Things

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:31 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
It seems like it's been ages that I've posted anything substantial and non-FMK here (which I knew was a risk; I have enough social media XP (extroversion points) to keep up with approx. 1 DW post a week, that is well-established). So here is a 5 things to break the monotony:

1. Pokemon Go will not let me install the latest update (It gives an error message that says "we hates your phone, precious" [paraphrase] and then won't install.) So instead I have been playing Magikarp Jump, which the app store always tries to tell me pokego players will enjoy. So far:

This is my fish. There are many like it, but this one is mine. )


2. Also I finally won the last boss level in Alphabear, so until I got my fish game, I was totally at loose ends for mindless phone games, and started looking for ports of the ones I played as a kid. HOW IS AN ANDROID PORT OF GODDAMP CATERPILLAR 11 megabytes? I coded that from scratch on my TI83 when I was a kid! In, like, about 100 lines of code! WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

(I also coded a text adventure with a gender-ambiguous protagonist on that calculator, actually...)


3. I finished cleaning my bathroom yesterday! It only took me about two weeks! It is so nice to go in there and have it be clean! clean ALL the things )


4. So last November I kind of went into power-save mode for awhile, quit using Habitica and also quit a bunch of the things I had been doing on a regular basis (tag wrangling, practicing piano, working on Spanish and Icelandic, writing on a regular basis, using Tumblr...) But my sister got me back onto using Habitica again, and now that all the cat-related tasks are gone (and I trimmed some other stuff) it's a much more reasonable list of dailies.

I had forgotten how very motivating it is to get to tick the thingy. Now I am debating whether to use my Orb of Rebirth and start over or not (And whether to try to get together an active party with more than just me and my sister and a bunch of inactive accounts.)

And I'm trying to get back to doing some of the other things I stopped, too. I gave Tag Wrangling an un-hiatus notice, so I'm committed to trying to be less fail at that, and I pulled out a piano book for the first time in months (I found a copy of the very first one I learned out of, The Joy Of First-Year Piano, to warm me back up) Og ég er að læra íslensku aftur. Þótt jurtabókin er erfitt. Það er of mikið um illt kaffi í bókinni. Y yo hablé español a una clienta hoy! Un poco español, pero un poco es más que nada.

The only thing I gave up that I haven't missed at all is Tumblr. *shrug emoji* (even that's not true, I have a secret backup tumblr to which are added a couple people who post mostly personal stuff and also a bunch of nature and solarpunk and library special collections photos, and no politics or fandom, and it's still fine.)

5. One of the things on my habitica dailies is to post an AO3 comment once a day. Another one is to do something with politics once a week. I got my wires crossed in there somewhere and realized that if I don't feel up to actually engaging with politics I can just send one of my (excellent) congresspeople an email that literally just says, "Hi staffer who reads these, you are fighting the good fight, keep holding the line, thank you", just like when I want to leave an AO3 comment but don't know what to say, and it STILL COUNTS.

Also, people are trying to get public outcry going toward Congress passing the nonpartisan bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) which would make it so the US President could not launch a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war. TBH I can't think of ANY reason why that should ever have been possible, but ESPECIALLY now. So write your congresspeople or spread the word to #PULL THE FOOTBALL

/me crosses off "do politics" for this week

FMK #27: Judge A Book By Its Title

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:40 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's winners were not what I expected! But F goes to The Red Tent and K goes to The Magicians (which is WAY more hated than I had realized! For good reason apparently.)

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

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

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

This week's theme: I have no idea what this book is about, I'm pretty sure I only have it for the title.

Poll: Bail, Capote, Carey, Collins, Connors, Corliss, Ericson, Galloway, Gould, Morse, Shann, Shreve, Townsend, Wodehouse )
jesse_the_k: amazed Alanna (hero of Staples/Vaughn SAGA comic) (alanna is amazed)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I first saw Fies' work with Mom's Cancer, a sweet and terrifying tour of hope and loss (now available free online):
http://www.gocomics.com/moms-cancer/2015/04/20

He and his wife just lost almost everything in the Santa Rosa fires blazing in central California, and he's made an almost instantaneous comic about it:

A Fire Story.
https://brianfies.blogspot.ca/2017/10/a-fire-story-complete.html
(thanks to [personal profile] umadoshi for the link)

I've started to make a transcript/image description:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aUa58clWMZzNEqZkdGhzttH6wTiTEO_m1P9aZ_oqA3Q/edit?usp=sharing

Ping me here if you'd like to help create this.

Dark Matter 3x10

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:14 am
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
[personal profile] sholio
I was reasonably okay with the show being cancelled until we started to get into the last few episodes of season three. And now it's killing me. AAAAAUUUUGHHH.

Spoilers are making unwise life choices like usual )

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]

Dark Matter 3x08 and 3x09

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:41 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
I need to catch up on comments (I did forget what a timesink comment-answering on DW can be), but we watched 3x08 and 3x09 tonight! Only 4 more episodes, noooo ...

