Cooking for myself

Dec. 8th, 2016 09:38
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
[personal profile] kht asked "What do you like to cook for yourself when you're low on time and energy?".

I'm afraid the answers to this are fairly boring. I don't get nearly as much pleasure out of cooking if it's just for me, so a lot of the time when I'm on my own in the Northampton flat I practically live on fresh filled pasta with a bit of grated parmasan and olive oil, and then fill up on fruit to make sure I'm getting enough vitamins. My other staple is scrambled eggs, which I sometimes add rice wine and soy sauce to, and eat with a croissant, and sometimes do with just salt on pepper, served with marmite covered toast.

When I feel like making a tiny bit more effort I'll make egg-fried rice, which I can throw vegetables into, or I'll make a stew (onions, garlic, various root vegetables, lentils, pearl barley (or buckwheat if I want it to be gluten free), cabbage or other green leafy veg, stock, red wine, dried herbs, spoonful of marmite), which takes about 15 minutes of work, and then just sits and cooks, and makes great leftovers.

Currently Reading - 8-Dec-2016

Dec. 8th, 2016 03:58
davidgillon: Text: You can take a heroic last stand against the forces of darkness. Or you can not die. It's entirely up to you" (Heroic Last Stand)
[personal profile] davidgillon

No standard print media since the last update, that was just last Sunday, but I accidentally got sucked into re-reading some Schlock Mercenary. Schlock has been running daily since 12-Jun-2000, which makes for a very large archive - it just completed book 16, so a post the other day suggested a few potential starting points for people. The earliest suggestion was the start of Book 10, so I followed the link to remind myself which one that was, and, erm, started reading. From 29-Feb-2008. 3025 strips in three days. Eek!

What rereading them revealed is just how good a storyteller Howard Tayler has become, there are bits buried at the start of books that illuminate things that happen a year or more later in our real time when the story reaches the end of the book. It''s often difficult to remember those when reading them daily, but they really show up in a reread.

Ostensibly about Schlock, the series developed into an ensemble cast:

Schlock - Cheerfully amoral 'Carbo-silicate Amorph', a sergeant in the mercenary company Tagon's Toughs. A shapeshifter, he keeps being mistaken for a 1.5m pile of manure. Occcasionally bright, commonly childlike, mostly violent.
Captain Kaff Tagon - Commander of Tagon's Toughs. Inclined to appear a bit dim, but actually very good at what he does. Which still doesn't stop him wedging his foot in his mouth with predictable regularity
Commander Kevyn Andreyasn - Possibly the smartest biological sophont in the galaxy. Has repeated revolutionised technology (and started galaxy spanning wars as a result). Resident Mad Scientist.
Ennesby - Formerly the AI running a virtual boy band, now Tagon's snarky adjutant.
Petey - Formerly the AI running the Tough's starship, now the face of the Fleetmind, a hivemind of starship AIs that control the Plenipotent Domain, the galactic superpower, which is running the war against the dark matter Pa'anuri of Andromeda, a war Kevyn accidentally restarted. Appears as a koala-like hologram,
Ebby, Legs, Andy, Nick, Elisabeth, Chisulo - the other members of Schlock's squad, with Ebby in command. Nick's the only human, and he makes Tagon look bright. Eventually designated as Xeno Team.

Book 10: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse

The Toughs get a new job - escort a shipment of relief supplies to the artificial world of Credomar (a cylinder about 6km in diameter and 40 in length, with a population of 5 million). But first they pick up a few new recruits, including 18 year old roboticist Para Ventura. To a large degree Book 10 is about Para finding her place in the Toughs

So how difficult can delivering a few supplies be? Very, it turns out, when Credomar is factionalised over control of the food supply, the contract says they have to distribute the supplies, and the docks are out of action. With 65 megatons of supplies to unload, they should be done in about 25 years. That's when Para repurposes a damaged tank as the eponymous Longshoreman Of The Apocalypse, which promptly proclaims that it, LOTA, is too mighty for puny pronouns. When things go wrong, the Toughs have to launch a desperate raid to sieze a stock of antimatter, Para finds herself alone against a mob, and LOTA siezes a solution to the problem.

And meanwhile, there's the puzzle of Credomar's wierdly inefficient design.

Book 11: Massively Parallel

After accidentally bending their ship and its AI in Credomar, the Toughs have to split up to make enough to cover wages while it's repaired.

