Planning for the future.

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:35 am
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
I've now purchased a new computer! It'll be here in two weeks or so. While there's nothing wrong with my current one, it's starting to get up there in computer years, and it's about time it retired and took up topiary as a hobby. Or the computer equivalent.

The last time I got a new computer was just about seven and a half years ago. Then, it was because there were genuine hardware difficulties - something had gone wrong with the interface and if I used the mouse, the keyboard went unresponsive for a few minutes, and even the trackpad wasn't working propery. I got used to a lot of keyboard shortcuts before I went in for the one I've got now. Which is still working fine, if slowly, and I don't want to disrupt the balance of anything right now. So, buying one before there's any pressing need.

Also, thank goodness my building has a doorman to sign for the package.

I figure that when the new one comes, and I have everything set up and working and reasonably sorted out, I can take all my stuff off this one and have it as a standby backup. Just put it in the closet with its peripherals unless circumstances arise it's needed.

The part I'm most dreading about all this is having to remember my passwords to everything. Maybe it's time I started writing them down.

I feel like I should say

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:02 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
U.S. politics has (have?) washed over my head again, as it does periodically, rising from the baseline fear and disappointment that mounted during election season and spiked in November.

I don't talk about it much here. This blog, and [twitter.com profile] bironicwastaken, are my dedicated fannish spaces online. It looks like we all understand that media consumption, fannishness and other creative pursuits are permissible hobbies, community building in an environment of divisiveness, necessary breaks and even artistic acts of resistance as we struggle with current events. Still, I sometimes (1) worry that fannish-oriented posts strike the wrong tone in wider context, such as yesterday's, and (2) feel a defensive urge to point out that I'm doing things "in real life" to fight what's happening, even if they may not be enough and even though no one has said anything.

When I get down on myself about not doing enough, I focus on things like these, in addition to thinking through how I can have a greater impact:
- Since November, every feature article I’ve written at work has made an explicit or strong implicit political statement
- This auction vid not only raised money for a good cause but is also about celebrating many characters of color in current genre sources, and that's not for nothing these days
- Every month, I donate to activist, investigative journalism and/or minority-support organizations
- I talk to people, including family and friends who voted in ways I am trying to understand
- etc.

That is all. It's a[nother] tough day. ETA: Not least: Event & dream involving anti-semitism )

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:46 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
No FMK this week, because I am way behind on reading, and also because I am going eclipse-hunting over the weekend! I will be bringing eclipse-related books on that trip. And thinking about this xkcd strip which was the main thing that got me into the new year, anyway.

Probably it will rain all day, but at least I can say I tried.

So instead of books, since I will be doing a lot of driving in the middle of nowhere, my question this week is: What songs are on your eclipse playlist? "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "The Sun Is A Miasma of Incandescent Plasma", obviously. But what else?

I have been working on the book collection, though! I went through and re-did my to-read lists, of which there are three: one on the library website, which has 300 books on it, of books the library has; the Goodreads one, which includes only books my library doesn't have and has about 250; and ~2500 owned-but-unread, so that's totally doable at my current rate as long as I never add any more to any of the three lists.

(Anybody want to be goodreads friends, by the way? if we aren't already, drop me a line. my gr is connected to my rl so I don't link it here but I will def. add people.)

Me and Mom also cleaned out the cookbooks over the weekend, which was fun! We both agreed on keeping the ones that had some kind of sentimental value to the family, of course. food, cooking, and diet as expressed in a collection of second-half-of-twentieth-century cookbooks. )

We got rid of about fifty cookery books. There's only about 200 left. That't TOTALLY reasonable for a family of two that cooks an actual meal at most twice a week, and usually from recipes we know by heart, right?

Hero of the hour.

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:18 pm
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
It only hits me now I might have run out of time to make eclipse plans. Glasses seem to be sold out everywhere online. There's the Museum of Natural History's big viewing event, which I may well leave work early to attend. Though if it's as cloudy then as it was today, I might just walk to the nearest park and stand outside at the appropriate time rather than try anything else.

On some level, clouds in August - or all of summer, really - is just wrong to me. It makes me think it's late September, and turns every day of the week into Thursday.

So I did my best to stay active, and cleaned out and got rid of a bunch of stuff hanging around my apartment. Mostly papers, with a little garbage and no small amount of dust. Spreading it out onto my bed and forcing myself to look at everything was a big help in terms of making practical assessments. Most of it was done to Hawaii 5-0, which somehow makes for ideal apartment-cleaning TV.

