caught up on WtNV

Oct. 21st, 2014 10:07 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
And the only thing I have to say is that I haven't made tiramisu in a very long time and should maybe think about scaling that recipe down (since Chad is the only one who eats it) and giving it a go sometime.

(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2014 09:36 pm
[personal profile] khronos_keeper
 Today I spent 6 hours on campus, 3 of which were spent guzzling a medium sized coffee covertly in the library, while poring over an obstruse French text entitled "Sciences Occultes" and getting the chills over the root word of how the Indo-European "Dieu/Dei" came from the Indian word "divas/dewas", which actually meant "demon".


Then I went to Walmart and spent entirely too much money on candy.

In the past 12 hours I have consumed 5 strawberry fruit chews and some suspect weird candy gel out of a test tube, and the accompanying gummy frog. Oh and a small pack of Korean seaweed. 

I am not sure if I want to go to class tomorrow, because I don't think I can cope with a repeat performance of this. I'm still sicker than I thought, and I know that I do not have the energy to truck my ass a mile to maybe miss the bus.

<3 <3 <3

Oct. 21st, 2014 09:05 pm
kass: Clara hugs Twelve. (doctor-hug)
[personal profile] kass
Peter Capaldi narrates, and stars in, a five-minute short film about surrealism.

Read all about it (the film is embedded there too.)

Seriously, this is the most charming thing I've seen all week. ♥

Oh, show.

Oct. 21st, 2014 08:41 pm
kass: Twelve and Clara hold hands (hands)
[personal profile] kass
My "hands" icon (on dw) has never been more appropriate!

[personal profile] sanj and I just watched "Flatline," the latest ep of Doctor Who S8.

And I found many things to love. )

Anyway. The episode filled me with glee. How about you?

Two more nights

Oct. 21st, 2014 04:59 pm
yvi: Daniel Jackson, text:"Fearless" (Stargate - Fearless Daniel)
[personal profile] yvi
The holiday is close to over. I am currently at the Grand Canyon, tomorrow we'll drive to Las Vegas and leave for the airport in the morning. Hopefully, Condor will not continue its strike...

Seattle and San Francisco were great, Redwood was stunning, as were Kings Canyon/Sequoia and Joshua Tree. The Red Rock Canyon State Park was really nice, especially for such a small area.

I must say, though, that I was underwhelmed by both Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Both were very "touristy" and with Yosemite we could really only see the Valley, which is stunning, but somehow my expectations were really high. And the Grand Canyon is beautiful and stunning and spectacular, but unless you can actually hike down it sort of feels like viewing a pretty picture, maybe? And way, way too touristy. We hiked a bit and that was nice, but nothing compared to hiking at Redwood or Joshua Tree.

Is this completely strange? Am I the only person not spiritually transformed by seeing the Grand Canyon?
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
As a species, we are dedicated
to post hoc rationalisation:
the tidying away of inconvenient emotion
the reduction of the self
to an ordered
                     of steps.
If this, then that. Well, no:
everything happens for a reason.
The reason, though, does not come carved deep into stone
(every conceivable dictator
being characterised by sublime indifference):
but is rather what you make of it.
This is what it means to tell the story of your life:
to take your whys and somehow give them form.
This is the solid ground of poetry:
two roads diverged; think, two things, both at once:
and every meaning you create is true
or true enough for now. Is this about...?

Yes. Yes, it is.

If only for this moment, we
are mirrored mirror twins.
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I first “met” Changing of the SunLesley Smith a year and a half ago, while looking for beta readers for a short story. Lesley is also an author herself. Her book The Changing of the Sun came out this month, and she’s currently working on a Kickstarter for the second book in the series, The Parting of the Waters.

Her guest post is about disability in fiction, and about her own choices along those lines as a writer.


One of the great maxims told to newbie writers is ‘write what you know’. I’m never sure if that’s true, but it’s a good a place to start as any. To understand my writing, you need to know that I was born with a visual impairment caused from wanting to get into the world at twenty four weeks, rather than the usual forty. Too much oxygen left me with brain damage, Asperger’s and, most obviously, a visual disability. I’m blind in one eye and so short sighted in my left that I’m functionally useless outside without a long cane or my beloved guide dog, Unis.

When I started writing The Changing of the Sun, I’d just finished Camp NaNoWriMo and was itching to write anything but the project I’d put aside at fifty thousand words: an urban scifi about an alien priestess trying to solve a murder while an engineered plague began decimating London’s alien community.

I realised I couldn’t write this story before I’d set up the one which forged my protagonist, or at least her past selves and her civilisation. I knew the basics: an alien world devastated by a solar storm, an order of blind seers who ruled in wisdom and passed the mantle down through centuries, and great adversity tempered by common sense and the desire to survive the impossible. I started writing and the short story became a novella, then a proper novel. Just over a year and a Kickstarter later, I’ve just unleashed that novel on the world.

Key to the universe in which the Changing trilogy is set is disabled characters being more than just set pieces. There might be miracles, but curing disabilities isn’t one of them. Yes, the oracles have lost their vision, but like Odin and Tiresias, they’ve gained something in exchange. However, this doesn’t mean an easy ride. Far from it. Having a disability doesn’t give you an instant pass and the people aren’t there to be inspirational … they’re just trying to get through the day.

