(no subject)

Feb. 6th, 2016 02:33 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Semi-randomly— My fingers keep typing 'Fakir' instead of 'Frakir' as I try to write Amber fic. That would change the story considerably. I’m not sure what Fakir would make of Merlin. I’m not convinced he’d be impressed. Of course Fakir (and Drosselmeyer) being an Amberite would explain a heck of a lot.

Cordelia and I got Chinese food from Lucky Kitchen for dinner last night while Scott was working late. I got sesame chicken, and Cordelia got shrimp lo mein (she wanted chicken, but for some reason, they didn’t have it last night). We also got spring rolls and crab cheese. I had to borrow some cash from Cordelia in order to pay.

The box of books to try to sell is more than full. I’m not sure what to do with the overflow, particularly as there are still things I’d like to get rid of. A lot of them.

The foam compression pad is actually doing what it’s supposed to. I have a lot less swelling in my breast and the hard spots aren’t anywhere near as big. The stupid thing itches like crazy, however, even with me wearing something under it, and I have to keep readjusting everything because it doesn’t fit.

We finally sorted the stuffed animals. There are three that Scott and I want to keep: one that belonged to Scott as a child, one that Scott bought for me a couple of years before Cordelia came along, and the Winnie the Pooh that Cordelia couldn’t sleep without for about three years, from ages three to six. Scott actually made a round trip to his parents’ place, right after getting home, just because Cordelia had forgotten Squish. That’s an hour each way.

I think Cordelia had five or six critters that she wanted to keep.

There’s one more that wasn’t in the big bin that I think I want to keep— Weasel the Lion was a gift from my sister a couple of weeks after Cordelia was born. We used to dance him around in front of her and sing, "I am Weasel the Lion, and I like eating potatoes!" (I have no idea at all where the potatoes came from.)

You Did Say "Anything"

Feb. 6th, 2016 03:14 pm
lokifan: Pansy, pink text "our queen" (Pansy)
[personal profile] lokifan
Title: You Did Say “Anything”
Word count: ~4100
Characters/pairings: Daphne/Pansy, with a tiny bit of Millicent/Pansy
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Pansy chose not to come if it meant doing it in the Slytherin common room. The next day, Daphne makes her pay.
Content: Humiliation, nipple clamps/tit torture, dom/sub, orgasm delay/denial, queening, sadism & masochism, exhibitionism & voyeurism; somewhat dodgy kink
Author’s Notes: This is an immediate sequel to Walkies. It’ll help to understand what’s going on here, and it’s a 2k femmeslash PWP so it’s not a lot of effort to read :)

On AO3

You Did Say Anything )

Titles are the worst...

Feb. 6th, 2016 12:26 pm
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[personal profile] graculus
Oops, how has it been a month since I last posted? Anyway, last time, I was making plans to go down to London and then do some work, first for the university and then getting back to teaching again.

I highly recommend the Cosmonauts exhibition at the Science Museum, in case anyone here has the chance to go and hasn't yet - all sorts of cool stuff from the history of Russian space exploration, though the gift shop was shockingly lacking in cool stuff I wanted to buy (except for all the posters, where I could have pretty much cleared the wall if I'd let myself). What I wanted, more than anything, was a mug with the Valentina Tereshkova poster artwork on it, but nope.

Since I've been back, I did a week at the university and then started shadowing the folks who're currently teaching the course where I'm taking over the ESOL part when it runs again from after half term. Getting the other tutors together to review this (since it was a pilot) was a nightmare though, since there are 4 of them and nobody could do the same times as everyone else, so we've ended up having two meetings to cover that. I suppose I should probably be grateful we've managed it with only two!

Meanwhile, I've also picked up another course to teach, starting the same time, which is excellent news in financial terms. I'd like to say I've been prepping stuff for both of them, but that'd be a lie, though I have been organising what I already have so I can actually find what I'm looking for. And I also got given a load of stuff by one of the tutors who retired, so I have no shortage of possible material, only needing the time and concentration to look through it and see what's still useful.

