Unsorted linkspam

Feb. 10th, 2016 12:29 am
[personal profile] umadoshi
At The OASG, "Five Questions with Dr. Casey Brienza, Author of Manga in America". [Probably unnecessary disclaimer: I haven't read the book yet, but I was one of the manymanymany people Casey interviewed when researching it.]

"How To Make Something People Give A Shit About".

"20 free fashion books to download from The Metropolitan Museum of Art".

"Decipher Your Cat's Body Language With This Helpful Infographic". (Also includes the corresponding dog body language infographic.) [Mental Floss]

"Why Do Poor People 'Waste' Money On Luxury Goods?"

"Girth Guides are online!" is a post announcing Girth Guides: Patches for Fat Activists. Being a fat person is tough work & sometimes we deserve a bit of recognition for living in the world while fat. Girth Guides is a way to connect with other fat activists and seek comfort in community; a club where we can witness and validate our own strength and lived experiences.

"10 Things You Should Say to Someone with a Chronic Illness". [2014]

"17 Pictures Of Beach Bodies That Will Get You Motivated". [Buzzfeed] No humans in sight in this article! "“Being able to return to a stage of sexual immaturity after reaching sexual maturity and remaining essentially biologically immortal is really helpful for maintaining my youthful glow,” she shared."

Here is a tweet with a retail listing description and a link to photos. Hard to describe; worth a look.

The Globe and Mail has an excerpt from Untangled, in which "psychotherapist Lisa Damour uses neuroscience to help parents – and anyone perplexed by teenage girls – understand what’s really going on in their heads". (Not a field I know anything about, so take my linking it with a grain of salt, but I found the excerpt more interesting than The Globe and Mail's description suggests.)

Brief medical update

Feb. 9th, 2016 04:50 pm
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The test I wrote about, which I was told to have immediately on a "you might need emergency surgery!!!!" basis, of course came back negative. (Well, it found some stuff - at my age, if you look closely enough at someone's body you'll generally eventually find something - but probably nothing that could be causing any symptoms.)

That same doctor also told me I needed to IMMEDIATELY schedule two very expensive, time-consuming tests for a type of cancer I had already been checked for two months previously in a different manner, because she found something that she thinks the two-months-ago test missed.

Me: "Do you seriously think this is cancer? Because there's that completely benign condition which I already told you about, which I've had my entire life and which causes the exact thing you found…"

Doctor Five Alarm Fire (reluctant): "No, I don't think it's cancer, it's probably that benign thing. But you need to get it checked immediately, because it MIGHT be cancer!"

She also strongly implied that I was in immediate risk of dropping dead of a heart attack. "Go to the drug store, buy baby aspirin, and start taking it TONIGHT!"

Considering that the disease causing actual symptoms, whatever the fuck it is, almost certainly does not involve either my heart or the possibly cancerous parts, I'm thinking she was maybe a little alarmist. (At that point, my heart had already been checked repeatedly, by multiple methods, and appears to be fine.) I think THREE completely unrelated and extremely serious diseases are just a bit unlikely, considering that I have now been scanned and tested to hell and back and no one's ever found much of anything.

The good news is that I found a GP I actually like, who is additionally unlikely to give up and refer me out for both professional and personal reasons. (She's a friend of a friend.) She has basically the same theory on the probable nature and cause of my illness that I do, which of course endeared her to me, but since she's a doctor and I'm not, she came up with a quite detailed plan for 1) investigation with that in mind, 2) treatment of symptoms in the meanwhile, 3) consults, 4) back-up plans in case the first investigations don't find anything. Very methodical. I'm encouraged.

(She also thought the Three-Alarm-Fire doctor was being a bit alarmist, on all fronts.)

Incidentally, this is something like the fourth time in the last seven months that a doctor has outright said or strongly implied that I might be dying or in imminent danger of dropping dead. This is naturally doing wonders for my general stress level.

Comments closed to prevent a deluge of "Get the cancer tests done IMMEDIATELY!" I want a second opinion on that. Those particular tests often lead to painful, unnecessary, invasive procedures that find that oops, it was the previously-known, benign condition after all.)

