Horatio Velveteen
21 August 2017 @ 08:24 pm
Random thoughts about The Defenders (whole series, positive and negative):

You know, after all these years, I still start to use the LJ code )
21 August 2017 @ 06:27 pm
Tasty foods  
Tonight's dinner is vaguely adapted from Mario Batali, and it's simple and tasty and should feed me for several days, so I'm saving the recipe here.

If you keep kosher and do not regard chicken as pareve, or if you don't do dairy, you won't want to add the goat cheese. (In that case you might add some olive oil, for mixing purposes.) And if you are gluten-free, you'll want to use gf pasta. But aside from those things, this recipe ought to work for most folks, I think, assuming that you eat pasta in the first place. Clean-up is also easy: one skillet, one pasta pot.

Pasta with broccolini, chicken sausage, and goat cheese )
21 August 2017 @ 05:05 pm
1. My friends. Even those whom I don't get to see often enough.

2. The place where I live, which is mine, and is filled with art and photographs and things that are meaningful to me.

3. The glorious green world. I always want summer to last forever, and it won't, but I'm doing my best to enjoy it while it's here.

4. I got to take two and a half days of vacation last week, and they were really lovely.

5. There is rosé chilling in my fridge even now. :-)

How are y'all?
21 August 2017 @ 11:24 am
Eclipsepocalypse 2017  
As promised, I've got a slight limp from slamming my knee into the table last night while making my pinhole viewer.

9:03 — Go out to test my magic box before the eclipse starts at 9:06 am, and it works; there's a full circle of light inside my box, though the circle is more of a...square? I attempt to round out the pinhole with the tip of a pen, and now it's larger and more of an octagon. It's okay, I have time to fix it if necessary. It's a bright sunny day with no clouds.

9:10 — Already hearing sirens in the distance. Have to assume it's eclipse related.

9:18 — Try again. Light from pinhole now rounder. No visible slice of sun missing. Do I have it aimed in the correct direction? I can't turn around to look or I'll burn my eyes out.

9:23 — The internet goes down.

9:30 — Two neighbors stop in front of my house to stare directly at the sun through their cardboard eclipse glasses. I hope they don't go blind.

9:31 — Refresh the router. Go back to browsing Tumblr.

9:49 — Try the magic box again. Now seeing two round dots of light, one full, one with a chunk out of it. Science, or just a random hole in the corner of my box? No one knows. Still bright outside, but with a grey tone.

9:52 — Dad borrows a look through neighbor's eclipse glasses. Says there's a dark thing going across the sun, covering about a third.

9:59 — Box totally has two spots of light in, but one is definitely science. Now occluded by more than half. Still bright and greyish out, but flat. I get that silver nitrate feeling that Annie Dillard talked about.

10:11 — Getting dim out. Not a lot of confidence in my magic box. Too many holes. Who knows what I'm looking at.

10:15 — Ditch my pinhole viewer for a piece of stiff paper with a hole punched in it with a pen. Works much better, can see the crescent of the sun projected on the driveway in front of me. Weird waves of shadow buffet the asphalt, like water vapor, or wind made visible. I feel a chill, and get goosebumps on my legs. The light shining through the trees acts like hundreds of pinholes, projecting nested crescents of light on the house and garage. My dad has a pasta colander and achieves the same effect, hundreds of little crescent suns shining on a white piece of paper held at arm's length. The cat is staring at us through the window. The neighbors introduce themselves in the street. It gets darker as it nears 10:18, a few crickets start up, the streetlights come on. It's dim, muted, shadowy, but not dark.

10:20 — Starts to brighten.

10:21 — Assholes setting off fireworks.

10:30 — Still limping. Blame the eclipse for my injury.

{also posted to Tumblr}
21 August 2017 @ 11:46 am
Marked [by thefourthvine, SW Gen]  

Posted by siria

There's always paperwork to do.
20 August 2017 @ 11:08 pm
midnight science  
Okay, so I was sitting here, exhausted, thinking, "Fuck, I have to force myself to care about the fucking eclipse tomorrow."

Except I do care. So I found an old shoebox and made a pinhole viewer with these instructions (pdf) my pal kormantic sent me. And I even wrote ECLIPSEPOCALYPSE 2017 on the side, so it's super official. And I REALLY banged my knee on the table when I sat down to make it, so that'll be a nice memory.

I guess I'll go stand out in the yard around ten o'clock with my shoebox and see what happens.
21 August 2017 @ 03:34 am
I've Found a New Baby [by thefourthvine, Peter/Nightingale]  

Posted by siria

It’s an embarrassing cliché, I know, but there was an actual basket, made of what looked to be actual wicker, actually sitting there. It was oval and large and had spaces for handholds on either end; for a minute, I thought it was full of laundry, and my mind spun an image of a ghost laundress. Then the small hand emerged from the basket, waved around for a minute, and smacked down again.
Dira Sudis
21 August 2017 @ 02:23 am
What I’m writing, 8/20  
…Some weeks just not starting more ginormous WIPs is the real success, okay? I expended a lot of focus on absolutely positively not starting SEVERAL things this week (and… yep, that is definitely the only thing that was using up brain processing cycles this week at an unusual rate, YEP, TOTALLY).


