Walking everywhere, No Cars, places that make breakfast and other foods, small shops (probably too small but the dream has actual food supplies in it), book shops, and a really big library. Plus rooms for to be social and book games nights and so forth. And interesting stuff to study and things to do. And you can go look in the art museum whenever you want to. And just, university campus, all the useful and necessary things, no waiting.
Too many humans, vast majority young, too much noise, weird focus on loud music events, probably lots of stuff going on I couldnt be having with.
But as a daydream, that's what I want. No cars, big library, places to meet.
But I got a degree in a subject I'm kind of Done with, because I get bored tired fed up pointing out all the ways things continue to be the same sorts of annoying.
And I remember how difficult that was and cant even aspire to go do it again in possibly bigger classes.
I don't know how I coped with all the humans but I'm not feeling the benefit side of the cost/benefit any more.
I can think of all the reasons to not do things but then the future will continue to look like the past few years and that's really boring.
I should dream better.
Interesting things to read, people to talk to them about, and places I can get to without crossing a stupid road. Good dream.
Long story short: one of my coworkers has a teenage son who's in college. Said son adopted a cat back in the spring, decided over summer vacation that she was too much work, and left her with his parents when he went back to school. His mom is severely allergic to cats. They tried keeping her for a few weeks, but my coworker's wife ended up in the emergency room unable to breathe because of it, so the cat ended up with me somewhat unexpectedly.
(I'd volunteered to take her, on the condition that WWIII didn't break out in my apartment when I tried introducing a third cat to the mix, but it was something that was tentative and wasn't planned for at least several more weeks. Then I got a phone call last Saturday night asking if my coworker could come by the next morning.)
Everyone, meet Keyleth (also known as Kiki.)
Garrus and Percy have been fine with her from the beginning. They've definitely been more curious than anything else. She, on the other hand, has been a little more wary. At this point, she's just starting to get used to being in a new environment with two much-larger-than-her cats around. (Kiki's approximately two years old, but she's tiny. Even smaller than Tali was, which is saying something.)
So far, so good. I left them alone without shutting anyone up in the bedroom for the first time earlier today, while I played D&D over at the game store near my place, and the apartment was still standing when I got home. Kiki's still somewhat wary of Garrus and Percy, but the worst she's done is hiss and go pout under the bed for a little while before coming back out. And neither of them seems to be taking offense to it, so they're just leaving her be for a bit when she gets to that point.
Yesterday, inspired by a pie that somebody (I can't remember who, Wikipedia isn't helping, and I'm too lazy to go back and rewatch) made on this year's Great British Bake Off, I made a butternut squash and blue cheese pie that turned out fairly well. The flavor is great, but I had some Onion Issues. ( details under the cut )
Today, inspired by a craving for soup, a craving for veggies, and a feeling that I should really use my bag of bonito flakes that is three months past its sell-by date, I'm cooking a soup of vegetables and eggs simmered in dashi. Right now I'm simmering the eggs in some dashi flavored with Japanese light (light-colored) soy sauce and some sherry (I didn't have mirin or sake). When the eggs are ready, I'm going to simmer yellow squash, some butternut squash chunks I didn't roast yesterday, a sweet potato, maybe some regular potato, and some Chinese cabbage in plain dashi and then add the simmered eggs--I'll keep their simmering liquid to eat with noodles another time--and some miso paste at the end. No tofu, alas, because I forgot to buy any, but basically this is a cross between a Korean soybean paste stew and a Japanese oden, and to further disrespect both traditions I'm probably going to eat it with soba noodles. I expect it to be deliciously wrong.
The last sweet baking I did was this upside-down pear gingerbread. I mostly followed the recipe, apart from adjusting the spices (more powdered ginger, no cinnamon, and a little nutmeg) and using blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap is the kind that recipes advise you not to use, because it's less sweet and more bitter and mineral-y than normal molasses. But I had some that needed using up, and I actually really liked the result. If, like me, you tend to find cakes too sweet, that's the way to go. The cake freezes quite well, by the way.
2) Something I have concrete plans to cook in the near future:
This fantastic apple cake, probably next weekend.