For example, the stereotype of a blind person is that they are a) totally blind and b) have heightened senses. This is rubbish. All is means is that most blind people have some useful vision and that we pay more attention; I have better hearing than you simply because I don’t have as much visual noise that prevents me focusing.

Saiara, the POV character, is blinded as part of a ritual gone wrong. She finds herself banished to a shabby tower where the blind oracles are kept locked away, too close to the divine to be allowed near the populace except on the high holy days. The powers don’t want them to be self-reliant or capable of surviving without servants, guards and being beholden to the High Chamberlain’s ‘compassion’. There’s the elderly Eirian, the former ruler of the planet, who is coming to the end of her life, and is just trying to keep their collapsing ordering intact so someone is left to lead even as she goes to her grave. She tries to teach every woman in her care how to go beyond their blindness, to find their way, to use their other senses, to regain power in a place which would rather they be powerless.

Back when I was writing Changing, I read an excellent post on this very blog and it made me decide that if there was one rule I was going to stick to, it was that if you lost a limb, nothing could restore it to you. You might lose your vision and gain the grace of knowledge, but you’d still be blind, still be lost in a world not designed to help you or make allowances for your disability. This makes the idea of an exodus north, though the desert with limited supplies and the thinning ranks of a sacred order of blind women, much more complicated.

One of the biggest scenes involves Jeiana, one of these alien beings incarnated as a Kashinai woman, having her writing hand amputated after a tiny scratch turns septic. She’s borrowed the body of a woman who drowned at the beginning of the book and has been slowly losing her sense of self, almost like a kind of dementia. When she collapses, her lover, the healer Senara, has to make the decision between Jeiana’s life and the infected limb.

The problem is, because Jeiana is slowly forgetting who she is, a side-effect of her corporeal state, she has been trying to write down all the secrets she has brought with her from beyond their little world. Losing her hand means she can’t record the words for posterity, and there comes a point where the fate of an entire planet relies on Senna’s decision. While Jeiana eventually gains an amanuensis, she is never able to write, and the loss of her hand forces her to have to relearn how to walk, how to move and live with a limb which stops just above her elbow, suffering phantom pain from the amputated limb that she doesn’t really remember losing.

I wanted to have empowered characters who accurately reflected my own view of the world. Jeiana, Saiara, Eirian, Lyse and the others are not there to be pitied. They might not always know the answers or have an easy ride but they’re stronger for every trial. They are not there to be tokens or to make up the numbers but to reflect that just as the world is full of people with disabilities, so alien worlds should have their share of differently abled individuals.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

No matter how bad things are...

Oct. 21st, 2014 11:24 pm
monanotlisa: (deep end)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
...I will always take pleasure in using this icon.

Greetings from Germany; I am alive. "Well" would be stretching it a little, but the visa interview could presumably have gone worse, because at the end the clerk told me I would receive my passport back "by Tuesday at the latest." Which would be excellent, for Wednesday just so happens to be the day scheduled for my flight back.

If this were Twitter, I would obviously hashtag this #phew.

Of course, then rode the ICE train to my home town, and the family situation is what it is. Cut to protect from terminal illness tales )

(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2014 05:29 pm
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue opens with this epigraph:

Call me Ishamel.

~Ishmael Reed, probably

It is one of the gutsiest, most stunning opening moves I've ever seen a novelist make. I couldn't get past it for about five minutes. I mean, preceding your own opening line with one of the boldest, most famous opening lines in the history of American literature is gutsy on its own. Your own opening line is guaranteed to be pedestrian in comparison.

Chabon's opening line, in fact, is "A white boy rode flatfoot on a skateboard, towed along, hand to shoulder, by a black boy pedaling a brakeless fixed gear-bike." As far as I can tell (I'm only 50 pages in), the boys are not characters in the novel, just scenery on the eponymous Avenue. Their relationship hints at Chabon's principal social theme: the tension of the push and pull between "black culture" and "white culture" in 21st century America. This opening passage, which lasts a mere half page before subsiding into the Brokeland Records storefront that houses the novel's primary characters, is like Steinbeck's turtle in The Grapes of Wrath: an ungrounded, ambiguous metaphor that creates a mood more than it states a thesis. And sure enough, it seems pedestrian, aimless, and unmotivated in comparison to the epigraph.

I don't know what "Call me Ishmael" means- In the comments to my post on.the opening chapters of Moby Dick, I suggest that on one level it's a callback to sailor Odysseus's introduction to Polyphemus: "Call me Nobody". Ishmael's presence in Moby Dick wavers between solidity and ephemerality as the narrative progresses, as uncertain within the novel as the idea that there is such a thing as Americanness for Ishmael to embody. Certainly Moby Dick's greatest claim to being the Great American Novel is that it is gloriously imperfect. We engage with Moby Dick by critiquing it thoughtfully, not by consuming it.