Schlock, Elisabeth and Chisulo get a job at the circus. As Chisulo is an uplifted elephant and Elisabeth looks like a elephant-sized gorilla they aren't entirely out of place, though Carbo-silicate amorphs are old news, which leaves Schlock playing janitor. They're undercover to investigate a murder, but something smells very off about their employer.

Kevyn, meanwhile, is back off to Credomar, King LOTA wants an evac mechanism for the city's inhabitants, and Kevyn is the inventor of the teraport. Things get murkier when they figure out the smoking gun of just why Credomar is so inefficiently designed, Are they building a safety mechanism, or unlocking a weapon of mass destruction? And can they trust LOTA?

And for Tagon and most of the company it's the humiliation of being reduced to mallcops. In Mall One, a rotating spacestation, full of open spaces and plagued by a mysterious set of urban runners. There's only one way to catch them - train the Toughs in Parkata Urbatsu, the martial art of urban running. Meanwhile, is Nick about to get a girl, and which girl is it going to be, the mysterious blonde spy, or the fast food clerk?

And all the strands braid back together again with a desperate mission into the heart of an enemy-held asteroid to rescue Kevyn's clone, and Tagon's dad. Of course neither are exactly helpless - never underestimate a man with a remote-controlled headless monkey and a bandolier of grenades.

Book 12: Force Multiplication

An earlier book saw the Toughs stumble on a deep black UNS intelligence operation, one that they only got out of alive by agreeing to have their memories altered. Petey now has a way to reverse that, and it's time for the Toughs to remember what really happened, what really never happened, and who did it to them. One of the not-memories is the wedding of Doc Bunny Bunnigus and the Reverend, which means doing the whole thing over.

Given the need to speak to her (not-)mother-in-law, Bunny quickly decides on a field trip to check up on Shep, one of the Toughs' retired soldiers. Given Shep lives in a rough habitat, she takes Schlock, Para, Legs and Ennesby along with her, and hires Kathryn (that would be the mysterious blonde spy) to ferry them there. Things rapidly escalate as they discover the whole habitat is under the control of the mysterious Professor Pau, who doesn't like doctors, but has a medicine to cover every eventuallity. With Shep kidnapped, it's up to them to get him back, and Kathryn may have just the skills they need. Well she would have if she hadn't just defaulted on the contract she signed, giving Schlock the right to eat her.

So it's Kathryn vs Schlock in the bowels of Haven Hive, and Kathryn turns out to be unexpectedly resourceful. But then she stumbles onto what's really going on, and she's not about to let that go unanswered. Even if it means a chance of running into Schlock again as the Toughs make their move to free Shep.

Book 13: Random Access Memorabilia

The Toughs are hired to provide security on an archaeological dig, the dig being on an artifact, Oisri, that's so old it has a planet wrapped around it. The problem being Oisri is potentially so valuable it may be worth throwing entire fleets at them. Fortunately the Toughs have an answer for that, an autofabricator with a large pile of dirt going in at one end and lots and lots of missiles coming out at the other. That takes care of the overt threat, but leaves covert routes open, including nano-warfare, which it turns out Tagon has a history with.

It actually turns out the major threat is on a more human scale when one of the scientists accidentally rips his head off, then gets up again. The Toughs are up against Redhack, the culmination of the intelligence project they stumbled on. It was supposed to be a means of immortality, now it's a weapon, turning people into killing machines, and the only way out may be to kill everyone the Toughs signed on to protect.

Meanwhile, there is a spy aboard their ship.

Book 14: Broken Wind

Kathryn is back at Mall One, bonding with Tagon's dad over a little urban running, when they run into an alien with a job for both Tagons and the Toughs. Which is when Karl Tagon finds out his son has blown up yet another UNS battleplate; time to get everyone out of Dodge before they're scooped up by UNS intelligence. That includes Kathryn's urban runners and Alexia Murtaugh, the mercenary/cop who took the blame for what went down in Book 12.

Meanwhile the Toughs are facing up to the news their ship was totalled when its AI went berserk during the events at Oisri. Petey wants them to retire, and some of them are seriously tempted, the Plenipotent Dominion is a post-scarcity society, thanks to having turned the galactic core into a power generator. If money isn't an issue, then boredom may be, and when Karl Tagon turns up with a gunship and a job, he finds his son and the Toughs ready to board. Of course there is the small matter of the gunboat refusing to answer to anyone but the spy who betrayed them.