3) Something I vaguely intend to cook someday:
More apple things, such as apple dumplings, which I have longed to make for years but never have because I did not own an apple corer. But I do now!
I need to figure out some kind of way to use the peach-and-cherry compote that's taking up space in my freezer. And I should make a pie with the jars of sour cherries I bought a while back because they were cheap.
Plus I want to make all the soups and all the savory pies. I'm feeling enthusiastic about late autumn and winter cooking.
Read Becky Chambers' The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet, which strongly reminds me of that genre of Tumblr posts which has come to be called "space orcs", about humans from an alien perspective. TLWTASAP is not from the aliens' perspective, but there's that same liking and affection for humans as a spacefaring species among other spacefaring species. If you like your aliens very alien then this might not be the book for you. There was some treatment of disability issues that was... well, some good and some bad. Complicated. Structurally it was very episodic in a way that might or might not work for you. Also, without spoilers, I would like to say that in the last fifty pages or so I was like "What the fuck was that... wait, what the fuck was THAT?"
Bought JY Yang's The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune, which are twin novellas released this month, but haven't read them yet.
Reread Courtney Milan's Trade Me and Hold Me in the space of about two days. Am very impatiently waiting for What Lies Between You And Me and Find Me.
This particular Dumbing of Age strip was even funnier because I saw it after rereading Hold Me, in which Angela Choi and Blake Reynolds have a very similar argument about a dimetrodon.
TV and Movies
Watched Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger. (Side note: one of my local community library systems has a Kanopy subscription, and Kanopy has a whole lot of good stuff on it, including this documentary.) Squeed out loud at some bits, actually shouted with laughter a few times (sometimes as intended by the protagonist, sometimes not -- sapiosexual, really?), was mildly cross at other bits (I know the open letter thing hurt you, Auntie, it hurt me at the time just to watch that go down, and I wasn't even involved, but did you have to do a victory lap?) and mainly just was happily teary-eyed throughout. Strongly recommended (with the caveat that Aunty Kate is hir own content note and is not going to give you a moment to brace yourself before sie self-identifies using terms Tumblr doesn't like, talks about suicide or cancer, or gives detailed specifics of her BDSM practice.)
Here's Kate Bornstein and Sandy Stone describing how they met:
Kate Bornstein: "I found out about you through Janice Raymond's book. Janice introduced us!"
Sandy Stone [pretending to be Janice Raymond]: "Sandy [makes warding off evil eye gesture], I'd like you to meet Kate [makes warding off evil eye gesture again]."
Kate and interviewer (I think it's Sam Feder, the filmmaker? but I'm too faceblind to tell if that's them or someone else) discussing their project:
Sam Feder: "We are doing a new show about trailblazers and people who created the space that affords us the luxury to be so specific and make this trans men's magazine. we would have been severely remiss if not to include you, because you came before us and you carved out space."
Kate Bornstein: "You know, you say I carved out space? Well, carving out space is what male to female tranny surgery is all about, it's about carving out space!"
Kate Bornstein on reincarnation: "I know what I want to be next life. I want to be a golden retriever who belongs to a great butch lesbian."
[So I guess we know what hir daemon is. I'm actually surprised -- I would have thought sie'd go for a pug, same as hir patronus. But yeah, I can see it.]
Listened to Kamil Szuszkiewicz's Istina, which is either modern classical with alternative influences or vice versa. Good shit if you like your modern classical to be unsettling and occasionally physically painful, which I do. (If you have a headache, maybe don't listen right now. If you don't have a headache, would you like one?) I cannot remember where on earth I found out about this album (I have a text file full of links to albums to try out and/or buy, it was there), maybe John Darnielle's twitter account? The second movement worried Beatrice. She jumped onto the couch and gave me the Concerned Stare then climbed onto my lap.
Listened to HAMM's SondHAMM, which is four Sondheim numbers with electronic instruments and voice. I really liked the arrangments and interpretation.
Played grotesque amounts of Stardew Valley. (As you do. (that wasn't me, but it's funny.))
