So, school's been eating me alive, especially as I'm trying to balance my treatments with classes.

But I realized that I was becoming depressed and isolated and, frankly, needed my online time. (Among other things.)

So not only am I back posting but--because I'm finally able to--I am reading my FList as of today on my DW and LJ. I may miss an entry here or there, but yes, I'm reading it.

I'll be even better with it come November; that's when Walmart's optical center starts offering anti-blue light coating on lenses for glasses. Which turns out to be exactly what I need to be able to read things like my FList without the problems I've been having.

(If you don't know about the problems of too much blue light, which every screen (computer, TV, smart phone, etc) produces, let me know and I'll write a post about it, and the health problems it causes.)

I'm also back to writing fanfic. And RP--Steph, I'm so sorry, I had a migraine and then die-off that was bad enough I literally couldn't move. First thing tomorrow, tagging you.

And I'll be unlocking my fic entries here, as well as linking to all of them, as I post them, on AO3.

So! What have I missed? What's up with all of you? Share things!
wolfling: (buffy)
([personal profile] wolfling Oct. 3rd, 2015 10:52 pm)
Questions and links to previous days' answers under the cut )

10 – Pairings – Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

I'm trying to think if there's been any instances I can recall... I know that occasionally there's a character whose voice is distinctive enough while being different enough from my own that I feel a little daunted attempting to write them – like Spike from Buffy. I prided myself at being able to slip into British speak fairly easily for a non-Brit but Spike for some reason always seemed to throw me right off. I felt confident in that I got the way he thought, it was just his voice -- the way he talked, the way he phrased things that I had problems wrapping my mind around. So I tended to avoid fic ideas where I would have had to write him. Although I did enough co-writing in Buffy fandom that I have written various pairings in which Spike is a participant even though I didn't personally write his dialogue/thoughts so I'm not sure if that counts for an answer to this question.

As for the opposite, I have written a few things that are not pairings I myself like, as intellectual exercises, or for challenges or fests. The example that popped into my head when I read the question was I wrote Dawn/Buffy thing for Secret Slasha, which was so totally not my thing, but I think it turned out pretty well.
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
([personal profile] ursamajor Oct. 4th, 2015 01:07 am)
post-tags: instagram, crosspost "How old are you?" "I'm 40." "… you mean you're TEN TIMES OLDER than me!!!" Happy birthday, D.
sine_nomine: (Default)
([personal profile] sine_nomine Oct. 3rd, 2015 07:38 pm)
I must be turning 47.

I went out and bought the +1.00 magnifying reading glasses that the optometrist recommended a year ago. Interestingly, I really only want them for uber-tiny (read: 6pt or smaller) fonts and have to immediately take them off after reading whatever it is I'm trying to read. I just decided that yes, I can read that stuff once my eyes have focused downwards but why work that hard? Especially when things are not printed crisply (I can actually read tiny without a problem -- or glasses! -- given some spacing and black on white). It will be interesting to see if they are of any help in low-light situations, like restaurants and menus (I will never forget my mother complaining how low the light was in one restaurant and my brother and I thought she was crazy holding the candle up to her menu so she could read it; I admit I am now my mother).

And apparently my father went out at 47 years of age and bought

I don't know if it's the fault of White America for making blacks feel less than human (and if it is, I'm white, so let me apologize for our entire, ongoing, twisted culture that might make anyone feel that way) but I've become troubled recently by blacks depersonalizing themselves in describing how White America treats them because I think they hurt themselves by making it an issue they cannot speak about with any emotion. As though they're still human. Which I think they very much still are.

I won't quote anyone directly - as in, word-for-word - but you can read almost anything Ta-Nehisi Coates has written on police brutality this summer to get a feeling for what I mean. It boils down to a line something like this to summarize hundreds of years of abuse, neglect, mistreatment, humiliation, and tiredness at the hands of whites treating them as The Other:

They are abusing our bodies. Disrespecting our bodies. Showing little regard for black bodies.

Whenever I see it put this way, I feel like I'm reading about people who are already dead.

