Writing Heroine Training lessons, gathering materials for the Blogwarts Diagon Alley scavenger hunt, watching The Quest, and rereading some awesome books has got me in a bookish mood. So here are my answers to Jamie‘s A-Z Bookish Survey! I’ve tried to avoid repetition whenever possible. But there’s still a lot of Harry Potter.
Author you’ve read the most books from:
Ann M. Martin? Those were a lot of Baby-Sitters Club books…
Best Sequel Ever:
The Goddess Experience by Gisèle Scanlon
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Drink of Choice While Reading:
Water? Tea for writing. Oh, maybe hot chocolate!
E-reader or Physical Book?
Physical book! But for traveling and reading in queues, I do adore Severus, my kindle.
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Hidden Gem Book:
Yours Truly, Skye O’Shea by Megan Shull. Made me want to play ice hockey. [ME!]
Important Moment in your Reading Life:
Being forced to read Sorcerer’s Stone. In second grade I was a stubborn nonconformist and refused to read Harry Potter because it was popular. As a moving away present, my friend gave me book 1, and it changed my life.
Isla and the Happily Ever After. Aaaaaah!
Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
The second book in a series before the first book.
Longest Book You’ve Read:
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens.
Major book hangover because of:
The Hunger Games. I couldn’t read for a couple of weeks after finishing that series, so I discovered Survivor in the interim.
Number of Bookcases You Own:
In Boston, two: one by my bed and one by my desk. In Edinburgh, none: just piles of books by the bed.
One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald.
Preferred Place To Read:
Curled up in a comfy chair, preferably my favourite armchair at the Barnes & Noble in Charlottesville. If it’s still there.
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
“Of course it’s happening in your head, Harry. But why on earth does that mean it isn’t real?”
Not reading Perks of Being a Wallflower sooner. I read it right before seeing the movie, ruining my cinematic experience with constant comparisons.
Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
Artemis Fowl! I still have two books to go.
Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Matilda by Roald Dahl
Unapologetic Fangirl For:
Emma Approved. And The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. And anything written by Jane Austen.
Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
Armada by Ernest Cline. I adored Ready Player One.
Worst Bookish Habit:
Reading at the table.
X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
I’ll go with my kindle shelf: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Your latest book purchase:
The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by W.Y. Evans-Wentz
ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
Graduates in Wonderland by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale
I’d love to see your answers as well :)
phone was grumbling about the state of the espresso machine and how people don't clean the steam wand. Somehow, and I'm not entirely clear on how, this briefly turned into an Infocom-style text adventure based in the kitchen.
My manager is back! I told her the tale of the Fellow vs. Helpdesk, and the runaround that involved three business days, and one business weekend. Including the part where if you didn't know who he was already, you couldn't look up who he was via the usual tools, because his login was that hosed. Though if you knew who his manager was (a C-level exec) you could find him that way... I also told her about the lunch during which "one of my boys" had sat a table over from some dude.
It turns out that I have more patience for this system than my manager, who basically just wants it to go away quietly, or otherwise cease to cause her trouble.
My headset has been acting up, and redialing Kat instead of the last person called (Nora).
So a great big thank-you to everyone on dreamwidth who read the short list and wrote about it. And another great big thank-you to everyone who went to the worldcon and wrote about that. I’m not convinced that I’d ever want to go (lots of people! Eeek!) but I have enjoyed reading about it.
Thoughts on the winners:
I am so pleased that Chu won with The Water that Falls on You from Nowhere, as I loved that story so much. Ann Leckie’s book, yes I enjoyed, yes it was great, yes I’m really pleased that it’s got a hugo, but it’s Chu’s short story that has my heart.
I was also chuffed by some of the other awards. Time by XKCD got an award for best graphic story, and Kameron Hurley got the award for best related work for We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative. I think I’m tickled pink by both of these, not just because I love the works in question, but because I hadn’t even realised they were up for awards until I saw the list of winners.
And now I have to go and phone the VAT helpline.