Listened to a lot of podcasts while playing Stardew. Bounced off MechaBetty and Death at a Low Price, decided Juno Steele wasn't for me. Got entirely caught up on X-Plain the X-Men (I was so behind that it had gone on hiatus and then come back while I was still catching up) and almost caught up on One From The Vaults. Started Thor: the Lightning and the Storm and Titan Up The Defense.
Not crafts I did myself, but I saw this YouTube video on how to make a Pokedex-themed phone case out of perler beads. By the same vlogger, a perler bead 3D Pokeball/ring box. I had not previously considered the possible synergies between perler beads and a glue gun, and am intrigued.
In much less advanced perler bead crafts, I bought a magnet sheet, cut off a little bit of it, and stuck that to a perler Captain America shield I'd made ages ago and had no idea what to do with. It's a fridge magnet now. Tried to do the same to the larger Batsignal I made at the same time as the shield, but because it doesn't lie flat enough, or maybe because it's too large no matter how many magnets I stick on, it won't stay on the fridge. I might get a stronger magnet and try that.
Bought a cheap recycled monitor and installed OSMC on my RasPi and played with it for a bit. I hate it. I hate it SO MUCH. Towering rage. It's everything I hate about the trend in computing to simplify the user interface and remove options from the new user while increasing the learning curve and throwing more barriers in the way of their becoming a power user.
The install process was fun, though. (And when two days of repeatedly looking for parts and installing and wiping and reformatting and reinstalling things on sd cards is the fun part...) It'd be better if I had a more modern pi than I do (mine's the original B model, their recommended model is 3) and were using a remote control or a controller, not a mouse and keyboard (which it wouldn't listen to apart from the three finger salute) and had a widescreen monitor not a square Dell from probably the early 2000s, but EVEN IF I had my setup exactly the way they thought I should (ugh) I would still have found their interface horrible.
I couldn't find the "shut down" option. No help menu. They had no way of adjusting the screen resolution for a non-standard sized monitor (maybe that's why I couldn't find a help menu or a shutdown option.) So much autoscroll, and the cursor was both laggy AND skippy, and this combined with the autoscroll meant I'd frequently have to wait while they cycled through the available options multiple times before I successfully selected one. They wouldn't let you scroll ANYTHING under your own power -- read the GPL at a snail's pace or click 'agree' without reading (I know what the GPL says, of course, BUT STILL.)
The default skin was the sort of thing that I can recognise as good design even if it's not my thing personally, but that was just about the only good thing. Well, except that I got all the way through the install, which I didn't with Raspberry Pi's own NOOBS installer, but if the end result is no working keyboard and a barely-working mouse, it's hard to call that a success. Well, except that I was more interested in building my own media centre than I was in having a media centre, so... mission accomplished? After that I installed Raspbian on it, and my next step is to fuck around with that some more and set it up so it's also usable as a media centre but less vass-hostile than OSMC for the same purpose, even if it doesn't look like a sleek modern media centre interface. The nice thing about the RasPi's sd card as hard drive deal is, it makes OS switching very straightforward (so long as the Pi isn't your only computer.) One can simply swap SD cards.
Back on my desktop, with the help of this comment I got i3 to put a random wallpaper on each workspace. Like most of i3's users, I hardly ever see my workpaces except covered with open windows, but it's still a happymaking thing. What I'm really hoping for is to get it so it puts a random wallpaper in every container. After which I can fire up Compiz and get transparency working and then every terminal window will have a different background showing through it! Which will probably get exhausting and overstimulating after a while, but I want to learn how to do it! (Huh. It miiiight actually be easier to attach the act of making a new wallpaper to opening a terminal, not to opening a container. Not sure. Needs testing. That would suit me, since terminal's about the only application I'd want to run with transparency and a wallpaper behind it.)
Dorian redecorated the toilet by knocking the cactus pot off the window sill above it.
It was a lot of fun, though there were some things we'd probably do differently if we were to do it again: 1. miss the terrible opening act - it was a DJ who was just really bad at being a DJ despite playing lots of great 80s music. He was just. So. Bad. And I definitely would have gotten at least a bottle of water, since we were upstairs in the seating area and there were so many stairs none of us wanted to go back down to the bar, so I was SO THIRSTY by the time we got back to my sister's, and I woke up with a dehydration headache even though I hadn't had any alcohol. I mean, I hadn't had anything to drink from when I left work at 5 pm to when we got back to Marg's at midnight. That just ain't right.
