[personal profile] rosefox
X linked me to a list of suggestions for getting enough sleep. One was "go camping to figure out what your natural sleep cycle is".

I immediately thought of my trip to Arizona last year, when I settled almost magically into going to bed at 1 and waking up at 9 every day, without effort. It felt so good. I went outdoors a lot and moved around a lot and socialized a lot every day, and then at night I just went to bed.

The last several weeks of working overtime have been great for my sleep schedule. I'm doing two extra hours of work a day, and I usually do those between 1 and 3... or later. By the time I'm done, I'm exhausted. And because I do the work late and it often technically keeps me up past my bedtime, when I finish it it's easy to say "Finally I can go to bed!". So I've been sleeping pretty steadily, though never going to bed quite as early or sleeping quite as long as I want to. Going to the gym three times a week (more or less) is probably helping too.

Today was all energy intake and no outgo. Intake: I slept in rather than setting an alarm; I lightboxed for half an hour; I ate a lot of protein and then a substantial portion of brownie à la mode; X and I watched an exciting movie for our date night. Outgo: I not only skipped the gym (mostly because my knees were aching--I really overdid it on Wednesday) but did not leave the house at all today; I barely got any work done because I was too distracted by every tiny thing; I ignored Wanikani. Now it's nearly 4 a.m. and I'm twitching like I'm going through detox. Sam got a case of the pixies and went tearing through the house, and all I could think was how much I wished I could run around the house a few times too.

Once the overtime is done--and next week should be the last of it--I'm going to need more mental stimulation, I think, especially at night after J and X go to bed. I look to social media for it, but I rarely get into real conversations online anymore. And it's not like #callahans or alt.poly was all deep discussion all the time, but I'm also not doing any online role-playing or pun-warring or chatting. It's all shallow stuff, an exchange or two and done. It doesn't use my brain the same way. I miss those conversations. :( And the games I play aren't intensely thinky games; they're about dexterity and speed, or long-term planning, or esthetics. And I don't read much (though I've read two books this week! But neither was particularly challenging). And it's been ages since I started a new knitting pattern and had to do all the associated math and such. Basically all my non-work brain workouts come from Wanikani. That cannot possibly be enough.

The snag is that I don't feel like I need more stimulation at night. By then I want to relax and do easy, uncomplicated things. But when my brain is underused, I feel twitchy and agitated. And I guess it's just not getting enough use during the day.

Feh. I can tell that this is like "I don't like eating but if I don't eat I get dizzy" or "I don't like sleeping but if I don't sleep I'm a wreck" or "I don't like exercising but if I don't exercise my knees hurt". And if the lesser evil is reading or playing challenging games or starting intricate crafting projects, that is really not so evil! It just sounds tiring at a time when I'm already tired. It sounds hard. It sounds like work.

...but the goal is to be able to sleep, so "that sounds tiring" is really not a reason to avoid doing a thing. Yes, tire me out, that is the whole point.

Not sure how to ramp up and gradually get my brain used to not being completely shut off in the evenings. Maybe I could start by reading shorter books that are uncomplicated or familiar. Or folding some origami--I haven't done it in a while, so that will be a nice way to clear off some overgrown mental pathways, and I can make a few complete pieces in an evening even if I start with mid-level stuff. (No Montroll, Brill, or Lang designs until I'm back in shape.)

For now, though, bed. It's getting on toward 5. I'm still not sleepy, but I'm exhausted.

Tomorrow I go to the gym, for very sure.
[personal profile] rosefox
X linked me to a list of suggestions for getting enough sleep. One was "go camping to figure out what your natural sleep cycle is".

I immediately thought of my trip to Arizona last year, when I settled almost magically into going to bed at 1 and waking up at 9 every day, without effort. It felt so good. I went outdoors a lot and moved around a lot and socialized a lot every day, and then at night I just went to bed.

The last several weeks of working overtime have been great for my sleep schedule. I'm doing two extra hours of work a day, and I usually do those between 1 and 3... or later. By the time I'm done, I'm exhausted. And because I do the work late and it often technically keeps me up past my bedtime, when I finish it it's easy to say "Finally I can go to bed!". So I've been sleeping pretty steadily, though never going to bed quite as early or sleeping quite as long as I want to. Going to the gym three times a week (more or less) is probably helping too.

Today was all energy intake and no outgo. Intake: I slept in rather than setting an alarm; I lightboxed for half an hour; I ate a lot of protein and then a substantial portion of brownie à la mode; X and I watched an exciting movie for our date night. Outgo: I not only skipped the gym (mostly because my knees were aching--I really overdid it on Wednesday) but did not leave the house at all today; I barely got any work done because I was too distracted by every tiny thing; I ignored Wanikani. Now it's nearly 4 a.m. and I'm twitching like I'm going through detox. Sam got a case of the pixies and went tearing through the house, and all I could think was how much I wished I could run around the house a few times too.

