Meme for a rainy afternoon

Jun. 27th, 2017 01:57 pm
el_staplador: Yuri Plisetsky from 'Yuri!!! on Ice' sticking his tongue out; caption 'makes me wanna barf' (yuri on ice)
[personal profile] el_staplador
Pick any story I've written, or, in the case of my longer, chaptered works, any chapter from any story I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

My fics are here.


Also, I note with some amusement that the only fic mentioned in this post that I haven't actually managed to finish is The Fall of Strelsau. Though it's now sitting at 6,833 words, and yes, includes a by-election.

State of the SB

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:22 am
miss_s_b: (Mood: Drama queen)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Hate everything.
Having cashflow problems, some of which are my fault, and some of which are other people's fault, and all of which are beyond my control and therefore incredibly frustrating.
Cashflow problems meaning I am having to cancel on commitments, which I hate doing.
Politics in general is full of arseholes who keep arsing.
Work is frustrating, because I can't do the things I need to do for various stupid reasons (also beyond my control).
Have had no sleep and lots of pointless arguments with members of household, which means I am dangerously low on spoons, grumpy and frazzled.
And to top it all, my right tit is a big scabby painful mess.

Here's hoping you lot are all a bit happier...

OBGYN Visit #2 (of 3? 4?)

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:52 pm
everchangingmuse: Hamilton musical, Peggy with arms crossed (peggy schuyler doesn't have time for you)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
In the quest to make my uterus stop hurting me every month, I went back to the OBGYN's office today for an ultrasound, a biopsy, and confirmation of the birth control/hormone regulation path I wanted to take.

cut for details of medical procedures )

So now, it's the waiting game. Again. I just want my periods to go away.

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:15 pm
such_heights: amy deep in thought (who: amy [dust after rain])
[personal profile] such_heights
It occurs to me I've been on twitter a lot the last two months, but nowhere else. So - hi. Still here. Grieving, but here.

Comments disabled as I think I've had as much sympathy as I can handle (it's much appreciated, just A Lot sometimes).

<3
lizbee: (DW: Bill (garden))
[personal profile] lizbee
I can't believe it's taken the show more than fifty years to use that title. Teaspoon has ... okay, only four fics using it. That's less than I expected.

Anyway.

'No, dear, those were spoilers.' )

2017 Hugo nominees: best novel

Jun. 25th, 2017 08:54 pm
nonelvis: (Default)
[personal profile] nonelvis
I'm voting in this year's Hugo Awards (and going to Worldcon in Finland, WOOOOOO), and having just finished the last of the novel nominees, am logging my thoughts. All reviews are pasted from my Goodreads account, so if you follow me there, this post should look familiar.

the reviews )
Next up: can I finish the novellas, novelettes, and short stories before the July 15 deadline? Well, I'm going to try to read each one in a day (and the short stories in a single day), so maybe? We'll see, I guess.

Weekend Update

Jun. 25th, 2017 07:00 pm
everchangingmuse: steven universe with rose shield (steven universe)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
My wife and I decided that this weekend was the weekend of doing nothing. No big projects, no going out for half the day. She went back to work the day after we got back from vacation, and has been drained. This weekend, we decided we were going to relax and recharge.

So, what did that entail? For me, it meant reading Indexing: Reflections, which has been on my to-read pile for ages. I really enjoy the world that Seanan McGuire sets up. This sequel did not disappoint. I'm really hoping she decides to write more serialized stories in this world, and then bound in book form for me to buy and read.

I've colored a bit, and also binged podcasts. I'm much more open to education-related podcasts in the summer, so I've been listening through the most recent season of Tea with BVP, which is a live show that becomes a podcast by a Linguistics and Language professor who talks about second language acquisition. Given that I teach a world language, this is a perfect fit. I'm learning a lot, and learning just how much I don't know about language acquisition, by listening. I'm going to want to relisten later in the summer and take notes. For now, I'm just listening once, and getting an idea for the concepts the host, Bill Van Patten, discusses.

I've written a bit - a short character piece in my Pomegranate!verse. I'd like to improve character voice for the characters who aren't Raven or McKenzie, so I'm working my way around the cast, and let Kyle have a short piece this time. The only way to improve is to keep doing!

Watched the new episode of Doctor Who with the wife today, and she enjoyed watching me watch the episode almost as much as we both enjoyed the episode. I tend to get wrapped up in media I enjoy, and tune out everything else around me. And I have very visible emotional reactions. So she saw the moments where I figured things out about the plot, etc. No spoilers, don't worry!

