Okay, that part was not fluff

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 10:34 pm
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
Today’s words: 1K of words on what a decade of chronic pain can do to your sex life and body image. *feels wrung out like a rag* Jesus. I mean, it’s in service of ultimate fluff, but that was some seriously NiF-level angst, there.

I think I need a drink.

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bzuh

18 Saturday, May 27th, 2017 04:59 pm

Adventure Week Has Ended!

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 02:08 pm
upanddisappear: (Default)
[personal profile] upanddisappear posting in [community profile] pokestop
I'd love to hear about your experiences! How did you take advantage of the four times as fast? What rock types did you catch? Did the recent nest migration benefit you?

I walked to evolve to: Jynx, Croconaw, Quilava, Meganium, Marowak, Kingler, Ninetails, and Wartortle.

My rock type catches to evolutions: Golem, Steelix, Rhydon, Omastar, Kabutops, Shuckle, and Magcargo.

I was able to evolve to Alakazam, thanks to my local nest.

And I caught a Yanma!

Recent egg hatches: Gligar! And enough Drowzee for a Hypno.

FMK # 2: Gothics!

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 12:22 pm
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. Kill is actually "sudden death" - I read a couple paragraphs or pages, then decide to donate or reshelf (or read) based on that. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them. Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments.

Italics taken from the blurbs. Gothics have the best blurbs.

Poll #18418 FMK # 2: Houses Are Terrifying
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 17


Castle Barebane, by Joan Aiken. A series of lurid murders... a roofless ruin with crumbling battlements... nephew and niece callously abandoned in a slum... a man of mysterious origins and enigmatic habits... dark emanations from London's underworld... Mungo, an old sailor...

View Answers

Fling
7 (41.2%)

Marry
7 (41.2%)

Kill
3 (17.6%)

The Five-Minute Marriage, by Joan Aiken. An imposter has claimed her inheritance... a counterfeit marriage to the principle heir, her cousin... family rivalries festering for generations... a shocking episode of Cartaret family history will be repeated.

View Answers

Fling
12 (75.0%)

Marry
3 (18.8%)

Kill
1 (6.2%)

The Weeping Ash, by Joan Aiken. Sixteen-year-old Fanny Paget, newly married to the odious Captain Paget... in northern India, Scylla and Calormen Paget, twin cousins of the hateful Captain, have begun a seemingly impossible flight for their lives, pursued by a vengeful maharaja... elephant, camel, horse, raft... The writer has used her own two-hundred-year-old house in Sussex, England for the setting.

View Answers

Fling
6 (35.3%)

Marry
6 (35.3%)

Kill
5 (29.4%)

Winterwood, by Dorothy Eden. The moldering elegance of a decaying Venetian palazzo... pursued by memories of the scandalous trial that rocked London society... their daughter, Flora, crippled by a tragic accident... Charlotte's evil scheming... a series of letters in the deceased Lady Tameson's hand

View Answers

Fling
8 (53.3%)

Marry
1 (6.7%)

Kill
6 (40.0%)

The Place of Sapphires, by Florence Engel Randall. A demon-haunted house... two beautiful young sisters... the pain of a recent tragedy... a sinister and hateful force from the past... by the author of Hedgerow.

View Answers

Fling
7 (43.8%)

Marry
4 (25.0%)

Kill
5 (31.2%)

Shadow of the Past, by Daoma Winston. An unseen presence... fled to Devil's Dunes... strange "accidents..." it seemed insane... the threads of the mysterious, menacing net cast over her life... What invisible hand threatened destruction?

View Answers

Fling
4 (26.7%)

Marry
2 (13.3%)

Kill
9 (60.0%)

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, by Penelope Lively

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 11:53 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The winner of FMK # 1! Alas, I did not fall madly in love with it, but I did enjoy it. FMK is definitely off to a good start, because God knows how long that book has languished unread on my shelves. I'm pretty sure at least five years and possibly ten. But I'm very glad I finally got to it.

Twelve-year-old Lucy returns to the small English village of Hagworthy, which she hasn’t visited since she was seven. There she stays with her aunt, reconnects with some childhood friends and finds that both she and they have changed, and looks on in growing alarm as the well-meaning but ignorant new vicar resurrects the ancient tradition of the Horn Dance, which is connected to the Wild Hunt.

