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Jul. 21st, 2017 04:17 pm
elayna: (Default)
[personal profile] elayna
New Cat already has a new name - Lap Cat.

I was even sitting with one foot tucked under me and had to adjust because my foot was falling asleep. Usually when an animal is on my lap and I shift, that animal gets huffy and leaps off. But no, Lap Cat adjusted with me. Whenever I need him to get off, he demonstrates that magical ability where a cat becomes boneless and weighs 10 more pounds. He has the lap now and he is not surrendering it!

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 02:14 pm
elayna: (McKay omg squee)
[personal profile] elayna
I got home from Nevada yesterday, had an excellent time at Con*Strict. A few of the regulars were missing, but it was good to see everyone else, and meet the one new attendee.

I love the pool in the morning, a chance to get some exercise and splash about before it gets too hot, so the morning swimming group was quite pleasant.

Had some good meals out, though the Japanese Steakhouse on Friday night was disappointing. We've eaten there several times, but they were definitely having a bad night. I think it took at least half an hour for everyone to get their meals, and they gave up by the time they finally reached Emu's, just bringing it out in a takeaway bag. But the Greek place, the Tavern Parkway, the World of Beer, and of course, breakfast at the Sunset Station, all yum. The Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout at the Tavern, quite tasty.

Panels were interesting with many thoughtful comments, though also some fascinating differences in how people saw shows and certain characters. Wonder Woman made everyone happy.

Nine of us saw Spiderman on Saturday night, and everyone enjoyed it. I was very pleased that they skipped redoing the origin story, that Peter was so geeky and real, and that the villain was quite unique and more of a normal guy. Four people also saw Baby Driver and gave it two thumbs up.

I brought things, of course, as I always do, writing my thank you notes was the plan. I always think I will accomplish things in the downtime. Nope. I'm always tired and accomplish nothing useful. But I did bring my sneakers, as I always do, except this time, for the first time, I did make it to the tiny gym and treadmill twice. Working on being healthier, yay.

The flight attendant on the return home was a little disconcerting. I asked if the flight was full, and she said, "It is full. F. U. El. El." Then laughed, "Someone pointed out I shouldn't say it that way, someone might take it wrong." And started repeating it to the person coming in behind me. Very strange.

I walked out of the airport when I got home and into 90ish degree heat and was so happy. It feels so cool here compared to Nevada's 100s.

Three of the cats were in the living room waiting for me. New Cat didn't show until the evening. They're all happy I'm home.

I usually return to work on Tuesday but this time I took the rest of this week off. I think picturing that co-worker stressing because her family was going to the resort when it was supposed to rain (it didn't - they had a great time in the sun) and thinking about lounging and drinking hot chocolate infected me, and I felt like a break. I have a few things I'd like to accomplish, but I also intend to do some relaxing. Staycation, yay!

drabblemania! And other festathons!

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:50 am
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
The second annual Multifandom Drabble Exchange ([community profile] multifandomdrabble) went live yesterday, and I received a gift and a treat:

Summer turns towards Autumn by [archiveofourown.org profile] weakinteraction - The Man in the High Castle (TV), Tagomi and Juliana post-S2. I do wonder what is going to happen in S3 when they eventually meet again, and this is a lovely teaser!

The Visitor by [archiveofourown.org profile] Alona - The Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett, Mulaghesh gen. I prompted "accidental kitten acquisition" and this made me smile because it's so in character.

I was assigned to write for [archiveofourown.org profile] st_aurafina:

A New Hobby - Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon, Lord John/Stephan von Namtzen (okay, it's really gen, but) in a stealth fusion with an undisclosed fandom. Lord John Grey visits Waldesruh again, and learns about Stephan von Namtzen's latest obsession.

I also wrote a bunch of treats (all G-rated):

Saucy Wench - Hot Sauces (Anthropomorphic), Cholula/ Tapatío - There's a new girl on the shelf.

My Sin - due South (TV), Frannie Vecchio/Maggie McKenzie - Licking the evidence runs in the family.

Fire - Frontier Wolf by Rosemary Sutcliff, Teleri(/Connla) - Everyone in the village said they should wed, with their matching crowns of fiery hair.