Once the overtime is done--and next week should be the last of it--I'm going to need more mental stimulation, I think, especially at night after J and X go to bed. I look to social media for it, but I rarely get into real conversations online anymore. And it's not like #callahans or alt.poly was all deep discussion all the time, but I'm also not doing any online role-playing or pun-warring or chatting. It's all shallow stuff, an exchange or two and done. It doesn't use my brain the same way. I miss those conversations. :( And the games I play aren't intensely thinky games; they're about dexterity and speed, or long-term planning, or esthetics. And I don't read much (though I've read two books this week! But neither was particularly challenging). And it's been ages since I started a new knitting pattern and had to do all the associated math and such. Basically all my non-work brain workouts come from Wanikani. That cannot possibly be enough.

The snag is that I don't feel like I need more stimulation at night. By then I want to relax and do easy, uncomplicated things. But when my brain is underused, I feel twitchy and agitated.

Feh. I can just tell that this is like "I don't like eating but if I don't eat I get dizzy" or "I don't like sleeping but if I don't sleep I'm a wreck" or "I don't like exercising but if I don't exercise my knees hurt". And if the lesser evil is reading or playing challenging games or starting intricate crafting projects, that is really not so evil! It just sounds tiring at a time when I'm already tired. It sounds hard. It sounds like work.

...but the goal is to be able to sleep, so "that sounds tiring" is really not a reason to avoid doing a thing. Yes, tire me out, that is the whole point.

Not sure how to ramp up and gradually get my brain used to not being completely shut off in the evenings. Maybe I could start by reading shorter books that are uncomplicated or familiar. Or folding some origami--I haven't done it in a while, so that will be a nice way to clear off some overgrown mental pathways, and I can make a few complete pieces in an evening even if I start with mid-level stuff. (No Montroll, Brill, or Lang designs until I'm back in shape.)

For now, though, bed. It's getting on toward 5. I'm still not sleepy, but I'm exhausted.

Tomorrow I go to the gym, for very sure.

Grave Socrates, wild Alcibiades

Nov. 1st, 2014 02:06 am
[personal profile] sovay
Rabbit, rabbit.

This morning I kissed each of the cats and wished them a happy Halloween. Today, I told them, you are a sacred animal. This was the most low-key Halloween I've celebrated since I can remember, but I find it very fitting that I closed it with a little black cat purring against me and licking my eyebrows while I read a very entertaining recipe for Halloween ramen. We still have a white pumpkin left over. Perhaps we'll carve it for All Souls' Day.

(Now that it is November, my flash "Anonymity" is now online at Mythic Delirium. Shakespeare, Marlowe, and the internet, late at night. Charlotte Ashley says nice things about it at Apex! Thanks to Michael Matheson and Mike Allen for letting me know. I hope it is prophetic for the month.)

I meant to post a selection of Halloween songs, but most of my day went toward a doctor's appointment and a complicated evening. Have a few anyway. We're not out of the dying year yet.

Buffy Sainte-Marie, "Lyke-Wake Dirge"

Every night and all

Carbon Leaf, "Follow the Lady"

She's assigned a witch to spell my heart and now I'm drawn to her

Globelamp, "Witch House"

And I met her at the crossroads
Where all souls do go
On and on and on


The Incredible String Band, "Witches Hat"

Stepping like a tightrope walker
Putting one foot after another
Wearing black cherries for rings


My Favorite, "Le Monster"

The streets were crawling with vampires
'Cause after your shelf life expires
You're not a kid, you're a monster, monster, monster


The Secret History, "Count Backwards (Rock 'n' Roll Never Dies)"

Bela Lugosi's dead and I don't feel so hot myself

The Watersons, "Souling Song"

An apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry
Any good thing to make us merry


Hallows, all.

Another relic found in a book

Oct. 31st, 2014 09:49 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
IMG_00000249

GRT dropped the whole "Don't you dare use this transfer to make your life more convenient, you darn public transit users, you!" years ago.

(no subject)

Oct. 31st, 2014 08:10 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Yuletide: 2,200 words and done.

*thud*

I think I get to relax now. I still have to do some source-checking for worldbuildy details, and then I will have to locate betas, but it's not like there's a tearing hurry yet!

Yuletide!

Oct. 31st, 2014 06:41 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Good: Yuletide fic has passed 1,100 words.

Hmm: Fic is not actually yet completed. But at least the pressure of making wordcount is off? I may be able to finish a rough draft tonight, regardless.

(I'm trying to get as much done today as I can because I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year.)

Hiding

Oct. 31st, 2014 06:34 pm
[personal profile] telophase
We have now squirreled ourselves away in the back of the house with a TV to avoid the hordes of trick-or-treaters prowling the neighborhood. Given that Toby's still recovering and I'm still infectious, we decided parents would be much happier if we didn't pass out germy candy today.



Sent from my Apple ][e
[personal profile] yhlee
Good: 300 words on Yuletide fic! Notes taken on first half of source. (I have to hit the library to get the other half, although I have a pretty good idea of it; but there are a couple details to look up already.)