There's a moment with particular books when you pick them up and read them and put them down and feel like you can take on the world. That happens to me with films, too, exiting a dark theater into the glaring sunlight, feeling massive with possibility. Maybe your possibility is different than mine. No, your possibility is definitely different than mine because the fullness I feel generally translates itself to 8,000 words of fanfic that I'll write but never have the guts to publish.
Great stories do that, though. They make you want to tell your own stories that reach out and grab someone like the story you just experienced did to you. Or better yet, they make you want to tell your own stories even better. In that post-story moment you know for a fact you have a story in you somewhere that will make someone feel like you're feeling, make them feel even more powerful than you feel. We're all storytellers, after a fashion, even if the stories take their sweet time leaving our heads. Eventually we find the story that sends us careening past uncertainty and fear to tell our own, whatever form they may take. ( Read more... )
My convention was rather strange, in that it was very much confined to the space of the Exhibits Hall. That might sound dull but it really wasn’t. It was also strange in that for me the fun was in seeing everything I’d had in my head for two years come into place very physically. I had realised years ago that my mistake in theatre had been to get involved in performance. I should have gone in for direction, so much, much more fun and I hold by that now. For all I enjoyed my panels, the real joy of the convention began when Shana Worthen and I stood in that empty hall, the banners newly rigged, and realised it was ours.
( Read more... )
As previously noted, I'm doing Unclutter 2014, which involves getting rid of 1 thing per day in 2014, plus an extra thing for every thing that comes into the house. I thought I'd also keep track of where the things go (landfill, charity shop, recycling, etc). I'm planning to post once every ten days, giving a summary of how I'm doing.
Days 1–220: 406 out (118 landfill, 160 recycled, 79 charity shop, 14 gifts, 3 Freegle, 1 bartered, 14 used up, 9 food waste, 8 archived), 104 in, net out: 302.
Days 221–230 totals: 24 out (9 landfill, 13 recycled, 1 returned to owner, 1 used up), 7 in, net out: 17.
Back on track after a busy few months! 17 things in 10 days is a rate I'm very happy with.
Details of the past 10 days are below.
Day 221: 2 in: 1 Crossrail magazine, 1 handout from railway tour.
Day 222: Nothing in, nothing out.
Day 223: 7 out: 1 box of instant soup, used up (counting this because I only ate it to get rid of it), 4 booklets and a small box (recycled), 1 insole for a shoe I no longer own (landfill).
Day 224: Nothing in, nothing out.
Day 225: 3 in: 1 tray, 1 programme, and 1 glass from the 2014 Great British Beer Festival.
Day 226: 2 out: 1 sock and 1 pair of knickers put in the textile recycling. 1 in: 1 book about Sanders Bros (for local history research).
Day 227: 1 in: 1 new pair of trousers.
Day 288: 11 out: 1 programme from the 2013 Great British Beer Festival, put into the recycling (don't worry, bob; this was my one not your one), 1 tangram set with a missing piece (landfill), 5 envelopes of no-longer-needed paperwork (recycling), 4 torn padded envelopes (landfill).
Day 299: 4 out: 1 unwanted wardrobe pole (landfill), 2 sachets of sachets from KFC (landfill), 1 mysterious photo found in second-hand book purchase several years ago (posted back to address on envelope).
Day 230: Nothing in, nothing out.
After some time, you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand
and imprisoning a soul;
You learn that love does not equal sex,
and that company does not equal security,
and you start to learn….
That kisses are not contracts and gifts are not promises,
and you start to accept defeat with the head up high
and open eyes,
and you learn to build all roads on today,
because the terrain of tomorrow is too insecure for plans…
and the future has its own way of falling apart in half.
And you learn that if it’s too much
even the warmth of the sun can burn.
So you plant your own garden and embellish your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring flowers to you.
And you learn that you can actually bear hardship,
that you are actually strong,
and you are actually worthy,
and you learn and learn…and so every day.
Over time you learn that being with someone
because they offer you a good future,
means that sooner or later you’ll want to return to your past.