Anyway, the band was really entertaining, though some of their song choices were puzzling to me (why "Hot for Teacher" of all the Van Halen songs you could have picked?) and there were a few glaring omisions, imo: no Duran Duran! No Pet Shop Boys! No New Order! No "Relax!" No "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go!" No "What I Like About You!" And since they did do "A Little Respect," which I think is more obscure than any of the others (I mean, not to me - it was one of the songs of my senior year of high school - but Marg and Alyssa didn't know it, and Alyssa knew almost every song despite not even being alive in the 80s), and "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" while dressed up like the dude from Dead or Alive, I don't think the other songs are too much to ask for. Certainly they could have replaced "Sunglasses at Night" and "Somebody's Watching Me" and "Physical" with better songs! but Alyssa says they do a lot of shows so they probably rotate things in and out of the set list.
While the upstairs where we were never filled in, the dance floor was pretty packed with drunk middle aged white ladies, which is pretty entertaining in and of itself.
So we did a lot of dancing, which my knees were not happy about, especially after all the stairs, so yesterday was kind of a painful day.
But because we cover a wide range of enjoyable activities, we went to tea in Port Jeff at brunchtime, and it was lovely, as it always is. The tea shop was all decked out for fall and our reservation was for when it opened, so we had the place to ourselves for most of our time there, which was nice.
In keeping with the 80s theme (not really but it sounds good), I had the Pretty in Pink tea ("a blend of green tea, pomegranate, flowers, nuts, acai and yumberry make up this fruity pale pink tea") iced, and it was both pretty and pink and also delicious. And the scones of the day were apple raisin walnut, and all of the little sandwiches and tea cakes were delicious (except for the grilled goat cheese rounds, which we felt were a mistake, but if you like goat cheese on toasted wheat bread, you'd probably like them).
By then I was exhausted but all the Port Jeff and Ronkonkoma line trains were screwy because of track work (estimated travel time: 2 hours and 39 minutes one way!!!) so Alyssa dropped me at the Islip station on her way home and I took the Babylon branch instead.
I got home and took a two hour nap, and then went to bed after the Yankees lost, so I feel less exhausted now, but I woke up with a cold. My nose won't stop running and my sinuses ache. Bah. I just really want some soup.
But it was a great weekend. A++ would dance and drink tea again.
"Leonard Cohen’s final book of poetry to be published October 2018".
"Let's Settle The Hand Sanitizer Vs. Hand Washing Debate, Once And For All". [Buzzfeed]
"No Hollywood Ending: How Do I Grieve When I am Estranged From My Family?"
"IKEA Just Launched A Pet Furniture Collection, And Animal Lovers Want It All".
"Exquisite Wooden Heels Hand-Carved with Ancient Vietnamese Pagoda Techniques".
"50+ Best Wildlife Photos Of 2017 Were Just Announced And The Winning Pic Is Making Everyone Angry And Sad".
"How I Came To Understand My Adult ADHD" has popped up in multiple places over the past couple of days, despite being from 2016.
Via muccamukk, "Death of a Modern Wolf". "Once feared, vilified, and exterminated, the wolves of Vancouver Island face an entirely different threat: our fascination, our presence, and our selfies."
"The Case of the Small Shoes —a.k.a. Survival Bias: No, people were NOT 'just smaller then.'".
Via havocthecat, "The Kosher Salt Question". "Prized for its purity and flaky texture, kosher salt has been a home-cooking standard for decades. But the two major brands, Diamond Crystal and Morton, are very different products. Your ruined meatballs can attest."
Via hunningham, "Pretending to be Batman helps kids stay on task".
"African Artist and Japanese Designer Create Stunning Kimonos By Mixing Cultures".
"The father of the American shopping mall hated what he created".
Definitely NSFW but an interesting read: "A decade of sex blogging" at Hey Epiphora.