The job the Oafans have for them is a bug hunt, but the scale of the bug hunt wasn't actually as clear as it might have been. Eina Afa, the ancient spacestation that needs delousing, is big enough you could stuff the Moon and Mars inside with room to spare. The job gets fairly rapidly rescoped as a biological sampling mission, but then the station's old defences wake up, and they're stuck trying to find a way to talk down yet another berserk AI.

Book 15: Delegates and Delegation

The Oafans send an embassy to Sol in Ennesby's new ship, with Captain Murtaugh and  Xeno Team along as security. Of course, diplomatic credentials or not, there's a certain intelligence agency that may consider the Toughs to know too much. If they knew what the Toughs really have in mind they'd nuke them from orbit, as the only way to be sure.  This time the Toughs aren't going to revolutionise technology, they're going to revolutionise society.

Of course theirs may not be the only revolution people have planned. So it's up to the Toughs, a UNS ship designer, and a killing machine in a body he doesn't own to save the day and stop the UNS descending into civil war. (With a little help from a 750kg uplifted Polar Bear).

Book 16: Big Dumb Objects

The Toughs are still helping get their new home in the Neofan Freehold (aka Eina Afa) up and running. There are cities to be built in a day (okay, two), judiciaries to be created, and ancient librarians to be resurrected to see if they know enough to save the Galaxy (they don't, but they do know where the index is). Fortunately money isn't an issue when you have an ancient spacedock stuffed to the gills with millions of derelicts whose trans-uranic hulls are individually worth a fair fraction of the annual GDP of Sol system. And in between times, there's an archive Petey needs looting access to, which rapidly descends into a crime-scene.

But everything comes together when the science team stumbles onto the location of an ancient Oafan 'world forge'. Only one problem, it should be the size of Saturn, and it's been squished down to the size of Earth. Plus someone's already living there.

Fortunately the Essperrin are perfectly willing to sell access, for a ship or two. They would even be cute, as knee-high space ant-butterflies, but for their habit of 'improving' any technological system they can get their hands on. And their senior commander can't help noticing how much portable worth the Toughs new ships represent....

Over-Arcing Thoughts

I don't quite know how far back Howard Tayler has had the Schlock arc pinned down, but it's been clear for a while that the core arc is the Redhack technology and what functional immortality is going to do to society. The roots of that arc stretch right back into the very earliest days of Schlock Mercenary, when it was still primarily a daily strip and a long story arc was a month. The stories above represent the arc moving into the end game (Tayler's said as much), which is perhaps obvious when Book 17 is called A Little Immortality.  There's still the war against the Pa'anuri to resolve, and will Petey end up a benevolent god, or a tyrant, but I think those are the backdrop against which a more human story plays.

Schlock went through the same art evolution as a lot of webcomics, in fact it's early art is much more basic than a lot of comics start with. Tayler himself says: "Seriously, don’t start people at the beginning. Just don’t."  But if its art has evolved further than most, I still think it's the storytelling that has come furthest. That goes for characterisation too. Earliest Schlock had almost no female characters, but current Schlock has 5 female command characters out of 10 and several significant female characters in the enlisted ranks. Schlock doesn't just beat the Bechdel test, it has military operations being entirely run by female officers (the male officers are almost entirely absent from Book 15), and other female characters getting together to talk about the spaceships and robots they're designing and building. Kevyn, the resident mad-scientist, is regularly mocked by Para, who is simply better with robots and AIs than he will ever be (and Elf, his partner, is often the more practical engineer) Meanwhile Tagon started out as almost a buffoon, and he still has his foot in mouth moments, but he's now convincingly a commander to be reckoned with.

Howard Tayler is right, the Schlock archive is huge and intimidating, but I think it's worth the investment. Personally I might start with Delegates and Delegation to see if it appeals, the story is relatively self-contained even if some of the motivations won't be. That will leave you in a good position to work forward from there to the leading edge of the story, and you can go back and pick up the older stories at your leisure.
 


silveradept: The letters of the name Silver Adept, arranged in the shape of a lily pad (SA-Name-Small)
[personal profile] silveradept
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

Playing in a small ensemble develops the ear of a player more than playing in a large one, assuming that there is enough skill in the player to be able to hear what is going wrong. It is only recently that I feel like I have managed to develop things with that I can start hearing what others presumably always have been.

I'm not exactly a player that has had a lot of private lessons or elite group playing. And I don't really do a lot of practicing for lack of time and lack of seeming difficulty in many pieces. There is virtue in holding out long notes to build endurance and tune the ear to what the actual pitch is. I don't really have that.