Hmm: Yuletide fic looks like it wants to be more than 1,000 words long, so I'm actually not 30% done...

Bad: Goddammit, it's HALLOWEEN and the weather is still warm. Whyyyyyyyy. (Because I'm in Louisiana, that's why.) Well, it's not as warm as it could be, but I hear in some places north of us there's snow.

How is your Yuletide progress?




I have this notion that next Gencon I would like to cosplay, but I don't know how to begin and it would have to be a bought costume because I can't sew worth mentioning. Does anyone have pointers? Links to sites for beginners?

(God knows, I am so uncreative I don't even know what I would want to cosplay as, but I presume there are options.)

This happens to me every year.

Oct. 31st, 2014 04:16 pm
[personal profile] kass
I get my Yuletide assignment.

I dive back into [canon redacted].

I get ridiculously excited.

(Possibly I start typing a first draft as fast as my fingers can carry me.)

And then I want to talk about it all the time, because I have remembered how much I love [fandom redacted], and how incredibly cool [fandom redacted] is, and all of the things I want to say about [fandom redacted], and of course I can't say any of those things at all.

*grin*

I expect this will happen once I get a song in mind for my Festivid, too...

all i hear is your heart

Oct. 31st, 2014 03:43 pm
[personal profile] musesfool
Tonight, [personal profile] innie_darling and I are going to see Neil Gaiman at NYPL. It seems fitting.

I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm not a big Halloween person, partly because it's my mother's birthday, so I never really got to do much fun stuff - there was always dinner with the fam or cake etc. and the few years I skipped, my dad got really passive-aggressive about it (my mother, surprisingly, never did). I miss my mother. She would have been 79 today.

*

I did a recs update:

[personal profile] unfitforsociety has been updated for October 2014 with 20 recs in 6 fandoms:

* 15 Avengers
* 2 Crossovers
* 1 Arrow, 1 Legend of Korra, and 1 Harry Potter

Not a whole lot - I am way behind on fic-reading. I just haven't had much energy for anything lately.

*

Elementary: Enough Nemesis to Go Around
spoilers )

*

dust

Oct. 31st, 2014 12:17 pm
[personal profile] thistleingrey
First, a tangentially relevant link: Asian archaeological and textual tensions, which seems to me spot on.

Dust: An Elysian Tail (Windows (Steam)): Dust has amnesia, a floating helper with a high-pitched voice, and a talking sword. The helper, Fidget, needs to return the sword but consents to wait till Dust has finished with it. The sword, Ahrah, tells Dust how to fight. Eyeroll. It is gorgeous and reasonably well thought out in its initial setting, the more so given that one person has done the programming and the art. Eighty minutes brought me as far as death by boss #1, largely because a laptop keyboard is shite for 2D Castlevania-style melee/aerial combat and tight turns. I am not great with action games, but sometimes it is partly one's tools---the keyboard understands only one keystroke/input at a time, whereas a console controller can handle two.

[Pause here while I borrow a controller from darkforge and set up the appropriate drivers.]

The worldbuilding has casual Korean flavor: Read more... )

So, on one hand one wouldn't ordinarily spend time thinking through how twisted a French-flavored setting a computer RPG or even a fantasy novel has, or if one did, perhaps it'd be in postcolonial/subaltern terms; certainly people have deconstructed Celtic Twilight, e.g. Dust doesn't suit a postcolonial analysis, and that it doesn't is fine by me. Till now a specifically Korean flavor---distinct from a pan-East Asian flavor that can't keep sushi and kalbi straight because the writer's local restaurant happens to serve both---is unusual enough in English that it entertains me to think through the bits. I mean, this and Analogue, right? What else on computers? As distinct from Korean-produced RPGs.

I've paused gameplay indefinitely during "chapter two" because the game scratches the same itch that led me to play mindnumbing hours of Diablo II during grad school, which means that it is occasionally exactly the right thing but mostly not. :P And Civilization: Beyond Earth will be released a week after the last edit on this post draft [it's out]. I do respect the ending, for which I've spoiled myself deliberately.
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Virgin Galactic's suborbital space plane SpaceShipTwo suffered a serious malfunction during a rocket-powered test flight over Mojave, California, today (Oct. 31) resulting in the loss of the spacecraft. The fate of the vehicle's pilot crew is unknown.
[personal profile] lightreads
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy PregnancyMayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by Roger W. Harms

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


More of a reference book than a cover-to-cover book. I was still in the market for a month-by-month book when I initially grabbed this. It's fine for that, if brief. The real value is in the "decision guides," alphabetical symptom index, and complications discussions.

Which raises an interesting question for me. Every time I opened this book to look up heartburn or carpel tunnel or whatever, I always snagged on the word "healthy" in the title. It's just such a meaningless word in this context. Particularly considering that this book is over a third discussion of complications. I just kept asking myself what an "unhealthy" pregnancy is supposed to be? Presumably that would be a pregnancy "less healthy" than the reader's.

