there, because the TU doesn't have anything that matches my research interests.

Berlin was, as usual, great. I got to see [personal profile] kriski and [personal profile] dirtyzucchini and kriski gave me a copy of her poetry collection, which I am excited to read. I flipped through and the one about the woman at the knitting group punched me in the stomach. Good job! I can't wait to share these with my classmates.

I also got to see some parts of Berlin I'd never made it to before, because I didn't have to go to the obligatory tourist sites. I didn't even set foot on the Museum Island!

I have all my photos up on GPhotos; let me know if you want the link (or if you have a GPhotos/gmail you want me to share it with). They are sorted by city but otherwise unlabeled. That's a huge project...

I learned that you don't have to live in the same city you are doing a PhD in, if you are doing a solo promotion and don't have to meet f2f with your advisor very often, which means that theoretically I could live in Berlin while promovieren in Hamburg and go there every other week or whatever. And that your student ID is valid at all the libraries in all the universities :O

I just don't know which city Ben would have better luck finding a job in. Both have a lot of tech/software stuff, but they're both also full of young jobseekers who are more the type (ie cheap labor) startups want. So idk. But any decision is at least 2 years off, because I won't finish here until May 2019 (that's the target) and I doubt I'll finish my thesis and immediately want to write the exposé for winter admission (October). Summer admission (March/April) might be better, even though I'll probably have to turn it in around October anyway.

... yeah, I kind of fell into a really cool dissertation idea, so...

I'm going back to Georgia on the 2nd, so I have another week here. I'll start packing up at the end of this week or the weekend. Mostly I just have to put my clothes into suitcases and streamline a lot of loose crap floating around.

Oh, and I'm going to a roller derby boot camp, so I might join a roller derby team. (My academic schedule may prevent me from participating much this semester, but we shall see.)
Jul. 25th, 2017 10:28 pm

Day Off

lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
I ended up in town anyway because it was nice to have a walk and because I got to have coffee with [personal profile] keziath that way :)

Pokémon have been caught, comics have been read, pottering about has been achieved. And Kheldar was generous enough to reduce me to fits of giggles while he was basking on the balcony. His paws twitched. His tail twitched. His tail was expertly bought under control so that the important business of sleeping in the sun could continue. After a few minutes he raised his head, rested it on the side of his water bowl and fell asleep again.

Sploosh!

And now I know why my cat occasionally turns up with a damp head when the rest of him is dry. We have the best Kheldar. The best.
Jul. 25th, 2017 10:24 am

(no subject)

kittydesade: (courtesan in training)
[personal profile] kittydesade
Well there might have been a more thoughtful entry here but then the GOP basically rammed their ridiculous bills another notch through and now all I can do is scream.

(This is kind of a lie but at the time I'm doing this entry so I don't forget to do it entirely that's about 75% true.)

Better things. I picked up my copy of Buried Heart which I'm looking forward to, the third in the Court of Fives trilogy by Kate Elliott and my reward for getting my writing done today. I've got about an hour left of work so if I want to get it done before I get home/the allocated writing hour so I can have the writing hour to read in I'd better hustle my butt. But I'm looking forward to it, and that's nice.

I got my writing for yesterday done, mostly got things back on track to the synopsis, not that they'd wandered very far off to begin with. But I got back on track and got writing, wrote the requisite amount of words to get done on time which although higher than it was before my head exploded over things, is still manageable. And hopefully it will continue to be manageable until it's done, or at least until Camp Nano is done by which point I should have written enough in Starlight to let sheer momentum and goddamn you will you be over already finish it off.

I started a Patreon! Um. Go me? I don't know, I hit 'launch' and then all hell broke loose in Congress and on Twitter so I haven't really promoted it yet. I tweeted about it but I doubt anyone was listening. Now I just have to remember to, okay, no, I don't have to remember. Now I just have to feel able to and entitled to tweet about it more often. Heh.

Iiiiii what do I need to do. I need to finish my summaries of my various verses and probably make that my first Patreon post, a link to that PDF, and then ... something. Start dithering. And picking out things for people to vote on for my next month's shorter project.

I did make an appointment with the lawyer! So now that can get finished up and done, and I can start working on cover art or whatever for Malachy. Not that anything was stopping me before so I don't know why I phrased it like that, but that's how it felt. And after that and Starlight are done come Nerd Girls and Long Road, which ahahaha that'll be interesting. I already have ideas for how to fix Long Road sort of, maybe this time it'll stay fixed. Nerd Girls... I have no idea. That'll be a re-read on top of all the other re-reads I have. What fun.