The premise plus the opening sentences probably tell you everything you need to know about the book:

The train had stopped in a cutting, so steep that Lucy, staring through the window, could see the grassy slopes beyond captured in intense detail only a yard or two away: flowers, insects, patches of vivid red earth. She became intimate with this miniature landscape, alone with it in a sudden silence, and then the train jolted, oozed steam from somewhere beneath, and moved on between shoulders of Somerset hillside.

This is one of my favorite genres which sadly does not seem to exist any more, the subset of British children’s fantasy, usually set in small towns or villages, which focuses on atmosphere, beautiful prose, and capturing delicate moments in time. Character is secondary, plot is tertiary, and there may be very little action (though some have a lot); the magical aspects are often connected to folklore or ancient traditions, and may be subtle or questionable until the end.

You can see all those elements in those two sentences I quoted; the entire subgenre consists of inviting the reader to become intimate with minature landscapes.

This is obviously subjective and debatable, but I think of Alan Garner, Susan Cooper (especially Greenwitch), and Robert Westall as writers with books in this subgenre, but not Diana Wynne Jones. The settings are the sort parodied in Cold Comfort Farm. Hagworthy is full of darkly muttering villagers who kept making me think, “Beware, Robert Poste’s child!”

In The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, Lucy’s parents are divorced, and her mother is now living in another country with a baby brother Lucy has never met. This is mentioned maybe two or three times, very briefly, which is interesting because so many books would make a much bigger deal of it. Lucy returns to Hagworthy for a vacation with her aunt, a botanist.

Of her childhood friends, the two girls have become horse-mad and have nothing in common with Lucy. The boy, Kester, is now a moody misfit teenager, and Lucy, who is also a bit of a moody misfit, becomes friends with him all over again. They wander around the countryside, fossil-hunting and stag-watching, periodically getting in fights over Kester’s refusal to discuss the thing hanging over the story, which is the new vicar’s revival of the Horn Dance to fundraise at a fete. This is very obviously going to awaken the Wild Hunt, and Kester has clearly been mystically targeted as its victim. Though there is a ton of dark muttering about what a bad idea this is, no one does anything about this until nearly the end, when Lucy finally makes first a misfired attempt to stop the Horn Dance, then a successful one to save Kester.

The atmosphere and prose is lovely, and if you like that sort of thing, you will like this book. Even for a book that isn’t really about the plot, the plot had problems. One was the total failure of any adult to even try to do anything sensible ever, for absolutely no reason, until Lucy finally manages to ask the right person the right question. This could have been explained as some magical thing preventing them from acting, but it wasn’t.

The other problem I had was that nothing unpredictable ever happens. Everyone is exactly what they seem: the blacksmith has mystical knowledge, the vicar is an innocent in over his head, the horse-mad girls have nothing in their heads but horses, and so forth. I kept expecting something to be slightly less obvious—for the vicar to know exactly what he’s doing and have a nefarious purpose, for the horse-mad girls to not be as dumb as they seem or to have their horsey skills play a role in saving Kester, for Lucy’s aunt to know more about magic than the blacksmith, etc—but no.

I looked up Penelope Lively. It looks like her famous book is Ghost of Thomas Kempe, which I think I also own.

There’s an album of music based on the book which you can listen to online. It’s by the Heartwood Institute, and is instrumental and atmospheric.

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy

Scanlations: Koi-iji: Love Glutton ch. 17

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 10:06 am
torachan: (koi-iji)
[personal profile] torachan


Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Kiss
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 5 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: 31-year-old Mame has been in love with her childhood friend Souta ever since she can remember. Despite multiple rejections, her love has stayed constant. It's become a habit more than anything, but is it one she'll ever be able to break and get on with her life?

Chapter Summary: Souta gets an unexpected visit from the landlady.



Chapter 17: Love, Rosie

they must be preteens

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 10:25 am
kareila: person holding a smiley balloon over his face (balloonface)
[personal profile] kareila
Connor started off his summer by building a train track for his plastic motorized trains, then tearing it apart a day later in a fit of rage when Will did something to make him lose his temper. I told them it was going to be a long summer if they couldn't get along better than that. Also Will is compulsively squeezing air in and out of his hands so frequently that I have started calling him Edward Farthands.

I took them to the local bookstore after lunch yesterday to pick out some reading material for the road trip. Connor got a couple of Plants vs Zombies graphic novels and Will got the most recent Tapper Twins book. The cashier who rung us up said none of the employees had gotten their expected paychecks that day. I will be very unhappy if they are forced to close.