Spoilers are doing unwise things with experimental technology )
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
So the comments to the previous pimping/recruiting post are getting steadily more spoilery, and even as a spoilerphobe myself, I'm basically THE WORST at not talking about spoilers with people I'm trying to recruit into a thing (I told [personal profile] rachelmanija something about the show in email last night that I really wish I'd kept my mouth shut about), so let's do a post for ALL THE SPOILERS.

... well. Some of the spoilers. The thing is, I haven't seen past 3x07 yet - the Six-focused one. I've slowed way down on my watching speed because the last few episodes of season three are ALL WE'LL EVER HAVE *cries* and I want to make it last. So I would really like to remain unspoiled as possible. Under the cut are the things I particularly want to be unspoiled about (cut because the questions themselves are spoilers for season three):

Spoilers start here )

So yeah, bring out your spoilers. :D

A time to pull away the football

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:52 am
rydra_wong: Peanuts. Lucy has just pulled away the football and Charlie Brown has crashed onto his back. "And a time to pull away the football," she says. (football -- time)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So [personal profile] rachelmanija is trying to start a campaign to pull the nuclear football away from Trump's grip.

I Google, and found Charlie Brown's Greatest Misses: Every 'Peanuts' Football Gag Comic. Some of the panels seemed ... strangely apposite.

Free to take, use, modify, do what you will. Pull the football, save the world.

And in conclusion

Oct. 14th, 2017 10:14 pm
sholio: man chasing flamingo (Flamingo)
[personal profile] sholio
Other stuff I'm up to lately:

- Still writing paranormal romance
- Webcomic
- Failing spectacularly at Inktober (go me)
- Posted my [community profile] trickortreatex fic today! \o/ (Reveals aren't until the end of the month, so I'm early.)
- Almost there on several bingo lines

I would love some icons for Dark Matter or Stranger Things. Does anyone know where I might find some?

What I'm into: Dark Matter

Oct. 14th, 2017 09:27 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
No spoilers past mid season three, please! I'm not caught up yet!

So here's the other thing that's eaten my heart/brain/soul over the last week or two: Dark Matter

dark_matter_cast

What is it? It's a 3-season Syfy spaceship show, by some of the same people who did Stargate. All of it is streaming on Netflix.

What's it about? Six people -- seven counting the ship's android -- wake up on a spaceship without their memories. Evidence suggests one of them is a traitor. Further evidence suggests they're part of a galactic conflict they can't even remember. They have to figure out who they are and who they can trust before their pasts catch up with them. Basically this turns into found-family on a spaceship, as it does. (Also, to make it less confusing if I end up making more posts about this show, most of the main characters have numbers for names, because they don't know their real names for awhile and adopt numbers as shorthand.)

Why is it awesome/why might I want to try it? FOUND FAMILY ON A SPACESHIP. I've really missed having a spaceship show in my life, and this one hits my team-love buttons like few things have since Stargate.

It’s got femslash, slash, and het potential. It’s got a ton of interesting character relationships, including kid-mentor ones and sometimes-enemies learning to trust each other (”Stop saving my life. … Now you’re just doing it on purpose”) and a relationship that’s a lot like Janeway/Seven of Nine in which one is a woman of color. It’s got canon h/c and teaminess and all the sci-fi tropes (e.g. the characters meet their evil alternate universe doubles, trapped on a prison world, taken over by mind-control goo, on a spaceship fulla zombies, time loops, etc). It has redemption arcs and snark and themes about the meaning of life/what it means to have a soul and characters running around doing action stuff in long coats and leather jackets while rock music plays in the background. It's got several Stargate actors in recurring roles, including David Hewlett playing a character who is basically Rodney McKay as a seedy fixer, and Evil Elizabeth Weir.

It has a female Asian captain, a cast that (depending on the cast makeup from season to season) is frequently at least half female and less than half white, and multiple recurring female villains for your foe-yay needs. Plus a number of different characters being incredibly hot in black leather, and actually some pretty cool sci-fi worldbuilding, such as travel-via-cloning in which instantaneous intergalactic travel is accomplished by animating a disposable clone of yourself in a different location, and a galactic milieu with a higher-than-I'm-used-to level of background multiculturalism; they really do a pretty good job of making this feel like a plausible hundreds-of-years-in-the-future Earth-colonized galaxy, at least I think so.

It also contains an episode that has managed to make the coveted "[personal profile] sholio's All-Time Favorite H/C Episodes" list. :D (Er, this list does not exist in reality. But now I think it's a list I should make. And post.)

What might turn me off? There are some questionable writing/casting choices (my least favorite of these is that one of the main characters is basically Space Samurai from Space Samurai Planet, and he doesn't really have a whole lot of characterization other than that). In general, since it's by the same people who did SGA and Stargate Universe, it unsurprisingly shares some writing weaknesses with earlier Stargate shows. I'm watching it with my husband and I get the impression that the handwavy science and occasionally WTF plot resolutions are driving him crazy on a regular basis. I personally could not care less because I am there for FOUND FAMILY IN SPACE, but ymmv.

Also, it got unexpectedly cancelled after season three. I suspect (though I don't know for sure, since I'm not there yet) that it's going to end on a forever-unresolved cliffhanger.