This was on my mind because of the thing – you know the thing – where a baby is born and there's that haha funny ablest joke everyone makes about ten fingers and ten toes. "Gosh we had a baby and it's not disabled, woo!" "Healthy" is usually the code word for that, in the absence of the joke. Given that there was a tiny – but familially controversial – chance that Hogwart would be born disabled, I spent a fair amount of time thinking about this. What would we say about her in that case? She would have ten fingers and ten toes, but there are lots of people who would not be able to say that she was healthy. Which is bizarre to me, because I consider myself to be quite healthy, which is apparently a radical act seeing as I'm disabled. Ironically, I think both my partner and I consider me – the disabled one – to be more healthy than my partner – the cancer survivor. The one time I articulated this in passing to a medical professional, I got nothing but bafflement back.

Anyway. Ranging far afield here. My point is only that this book, like many others, is selling this word "healthy." Which is fine, until you start thinking about the word and it collapses to meaninglessness. And, under that, a lot of fear and ablism.




View all my reviews

Yuletide!

Oct. 31st, 2014 10:24 am
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Yuletide assignments have gone out! Without revealing your fandom, how do you feel about yours?

I am very excited about writing for my fandom! But if you are participating in Yuletide and have not yet written a "Dear Yuletide Writer" letter, please write a letter and link it in the link post below. You don't have to get into tons of detail, but a little about what you like about the fandom and maybe a few areas you'd be interested in seeing explored in a story would be nice. Also, if you requested two characters who have an ambiguous relationship in canon, it would be great to know whether you see them as lovers, friends, friends with unresolved sexual tension, etc.

Here's a link to my Dear Yuletide writer letter. Here's a link to the page where you can link to your letters.

Yum.

Oct. 31st, 2014 12:50 pm
[personal profile] kass
I just read a gorgeous piece of Who fic -- Twelve/Clara, with implied Danny/Clara. It does lovely things with both of their voices and with the tensions of Clara's current situation, and the missing last word at the very end of the story totally got me. Good stuff, if this is the kind of thing that you like.

Fairy Tales (2967 words) by nonelvis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005), Doctor Who & Related Fandoms, Doctor Who
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Twelfth Doctor/Clara Oswin Oswald, Clara Oswin Oswald/Danny Pink
Characters: Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswin Oswald
Additional Tags: Infidelity, Swearing
Summary:

Fairy tales, like Maisie said: the stories where the right people fall for the wrong ones.

November's Theme

Oct. 31st, 2014 11:31 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
All sponsored reviews and no two week digressions! The list of to-dos isn't super-long but long enough. I mean, anyone wants to commission more reviews, go ahead but

Phoenix Guard (own)
500 Years After (own)
Fire Logic (own)
Ancillary Sword (own)
Rivers of London (sigh)
Something Norton (part of the 50Ni50W, if that is OK, so beginning the week after Podkayne)
"The Reunion At The Mile-High" (atomigeddon coda) (own)

Did I miss any?

Also, to give my editor reasonable lead time, no review tomorrow so that I can reset to a one-day lead.

Sunshine!

Oct. 31st, 2014 10:12 am
[personal profile] malkingrey
At least for a day. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.
[personal profile] sovay
I have figured out why Autolycus has so many claws and little batwings of extra skin under his arms and why Hestia can sit upright and so easily open doors and why both of them enjoy human desserts. Our cats obviously descend from Behemoth, the black demon-cat that accompanied the Devil to Moscow in the spring of 1936. The liaisons by which he left children among the strays and pets of Moscow, Bulgakov must have omitted for modesty, and some of these demon-kittens must have emigrated over the years in order for our cats' mother to have ended up in Cambridge by this March. But I really think this explains it. Autolycus understands how to twist off seltzer caps. Hestia picks up bugs. They made multiple trips up a refrigerator to get at a macaron. We should not keep vodka in the house. They will drink it and we won't be able to figure out where the pickled mushrooms came from.

(no subject)

Oct. 30th, 2014 11:58 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
- Spot quiz today

- Practically ran off afterwards to Dr. Vint's class where Sabrina Vourvoulias and Fabio Fernandes were skyping in, which was quite exciting. I live-tweeted the thing and Storified it.

- PK and I went to lunch afterwards and worked on ICFA abstracts. We then went to Coffee Bean to continue.

- AP called at some point wondering if I had time to go shopping with her for Halloween stuff. But alas, she called when PK and I were working on abstracts.

I have a draft abstract which I think is okay. Tomorrow I'll put together a bib because bibs are mandatory for ICFA proposals which is kinda weird to me.

- I also accomplished a couple more paragraphs in my newest short story. Still haven't quite figured out how to segue into the main conflict.

- I feel really tired still, and heartache-y. It's getting annoying.