Miscellaneous book recommendations

Feb. 9th, 2016 02:17 pm
[personal profile] coffeeandink
So far I have obviously been terrible at posting more this year, but I do have some posts in progress and may even finish one someday. In the meantime, a bunch of older books I like have come out as ebooks, so I thought I'd recommend them:


  • Sarah Smith, Perdita Halley and Alexander von Reisden mysteries
    Series of historical mysteries, set in the turn of the (twentieth) century in Boston and Paris, featuring a blind pianist and a scientist with a troubled past. Elegant prose, sophisticated characterization, and very good on the lingering effects of childhood trauma -- when I do read mysteries, I tend to read for character, prose, and mood more than puzzle, and these are no exception. The Vanished Child is about a man who bears a great resemblance to a child who vanished many years ago, and how and why he impersonates the lost child. The Knowledge of Water shifts location to Paris and involves a writer very clearly based on Colette, plus a plot to steal the Mona Lisa; A Citizen of the Country focuses on early attempts at film-making in France.

    You might want to try these if you like Barbara Hambly's Benjamin January mysteries.

  • Kristine Smith, Jani Killian series
    Sf. As the series starts, Jani Killian has been on the run for over a decade. She was once considered one of humanity's brightest, a student at the alien idomeni institute in an attempt at alliance-building, which went drastically wrong in a clash between conservative and radical idomeni idealogues, for which Jani is partially blames. Smith's world-building is different from the generic default in interesting ways: neither her humanity nor her idomeni are unified fronts; Jani is from a Colony world whose antecedents seem to be Acadian and Hindu; one of the most important professions is "protocol officer," or paper-pusher, the authentication of information being one of the keys to interstellar commerce.

  • Cherry Wilder, The Rulers of Hylor series
    Unusually fine fantasy trilogy (published as YA in hardcover and adult in paperback) from the mid-eighties; makes a lot of standard fantasy tropes seem fresh by the excellence of the prose and the maturity of the characterization. Each book focuses on one of a group of first cousins, the children of three beautiful sisters called the "Swans of Lien," and the dynastic struggles in the continent of Hylor. Nicely variable in style as well: book one is third-person limited past, book two is first-person limited retrospective past, book three is omniscient present tense (slipping into past). Each book can be read independently of the others, although they work better together. There is an overall arc (regarding the sorceror who manipulates the lives of all three cousins) that only becomes clear in Book Three; earlier than that, you get the benefit of the varied points of views, in which a mysterious and ominous figure in one book is a dearly beloved friend in another, or a brilliant military victory becomes a tragic defeat.

    Wilder died some time ago; the books are being published by the Frenkel Literary Agency, so ... there's that. :(


And one new one for lagniappe:

Letters to Tiptree (ed. Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce) is a collection of letters by contemporary sf writers to James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), plus excerpts of Tiptree's correspondence with Ursula K. Le Guin and Joanna Russ; it's on sale for $.99/£.99 pretty much everywhere, including the publishers direct. I'm partway through, absorbed, interested, argumentative, and inclined to put it on my Hugo nomination ballot for Best Related Work.

Feb. 9th, 2016 12:06 pm
[personal profile] telophase
Program books are here. Guess it's a con!

[personal profile] umadoshi
Like a lot of people, I bumped the "December" posting/talking meme to January...and now it's February. But I'm starting! Yay? (Scarily, I still have notes on a few topics from prior years that I didn't get to but would still like to write about. But let's see if I can clear the most recent handful first.)

[dreamwidth.org profile] rilina asked me to talk about baking.

For years, if the subject of how [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I divide up household chores came up, one of the things I always said was that he cooks and I bake. For a period of several years, I baked often enough that it was just something I did--not really a hobby, but also not something I did often enough for it to be a chore.

I love reading recipes. Back when I had the day job that I ultimately quit to freelance (by which you can guess how little they paid me, because I promise you freelance manga work does not pay well), I had tons of idle time but nothing visible I was allowed to do to distract myself, and I didn't want to log into whatever social media accounts I was using at the time (which probably just means Livejournal), and somehow--possibly through [dreamwidth.org profile] oyceter, whose foodie posts are definitely what got me interested in reading about food--I stumbled over a couple of cooking/baking blogs. I read through their archives. I followed links. Eventually, by the time Google ditched Reader, I was following over a hundred of them (on top of however many other kinds of blogs--I've pretty much always been a link hoarder); I never really found a replacement, so I drifted off, but now instead I have a horrifying number of cookbooks that I read instead of using (and I still tend to get linked to and download a few new recipes a week).