Anything else? Based on what I remember from the last time I posted about Dark Matter when I watched the first season, there are people following me who dislike Three. Which is fine, but keep that to yourself around here, please, because Three is AWESOME and no one can tell me different. :D (Although it's tough to pick a real favorite; as of season three, I think the entire cast is my favorite. It's one of those shows.)

ETA: If you haven't watched the show, beware of spoilers up to early season three in the comments!

What I'm into: Stranger Things

Oct. 14th, 2017 08:51 pm
sholio: Jack-o-lanterns (Halloween-jack-o-lanterns)
[personal profile] sholio
I've gotten into a couple of new shows in the last month or so, and since I'm making another stab at getting back on DW for awhile, I thought maybe I'd open up by telling you what I'm into these days and why they're awesome so you can try them too, if you want. :D

First of all: Stranger Things



What is it? It's an 8-episode miniseries on Netflix, a period horror/suspense show set in 1983. The first season aired last year as a self-contained miniseries - there's a sequel hook at the very end, but otherwise it wraps up all its storylines in a satisfying way - and it got renewed, so there will be a new 8-episode season dropping on Oct. 27. TWO WEEKS!!!

What's it about? It's obviously inspired by Stephen King, ET, and kid/teen movies of the 1980s in general. The basic concept is Plucky Kids Fight Monsters. There are three different sets of characters - the little kids, the teenagers, and the adults, each of whom have their own storyline as they separately investigate different aspects of creepy goings-on in small-town Indiana in 1983, picking up different pieces of the puzzle that finally come together at the end.

Why is it awesome/why might I want to try it? If you're in a mood for 80s nostalgia, the period feeling is basically perfect, from the clothes and hairstyles to the music and even the camera angles. It's such a good period show that I kept trying to calculate how old the actors were in the modern day and then going "Wait, no, this show was filmed last year!"

But even if you couldn't care less about period nostalgia, it's a very solidly written show with fantastic child actors, well-constructed storylines full of twists, A+ use of All The Tropes (from eerie psychic kids to mysterious top-secret government facilities to creepy supernatural things happening with ordinary household appliances). I loved the characters, and there's a very shippable OT3.

Plus Winona Ryder's in it.

What might turn me off? Well, demographically speaking, it's very true to the source material, which is to say - mostly white cast, all het romances, etc. (The OT3 isn't canon, alas.) There's also the fact that it's horror, although it's not extreme horror. The level of gore/creepiness is similar to Supernatural, so if you can handle that, you can probably handle this.

Anything else? NEW SEASON! OCTOBER 27! THEY'RE GOING TO KILL ALL MY BABIES AND BREAK UP MY SHIPS AND I WILL DIE!! Okay, hopefully not.

There's also a really cute and addictive phone game with adorable retro graphics (similar to a 1980s run-and-jump-on-things arcade game, e.g. Legend of Zelda or old-school Mario).

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*

Tooting No Award's horn

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:02 am
lizbee: (Default)
[personal profile] lizbee
The proper grown-up blog I share with [personal profile] yiduiqie has been linked from some amazing places in the last month, and I just want to document it for posterity and ego boosting:
  • The New Yorker linked to our 2015 post about the sinister subtext of Thomas the Tank Engine. Yes, that New Yorker. Ain't no thang. *hairflip*
  • (That article was then shared at BoingBoing, where the comments were filled with nerds taking our silly post very seriously indeed.)
  • BookRiot's crime fiction podcast discussed our post on why we're not supporting the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries film Kickstarter, and our earlier post (linked in our recent one) about the racism in the books and TV series, and how it's something that non-Australians seem to overlook.
  • The podcast included a wonderful bit where the hosts were like, "Well, these Australian ladies say the books are problematic, but we wanted to make up our own mind, so we read one each." But they chose the books at random, and had the misfortune to end up with Blood and Circuses, The One With The Infamous Clown Sex. (If you watched the series -- which I really love, when it's not being incredibly racist -- you should take a moment to appreciate the lack of clown sex. Really.) Anyway, they concluded that, yes, the books are very bad in terms of exotifying and othering people of non-Anglo backgrounds, but they're also just not well-written and ... bad. Which is fair. 
  • And The Monthly, an Australian publication whose essays and articles appeal to flat white-sipping inner-city lefties (so, me), linked to our first Discovery post in an article about angry, racist nerds complaining that Trek is "suddenly" appealing to an "SJW" agenda.
  • (I am extremely proud to get the word "feelpinions" into The Monthly, BUT I also wonder if my use isn't a bit defensive, ie, no one can accuse me of being emotional, irrational or otherwise a silly lady fan if I say it first. Am I putting myself at a disadvantage by emphasising that my posts are reactions, not reviews, and that my opinions derive from my emotions? On the other hand, what is television for but to elicit an emotional reaction?)
Finally, here is this week's Discovery post, which I almost didn't share because it wasn't wholly positive and ... IDK, I guess I've become protective of this ridiculous show, and don't want to play into the narrative of it being The Worst. On the other hand, it made some Bad Choices this week, along with some better ones. (And I note that the dude reviewers who have decried it as being The Worst really liked this episode, which only reassures me that I'm on the right track.)

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