Dammit, I ate the grapes

Jun. 27th, 2016 12:54 pm
[personal profile] telophase
Last time, Murderface brought an axe to a wizard’s duel and was disdained by Valdimar. This time, he stumbles into yet another murder mystery.

Read more... )
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

(191?) Bridgeport Bridge, Bridgeport, Ontario Postcard. P000354. Waterloo Historical Society Collection

"The ABBA edition" of Rye & Ginger.

By the way...

Jun. 27th, 2016 10:51 am
[personal profile] telophase
...here's a picture of Murderface I commissioned from drekkydrimm (DA | Tumblr)

Murderface by drekkydrimm on DeviantArt

This is totally the way he would like you remember him.
[personal profile] heresluck
I think I got this one from [personal profile] norah.

Good Bones

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

— Maggie Smith
from Waxwing Literary Journal issue no. 9

Jun. 27th, 2016 06:56 am
[personal profile] the_rck
We had a generally good anniversary yesterday, with a few blips. I spent most of the morning trying desperately to jump start myself somehow. I was kind of mentally hazy, and physically, I felt like I’d already pushed my muscles to the point where they couldn’t do anything more.

Scott and I ended up getting lunch at McDonald’s, partly in hope that that would wake me up (whether due to being out of the house or due to the calories) and partly for nostalgia. We went through a McDonald’s drive-thru pretty much immediately after our wedding reception because there hadn’t been much food there that I could eat, basically just plain bread and the wedding cake. There had been supposed to be food I could eat, but Scott’s mother misunderstood what my parameters were and decided, without telling me or Scott, that the special arrangements weren’t necessary.

Scott and I did the grocery shopping after eating at McDonald’s (the Kroger and the McDonald’s share a parking lot). I’m not sure I should have done that because my ankle really ached by bedtime last night, but it was nice to spend the time together, and it gave me the rare opportunity to look for things that appealed to me in terms of canned soup and such.

We went to the library an hour or two after we got back from shopping. Cordelia came with us (she had two interlibrary loan holds that she was very eager to start reading), and we got bubble tea afterward.

Scott and I listened to about an hour and a half of Furiously Happy. He’s bothered by the amount of swearing and references to genetalia, but he does find it funny and worth going on with.

About 6:30, we got in the car to go get dinner at Palm Palace. They were very much not crowded, but it still took forever for our meals to arrive. We had soup (me) and salad (Scott and Cordelia) and bread, hummos, and garlic spread pretty much immediately, but the meal proper didn’t arrive until late enough (7:56) that I really shouldn’t have eaten any of it. The server was pretty attentive and brought us more bread and more water whenever we needed it, but the hour long wait for the main course was frustrating.

When we got home, Scott and I watched part of season three of Teen Titans, Go! The library had it, and I thought that something silly to watch might be a nice break. And it is really, really silly. I miss the old Teen Titans show which was much better, but I can still enjoy this very, very occasionally.

Scott realized, right before bedtime, that he needed to wash his uniforms or resign himself to wearing dirty clothes to work tomorrow. I was having enough hints of reflux that I thought staying up a bit longer was a good idea anyway, so I told him I’d stay up and put his stuff in the dryer. I got to bed a little after midnight.

I had dreams that there were things wrong with the world that I needed to try to set right, and for some reason, that involved sleeping in a particular (and uncomfortable) position and getting rid of the pillow under my knees. I was just awake enough to do all of that but not enough to be puzzled by what on earth my sleeping habits could have to do with— I don’t even remember what. Discrimination of some sort? Global warming? I think I remember Miss Marple, played by Joan Hickson, being involved somehow (I watched some of that on Saturday, so I guess it was in my head).

I’m a bit worried about the idea of dreams that make me do real physical things. In this case, it only resulted in back pain that made walking difficult for about ten minutes, and I don’t think that I could actually get out of bed without waking up fully enough to question what was going on, but… I’ve had dreams for months, going back to radiation, about needing to sleep on my left side or not on my left side for fear of terrible (unspecified) things happening. That seemed trivial enough because it’s just a matter of rolling over in bed. Are things escalating? Do I need to, for example, put my meds somewhere more difficult to get to when I’m mostly asleep? My meds come up in dreams pretty regularly, mostly in terms of anxiety about running out or about forgetting to take them. This is new territory for me.

I’m awake now because my legs ache. I’m not sure how to address that. It’s something I lived with during my high school, college, and working years, but it’s been about fourteen years since I consistently had trouble with it, and I no longer know how to sleep with it. When it was a constant thing, there wasn’t anything that I found that would help. Painkillers never did. Massage helped while it was going on but not after.