Over time you comprehend that only who is capable
of loving you with your flaws, with no intention of changing you
can bring you all happiness.
Over time you learn that if you are with a person
only to accompany your own solitude,
irremediably you’ll end up wishing not to see them again.
Over time you learn that real friends are few
and who does not fight for them, sooner or later,
will find himself surrounded only with false friendships.
Over time you learn that words spoken in moments of anger
continue hurting throughout a lifetime.
Over time you learn that anyone can apologize,
but forgiveness is an attribute solely of great souls.
Over time you comprehend that if you have hurt a friend harshly
it is very likely that your friendship will never be the same.
Over time you realize that despite being happy with your friends,
you cry for those you let go.
Over time you realize that every experience lived,
with each person, is unrepeatable.
Over time you realize that whoever humiliates
or scorns another human being, sooner or later
will suffer the same humiliations or scorn in tenfold.
Over time you learn to build your roads on today,
because the path of tomorrow doesn’t exist.
Over time you comprehend that rushing things or forcing them to happen
causes the finale to be different form expected.
Over time you realize that in fact the best was not the future,
but the moment you were living just that instant.
Over time you will see that even when you are happy with those around you,
you’ll yearn for those who walked away.
Over time you will learn to forgive or ask for forgiveness,
say you love, say you miss, say you need,
say you want to be friends, since before
a grave, it will no longer make sense.
But unfortunately, only over time…
Translation by: Blanca Zarsan
• Apparently the “Louisville Purge” in the news recently was a social-media-fueled hoax based on those Purge movies. The rumor said the Kentucky city would have a night of legal lawlessness and mayhem last weekend, and people were worried enough that some public events were cancelled.
For me, though, whenever I hear “Louisville Purge” I always think of Al Mohler’s fundie takeover at Southern Baptist Seminary and his ushering out all of the female, black and/or otherwise “liberal” faculty members.
• Benjamin Corey maybe lays it on a little thick here — “Be Not Deceived: There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Christian Banker’” — but words ought to be a little wild, etc. His point can’t be restated often enough: The allegedly “liberal” or “progressive” interpretation of the Bible advocated by gay-affirming Christians is nothing more than asking our fellow Christians to interpret a few passages about sexuality in the same way they are already interpreting more than a thousand passages about money. (If anything, our take on those allegedly anti-gay clobber-texts is more respectful and cautious than their take on any of the many passages about usury.)
• Wislawa Szymborska: “Nothingness unseamed itself for me too. / It turned itself wrong side out. …”
Szymborska is one of my favorite poets. But then I cannot read or understand Polish, so I suppose I should also say that Clare Cavanagh is one of my favorite poets.
• The Doctors of WHO say: “Improvements in breastfeeding could prevent the deaths of 800,000 young children every year. It is the most effective strategy we have to protect babies’ lives.”
Meanwhile, the director of the anti-abortion group Personhood Ohio is campaigning for a law making the public exposure of breasts a crime because exposed breasts are “an offense to God” and “an offense to the public morality.”
You read stuff like that and you might almost start to think that maybe these anti-abortion guys are actually more interested in policing female sexuality than in actually protecting “life” …
• A reminder: the Hobby Lobby ruling had to do with a federal statute, RFRA, which does not apply to state law. The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is thus either stupidly mistaken or baldly lying when it said Hobby Lobby “supersedes state statute.” It doesn’t. It can’t.
• On the whole question of “allies” and “cookies” and folks who seem to need a pat on the head just for not doing the wrong thing, I like the approach by Adrienne K. at Native Appropriations. Her list of supporters/allies who have “spoken out against the [Washington football mascot]” includes several names marked by asterisks. This indicates “kinda weaksauce support, like ‘I’m on the side of doing what’s right’ or ‘I’d think about changing it,’ not necessarily explicit THE NAME IS RACIST kinda thing.”