[And in particular, one major strain of Moby Dick's imperfection is Ishmael's relationship with the Southern Pacific islander harpooneer Queequeg. Ishmael endlessly exoticizes Queequeg, with a form of liberal paternalism that treats his every habit as evidence of his humorous primitivism. Or to put more simply, one of the glaring flaws in Moby Dick is that it is very, very racist. ]

So Chabon doesn't use "Call me Ishmael" as his opening line to celebrate Melville, or even necessarily to claim some sort of literary inheritance from Ishmael. He doesn't even attribute the line to Melville. There would be little point, since we all know the line belongs to Melville. Instead, he proposes a hypothetical (probable) retransmission by Ishmael Reed, a leading writer of the 1960s "Black Art" movement whose novels, like Telegraph Avenue, often speak of race and white/black tension in Berkeley, California. Further, Reed is a novelist whose novels, like Melville's, are messy hodgepodges of style and form, defiant shouts against the tyranny of genre. (I have read and reviewed three of Reed's novels for 50Books_POC)

I'll acknowledge the obvious joke in order to set it aside. Ishmael Reed has probably said "Call me Ishmael", Chabon is saying, since it is his name and in order to introduce himself to others it is likely he used the phrase or at minimum something similar. This is not Chabon's point, it's just his justification to use the line. In fact, the second level of the joke is that Chabon doesn't know for a fact that Reed has ever said the line, hedging himself with an absurd 'probably'. It's an advertisement of Chabon's inexpertise, that Chabon is a white dude writing about kyriarchy, so clueless that he doesn't even pretend to know what the novel's apparent patron saint is thinking.

Chabon is therefore going to write a novel digging deep into Ishmael Reed territory, but he's not going to do it with Reed's authority. Because authority is the major thing Reed's novels have going for them, authority is why Reed's novels are unsettling and powerful. Reed says things that are not easy to accept and he says them as if he expects everyone is already on the same page as him. It is not possible while following the trajectory of an Ishmael Reed novel to question the trajectory of an Ishmael Reed novel. He's moving too quickly , too surely, too confidently. That's how you can make your way through an entire novel about something called Louisiana Red without being entirely sure what Louisana Red is.

Telegraph Avenue is not going to be like that. Chabon's going to explain everything, contextualize everything, wallow in his context. He's going to take his time exploring his place and his theme. And yet still his novel will live in the shadow of Ishmael Reed, in the shadow of being a white dude writing about things he only knows from the privileged side.

And still his novel will live in the shadow of Herman Melville, because Chabon's been marked as a guy who might some day make a run at the Great American Novel since Kavalier and Clay, and Telegraph Avenue marks Chabon's most deliberate run at the title yet, though he seems ambivalent about the point. Perhaps the corner of Berkeley near the Oakland border, where he grew up, is Chabon's whaling- the thing he knows better than anything else, and is using to tell the biggest story he knows how.

It's certainly a big beginning.
eumelia: (determination & courage)
[personal profile] eumelia
Title: The World Is Turning to Noise
Author: [personal profile] eumelia/[ profile] eumelia/[ profile] Eumelia
Pairing/Characters: Steve/Danny
Rating: R/Mature
Spoilers: Episode 5.04 “Ka Noeʻau” (The Painter)
Word Count 1840
Warnings: Graphic description of decaying body
Disclaimer: This is a work of transformative fiction, created for fun and pleasure. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: The title comes from Peter Gabriel's superbly haunting song “Signal to Noise”. This work was graciously beta'd by [ profile] verasteine. Thank you, bb.
Summary: Steve puts a hand on his shoulder, squeezing before moving it up to cup Danny's jaw and face. “Don't look.”
Danny's breaths are loud, shallow, his shoulders shaking with each inhale. )

Tumblr crosspost
[personal profile] strangecharm
A mock-up of a magazine called Dad, made to look like women's magazines but with headlines like Which free hat with a logo on it works best with your look? and Are you using your backyard to its full potential?

Because the other day, after I talked to my mom about someone who's dying and shouldn't be, my dad just wanted to talk about power tools. I think he wants to get me some for Christmas.

My tummy has an owie

Oct. 21st, 2014 09:14 pm
andrewducker: (calvin dancing)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Six weeks ago I had my appointment with a dietician, who officially handed me a load of leaflets about the FODMAPs diet and told me to follow it.

Since that point I've been doing so, improving as I go along and learn the various things to watch out for (like, for instance, which places are using wheat in either their burgers or to coat their chips).

Today I realised that my next appointment was at exactly the same time as the only work meeting I have between now and Christmas that I just can't move. So I shifted it - and the next available appointment slot is in January.

And because I wasn't going to have to be checked out by the dietician for another 10 weeks, I decided to celebrate by not giving a fuck about food intolerances and eating whatever I liked for dinner. And had a delicious chicken in a white sauce with mushrooms, followed by dessert that included a lemon tart.

It was amazing.

And now I feel like I am full of tiny stabbing daggers all the way from my navel to my nipples.

So totally worth it though.