My hips, knees, and ankles want heat pretty constantly, and the rest of me, including the other parts of my legs, wants things to be on the chilly side. It’s the sort of thing that has me constantly shifting my legs around in search of a bit of bed that’s cooler than where I’ve been. Of course, that coolness only lasts a few seconds.

Right now, I’m applying heat to my bad ankle and a cold pack to the insides of my thighs. I don’t know that that will help when I go to lie back down, but I’m quite sure that I can’t deal with today on less than five hours of sleep.

Daily Happiness

Jun. 27th, 2016 12:03 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. Today didn't feel very birthdayish because we went out to lunch on Thursday already, but it was generally a pretty decent day, so that's good enough for me. :D

2. Tomorrow should be my day off, but I do have to go in for a bit. Hopefully just like an hour or so, though... And I don't have to go in until late morning, so I can sleep in!

3. We had some really delicious watermelon tonight!

4. Look at this silly kitten!

Ch11 - p53

Jun. 27th, 2016 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] unsounded_feed

Posted by Ashley

Oh, that's right. Giant Lady-Mechs had wandered into town. I'm sure they're here for everyone's protection.
[personal profile] starlady
# I'm increasingly thinking that I will be effectively leaving Dreamwidth at some point soon. I may start a Wordpress; I may absorb some kinds of content into other venues. No firm decisions have been made, but entropy is running.

# I had a lovely time at CrossingsCon and want to give the staff kudos for pulling off a first-time con rather well. As for me, I am old and jaded and I know for a fact that tumblr didn't invent everything, but I did nonetheless have a lovely time and would happily attend again.

# The Brexit horrorshow is nauseatingly horrific from across the pond, and I am so sorry to all my friends in the UK and the EU who are living it. I've been trying to write a condolences email to some non-internet UK friends, and quite honestly I've found it much easier writing emails to people after terrorist attacks asking whether they or anyone they know are dead. Hopefully somehow the situation may yet be pulled back from the brink. (And if that happens, will people one day say that David Cameron managed to redeem himself in the end, by poisoning the Article 50 chalice a la that one Facebook comment's analysis? Gross.)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I am mostly concluding this review to point you to the comments in the DW version of the previous post on this book, in which Rydra Wong recommends a truly amazing set of books and articles, most of which I had never even heard of, by thoughtful athletes in unusual sports who write about why they do what they do and what it feels like. I am very interested in mind-body issues, and these sorts of books are an excellent source of writing on it that is actually good and not just an annoying stew of vagueness, fifth-hand Zen, and blaming the reader for sundry failures of body and mind.

The second half of Cox's book has her pursuing her US/Soviet swim, a darkly humorous endeavor in which she is spied on by some seriously incompetent FBI agents, repeatedly bangs her nose against the Iron Curtain, and ends up with the CIA and KGB simultaneously tapping her phone. No one can quite believe that she really is doing this because she wants to, and primarily because it's the most challenging thing she can think of, rather than for some dark political purpose in which she is merely the cover. (She does, in fact, have a political purpose, but it's secondary and personal: she hopes her swim might have a sort of butterfly effect on US-Soviet relations, showing both sides that they are human beings, not the Evil Other.)

However, the same persistence that makes her a great swimmer enables the swim to happen - she keeps banging down doors until both governments, rather bewilderedly, decide that maybe they can make political hay of it. She makes the swim, and the butterfly effect actually does seem to happen. So for a while Cox does a number of other swims intended to both challenge herself and act as gestures of goodwill between countries. These are all vividly described, as she faces off with sharks, ice bergs, sea snakes, ice sharp enough to slice a boat's hull in half, and her own cold and exhaustion.

But eventually, she can't resist the ultimate swim: Antarctica. This is in water so cold that no one is sure it is even survivable. Once again, she returns to the researchers and their rectal thermometers. This time technology has improved and they want her to swallow a mini-thermometer and data-gatherer, emphasizing that it's very expensive and they need to get it back, both to download the data and because it's re-usable - "Just use a plastic bag!" Cox, suspicious: "Am I the first person to swallow this thing?" The researcher assures her that she is, while accidentally also making it clear that she won't be the last.

The reason I read this book was a brief article on Cox's swim which noted that before the swim, her teeth had to be specially sealed and some of her fillings removed and replaced, because otherwise they would shatter from the cold. That, I thought, was hardcore. At the end of the book, she notes offhandedly that the nerve damage she sustained from the cold (which she only barely mentions otherwise) is repairing itself, and she's resting while looking forward to the next thing.

Once again, highly recommended if you like this sort of thing.

Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer

Daily Happiness

Jun. 26th, 2016 01:18 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. Today was the 4th of July fireworks show at Santa Monica College (they always have it the weekend before 4th of July weekend) and I usually miss seeing them since I'm just getting off work then, but they must have started a little later this year because I got home in time to see them.