We also, as the crowning achievement of the weekend, went across the street to the one Pokemon gym in the village and did a raid battle today in Pokemon Go. We took down a Vaporeon, and then both were able to catch it at its reduced CP! We tried raiding yesterday, but her phone froze, so it ended up a bust - the opposing Pokemon beat us both. But it was a lot of fun battling both times! We've been over to the gym once outside of raiding as well, and at the moment, the gym is Mystic, which is my team, so I've got a Pokemon sitting there, and have had for over 24 hours now. This is the first time I've had a Pokemon hold a gym for longer than about ten minutes!

So, yeah, nothing earth-shattering or super-productive, but we've enjoyed the time at home to just relax.

Tomorrow is Big Day #1: OBGYN appointments. By this time tomorrow, my uterus should be all burned on the inside. Ablation Day!

televisional thoughts

Jun. 25th, 2017 11:10 pm
nostalgia: (twissy touchy)
[personal profile] nostalgia
oh yeah dr who was pretty great this week, but i am holding back on whether i love it based on how certain plotlines are dealt with next week. i do however have a new appreciation for john simm. i still prefer michelle gomez but lbr she's the best master since delgado so she'd be hard to beat.

DCI Showing

Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:06 pm
everchangingmuse: from the finale of 2005's Elisabeth (lavender musume and saeko)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
Last night, I went to the movies to watch the opening performance of six of the corps that make up the Drum Corps International, thanks to Fathom Events. DCI is like professional marching band - routines are complex, entertaining, real productions. The marching is precise, the flag is intense, and the athletic skill needed is as rigorous as any sports training. Forget most sports seasons, DCI is the super-competition.

The theater I went to last night almost didn't let me in, though. The boy at the counter told me they had to close the screening room because the AC had gone out, and it wasn't fit to sit in, and asked if I wanted a refund. I sadly said yes, and he went and got his manager. The boy had just turned away people asking to buy tickets, also. The manager came out and apologized, and scanned my QR code on my phone to print the tickets to start the refund process, and mentioned that there were only two screens in the theater that could stream the Fathom stuff.

Wait, I said. They were still going to show the DCI? I had a student in one of the corps, and I wanted to see them perform. He said they were, but they couldn't put the audience into the second, air-conditioned theater until 8:50, because there was another film in there already. But, you're still honoring the tickets? I can still see this? Yes, if I didn't mind the inconvenience. I did not mind at all. So, got my ticket and headed to the snack line.

I'd spoken loudly enough that the people who'd been turned away and had been off to the side talking about how they'd have to call their parents (teenagers), went back to the ticket window before the manager could walk away, and managed to purchase tickets as well. And then a group of adults got into line. I'm glad I spoke up about my desire to see the performance and asked clarifying questions. The boy at the counter had not been aware of the possibility, it seemed - it's a busy theater, and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He probably wasn't aware of more than the basics of the situation.

The poor theater was under-staffed last night. There was only one person behind the snack counter, and he was running back and forth between the register and the back room to fill orders. He kept smiling, kept up his good humor, and everyone who was around me in line was very patient and kind with him. It's hard being the only person at a register when you can "just" stand and ring people up - the fact that he was making food, pouring drinks, checking stock, and ringing us all up? I hope the management was kind to him.

The screening room itself wasn't as bad as the ticket counter had made it seem. There was some air flow, so we weren't hot and sticky. It was a bit stuffy, but nowhere near the oven I'd been expecting. There were a ton of teenagers there, along with parents of people in the corps, band directors, etc. Most of the group was either a middle school or high school band, based on the snippets of conversation I heard. We were moved to the AC screening room between the first and second performances (I'll talk about those in a moment), which was a convenient time, because the feed itself had some issues and had stuck at that point. We all moved quickly to the new room, and everyone did the sensible thing of go as high as you can, or as far in as you can to the row you're on. There was an empty space next to a couple of teenage girls on the end of a row, and I asked if they were holding the seat. Nope! I plopped myself down just as the second corps began its performance.

As to the performances themselves, they were very fun! This is the first of the season, as I'd said before, so not everything about each program is finalized. They've been rehearsing for about a month now. My student who's in one of the corps left school as soon as seniors were done, and missed his own graduation for training. Some of the corps were in better shape than others. The cameras also had the unfortunate luck to focus in on some of the guard just as they missed catching their batons. The programs were diverse in tone and theme, and each one was a treat for both ears and eyes. I enjoyed the commentators, who, just like sports commentators, gave some background about each of the corps performing - their world class wins, their previous season's programs, changes in leadership among the adults (there's an age range for performers - I think it's 16-23, but don't quote me on that; I know there are 18 y.o. because that's how old my student is). Unlike sports commentators, they were quiet during the performances themselves, commentating on them only after the performance had finished. They spoke with directors before each corps performed, and got an "on-the-ground" perspective after from one of the corps members who was leaving the field.