The Bicycle Rule - The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Receiver gen - It was one of the few rules that was not taken very seriously and was almost always broken. (The Giver, chapter 2.)

One More Earthly Pleasure - The Witcher 3 videogame (actually for the DLC Hearts of Stone), Shani and Vlodimir - In which Gaunter O'Dimm doesn't banish Vlodimir at midnight.

Aboard the Psi-Ship Foxway - The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, gen - 300 Fox Way IN SPAAACE.

Here are links to the main collection and the treats - a lot of tasty bite-sized fandom bits to sample. My favorite so far unfortunately points up the problem with drabbles - that they are so tiny and can only tell a very limited story - because it's a drabble sequence and therefore encompasses a lot more story than a single 100-word chunk can tell. But it's really amazing:

Forward/Back (500 words) by lalalalalawhy
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Time Traveler/Time Traveler
Characters: Time traveling OCs, Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Drabble, Drabble Sequence
Summary:
I skip through time like a flat stone on a still lake, spending days here, a few hours there, always moving forward. My love is the same, but reverse. Her lake is a mirror of mine. She only ever goes back.
A love story in five drabbles.

In other festathon news, I'm planning on signing up for both [community profile] crossovering and [community profile] remixrevival, which are both open for sign-ups now! Check 'em out!

(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:15 pm
elayna: (Default)
[personal profile] elayna
I'm at Con*Strict. I went to the pool this morning at 7:00. Katbear was already swimming. Three people were by the pool, fully dressed. A white guy and gal were standing by a small table and a black guy was sitting in one of the chairs, his head buried in his hands, in a distressed fashion. The other two seemed to be encouraging him and got him to stand up and they all left.

I got slowly into the pool and commented to Katbear that it was very strange to see fully dressed people at the pool in the morning, she said that a few minutes before, a fellow had run by the fence that outlines the pool area, yelling, "Don't touch me!" So all kinds of weird happenings at way too early in the morning to be anything but barely functional to my mind.

IDK why, I want to bunny all that in some way, though nothing about it seemed cheerful or sexy. Maybe just the concept of things happening through the night?

Sometimes I get bunnies developed at cons, being around people talking about fanfic is inspirational. But other times I need too much of my brain just to get through the day. Staying social takes attention for me. So we shall see. But I want to keep this memory to think more about it.

17776

Jul. 13th, 2017 02:19 pm
isis: (lego draco)
[personal profile] isis
I followed a rec from [personal profile] vass in a comment to a post at [personal profile] jamethiel and hply sjot, I have fallen down a rabbit hole! I had seen references to 17776 at ffa but ignored them, because once I realized it wasn't a typo for the musical it turned out to be a multimedia web thingy about football, which is not something I'm interested in.

But it's not about football. Well, I suppose it is, on some level, but it's Calvinball-football, something called football that has one toe still in the contemporary game but "now", in the far far post-quasi-apocalyptic future, is mostly an outrageously inventive pastime for bored immortals, which we are shown through commentary by old spacecraft which have now achieved sentience, including one who has just "awoken" and so has to have everything explained to it by the others.

It is a WIP, apparently updated daily. I am not sure how much is out or how far along I am, but I just finished the Page, Arizona chapter, in which opposing teams become trapped in a canyon with sheer walls and continue battling for thousands of years. (I have been there in real life! I am amused!)

Anyway, if this description intrigues you: https://www.sbnation.com/a/17776-football/

wednesday reads 'n things

Jul. 12th, 2017 04:31 pm
isis: winged Isis image (wings)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb - I liked the story, appreciated the way the ending called back to other elements of the series (and felt it a solid, satisfying ending), but I am not sure why this book didn't resonate emotionally with me. Perhaps it's because having read the series over such a long span of time, the characters' lives are less fresh and compelling to me. Perhaps it's because this book's ambitious scope in tying together not just the final trilogy but all the Realms of the Elderlings sub-series required so many sub-plots that it seemed an overwhelming brick with too many diversions. I enjoyed reading it, as I enjoyed most of the series (Rain Wilds, ugh) but toward the end I was feeling as though it was more a chore than a delight, and I'm glad I'm finished.