Last night was game night and we finally convinced Robby to come along. Will won one of the door prizes, but it's a party game that's rated ages 17 and up, so I'll have to screen it for appropriateness. We got about halfway through a game of Harry Potter Clue before Connor started dying of hunger, even though we all ate supper before we left, so I had to run him to the nearest McDonald's drive thru. After we got back, we played a fun game called Sounds Like A Plan, which was a lot like Apples to Apples but without so many pop culture references.

The Red Sox have been winning lately. I keep falling asleep on the couch watching baseball on TV, so my shoulder is very sore and unhappy. Meanwhile Robby threw out his back and is trying to avoid putting any more strain on it. No roller coasters for us old folks.

My mom seems to have gotten some sort of stomach flu. I had to go over there on Thursday with some Popsicles because she couldn't keep anything else down. Now she's worried I'm going to get sick right before our trip, but I don't think I caught it.

(no subject)

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 09:42 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] redroanchronicles!

Book Log!

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 09:23 pm
scaramouche: Bruce Boxleitner as Alan from Tron (tron: alan is a nerd)
[personal profile] scaramouche
I picked up Nigel Jones's Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London from the gift shop at said Tower during my last trip with my cousins, and it's been a rolicking fun read.

A little over half the book is rehashing English history as is familiar to me but from the Tower's POV, while the other half is stuff that is brand-spanking new to me, such as fuller details of the initial design of the Tower and its additions over the years, fuller details about the animals that were kept there (though admittedly I had to skip a few paragraphs here and there), plus the very fascinating history of the Royal Mint with bonus Sir Isaac Newton as the Very Serious Warden of the Mint who went on marvelous adventures trying to apprehend his personal Moriarty i.e. William Chaloner. I also really like the section on escapes and attempted thefts made in the Tower.

In the early and closing chapters, the book goes back and forth in its timeline based on the topic at hand, but the central section goes pretty much chronologically from king to king to queen and so on. I think one of the more interesting bits about following the Tower's history chronologically is seeing in fuller context the development of the Tower's reputations as a bloody and terrifying place. To use a comparison, in biographies of singular persons I've read, the Tower is only mentioned as either not having that reputation yet, or already having that reputation. But how did that reputation itself develop? Which is where this book's timeline comes in and becomes absolutely, perfectly clear how it happened. I mean, it's one thing to "know" that it's Henry VIII's bloodlust that brought that reputation about, but another to have that bloodlust compared with the actual earlier warfare that happened in London through the Angevin period and the Cousins War, and see that for all of the death and war and mayhem that happened in pre-Tudor times, it was still nothing compared to what Henry VIII did within the compound of the Tower of London.

I like to say that the city of London is massively haunted already but... the Tower of London is really, really, really haunted, y'all.

Culture Consumed Saturday

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 09:04 pm
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
OKAY, SO. My brain has been doing things, and not good things, so it's been 7 weeks since I last updated this, and I'm getting into one of those ruts where I can't talk about new stuff because I haven't talked about the old stuff, and it's all getting confusing. SO, I'm just going to make a list, and if you guys want to talk about one of the things, you can comment.

Books

Finished Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon's Gender Failure. (memoir/book version of a show by two non-binary performers, about being non-binary.)

Finished Martha Wells' All Systems Red. (science fiction novella. MURDERBOT.)

Finished Rose Lemberg et al's Alphabet of Embers (anthology of SFF short stories with illustrations)

Finished Kate Elliot's Black Wolves. (fantasy novel)

Started Kameron Hurley's The Stars Are Legion. (science fiction. living ships, body horror, pregnancy, cannibalism, women (principally defined here as "people who menstruate and give birth",) very good if you can cope with etc)

Started Audre Lord's Sister Outsider, have so far just read the Russia chapter. (feminism and anti-racism and memoir, essays.)

Started Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems. (poetry, some of it very good and some of it well-intentioned but INCREDIBLY ill-considered.)

Comics

Started reading Arthur Horner's Colonel Pewter (1950s Australian serialised comic about the adventures of an eccentric retired military gentleman and his grand-nephew and cat. And aliens. The edition I'm reading is a Lever Arch folder of strips my father cut out from the newspaper as they came out and stickytaped to the paper and filed.)

TV and Movies

Saw The Eagle Huntress in the cinema (documentary, sports, a girl and her giant eagle, highly recommended if you can cope with animal harm etc)

Watched DVD of Saving General Yang (2013 historical action film directed by Ronny Yu, based on the Generals of the Yang Family. Now have the terrible urge to dive further down this rabbithole and read/watch ALL THE THINGS about the Yang family. Am resisting.)