Basically at this point I'm down to hiding in the fiction I write and, slightly less, fiction to consume so I don't have to deal with politics right now. But at least as a coping mechanism it's working.
havocthecat: belly dancers with zils in a circle (hobbies belly dance)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Sometimes you look at a belly dance clothing vendor, admiring the beautiful clothing and considering a purchase because you need a new pair of pants (well, "need" is such a strong word, but "budgeting for a vanity purchase" is longer), but you notice some things:

You say to yourself, "Huh. All those models are really, really, REALLY thin."

REALLY thin.

You notice there are a couple of pictures of slender non-model dancers, and that's pretty cool, and a troupe of slender-to-average non-model dancers, and that's also cool.

Then you keep scrolling down and see that picture of the one non-model dancer wearing their clothes who might be considered larger-than-average has been cut off at the chest. You pause. You click. You see she's got a belly.

She's not fat. She's not plus-sized. Just larger-than-average. With a beautiful stomach, but one that's a little bit bigger than any of the other pictures that are actually visible on the site.

There aren't any plus-sized belly dancers on this site either. AT ALL. Which is weird. Because there are plenty of plus-sized belly dancers who are happy to buy dance wear. Especially custom-made dance wear.

That's when you realize that this clothing vendor doesn't want lardasses like you sullying their goods with your impure body.

So you close the tab and remember the name of the vendor, because you won't sully their bank account with your fat-stained money either.

(Edit: I don't have to add an "ALL body types are beautiful" disclaimer, do I? Or mention that the issue isn't that there are thin models, but that the one person on the largest size of the bell curve was CUT OFF below her chest in the picture. Let's face it, belly dance is a hobby where most of your customers aren't going to be model-thin.)
Jul. 26th, 2017 02:18 am

Domestic day

tyger: Shanks grinning at Mihawk with a drunken blush.  Mihawk is not amused. (ShanksMihawk - drinking)
[personal profile] tyger
Today I:

- did a load of washing, including bringing it in, folding, and putting away (except the couple of things that didn't dry in time, so they're on the clotheshorse overnight)
- went for a walk with Mama
- while on said walk, went to the shops and picked up snacks for uni
- got a bunch of shit organised in my room
- found and put together a new knitting project for classes next week
- activated my new debit card, because somehow it's been four years since I last got one and it's replacement card time, whaaaat

So yeah. Pretty productive! Am pleased!
Jul. 25th, 2017 12:00 pm

40-anime meme: Day 13

taichara: (Desert's Jewelbox -- goober)
[personal profile] taichara
13 -- what is your favorite comedy anime?

On a certain level, I would have a much easier time with this if we were talking about manga, not anime.

But on the given level, Bakuretsu Hunters is a thing that exists and it will never not be my platonic ideal of hilarity wrapped up in a very pointed package. And with one hell of a punch at the end for all that. It veers away from the original manga somewhat plot-wise and in some cases very much so characters-wise but it is very much its own thing and I love it. I love it to pieces.


There's also not a single goddamn element in it that wouldn't have modern fandom shrieking for the hills and I think I love it even more because of that fact.

Not the characters.

Not the character designs.

Not the background, nor the setting, nor the special powers (ahahahahahahhahahahaa no), nor the plot. Not a single goddamn thing and I love it so <3
Jul. 25th, 2017 08:51 am

The Machineries of Tarot

yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
For your amusement, hexarchate Tarot readings (coding and spreads by [personal profile] telophase, card meanings by me):
No art right now, just meanings. The 78-card jeng-zai deck corresponds to the traditional Tarot but is specifically a hexarchate Tarot circa Kel Cheris' era. As such, upright sixes are all positive while upright sevens are negative, and the fours are lucky/unlucky.

This site is for entertainment purposes only: neither guarantees nor apologies are given for the accuracy or inaccuracy of any reading you may receive, and no responsibility is taken for any calendrical rot that may ensue. Hopefully you do not live in the hexarchate.
Jul. 25th, 2017 10:50 pm

Culture Consumed Tuesday

vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
Books

Read Ann Leckie's Provenance (in ARC. It's coming out on the 26th of September.) Spider mech, spider mech, does whatever a spider mech does. (Disconcert people, mainly.) This is in the same universe as the Radch trilogy, but in a different region and with different characters, voice, and tone. I have some friends who couldn't get into Ancillary Justice, wanted to like it but found it too hard going, and I would be curious if this one worked better as an entry point for them.