"Rat Race". "Whether you see them or not, rats are usually around. They could be right under your feet, just above your head, or spelunking in the walls that separate the rooms in your home. The worst part is you would probably never know. Let’s look at what a day in the life of an average Halifax rat looks like.
Surprisingly, it’s not all that dissimilar to a day in the life of an average Haligonian human."
I got two really lovely gifts. We Could Be Heroes, a Jessica Jones role reversal AU (I effing love role reversal AUs) where Trish is the one with powers, and Jessica is, well, Jessica. And obloquy, a Game of Thrones story where Yara and Ellaria, who were very much hard done by in S7, get the happy ending they deserve, frequenting brothels and scandalising the lords of Westeros. I am a very lucky girl!
And it wasn't written for me, but the Pride and Prejudice Mary/OFC fic The Part of Her Hair is one of those fics that just makes fandom a richer place.
I have been trying to do more exchanges this year, and the results have been, em, hit and miss. My fault, not that of anyone who's written anything for me. This has just not been a year of me doing my best work. That said, I think the fic I wrote for this is a bit good.
I got a request for Root/Shaw fic without any particular prompts, so I decided to write the finale fixit that I'd been meaning to write since last year. The lion's share of post finale Root/Shaw fics seem to go the route of the Machine and Root having faked Root's death in order to goad Harold into action; a fanon I can never get behind because 1) that's stupid, and 2) Root would never, not after what Shaw went through with Samaritan. So I went with the more traditional fixit: that obviously fatal gunshot wasn't nearly as bad as it looked, la la la. Also, I killed Harold, not because I don't like Harold, but because Reese and Finch dying together had been set up since the pilot, and what were they playing at not following through on that?
So, Schrodinger's simulation, it's simple: if Root lives, this is real; if she dies, it isn't.
Root survives, Shaw is a terrible nurse, and the Machine has some identity issues.
What's particularly fascinating is the way in which it's directly correlated with people wanting to support news organizations as a way to resist Trump:
“The big boost we saw in subscriptions in the U.S.,” Newman said, “is driven by people on the left and younger people are more likely to be on the left. That is really a lot of what’s driving it: young people who don’t like Trump who subscribe to news organizations that they see as being a bulwark against him.”
Keep up the good work!
There are theories at the office about how much longer this stint of Casual Job will go, but what have we learned about attempting to make predictions? We'll see how it plays out.
scruloose and I have now made it as far as episode 3 of Star Trek: Disco, and we're also up to date on The Good Place. Given my work schedule(s), I'm counting it as a partial win. I really want to start in on The Gifted, though.
I haven't watched any of the anime for The Ancient Magus' Bride (either the OAV or the recently-started TV series), but in the last several days I've seen it mentioned quite a few times here and on Twitter, and that delights me. The manga series is fantastic--definitely one of my current favorites of the things I'm working on. (The other being Yona of the Dawn.) In theory I really want to watch the TV series, but realistically, I said that about the My Love Story!! anime too, and like so much other media I ~really want~ to consume, it keeps not happening.
For the longest time it felt like there weren't anime versions of any manga titles I've worked on, but it's never quite been true. I mean, Sgt. Frog had a (pretty long-running!) series and movies and all, although I gather the plots rarely adhered closely to the manga (and with that series, there's no need for them to, really); also, DN Angel got animated in some capacity (TV series?), but as I only actually worked on the final two volumes that Tokyopop released (vol. 12 and 13, I think?), it never sank in and felt like "my" series. And X has been animated twice, but I actively loathe the movie and am deeply grumpy about the TV series...
...and then there're the newer things that I keep wanting to see, but not finding time for: Arpeggio of Blue Steel, My Love Story!!, Yona of the Dawn, and now Magus are all out there. (Okay, no--I did see an episode or two of My Love Story!!, and that was wonderful.) (I feel like I might even be missing one. And now I suddenly really want someone to animate Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer.)
Will I ever make it as far as checking those shows out for real? No idea. (I even have an ongoing Crunchyroll subscription, but I don't exactly make use of it. [Terrifying media-to-consume list, etc. etc etc.])