A better end to the day

Oct. 21st, 2014 08:32 pm
rmc28: (tony)
[personal profile] rmc28
Charles wasn't thrilled to see me when I picked him up today, but we got home, and we avoided the temptation of shopping while cross with each other, and then he helped me put the bins out.

Then we got food-for-children on the go, and I had some consolatory chocolate ovaltine, and Jonny helped me wrangle children while Tony made delicious filling beans+bacon with truly luxurious amounts of butter and garlic. Charles talked to me some more about Christmas cards, but this time when he wasn't hungry, and we came to mutual understanding and agreement, and there were lots of hugs.

Tony and I had beans and bacon, and a mutual-support-and-venting conversation, and Charles has been reading upstairs, and Nicholas is being affectionate and chatty, and in general the world is a much better place than it was 12 hours ago.

In Munich

Oct. 21st, 2014 06:17 pm
oursin: Sign saying 'Hedgehog Xing' and drawing of hedgehog (Hedgehog crossing)
[personal profile] oursin

Since partner and I have not really had anything like a joint holiday this year (except for that week father-sitting, during which I was essentially in the pacing up and down, wringing hands, stage of writing my keynote talk for Ottawa).

In spite of my waking up to radio saying flights out of Heathrow were being cancelled for weather reasons, Gatwick was unaffected. The only slightly hairy element was unanticipatedly heavy traffic meaning we got to Victoria just too late for train we were aiming for, but no great disadvantage.

So, here

In which there was opera

Oct. 21st, 2014 05:22 pm
antisoppist: (Dreadful choir)
[personal profile] antisoppist
On Saturday I went to see The Girl of the Golden West (ENO) with [personal profile] nineveh_uk . I have never seen The Girl of the Golden West and I didn't know what happened in it. I am glad to have seen it because it was great and I have been working to it on youtube - mostly the version in Italian with German subtitles in which Minnie starts out in a lumberjack shirt and dungarees and ends up in a fab red coat* as they escape at the end in a HOT AIR BALLOON (well it makes as much sense as anything else). I did try Spotify but all Spotify can produce is one track on a compilation album bemusingly entitled Puccini and Pasta (it is sort of Puccini's greatest hits but I don't know where the pasta comes in).

I don't know why Puccini writing a Western is any odder an idea than some of the other things Puccini wrote operas about but it somehow is. But the music is brilliant, even if the bit which is Phantom of the Opera** comes as a bit of a WTF even if you theoretically knew it was in there somewhere.

What's not to like? It has stonking great choruses of miners (who do dancing). It has a heroine who does something other than pine and/or die for once. Not only that, she runs a bar, looks after everyone's gold, teaches the miners, and stakes the fate of her bandit lover and herself on a poker game at which she cheats by hiding cards in her stocking/garter/bra (delete according to production and wonder why none of her meeting-my-bandit-lover costumes have pockets). And when the posse catch him again persuades them all not to hang him (with a gun). I can't see what she sees in him seeing as he's masquerading under a false identity half the time and hasn't told her he's the evil murdering robber they have all been hunting for most of Act I, or what he's been up to with Nina Micheltorena, and all he does in Act II is kiss her, get shot and then bleed to death all over her floor, revealing his secret hiding place under her bed, but she's a woman who knows her own mind, I'll say that for her. Personally I wouldn't want a chap who, when facing death, says "hang me if you must but tell Minnie I have escaped and am free and will return..." NO! DON'T TELL HER THAT How will that help? Did you not learn anything from Madam Butterfly? Idiot. The supposedly-villain sheriff is a much better bet. I know he's married but at least he's honest about it, takes no for an answer (OK she does have a gun), is honourable about the poker game, and isn't constantly lying or trying to rob her bar. Between them they could run the town (with guns). Possibly I am missing the point.

*Half the cast has fab coats. Son currently wants "a Sherlock coat". I have not found a source of long flowing twirly overcoats for ten year-old boys but might suggest a career as an opera villain or henchman.

** Kit and the Widow on Andrew Lloyd Webber here (youtube) though it doesn't actually mention Quello che tacete. And after that you can watch Norwegians on the Tube to the Hall of the Mountain King, notable for the line "thus from Norway's icy tracts, they export, gravad lax"

Back Home After The Operation

Oct. 21st, 2014 01:59 pm
aphenine: Teresa and Claire (Default)
[personal profile] aphenine
So, I am home from the operation. Life is still scary, but I have had the operation. I have had it. I really have. It hasn't sunk in yet but it has been completed. I'm still busy recovering and all that that entails but I have finished the transition process. When I have recovered, that will be it.

I feel lost. When I think about it. I've been heading towards something for a very long time and suddenly I have it and I do not know what to do next. Everything has been towards this goal for so long and now I have no major life goal.

It's something I've been trying very hard not to think about and that has been easy at times, just because of the sheer amount of things recovery entails. But there are moments when it hits me. Some of it is the dizzying vista of possibility. I remember walking out of the hospital after a period where getting to the next bed in the ward was all I could do and suddenly, I'm walking out of the hospital and there is this big world out there. It's the closest I've ever come to agoraphobia. But I'm walking out into it a woman, and that is different.