Leckie's repeatedly cited Cherryh as an influence, and if you think of the universe the Ancillary books are set in as like Cherryh's Alliance/Union universe, a big canvas covering a lot of territory in time as well as space, then this book in relation to its universe is a bit like a railway junction. It opens some new routes, introduces some new important players, but the most important universe-scale historical events (as opposed to system-scale or planet-scale or individuals) are offstage.

To say more about voice and tone: the Radch books are in first person, and that person is Breq, who is... Breq. Over two thousand years old, and even if you consider the destruction of Justice of Toren as a kind of rebirth, by the point we meet her she's a hypercompetent badass who's been surviving on her own in her single body for nineteen years. Also she's not a human, so there's that.

Ingray isn't Breq. She's very much human (and has an entirely reasonable terror of AIs,) a lot younger (I don't think her exact age is stated, but early twenties would be my guess,) and infinitely less sure of herself. She's also spent her entire life to date having her head messed with by her shitty family. My first two impressions, right from the first three chapters of this book, were: one, you can really tell the author was spending a lot of time in airports when she wrote this; and two, Ingray has the sort of family life where the closer your geographic proximity to your relatives, the more difficulty you have with being a decent person. The rest of this book bore this out (I mean the family, although there were definitely more airport-equivalent scenes too.)

If you're one of the people who disliked Breq because she was "too perfect" (I disagree with you about her being perfect, but) you might find Ingray and her smaller scale problems (compared to entire empires and species) more relatable.

If the Radch trilogy is about personhood and the fight to be recognised as a person when you don't fit a society's definition of who counts as a person, then Provenance about growing into oneself not as a person (that was never in question for Ingray) but as an adult (a coming of age that, by contrast, Breq never had the luxury of needing.) And if the Radch trilogy is about resisting societal/systemic forces, Provenance is about resisting social, personal pressures (family and peers.)

Finished Aliette de Bodard's The House of Binding Thorns. And after this and Provenance I'd like a short break from books about difficult family situations, please! I liked this better than The House of Shattered Wings, but the tone was still bleaker than I usually go for. Characters I particularly liked: Madeleine, back from the previous book; Thuan the dragon prince, and Berith and Francoise the Fallen/human couple trying to manage outside the Houses. Grandmother Olympe, the elder of the community where Berith and Francoise live, was also pretty great. And I warmed more to Asmodeus than I did in the first book.

Unfortunately, I think I'm the wrong audience for this. The things The House of Shattered Wings and The House of Binding Thorns do well (decayed elegance, gothicism, Paris, fallen angels), they do really well, but they're not things I particularly love (I don't dislike them, they're just not my catnip.) So, like, I can't actually rave about these books, but I do want to wave them really hard at people who do love those things.

Comics

Some zines I ordered from Rooster Tails's Etsy store showed up, and he kind of threw in a bunch of queer fanart glossy note cards (maybe to make up for a delay, idk, I'm not complaining!) and they're so beautiful and I didn't know I needed a picture of Daria holding Jane's hand and saying "I hate you the least," or adorably cartoony Finn smooching Poe, or cartoony Gabrielle climbing Xena like a tree, but I definitely did need those things. Now I'm trying to decide whether to keep or send to people.

The zines are #my gender is..., three tiny A6 cardbound volumes made in response to answers people gave the author when he asked people to fill in the blank.

Mainlined 17776, which is web based multimedia rather than comics, but I'm putting it in this category because what everyone's comparing it to is Homestuck. It's about satellites watching football in an unimaginably future, but also post-scarcity/post-singularity anxiety and Millennialism (as in epochs, as well as as in snake people) and play as the ultimate point of human existance, and it's funny and elegiac and cool and reminds me of David Foster Wallace in some ways.

That said, it is worth talking about who's at the centre of this narrative. No, not robots. No, not humans. Americans. White, suburban, minivan-driving, 80s-and-90s-born Americans. So conflated with the essential nature of humanity that they don't even notice they're doing it. Even the probes are two American probes and one European (but not Russian) one. I mean, Mangalyan does exist, you know? And so does Chang'e 2 and Kirari. And Libertad I and Fajr and... I mean, not all of those are still in space, or left Earth's orbit, but they could. Not to mention that it's science fiction and at the present date JUICE is still in development, why not a future Ghanaian or Iranian satellite mission? Which is not even my point, my point is that the regressive fantasy that the humans fall back into when faced with the crushing boredom of their eternal lives is... the 1960s and 1970s but without the race riots or Stonewall or Watergate.