I also did a solid week's worth of invigilation in January, so I'm looking forward to getting paid for that this month. In related news, I was in the supermarket and bumped into the woman who organises the medical school exams, only for me to completely blank on where I knew her from (since it was utterly out of context) and have to blag that I remembered when I didn't. *headdesk*

Meanwhile, in terms of health and welfare news, I signed up for something last year through my local council which offered free gym and classes for a year if you met certain criteria (which I did) and am trying to improve my overall fitness. Not quite a New Year resolution, since it started in November! I think I'd got to that point where anything like fatigue was a toss-up between 'am I ill?', 'am I just getting older?' or 'is it just that I'm not very fit any more?' (like the question about whether there was something going on with my thyroid function, which came back as not proven) and decided the best way to sort out between the two was to remove one of them as a possible factor. Sadly, it wasn't 'am I just getting older?', which nobody can do anything about! ;)

Anyway, I've been going to the gym although I find the cardio aspect of it incredibly tedious, and also trying out Pilates, which can best be summarised as 'I was never very coordinated when I was younger and that has not improved'. This week I was also persuaded to attend a circuit class, which would have been fine if I hadn't been the only person to turn up - free personal training is not fun, my thighs can tell you all about it two days later!

Longer term, I'd also like to get back into some kind of regular sport and am currently looking at what's feasible for me considering age and attention span. I played hockey (field hockey to the folks across the water) for more than 10 years but don't really fancy getting back into that again, even though there are 'veterans' teams. One thing I've been looking at is fencing, since there's a local club that does adult lessons quite reasonably priced and it's something I've always wanted to try. But improving my basic fitness comes first, I'll make some enquiries after Easter about that and see where things go from there...

Alexander Hamilton (Chernow)

Feb. 5th, 2016 09:38 pm
cahn: (Default)
[personal profile] cahn
(Uh, yeah, surprising no one, this is a bunch of words not solely about the Chernow bio, but a rather a lot of opinions on how Chernow's bio relates to the musical.)

4/5. I FINALLY finished the Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton, not just so I could write this post on it, but I could easily have taken another month otherwise. It's a very good and readable book, but it's also a very chewy book — it's not dense, I didn't have to read things twice or wait until I was in a super cognitive mood, like I did for Hild, but it's definitely the kind of book where I could read a couple of pages and then either go on or put it down for a couple of days.

Anyway! It was awesome and I totally understand how Miranda put this book down and was like "…surely someone's written a musical about this guy, right? Right???? No? I'm not going to throw away my shot Then I'll do it."

Chernow is clearly a fan of Hamilton, but this doesn't extend to thinking Hamilton can do no wrong. Chernow doesn't make excuses or try to rugsweep when his subject does something incredibly stupid — indeed his frustration is almost palpable. But more of that later on.

It's really really interesting to read after being obsessed with the musical. You know how Alexander Hamilton, in the musical, is this sort of archetypal hero who starts from nothing, gets caught up in all these Events, attains the pinnacle of success, and then falls from it? The historical Alexander Hamilton is all these things turned up to eleven. I mean, Miranda didn't exaggerate. If anything he downplayed Hamilton. If he'd also added that the boat Hamilton took to America literally caught on fire (I laughed out loud at this) and that, far from being a little gawky and awkward as an adolescent as he is in the musical, he was in fact possessed of an extreme poise and confidence, we wouldn't even have believed it, right? He would have come across as a complete Mary Sue, right? …And yet.

Is anyone surprised that this got long? No. )

Anyway! Highly recommended, whether or not you like or have any interest in the musical. If you are a huge fan of the musical-as-history, I would go so far as to say that this is a must-read so that you don't go around telling people that Alexander Hamilton punched the Princeton bursar (he didn't) — although the good folks at genius.com have annotated the lyrics so that you can get a pretty good idea for what's history and what's not.