Last night was my fourth aerial silks class, so we're halfway through. ( It wasn't *bad*, but I also don't feel like I managed to do a whole lot )
scruloose and I are so utterly out of the gardening habit at this point. We don't have anything planted specifically for autumn, and we gave the tomato plants up for lost a couple weeks ago when I kept hearing that there was an overnight frost warning and last-ditch tomato harvesting should happen. So we did that, but since then I've been seeing local photos and stuff from gardeners carrying right along with harvesting their tomatoes etc. Next autumn we won't be so quick to say, "Oh, I guess we're done now."
A lot of the tomatoes we brought in at the abandoning-them point were still very green, but those all seem to have ripened up nicely. There's just one left now; scruloose has been working his way through them. The plants did produce some more fruit, but scruloose's experiment in eating one of those post-final-harvest tomatoes wasn't tasty, for whatever reason.
As a result of wandering off from dealing with the tomato plants, I should admit we've also completely slacked on dealing with the flowers. >.< Which isn't so bad for the potted annuals, because they have an expiry date, but we really need to double check what to do about the perennial bed and the potted raspberry shrub.
And whatever else happens, those bulbs need to get planted. *determined*
which are mostly very boring, for all they leave me waking up often and in a fear sweat.
I liked the one dream yesterday featuring me, Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, on a houseboat, in summer dresses in the riverbank shaded summer sun, but even that one was all wrapped up in repetitive worries.
leaves me with little to write about.
It is unpleasant being caught in a worry loop.
I would like to win on the premium bonds so I can buy a bunch of housing for disabled people and live off the rent and never have to fill in another form ever in my life.
that seems like a well rounded plan.
I would also like video of that dream, which seems just about as likely.
Deuce of Gears
A cog in the machine. Pawn of powers beyond your control.
(Yes, Jedao was being snarkastic when he chose it for his emblem.)
Also, I love my catten but...she's not very bright? She likes to sit on the ping pong table and will remain sprawled on it when the Dragon and I start up a game. The ball hits her in the leg, she remains sprawled. It took the next ball hitting her in the snout for her to skitter-kitter off the table. *facepalm*
That's not the part where she's not very bright. The part where she's not very bright is that she was on the ping pong table during a game yesterday and got hit in the snout by a ball then, causing her to skitter-kitter off the table. You would think she'd figure out that ping pong game in progress = don't sprawl on the table waiting to be hit in the snout?
Back to work...
My recipient was iknowcommawrite aka Scioscribe, who wrote me two lovely Treats last Yuletide! FemslashEx allows prompts for original fiction, and this is the prompt I wrote for:
Class issues, identity porn, loyalty kink, and compromised principles: hell yeah. I think ideally I would like this one in a fantasy world, but I’m open to other possibilities. I’d love to see about any variation on this I could think of. Is the revolutionary undercover in the palace, getting ready to overthrow the monarchy while falling for the princess? Is the princess on the run from the revolution, disguising herself, and falling in amongst the rebels? Do either of them begin to rethink their principles or their policies? Is the revolutionary agitating in the open, and the princess is intrigued by her radical ideas? Other things I’m totally here for: wearing a crown while being thoroughly debauched by a revolutionary, hurt/comfort, kneeling, undressing from gowns and corsets, and virgin princess/experienced revolutionary.
Isn't that great? I found it very inspiring.
I wrote Burn, an epistolatory exercise in Ultimate Identity Porn. The revolutionary hides her face to conceal her identity. The princess silences her voice to preserve her purity. They know each other. And they don't...
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 21
When a woman places her child up for adoption rather than raising the child herself, how is that predominantly viewed in your culture (not necessarily by you)?
Good! This is an excellent thing to do if she felt unable to raise the child herself.
Neutral, neither good nor bad.
Bad. She should have raised the child.
Adoption is extremely rare or nonexistent in my culture.
Other, which I may choose to elaborate on in the comments.
Anyway, in the fourth episode of S1, ( mild spoilers )
Because I am in no way MASSIVELY AVOIDANT or anything, no why would you think that.
I will accept praise and validation.