This is like Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy. When treated like an other long enough, perhaps unwittingly one can completely disconnect the soul from, you guessed it...the body. I want to fucking get out a red pencil every time I see it. And it's not just TNC. He's been the primary offender (not that I find it "offensive"; I see it speaks to the deeply troubled, utterly bone-chilling, oft-times depressing realities of black life, so it's more that the words punch me as hard as they do because they come without a hint of emotion. 'Our bodies are disrespected.' It's like your soul wasn't tormented out of you first to make you feel that way - yet that's exactly what these words seem to prove).

I don't know if this is a case of some black writers too-readily relinquishing their souls or proof that a good writer can simply make you feel as if they already have, but what sticks with me is exactly what they write, that their bodies are vulnerable. Bodies are by nature vulnerable. But what about the soul? It's an outrage when someone hurts, abuses, or disrespects any of the life within your body, but sometimes I think what our society does is to inflict the one wound that can't ever heal - the one that lacerates and permanently scars your heart.

I began thinking about this recently in tandem with a different topic, that of rape. Intersectionality abounds. To me one can draw a line directly from blacks writing of the mistreatment of their bodies straight to anyone who's ever been raped saying the same thing. How is anyone reading a rape described along such parallels supposed to react? What is the author's hoped-for takeaway?

The rapist disrespects the body. Rapists disrespect our bodies. All rapists disrespect bodies.

Then I try to put those words into the context of being raped. So it's my body that really matters, if I'm to follow the TNC example of explaining what's wrong with the rapist's brutality. I should be unemotionally complaining about the disrespect visited upon my body. Yes, it makes for very good, quite chilling, utterly succinct rose. The raped body has been grossly violated. And depending upon the severity of what happened during that violation it either will recover or will not, will be OK again or will suffer and die from the injuries and disease visited upon it. That is a horror and tragedy. But the heck with my body for a second - what about my mind?

What has the rapist taken away from my trust, sanity, perceived safety, sense of peace, prosperity, health and hope for the future that can never be replaced nor recovered, that cannot be healed from within or without? Ultimately a body is something we can and ultimately will have to dispense with. Our minds, on the other hand, are not going anywhere - ever. I'd rather we talk about that.

raisedbymoogles: (Default)
([personal profile] raisedbymoogles Oct. 3rd, 2015 11:42 pm)
[personal profile] sharpest_asp clued me in to the OC Meme, so you lucky folks get another month of me posting daily with my pointless wurblings and headcanons! Lucky you! :DDD Fair warning, I have been creating self-insert characters since I was five years old, so my heart is on my sleeve here. Brace yourself for a lot of teenage girls.

I'll be posting two a day until I catch up.

#1, Alexis, and #2, the Youngling Centre 6. )
lavendertook: close up of saki alert (Saki)
([personal profile] lavendertook Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:33 pm)
Thank you for all the well wishes on my post form last night--I so appreciate it. <3

Saki got through the surgery well--it was a very large wide ranging thyroid mass he took out and everything seemed to be going perfectly when closed her up, but when he took out the breathing tube she started to turn blue, so they put it back in, and the same thing happened later--the arytenoid cartilage in her larynx was not opening, so he put temp sutures in to keep it open.

It got pretty hard to telework as the afternoon went on and they couldn't tell me anything, so I had to stop early and take PTO. A, my downstairs neighbor dropped by for a little while for morale support, which was very sweet and was there when I got the call with the bad news. The vet office told me I could come in at 5 and be with her, so I did. Her breathing was very labored while I stood with her in the hospital a few hours last night, but got better except when coughing up fluid, and her vitals were all good, so I was able to take her home last night, instead of taking her to the emergency clinic for the night.

She is coughing up less now. She had been frustratedly trying to drink and kicking her drinking cups around during the night, and can't drink, so it's affecting the complicated cat drinking mechanism. She started to do a little better when I syringed her water this morning, so I brought her in for subcutaneous fluids today and they took out her catheter, that they left in if she had a crisis last night, so at least we're past that. I'm giving her pain meds every 7-8 hours--that may be affecting her ability to swallow as well, I suspect. She licked a little food, but that's all, but the doc didn't expect her to want to eat this weekend if all had went well. I am continuing to syringe her when she is wakeful to keep her throat from drying.