I do, however, feel that there's an underappreciated thing in playing less than first parts on a regular basis. After you get out of the first few years where everyone is playing mostly the same thing into actual pieces, much of school bands is about trying to get to the first part so that one can play the actually interesting part of the piece. (This is usually the fault of bad piece selection by the conductor.) Second (and third) parts in these situations are often relegated to long notes that build the chord structure underneath the melodic line or the pluck of the offbeat (or on beat) oohm-pah underlying the march or the faster-paced music. Which are...necessary, but not necessarily interesting to the easily-bored teenager.

Better pieces with more complexity actually pass the melodic line around among the instruments and their parts. There's still a lot of pluck going on as well as whole note sequences, and long stretches of rest while woodwind instruments play runs that are only possible with keyed instruments, but things are better. In any case, much of the time I took in university probably improved technique and ability and the ability to produce volume on demand, but it wasn't as good for developing my ear, necessarily. But the pieces are better there, as well.

Which finally loops me back to the current day and my current group - mostly one or two people to each part, in an environment of musicians that have finally learned the importance of being able to engage in dynamic contrast. I've been told that the second and third parts have importance in the whole piece for my whole life, but it's only recently that I've been able to actually hear why. I'm not sure if I was finally able to get over myself, or whether I'm finally in a small enough group to feel important enough, but the texture of the part now comes through where it didn't before. And I can hear the difference when the part is present and when it isn't.

Funny how the things that everyone says with adult wisdom don't always come into existence until you've achieved some sort of adulthood. And they usually arrive after having been fought over and resisted and otherwise told to get lost. It could be equally a loss of ambition and a gathering of wisdom that allows me to finally hear the whole and realize how important my part is to the success of the piece.

So I highly recommend being in both a lead part and a supporting part for your endeavor. Being in support and seeing yourself as valuable is the more difficult operation. Always the more difficult option. But if you can do it, you will be rewarded in great ways.
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Sure I must be about visiting Dolly Mutton, for I am entire certain that the woman that went insult me after the play was Molly Binns and I am in considerable concern over what may be done about her has the Earl cast her off, or made trouble for her. Dolly I daresay will know more of the business and whether there is some remedy that might be put on hand.

I sigh. 'Tis sure a tangl’d web, tho’ the deceit that was first practis’d was that of Lord N-, the wretch.

I turn back to making up a packet to send to New South Wales, for the dear Admiral has put me in the way of certain fellow-officers of his that will be able arrange for messages to be convey’d there with quite unusual expedition. So I put together my own letter for dear Abby, that I miss so much, a letter from Miss N- to her sister, a communication from Mrs Atkins in hopes that it may reach her husband thro’ the kind offices of the T-s, and some other letters from sympathizers and members of the scientifick set.

I have seal’d this up all very proper to be took to the Admiral’s old shipmate that now occupies some place at the Admiralty, and am about to ring for Hector to give it to Timothy, when comes in Hector with a card on a tray and the expression I last saw when a dead rat was discover’d in the wainscoting, or mayhap when Mr E- call’d to solicit my interest in his intentions for Julius.

I look at the card, that is of one Mr R- O-, that is no-one I know: and then it comes to mind that the Contessa mention’d him to me as a fellow to be wary of.

Why, thinks I, I will trust the dear Contessa’s instincts in such matters, and tell Hector that he may admit the gentleman but that there is no necessity to bother Euphemia. Hector and I look at one another in entire mutual understanding.

I put away any sign that I have been about writing and go place my embroidery upon a low table, very prominent. 'Tis time to enact the feather-wit once more, methinks.

Comes in Mr R- O-, that is a gentleman approaching middle years, with a face that is one that would be easily forgot, dresst in a fashion to match these looks – 'tis not so out of style as to be not’d, nor is it in the crack of the mode.

I look at him in bewilderment, for sure one might well be in some confusion as to whether or not one had met him.

I do not think, sir, says I, that I have your acquaintance? I hope 'tis not incivil in me, but indeed one meets so many people, I know not how one may remember them all, I add, simpering somewhat.

Mr R- O- says that indeed, he has not formerly had the pleasure, and makes a leg, but he intrudes upon me in the hope that I have some intelligence of the whereabouts of Mr W- Y-.

Why, says I, I have not been in company with him this while – tho’, I say, as one that wishes be helpfull, saw him in the pit at the theatre within the past se’ennight. Indeed, says I, in somewhat injur’d tones, has not come read me his poems these several months.

He was in the habit of reading you his poems?

La, says I with somewhat of a pout, I would not say 'twas a habit.