What’s up, August edition: vidding

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:46 am
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
It's periodic crunch time at work, so a proper post / con report will have to wait a bit longer. For now:

[community profile] vividcon was lovely. I had some good conversations with a few people I'd expected to catch up with and a few I had not; went to most of the panels; saw only a fraction of the vids screened but still came away with several favorites; stayed on an even emotional keel the whole weekend; and returned with renewed vigor for creative pursuits…

…most notably this extensive auction vid that's been in progress since the spring. After VVC I finally processed all the DVD footage I've been collecting, figured out how to get a bunch of MKV files into Adobe Premiere (tried [personal profile] absolutedestiny's FFmpeg tutorial for format conversion but gave up in favor of DirectShowSource in the more familiar Avisynth), and skimmed two seasons of American Horror Story with [personal profile] drglam's guidance. I'd been putting that off along with The Walking Dead & Z Nation because horror TV is not always my thing, but it went fine. Forging onward.

Meanwhile, I made the mistake of perusing [community profile] equinox_exchange requests on the AO3 and ended up with a vid idea that I don't have time to make, except I started making it. *facepalm* I don't even go here, as they say, but I think the concept is beautiful, and the draft is making me have an emotion. Fortunately, what at first seemed like an intimidating endeavor is coming together faster than expected.

Still, my primary focus needs to be the auction vid, and I'll be away three of the six weekends between now and Equinox go-live, so we'll see if this other vid gets done in time or if the DS9 vidlet began a tradition of posting treats three months late.

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 08:29 pm
pearwaldorf: shepard and garrus on menae (me - s&g menae)
[personal profile] pearwaldorf
A crowd of protesters pulled down a statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham, NC today. I'm not sure what it says about the United States that we are repeating scenes from the fall of the Iron Curtain and the second war in Iraq, but it felt significant to note.

Just for pun.

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:11 pm
hannah: (evil! - ponderosa121)
[personal profile] hannah
At work today, someone said he'd done medical coding himself, a long time ago.

"Like COBOL?" I asked. No, he said, nothing like that, mostly data entry.

"So not a very BASIC job," I said. And boy, once he got it, did he mean it when he laughed.

Gratitudes

Aug. 14th, 2017 08:32 pm
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
[personal profile] kass
1. Sitting on my mirpesset listening to a chorus of late-summer crickets and cicadas.

2. Watching the sky change colors. Right now the far horizon has a tinge of pale orange, and then it's a gorgeous ombre of light blue to French blue to darker blue overhead.

3. Glass of rosé.

4. The experiment in Kid Trimming His Own Fingernails was a success. No more fighting over fingernails!

5. This morning on a phone call with [personal profile] samtheeagle we wound up in a Muppets Singing High Holiday Liturgy place and I laughed until there were tears in my eyes. Wow, I needed that. :-)

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:29 pm
raven: white text on green and yellow background: "ten points from Gryffindor for destroying my soul" (sbp - destroying my soul)
[personal profile] raven
I am tired and wound up about my book, which seems to be my default state of being at present. (The book is now necessarily modified, "the stupid book", "the thrice-damned book", "the bloody book", "the book that I HATE and is DREADFUL and the BANE OF MY LIFE" etc.) Part of it is that my confidence as a writer has been significantly dented as everything else in my life has been, recently: I also don't think much of self as lawyer, friend, etc., and I'm working on it. (I am doing much, much better than I was. I'm very grateful. But piecing one's life back together turns out to take time.)

I'm also not doing well with reasonable self-care related to the book, which I should, because finishing the version that went on agent submission - in a several-month, every-spare-minute sprint - was what precipitated my last visit to the bottom of the well. (Perfectly nice as wells go, but not one to revisit.) But I keep wanting to just finish it and get it over and winding myself up in the process. And of course I'm aware that I have read it approx fourteen thousand times over the last two and a half years and naturally I'm seeing nothing but flaws? And perhaps other people might not think it is the worst thing ever committed to paper? In my more rational moments I think this. And yet, oh my god, I hate this book. I want to bundle it up and throw it into aforesaid well and write SOMETHING ELSE. It never gets less ridiculous. I spent four days trying to think of a 1940s-appropriate preferably-funny insult? And it had to be two syllables because otherwise the sentence wouldn't scan? And then [personal profile] tau_sigma suggested "strumpet", because she's a perfect human? And all of that hungama was about literally one word? etc.

Etc. Two months ago I was about as a far from a clean, well-lighted place as I could be. And now I'm not, but nothing terrible will happen if I don't finish this book soon. (Or ever? Like, it would be sub-optimal after two and half years, but I'm not writing Hamlet here.) And nothing terrible will happen if it's not as good as I wanted it to be. And nothing terrible will happen if I do it in ten-minute, 100-word chunks. This is quite a rubbish pep talk but there you are, it's what I've got, and it's better than the alternative.