A few more B99 episodes. Met Kevin!

Started watching this BBC Watergate documentary (hattip to [personal profile] rydra_wong), am halfway through and enthralled

Music

Played David Teie's Music for Cats for Beatrice and Dorian. (album, music composed for the benefit of cats.) Dorian seemed uninterested. Beatrice sometimes turned her ears around slightly, and might have breathed a bit faster at some points. It made me sleepy, though.

Listened to Janelle Monáe's The Electric Lady. (album, science fiction, third installment of the Metropolis series. Yes, good, love.)

Re-listening to Rhapsody's Dawn of Victory. (album, Italian symphonic metal.) Love the music, would like to listen to some symphonic metal that is a) less of a cishet white nerdboy power fantasy, and b) specifically less rapey now please.

Games

Agreed to join a play-by-post Legend of the Five Rings game, because I haven't RPed in too long and a friend was starting one up.. Realised belatedly that I had NO IDEA what I was getting into, this is some graduate level roleplaying right here, there's over (in meta terms) over ten years of setting, and (in game terms) two millennia of setting, with complicated etiquette etc. Asked for and received GM's permission to join in later once I've disambiguated my arse and my elbow a little more. Am sloooowly reading the handbook and trying to find my bearings.

Have mostly kicked the Stardew Valley habit. Dipped into the Kittens Game briefly for the first time in over a year, then returned to my senses.

Podcasts

Caught up on The Strange Case of Starship Iris (SF series) and The Hidden Almanac (fantasy series) and listening as they come out now.

Listened to a few episodes of Glittership (audio versions of queer SFF short stories)

Really enjoying One From The Vaults at the moment (trans history), still listening in order and not caught up yet.

Re-listening to a lot of old Jay and Miles X-Plain The X-Men (comics recaps) and Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap (drunken reviews of convenience foods) for comfort while falling asleep.

Crafts

Made a dinosaur toothbrush-holder, as seen in a lot of different crafts and/or autism pinterests and blogs. This just involves buying a $3 plastic dinosaur from KMart, and cutting a hole in its back, just large enough to poke the end of a toothbrush into. That's it, that's all that's involved. Tried making a harness for the dinosaur to hold the toothpaste as well, but this just looked sloppy, so I ended up cutting another hole for the toothpaste. This looks less neat than the toothbrush hole, but is at least functional.

Make a notebook.

Garden

Basil everywhere. Capsicums growing. I should be planting kale and daffodil bulbs right the fuck now, but have not gotten up the energy yet.

Other

I made breakfast for tumblr. You're welcome?

Cats

The Douchecat Combined Armed Forces chiefs of staff have moved into their winter headquarters, the chair with the heating pad on it. It's nice to have a warm base on which to smack each other.

Also tried out the toilet paper tube method of cat enrichment. It does seem to be making them eat slower, and may or may not be enhancing their enjoyment of dinner.

More popcorn

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 11:22 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
First, Mother Jones have put together a handy timeline, which they promise to keep updating:

Mother Jones: The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal

And the Guardian have a helpful guide to the multiple different investigations going on:

The investigations swirling around Donald Trump – a short guide

***********

So, lately:

NYT: At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls — from the 16th, which is practically decades ago in our new accelerated reality, but still fun:

Some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers fear leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn.

It’s been widely rumoured/speculated that the White House "significant person of interest" is Jared Kushner:

Vox: It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jared Kushner is part of Trump’s Russia problem

(Via [personal profile] robynbender, this: https://twitter.com/bornmiserable/status/865695064722251776 Once this has been pointed out, it's hard to stop noticing it.)

Raw Story: White House looking at ethics rule to weaken special investigation: sources

The two people this could potentially block investigation into are Kushner and Manafort.

This also suggests it’s Kushner:

NBC News: Jared Kushner Under Scrutiny in Russia Probe, Officials Say

And late on Friday, we enter holy shit territory once more:

WaPo: Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

Cut for length )

Daily Happiness

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 02:01 am
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I posted two chapters of manga! And I have three more that will for sure be ready before the end of the month.