Monday I take her in and the doc will try to remove her laryngeal sutures, and we find out if it is temp paralysis from the anesthesia or swelling, or if it's perm laryngeal paralysis from nerve damage from the surgery. With the sutures in she can breathe, but she can't drink. So if it's perm, then I'll need to put her down and not make her drag on miserably. The doc has never had this happen before from this surgery.

She meowed weakly on the way home again today from the vet, which was such a heartening surprise that made me blubber--I didn't think she would be able to, so maybe her throat is healing. She does seem to be able to move her tongue a little better when the pain meds--buprenorphine-- are wearing off. This is hopeful. I'm continuing giving her syringes of water when she is wakeful to help her dry throat. But we are so in the woods right now, and my worst nightmare about the surgery is happening and she may be going through all this suffering for nothing instead of dying peacefully while under anesthesia. But maybe we'll get that miracle and she'll pull through to better times.

I'm sleeping on the futon couch in the living room to be with her, since she hasn't been liking sleeping in bed for a few of months now despite pet steps, and she seems to appreciate the closeness--she's been staying close and following me when I have to get up. She is getting around fine and peed in her box when we got home from the vet today, so that was good to see. So we wait and see and stay close all weekend and hope on a miracle on Monday. Moo and Tuxie have so far been excellent and are giving Saki her space. I think they understand the gravity of what we're dealing with and I'm very appreciative.

Please keep those good wishes for us coming--they're very needed.
Since we moved to Nova Scotia, James and I haven't been doing a lot of dining out. We used to go out for dinner quite regularly - as in a weekly date night. However, truth be told it got to be more and more difficult as my own culinary skills improved, it became harder to justify paying restaurant prices for food I could do myself only better at home, so that meant better and better restaurants - and prices accordingly.

So after we moved, and our household income downsized accordingly, we just haven't been out for dinner. Oh we've had meals out or away as part of a trip, or other event, but we just hadn't gone out for dinner for the sole sake of 'going out for dinner together'. We have missed that. And as our fortunes are a little better than they were this time last year, and James learned (through his work at the Clare Shopper) of a meal event coming up at a local restaurant we've heard very good things about, we hemmed and hawed about it a bit, after all we don't have the mortgage money or tax refunds in hand yet (although we are assured they ARE coming!!). In the end, it was a meal event, and it was the 3rd Anniversary of out move to Nova Scotia, so we bit the bullet, so to speak.

Rudders Seafood Restaurant and Brew Pub in Yarmouth has a very good reputation and we've been told by others we really needed to go sometime. When James learned of their Annual Brewer's Dinner it sounded like a nice way to investigate the joint. We are very glad we did. The evening was a perfect delight from first sip to last bite, nothing disappointed. The location in an old warehouse building on the waterfront gives marvelous harbour views, and creates the rustic and relaxed atmosphere you expect from a microbrewery restaurant. The in-house entertainment, (which so often has the potential to be insipid), was provided by a duo of guitar and keyboards, and a talented singer, the repertoire was the old standards that so often can come across as live 'musak', but in this case the talent of the performers brought them to life, and was a thoroughly pleasant addition to the evening.

But we were here for the beer and the food, all the great entertainment, and fabulous atmosphere don't mean much if the food doesn't hold up, and a brew pub must be able to stand on it's beer. First course was a Baked Blond Clams with Blond Rock Ale. Honestly, I don't tend to be a big fan of blond beers, even microbrewery ones tend to be watery, thin, and a bit flavourless in their quest for lightness. Blond Rock Ale wasn't. Yes it was light, bubbly, blond but it was full flavoured in a bright bouncy way that didn't leave much of an after taste. It was a thoroughly delightful surprise, and it was the perfect match for the baked clams with blond ale sauce, and a very auspicious beginning to the evening. The baked clam starter, still crispy under the blond ale sauce with a hint of sharp cheese on a bed of wilted spinach was also a pleasant surprise that boded well.