In other news: I'm enjoying being back out in the world. I'm enjoying seeing friends and going for walks and learning to love this city again. I miss my legal practice and my Gaelic. I'm looking forward to returning to both in the autumn; I'm ready for the new terms and the start of the year.

(no subject)

Aug. 13th, 2017 09:34 pm
pearwaldorf: rey from tfa (Default)
[personal profile] pearwaldorf
It's not been a good brain week, thanks to current events, new news about Carrie Fisher in The Last Jedi that made me realize how much I still miss her, and it being around the six month anniversary of my grandma's death.

(I just figured out my period tracking app has a mood tracker function, and I had to add a current events tag to it. Such is life in 2017.)

Cleaning didn't really help, which is a shame because we did a fucking lot of it, but at least the apartment looks better? Cody and I went to see Star Trek in the park, which one of his friends is in. There's something wonderfully earnest about shoestring community theater, where everybody's in it for love and the sincere belief that Star Trek TOS still has something valuable to say, fifty years later. That's the sort of thing I should try and keep in mind, when the weeks are like this. I have a feeling they won't get any better.

Gratitudes and a PSA

Aug. 13th, 2017 12:20 pm
kass: A glass of iced coffee with milk. (coffee)
[personal profile] kass
1. Sunshine. Swimming pool yesterday. Generally happy seven year old in aforementioned swimming pool. Yay.

2. Coffee. Because coffee.

3. I am once again marinating tilapia in lime juice; there will be ceviche for my supper!

4. Finding a local protest to attend this afternoon. Part of me feels like that doesn't really make a difference in the world, but another part of me needs to stand up and be counted -- and I want to be teaching my kid that it's our job to build a better world than this goddamnit.

5. High summer lunch: good bread, good cheese, fresh tomatoes.

Take care of yourselves, y'all -- if you are protesting, be safe -- if you need to take a break from the awfulness of the world and immerse in fandom or a book or a nap or whatever brings you comfort, do that -- you are precious; don't burn yourself to a crisp.

VividCon Premieres - Part 1

Aug. 12th, 2017 01:16 am
par_avion: collage of intl air mail stickers (Default)
[personal profile] par_avion
Links to vids should eventually appear here: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/281/

Battleflag by gwyneth (Star Wars)

"Got a revolution behind my eyes"
"Stand Up and Organize"
Comparison to SG vid to same song. Fits great with Star Wars. Whatever happened you keep fighting.
Surrender to a higher cause / the force.
Song choice
Powerful excitement
Great first vid to to Premieres
Have to set aside the personal in all these movies
Moved well between eras, they were treated the same. Cohesive.

Monsters of the Cosmos by CherryIce (Thor)

Beautifully edited
Cherry = Jane (knows science)
Gives Jane more of a character by leaning into her as a scientist
Knows MCU, has a view of this corner of MCU -- deep dive -- unique perspective.
Loves Jane as a character, Jane learning - becoming part of it.
Black holes are terrifying. Jane = black hole.
Thor science is ridiculous, so good match for song (which fetishizes science).

I Took a Pill in Ibiza by beerbad (Wynonna Earp)

Hard to be her
"I know a sad song"
Great musicality for movement. Lyrics in opposition, not sure if ironic intent.
Wynona - PTSD, not "trying to look cool" as said in song
Accessible to someone who doesn't know the show, couldn't hear the lyrics so not bothered by mismatch. Contrast to other vid for the show.
Amazing recruiter vid.

Spell by hollywoodgrrl (Carol)

Jarrow has no chill. Spiral motion, smoke of cigarette.
Gloves as a metaphor
Smoke clouds thoughts
Vidder made it look different / new with zooms & closeups
Eli likes the sex
Awesome imagery and metaphors. Pulled in, under their spell.
Anoel also has zero chill
The magjc of when they're together. In betwen, they aren't as connected. Finally get their happy ending.
Rare use of audio done perfectly, vidders take note.
Saying it with such reverence.
Great POV shift.