At other times, it hits me that no one will be able to hurt me again for being in transition, for having the wrong body. In fact, I remember when it hit me, on my second shower in the hospital and I could only curl up in a ball on the shower floor crying my eyes out. I am fairly sure I am not remotely done yet.

Do I regret the operation? No. Not knowing what I have between my legs, how it feels, how wonderful it is. I might still do, if any one of several things that can go wrong do. But so far it's been pretty amazing.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

So if you’ve been paying attention to Gamergate, it’s been death threats a-plenty for the women in the gaming industry.  But don’t worry, women!  Men are getting death threats, too!

Yesterday, the developer of a game death-threatened Gabe Newell, the founder of the Steam game delivery platform, after the game was released marked as “Early Access” instead as a finalized game.  Steam found out about the Tweets, terminated his account, and the game he’s worked on for a year has currently sold only 12 copies.

And I think this is an example of Guy Culture at work.  Where when a guy gets mad, it’s seen very much as “boys will be boys” and he can scream at whoever he wants because heck, we all know he doesn’t mean it.  You see that kind of repellent work in Scorcese movies – the guy-heaviest of guy films – where men routinely humiliate other men.  (I’m thinking in particular of The Wolf of Wall Street, wherein the salesmen were routinely abused by the charming and competent leads, and the salesmen loved it because these men were rich and smart and hey, you just expect a little creative abuse, amiright?)

So you have these hothouse cultures where competency matters for everything, and tact matters for nothing – well, actually a lack of tact is frequently seen as proof of competency, because who could possibly dress down someone that harshly unless they were really certain?  So you wind up with an atmosphere where intellectual issues are hashed out in screaming matches, and incompetency is met with streams of over-the-top swearing.

What we’re starting to see is that clash of cultures – where programmer dudebros, conditioned by years of condoned hothouse-flower environments where losing your shit is just Part Of The Process, are running into other cultures where threatening to cut someone’s balls off is seen as the cheap intimidation tactic it is.

And what you’ve got is this weird mess.  Because afterwards, you’re going to get some weird mix of “Okay, I probably shouldn’t have done that” followed by “But he should know I wasn’t really going to kill him!”  Yet what you never get to is the truth of “I wasn’t actually going to kill him, but I just wanted to express all my murderous rage without any filters, because a lot of the time threatening people actually works for me.”

We have this idea that women are the crazy emotional ones in this society, led around by their soft estrogen-producing wombs, just crying at the drop of a hat.  And frankly, I’d prefer we didn’t stereotype any gender with the label of “They’re the ones who can’t control themselves,” because frankly I think any sort of lack of control comes down to culture and mental health, not gender.

But what we’ve seen lately are a lot of men who are used to getting their way, and they lose their shit if anything goes wrong.  That’s a culture that’s trained them to be that way.  And so you have a bunch of very machismo men who have translated their bad-boy private outbursts into embarrassing online outbursts, and it does not go over nearly as well online.

They will see this as proof that Men Can’t Be Men!  Whereas I – a man – see that as proof that Some Men Can’t Be Men.  They can only be modified toddlers, screaming the worst things they can think of whenever they don’t get their way.  Worse, there’s whole cultures where that behavior is rewarded, and encouraged, and respected – and seen, internally, as the only real place where smart men can thrive, these constant Darwinistic showdowns where tearing each other apart is the only true way to find optimal solutions.

Nah.  There are other ways of doing things that get you results just as good.  But you don’t get the catharsis of yelling at people.

Maybe it’s time you admitted you value the catharsis over actual results.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

[personal profile] strangecharm
I put on a sports bra this morning, something that doesn't happen that often because I do zero sports.

I always forget how comfy it is. This morning I wondered to myself why I don't do this more often.

My next thought was, I probably have to blame the patriarchy again. Because many of my clothes won't fit right or look right. Because as with so many things how I look is deemed more important than how I feel.

(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2014 08:00 am
ghoti: fish jumping out of bowl (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti
Ah, irony. Wearing a rather...butch outfit on the day I have an appointment with the gyn to place an IUD. I'm amused, anyway.

Interesting Links for 21-10-2014

Oct. 21st, 2014 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

The more I watch either show...

Oct. 21st, 2014 11:31 am
[personal profile] strangecharm
...the more convinced I am that Avon is the Sir Humphrey Appleby of Blakes 7.

celtic cross

Oct. 21st, 2014 04:13 am
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
The card not shown but at the center of the cross, represents the atmosphere surrounding the central issue. Judgement: A swift and conclusive decision. The resolution of a matter long unanswered. A change in point of view, most frequently towards greater enlightenment. Final balancing of karma.

The card visible at the center of the cross represents the obstacle that stands in your way - it may even be something that sounds good but is not actually to your benefit. Four of Swords (Truce), when reversed: Restlessness and mental disharmony. Deserting a struggle in progress. A temporary retreat from stress that turns into a permanent rout. A lack of vigilance that could lead to disaster.

