(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:47 pm
lycomingst: (persuasion)
[personal profile] lycomingst
Netflix The Martian )

Cat with thyroid condition made one more trip to the vet. Upping the medicine a little seems to have worked but he developed some sort of rash on his forehead. The vet said that she read that the stuff he’s taking could cause that but wow, she said, I’ve never seen it before. She was impressed. The rash seems scabbed over and fading so maybe that cat is done for a year or so. There’s still another to terrorize by taking it to the vet.

I made rolls using mashed potatoes, rolls and bread because you’re supposed to make the rolls in muffins tins but I only have one so I put the rest of the dough in a bread pan. First time making that recipe or any with potatoes and I declare them tasty.

Not so much for the sort of pancakes baked in the oven made with mashed potatoes. They were the trigger to start the whole potato festival but I tried to half the recipe and things went terribly, terribly wrong. I should have stuck with my mother’s putting an egg and some breadcrumbs in the mash and frying them up . Not gone with uppity ideas.

PBS is playing silly buggers with Dickensian. They showed one episode weeks ago, then nothing for a while, then showed several for two weeks (beginning with the first epi again) now nothing for two more weeks. Just like they’re CBS or ABC.

Also, the Republicans in Congress again want me dead.

Flist Visit!

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:19 pm
alisanne: (Default)
[personal profile] alisanne
So I (sadly) just said goodbye to [personal profile] lq_traintracks, who came up for the day to visit.
Alas, we had plans to write porn something (maybe do a Word War™ or two), but instead we drank margaritas, talked politics (hence why we needed alcohol), ate cake (OMG, she brought the most delicious tiramisu, chocolate mouse, AND carrot cake from a French bakery), ate taquitos, and we even watched Blink.

It was such fun and I already miss her. <3

We even made tentative plans for another meet up (this time possibly with [personal profile] sdk!) in December around the holidays!


And even though we didn't manage to write, I am working on a little something, so we'll see. I may be posting it soon. ;)
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
R: [chess partner] lost one of my black bishops from the chess set last weekend.

Sam: You should go to the thrift store and find something cool to replace it with! That’s how you get a really unique chess set.

R: So you’re saying his mistake became….a mistakapportunity? 

Sam: Of the millions of words that I thought you might say when you paused, mistakapportunity didn’t even make the list.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2y0YuXL

September 24: Last full day in Japan

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:04 am
blatherskite: (Default)
[personal profile] blatherskite
Today was a day for winding down and easing our way back into post-vacation life. As a result, we planned to take it easy and just do a few things, while still putting in our daily miles. After all, we're going to be spending 16 hours on airplanes tomorrow and we've consumed a lot of delicious calories during the past couple weeks..

Given the trouble we'd had finding places that were open for breakfast and that also provided Japanese-style breakfast rather than imitation Western food, we decided to try out the hotel's buffet. It proved to be a really good choice: the hot table included broiled fish, chicken scrambled in egg, sweetened omelettes, French fries, a stir fry of mushrooms and tofu, plus a tureen of miso soup. For the cold table, there were three types of sweet pickles, nori (seaweed), seaweed salad, and two types of fruit salad. Also some white bread products that we both ignored. Last but not least, all the coffee one could want.

Suitably stuffed, we headed upstairs for an e-mail check, then headed out on our day. First stop was at the Shitamachi Museum, at the end of Ueno park nearest the train station. Outside the museum, two young women were playing modern music, ranging from folksy to rocky, on a traditional Japanese three-stringed instrument, the s(h)amisen. We stayed to watch them for several songs, and they were good. The instrument seems to be played like a cross between a slide guitar and a fret-less banjo. One one finger of her uppermost hand, the one near the neck of the instrument, the musician uses a ring on one finger to slide up and down the strings to control their length and both the note and how it quavers, while her other fingers pluck the strings. Down at the body end of the instrument, she also plucked strings. But rather than using a pick or a tough fingernail, she uses something that looked rather like a hairbrush, presumably with a pick on its underside. (Just looked it up: it's called a "plectrum".) Interesting fusion of old and new!