Blood on Blood by feedingonwind (Hannibal)

This vid is about A, could follow her journey.
Visual parallels with Will, repeated imagery is strong
Every Hannibal vid feels like it is about a different show, this vid had a different feel
Can't go there in general for Hannibal but this one grabbed her and kept her watching
*Will* has to keep watching her die over and over
Vid caught her before she could close her eyes

Is It Safe Now? by Kitty aka Winterevanesce (Eyewitness)

Double meaning. Learning how to be safe with each other.
Not sure if murderer knows that they saw him
Surprising to see guns after la, la, very gay.
Thanks for telling me how show ended (gave up after a few episodes)
Effective at getting her interested
Clear story telling told all. Filters to create closeness, intimacy.
Very sexy. Appreciated!
Gorgeous. Beautiful colors. Enjoyed transitions / zooms.
Really complete story. Is it a movie?
Good job with story.

Haunting by Rhea314 (Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu)

Context would have been helpful (hadn't seen anime)
It is S1 and S2 of dame source, despite variation in titles
Hand imagery throughout, push-pull
Meeting halfway, pulling away, meeting again
Good job of jumping through time, helped by snapshots from different periods
Pulled along in the current of back and forth
Pinky fingers connected, repeated with only one hand, and empty hand w/o match (loneliness)
candle imagery
song choice helped to explain a lot of context

Birdie by Lola (Mad Men)

BUILD (Yes!)
SHIFT in tone after the shotgun
(murder spree?)
(I was reminded of a recent line from Orphan Black. Who hurt you? ALL OF THEM)
Metaphor of birds, nickname is Birdie
Trying to fly free
Sick of playing house
Use of stillness. Violence feels amped up because of the contrast.
Scary. Emotions under the surface.
Betty is trapped. First time really saw her, saw the effect of HOW trapped, sympathy.
Most fantastic revenge of the Hitchcock heroines.
Loved Betty, love the feeling of tension, claustrophobia, pressure, everything.
Tension never really resolves, leaves you still feeling it.
Never let you rest, never gave you peace.
And *that's* why valium was known as mother's little helper.

Wild by tbm (Xena)

Super gay.
Callisto is super pissed!
Looks great on big screen.
Callisto is literally gay for Xena.
Oh yeah, that was really frickin' gay.
Song choice!
Good use of Callisto's madness.
Callisto's arc is all over the place.
Early 90s effects FTW, nostalgia.
FPreg craziness
Tarot imagery, AU image of Callisto

HandClap by elipie & kuwdora. Power Rangers (2017)

Pimp vid. Made our hands clap.

She Keeps Me by kiki_miserychic (Inside Out)

Cheerful one / Grumpy one ship vid.
Song choice A+
A lot of feelings
Vid makes her super happy.
Intertwinedness, how much they need each other.
Someone has a friend who cosplays these characters together.
1st time no sobbing. Very sweet vid.

Clean Light by skygiants (Steven Universe)

made for the source, wouldn't be surprised if it showed up in the show.
pure joy.
focused on warmth of family and friendship.
architecture - background --> expansiveness & joy.
mini character arcs
remarkably cohesive for so short.
each time the same lyrics felt different.
did a lot with a large ensemble cast.
super cute.

Stray Italian Greyhound by Butterfly (Yuri!!! on Ice)

Goosebumps
Super cute. Awesome.
Many vids are cute but "baby's 1st vid." This one is cute and sweet but a much more thoughtful take on the Relationship.
Not sure I wanted this, but oh shit I've fallen in love with this person.
Great song choice -- did some heavy lifting.
Punch to feels, still sense of anxiety that gets resolved at the end.
Assumption that Victor would be the stray italian greyhound but not the first time! Layers.
Loved editing. Huge kudos. Doesn't usually like boyslash.
Yuri claiming desire, sex, gold, being a great skater.
Tentative approach: can I admit to myself that I want it.
Repetitive. Coming together/away relates to Yuri's anxiety.

White Flag by Trelkez (Timeless)

Not!Dido song
Family feels
hand-holding
get up & get moving
pimp vid. already OT3-ing it
Connection
Confidence and strength in each other
Vid didn't forget that the black man going back in time would have different experience
Most effective recruiter vid of the night. I am so here for all of these people.
Teamwork and resistance to power (topical!)
Very big vid, featured multiple characters

Vid Review Part 2

Incredible Thoughts by pipsqueaky (Multi)

Cat baby universe?
Ballerina - poodle - irony
his vid is purrfect
Haven't laughed so hard at his face
Great job combining disparate sources
Like an extended Bill & Ted's Adventure
This vid is transcendentally beautiful
Then cat -> exceeded expectations
The two Keanus are one and the same

This is a Trent Reznor Song by rhoboat (Star Trek)

Stunning vidshow curation, placing it after Incredible Thoughts
Our love of formulaic things
We see that they are formulaic but love them anyway (because of it)
Guitar riff = swoopy
Entire song/vid as metaphor
TITLE CARD helped clue audience
Sickest JJ Abrams burn since AO3 fic jerking off to lens flares
Comment on vidders range (Lateralis) (But also Castiel vid!)
Vidders are smart
The movies don't feel like Star Trek, but they are fun. Can enjoy and still critique.