The card at the top of the cross represents your goal, or the best you can achieve without a dramatic change of priorities. Two of Swords (Peace), when reversed: Indecision due to contradictory characteristics brought together. Tension in the aftermath of a quarrel that has been resolved. Scheming, abuse of trust, and agreements made in bad faith. Allowing the mind to block off the emotions. Self deception as a means of justifying cruel acts.

The card at the bottom of the cross represents the foundation on which the situation is based. Death, when reversed: Stagnation or petrifaction. The refusal to let go of the past. Resistance to change because of fear.

The card at the left of the cross represents a passing influence or something to be released. The High Priestess: A pure, exalted and gracious influence. Education, knowledge, wisdom, and esoteric teachings. The forces of nature. Intuition, foresight, and spiritual revelation of the most mysterious and arcane sort.

The card at the right of the cross represents an approaching influence or something to be embraced. Two of Wands (Dominion): Established power and influence over others. Setting goals and a vision for the future. Coming to grips with the impact of past decisions, considering the current state of affairs, and developing a plan of action. Responsible leadership.

The card at the base of the staff represents your role or attitude. The Fool, when reversed: Apathy, negligence, and dangerous carelessness. Unquenchable wanderlust. Obsession with someone or something. Losing all sense of proportion. Foolhardy adventuring and lack of interest in critical matters. Immature or unrealistic ideals. Strange impulses and desires coming from unexpected sources. Vanity, delirium, folly, and oblivion.

The card second from the bottom of the staff represents your environment and the people you are interacting with. Nine of Swords (Cruelty), when reversed: Mental anguish or ill health endured and overcome. Refusal to be dragged down by the dishonor of others. Attempting to avert a shameful or regrettable act. Faithfulness, patience and unselfishness. May indicate the narrow avoidance of a death or other catastrophic loss.

The card second from the top of the staff represents your hopes, fears, or an unexpected element that will come into play. Four of Cups (Luxury): Being surrounded by love and devotion but taking it for granted. Ignoring the real and longing for the indefinable. Apathy and disengagement from the world. Dissatisfaction with the condition and direction of affairs, but the inability to accept new opportunities.

The card at the top of the staff represents the ultimate outcome should you continue on this course. Three of Swords (Sorrow), when reversed: Unsettling news that helps you to distance yourself from a destructive relationship. Painfully honest communication that needs to take place. Not letting yourself be dragged by your emotions into a negative situation. A trust or confidence betrayed in an attempt to help someone in need. The revelation of a painful truth.

Oh parenting

Oct. 21st, 2014 09:21 am
rmc28: (OMG)
[personal profile] rmc28
By 8am this morning I had already:tales of success and woe )

Why is there never any chocolate left?

remembering Velma

Oct. 20th, 2014 09:06 pm
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
[personal profile] redbird
I suspect a phone conversation this afternoon will be the last time anyone addresses me as "Velma."

[personal profile] elisem and I were visiting with Soren at his parents' house, and one of the forms they were dealing with needed her social security number, which of course none of us knew. But right after Velma died, the nurse who was in the room at the end told them that if they needed help with anything, they should ask.

Soren doesn't like to make phone calls, so I offered to handle this one. I wound up leaving a message for the social worker, saying that I was Velma's sister and what we needed. The person who took the message asked me to spell my name, and whether I knew her date of birth, which I do. The social worker who called back, after asking "Is this Vicki?" sorted out what we wanted, and somewhere in there addressed me as "Velma."

It's something about the V's, we think, and the cross-naming has come from everyone from casual friends to [ profile] cattitude and Velma's then-partner [ profile] volund. The really weird part is that almost nobody called us by each other's name after she got contact lenses.

Strange brains

Oct. 21st, 2014 04:55 am
[personal profile] strangecharm
I do not remember the dream I was having before I woke up a little bit ago, but it must have been something weird. Because in my own bed next to my own husband, I opened my eyes and didn't know who this was sleeping next to me, or where I was. I couldn't even hazard a guess; my mind at that point was completely free of likely candidates or even ones I could safely rule out.

Just then he, lying on his side facing me, reached out an arm to throw it around me. And then I found myself thinking Oh, that must be Andrew then, as if I'd worked it out by deductive logic, and thus I was soothed.
compilerbitch: That's me, that is! (Default)
[personal profile] compilerbitch
ETA: Kobe now has a foster. Thanks all!

Hi Folks,

I’m desperately asking for help here on behalf of Rev. Lee Whittaker and particularly on behalf of his kitty, Kobe.

This orange guy in the picture is Kobe, Lee Whittaker’s cat. The less-orange guy is Lee. :-) Gina and I have been looking after Kobe for a couple of years now, but we can’t continue to do so after our house move (that’s coming up this weekend — eek!). The new place allows two cats, not three, so we have to prioritize our two (Pi and Bitta). Lee is currently in student accommodation at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley that does not allow cats — he’s working on moving to a different hall that will let him take Kobe back, but it is not going to be possible to make that happen by this weekend.

Kobe with Lee WhittakerLee has arranged a longer term foster for Kobe starting 2 or 3 weeks from now that will last until he is able to move rooms at PSR, but we desperately need someone to look after Kobe until that happens. We need someone to help by looking after Kobe for 2 to 3 weeks to bridge the gap.