- I got my shipment of STEAMPUNK WORLD books!! I'm pretty sure the MOTHERSHIP books are in too. Gotta get them tomorrow.

- I also get to dogsit for HH tomorrow. so there's something.
[personal profile] yhlee
By way of Soren Roberts on Twitter, origami sheep. So cute! I am the world's worst at origami, but I can appreciate it when other people do it!

- recent reading
Michael A. Stackpole. Malicious Intent. Battletech tie-in novel, which I took a ridiculous amount of time to read because I have no attention span. I wasn't at first sure that all the strands would come together--Stackpole's BT novels tend to be aggressively multi-POV--but they did at the end, in a very satisfying manner. I really grew to like Doc a lot. And to my great surprise, I think I have become a Vlad Ward/Katrina Steiner-Davion shipper--they don't have a lot of time on-page together but the chemistry is astonishing.

Reginald Bretnor, ed. The Craft of Science Fiction, ©1976. A collection of essays. I have to confess I've never heard of Bretnor, or if I have encountered him before (possible), I have completely forgotten about him.

Essays: Read more... )

[personal profile] daidoji_gisei, if you can find this through your library, or a used copy, I think you'd enjoy some of the essays. I recommend in particular: Clement, Spinrad, Williamson; but have a look for yourself. (I got this out of the library myself.) Alternately, if you just want a couple of essays, I can photocopy them for you.
[personal profile] sovay
Night before last, I had nightmares so bad I had to wake myself from them by screaming. I tried twice and made no sound: sleep paralysis. The third time I think I was awake enough to be shouting into a darkened room for real, but [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel and I were on different sleep schedules and he didn't hear me. Brick-walled alleys and twisting drainpipes. In a warehouse, a room with a safe, a room full of file cabinets, a room with a bare wooden desk, a few pencils and a swing-arm lamp, all empty and cavernous with electric light. A portfolio of charcoal sketches and a series of illustrated adventures in a style that looked like Chris Van Allsburg, but the name on them was Millar. A rapist of children and a killer of women: nothing about him looked wrong except that he never listened. He didn't even have to make the effort not to. No one that I valued was human to him.

Last night's dreams were reassuringly novelistic and therefore useless to me at the present time: the annual get-together of an association something like the Camp Fire Girls, the permeable boundaries between here and elsewhere, and a cross-generational story that only occurred to me as I was waking as a variant on Tam Lin. A father has lost his daughter in the otherworld; she was forfeit for some decision he made decades ago, when he was a film producer with a coke habit and a trick of seeing into places he shouldn't, although he mostly chalked it up to the drugs at the time. He's been looking for her since, along with the demon lover she disappeared with, with a few ideas of how and where and a fragmentary knowledge of what he'll have to endure if he wants to free her—not knowing, as always, if even free she'll want to return. I wasn't sure he was so human himself; he should have been older than he looked, if his career started in the '70's. He was played more or less by Denholm Elliott, though, who did look younger than he was for years. He wore a very crumpled suit and more than one tie. He said it was a talisman. I couldn't tell if he was right; it wouldn't have been visible to me if it was.

My body is not treating me well at all. We had dinner tonight at Taipei Tokyo. Sushi is a form of self-care. I still haven't had onigiri, but with all the recent talk about foxes, inarizushi really seemed like a good idea. I scored a windfall DVD of From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) at Goodwill while unsuccessfully looking for a new corduroy jacket. I may watch it to cheer up with.

Treats

Oct. 30th, 2014 08:27 pm
[personal profile] rilina
1. On many evenings, my preferred after-dinner snack is plain yogurt with a dollop of homemade jam. My cat has figured this out--well, more precisely, she has realized out that I tend to assemble this snack in a particular bowl, and she is obsessed with licking the bowl clean. She will watch me like a creepy stalker while I am eating it, and the moment I put the bowl down, she is trying to bury her face in it. I shouldn't encourage this behavior, but it's pretty adorable, so I let her have this small treat. I have also learned not to leave my yogurt unattended for a single second, as she's not shy about starting on her snack before I am done with mine.

2. Apparently we will get a break from the rain this weekend. I am looking forward to this, because the rain has just felt relentless lately. And living where I live, that's saying a lot.

3. Since I've been canning a lot this year, I have been fishing a lot of used up vanilla beans out of recipes. Except they aren't used up! I've cut them into slightly smaller pieces, and tucked them into my sugar jar. (Not the main supply, but the little one that stays out on the counter for tea and coffee.) I often drink my coffee black, but sometimes I make it light and sweet as a special treat.

4. After many years of not wearing watches, I have started wearing them again. I have two - one gold-colored and one silver-colored. The strap on the silver-colored one is very fussy and ends up flapping about, so I am considering getting a replacement at some point. I see there are now ones which are solar powered. Has anyone had luck with them? (Also a decision: replace just the silver-colored one, or get a two-tone one to replace both?)