The museum provides an excellent reconstruction of the state of Tokyo at the turn of the last century, for the periods spanning the decades before and after the 1923 earthquake and subsequent fire that killed more than 100 thousand people and destroyed large parts of Tokyo. (The fires were worse than they otherwise might have been because the quake struck at lunch, when most people had kindled fires to cook their lunch.) We were met by a charming volunteer, who took us through the reconstruction, telling us many details of daily life of the time. (Including useful things you never hear about in most tours or histories, such as the toilet and kitchen locations, and the fact that the people of the time had developed a handy hand wash station outside the toilet: a bucket filled with water and suspended at head height, with a hole in the bottom stoppered by a small stick. Poke the stick upward, and water flows down from the bucket so you can wash your hands. Pull it down when you're done to close the hole and retain the remaining water.

The only real drawback of the museum is that our guide had to remain on the first floor to help other English visitors, and most of the upstairs exhibit space, which showed Tokyo's reconstruction during the next half century, was not translated.

From the museum, we wandered over to the lake that takes up a substantial portion of the southwestern end of Ueno Park. It's filled with lotus plants, which rise out of the water to nearly head height, and stretch several hundred feet to the far side of the lake, where there's a pleasant pagoda. At the southern end, there's enough open water for small fish, a few larger fish, and a fleet of turtles. We watched them for a while, as they've clearly learned to hang out in hope of handouts. There were at least two species of turtle, include the red-eared turtle familiar to most North Americans as a childhood pet. Some of these guys had been around quite a while; they were nearly a foot across.

For lunch, we went to a brewpub that made or sold a variety of Tokyo craft beers. Unfortunately, they were out of the imperial stout and "real ale" that we'd been hoping to try, but their YoHo Ale and summer orange ale (a typical red) were both good, and went well with a savoury bowl of soba noodles and chunks of roast duck.

From there, we headed over to the Ameyoko shopping arcade right next to Ueno station (indeed, it runs under the tracks in places), both to graze on anything that looked interesting and just see all the weird stuff people sold. Plus, people watching, as it was Sunday, and everyone plus their cousins was out for a stroll.. The Japanese don't seem to be big on eating out for breakfast, but are big on lunch and dinner in restaurants, particularly when combined with shopping, so the arcade was packed with people. There's an amazing amount of stuff for sale, from high-end clothing to cheap tat, not to mention a bewildering variety of food—ranging from the expected sweet shops and stalls selling skewers of fresh-cut fruit to fish markets. Interestingly, several shawarma restaurants, which were also selling hand-churned Turkish ice cream. We sampled some dry fruits, shared a green tea ice cream, and shared a chewy fish-shaped cookie (taiyaki) covered in caramelized sugar, possibly with some maple in it.

We lasted until about 3 before the noise and fuss wore us out, and headed back to the hotel to put our feet up and recuperate before dinner. After a bit of research, we found a tempura place about 20 minutes from the hotel that looked promising. We've been using Google Maps on Shoshanna's phone to navigate when a location wasn't perfectly clear, and though it got us to the okonomi place the previous night, it led us a bit astray tonight. We did eventually find tempura place, but the restaurant reviews neglected to mention that it only sold shrimp and prawn tempura—not at all my thing. But they did have a few other dishes, of which I selected a bowl of sweet pickles (cabbage, cucumber, turnip, daikon, and onion) and a big plate of eggplant sautéed in a thick black sauce similar to, but better than, hoisin sauce. Since they offered a new beer we hadn't seen before, we tried it: Asaha Extra Dry Black. Not my favourite black beer, but a nice change from the lagers et al. that we've been having most of the time.

We wandered home through a busy shopping area, still packed with people at 8 PM, though less crowded than earlier, with brief stops to explore a local supermarket, restock our dwindling chocolate supply, and get an ice cream for dessert.