Because I have a major sweet tooth--not helped by liking to nibble on something when I have tea--the bulk of the things I read (and downloaded) were about baking, and it's probably around the time of the blog-reading that I baked most, other than at Christmas. (Christmas baking was its own thing for years, until Casual Job basically demolished my ability/energy to do much Christmas prep at all. Here's a December 2014 post linking to some of my very favorite Christmas cookie recipes.) I made things to take to social gatherings, and routinely made muffins for my breakfast, and whatnot.

But it's pretty thoroughly fallen by the wayside at this point. I still vastly prefer homemade baked goods to store-bought, but there are several factors at play:

1) [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are a household of two, and he's not all that into sweets (and his tastes in sweet things are different than mine, no less).

2a) Kas bakes often and marvelously, and shares the bounty of his labors, so there are frequently tasty things in the house without my making an effort. (Ginny and [dreamwidth.org profile] wildpear are also great bakers.)

2b) [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose learned to make rocky road/confetti/whatever-you-call-them squares--mini marshmallows held together in melted and cooled chocolate and peanut butter--and is often willing to make them for me. (I deliberately resist learning because I would make them ALL THE TIME.)

3) Baking makes me anxious. Not terribly so, but I'm always triple-checking every step of all but the most familiar recipes, and a bit worried about screwing it up (which has happened*, but it's been rare), and it's just...not relaxing for me the way it is for a lot of people.

And yet for a long time it was part, if a small part, of my self-image, and other than the fact that it's a bit stressful, I do like doing it. Other than occasional experiments at holidays, I tend to be into making simple things: cookies or squares or "everyday" cakes, things that don't require fussiness or decoration. Cookies and squares and muffins and such get the most love because a bit of my anxiousness is soothed by being able to taste the result before I offer it to anyone. Usually a taste of the bowl scrapings is enough to be sure that the finished product isn't horrible, but you never know.

I keep thinking I'd like to get back into it, but none of the reasons I got out of the habit are likely to change, so I'm not sure how likely it is.

Feb. 9th, 2016 09:06 am
[personal profile] the_rck
I had more reflux trouble last night, but I realized this morning that the problem was not what I ate but rather the fact that I completely forgot my bedtime medications. My body is used to ranitidine at bedtime, and not taking it has predictable consequences. (I also missed my Tamoxifen and Singulair. I think it’s reasonable to take those now given that it’s about fifteen hours to when I’ll take them next.)

Unfortunately, this means two nights in a row of less sleep than I would normally get, so I’m kind of dragging at the moment. I’ve got an hour before I need to call the cab to get to PT, and I’m seriously considering more coffee. I got four or five hours of sleep Sunday into Monday (depending on how one counts the hour while Cordelia was getting ready for school when I tend to be half to three quarters awake but still in bed) and five or six hours of sleep last night.

Scott had an awful day at work yesterday. He came home, sat down, and fell asleep. If I hadn’t prepared dinner, there wouldn’t have been food until after the point when I could safely eat. I browned some ground turkey and added Alfredo sauce. We used that to make sloppy Joes, and I found a package of sugar snap peas that we could eat without cooking.

I actually have no idea what I did with my day yesterday. Time passed somehow, a lot faster than I expected it to, and I have no idea where it went. I’m sure I did something with it, but… Well.

I’m trying to decide what to do about clothes for PT. I’ve been wearing thin nightgowns under the compression pad and bra, and the shortest nightgown I’ve got comes down to mid-thigh, so it’s quite visible that I’m wearing something of the sort, even when I have a shirt on over everything. So I’m weighing the moderate increase in comfort versus the definite odd appearance in terms of how I’d be dressed. I’m not sure how much I care that people in the PT waiting room will see me dressed strangely. Going through the hospital on the way to and from my appointment, I’ll have a coat on that comes down nearly to my ankles, so what I’m wearing will be less obvious.

Daily Happiness

Feb. 9th, 2016 12:00 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. My mom brought some of her recycling and we went over to the recycling center with whatever of our cans could fit in her car, which was only about half of what we have piling up in the garage, but it was still enough to get $35 for it!