The Giver on stage

Feb. 5th, 2016 08:36 pm
katherine: A line of books on a shelf, in greens and browns (books)
[personal profile] katherine
I enjoyed seeing Gallery 7's production of The Giver. They used almost all grey costuming. Colour for the apple, a little bit of red lighting for moments of Jonas Seeing Beyond, and the memories (projected on screens at the back of the stage). They had Rosemary come on in the Giver's room as he remembered her, silent, and then moments from the end, placing the sled in the snow.

(no subject)

Feb. 5th, 2016 06:56 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
At this point, my big box is about 2/3 full of books I think might be worth selling. I’ve got a big pile on the floor of things I want to send to the Friends of the Library for their book sale. I’m judging what’s worth selling by looking at listings on AbeBooks, generally searching by ISBN. If the price for a used copy in about the condition of the one I’ve got goes over $5 or $6 by midway down the first page of results, I put the book in the box for Books By Chance. I figure that my ability to judge condition is iffy but that it’s probably worth letting someone else check.

I’m a bit surprised. Apparently some of my Margery Allingham paperbacks are worth selling. I’d never have guessed that.

Doonesbury books don’t seem to be worth much, so I’m not sure I’m going to bother doing anything with them given that I haven’t hauled them upstairs yet. Maybe Cordelia will find them a curiosity in another ten years. Then again, they fill two shelves…

There are still shelves in the basement that I haven’t weeded. I don’t know if I’ll do that this weekend or if I’ll wait for Monday. This weekend would be better simply because then we could get by with only one trip to the library. I’m also kind of eying some of the history books from my college years and wondering if they’re worth keeping, given that I haven’t opened them in more than twenty five years. I’m not going to read Behind the Urals or Before the Deluge again, and I’m not sure that Cordelia’s likely to take a class in college that uses either of those as texts. (I read the former in a class on the history of the Soviet Union and the latter in a class on theater in the Weimar Republic.)

I will have to let Scott go through the books to see if there are any he wants to keep. I don’t know if Cordelia will want to look, but I’ll make sure she has a chance.

I just need to find something to put the books to be donated in that I don’t mind not getting back.

Cordelia and I have not touched the stuffed animals. (Scott’s working late tonight, so his input will have to come later.)

(no subject)

Feb. 5th, 2016 11:59 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Gah. Throwing out stuffed animals and dolls feels like I’m killing them. I’m not sure I can do it. But we can’t store many of the dratted things. We want to limit that to the ones to which we have real emotional attachment.

Other parents of older children, have you gone through this? How did you handle it?

(no subject)

Feb. 5th, 2016 11:03 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I got all of the to be shelved books down to the basement. They’re piled on a small table down there. I really have no idea when I’ll actually be able to shelve them. I’ve now started filling the big box in the living room with things I want to get rid of. I threw out some water damaged books that I have either replaced or don’t care enough about to replace. I still have a bunch more water damaged books that I haven’t decided whether or not to replace. I need to look at them and see if they’re still readable and then check to see how much replacing them would cost. (Basically, a couple of years back, we had a leak from the kitchen sink that soaked a bunch of my G author paperbacks.)

I’m trying to decide if I care enough to search my culled books online to see if any of them are worth sending to Books By Chance. I’m kind of inclined to think that the ones selling for a cent each on Amazon aren’t worth the effort and should go to the Friends of the Library sale.

Cordelia’s stuffed animals are all in the living room now. The idea is for me to go through them and sort out what can be donated (assuming we can find a place that will take stuffed animals. Many places won’t. Right now, I think that the Salvation Army and the Kiwanis will, but I need to check to be sure). Cordelia pulled out a few yesterday that she wants to keep. Unfortunately, Scott dumped those back into the basket this morning, so I don’t know which they are. That’s… frustrating and means I can’t start sorting until Cordelia comes home.

I’m on day three of a headache. The whole thing is very frustrating because I can’t seem to hit on the right thing to make it go away entirely. I’ve also, every day this week, found myself crashing at about 3:30 every afternoon. This is not just being kind of tired; this is fall over exhaustion that forces me to bed. I really don’t know what’s going on with that.