Whenever the issue of, “Who will drink this ridiculous nonsense liquid?” comes up, David Willis can generally be called on to do the job. Birthday cake vodka and Mountain Dew, whipped cream vodka and Rootbeer, fan-donated Courvoisier and a few Cadburry eggs… you get the idea. He’s like a garbage disposal for… liquid garbage. Is that a thing? Oh, right. A toilet. He’s a toilet.
I used to pride myself on my ability to haggle. I was quite good at it. I was in sales for 10 years (thus the penchant for finding the best “deal”) and many of those years were spent on the phone doing various kinds of product and service support. This experience afforded me the fortunate burden of “being on the other side” of calls with people like me, looking to get something for nothing (or, more accurately, “Something for less than other people typically pay.”). The upside to this was the knowledge that the people “on the other side” can usually sweeten deals, give freebies and remove fees if they feel like. I had those options in my jobs, so I knew they did as well. The downside was dealing with the me’s of the world that KNEW I could sweeten the deal, and instead of just being pleasant or engaging or interesting, thus AFFORDING them whatever special treatment I was able to provide, they called me out on it and DEMANDED special treatment just because it was possible within the realm of human experience. Well, if every confident dickhead got special treatment, it wouldn’t be very special would it? My time in sales and on the phones follows a very close bell curve of the increase and decline in my interest in haggling. It’s dirty business and a horrific amount of unnecessary effort and frustration in the grand scheme. I prefer to look for good deals online rather than cause other humans the distress of having to deal with people who are “in the know.”
I can still turn on my phone skills when the need arrises. Those who have “served time” with a headset in a cubicle know what I mean. My daughter heard me recently on the phone with some company that we pay for some sort of service or other, and she commented, “Daddy! You sound like a TV guy!”
COMMENTERS: Have you ever talked your way out of being charged for something that you TOTALLY should have been charged for?
ALTERNATELY: Do you have any useful skills that you acquired from a job or experience that you hated?Tags: candy, david willis, hotel, hotels, minibar, travel
I wish there was somewhere I could post all my unfinished fic where I wouldn't feel like I was being, idk, rude for posting unfinished fic. People get so het up about reading unfinished fic and I don't want people to feel like they got short-changed. I just want to get it off my chest. Idk maybe I could post it here, since fewer people read fic on journaling sites these days.
Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Nick Fury
Warnings: Minor character death. Bullying. Fighting. Suicide attempt (minor character).
Summary: This is the story of how a little boy named Flip grows up to save the world a lot.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. Accidents. Emotional whump. Disability. Sibling relationship. Nonsexual love. Parentification. Manipulation. Coping skills. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Protection. Caregiving. Competence. Toys and games. Comic books. Fixing things. Martial arts. Gentleness. Trust. Role models. Military. BAMF Phil Coulson.
Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33.
( Read more... )
What is a ship manifesto? It is a formatted style of meta that provides insight as to why someone might like a pairing, or why they believe others might like a pairing. Think of it as something like a case file. Both canon and fanon evidence as to why this ship has sailed.
Anyway, despite the hummus having garlic in it... either I was wrong about not being able to have garlic, or something in the hummus counteracts the garlic, because well... the last few days, the end results of my food have been the most normal they've been in ages. ( TMI ) So... maybe that means I should eat more hummus? I'm going to continue to do so for a while, to test the theory. So today I got more olive tapenade hummus, and also some more celery, in case it's the celery doing good things. Or in case it's the combo of the two.
Anyway, good to know that I seem to be able to have hummus. That was one thing I would have missed a lot.
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei! Episode 6
I had to work all day Sunday, and I was out for the evening on Monday, so today was the first day I could use to catch up on the final episodes of last week. Delayed but at last here are my quick takes on the episodes I watched last week...
Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance (Bladedance of Elementalers): Episode 5
The entire harem is assembled. I liked the backstory, but the current situation is fairly mundane. As soon as possible let’s get past the part where they finally all become a Bladedance team.
Re: Hamatora: Episode 6
The series continues its dark streak with another strong episode. The Minimum Holders certainly are in a deep hole. I’m interested in seeing how they get out of their situation.