James, as you may know, can't eat shellfish, so while he sipped his beer and listened to me enthuse on about the starter (both of them - yes I ate his as well!) he was impressed with the beer, but anticipating getting to try the food as well. Most of you who know us know that we've often said "Salad is what food eats". It's hard to impress us with a bit of green leaf on a plate, but the Irish Apple Ale Salad did exactly that! The mixed greens were nicely sharp and peppery which contrasted beautifully with the sweetness of the cranberry and watermelon, and all balanced with the richness of the smoked gouda (oh my we'd almost forgotten how wonderful a smoked gouda is!). the Irish apple vinaigrette was another perfect balance of sweet and sharp, rich and bright. No flavour dominated or competed with the others, they all shone in beautiful harmony with each other. The Killam's Irish Ale was definitely a deeper bolder ale with more mouth feel than the blond that preceded it, drunk on it's own it had a brief but distinct after taste, that was smoothed out by the pairing of it with the Irish Apple Ale Salad. The ale alone was a wonderful drop that could easily be sipped all evening on it's own, but it really did reach a whole new nuance of character paired with the salad. As I say, we're not really 'salad' people, for James to comment on how marvelous a salad is, is a real testament.

So by this point in the meal we're yammering excitedly about just how delightful this experience is. We expected to enjoy a pleasant evening out, but by this point it's all been perfect, and we're positively giddy with just how nice it all is. And then the lamb t-bones arrived. Two, at least, inch and a half thick lamb chops with Red Ale Au Jus, with baby potatoes and mixed vegetables. Simple, plain, perfect. A good cut of meat doesn't need a lot of dolling up, it shouldn't be dolled up, it should be left to shine on it's own. Cooked to perfection, with a rich warm red ale au jus. I noticed that two was a bit much for many of the ladies dining this evening, but non left them on the plate, they all asked for a box to take it home. For many restaurants bringing a shining example of pure meat heaven to the table is enough and the potato and veg that accompany it are an afterthought and often they suffer for that. Rudder's chef though did not disappoint, the baby potatoes and vegetables were cooked to exact, firm and bright, not starchy or mushy or underdone. I felt like the baby bear in Goldilocks and the Three Bears.... not too hard, not to soft, just right, and I got to eat mine! Like the lamb, simple, plain, and just right. Not meant to compete but to compliment. The Rudders Red Ale was just the thing to stand up to that hearty hunk of meat, Substantial without being heavy, full bodied, full flavoured, rich and round without being 'too much'.

It's quite clear trying these three beers thus far, that they're all the work of one artist. While they are each unique and special on their own, they together form a body of work and a flavour profile that is obviously in a similar style. Much as Starry Night and Sunflowers are very different paintings, but they're both obviously Van Gogh's work.

Thus enthralled, the fourth course, dessert, arrived. James had never considered beer with dessert, and I admit it wouldn't be my first thought either. However, after the lamb, this was the course I was really anticipating. I love my chocolate, I love my brown beers, how would the chef marry these together? Like everything else this evening, perfectly. Microbreweries always want to do a stout, and they so often end up feeling like Guinness knock offs, trying to be something they're not they miss the mark. Town Brown is it's own beer, it's not trying to be anything else. The notes of bitter chocolate are upfront and marry well to the chocolate lava cake, as does the lingering hint of coffee notes. The carbonation is very fine and gives a light gentle buzz rather than a bright bubbly. The lava cake was amazing, I almost started to say in the first bite or two that it needed more lava, then I hit it's gooey, liquid centre. and those words died on my ecstatic tongue.

By the end of the meal we were sated, contented, completely enthralled, and I dare say even a bit inspired. We ordered coffee, not because we really needed to finish with coffee, but simply to give us reason to continue to linger at the table. We had eaten just exactly enough, anything more would have been too much and hurt, and you don't want any less of it.

So to sum it up. Perfect. Perfect atmosphere, perfect entertainment, perfect service, perfect beers, perfect food - I keep looking to say "but", but there are no buts. When the only 'downside' to an entire 4 course with beer pairings meal is paper napkins, there is no downside.