On my city, oh my state

Oct. 30th, 2014 09:54 pm
[personal profile] veejane
Hizzoner Forever, Tom "Mumbles" Menino, died today, age 71, and less than a year out of the mayoralty. He did not quite die in harness, but that is only because he stepped aside to ensure an orderly succession. I first came to know him when I moved into Hyde Park 13 years ago, which was his neighborhood, and when the medians began to sprout proper granite curbs and streetlights, the skeptical among us remarked that HIS neighborhood got some nice details before all others, but who cares, Dot has them too now.

He was awkward, he was goofy, he bristled visibly when he was flustered, he could not speak clearly and didn't seem particularly to care. He was big in emotion, sometimes annoyingly, but often -- especially as he got older -- endearingly. I ran into him on the street once, almost a decade ago, just on my way to work and he was walking in the opposite direction with two aides at his flanks. I waved hello, because what else do you do? And he said Hello howaya and on we went in our opposite directions. When he became thin and frail in recent years, it was strange and foreign, as if that could never happen to a roly-poly, genial man.

Who among us will speak ill of him? (You don't succeed in Boston politics without shiving somebody along the way.) He was friendly and unpretentious and is reputed to have met more than 50% of the city's 600,000 residents. He even had a pleasantly boring personal life, unlike Ted Kennedy whom he outlived. Television is chockablock with ordinary people -- barbers, deli owners -- surprising themselves with tears. He just seemed permanent, which was totally illogical. We could see his body fail him slowly. Some high muckety-muck priest visited him in the hospital like two days ago, after he stopped treatment for cancer. It shouldn't have been a surprise.

His funeral mass is being held on Monday in the church where my uncle, Jawj Cahtah, was massified these many years ago. I expect the motorcycle cops to stop traffic for his funeral procession (to Forest Hills Cemetary?) with similar aplomb.

*

In looking up the statewide ballot questions (because commercials, also my union sent a voting guide that had Opinions about Questions 1 and 3, but not 2, and since when does a union not have an opinion??), I say, in looking up the statewide ballot questions, I discovered one more time that Bill Galvin is not just a gentle telephone pole of Massachusetts responsibility and clear explanation, he is in fact a politician who has to run for office now and then.

But who would run against him, I ask you! He is one of the stalwarts of the state. I don't think he's even had a challenger in ages, because your faves could never be that unobtrusive.

(Question 2, by the way, is about the $0.05 deposit on soda bottles. Which does not affect my union. you'd think they'd have something to say about Question 4, though, which is about requiring paid sick time. Everyone in my part of the union has it already, but surely it's something to agitate for beyond the membership!

(PS, vote no on Question 1 and keep the gas tax indexed. If you don't like it, go move to New Hampshire or something.)

aaaarghhh!

Oct. 30th, 2014 08:39 pm
[personal profile] telophase
Toby gave me his cold! I thought I'd escaped it, but I was WRONG!



Sent from my Apple ][+

Jack-o-Lantern 2014

Oct. 30th, 2014 09:30 pm
[personal profile] chomiji


Just went with the flow this year. The pumpkin had a nasty spot in the back, but no one will see it. Also, my big camera is messed up - I dropped it while I was in Cape Cod. And the phone camera just isn't as good for dim light.


Cut for one pic )

NaNoWriMo letters of encouragement

Oct. 30th, 2014 06:38 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
If you want a snail letter of NaNoWriMo commiseration/encouragement/whatever-would-help-you, complete with wax seal (the one pictured in the icon), leave a comment with your address! All comments are screened.

I'm sort of panicking over the fact that I have a much better idea of who my antagonist is than my protagonist.

Meanwhile, I have my Yuletide assignment and am mostly through source review. Am going to attempt to start writing tomorrow despite PANICKING. Wish me luck! And good luck to fellow Yuletiders.

Quote of the Day

Oct. 30th, 2014 01:55 pm
[personal profile] telophase
I'm reminded of the circumcellions, a Christian sect in late antiquity whose members used to halfheartedly mug passers by in hopes that the victim would lash out and kill them, making them martyrs.
You're welcome.


context...not that it'll help much :D
[personal profile] lightreads
Death by SilverDeath by Silver by Melissa Scott

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Alternate magical London, where old school friends the detective and the magician team up to solve a rather obvious murder, and resolve their mutual pining along the way.

Enjoyable, though lacking that special something. This made me think about genre. Which, believe me, is unusual – I have zero interest in the whole "but what does genre mean? Is it real?" thing. But here you have a blend of alternate history/fantasy with M/M romance. I started the summary above by writing "M/M" and then deleting it, because this is M/M in the literal sense, but not in the genre sense. Let me put this bluntly: there isn't enough erotica here for me to shelve it as M/M in the sense that I conceive of it in 2014.