It's still a good story/multimedia work/thing, and I still enjoyed it. I just... that particular nostalgic fantasy makes me very tired sometimes. And no, not tired in a way that makes me want to give up on the weary work of human endeavour/struggle/progress to take refuge in looking back down at the things that are really important to us/humanity, i.e. a sport which people in my country don't play.

TV and Movies

Watched the first episode of Black Sails. Was unimpressed. I hear it gets better, though. Flint's fury at the stolen log page reminded me of this.

Music

Gave my sister the Hamilton soundtrack for Christmas last year or her birthday this year (I forget which -- my gift-giving punctuality standards are seriously slipping at the moment.) Success: she's hooked. Very hooked.

Games

Third week of [community profile] hexarchate_rpg. So far haven't panicked and run away yet (me, not my character) so that's good.

Still playing Binding of Isaac. In one especially good run, I met Isaac's mother for the first time, and defeated her! Which meant that, next time I got to that level, defeating her led to having to climb into her womb and fight more monsters there. Which... is definitely a narrative choice a person could make.

Started playing Hexcells, a puzzle game; not to be confused with Hexels, a different puzzle game. The latter is like 2048 but in three directions not two; the former is kind of like a griddler/nonogram, but in three directions and its own specific language of clues. Played all the way through Hexcells, then started Hexcells Plus. Got the Perfectionist achievement for the original Hexcells. Then Hexcells Plus. Then started Hexcells Infinite, and am at 90% of that.

The problem with me and Hexcells is not the logic. I'm not super great at the logic, but with time and effort and occasional appeals to online walkthroughs I can succeed (usually by speaking the chain of logic out loud over and over because I can't hold the branches in my head long enough otherwise.) The problem is that that one of the achievements is to do all the games with zero (or only one) mistakes, and the way my brain works (or the way my working memory doesn't work) it's very easy for me to make one stupid error too many and ruin an hour of work. Which is really frustrating and upsetting. At least Hexcells Infinite lets you save your progress. The first two games didn't, so if you need a break before finishing the level, you have to leave the app open.

Garden

The compost bin is full. That took about three months to fill a 220L bin. I had to look up what one does once the bin's full. Leave it to cure for a month or so while starting a new bin, apparently. Or alternatively, lift the bin off the compost (it doesn't have a bottom) and set it down next to the compost, shovel whatever still looks like vegetable peelings and cat litter back into the bin, and use whatever just looks like soil to grow things. (But not herbs and vegetables, because this is cat litter compost, so it's contaminated with toxoplasmosis. This compost can nourish pretty flowers and Native Plants To Encourage Local Species.)

Food

Baked scones. Also tried out a couple of recipes from my long backlog of bookmarked Recipes To Try Someday:

- Jack Monroe's Queen of Hearts jam tarts recipe. Not too bad given how seldom I make pastry. If you have fifty grams of butter and a scant cup of plain flour and some jam, this is an okay thing to do with those ingredients, but the scones were better.

- AoM Bratwurst Sandwich. This contains one thing I eat normally (mustard), one thing I've had decades ago but haven't cooked with (bratwurst), and two things I hadn't had before (sauerkraut, pumpernickel.) The bratwurst and mustard and sauerkraut were good. The pumpernickel... yeah, no, next time I make this I'll just use a dark rye.

I could have adapted to the flavour, but its lack of structural integrity meant that according to the Earl of Sandwich litmus test this is not even a sandwich. (i.e. "I pretend I am the original Earl of Sandwich. I have asked for non-bread foods to be brought to me inside bread, that I might more easily consume them one-handed while gambling. This does not enable my wretched regency habits. This is not what I asked for. I do not deign to grace it with the name of my house.")

This would fall apart in his hand, scattering boiled rye grains all over his elaborate necktie and playing cards.

Admittedly, the degree of difficulty was higher for me since I had to eat it one-handed while fending off a very interested black and white cat with the other hand.

Other

Broke my daily meditation streak at 219 days. Very pissed off about it, in a not zen at all way. The last time this happened it was at 149 days. Forming habits is hard for me. (This is not a request for reassurance or advice. Especially not advice.) Took four days off meditating out of pique.

Cats

Have been fighting a lot these last few days. At first I thought Beatrice was the main instigator, but last night while she was aggressively licking Dorian, I saw him nip her.

He hasn't learned to lift the toilet lid yet, but it's hard for me to remember to leave it down since my already established habit was to close the door but leave the lid up.

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