I want to make banana bread. I’ve got three bananas at the right stage of over-ripeness. It takes two for one loaf, but I’ve also got some applesauce that I could use to finish that out. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can use the stand mixer for it, given the situation with the mixing paddles, and I’m really reluctant to try to mix the stuff by hand.

I pre-ordered the new Bujold from the local bookstore but didn’t hear anything about it having come in, so I was afraid that my pre-order had gotten lost. I emailed the store, and they responded, saying that they’re closed all this week and that I can pick up the book next week. I can wait, but it would have been nice to know in advance.

Top 5 books of 2015

Feb. 4th, 2016 11:36 pm
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
[personal profile] lokifan
I thought this might be a fun post, especially since I love other people’s book review/rec posts but am terrible at making them myself.

Below is a list of the (shockingly few) books I read in 2015. They were all recommended or by authors I already knew I liked so I actually liked all of them; Frost didn’t get me to buy the next book in the series but I quite enjoyed it.

2015 books )

the top 5 )

Important TV advice sought

Feb. 4th, 2016 02:33 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
The OH and I just finished the first season of How to Get Away With Murder. I'm glad I watched it, and I like the acting and the cast diversity, but it was sort of surfing the edge of what kind of TV I like best (too much of the drama generated by lies and stupidity). Based on that, do you think I should I watch the next season?

Library at Mount Char (Hawkins)

Feb. 4th, 2016 01:01 pm
cahn: (Default)
[personal profile] cahn
Oh man, I'm getting totally bogged down on this Chernow post. So here, have Library of Mount Char instead.

(Also, it being February, I'm going to try to put a quotation in every post I make. Let's see how long that lasts.)

3+/5. The book begins like this:
Carolyn, blood-drenched and barefoot, walked alone down the two lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 78. Most of the librarians, Carolyn included, had come to think of this road as the Path of Tacos, so-called in honor of a Mexican joint they snuck out to sometimes. The guacamole, she remembered, is really good. Her stomach rumbled. Oak leaves, reddish-orange and delightfully crunchy, crackled underfoot as she walked. Her breath puffed white in the predawn air. The obsidian knife she had used to murder Detective Miner lay nestled in the small of her back, sharp and secret.

She was smiling.

And, I mean, it is a great introduction, it certainly drew me in to where I really wanted to know what was going on and what happened next! It also is a great introduction in that it pretty much tells you what the book is going to be like.

It's going to be weird; it's going to be fantastical; and it's going to be violent. I'd in fact categorize it more as horror than as fantasy. There's a lot of carnage, a lot of death, a lot of torture. I don't really get into horror that much, so I, uh, fast-forwarded through a lot of the more gory scenes (and there are a lot of gory scenes).

Also, it's about the Librarians, a set of young adults who grew up together as not-really-siblings under "Father." Father appears human but clearly is not, has all kinds of superhuman powers, appears to be protecting this Earth from malevolent forces, and subjects them to over-the-top physical and emotional abuse that is more accurately described as (literally) torture, turning at least one of them into a psychopath and driving at least one more insane.

This appears to be in the service of giving each of them some of his knowledge to master; one can bring back people from the dead; one is a master of warlike arts; Carolyn herself can speak many languages, including the languages of beasts. At the beginning of the book, Father is missing and there is the possibility he is dead, which of course is a problem given the malevolent forces previously mentioned, but also raising the question of where he is, who is responsible for it, and how that plays into power struggles among his "children."

It's a fascinating book. It was definitely riveting and held me to the end. There are a lot of neat fantastical aspects. One of the best characters is a sentient lion. There's a super awesome character who's a war hero who has gone civil.

In my opinion it did not stick the landing. I really liked the idea of the ending, which was certainly satisfyingly climactic and earthshattering, but the execution didn't quite do it for me.

Book-destroying spoilers. You might as well read them if you don't think you want to read this book. )

Book-destroying spoilers for both Library and McKillip's Riddlemaster trilogy; if you have any expectation of ever reading the Riddlemaster trilogy and don't want to be spoiled, don't read this. )

Anyway… it was well-written, well-plotted, and had a lot of interesting things going on. I'll be interested to see what Hawkins does next… but I might not read it unless he cuts down significantly on the gore. On the other hand, if you like your SFF with a big dollop of horror (or at least don't mind it), you may well really enjoy this.