WIPs currently active: 5, because I bumped All Eternals Deck #2 off the list until I figure out what happens after the beginning.

Words written this week: 4,041

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 883, and I started writing Chapter 47 and then abruptly discovered where the floating point on the outline labeled [particular sex act redacted]? should go in the story, so. Whee!

Born in the Blood: 276, chugging along toward [more sex acts redacted]!!

Slavefic #6: 104. Okay, that looks bad? I’m at the point where I outlined things for this part of the series literally almost two years ago and now have to figure out how to hook them up with the stories that I’ve actually written, so there’s a bit of frantically-jury-rigging-a-round-CO2-filter-from-square-components going on. Hopefully none of which will be apparent from the end result. :)

Wildly Unmanageable Ace!Bitty Longfic: 661

Jack/Bitty angsty happy ending kidfic: 2,117

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2x4lly5
20 August 2017 @ 06:05 pm
What a week! Good golly. I'm afraid to open my laptop for fear what I'll learn has happened now. However, I did learn something really helpful from Jason Kottke's blog, the paradox of tolerance. Had you heard of that? Why hadn't I? More evidence that it's always right to punch a Nazi.

Tomorrow is Fanfiction Writer Appreciation Day, according to my Tumblr dashboard, so I'm gonna hit that kudos button hard. I'm terrible at commenting, so I promise to try, but . . . Commenting is hard. And I love getting kudos SO MUCH that I assume others do as well.

And tomorrow is also the eclipse! Here are three links about that:

First, to see exactly what time and how much of an eclipse you'll witness wherever you are in the US, enter your zip code and watch.

Via Kottke and by the Weather Channel, a simulated play-by-play of tomorrow's eclipse. We won't see totality here in Phoenix (62.2%), but I'm still ridiculously excited about witnessing it.

Also eclipse related, a youtube video of the March 2016 eclipse, Alaska Airlines Solar Eclipse Flight #870. Be sure to turn down the volume; the guy filming it was SO EXCITED!

Let's see, what's been happening chez Mira? Not a bad week personally, but I really need to keep off Twitter and not read Wapo for a while. So fucking distressing and I feel so helpless. And Tuesday Trump will be in Phoenix to announce a pardon for former sheriff Joe Arpaio, one of the most blatant racists since George Wallace. Just fuck.

In happier news, on Thursday, Webster and I took Mother to lunch (at the Cheesecake Factory again, which we all enjoyed) and then to the Chandler Museum. It's a tiny thing but we all found the story behind the building, and the city of Chandler, pretty interesting. What was most moving, though, was a fairly good sized exhibit about the Japanese internment camp that existed nearby. It was built on the Gila River Indian Reservation (how's that for irony) and at one time was Arizona's fourth largest city. Webster and I have visited Manzanar so I knew what to expect, but a lot of this was new to Mother. She especially loved the paper cranes that were everywhere -- 16,655 of them, one for every resident of the internment camp. Beautiful and touching, and terrifying to see so many of them. So many people.

Also on Thursday I attended the bi-monthly (by which I mean every other month) dinner meeting for families of the residents of Mother's assisted living facility. They always have a yummy dinner, lots of wine (which alas I can't drink since I'm driving), and a delicious dessert, and then a discussion of personnel or procedural changes, plus the managers and supervisors answer questions. More than that, they take notes and things change. Mother selected this facility and it's wonderful. The more I learn and observe, the more grateful I am that Mother did her due diligence and found such a wonderful, caring, safe place to live.

One of the remodeling projects in our home is replacing the door knobs with levers, and we're almost finished. Webster told me today that he only did it for me, but now that he's seen how much better they look, he's really pleased. He says they look "elegant," and I do, too, plus they're so much easier to open, especially when your hands are full. We chose the Kwikset Tustin in Venetian Bronze (don't look at the price -- we didn't pay anything like that).

Today I slept late and then swam my laps. I also made two loaves of sourdough bread and sourdough waffle starter. And I started reading Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw. I'm only a few chapters in, but so far I love it. Dr. Greta Helsing has inherited the family's highly specialized and highly peculiar medical practice. She treats the undead for a host of ills - vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. It's a quiet, supernatural-adjacent life until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice -- and her life. And yes, she's part of that Helsing family.

Now, on to some misc. links:
Almost a decade ago, I bought my first bra from Bravissimo (the Covent Garden branch) and I've never looked back. I thought I hated bras until I was properly fitted. Here's a useful website all about bras for larger breasted people: D Cup or Bigger. Lots of good info.

Project Subway NYC: X-Ray maps looking at some of NYC's subways. I've never been to NYC, but I love the idea of subways and trains and trams and these x-ray maps are fascinating to study. I wish they had some similar maps of London's tube system.