And do you remember anything of the poems he read?

O, says I with a titter, I did not comprehend 'em in the least, but seem’d give him pleasure to read 'em to me.

When would you say you were last in company with Mr W- Y-?

I frown, and go count upon my fingers, and bite my lip in the effort of recollection, and say, was't not at Lord P-‘s house-party, when he was fright’d by a swan? And then say, no, of course, he was at the house-party at Sir V- P-'s, but left us early –

Was’t not on that occasion he had some quarrel with the late Mr D- K-?

I frown prettily and say, I confide he did, but, sure, Mr D- K- was a very quarrelsome fellow over matters to do with the shoot, had words very general with the other gentlemen there.

I look at him and blink slowly several times, and go tilt my head on one side with an expression of puzzlement. But no! I cry, sure 'twas give out that 'twas an apoplexy.

And he has never given you anything to keep for him?

O no, says I, and then, o, he gave me a book of his poems that came out last year – was there not some scandal about 'em?

Do you have the book?

I bite my lip and look thoughtfull and go over to my bookshelves and spend some while running my fingers along 'em and squinting and at length pulling out the slender volume and handing it to Mr R- O-, that ruffles thro’ the pages, many of which remain uncut. He pokes about it a little as if it might conceal some message.

At length he says, but you have not seen him since?

O, says I, perchance at some rout or ball but I do not think we have converst since Sir V-P-'s house-party.

Only, says Mr R- O-, to the great anxiety of his friends he seems to have vanisht -

Say you so! I exclaim.

- and we go about among his acquaintance to see whether any knows where he has gone. Do you hear anything to the matter, Lady B-, I should be most extreme gratefull could you inform me. A message to my club will ever find me.

Why, says I, I should be entire delight’d to relieve his friends’ anxieties over him – have I not heard that his behaviour of late has been strange and wild, even for a poet? - but he is at present quite the stranger to me.

I gaze at Mr R- O- in the fashion of one that would desire be helpfull but apprehends not quite how she might go be so.

Sir R- O- smiles at me as one might at a child that goes recite to company: because 'tis a pretty sight and not because the recitation has any merit. He makes me a leg and says he dares say he will not need to trouble me further in the matter.

I dip him a curtesy and ring for Hector to show him out.

After this has been accomplisht, comes Hector with an expression as if an entire hecatomb of rats has been discover’d in the wainscotting. Fellow askt me, he said, when did Mr W- Y- last call, as if could not trust Your Ladyship’s word.

La, says I, he suppos’d me a silly creature that scarce knows what day o’ week 'tis.

Hector and I look at one another. I wonder, says I, might you go have a word with Matt Johnson about fellows that might come watch out to see are there other fellows set to spy upon the house.

Hector nods and says 'tis a prudent thought.

Sure I should greatly like to get word to Sandy and convoke over this matter, but 'twould look somewhat particular to send for him at once. I also bite my lip and determine that much as I should desire the company of my dearest loves that is already promist for the e’en, 'twould be entire imprudent.

I daresay, says I, that there is a certain number of notes pass to and from 'twixt Euphemia and Seraphine upon culinary matters and this proposal concerning preserves and pickles. Hector concedes that 'tis so. Suppose, says I, that Euphemia went write somewhat to Seraphine, sure I might convey a note to Mrs F- thereby? Hector nods and says that indeed he minds that Euphemia was saying she runs very low on certain spices, would be extreme gratefull could Seraphine lend her a pinch or two until she may restock.

I sigh and say sure 'tis a somewhat arduous matter for Timothy, but does he take this packet to the Admiralty, he might then go on with her message to R- House?

'Twill do him good, says Hector somewhat severe, at present does naught but laze around cleaning the boots very desultory. I fear he relishes young Nell’s admiration over-much.

I go to my desk and scribble a little note for my darling Eliza, that I confide will appear entire innocuous, for 'tis a question as to what she purposes wear for the ball, as I shall not be seeing her until that very e’en; but will, I am in hopes, be taken at its true meaning by my loves.

That matter seen to, I find myself in some disposition to pace up and down, but go sit at my pretty desk and address myself to certain tangl’d matters in the philanthropick set, for 'twill sure distract my mind.

This business accomplisht, I go ride a little in the Park upon my lovely Jezzie-girl, in hopes it may clear my head somewhat.

'Twould be entire too much to hope that Milord might be riding there as well and thus might I find opportunity to convey some intelligence to R- House. But do I collect aright there is some matter goes forward in the Lords, that he must be about.