Tomorrow is our last day in Japan, and we really only have the morning. We'll wander over to a local crafts museum, possibly check out a shopping area that specializes in cooking supplies, and maybe wander through Ueno park. Probably have one last meal before shouldering our packs and heading to the airport for our flight home. Stay tuned!
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2fiWdfg on September 24, 2017 at 03:00PM

Mexico City Rocked by 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake, Weeks After Devastating Temblor:

Donate: http://ift.tt/2fj5VOD

Please take time this Sunday to donate to help our neighbors recover from the devastating earthquakes and hurricanes.  This charity has a 4 star rating and spends its money on the ground. And if you cannot spare any funds, please reshare.

This will be 1 of several organizations I will highlight today.

Tags:not a reblog, charity, DWCrosspost, giving

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)

When Will ‘They’ Ever Learn?

Sep. 24th, 2017 10:32 pm
[syndicated profile] linguafranca_feed

Posted by Ben Yagoda


By now Lingua Franca readers should know the position of Lingua Franca bloggers on the OK-ness of singular they, otherwise known as the epicene pronoun. (“Everyone who wants to go to the party should wear their best clothes.”) Anne Curzan, Lucy Ferris, Geoff Pullum, and I have all laid out why we think the usage is grammatical, nonambiguous, unclumsy, generally better than such alternatives as he, she, or he or she (much less s/he!), and possessed of an impressive literary pedigree. It’s already widely used in writing in Britain and Ireland, and in American speech as well. But not yet in U.S. published writing. For that to happen, American editors and usage guides will need to step up to the plate and endorse singular they.

And they are starting to, albeit in a two-steps-forward-one-step-back manner. In 2015, Bill Walsh — the widely liked and admired Washington Post copy editor, now deceased — wrote in a memo to the Post newsroom:

It is usually possible, and preferable, to recast sentences as plural to avoid both the sexist and antiquated universal default to male pronouns and the awkward use of “he or she,” “him or her” and the like: “All students must complete their homework,” not “Each student must complete his or her homework.”

When such a rewrite is impossible or hopelessly awkward, however, what is known as “the singular they” is permissible: “Everyone has their own opinion about the traditional grammar rule.” The singular “they” is also useful in references to people who identify as neither male nor female.

“Permissible” is better than nothing. In 2017, the AP Stylebook likewise gave in a bit, though more grudgingly than Walsh (emphasis added):

They, them, their In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the antecedent: “The children love the books their uncle gave them.” They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy. However, rewording usually is possible and always is preferable. Clarity is a top priority; gender-neutral use of a singular they is unfamiliar to many readers.…

In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, whenever possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun. Be sure that the phrasing does not imply more than one person.

The big get in publishing, as opposed to newspapers, is The Chicago Manual of Style. Way back in 1993, the 14th edition of CMOS took a striking and valiant stand: “The University of Chicago Press recommends the ‘revival’ of the singular use of they and their”; noted was the “venerable use by such writers as Addison, Austen, Chesterfield, Fielding, Ruskin, Scott, and Shakespeare.” But in the next edition that got dialed back — way back: “… it is unacceptable to a great many readers … to use they as a singular pronoun.” (The “many readers” language reminds me a bit of Donald Trump’s “A lot of people are saying … ” trope.) The16th edition stood pat, in the passive voice: “… it is still considered ungrammatical in formal writing.”

The 17th edition of CMOS, all 1,144 pages of it, was published this month. Perhaps I was alone in immediately looking for what it had to say about singular they; perhaps not. In any case, here’s the relevant passage:

5.48 … While this usage is accepted [in speech and informal writing], it is only lately showing signs of gaining acceptance in formal writing, where Chicago recommends avoiding its use. When referring specifically to a person who does not identify with a gender-specific pronoun, however, they and its forms are often preferred. … In general a person’s stated preference for a specific pronoun should be respected.