HaNaYaMaTa: Episode 6
Average episode. Typical conflict. More typical conflict next week, it seems. My expectations for the series has been adjusted accordingly. The show remains on the watchlist bubble.
Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride): Episode 6
In advance I thought that things were going to go very badly for Futaba, given the conflict situation. And I had braced myself for an unhappy episode. Yet the script followed the perfect shoujo path, deferring the messy conflict, and focusing almost completely on Futaba’s inner turmoil. Every thought was classic. I’m sure there are many who would discount this episode as being mundane, predictable, unimaginative shoujo fare – but I thought it was nicely done. I was right there with Futaba every step of the way.
M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane (M3: That Dark Metal): Episode 17
It doesn’t help that this series has featured three certifiably insane characters – although Tsugumi is the most predictable of the three. There really aren’t many characters to like in this show. As for couples, Akashi x Sasame is broken with Sasame being a LIM... Iwato x Raika is decent, but both characters are largely in the background. It’s hard to root for anyone. I’m guessing the final seven episodes are going to continue to be painful – yet here I am, soldiering on.
Love Stage!!: Episode 6
OK. Big improvement over last week. Put a fork in the manga dream – thankfully. And Ryōma is acting much more mature. Definitely a step in the right direction.
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei!: Episode 6
Best episode of the series’ second season by far. Awesome battle... followed by a special character appearance... followed by the long-awaited reveal and resolution of the Kuro Illya dilemma. Every scene was extremely well done.
Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen (Silver Will Argevollen): Episode 7
Not a very interesting episode – not until the very end, that is. A little surprising since the episode did a dramatic sans OP start, which usually precedes something special. But, no, there was nothing special here.
Rokujyoma no Shinryakusha!? (Invaders of the Rokujyoma!?): Episode 6
A weak start – Yurika at her worst – but the episode picked up a little bit towards the end. It’s nice to see the harem members working well together.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 4
There is a certain flatness to each episode... it seems that the direction tends to be conservative. Still, familiar stories and characters are like comfort food, and I’m still enjoying this new version of the old manga.
Sword Art Online II: Episode 7
Well, he’s consistent anyway... Kirito is back to being a jerk, shutting everyone out in some mix of martyrdom, self-pity, and conceit. At the moment, the only thing to look forward to are the combat scenes.
Aldnoah.Zero: Episode 7
Now that was a badass episode! The battle scenes were awesome – and great music as well. Inaho-Batmansama was brilliant as usual. Plus new ED song and animation – with music similar in tone and feel to the previous ED.
Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei (The Irregular at Magic High School): Episode 20
Nice jump right into the action and plot of the new arc. Great to see Erika and Leo in battle, also. My curiosity is engaged.
Haikyū!! Episode 20
Awesome episode... and Karasuno is in big trouble! We’re still only in game 1. Nice spotlight on Tanaka... and we’re going to see Sugawara, who I like a lot. I don’t see Karasuno being able to save game 1, so game 2 is going to be a nail-biter, I think. I love this show!
Side Note: After five weeks on the weekly sales list, Haikyū! Volume 1 has sold more than 31,000 copies in Japan! The show is a hit!
Sabagebu! (Survival Game Club!): Episode 7
The first story wasn’t so great, but the last half of the show was just fine, with two silly stories. I confess that I had no idea who the mystery intruder was – but the final reveal made a lot of sense – at least in the context of this off-the-wall series. Actually, between Prisma Illya and Sabagebu, there’s a common theme with the surprise arrivals this week.
Akame ga Kill!: Episode 7
I thought this episode went at a good pace, letting use learn a little more about some of the Night Raid members, as well as the villains. I have to say that I’m on edge, concerned for the lives of every Night Raid member – except for Akame and Tatsumi.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun: Episode 7
An average episode – which given the way this series is written is still pretty good. Mikorin was pretty funny doing bishoujo poses, while clueless Nozaki was a great straight man, as always.
Ryūnosuke Tanaka • Haikyū!! Episode 20