Kobe is affectionate with humans, but ideally needs to be an only cat. He has some special needs — he needs a grain-free diet, and he is epileptic.

Please help if you possibly can — we are moving on Sunday, and really need to move Kobe by Saturday 25th October at the absolute latest. If you can’t help directly, reposting this to your kitty-loving network would be next best thing and very gratefully appreciated. We can supply enough of his grain free kibble to last for a good while.

Thank you in advance,

Sarah (on behalf of the fuzzy orange guy and his cat-daddy)

Please note: this was cross-posted from my main blog at -- If you want me to definitely see your replies, please reply there rather than here.


Dear Festividder 2014

Oct. 20th, 2014 08:41 pm
kass: Veronica and Wallace stare at a screen (veronica and wallace)
[personal profile] kass
Dear Festividder,

I am mostly reprising last year's Dear Festividder letter, because honestly, everything I said last year about what I like is still true. :-)

You are so awesome. Thank you for making a vid for me!

I love every one of the fandoms listed below. The simple fact that you're going to vid one of these fandoms already makes my week.

I have particular soft spots for quirky characters, chosen family, competence, small town life, and loyalty. I'm a sap and I like to see characters get happy endings. I like slash and I like het and I like gen -- I'm easy.

Musically, go with whatever floats your boat -- there pretty much isn't a style of music I can't be talked into trying.

(If it's helpful, feel free to check out my vids on the AO3 -- fic is there also -- or on my website.)

Make a vid that makes you happy, and it'll make me happy too.

Thank you!


FWIW, I requested Local Hero, Ripper Street, Sneakers, Middleman, Field of Dreams, and Sports Night. my requests, in case anyone feels like making treats )

Yuletide sign-ups, w00t!

Oct. 20th, 2014 07:46 pm
kass: omg wtf yuletide! (wtf (yuletide))
[personal profile] kass
I just signed up for Yuletide! My requests this year are Toby Daye, The Golem and the Jinni, S, Death by Silver, Hild, and Orphan Black -- one tv show and five books, hmm. Also in looking over my requests I see that I seem to be unusually shippy / looking for happily-ever-afters. (Well. I'm kind of always looking for those. But this year more than most, it seems.)

I didn't offer as many fandoms as I have in years past, and I suspect I'll go back and edit my offers to include more things. But at least I've signed up. w00t!

(My letter, for those who are interested: follow the fake cut.)

... the Internet is magic.

Oct. 21st, 2014 12:12 am
kaberett: A pomegranate, with eyes and mouth drawn onto masking tape and applied (pomegranate)
[personal profile] kaberett
OKAY, so, back in 2007 I went on a school trip to Rome for a long weekend. On our one free early-afternoon I ended up getting to spend much less time at San Clemente than I'd intended, because Italian lunch hours, which in turn lead to me and the others I was with eating one of the best restaurant meals I had ever had for astonishingly little money, and it was only as we were leaving that we noticed the discreet stickers on the door about the place having been voted best-restaurant-in-Rome the preceding two years running.

My mother will be in Rome next weekend.

My mother, who remembers me rhapsodising about this place, asked me if I could recall the name.

... as it happened, I could remember (1) that the name started with an N and (2) the approximate walking route to get to it from San Clemente. Ergo five minutes with online maps later I had identified La Naumachia as the most plausible candidate, despite a rebrand having apparently done away with the very memorable logo of a ship. I look forward to hearing her report on it.

(Having explained how I found it, she responded: HAH!!!! That's the sort of thing I do. Indeed it's how the rat I ever found the same hotel I stayed in back then.... you come out of the back gate of the Inquisition past the best water fountain in Rome, go under a bridge past a dubious bus stop and up the hill most of the way to the next metro station....)


Oct. 20th, 2014 06:55 pm
kass: Hildegard holding up an OTW mug (hildegard)
[personal profile] kass
1. The AO3. OMG, how much do I love the Archive of Our Own. Where I can find fic to fit my yearnings. Because it's all tag-sorted. And also all of my stuff lives there. And it's easy to share things. And it is just the archive of my heart.

2. Yuletide. Which has completely transformed my experience of this whole time of year, from now straight through Boxing Day. There kind of are not words for how much I love Yuletide. It gives me something about December 25th which feels like it's mine. Oh, and it's made possible thanks to the AO3, because no other archive could handle 2000+ participants and zillions of fandoms and the matching involved in all of our many and varied requests.

3. Fanlore. Because when I forget things about fandom, someone else usually thought to write them down. And when I am fixated on a new fandom or pairing or character, if no one's written down the thing I love best, then I can write it down myself. Also there are remembrances there of fans who aren't alive anymore (sniff), and fanworks which are part of my history -- and fans and fanworks who are part of entirely different corners of fandom, and that's equally awesome.

4. Red wine. Because it's been a long day and now I have a big glass of red wine and am ensconced on my red couch and am content.