She Said by here's luck (Supergirl)

I miss S1. Hard same!
Nicely balanced aspects of life w/o getting bogged down in romance -- she is more
Empowered
Expected chorus to be all Supergirl but it was also Kara. Kick-ass as Kara as well, both aspects of her life are awesome.
Optimism, awesome women.
Great thematically for this year.
Moment that hit hard: stronger than Superman showing message of Clark supporting her, gives her confidence
Great use of literalism but vid didn't rely on it. Icing on top of a great vid.
Focused on women: sister, boss, president
Kara brings with her awesome woman power into the world.


Wake Me Up Before You Go by sisabet (New Girl)

Vid caught me up on what I missed
He tries super hard
The jar. He's always going to be *exactly* this terrible, but still worth loving.
Eli kept hearing "douche jar" in the song.
Effective at bringing me into a fandom I'm not in. Sold them as a couple, the charms of the show.


Overture to Folly by Franzeska (Rivers of London)

Jarrow is not sure if he's supposed to read the text bubbles or not. Got more from the vid by blocking them out. Eli found it harder to read them as they sped up.
B. wanted more internal movement, cue where the eye is supposed to go (if not to comics).
In MMVs (manga music videos) they block out the speech bubbles unless they are needed.
J. liked the song choice - instrumental - liked the feel of it.
Y. - Still source but vid still felt like it had motion and flow.

Everything Stops For Tea by Valoise (Multi)

This person has strong feelings about Tea Fandom.
Stabbing each other -- oh, let's stop for tea.
Withnail and I clip.
Brits will love it.
"I am possibly in Tea Fandom!"
Simple but vital. Now my life is more fulfilled!
Jarrow: You're going to watch this every day at 4pm!
Everything stop for tea, always.
Noted that vid was placed at "tea time" in the vidshow.

These Days Are Dark (But We Won't Fall) by bessyboo and queelez (US Politics)

Need a break from politics but important to see hope.
Long but it took a long time to get through history of all the protests. It took time -- that's part of the point.
Well made but not ready to laugh about Voldemort parallels.
Made her cry. Vid had to begin There but it made her nauseous.
"It ripped me apart. Thank you."
Appreciated the energetic quality. Neither "everything is terrible!" not self-congratulatory but "You can do it, so go do it!"
Ending with fans felt personal, hand held, people we know are out doing stuff.
Learning from actual history but (dyo??) the stories we *tell* each other
(Punched in the feels and I hate you but I love it -- could be for next vid)

Bad Blood (Never Ever) by fiercynn and scribe (Multi)

They make great multi vids
People who love each other punching each other
Wicked! broadway
Such angst!
You suck, and we're done! Finality. N_E_V_E_R getting back together.
The song itself was fighting each other, mash-up worked well.
90% queer, inverse of "usual"


Shape of You by Butterfly (Multi)

This is So. Gay.
I like the sex (again)
Diversity! Femslash!
Making its point and keeping you there. (despite some source issues)
A lot of nostalgia for queer movies that haven't seen a lot of recently (Velvet Goldmine)
It was a recruiter vid for the gay.

Wolves Without Teeth by Dar (Sense8)

Blew me away!
Taken in by group shots and sense of togetherness and them all working together.
So protective of each other.
I care so much!
Not a traditional recruiter vid but good representation of experience watching the show.
Condensed beautiful emotional. Not very plot driven.
Encapsulates experience of the show.
Hit me in the feels with no source knowledge. SO beautifully edited.
Song choice!
Never before understood what the show was about or why people love it so much.
Good job balancing the different relationships / pairings.
Ensemble vids can be hard, tech of equal airtime. Vidder skills deftly done.
Wolfgang feels hit hard - bittersweet.
Show choreography of the 8 - vid elevates it. Modern dance.

Gold Dust Woman by AurumCalendula (Xena)

The show is So Gay, not just Xena & Gabrielle.
50 Shades of Gold.
This one had more modern effects, made the show feel current and not so 90s.
Effective use of lyrics - silver spoon, put your kingdom up for sale
What do you do with this extra layer of orientalism? Do you just make the vid? Can't change the source (See Xena panel)

Farewell Ride by Destina (Tombstone)

Songchoice totally fit. Can tell vidder cares about source.
Movie tried to make these actors look the same (thank god I'm not face blind)
So happy because I love the movie -> most magnetic Val Kilmer has ever been even sweaty and dying of consumption)
Why "I'm your huckleberry?"
Key line Val Kilmer says when he's going to kill someone. Very gay.
It's more gay, that's what I needed to know.