Comes up to me Reynaldo di S-, that says, he dares say I must have heard the news, that Lady Z- has gone bear a very fine daughter: and then goes sigh very deep, and say, sure she displays a most beautiful maternal character in her devotion to her children.

I say that indeed many women have the greatest love for their children whatever they may feel towards the father.

And he hopes that may prove some consolation to her –

Consolation? says I.

- for altho’ my heart remains entire in her hands, I am persuad’d that 'tis my duty to the cause to go rouse Herr P-'s adherents in the Americas and stiffen their resolve, and mayhap make new converts.

O, says I, 'tis a very noble thing you purpose.

sholio: Snow-covered trees (Winter-snowy trees)
[personal profile] sholio
[personal profile] lunabee34 asked: Tell me about your design aesthetic. If you got to build and decorate your own house, what would it be like?

Well, honestly, the house I live in is basically that house. Not entirely; I think if I were designing something from the ground up, I'd want it to be cozier and full of little nooks and cubbies and tucked-away rooms, while the current house is very open with high ceilings. But y'know, in dark Alaskan winters, spacious and bright is better than small and cozy anyway.

In general, though, I really like natural wood and a rustic kind of look. I fell in love with this place when I first saw it: lots of wood inside, big picture windows looking out at the forest. The only problem is that it's a little restrictive to decorate; there's no opportunity to paint the walls (it's all wood) and I pretty much had to start over again on art, because everything I had, from our house in Illinois, didn't really fit with the look of the place. Basically, where most houses have white walls and beige carpets, and generally provide a blank slate that you can do almost anything with, THIS house has an overwhelming enough personality of its own that the decorating direction is predetermined, and anything that doesn't go with its rustic look blatantly clashes.

Here are a couple of pictures from Facebook that give you an idea of what it looks like:

SDC16972

SDC15177

So yeah, I haven't really decorated it so much as just added a few things to what was there already. But that is basically what I would have wanted to create for myself if I hadn't happened to find a place that already had it.

I've also tried to clutter up the place with decorations as little as possible because I tend to like a minimalist kind of look while also being sort of a packrat and pretty lazy about cleaning. So my life is a constant battle between wanting an uncluttered environment and just not being dedicated enough to keep it that way, heh.

EZ Game Booster 1.5

Dec. 8th, 2016 03:00
[syndicated profile] giveawayofthday_feed

Posted by GOTD_Editor

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Real-time detection of CPU, disk space, and memory usage to optimize your PC for gaming performance.

EZ Game Booster provides disk defragmentation as optimizes it by intelligently streamlining your files based on using frequency. Over 50 helpful tweaks for your network, cores unparked, system speed, and system stability. Most gamers gain 10-30% performance increase in all games or programs.

NB: The license is provided for 1 year
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!
beren_writes: Manga portraits of Harry and Draco (Default)
[personal profile] beren_writes in [community profile] hp_fanworks
Revelations in a Broom Cupboard pt8

Title: Advent8 - There Is A Way
Series: Revelations in a Broom Cupboard
Author: Beren
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: canon compliant only to Deathly Hallows, EWE
Summary: Draco explains what he is thinking.
Author's Notes: I made the decision, it's a series of drabbles, at least for now :). Thanks to Soph for the beta.
Word count: 100
Link: LJ | DW | AO3 | Wattpad
Other Parts: LJ | DW | AO3 | Wattpad

winter arrives

Dec. 8th, 2016 01:42
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
It's gotten cold, and there's something exciting about the wind and the snow, the bundling up and layering yourself, fortying yourself against the cold, lacing your boots, doing up your zippers, tying your scarf. The feeling we're all in it together, us against the cold.

[personal profile] jesse_the_k gave me Carhartt overalls in blue-gray. They are everything. I put them on over my jeans and liners, put on my wool sweater and coat, hat and mittens, two pairs of socks and boots, and I was almost too warm for my night dog walk with my friend R. Abbie wore all her layers too.

The dry cold air is not great for my sinuses and breathing, but what are you gonna do. At the pool on Tuesday, the warm humid air was a blessing.

Thursday 08/12/2016

Dec. 8th, 2016 07:54
dark_kana: (3_good_things_a_day official icon)
[personal profile] dark_kana in [community profile] 3_good_things_a_day
1) Trying to plan the upcoming weekend.

2) Fresh bedlinen.

3) Listening to awesome music on my way to work.