5. The OTW, which brings you three out of the four above items. They're having a seventh-anniversary membership drive (here's one of today's posts about it: Seven Years, Seven Wonders: Made in Fandom.) If you can spare US$10 or more, you can become a member or renew your membership for another year. And if you can give more than that, it'll help us (us = fandom) to continue to -- in [personal profile] astolat's immortal words in [personal profile] cesperanza's immortal words!!! -- "own the goddamned servers." ♥!
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Decoding the Creative Process. Similar to deciding it. #ferranadria #scienceandcooking

okay sky

Oct. 20th, 2014 01:12 pm
batdina: lightning strike (bad weather)
[personal profile] batdina
seriously now. overcast like nobody's business with grey and black clouds. you managed a brief drizzle that didn't even make MUD. if you're gonna steal my sunshine, kindly produce some water in exchange!

grumpily yours,

Dear Yuletide Author

Oct. 20th, 2014 08:32 am
elf: Petalwing in snow, saying "Yuletide!" (Yuletide)
[personal profile] elf
I missed out on nominations this time--that means I wasn't able to nominate my beloved Ghost Soup Infidel Blue, and none of the remaining fandoms have the exact character choices available for The Fic Of My Heart. That's good news for you--it means you can write The Fic Of Your Heart, and I will not be disappointed! I worked hard to pick fandoms where I could honestly say I'd love anything I got, and I didn't want any of them more than the others.

I am a strong (avid, fervid) believer in Optional Details Are Optional. Because of that, and aforementioned scheduling fail on my part, I'm nominating all my fandoms with "any" this year--but I figure I should give you some plotbunny options so you don't have to panic about what I might like, especially since my journal's been mostly inactive for the past year or so and you can't tell what my tastes are. (They haven't changed; I've just been quiet recently. Feel free to poke at my past "yuletide" or "plotbunnies" tagged posts to get an idea of my scope of interests.) I have a habit of focusing on the specific nominated characters when writing prompts, but don't feel limited to those! If you like the fandom but your favorite character wasn't nominated, I'd be happy to read that story!

What I like: Explicit fic (although I also enjoy genfic), weird consent issues, canon-compliant fic (or rather, "canon-compliant if you squint," because I don't actually believe Kirk and Spock were boinking between missions), vastly imbalanced relationship dynamics, humor, sneak crossovers, overt crossovers, slash, accidental soul bonds, sex pollen, missing scenes, PWP, epistolary fic, hooker!fic, plot-heavy fic, fic that makes me rethink a character, fic that changes how I understand canon. My bulletproof kink is breathplay. Obviously, these should not all be in the same fic. (If you feel really inspired, you're welcome to try that!) Don't feel limited by this, or worried if what you want to write doesn't hit anything on this list--this isn't "everything I like," and not even "everything I like most." It's just "a short list of what I can think of right now that I like."

Squicks/Triggers: Not a problem! No known triggers that can be hit by fic, and very very few squicks, which are not likely to come up. (This is not a challenge.) (No, I'm not listing them; I'm that confident that you wouldn't write them for a stranger. Non-strangers are welcome to experiment.) I don't mind brutal fic, character death, or unhappy endings. (Also not a challenge.) Basically, very easy to write for -- I love a broad range of tropes, writing styles, tones and genres.

What I don't normally read (which doesn't mean "don't write this," but if your muse isn't leading you in these directions, don't go out of your way to add them): ABO of any sort, werewolves, scat, high school/college/coffee shop AUs, "name on the body" soulmate fic, Homestuck anything (I have a liveblog and am trying to avoid spoilers for things I haven't seen yet. Like trolls.), Ghost Soup Infidel Gold (what were the showrunners thinking?!),

If you're really concerned, find a mod or someone in Yulechat to have them ask me--but mostly, go with "I like everything, even the things I don't like." Write the fic you want to write, 'cos that's the fic I want to read.

On to the specific fandoms (which is long, and includes the bits in the AO3 prompt, and you don't need to read any of this):
Glitch, Daria, Elfquest, M.A.S.H., MST3K, ABVH )

How to Hate a Book

Oct. 20th, 2014 12:48 pm
altamira16: Tall ship at dusk (Default)
[personal profile] altamira16
About a week ago, the blogger formerly posting at Requires Hate wrote something friends locked on Twitter that made me wonder what was going on in her life. I started reading her when [ profile] nihilistic_kid mentioned her as a potential recipient of a literary award for the best fan blogs.

At first, she was making fun of Charlaine Harris books for being racist, and I thought that her view point was interesting and way over the top. But then she started writing about anime, and I just cannot care about anime.

A few days ago, my sister gave me the link to this piece by an author named Hale who obsesses over a Goodreads reviewer. I didn't read the whole thing because it just seemed so neurotic, but again it reminded me of the person writing the Requires Hate blog because she had many words about how much she hated various books. I thought that Hale, the neurotic author, would hate her. (If you look at my book reviews here, I usually spend more time writing about things that I dislike than things that I like. I use blogging to work out my grievances sometimes. There are just a lot more people who are a lot more verbose about that type of thing.)

Anyway, today the "Requires Hate" blogger wrote an entry apologizing for some of her reviews. It seems like this happened because someone exposed her identity. Apparently, she has a new book coming out soon.


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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