(no subject)

Feb. 4th, 2016 01:51 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Hm. I’ve been looking at my bookshelves and trying to decide what can go. Some things are easy— I’m never going to reread anything by Laurie King, too anxiety provoking. Scott isn’t interested, and Cordelia has decided that all mysteries are evil. But Dave Barry? Doonesbury? Various encyclopedias and histories on interesting topics that I’ve had for twenty years and never opened? I don’t think any of us are going to read Dickens or Alcott, but aren’t those the sort of thing that one should keep just because one should own them? Are there really books like that?

Will I ever reread any Marian Babson? Margery Allingham? Margot Arnold? Christopher Stasheff? Samurai Cat? Should I keep my Baum Oz books given that Cordelia hated the first book and now considers herself too old for such things? What about Pippi and Mrs Piggle-Wiggle?

I’ve kept a lot of books because simply looking at them carried me into their stories again, but now, I’ve forgotten the stories of so very many of those books that it doesn’t work so well any more. Also, most of my books are in places that I can’t get at very easily.

It’s not as if I have anyone to loan these books to at this point. Cordelia has people she lends books to, but I don’t.

At any rate, I’m looking at books and asking myself questions. Do I remember this book? Will I reread it? Could I write fic for it and enjoy doing? Could I draw on it for story ideas for a game or a novel? Do I take pleasure in simply owning the book, in revisiting the story and characters by looking at the outside of the book? Is there useful research material here that I can’t find more easily online? Did a friend/relative give me this book or are there memories tied up in this book for other reasons? Is it beautiful in some way?

It may be as interesting to me to note what I keep as what I don’t.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I have another writing book that I’m willing to give away. I haven’t read this one since before Cordelia was born, so I'm hazy on the details beyond what I can get from opening it here and there now.

The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers by Elizabeth Benedict. 1996.

This book is not aimed at writers of romance or erotica, and the author is a little snotty about sex scenes that are meant to be hot just for the sake of being hot. There’s very little about mechanics and a good bit about focusing on the things that matter to the characters and way that bad sex can make a good story or that things that aren’t overtly sexual can be sexual in practice.

There are a lot of short sections written by other people, mostly literary fiction authors, who talk about sex in their own works. There are also a lot of excerpts from sex scenes that made an impression on the author. There are eight exercises at the very end of the book.

ETA: Since nobody has expressed interest in more than 24 hours, I'm sticking this with the books to donate to the library book sale. I expect we'll take those in on Sunday the 7th, some time during the afternoon. If someone asks for it before then, I'll pull it out, but otherwise, it'll be gone.

(no subject)

Feb. 4th, 2016 07:42 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I am up much earlier than usual because I wasn’t able to get back to sleep after Scott got up at 5:00. That happens a couple of times a month. I generally stay in bed until he leaves for work, an hour after he gets up, but I’m not willing to toss and turn another two hours just to keep Cordelia happy. She doesn’t like it when I’m up with her in the morning, but she can deal with it occasionally.

We had friends over last night and did a little bit of getting our characters acquainted with each other for the Stargate game we’ve been trying to get going since October. I need to go over my character and figure out what she can do. Scott did all of the work to create her because, at the time, I didn’t have the energy to spare. I’m not sure he filled in all of the stuff that I will need.

Cordelia wants me to tell our cleaning lady not to do anything in her room from now on. (Last week, she picked up and washed every scrap of clothing from Cordelia’s floor.) I pointed out that Cordelia still can’t change her own sheets (she has a loft bed. Changing the sheets is a fairly big undertaking). Cordelia thinks she’d be fine if she never changed her sheets at all. This from someone who just spent a couple of months studying disease ecology.