The last two sentences, on people who do not “identify with a gender-specific pronoun,” are interesting. They echo similar language from the Associated Press and Washington Post and suggest to me that when singular they finally succeeds in “gaining acceptance in formal writing,” as it surely eventually will, it will be through this back door. That is, individuals who justifiably demand to be referred to as they will pave the way for its wider use as a singular pronoun.

Time will tell — and, as our camp has no choice but to play the long game, we can wait.

Meanwhile, I see the CMOS 17 ed. says, “The adverbs too and either used in the sense of ‘also’ generally need not be preceded by a comma.”

No comma before too, or either, either?? That outrage will not stand.

Fitbit goal check

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:19 pm

Part 4. Page 16

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:38 pm
[syndicated profile] hades_holiday_feed

Seems like Zeus just can't be fooled huh The new page is up on my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/hadesholiday); with just $1, you can become a patron and get early access to the pages, and help me keep Hades' Holiday updating :)

edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Today is NFE reveal day! I wrote An Outstretched Hand for [archiveofourown.org profile] redsnake05.


An Outstretched Hand: The giants came in the summer of the seventh year, in the long golden days between planting and harvest, when the people of Narnia worked to lay the bones of their new land: roads and wells, fords and harbors, and towers along the borders for they knew that an Evil walked abroad and their protection would not last forever. (1,825 words)


[archiveofourown.org profile] redsnake05 asked for a story about Frank, Helen, and/or Fledge, either in England or in the early years of Narnia, and for once I managed to fill a prompt pretty much exactly as intended. *wry*

You can tell this is my work because it's mostly about worldbuilding, and also all the OCs are female. It also fits neatly into my established timeline about Jadis's actions between MN and LWW, wherein she starts by going north and messing about with various tribes/clans of giants she finds there.

Joyous Gard is a bit of headcanon that I don't think ever made it into any of my stories before. To summarize, I am a little ambivalent about Cair Paravel. See, I sort of loosely headcanon Narnia as being a semi-sentient extension of the Deep Magic, and the four thrones at Cair Paravel are a manifestation of that magic. I am less sure if the castle itself is entirely a magical creation, though I am sure parts of it were not built entirely naturally. (I have a partially-written story exploring some of that, which has stalled out mostly because I need to solidify the worldbuilding before I can write the actual people-doing-stuff elements.) Anyway, whatever Cair Paravel's exact origins, I figure Frank and Helen's castle was somewhere else, probably inland, closer to the geographic center of Narnia. And I further figure they named it after a famous magical castle from England, because why not.

Also Joyous Gard is just a really great name and I steal really great names when I can. :)

Anyway, I wanted this story to be a little longer, and maybe get into some of the actual negotiations for the giants' settlement in Narnia, and a discussion of Helen and Frank's desire for children, and some more of Frank and Helen's personal history with England's wars and colonial empire and stuff, but, you know, depression. *sigh* So it's shorter and brighter than it might otherwise have been, but I don't know if that's necessarily a bad thing or just a difference between intention and result. There is, after all, just as much need for hope and light as for explorations of shadow.

And nothing says I can't write more about this area some other day...
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Remix reveal day! I wrote Turn the Page (Don't Fear the Ending) for [personal profile] gramarye.


Turn the Page (Don't Fear the Ending): Sometimes, when a storyteller tries to wring every last drop of Stories out of themself before ever coming to an ending, the storyteller is not the only one squeezed dry. (1,500 words, remixed from The Monster at the End of This Book, by [archiveofourown.org profile] Gramarye)


So, funny story: in 2015, I adjusted my "willing to write" choices near the end of the Remix Redux signup period so as to match fandoms that currently had no offers. And because of that, I got matched to Gramarye. I did the same thing this time, for the same fandom (Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising sequence), and had a feeling this might end up generating the same match.