When Sorrows Encompass Me 'Round by AurumCalendula (Wynonna Earp)

Almost made me care about Willa
"What a hard life, I wish she sucked less"
Synchronicity. Earp follow Earp in vidshow order.
Sold on fandom now.
I care about her now! Got really drawn into this character.
Resident Willa apologist claims she's the best!
Not the main character and her story is obscured both TV and her life. Vid took us into *her* perspective on things.


Desire by Kitty aka Winterevanesce (Heartless)

Taken on a JOURNEY y'all
Kinda rapey, then she SET him on FIRE. She lit him on fire with her MOUTH.
Emotionally exhausted by the end. On journey with you.
Great song choice.
This isn't what I remember Lost Girl looking like!
Avril Lavigne ... starred in Lost Girl?

Winter by scribe (Killjoys)

(I talked about this in vid review and apparently didn't take any notes. Sorry! Loved it!)

Overcome by sweetestdrain (Rogue One)

New Hope shots - visually completing the journey. Deeply satisfying.
Sacrifice has weight, meaning, purpose that will be fulfilled (especially following on the Killjoys vid)

Carry That Weight by Anoel (Star Wars vids)

Build super strong, a lot of feelings
Winter -> Overcome -> Weight. Arc of vids. Had to start dark.
Hopeful chills.
Can be jarring but transition to RL footage done very smoothly.
*Carrie* that weight
Expectation of Beatles but this cover choice perfect for the vid
Real World icons
Han killed - crossfade into Lea's heart

Kitten preparations

Aug. 11th, 2017 04:40 pm
kass: A house on a hill; the word "home." (little home)
[personal profile] kass
Our kitten is coming later this month! In advance of this happy occasion, I've been doing some house prep. There is now a truly delightful scratching post / cat tree / climbing thingy in the dining room. (Yes, I know the kitten will still treat every single object in the house like a climbing gym, but this is an excellent one, and also, sisal-wrapped post for happy claws.)

I've re-homed all but two of my aloe plants: one is in a high place I don't think the cat will get to, and the other will be re-homed next week. My one remaining jade plant is likewise in a high place. (And needless to say, if it looks like Mister Kitten wants to get to those places, I'll re-home those two plants too -- though my previous cat was never interested in nibbling on succulents, so we'll see.)

Of course, once I got rid of my aloes and my lily the house seemed oddly devoid of living things, so I went plant-shopping. The first nursery I tried was too geared toward people who actually garden (so they didn't have houseplants per se, and the things they did have -- beautiful plants full of tiny red peppers, and chrysanthemums -- are all toxic to beasties.) But the second nursery I tried had many fine options, and now I have a rubber plant, a kitten-safe varietal of philodendron, a rabbit fern, and a spider plant.

My new plants make me happy. Yay for growing things that will be alive in my condo even once winter falls. And I am also happy at the mental image of this cat tree eventually being home to a very small and very fluffy cat. \o/!

(no subject)

Aug. 11th, 2017 04:41 pm
turps: (cat look at me)
[personal profile] turps
To update on the gym situation. I went to the induction yesterday and everything went very well.

Not that it got to a good start as we weren't booked on the system, but one of the men who worked in the gym was there and happy to give us the tour and work on our goals and memberships.

In all that took around 3 hours, and he was great. He did have some extreme views about nutrition and how often that could help when medicine can't. But, at the same time, he admitted that the views were extreme, and kept saying we had to research everything and not take his -- or anyone's -- word as gospel.

He made me feel really relaxed and worked out a programme for both me and James based on what he thought we could manage. Mine includes the recumbent bike, the treadmill, and leg strength work on the weight machines. When he was showing us the equipment he said he could tell I'd relaxed because when I was on the bike I was smiling, and I was. No one was looking, no one gave a damn that I was sitting there and doing exercise in a gym. It was just good and achievable and I felt a foot taller when leaving.

Then later we called into the local gym I'm going to be using -- the induction was done at the bigger one the next town over -- and I gave my workout a try. I also checked out where the lockers were, the changing room situation, doing those little things that had been worrying me, like starting machines off on my own.

Then this morning I walked down on my own and spent a good hour doing my own thing. And again, no one was laughing or looking and I just got on with things. I even tried out the arm weight machines and felt comfortable and happy as I moved to each new thing. I bought myself a water bottle but must remember a small towel next time because I had to keep wiping the seats off with the edge of my t-shirt which really wasn't a good look.