Trump v. the Statue of Liberty: From the Guardian, A senior Trump advisor, Stephen Miller, sparked a furor last week when he dismissed the famous poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty. In response, we asked 21 poets: what type of poem would Trump like to see at the statue? I found some of these poems deeply moving, but my favorite is "Twelve Reasons A Woman Might Hold Up One Arm."

In general, I am not a fan of The Economist, but they nailed this: The e-mail Larry Page should have written to James Damore -- Larry Page runs Google and James Damore is the fool who wrote that memo about why diversity is so very wrong. Your chain of reasoning had so many missing links that it hardly mattered what your argument was based on. We try to hire people who are willing to follow where the facts lead, whatever their preconceptions. In your case we clearly made a mistake.

Someone should turn this into a movie! (In fact, I wonder if the Coens'* Hail, Caesar! was based on the story?) This Undercover Spy Operation Helped Foil a Nazi Plot in 1930s L.A..

[*Where does the apostrophe go? There are two Coens, which has two syllables, and it was their movie, so I finally chose Coens'. ???]

Finally, I love this artist's work! Illustrator Perfectly Captures the Overlooked Joys of Living Alone. Included is a link to the artist's online shop; I am planning to buy one of her prints for my sister for Christmas, and one just for me.

Hello, dear friends! Let's stay safe and sane in these terrible times!
20 August 2017 @ 07:35 pm
The spouse reconnected with his former therapist via Facebook instant messaging this weekend. They got to talking about current events.

"I counseled a member of a neo-Nazi group once," the therapist said.

"Did you learn anything useful about the movement?"

"This particular fellow was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I think that was the root of his rage," the therapist said.

It makes me wonder how things would be different if American mental health care were in better shape.
20 August 2017 @ 07:50 pm
after long silence  
The thing about not posting for a long time is, it makes it seem ever harder to post something again.

The thing -- well, a thing -- about the state of my native country is, it makes almost anything I could post about my day-to-day life seem picayune.

But my life is my life, and I live it day to day, and that, especially fannish aspects thereof, is what I generally write about here. So I'm going to try to do so again.

I went to VividCon, and it was great )

My lay chaplaincy had a sort of epilogue today )

Kayaking continues to be tremendous fun! )

My cat is hanging on, amazing our vet )

And we have another big trip coming up! )

thoughts (somewhat spoilery) on fannish TV: Orphan Black, Sense8, The Handmaid's Tale )

Aside from all this, I'm reading lots of light fanfic, lots of heavy stuff on Twitter (although I don't post much there either), and the occasional book. And now I'm going to wrap up this enormous post and go lie on the couch. My evening plan!
20 August 2017 @ 06:55 pm
With Great Power, Something Something [by Sharksdontsleep, MJ/Peter]  

Posted by siria

Hey Liz,
Apparently, I'm the captain of the Decathlon team. Or something. I was just wondering if you had any quizzes or guides that I could use.
19 August 2017 @ 11:33 pm
i love you a latte [by Kellifer_fic, Stiles/Derek]  

Posted by siria

"You... want me to come to your family reunion?"


"And you'll come to my best friend's wedding as...my... date?" Stiles thinks the whole proposition bears repeating.

"Yes," Derek says again, brows furrowing like he's starting to regret asking.
just another fork-tongued dragon lady
19 August 2017 @ 03:46 pm
more life miscellany  
♣ I downloaded the Daily Yoga app yesterday in yet another bid to get into the habit of daily stretching, and I did actually do some yoga this morning. Also I noticed there's a whole section on yoga poses during menstruation! This seems particularly promising, as my previous attempts at home exercise have been derailed by aches and cramps before. We'll see how this goes!

♣ I started on this sweater a few days ago, which looks nice in theory but is very, very boring to execute. Super tempted to break up the hdc monotony with rows of other stitches, except for the part where I'm not sure it'll actually look good, so I probably won't. If I manage to finish it before winter here is over I will be amazed.

♣ And finally, a few notes on Atomic Blonde, before I forget everything I had to say about it! I had no strong opinions or expectations going in beyond LADY SPY HOORAY!, which it delivers, in a Jane Bond sort of way. The plot twists were a bit hard to follow, not sure if that was the execution or my being fluff-brained while watching. The violence occasionally made me flinch (I really dislike gore) but it was pretty satisfying to watch Charlize Theron take on all comers. vague spoilers ) Also why is the espionage business portrayed as so overwhelmingly male?? Surely this can't be accurate? (Not even gonna touch the lily-whiteness of it; some of the Bond movies did better there.)
19 August 2017 @ 02:07 pm
oh, good, it's a to-do list  
* finish picking up & taking out garbage & recycling (you're so close! you can do it!)
* dishes, dishes, dishes
* play with cat
* finish first draft of PODSA/SGA fusion

* write more PODSA mpreg
* review Star Wars OT3 and brainstorm last scene
* declutter
* put up CAT TREE OMG - skipping
* laundry - skipping
* pack
* litterbox
17 August 2017 @ 07:23 pm
The news is apocalyptically awful, of course. But I'm a Southerner, and I never expected that I would live to see those statues come down. It was something I didn't even dare to hope for.

I don't want to lose sight of how amazing that is.