2. It was really hot today and that kind of made me feel blah and like I didn't want to do anything, but I did enough up doing a fair bit of translation, even if not anywhere near the amount I had wanted to do.

Femslash February 2016

Feb. 9th, 2016 05:26 am
[syndicated profile] erinptah_feed

Posted by Erin Ptah

It’s February again, so it’s time to take f/f sketch requests!

Trying something a little different this year: the Femslash February prompt post is on Patreon. To be clear, it’s still completely free and open to everyone. You leave a request over there, I draw the first ten, no money has to change hands, everything is sunshine and rainbows and girls kissing.

Got it? Awesome. Go forth and gay it up.


Filed under: Fandom Tagged: art, Femslash February, request, yuri

Femslash February 2016

Feb. 9th, 2016 12:25 am
[personal profile] sailorptah

It’s February again, so it’s time to take f/f sketch requests!

Trying something a little different this year: the Femslash February prompt post is on Patreon. To be clear, it’s still completely free and open to everyone. You leave a request over there, I draw the first ten, no money has to change hands, everything is sunshine and rainbows and girls kissing.

Got it? Awesome. Go forth and gay it up.

Under the wire

Feb. 8th, 2016 10:32 pm
[personal profile] synecdochic
Every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
[personal profile] umadoshi
As I was reading a comment on my last post, my eyes fell on the post content, specifically the list of tech names. And it only just occurred to me that it's now possible, since I've named my laptop after Alec Hardison (the hacker on Leverage), that someone might assume my ereader is named after Eliot Spencer (the hitter on Leverage), and that I misspelled his name. *facepalm*

So for the record (technically for newer folks in these parts, but I promise I don't assume people memorize the minutiae of my tech names), Elliot-the-ereader is named after Elliot Schafer from Sarah Rees Brennan's The Turn of the Story.

Relatedly (and either Ginny or I tweeted about this at the time, but I don't think I mentioned it here), not long ago at Casual Job we were checking the spelling of someone's last name, which was "Elliott", which made me say there are too many possible spellings of the name. Ginny, appropriately fierce in her love of Elliot Schafer, countered that there's only ONE CORRECT SPELLING...except that she also dearly adores Eliot Spencer. AWKWARD. She deigned to make an exception when I pointed this out.

And then, as closely to in unison as we can figure, we had the exact same thought (and Ginny was mock-grumpy that I managed to say it first): "It's a very distinctive spelling."

[If you don't know Leverage, a) You're missing out, and b) see also this gifset.]

ETA: I misremembered Ginny's reasoning for her staunch opinion on the spelling! I stand corrected.

Feb. 8th, 2016 06:45 pm
[personal profile] telophase
Why do I keep running into references to the Defenstration of Prague today? I just checked on Wikipedia, and it's not the anniversary of either of them...

Yep, that's a blizzard out there

Feb. 8th, 2016 04:43 pm
[personal profile] umadoshi
In a stunning, if probably not literally unprecedented, display of common sense, [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose's workplace shut down at noon because of the weather forecast. And sure enough, by the time he would've been getting home ordinarily, the blizzard was well underway. *peers out window* If it dumps as much snow as predicted, he'll likely be home tomorrow too.

As usual, I hope this doesn't translate into a power failure, but if it does, at least I'm a bit ahead of the game with my freelance work right now, so it won't stress me out too horribly on that front as long as we're not without power for days. I have Becks, Elliot, and Hardison (tablet, ereader, and laptop) all charged up, and if the power goes, Teabot means we have plenty of hot water and I can immediately make a few cups of tea in travel mugs for later.

Making sure Hardison's Dropbox files were up to date meant I finally sat down for a little bit and started configuring him. Gah. I hate configuring new installs, especially when it comes to Firefox/Iceweasel, but there's always something I forget, somewhere. And my software has always changed something annoying. The current weirdness is that BOTH LibreOffice and Word (which is Word 2000, running in WINE), when I open a new blank document, are displaying the blank page on only the lefthand side of the screen, as if I've got it set to display two pages at once or zoomed out to 50% or something. But as far as I can tell, neither of those things is true. O_o Further poking around will be required.

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The contents of this blog and all comments I make are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License. I hope that name is long enough. I could add some stuff. It could also be a Bring Me A Sandwich License.

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