2. I love kitties who love scritches!

dairy-free chicken liver mousse

Jun. 25th, 2016 06:01 pm
[personal profile] loligo
A very enthusiastic recommendation for this recipe for dairy-free chicken liver mousse.

I guesstimated all the amounts, because I wasn't sure how much chicken liver I had. (It was an unusually generous giblet package with a roasting chicken. What kind of mutant chicken has four livers??) But I knew it couldn't be a pound and a half. Anyway, I think I may have used too much water in the recipe -- we'll see how it firms up in the fridge. But oh my god, the flavor!! I licked every single utensil that came in contact with the stuff.

Two major substitutions: I used duck fat instead of coconut oil (and didn't add the extra at the end), and I used apple jack instead of white wine. SO GOOD. (And I am not someone who will just eat sauteed chicken livers.)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Seen on tor.com
Rewatcher’s note: Back in 1987, one of the best reference works of its kind, Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise, was published, and it is one beloved by many Star Trek fans. Its author, Shane Johnson, has since transitioned and is now Lora Johnson, and she’s having some major medical issues relating to a heart defect, and needs help. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her with the massive medical bills. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Lora's Medical and Surgery Fund


Jun. 25th, 2016 11:55 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I am permitted to leave my tag on my hanger at Humanities Theatre for the fall season.

Jun. 25th, 2016 10:31 am
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia is coming home today. She texted last night, demanding to know when we were coming to get her. Scott was too exhausted to manage it last night, and he’s working today. We offered this evening or Sunday afternoon. Cordelia asked Scott’s parents to bring her home (I don’t know if she asked directly or hinted until they offered) after the sale ends today. Cordelia thinks that will be noonish which seems silly to me given that I’d expect more people coming to the sale today than yesterday or Thursday, but whatever. It will be a big help for us not to spend three hours or more on retrieving her.

I ended up doing some writing last night, on my phone and after we’d turned out the lights so that Scott could sleep. It was, of course, not on the story that I need to and want to finish. Still, I wrote for a solid hour.

I’m trying to figure out how to turn off smart quotes permanently in Google docs. I’ve been trying to figure that out for a couple of years now because preferences option for unchecking the use smart quotes box doesn’t actually do that. Basically, I can make all of the changes I want to in the preferences list, and they vanish as soon as I close the preferences window and don’t get applied to my document. Highlighting text and changing things doesn’t make it work, either, nor does making the changes before I put anything into the document. I have the problem in both Chrome and Firefox. I haven’t tried it in Safari.

This was a huge, huge problem when I was doing Meta News because it screwed up every single link I added. We could address it with a find and replace, still in Gdocs, but it was a PITA to try to remember to do that each time we were preparing to post. It beat hand correcting every single quotation mark and apostrophe, but…

Right now, I’m experimenting with using Gdocs for tracking what I read and watch so that I can add comments during free moments when I’m not at my laptop. Unfortunately, because of the smart quotes problem, I can’t format things the way I want them to be in Gdocs— all of the cut tags and links end up broken. It’s very frustrating.

I already knew that something about Gdocs on my phone means I can’t insert the html tagging I’m used to as I compose because it changes '< /i >' to '< I >' without telling me that it’s doing that. It’s happened very consistently, and it’s frustrating. I use tagging for italics a lot when I’m writing fiction.

Our dentist is transitioning from selling Colgate’s fluoride gel, Gel-Kam, to selling a similar product called Fluoridex from Sonicare. The price and the amount of gel are the same, so I didn’t see much difference. Sadly the Fluoridex tastes a little bit nasty, not enough that I can’t use it but enough that I spend the time wishing I weren’t. Fluoridex has two variants. The first is just fluoride, and the second is fluoride and potassium nitrate. The latter is a key thing for treating sensitive teeth which I have huge problems with, to the point that stopping using Gel-Kam for three days (as I did when we went to Florida five years ago) results in about three months of pain.

We can buy Gel-Kam without a prescription, either online or at Kroger (special ordered by the pharmacy). It costs $3-$10 more a tube if we go that way, so buying from the dentist is preferable from that side if not from convenience. Fluoridex requires a prescription (at least, the box says "Rx only"), so we’d have to get that from the dentist if we want to buy it somewhere other than her office. The hygienist said they’d be willing to order Gel-Kam for us if the Fluoridex doesn’t work for whatever reason. I think, though, that, if we go back to Gel-Kam, we’ll just get it from Amazon.

Tomorrow is our 23rd anniversary. We have a lot of things that we have to do that have nothing to do with that and that we will probably both be annoyed by, but groceries are kind of necessary, anniversary or not. I will probably still post tomorrow, but I may not. We don’t currently have any solid plans.