In August, there's going to be another showing in the theaters, before the DCI finals. The top 15 corps' performances will be streamed to audiences, so they can see who the contenders are for the finals. The scoring is done by a panel of judges, and is kind of complicated - though the commentators kindly broke it down with overlay graphics for the movie-going audience. The corps my student is in came in 4th out of 6 - not bad for an opening volley, especially considering how tight most of the performances already are. I hope they make it to the top 15. If they do, I'll definitely go to the other showing. If not...I still might. I really enjoyed the routines I saw, and want to see how they evolve over the season.

The Blood is the Life for 23-06-2017

Jun. 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael, Norman Lamb
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

You'll note that Norman Lamb has moved from probably standing to definitely not standing. He announced this with rather petulant article in the Grauniad, in which (among other things) he proclaimed the Lib Dems' second referendum policy as toxic. Now I agree, it is toxic. "First we'll negotiate brexit, then we'll set up a referendum, then we'll campaign against the deal we ourselves negotiated!" is an utterly ridiculous policy. The problem is, it was only in the sodding manifesto due to the insistence of people on the rump brexity wing of the party, of which Norman Lamb is definitely one. This was as far as the rest of the party, who just wanted "we will stop brexit" to be the manifesto position, could be dragged. Policy making by committee often comes up with soggy centrist compromises, and often that's a good thing and satisfies most people, but sometimes it's patently rubbish. This time was the latter. What I don't get is Captain Brexit blaming the rest of the party for it. Well, I do. He'd like us to embrace brexit. And that is not going to happen.

Anyway, the rest of the article sticks the boot in to members in various other ways, and alludes to, but doesn't actually acknowledge, the problems autistic people have with the idea of Norman as a leader, and frankly, just makes me glad he's not standing. At least he has the self-knowledge to know he's not right to lead the party as it currently is, even if he declares it in a rather Skinnerian way.

Principal Skinner asks a pertinent question

So the only likely runner at this point undeclared is Ed Davey. And there will be siren idiots voices whispering in his ear, saying:
Don't stand, Ed. Leadership elections are expensive, Ed. They are divisive and set party members up against each other, ed. It'd be easier all round just to crown Vince, Ed. You don't want the hassle, Ed. The party doesn't want the hassle, Ed. Lets just have a coronation, Ed.
To which I say, pish, tosh, bunkum, bollocks, and bullshit.

Yes, leadership elections are divisive, and do set members up against each other, and sometimes even cause resentments. Do you know what's even more divisive, and causes even more resentments? Not letting Lib Dems have democracy. Not letting us scrutinise each candidate and come to a decision on merit. Not having hustings at which we can put questions to candidates and examine their views and records and promises. Imposing a leader on us without us having a say. I can guarantee you that while a leadership election might be divisive, it's nowhere near as divisive as a coronation.

Now, Ed Davey told one of the BBC politics correspondents (I think Norman Smith) the other day that he would declare whether or not he was standing "on Thursday or Friday". He didn't declare yesterday. I'm hoping he declares he's standing today.

And if you'd told me last month I'd be crossing my fingers for Ed Davey to run in a leadership election, I'd have thought you insane in the membrane, crazy insane, got no brain. Just goes to show what a funny old world it is...

Drive-By Post Rec

Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:06 am
kerravonsen: What is essential is invisible to the eye (essential-invisible)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
Go look here for a fascinating discussion about men, women, the world, and the chimerical concept of "the rules".

Writing and fanfic gifts

Jun. 22nd, 2017 05:14 pm
scripsi: (Default)
[personal profile] scripsi
I defaulted on the Night On Fic Mountain challenge. Not because the fic wasn’t coming along but because I completely messed up the dates and thought June 21 was the last day to put up the fic, instead of being the day it was revealed. I realised this only a day before the default-cut off, thankfully. I still have a half-finished fic, so I shall try to pull myself together and finish and gift it later. And I don’t think I shall sign up on Rarepair either because I know I always write less during summer.

But I was gifted by delightful little story, and I highly recommend you to read it!