But I did it, and am chuffed at myself.

Thank you to everyone who gave advice and encouragement in my last post. Yesterday was the first time I'd ever stepped foot in a gym, and it was hard and scary. But today it wasn't at all, and I'd have never have got to that point without all of your help.

Oh, and this is the outfit I went with in the end. Modelled just after I'd left the blood donation place.

I think I succeeded.

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:15 pm
hannah: (Across the Universe - windowsill_)
[personal profile] hannah
I took a boat ride out to eat pie today, which is as it should be. To be precise, I rode a ferry out to Brooklyn, because New York City is an archipelago and a ferry was faster than the subway, and then walked to where I could eat key lime pie. Real key lime pie, made with just five ingredients, out in Red Hook right by the water. My brother was with me, and we ate on the grass by a miniature beach, having walked through a part of New York City I'd never been to that more than anything reminded me of San Francisco. Not exactly for the food, and not exactly for the water. More in that it was a bright, sunny day with few clouds and little wind, that where I was walking happened to have the lazy, low-horizon line architecture of the California Bay Area, small houses clustered together with the incidental empty lot left to grass and flowers and birds, funky little shops scattered up and down a main drag, a town hidden away out at the edge of a city.

Sometime after I got back to Manhattan, I realized there was a bit of sadness to the day too: I had to retire one of my rings. One of my favorites, to be honest. The little lizard pinkie ring I bought almost thirteen years ago to the day, back in August of 2004 in the Yerba Buena Gardens during a Philippine arts and culture festival just after I moved to San Francisco for college, worn until August of 2017 when the ring finally began to wear thin enough I'm worried it'll snap in two. So I took it off, kissed it, and put it away. I'm adjusting to a different one now. It's got leaves, but no little lizard face.

I can replace it easily enough - it's a common enough design that just looking up "lizard toe ring" on Google gets me the same thing right away, like right here. But it won't be the one I used to wear, and I'm hesitant to look into repair shops because it'd be so easy to replace it might not get taken seriously.

And though I wish I still had a smiling little lizard on my hand, it's not yet broken. I can take comfort in knowing it's not broken, or lost. In threat of those, but I didn't let that happen. I took it off and now it's put someplace for safekeeping. It saw me through a lot of adventures, like the one I had today, running to catch the ferry back, riding up front and feeling a bit of spray on my face and stepping away from my life to enjoy the world for a while.

So I guess, with this new ring, I start over again tomorrow.

Gratitudes

Aug. 8th, 2017 08:01 pm
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
[personal profile] kass
1. The feeling of pushing my way through a forest of fruit-laden sungold cherry tomato plants, seeking out the little golden balls and twisting them free with my fingertips. Those of you who cannot safely eat, or do not like, raw tomatoes are so totally missing out, I cannot even. :-)

2. The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger, recommended to me by (I think) [personal profile] bironic at Vividcon? (I have con brain.) They are ridiculous goofball steampunk romance comedy-of-manners, as though someone had put Jane Austen and a bunch of vampire and werewolf fic in a blender. I am enjoying them.

3. Dinner, which involved a giant bowl of arugula and lettuces with tahini-lemon dressing, followed by eggplant and zucchini marinated in sesame-soy-sriracha, and also some scallions and carrots, all from the CSA, as well as some chicken thighs that were marinated in a similar mixture (with the addition of worcestershire and ginger-garlic paste), tossed with noodles. It is so easy to eat well in high summer.

4. Sitting on my mirpesset, breathing the scent of citronella and rosemary plant, watching the sky change.

5. It is wine o'clock. :-)

How are y'all?

FMK #20: Holmesiana

Aug. 8th, 2017 06:31 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's K winner was Hounded. I guess I do not get to read it and find out if the second-most-popular male UF lead gets sexually assaulted as often as Harry Dresden does. ;_;

The F winner was Truckers, which is good, since I went from thinking about urban fantasy tropes to reading old Marcone/Dresden fic to reading all the Vimes/Vetinari(/Sybil) fic to reading all the Watch books to working on that prompt about the First Sedoretu of Ankh-Morpork.

(Finally reading Snuff was what convinced that that okay, Vimes could manage to be married to Margolotta, they have many things in common and also he can see in the dark now and she and Sybil as pen pals is canon, so.)

...which also explains why I still don't have any more reviews for you, oops.

But! We have made it to FMK #20! Which means another non-SF option! This week: Holmesiania.