The Magpie Lord by K. J. Charles - Better than the average m/m novel, but that's a low bar. The magic is interesting (and the best part of the book); the plotting is pretty good, though the ending is a bit abrupt, with a sudden influx of new characters whose villainy could have been set up better through the narrative; the romance is all right, though a bit too heavy on the size-difference kink for my taste. I'm not particularly inclined to seek out the rest of the series, though I have to say I'm intrigued by Stephen's partner Esther, who was mentioned but didn't actually appear in the story.

Dungeons & Dreamers: A Story of how Computer Games Created a Global Community by Brad King and John Borland - This readable, engaging book traces the development of multi-user computer games and non-game shared social spaces (such as Second Life) from their roots in tabletop gaming and D&D, through text adventure and then graphic action/adventure games, to current (as of writing, which is not current at all) massively networked games. I found the early chapters particularly interesting because I, too, was a D&D geek and gamer in the late 70s/early 80s (though I drifted away after early graphical games such as Spacewar, and text games Zork and Advent and their progeny); it was like reading the book equivalent of the TV series Halt and Catch Fire, the underlying stories of things which I experienced as a casual user at the time.

There is certainly more focus on certain people and game companies than others, but this doesn't purport to be a complete history of games and gaming. Instead this focus (which wavers at times, admittedly) serves to build the thesis that (most) people like narrative and social interactions, even while killing monsters. I think it's a reasonable view, though perhaps it leaves out the meta aspect of people who like to play single-player games (which I imagine are the majority of games available) but who then congregate on Reddit and other forums to share their experiences and screenshots. Anyway, recommended if you have an interest in this sort of thing.

What I'm reading now:

Right now I'm down to my audiobook, Plus One by Elizabeth Fama, which I am a little more than halfway through. I'm finding it surprisingly interesting and enjoyable for YA dystopian SF. I mentioned last week that I thought I'd read a short story with a similar premise, of people split into night people and day people, and while browsing the Goodreads reviews I saw one person mention that it was sort of based on a book called The Day Boy and the Night Girl, which is an 1882 fairy tale novel by George MacDonald. I checked it out on Wikipedia and while it sounds interesting, it's not the story I was thinking of.

What I'm reading next:

I might have to read the fourth Expanse book, because B keeps blathering about the books while we watch the show. He also has been reading the Wayward Pines books and thinks I should read them. (The author is a friend of a friend.) I have some various random stuff in ebook I ought to read sometime, things I've downloaded through Instafreebie (though so far I have not been impressed), through the Tor free ebook series, and through other promotions.

What I'm watching now:

We are 6/10 through S2 of The Expanse! It is weird to me how the TV seasons don't match up with the books very well. The things I think of as being the important stuff that happened in the second book have not even occurred yet (well, one of them finally did in E6). What a pretty show, though.

What I'm watching next:

I heard a rumor that Winter is Coming. Huh, looks like summer to me.

Not Ready for Prime Time fest recs

Jul. 11th, 2017 05:24 pm
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
I didn't sign up, but I looked through the collection to read stories in fandoms I know, and there are three that are really quite good and you should read them, too, if you know these fandoms:

Good and Bad Alike (We Keep Meeting) (1609 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] sevendeadlyfun

Fandom: Hamilton - Miranda
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Thomas Jefferson, Angelica Schuyler
Summary: He does not meet her at Versailles. No one, the Duc D’Orlean proclaims, meets anyone at Versailles. Angelica and Jefferson meet in Paris. They part in America.

I love the historical details, and Angelica comes alive here as the central character in her own story.

Peat Smoke Rising (3065 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] feroxargentea
Fandom: The Eagle of the Ninth - Rosemary Sutcliff, The Eagle | The Eagle of the Ninth - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Marcus Flavius Aquila/Esca Mac Cunoval
Characters: Esca Mac Cunoval, Marcus Flavius Aquila
Additional Tags: book canon, Missing Scene, Wilderness, Hiking, Hurt/Comfort, Sharing Body Heat, canonically ambiguous relationship
Summary: \Peat smoke rising. Two worlds entwined.