What I mean is, this book reminds me of those times an author writes a book with a twist of fantasy or scifi, but because of which publishing house bought it and who the literary agent is, it gets packaged as "literature" and sold as "genre-bending" or what the fuck ever. All with the subliminal notion that yes, okay, this is using fantasy or scifi tropes, but it's not actually a fantasy novel, okay, it's better than that, it's actual literature. This book reminded me of that, except M/M is the thing it's not actually doing. By which I mean it dances up to the edges of the racier genre conventions, and then turns decorously away.

Not really fair, and I think what I'm seeing is the result of built in genre/marketing constraints rather than, say, authorial self-censorship. It's just funny, and a little uncomfortable, the way combining genres can make a work less effective or rich or nuanced, rather than more so.

Audio note: This production is by far the shoddiest I have ever encountered in commercial audio. I'm willing to bet they didn't bother with the final editing pass at all. There are skips, dropped words and sentences, repeats, background noise, you name it. Terrible.




View all my reviews

(no subject)

Oct. 30th, 2014 01:03 pm
[personal profile] telophase
I have three 48-hour all-access guest passes to Crunchyroll.com, if any of you would like to give it a try. First come, first serve.

(no subject)

Oct. 30th, 2014 12:04 pm
[personal profile] holli
 Got my Yuletide assignment! v. excited. Also have at least one treat planned that I'm REALLY looking forward to.

god bless the child who's got his own

Oct. 30th, 2014 11:46 am
[personal profile] musesfool
I'm probably not supposed to admit that I tailored my yuletide signup to aim for one or two specific requests I saw on the letters spreadsheet, but I did, and then I didn't get assigned either of them. Of course. I guess I'll be writing treats again this year for those requests!

All of which is to say that I like my assignment, even if it wasn't what I was gearing up to write based on looking at letters. And I think I know what the story is going to be about, and it's going to be pretty obviously me, but the thing about yuletide is that it's so huge it's unlikely anyone will actually read it and figure it out. *g*

***

Arrow: The Magician
spoilers )

***

The wit and wisdom of Stephen Jones

Oct. 30th, 2014 09:51 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
There are no conflicts an experienced editor and writer cannot alter with carefully selected words:

[Lovecraft's] detractors are pygmies [...]


When you consider some of the phrases Jones could have borrowed from his idol - "a loathsome, gorilla-like thing" leaps to mind - what Jones' actually wrote seems almost harmless.

First Cashmere Sweater of the Season

Oct. 30th, 2014 09:57 am
[personal profile] oracne
It was almost chilly enough this morning for wool, so I dug out my olive cashmere pullover and now I am ultra-cozy.

I need to replace my black cardigan this year; after many faithful years of service, somehow moths got to it last year, despite my relentless washing and lavender and cedar, and the hole in the back is well beyond tiny.

Gym last night was an hour on the elliptical and some bench presses, overheads, and tricep exercises with dumbbells. I used the 10 pounds for the overheads and triceps because the 12.5s were in use, but that was probably for the best. I might step up the bench presses to the 30s next time; my right arm is still a little weaker than the left, but it's doing all right.

I need to make a packing list, and actually pack, for World Fantasy next week. I am still ultra-bummed that I have to do a dayjob thing before I can leave on Thursday, but am sucking it up. If I didn't have a job, I couldn't afford to go at all.

*happy flail*

Oct. 30th, 2014 09:52 am
[personal profile] kass
I have my Yuletide assignment!

*happy flailing*

It's the most wonderful time of the year! <3

So that was a day.

Oct. 29th, 2014 10:12 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
In which the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, and Anita Sarkeesian appeared on the Colbert Report. (Icon chosen very specifically.)

A good day for the Bay Area, I would say.

(no subject)

Oct. 29th, 2014 08:38 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
- Went to the first SF reading group meeting of the year last night. It went well, but I forgot that the hosts house cats... two of them now. It surprised me to get the allergic reaction I did because the floor wasn't carpeted, but they had no windows open, and I guess they don't bathe the cats regularly.

- PK and I were supposed to get together sometime today to write abstracts for ICFA. This never happened for various reasons.

- There was a food truck festival on campus today!! It was very exciting. I went by myself to scope the place, and came away with sliders and CROQUETTES!!!! ([profile] corinneduyvis introduced them to me when I last visited Amsterdam and I fell in love.) Later, Nalo was free so I went BACK and I found her in the lobster line. And I got myself some lobster bisque. Food is love.

- PK, Nalo and I hung out for a while, and then I went to Nalo's office to get some fabric she's throwing out.

She had this big skirt she was working on, with crochet lace at the edge that's only half-stitched on. I've got it now, and I might finish it, and bring it to WisCon and invite people to embroider stuff on it!

- I went back to my office and did some more editing. And reading.

- I also popped by Dr. BZ's office to ask about de Certeau and talk about airships and trains and how they're interesting imagined spaces. Not sure she got what I was trying to say though. I kinda want her to be on my committee but I don't really know how to even explain my project to her.

- Reading Matt Hill's book "Fan Cultures" right now and came across the concept of the autoethnography. I've never heard of this one before! Apparently it is like an ethnography except the ethnographer makes their position even more transparent? IDK!