Title: A Meeting of Curious Minds
Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Rating: All ages
Genre: Gen
Word Count: 1370
Characters: John Childermas, Emma Pole, Arabella Strange
Warnings: None
Summary: 2 July, 1817

Mr Childermass,

I require your assistance in a matter of urgency and grave importance. Please come to no. 9 Harley-street at your earliest convenience. Mr Vinculus need not attend.

Your obedient servant,

Lady Pole

The Blood is the Life for 22-06-2017

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Home

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:59 pm
everchangingmuse: oozora yuuhi looking thoughtful (yuuhi pondering)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
I am slowly adjusting to being back from vacation. We left Hershey early-ish in the morning yesterday, after a stop at Duck Donuts for breakfast and, rather than take the highways home, we decided it would be more fun to take the scenic route. So, local highways and US-highways, rather than the Interstates. We stopped when we saw places that we liked, drove through a bunch of adorable towns (why, PA, why do you not need Latin teachers? I loved the places we drove through and stopped!), and generally meandered our way home.

By the time we crossed into VA, though, we were ready to just be home. We grabbed the Interstate system again just over the border, and used it to get as close to home as we could before the necessary hop back onto the US-highways and local roads. We got back sometime between 5:30 and 6, I think. Honestly, I can't remember. And we'd left our hotel in Hershey before 10.

But, home! Honestly, part of what I like about vacation is the appreciation for home I have when I get back. Back to my own bed, my own shower, my rooms. Rooms, plural. Being able to exist in separate spaces made both me and my wife very happy after a week of sharing very close quarters.

We went out together just for a little while this morning - quick trip to the local grocery to pick up what we'd need to tide us over until proper grocery shopping. May have to pop out again tomorrow, because the local only had one gallon of my tea, and I can drink that down in a day. But, then she had work, and I had time to myself in the house, which was nice. I'm still tired, but I've done some tidying and started the laundry (two loads done!).

Tomorrow, I go out on my own - something I don't tend to do in the summer. The DCI (Drum Corps International) is having a showing of some of their bands in movie theaters via Fathom Events, and one of my students is in one of the corps marching in the show. When I found out his corps was going to be featured, I made sure to nab a ticket. I love the marching shows in general, but I especially love it when I know one of my kids is out on the field performing. My wife isn't as interested, so we're meeting for dinner when she gets off work, and then she's going home and I'm hitting the theater. The show is 2 hours, and doesn't start till 8:30 - I won't be getting home till way late, and I'll be driving on my own in the dark. I'm a little nervous about that, but I know the roads well, and I plan on resting up and eating well before the show, so I won't be too tired when I'm driving.

Next big thing on the agenda: OBGYN appointment on Monday. After that: my sister's wedding in July. After that: Field Trip to the Newseum AND the African-American History museum in early August (for professional development credits!). And then, the big events are done, and it's time for school again. But, that's well over a month away. Plenty of time to enjoy being home and to do things on my terms.
dbskyler: (DT and Lis)
[personal profile] dbskyler
It all started when a friend of mine happened to mention the language-learning site Duolingo (www.duolingo.com). I was immediately drawn to how addictive it was, how fun it was, and how free it was. Ironically, I first wanted to improve my Spanish, as that is the foreign language I had been using (trying to use) the most. But I also took French in high school, and soon I couldn't resist using Duolingo to find out how much French I remembered. I quickly discovered that I had lost a lot of it -- in fact, Duolingo's test took me right back to the beginning, "Basics 1" -- but I also discovered that it started to come back to me, and the more I progressed through Duolingo's lessons, the more lessons I was able to test out of. I am now two lessons away from completing all of Duolingo's French lessons, and I am at least as good at French as when I took it in high school, and possibly even better.

Besides Duolingo, I have been able to practice my French with lots of other free resources on the internet. In fact, it's amazing how many resources are out there if you go and look. Here are my favorites so far:

-- Watching episodes of a French anime series, "Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir" (The Adventures of Ladybug and Black Cat). I have [personal profile] primsong to thank for this; she recommended this show and it is both charming and addictive to watch. I watch in French with English subtitles, although I sometimes watch without the subtitles just to gauge how good I am at picking up the French without the translation. (Not too good yet, but improving.) The episodes can be found on youtube.