Thank you Rudders for sharing your 10th Anniversary Brewers Dinner with us, we will be back, and it won't take us a year.

Originally posted to: The Plan® comment there or here

I don't normally post short Twitter-like status updates but this thought will not leave, though it's a tad too long for a Twitter-like blurb. I've seen it come up repeatedly where some male yoo-ha, after a rape performed by him or his buddy, or both, tells them or the rape victim: "Why press charges/take me to court/testify/have me/us prosecuted? I/they can't unrape you/her."

It's bothered me. I first saw it by someone quoted online, a typical sophomoric college dude who was being OH SO ENLIGHTENED in saying so. Then I saw it used in pretty much the same context by someone else oh so proud not only of his rapework, but of the humor and clarity he was bringing to it by pronouncing the victim unrape-able (yeah, I know, in this context being unrape-able is obviously not what the normal person might expect).

Finally, in trying to drift off to sleep the other night, the perfect answer came to me. People can't be unraped? Fine. They also can't be unkilled, so the same cops, judges and buddies who chortle along as you laugh about the unfixableness of the victim's situation better keep chortling should anyone finally get you back for it. Laws? Why, we've got those for rape, too, but if using the law can't unrape someone then how silly we're all being, lol.

ETA: After posting this, it occurred to me I shouldn't be so shocked by the rapist's POV as to begin advocating for a more anarchic solution, as this post at least jokingly seems to suggest, because if someone was callous, heartless and disrespectful enough to rape someone to begin with, then of course they're going to be callous, heartless and disrespectful enough to joke around and make totally light of it afterward. Sometimes I need to just grow a thicker skin, I guess. I guess?

And, (here comes my de riguer 'No one's being excluded intentionally' disclaimer) just to be clear, I'm not trying to ignore that men also get raped nor that women also sometimes are the rapists. I'm only speaking to the exact context in which I saw these comments made, which was men joking about their about-to-be-tried cases of having already raped women.

andrewducker: (Default)
([personal profile] andrewducker Oct. 3rd, 2015 08:47 pm)
Both thanks to [ profile] marrog and [ profile] erindubitably.

Firstly: Parks and Recreation. Which Julie and I had watched the first episode of, and given up on. They told us that the second season underwent a significant change, and was much better. So we skipped ahead to the start of season two, and indeed, they were completely correct. In season one the characters came across as incompetent and unlikable. By boosting their competence (even a small amount) and making them more relatable, the same characters suddenly became ones that we cheered for, and found much much funnier. We watched all seven seasons in about a month, and then wished there was more. Touching, funny, and delightfully quirky, I wish there was more TV like this. (Also, unashamedly pro-government. You don't see many TV shows where the main character works in local government and that's seen as a good thing.)

Second: Dobble. A very simply card game, that's basically "Snap" on steroids. Take a bunch of cards covered in symbols. Any pair of cards have exactly one symbol in common, and there are a variety of different games based around matching cards against each other. Each game takes about three minutes to play, it easily scales up to "as many players as you can get around a table", and I was sold on it within seconds of starting. I've not seen so many people swearing at each other over a stack of cards in many years. Suitable for everyone from small children to drunken adults - and apparently makes for a great aid when teaching people languages - as you can make people tell you the name of the image they've matched on before they can claim a card. Sold in the US as "Spot It!", and apparently has many different editions.
sine_nomine: (Default)
([personal profile] sine_nomine Oct. 3rd, 2015 03:11 pm)
Well, the plan for some of my birthday weekend was go to New Castle, DE for a discussion group tomorrow afternoon and then meet a good friend in Mays Landing, NJ for lunch on Monday. Had crash space arranged that wasn't ideal location-wise but would give me some time with friends I want to get to know better (and possibly get to cook dinner for them if we weren't still full from lunch at the discussion group).