I was right. *wry*

I wanted to try doing something different this time, though, so while I dug up the couple drabbles I'd marked as potential remixes (but not wound up using) the last time around, I also poked through the rest of Gramarye's archive to see if we had any other fandoms in common. The answer, mostly, is no... except for a couple one-offs. And one of those was "The Monster at the End of This Book," a gorgeous Yuletide fic for Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

My remix does not have anything to do with Gramarye's story on a plot level. Instead, what I ended up doing was taking a couple of key lines and writing something completely different based around those themes: the power of storytelling, the importance of endings, and how those are both vital and dangerous channels of power and control.

I also continued what has become a bit of an accidental pattern that might be described as "taking your story and making it about women," which I swear to god is not intended in any way as criticism of the stories I keep doing it to. I just have some issues that keep expressing themselves through this particular outlet. *hands* And also Rushdie's treatment of Soraya Khalifa has always annoyed me -- it is a slightly flat/sour note in an otherwise wonderful gem of a book -- so I wanted to give her control of her own story and see what happened.

Random trivia note: I gave Soraya the maiden name of Khan both because it's a Muslim-associated name rather than a Hindu one (to go with the Khalifas' general theme), and because khans arguably outrank caliphs, or at the very least are temporally equal. So that is symbolically important and was absolutely on purpose. :)

Remix Revival Reveals

Sep. 24th, 2017 03:47 pm
gramarye1971: white teacup of green tea with wooden chopsticks (Tea and Chopsticks)
[personal profile] gramarye1971
For the [community profile] remixrevival exchange, I was matched with [archiveofourown.org profile] makiyakinabe, and ended up going a little outside of my comfort zone to remix an AU I've never tried to write before: a daemon (His Dark Materials) AU of the World War II espionage anime Joker Game. The original fic, tools of the trade, put an interesting spin on the concept, so I kept the basic plot structure and made some tweaks to reinterpret the concept for a non-Christian culture. The result came out as Tsukumogami (The Subtle Knife Remix), and though I had to rework the ending a few times before I was completely satisfied with it, I think this idea turned out well.

In turn, I very much enjoyed the remix written from my own story -- Turn the Page (Don't Fear the Ending) by the always-delightful [personal profile] edenfalling! Based on The Monster at the End of This Book, a missing-scene fic for Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories, the remix does an excellent job of presenting one of the important implicit themes in the book, about the choices that people (and women in particular) make when they feel that they aren't in control of their own stories. I highly recommend both the original book and this fic!
[syndicated profile] unfuckurhabitat_feed


today i focused my efforts on unfucking a few surfaces that are immediately visible when you walk through the house. a couple relatives were stopping by and it made me feel much better about the place.

Drabble: Reciprocation

Sep. 24th, 2017 03:19 pm
alisanne: (HD bring it)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Reciprocation
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Rating: PG
Word count: 100 x 2
Characters/pairings: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy.
Challenge: Written for [community profile] dracoharry100/[livejournal.com profile] dracoharry100's prompt 498: Subtract.
This is part 80 of my H/D Auror Series (LJ/IJ/DW).
It starts at part one: The Beginning (LJ/IJ/DW).
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and emynn.
Authors Notes: They talk.

Reciprocation )
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
I dreamed I was in Providence last night, visiting friends who don't exist in waking life. There was no particular occasion—I hadn't seen them in months, NecronomiCon notwithstanding. I had brought one of them a ring I had found in a thrift store in Boston. It looked like heavy gold with a blurred device on the signet and chips of emerald down the band; I thought it was costume jewelry. It had been priced accordingly. The girl at the register hadn't been able to tell me where it came from. I almost tossed it to my friend as we walked through Burnside Park, telling him it had looked like his style. He didn't even put it on: he turned it over once or twice and dropped onto the nearest bench like someone had kicked his feet out from under him and burst into tears. I thought at one point he said, "How could you do this to me?" but I didn't have an answer and I wasn't sure he was asking me. When he left without looking at me, he left the ring resting on the bench behind him. I put it back in my pocket. I went back to their house. He was there helping his partner prepare dinner; no one said anything about it. I can do something with this dream, I think. [personal profile] spatch asked me months ago if I had ever written Lovecraftian noir and I couldn't think of a way to do it without being cheap or clichéd or ripping other authors off: I might have dreamed myself a way in. I just wish I could think of things that don't require research.