Cold-Forged Flame

Dec. 7th, 2016 23:37
yhlee: Avatar: The Last Airbender: "fight like a girl" (A:tLA fight like a girl)
[personal profile] yhlee
Marie Brennan's Cold-Forged Flame is one of those novellas-printed-as-a-book that are happening these days, a trend I generally approve of on the grounds that I am a slow reader and I actively seek out skinny books. In this case, however, I feel that the story would have been better served written as a full-fledged novel, or anyway a longer novella.

In Cold-Forged Flame, a woman warrior is summoned to retrieve the blood of a mysterious being called the Lhian. Complications: she has no memory of who she was. She has no choice but to carry out this quest (I read it as a geas, although it's not called that in the book). Her summoners claim that her amnesia will protect her from coming to further harm from the Lhian, and that explanations will only put her at risk. Left with no choice, she goes to confront the Lhian.

Normally amnesiac protagonists are one of my narrative kinks. What I discovered, though, is that it's not just amnesia that makes them so appealing to me. I either want angst--lots and lots and lots of angst--or I want wisecracking. There are undoubtedly examples of angsty amnesia beyond counting. As for wisecracking, the main example I can think of here is Corwin from Roger Zelazny's Nine Princes in Amber, and the Amber series had the additional advantage of such a colorful, epic setting and characters that even in the space of the first volume I found myself entranced. If your taste in amnesiac protagonists doesn't come hedged about with weird modifiers the way mine does, though, this may work better for you.

Brennan's prose is taut and vivid, and there are some interesting characters sketched here, but that's half the problem--they felt like sketches. I felt strongly that this was a consequence of the story's chosen length. I would have loved to learn more about the protagonist's nature, some of which comes clear through the course of the story, and the man she encounters and the revolution he wants to spark. But we are only given fragments, and not enough meat on the bone (if I may mix my metaphors). I am given to understand that there will be a sequel, but I would much rather have gotten a work more complete in itself.

There are some intriguing hints about the nature of myth, storytelling, and archetype, but I couldn't help but feel that Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood did it better, if from a different direction; or perhaps, if you're willing to approach the idea from yet another angle still, Simon R. Green's Once in a Blue Moon. (Unfortunately, while I loved the Green, it's the fifth and last book in the Forest Kingdom series, with a side trip through the additional six-book Hawk and Fisher series, so it's not going to make a lick of sense without all of that as background.)

The other thing that made this book a hard sell to me was no fault of the book's, which is that I the vibe I got off the magic was partly Faerie (I think Brennan has said that some of the ideas were inspired by the White Wolf Changeling RPG) and I am a hard sell on Faerie stories with the exception of "Tam Lin." ("Tam Lin" gets grandfathered in because I imprinted as a child on Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard. I am so sad that the one "Tam Lin"-based novel I read this year was botched.) So if this is your sort of thing, it may well please you. But the subject material doesn't inherently interest me.

I wanted to like this more, but I don't think this was my cuppa. Perhaps another time?
gehayi: (hermione books (lilacsigil))
[personal profile] gehayi
FFT: Blurb

In which the blurb describes a great fairy tale anthology filled with active, intelligent, independent female characters...which is unfortunately the exact opposite of what we just finished reading.

Next up: the first of four bonus essays. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
This is probably a holdover from adolescence or something - I don't want to feel I'm getting laughed at by people who think what I like is stupid. (And this comes up more often than you think! "Has anybody ever liked book/movie/tv show that you're supposed to like?" Um, me? "Hahaha, nope, nobody because it sucks!" Um....)

So I've been thinking about this for a while, and I don't think I've posted it because of what I said above, but I really like Megamind, and I like Megamind fanfiction, and this is one of the cutest fanfics you will read. (Content note: Teacher-sanctioned bullying ahoy! This is probably canon anyway.)

But that's not what's been percolating in my head. Megamind is a seriously small fandom (rules: watch the movie. agree it got screwed by Dreamworks. there, now you're a card carrying member of the fandom - and step one isn't strictly necessary anyway), but it certainly has accrued an awful lot of widely-accepted fanon. Megamind and Metroman's "real names". Megamind eating an tons of sugar. Megamind and Roxanne playing card games if Metroman doesn't show up quickly. But maybe this is how it works? Maybe the smaller the fandom, the more rapidly little bits of lore perpetuate themselves throughout the entire cloud?

I clearly need to insinuate myself into more fandoms of varying sizes and then evaluate them carefully for widely-accepted fanon. But who has the time? Honestly, I already have so much to catch up on. I need more hours in the day, and also a reset button.