Except I got a text from my friend and apparently they have no heat and it won't be repaired until Monday at the earliest. She and her husband are concerned that I'd get ill staying with them, etc. because the house is, at present, hovering around 16 degrees Celsius. So I'm hunting online and oh the options.... but it turns out that all the dive hotels (which are astoundingly cheap) come with a stack of fees that put them right up there with the least expensive of the legitimate hotels (I will take "cancel by 4 PM day of arrival" over "You have to cancel 2 days before your reservation or we charge you" any time... especially as right now I'm within 1 day of the reservation which means I'm paying for it whether or not I use it. Uh yeah. No.).

I have to admit that, ever since my not-fun-this-is-not-safe; I'm-booking-a-hotel-room-now! experience with crashing with a friend over Labor Day Weekend, I'm more than a little freaked at the prospect of staying with folks... have one friend nearby that I'm sure would love to host me but she's so high-energy that I despair of getting any sleep. And I reached out to my ex, who is not convenient but still closer than driving all the way home and all the way back down the next day.

But then I tried one more site. Lo and behold, a legit hotel for not a heck of a lot of money relatively near my destination on Monday. It won't be great but it will at least be clean and have hot water. Given that all I'm planning on doing there is sleeping and showering that will be just fine. Doubt I'll even go so far as to turn on the television.

Still.... I wish there was some way to limit the options for input and choices and so on! I may start making a list of the hotel chain websites and just go that route. Anything else and it just gets overwhelming way too quickly. Then again I'm not planning on doing this again any time soon! but it ends up saving money over driving all the way home and all the way back down so worth doing. And I'll chalk it up to Birthday Adventure.
ariestess: (autumn leaves -- from dhamphir)
([personal profile] ariestess Oct. 3rd, 2015 11:29 am)
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sraun: birthday cake (cake birthday)
([personal profile] sraun Oct. 3rd, 2015 10:52 am)
Happy Birthday [ profile] farwing
dreamwriteremmy: Alexis Bledel, a brunette smiling sitting on a bench (Default)
([personal profile] dreamwriteremmy Oct. 3rd, 2015 06:49 am)
Currently Reading: First Family by Alice Langholt
Pick For Me Book October: TBD
Last updated 3 October 2015

Book List WIP )
I've been trying to work out what it is that really works about some narratives, and I've realised that I have a soft spot for writing that starts out comedic (or is largely comedic) that cares enough about the characters to give them some depth. Serious moments in comedies frequently work better for me than serious moments in dramas because the light-heartedness gives me a space to open up emotionally, relaxing into the flow of the show, and when they then deal with something serious it can have a bigger impact. And both the comedy and the drama work best if the comedy characters have depth to them. I want comedy writers to take their characters seriously - to think about their motivations, and their backgrounds, and to make the comedy work with that, rather than just going for simple slapstick that could happen to _any_ character (although, obviously, I'm always up for slapstick).

What's prompted this has been (1) the recent discussions about Pratchett/Discworld, which is probably the largest body of work by someone using humour as a way to discuss important points. He got himself a platform through taking the piss out of fantasy tropes and then realised he could use that platform to discuss anything he wanted to, and did a marvellous job of it. (2) Re-reading Order Of The Stick, which on the one hand starts out as a bunch of jokes about Dungeons and Dragons rules, but then develops wafer-thin characters into people that you can actively care about, and a world/plot design to make you think. And (3) Most recently, Julie introducing me to "You're The Worst", an American comedy about two terrible people trying to have a relationship. Which has some incredibly sharp writing, and is elevated well above the norm by having characters who actually have motivations and reasons for acting in a stupid way. They're lost, and broken, and confused, and frequently trying to do the wrong thing, but the show manages to make you care about them because you can see how people get themselves into that state, and how the mechanisms they've taken on to protect themselves cause them to go so badly wrong. It manages to be both funny and poignant, sometimes at the same time, which is exactly what I need.

I think, basically, I want to be entertained by meaningful things. Too little entertainment and I find myself thinking I could just read the news rather than watching fictionalised representations of it. Too little meaning and I feel empty and disappointed.
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([personal profile] dglenn Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:24 am)

"This is beyond voodoo economics; it's doo-doo economics." -- Robert Reich describing Donald Trump's tax plan on the Comedy Central program, The Nightly Show with Larry Willmore, 2015-09-30