- Feeling unaccountably tired tonight. Also unaccountably sad and heartache-y.

Getting darker

Oct. 29th, 2014 08:24 pm
[personal profile] rilina
1. I managed to get out of work almost on time today, which meant I was able to squeeze in a short run before it got too dark. Which was nice--it does such good things for my mood. With the shorter days, I have been struggling to maintain a consistent running schedule on work days lately. I think it's time for me to investigate running lighting gear at REI. If any of you own such gear, do you have product recommendations? I'm currently looking at something like the Nathan StrobeLight, since I would like something that can clip to my existing running shirts and hoodies.

2. My latest jar of kimchi went sour fast, so I will be making kimchi fried rice tonight. Which is not a bad thing to have to do midweek--my freezer stash is empty of soup.

3. All my library holds are coming in at once, and I need at least a week off to read everything!

4. Yes, I'm trying to post more often. We'll see how long that lasts.

Steel City, Oct 29

Oct. 29th, 2014 11:25 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
As Dragoneye floats over the rooftops of Steel City's China Town, he sees an older man beckoning him from the ground. The amiable old fellow hands a kid named Jasper Thompson to return to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson. Assuming little Jasper is lost, Dragoneye accepts, picks up Jasper and floats back into the sky.

Instead of giving Dragoneye directions, Jasper begins to explain how his parents were murdered, which is brutally. This is off-putting but somehow Dragoneye cannot stop listening, which is how the wolf manages to get into a position where it can leap up and latch onto Dragoneye's leg.

The good news is, Hexenwolf didn't manage to actually hurt Dragoneye; Dragoneye's defenses are very good. The bad news is, now Dragoneye has a psychopathic boy in his arms and a wolf clamped onto his leg. And things are going to get worse.
Read more... )
[personal profile] chomiji

So Hallowe'en is the day after tomorrow. The Flight Rising game is, not coincidentally, celebrating the Riot of Rot, the holiday of the spooky and rather loathesome (to the rest of us) Plague Flight of dragons. (There's an elemental holiday every month except December, with special activities.)

It's a good week to be selling fancy red-and-black dragons. Although I had to cut prices to do so, I managed to sell my three recent mixed-nest (two species) hatchlings. Two of them went to people who were definitely into the spirit of the season. The last one ... maybe not so much.

The three young adult sibling dragons are now named Decay, Bloodbringer, and ... Fran.

Happy Birthday rachelmanija!

Oct. 29th, 2014 08:14 pm
[personal profile] chomiji

I hope your day has been fantastic!

my opinions about Marvel movie stuff

Oct. 29th, 2014 07:31 pm
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
The additional Ultron footage officially released last night: only about this, not future movies )

The Phase-whatever title reveals: spoilers if you've managed to avoid pop-culture headlines in the last day )

The leaked Ultron footage with Steve and Tony talking: further discussion of title reveals, speculation on footage )

Also, there was an announcement trailer for one of the way-down-the-road movies, which I can't bring myself to care about, but if you do, there are you.

Did I miss anything?

Where I'm Going to be This Weekend

Oct. 29th, 2014 06:30 pm
[personal profile] malkingrey

I’m going to be at the La Belle Winery in Amherst, New Hampshire, participating in a short fiction slam with other former students and instructors of the Odyssey Writer’s Workshop. (Jim Macdonald and I were guest instructors there, once upon a time.)


I’ve never participated in a slam before (group readings at conventions and the like, yes, but that was within the tribe, as it were) and certainly never one at a winery.


This should be fun.  If you’re in or around Amherst NH this weekend with $25 burning a hole in your pocket ($15 if you’re a student; $10 if you’re a teenager), you might think of stopping by.

Gratitudes

Oct. 29th, 2014 05:42 pm
[personal profile] kass
I am making a variation on [personal profile] heresluck's green lentils and kielbasa dish (using chorizo because that's what we have; adjusting the cooking technique accordingly) and I think it should turn out pretty tasty.

Also it should be bright and satisfying on a dark and rainy evening, which, yay.

Further reasons for yay: fannish tv again tonight! (Fringe with [personal profile] kouredios. My week has also featured Vampire Diaries with [personal profile] squirrelhaven and Person of Interest and Dr. Who with [personal profile] sanj.) My cup runneth over.

Also there is wine, and soon it will be wine o'clock.

And today I am wearing a favorite necklace, which was a gift, which makes me smile every time I look in the mirror.

\o/!

Blame TV Tropes

Oct. 29th, 2014 02:28 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I have to wonder if perhaps the behavior of the protagonist in Underwood's Before He Cheats is misguided [1]. Although given that the music video lifts imagery from King's CARRIE, I guess the BF and everyone within a mile of him got off easy.

1: It does not help that I heard "I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights," as "I took a Louisville slugger to both her thighs". Although, hmmm, the protagonist of the song does not lash out at people, just objects.

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