This post was more coherent in my head. I apologize.

Squids!

Dec. 8th, 2016 15:56
st_aurafina: Harold Finch's face (POI: Harold)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
Insta Rec
I wrote a Supergirl fic of necessary hugs: Lights Will Guide You Home (Kara Danvers/Daisy Johnson, General) and guess what, [personal profile] monanotlisa wrote a beautiful and adorable coda for it: Hide Away in Daylight (Kara Danvers/Daisy Johnson, General) Everything is squishy hugs and nothing hurts.


The State of Me
Oh, man, I don't know if it's the prednisolone taper, but I'm so woozy and full of fogs. It might be that my GI tract got so inflamed that I couldn't absord oral meds, so now I'm basically re-establishing my Pristiq and other meds all at once? I'm foggy and I have a concentration window of about two minutes, and my balance is kind of fucked. Not very me at all. To be fair, my suffering is not great. But I feel like a balloon animal. Maybe a dachshund. Maybe a giraffe?

Oh, but [personal profile] lilacsigil has just come back from the street to tell me that the cafe that makes the great salt and pepper squid has it on their specials board today, so I am getting squiddy with my lunch. I have such fish cravings since I've been sick. Fish and nuts. All the oils. Get in my body, oils. And squids.


NaNo Round-up
I'm picking through the scattered debris of my NaNo adventure to see what actually happened in that weird month.

- Finished the POI Five Things fic, though one of the parts is decidedly odd with only some good bits. The good bits might sprout something better, though, so I shall see. Total word count: 31,767.
- Finished the POI Sentinel/Guide fic, though I think it needs some fleshing out in parts. I quite like this one, actually? It's iddy as all get out and has lots of hugging and touching and bonding. I think, once I've got my Yuletide sorted, I'll work on this one. Total word count: 16,229
- Wrote one chapter of the Bucky fic. It was a weird but necessary chapter. 7266 words, taking that fic to a total of 62,044, holy shit.
- The Supergirl fic of necessary hugs, which I've already posted. (2032 words)
- The POI fixit fic is where it got weird and throw-words-at-the-wall-ish. I'm a little scared to look. I had a fever. 13,828 words, some of which may not be consecutive or legible.
- Last minute desperation words, Harold Finch competence porn. 2602 words. I want to finish this, because it's fun, and because I like exploring Harold's hidden skillsets.


Activist Links
From [personal profile] china_shop:
Here’s What I’m Telling My Brown Son About Trump’s America
A sad but also hopeful essay, and this got me:
But listen, love, because I need to remind you of something and I need you to remember it extra well over the next four years: This is our street. It is our street. So when you feel that rumbling pushing up through your palms, I want you to press them flat against it, and do not be afraid to hear everything.

From [community profile] thisfinecrew:
Boycott These Companies: boycotting companies that support Trump

From [personal profile] newredshoes:
Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment


Self-care and soothing
- This twitter thread about a comicbook store helper and a tiny new Supergirl baby gay made me cry with happiness and wish there'd been this kind of visibility for me in the eighties. It's so important. (Please don't kill Maggie, please don't kill Alex, please.)

- From Buzzfeed, Ocean's Eight is looking like the best movie thing that's ever happened omg: Based On Set Photos It Looks Like “Ocean’s Eight” Will Be The Greatest Movie In The History Of Movies

- Journaling Practice - Peony and Parakeet is a art-journalling blog I'm fond of, and she posted about being an introvert and an artist, which is something that I clicked with. Her blog is a good, thoughtful, mindful kind of place for art stuff.

- From [personal profile] umadoshi, (Almost) Every SFF Adaptation Coming to Television and Movie Theaters!
This is a weird and amazing list of things. And oh, wow that Camelot procedural series. It will surely be terrible and I will watch the crap out of it.

- Chocolate Box is running again this year! Schedule at [community profile] chocolateboxcomm.

- [community profile] fandom_stocking too, has sign-ups going: Sign-up Post


Squid ETA: It was delicious but a Pharmacy Board inspector showed up, which seems like an odd coincidence. Will investigate further tomorrow.

Yuletide

Dec. 7th, 2016 23:38
settiai: (Yuletide -- liviapenn)
[personal profile] settiai
I would like to state, for the record, that I feel so sorry for the Yuletide mods right now. All of them. Every single one.

That said? If all of the assignments had to be accidentally purged, at least it happened now instead of at an even worse time closer to the deadline(s).

(But, oh gods, I can't even imagine.)

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