-- A site that has you watch French music videos and fill in pieces of the lyrics. Sometimes there are technological hiccups (asking for the word before the video played the word; not allowing you to type in apostrophes while requiring apostrophes for the correct answer), but it's so much fun, I have to list it here. Also, the site has introduced me to the French musical group "Carrousel," and I now love their music, especially the song "Le Manque De Place." Here's the site: http://www.bonjourdefrance.com/karaoke-fle/index.php/fr

-- Reading fanfic in French on AO3. So far, I have read several French Doctor Who fanfics and a few Marvelous Ladybug fanfics (i.e., Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir). I have also managed to comment on the fics in French, although you'll have to ask the authors how comprehensible I was. Anyway, it's another great way to strengthen my reading comprehension with material that I'm actually interested in reading.

Life

Jun. 21st, 2017 06:49 pm
scripsi: (Default)
[personal profile] scripsi
What I’ve done today:

Looked at the pieces of a cross-stitch bag I made 20 years ago, but couldn’t figure out how to sew together. In my effort to finish my sewing UFO’s I have decided to do them by age. After this hiatus I at once spotted a mistake I had done in sewing the shoulder strap together, and when this was unpicked, it is suddenly clear how it should all go together. Duh!

Watered the plants on the balcony and puzzled over a mystery plant in a pot there should only be a rose. I’m very pleased with having a nice balcony, after only seven years. Nils is less pleased.- he is used as having the balcony without humans.

Helped a friend compile a source list over historical corsetry and makeup facts to bust someone who had posted a long faulty article on a FB-group and then claimed it must be true because they found the information on the Net. Le sigh.

Also, worked.

Is £70,000 a year rich?

Jun. 21st, 2017 03:35 pm
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I think the argument boils down to two things: what you earn, and what you picture in your head as a rich person's lifestyle.

£70,000 is in the 95th percentile for personal income. This means that if you earn £70,000 you earn more than 94% (or thereabouts) of people. If you're earning more than 94% of your fellow countrymen, you ought to be rich, right? Like, if you're better off than the vast, vast majority of people, you should feel well off, or else how must the poor buggers on less than you feel?

The problem is, of course, that £70,000 doesn't actually buy that much these days. Like, it won't get you a mortgage on a decent house anywhere in the home counties. It won't buy you a new car and a couple of holidays every year after housing costs. It won't pay school fees for your little ones to go to private school once you've paid for housing costs either. £70,000 a year doesn't feel rich; and that's what the problem is.

If you look at the lifestyles our parents had, well, this is what my parents did in the 80s:
  • owned a home
  • bought a new car every two years
  • didn't go on foreign holidays but DID send me to private school
  • were in the pub three nights a week
etc., etc.

Now, I'm not saying they didn't work for that: they did. My dad had two full time jobs (mild mannered biology teacher by day, superchef by night) and my mum worked 9-5 too. They worked bloody hard. But the same amount of work in the same jobs these days would get you, if you were lucky:
  • a rented house that is one of three poky little Barratt boxes built in the back garden of the kind of house your parents owned
  • a second hand banger that you run till it dies, or a bus/rail pass
  • a cheap holiday for now, but only until brexit happens and then we have to pay visa fees and the exchange rate is knackered and oh look we can only afford Butlins
  • Pre-loading because the pubs are so bloody expensive, thank you alcohol duty escalator
Now most of the people I see arguing about this are either saying "£70k is mega rich, you're in the 95th percentile FFS" or "£70k is not that rich when you consider what you can buy" but not many are following both thoughts through.

How bloody scandalous is it that even if you're in the 95th percentile you are still struggling, and you are well worse off than your parents would have been on an equivalent income adjusted for inflation etc.? If 95% of the country is not getting a good enough income, that's a bloody disgrace and somebody ought to do something about it.

Anybody know any politicians?
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
The relevant part (and the reason why I am posting this) will also be made bigger and bolder for those hard of thinking people. I thought I'd post the whole thing again though, just because it's periodically useful to do so.

Hello! There now follow some handy hints on how to make the most of your Reading My Blog experience:
  • If you don't like my colour scheme (I am aware that many people don't) add "?style=light" to the end of any url to get a different version, or "?style=mine" if you have a dreamwidth account. For an explanation of why I have it like this, see here
  • If you want to know more about me, click here
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  • Anonymous commenting is enabled, although anon comments are screened before publication; please, if you comment anonymously, give yourself a name/pseudonym/some form of identifier. If you don't your comment will not be unscreened.
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  • If you want to point out cock-ups I have made, please direct them to Pedants' Corner; likewise if you want to ask me something off the topic of the post please go to this entry - this saves readers' scrolling fingers.

The Blood is the Life for 21-06-2017

Jun. 21st, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
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