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Chabon, Douglas, Estleman, Gardner, Gilbert, Hall, King, Kurland, LeBlanc, Meyer, Peacock, Smith, Springer, Stout, Thomas, anthologies )

VVC 2017 vid post

Aug. 7th, 2017 04:38 pm
pi: (Default)
[personal profile] pi
I made two vids for VVC this year!

For the Premiers show:
Fandom Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu & Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futabi-hen
Music Haunting by Halsey
Link download or streaming here

RevolutionaryJo got me into this fandom this fall, and while Yuri on Ice has mostly consumed all of my fannish feelings I found this story incredibly compelling and beautifully told. The historical nature of the show and wide time span covered compounded by the focus on storytelling and use of an unreliable narrator were really neat. Not to mention as an occasional angst fan this show was well crafted to give me a lot of feelings. So when I heard this song I had to make a vid about Kikuhiko being unable to let go of anything and how that love, desire, and guilt shape his entire life.




For Club Vivid:
Fandom: Multifandom - Awesome Ladies
Music Worth It by 5th Harmony
Link download or streaming here

 



Sources:
Actresses Angela Bassett, Carry Fisher, Emma Thompson, Helen Mirren, Imelda Staunton, Judi Dench, Julianne Moore, Julie Walters, Lorretta Devine, Maggie Smith, Meryl Streep, Michelle Yeoh, Olympia Dukakis, Oprah Winfrey, Phylicia Rashad, Rita Moreno, and Whoopi Goldberg.

In 53 movies: A Walk in the Woods, A Little Game, August Osage County, Alone in Berlin, Black Nativity, Beautiful Creatures, Big Stone Gap, Brooklyn, The Butler, Casino Royale, Chi-Raq, Cloudburst, Creed, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Devil Wears Prada, Downton Abbey, Effie Gray, Emily & Tim, Eye in the Sky, Final Recipe, Florence Foster Jenkins, Freeheld, Grandma's House, The Giver, Gypsy, Harry Potter Movies, Harry Hill the Movie, The Hundred Foot Journey, Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Into the Woods, Iron Lady, The Last Keepers, London Has Fallen, The Love Punch, Maggie's Plan, Maps to the Stars, Morgan, Olympus has Fallen, One Chance, Philomena, Pride, Quartet, Red, Red 2, Remember Me, Ricki and the Flash, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Selma, Skyfall, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Still Alice, The Tempest, The Woman in Gold.

I had this idea on the plane ride home from VVC last year, thinking about mulitfandom Awesome Ladies vids. I realized that in Wings I hadn't included many older characters and that was ridiculous. So as soon as I got back from the Con I immediately started working on this vid for actresses over 50. RevolutionaryJo was a massive beta help and this vid would not be nearly as awesome or successful as it is now without her aid.

Home again, home again

Aug. 7th, 2017 07:22 pm
kass: A house on a hill; the word "home." (little home)
[personal profile] kass
My plane out of ORD was delayed in departure, and by the time we landed in DTW, Delta had automatically booked me on the next connecting flight...some seven hours later. I grabbed my stuff and ran like hell through the airport and just barely squeaked onto the plane!

This means I am now home safe and sound. A suitcase full of con laundry is now in the washing machine. (That'd be pretty much everything except my Club Vivid outfit. ;-) I am making myself dinner out of what I could scrounge, which is actually looking pretty decent. (Call it pasta primavera: CSA zucchini and a handful of wee tomatoes and half of a purple onion, with good olive oil and a handful of parmesan cheese -- not fancy by any stretch, but it's food, and there's even a vegetable in it.)

I am grateful to have made it to the con, and now it is good to be home. Best of all possible worlds, that.

I'll keep updating my con report with links to vids as I find them. Hope others who were traveling today had it as smooth as I did.

(no subject)

Aug. 7th, 2017 07:57 pm
turps: (Default)
[personal profile] turps
I joined a gym today.

I'm sitting here thinking, what the hell have I done? It's a good deal -- I think. Our local authority gym scheme where I get a discount for being a carer, so is only £21 a month, and I can go to any local authority gym in Sunderland, which includes a swimming pool, sauna etc in the next town over.

But man, I'm scared to death here. I'm going to the induction on Thursday, and she said bring your gym clothes. But I don't even have any. Will my sketchers do? Will people laugh if I turn up in them and leggings?

I can walk to the one in my town easily, and James will go on a pay as you go basis so we can go swimming together.

Gah. I think I need to go lie down in a dark room or something. And yes, this will pass and I'm sure things will be fine, and this is a good thing. But again. What have I done?!

We also saw Valerian, which was pretty to look at, but had the disadvantage of having two main characters I didn't give a damn about.

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