I really like this gentle story; the language evokes the book-language without feeling like pastiche, with lovely Sutcliffian scenery and descriptive details.

strawberries and sunlight (3252 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] polkadot
Fandom: Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Catherine Bennet/Georgiana Darcy
Characters: Catherine Bennet, Georgiana Darcy
Additional Tags: Falling In Love, Flirting, Declarations Of Love
Summary: It was some four months since Kitty had come to stay at Pemberley, when she found to her great astonishment that she had not thought of young officers in a fortnight.

Kitty's slow maturity as she moves away from Lydia's orbit to Georgiana's, and then her examination of that change in herself, is lovely to see. And Georgiana's obviously blossoming here as well, from the shy and withdrawn girl in the novel to someone who has found what she wants and is patiently waiting for Kitty to figure it out. This is probably my favorite of the stories I read from this fest.

ETA: edited in author names post-reveal.

(no subject)

Jul. 10th, 2017 05:20 pm
elayna: (Alex as Superman)
[personal profile] elayna
I was sorry and weirdly guilty to see that the actor who played Shinwell Johnson on Elementary passed away unexpectedly at the age of 39 for issues relating to heart failure.

I hadn't liked how the character was used on the show. Joan would nag him, and he'd shrug, and do what he was going to do, and then Sherlock would nag Joan for believing in him. I do not watch crime procedurals for nagging.

I don't know why I felt weirdly guilty all season for not liking his character. Certainly many people online seem to vehemently hate many characters and will expound in great and gory detail on why they're horrible.

The articles on his death all mention how much his flamboyant character was loved on True Blood. I wish they'd had him play a similar character on Elementary, though I suppose he wouldn't have wanted to be typecast. I do have True Blood, but haven't watched it yet. Thinking of starting on it, Twin Peaks, and American Gods this summer, which is already halfway done.

RIP, Nelsan Ellis.
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] rivkat
I have realized that I will never again fit into some of my suits.  If anyone reading this knows someone starting a professional career who could use a bunch of blazers, skirt suits, and pant suits in women's size 6, let me know; if not, I will give them to my local Suited for Change, which helps women with professional outfits.

(no subject)

Jul. 9th, 2017 09:37 am
elayna: (Die Hard John-Matt)
[personal profile] elayna
It's getting too hot again, ugh, and Thursday I'm going to Las Vegas, where it'll be 110, ugh.

One good thing about sleeping with the AC on, the cats seem to know it's best to be cool, and are all indoors when I'm ready to go to bed. When I have the house opened, using the ceiling fans and Delta breezes, Skittish and Tabby take turns being difficult. Skittish wants to be chased around the backyard then run into the house by herself, which means leaving the back door open and trusting no one else will run out. Tabby wants to be chased around the backyard, caught, and then carried in like the sweet baby she is. Silly beasts.

I hope my fellow Americans enjoyed the holiday. The niece and nephew decorated their bikes and rode in the neighborhood parade, which ends at the park, where we wandered around and looked at booths for a while and the kids played games. I'd had a big breakfast and the organizers broke tradition by dumping the hot dogs for pizzas and tacos, so it was the first year we wandered back to our respective houses without lunch.

I made my edamame salad and finally successfully mastered Mom's country fudge frosting. It poured so smoothly and hardened to the perfect state of fudginess. I was so happy.

I'd rewatched Die Hard 4 recently, so curled up with Winter Soldier for the afternoon. The questions of liberty and security and how a democracy can be subverted seemed very relevant to these days.

Dinner at my sister's. A small group, Dad, two friends of mine, my BIL's niece, with her boyfriend and son, and of course, my sister, BIL, and the niece and nephew. It was the first year that the niece and nephew helped with lighting fireworks, and they're kids and energetic, and had to be re-told the same things multiple times, and it made me so nervous. I've never seen anyone injured by a firework, I don't know why I'm getting such a stress reaction about it, but I wished I'd followed Dad and used the pets as an excuse to go home early. Hopefully the novelty will have worn off next year.

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