This whole thing is difficult because the cleaning lady has explicitly said that she considers Cordelia a granddaughter and because the cleaning lady is right in thinking that Cordelia’s room is a mess. I tend to think that a teenager’s room being a mess is just kind of to be expected, and I know Cordelia’s feeling territorial and wanting privacy. I may try to distract the cleaning lady from the stuff Cordelia doesn’t want her to touch by asking her to help me empty the closet where Cordelia’s old toys live. It really, really needs doing, and Cordelia has said more than once that she doesn’t care about anything in there.

There’s also this— In the years the cleaning lady has been coming, I have almost never been able to get her to not do some bit of cleaning that she thinks is important.

(And now, Cordelia’s up, and she says no to the toy closet idea. She says there’s nothing in there anyway. I need to check on that, but I don’t want to go digging in there if she’s against it.)

I bought myself three new shirts from Blair. I was concerned when I tried on of them on because the sleeves were longer than I’m comfortable with, but now that I’ve washed them, they seem to be okay. I bought two of the same shirt for Cordelia, but she has refused even to look at them because they’re long sleeved and, according to her, that’s not her style.

I’m trying to decide if it’s worth sending them back given the work involved. The shirts were $10-$12 each which is not completely trivial, but I think we’d have to pay the postage to return them (Blair might refund that, too. Some companies do, and some don’t).

[livejournal.com profile] evalerie would your daughter be able to and want to wear long sleeved mock turtlenecks, women’s size small? They’re cotton knit. One is jade green. The other is red (technically claret, but red is good enough). For that matter, what size do you wear?

Scott bought a new paddle for our mixing bowl. The old one had enamel on it that kept flaking off into whatever we were mixing, and the underlying metal tended to bleed into the batter in a way that made me uncomfortable. The new paddle has silicone edging that looks like a really good idea. Unfortunately, the dratted thing is too tall for the model of mixer we’ve got. With it attached, it’s not possible to lower the upper part of the mixer fully. It ends up angled at about thirty degrees instead of parallel to the counter the way it’s supposed to be. I’m not willing to use it like that because I’m more than a little dubious about the safety of it.

For the first time in a couple of years, I think I have an idea for where to start the next chapter of Rheotaxis. I’m not going to try to start it immediately, but I’m going to make notes so that I don’t forget and then let the idea simmer for a bit while I write other stuff. I’ve got seven prompt related things that I want to do.

I don’t actually expect I’ll get through all of them. One of them already wants to be epically long. One requires a fairly detailed canon review. A third requires some wiki research before I can even start trying to come up with an idea. A fourth is very close to something I’ve already written, and I’m having trouble coming up with a different take. The fifth, I have barely a glimmer of an idea on and am simply not ready to start. The sixth has foundered on the main character being OOC. I’m actually working on the seventh prompt.

I’ve almost finished the third of the library books that can’t be renewed. That just leaves the one I could renew but have already renewed four times. I will read some of that tonight and decide whether or not I’m going to keep going.

(no subject)

Feb. 3rd, 2016 08:17 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I finally got rid of the headache. It took sudafed and mucinex to do it. I should have thought that it might be sinus related given the cold.

Books up for grabs

Feb. 3rd, 2016 06:13 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I don’t know if anyone who reads me is interested in writing mysteries, but I’ve got three volumes from The Howdunit Series of books that were written as references for mystery writers. They’re all at least as old as Cordelia (so twelve years or older), so the information is decidedly dated, but I thought I’d ask if anyone here wants them. The books are:

Blythe, Hal, Charlie Sweet, and John Landreth. Private Eyes: A Writer’s Guide to Private Investigators.

Wingate, Anne. Scene of the Crime: A Writer’s Guide to Crime-Scene Investigations.

Stevens, Serita Deborah with Anne Klarner. Deadly Doses: A Writer’s Guide to Poisons.

I’m willing to ship these within the US, singly or all together. For international shipping, I’d need help to meet the cost. Also, I’m pretty sure that the information in the books is very US centric, so that and that datedness may make them not worth international shipping.

If I get more than one person wanting these, I’ll look for some sort of random number generator, but I’m kind of not anticipating much interest.


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