1. Thank you, question mark, Facebook, for pointing me toward this teeth-grinding article: Zoe Willams, "Yes, yes, yes! Welcome to the golden age of slutty cinema." I was a little wary of the opening, but then we reached the following claim—

"On the big screen, we look to the 1930s and 40s – rightly – for an object lesson in how to make a female character with depth, verve, wit and intelligence, but to expect those women to shag around would be unreasonable, anachronistic."

—and I blew a fuse. Can I chase after the author screaming with a copy of Baby Face (1933)? Or the bookstore clerk from The Big Sleep (1946)? Pre-Code cinema in general? A stubborn and sneaky percentage of Hollywood even after the ascendance of the Production Code? "It is a radical act," William writes, "which every film generation thinks they are the first to discover: to create characters who are not good people"—well, apparently every generation of film critics thinks they discovered it, too. I wrote on Facebook that I was reminded of the conversation between an ATS driver and her prospective mother-in-law in Leslie Howard's The Gentle Sex (1943), where the younger woman declares proudly that "for the first time in English history, women are fighting side by side with the men" and the older woman quietly lets fall the fact that she served as an ambulance driver on the front lines of the last war. Just because the young women of the rising generation don't know about the social advances of their mothers doesn't mean they didn't happen. Just because the author of this article lives in a retrograde era doesn't mean the onscreen representation of morally ambiguous women is some kind of millenial invention. It's so easy to think that the past was always more conservative, more blinkered, more backwards than the present. It's comforting. It's dangerous. It permits the belief that things just get better, magically, automatically, without anyone having to fight to move forward or hold ground already won. Once you recognize that the past, even briefly, got here first, it's a lot harder to feel superior for just being alive now. We can't afford it and anyway it isn't true.

2. Apropos of nothing except that I was listening to Flanders and Swann, I am very glad that I discovered them before reading Margery Allingham, otherwise I might have thought she invented "The Youth of the Heart." It's quoted in a scene in The Beckoning Lady (1955)—correctly attributed, but her books are so full of fictional artists and musicians that when I read of "Lili Ricki, the new Swedish Nightingale, singing Sydney Carter's lovely song against a lightening sky," I might have easily had the Avocado of Death problem and assumed she made them all up. As it is, I know the song from a recording of Swann performing it solo as part of At the Drop of a Hat in 1957, since he wrote the music. And I was reminded of Allingham because there's a copy of Traitor's Purse (1941) on Howard's bookshelves in Howard the Duck (1986). I assume someone in the props department was a fan.

3. The Somerville Theatre has announced its repertory schedule for October. I am sad that the double feature of James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is the same night that [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and I already have plans to see William Wellman's Beggars of Life (1928) at the HFA, but I am looking forward mightily to the triple feature of Psycho (1960), Psycho II (1983), and Psycho III (1986), because it is the Sunday before my birthday and five and a half hours of Anthony Perkins seems like a good preemptive birthday present to me. I have never seen Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963), either, or Anna Biller's The Love Witch (2016), and I always like Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead (2004). I know Brad Anderson's Session 9 (2001) was shot at the derelict Danvers State Hospital before it was demolished for condos, a decision which I hope is literally haunting the developers to this day. Anyone with opinions about the rest of this lineup?

I am off to write letters to politicians.
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2wQ7lXl on September 24, 2017 at 12:00PM

Caribbean Hurricane Maria & Irma Relief Fund:

Please take time this Sunday to donate to help our neighbors recover from Hurricane Maria and Irma. This charity has a 4 star rating and spends its money on the ground. And if you cannot spare any funds, please reshare.

This will be 1 of several organizations I will highlight today.

Tags:not a reblog, charity, giving, DWCrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)


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