Daily Happiness

Jun. 25th, 2016 01:31 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. Just as I was thinking things are going well at work, despite one of our best workers leaving early next month, I get the news today that someone else (another fulltime employee who we rely on a lot) broke his hand and may be out of commission for four weeks (or possibly more!). But other than that, things really do seem to be going well employee-wise. The new guy we hired is working out really well, and the guy we've been wanting to move from cashier to stocker may finally be able to change positions now that we have some more cashiers working. (But argh, broken hand! Why now!?)

2. A coworker brought in delicious cupcakes today!

3. I stayed up way later than I meant to (I really want to try to get to bed by midnight!) but at least I can sleep in tomorrow.

4. Mollyyyyyyyyy!

Brief update

Jun. 25th, 2016 12:38 am
[personal profile] umadoshi
--Friends in/from the U.K., I'm so sorry for the horror show you're facing. ;_; What a fiasco.

--I went from yesterday morning until nearly midnight tonight without checking Dreamwidth. I realize that's not actually all that long, but I can't remember the last time I didn't manage to at least skim my reading list quickly at some point in a day.

--A quick link: the audiobook of The Raven Boys is available for free for a couple of days. Info here.

--Toronto is fun, as usual, but I'm feeling more worn down by all the scheduling and whatnot than I generally am. :/ (It's a little hard to tell how much more than usual, because I don't particularly enjoy the schedule-wrangling part and I always find it stressful, although the payoff is worth it.) The obvious factor (not necessarily the only one?) in feeling more drained is a lingering cold, which at this point is all in the throat: my voice is shot (and being in Toronto isn't helping, because I talk a lot while I'm here), my throat is a bit sore and a bit scratchy, and I have a hacking cough that comes and goes. >.<

--I miss the cats desperately. They're fine, and we're getting regular updates, but...yeah.

Linkspam has a new filling (ouch)

Jun. 24th, 2016 06:18 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
I'm astonished and saddened about the referendum results in the UK, especially since it appears that many people didn't actually know what they were voting for? I can't even. All my sympathies to folks currently living and working in Britain.


Dave Eggars has a fairly damning report on a Trump rally in Sacramento. Damning for what it says about Trump's appeal, rather than for what Trump himself says. Interesting...

This won't convince anyone, but it's a great essay debunking a lot of the asserted reasons for hating Hillary Clinton. (Protip: it's sexism.) And again: why is Hillary being held to a standard that never appears to be applied to her male counterparts? Am I not supposed to notice that a media frenzy has been aimed at Hillary Clinton for accepting speaking fees of $225,000 while Donald Trump has been paid $1.5 MILLION on numerous occasions with hardly a word said about it? Am I supposed to not notice that we are now in an election season in which Donald Trump, a proud scam artist whose involvement in "Trump University" alone is being defined by the New York Attorney General as "straight-up fraud", is regularly calling Hillary Clinton "Crooked Hillary" and getting away with it?


This is a bit hyperbolic, but I could see at least some of it happening: The hack that could take down New York City.

This book about beauty looks really fascinating.

This is kind of a great story -- a dude rescues a baby deer.

Noted for later reading: The Guardian on the evolution of personal taste (I think).

Also wild times in Utah.


In other news, I haven't read all of this yet, but apparently there are new guidelines from Paramount for fannish Trek films? Um. If they're fan films, how can Paramount issue guidelines? (I know, I know, with the threat of lawsuits, naturally.) But really, if they fall within corporate guidelines, they're really not transformative texts anymore, they're approved derivative uses. Or so I would guess.

... and now that I've looked at the summary at Tor.com, holy cow. This is so gross. I really love the one where the fan filmmakers are forbidden to make their own props. And the one where they're required to only distribute via streaming or download -- they can't distribute on dvd/cd. (Sorry, fans in places without broadband, you're not allowed to watch fan films!)

Eh. I'm sure IP attorneys will have more sophisticated takes than I do, but this will chill any critical takes on the Trek franchise. Although I'm not sure how critical any of the fan episodes/films are -- fan films require so much more labor than fanfiction does, I don't know how far afield those folks tend to go.


In other fannishness, I finished reading League of Dragons last night. And ... I liked it. Didn't LOVE it, but it was entertaining, and resolved a lot of stuff in pretty thoughtful and creative ways. There is, in fact, one particular bit at the end where Temeraire goes to thank someone and is roundly rebuffed for his pains, that I just really appreciated. That said, I didn't love the way the narrative cut away from some of the more dramatic moments, only to tell us about them later. In fact, three of the most dramatic things to happen in the entire series are never shown, which I found... baffling?

Anyway, it was still pretty fun and I think anyone who has been sticking with the series will find the conclusion pretty sound. Stuff mostly gets resolved and you can see an interesting future ahead for most of the characters.

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