2. We saw the Dodgers play the Cubs tonight. Carla is a Cubs fan, so for her birthday her aunt got her tickets to the game. Unfortunately for her, the Cubs lost, but I'm...well, I feel odd saying I'm a Dodgers fan, but I have lived here for forty years and have a sense of the Dodgers being "my team" so I was rooting for them. :) It was really weird, though. Is there usually no announcer? I've only been to a baseball game twice in my life and both were so long ago I don't remember anything, but it just seemed weird that it was so silent. There was an announcement for the players' names, but no one calling out the plays and so sometimes the game had started up again without me even realizing. It was fun, though.

3. Molly just loves being able to get up on the top shelf now. So high!

Beauty: the best budget eye shadows | Sali Hughes

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] sali_hughes_feed

Posted by Sali Hughes

Once upon a time, cheap shadows were where a humble makeup budget could come undone. No more, though. Here are three of my favourite cut-price palettes

I have spent one of my more satisfying working weeks playing with high-street palettes. Satisfying, because budget makeup is now often of such excellent quality that I can barely spot the difference between posh and pish. You could always respectably scrimp on pencils, mascara and blusher (where a subtle wash of colour is ideal), but eyeshadow (which requires denser pigment and easy blending between multiple shades) was previously where you got exactly what you paid for. Cheaper shadows tended to have less colour payoff, dry, talcy textures that either blended into one generic, dishwater hue, or sat tight, refusing to soften and blend at all.

Technology and lower production costs, however, have now changed budget shadows beyond recognition. There are some great examples within the remarkable Elf brand. This multi-award-winning US favourite was slow to get here, but well worth the wait, even if price points are a little higher than they are across the Atlantic, where some products from the vast line sell for a buck a pop. Eye Shadow Palette in Necessary Nudes (£7.50, Superdrug) comprises five suit-everyone neutral shadows: two matte, two shimmer and one satin base colour. This rare mix of finishes is ideal, because all matte and blending is a pain, the finish is flat. All shimmer, one loses boldness and definition between colours and gains it on eye wrinkles. Just a couple of the Elf shades work well for day and provide a good canvas for layering on darker, shinier shadows for evening (not that I always feel like waiting).

Related: Beauty: sunscreens for oily skin

Continue reading...

Random Doctor Who Picture:City of Death

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 08:11 am
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat
One of my all time favourite Doctor Who stories.



The Doctor and Romana in Paris

Scanlations: Musume no Iede ch. 14

Friday, May 26th, 2017 10:54 pm
torachan: (musume no iede)
[personal profile] torachan


Title: Musume no Iede
Original Title: 娘の家出 (Musume no Iede)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Jump X
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 6 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + muge
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: When Mayuko's mom announces she's getting remarried, Mayuko runs away to live with her dad and his boyfriend. This heartwarming slice-of-life series follows Mayuko and her family and friends as their stories interweave.

Chapter Summary: When Mayuko and her friends run into Daiki and his friend Kenta out shopping, Niina falls for Kenta, but is their relationship doomed from the start?



Chapter 14: Boy, Girl

Worn Out

Friday, May 26th, 2017 07:39 pm
rebelsheart: a wolf, laying down (laying down)
[personal profile] rebelsheart
My manager's last day was St. Patrick's Day - this was planned, though there was only a week's notice. The departure of my fellow contractor that day was not planned, nor his idea.

I spent the next week being solo primary coverage for roughly 250-300 users.

I got a new coworker (contractor) on March 27. At the end of that week, the rumor mill indicated the woman I'd been brought on board to cover for in May 2016 while she was out for an unknown period of time due to a medical issue related to a car accident would be returning. She did so on June 5, as our director - the only full-time IT person left in the state - was travelling for work until then. The returning FTE worked 2 hours aday for her first two weeks, adding two hours a day every two weeks, until returning to 8 hour days last week.

Upon her return, there was understandable concern about the longevity of employment of the new contractor - the job had been done by two field agents and their manager for years without issue. There was also a general consensus that had we had warning of the FTE's return, another contractor would probably have not been brought in.

We are currently very grateful to have 3 of us. Since the FTE's return (back when she was on limited hours), there have only been 3 weeks where I did not work OT and those were due to an illness, an interview, and weather. Had I not lost time those weeks, I would have likely had OT then as well. I had 43 hours this week, and I left 2 hours early today thanks to the holiday weekend.

I'm okay with occasional overtime, but right now three of us can't keep up and we're all wearing thin. Worse, I feel like the FTE and I are wearing thin with the other contractor because he's not where I was after 2 months.

Work is wearing me out, and it's eating into my already limited social life. I've been tempted to go to bed for 30 minutes now... and it's not quite 7:45 PM.

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