Solstice baby!

Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:55 pm
chanter_greenie: a bright blue sky and fluffy clouds (Wisconsin summer: boundless friendly sky)
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
Well, close enough. :) Stella Jaye Floyd arrived earlier tonight. Mom, kidlet and dad all doing fine, so far as anyone's told me. 7 pounds, 13 or 14 ounces (speaker phone made that blurry), and my conversions are rubbish, so... 3 kilos and change?

I need to find a figurine, and by that I mean a proper marble or similar carved one, not a rubbishy plastic one, of a Stellar's jay (I believe that's the name of the bird in question) and present it to her. Not to her folks, although they'll see it. The figurine will be hers.

Leetle not-feathery feathery star baby. :D

(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 02:47 pm
bjornwilde: (Default)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
Since I have no thread brain and work isn't allowing play anyway, my impulsive self is looking at other pups to play at some point, likely sandboxes cause of bandwidth issues.

America Chavez, because damn you Marvel. You suck, but sometimes you do things right. Plus, she'd be a lot of fun.

Jack Wolcott, from Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series. Thinking of came_tumbling_after as a user name and I have a bunch of icons cribbed from classic b&w horror films with mad scientists for use.

Ehren ex Cursori, from Jim Butcher's Codex Alera. Scholarly spy with a fondness for knives who seems pretty unfazed with life and odd things. About the only way he could be more my jam is if he were a shape shifter or teleporter. Only name I sort of have is study_of_cursors, but I'm not committed to it. I want to read more of the books first before doing anything farther. PBs are either Ben Whishaw or Mika., Ben Whishaw in Perfume: A Story of Murder would work really well.

Eeeeeee!

Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:20 pm
chanter_greenie: a bright blue sky and fluffy clouds (Wisconsin summer: boundless friendly sky)
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
My sister's in the hospital having kiddo the second. :) It's early days yet, so say my mother and other sister, but...

EeeeeeeEEEEE! :D

Campfire plans for this weekend are thoroughly scuttled, as we knew they might be. Oh well, this is more important. I'm not going up to visit until everyone's home and settled in, which probably means either next weekend or for part of the weekend of the Fourth. But, oh my gosh! :D

I am going to laugh my butt off if it's a boy. Ultrasounds may be highly accurate, but they are not perfect. I know Jordan had them check twelve times, and whether that's hyperbole or not, I don't know; I wasn't there. My point stands.

:) :) Updates to follow.

Weekend To Do

Jun. 23rd, 2017 08:34 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
1. Write and submit PW review. Probably Sunday, so I can work in the library near where I'm attending a concert that night.

2. Rest strained/pulled muscle (possibly hip abductor) whatever it is so it gets better.

3. Venture out for concerts Saturday and Sunday nights.

4. Laundry? If my muscle is better. It is raining a lot this weekend, so I might not want to trek to the laundromat for that.

5. Try not to be too frustrated with my injury.

summer

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:08 pm
rosabelle: full moon over water with a smaller moon beside it (misc - fantasy moons)
[personal profile] rosabelle
It's so humid that my glasses fogged up when I walked outside.

3/4 of my vague recollections of what to do when overheating turned out to be correct, which tbh is a higher rating than I usually give my survival skills, so. Win.

On the less ughhh side of things, fireflies.

Owww.

Jun. 22nd, 2017 08:20 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
No gym last night, no softball tonight - my thigh hurts, even at rest, which generally indicates a muscle strain. It hurt enough to wake me this morning. But how did I do it? How? Unless I strained something while walking funny due to the lower back/glute strain? (which is better, BTW) I took another dose of naproxen and wrapped it in my brace, which helped last time I had a thigh issue, which incidentally lasted quite a while and annoyed me very much.

*throws up hands*

I started reading The Hanging Tree yesterday and I'm more than half done already, so that's something. It feels great to be reading a book I can't wait to return to.
umadoshi: (writing - internet (iconriot))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Usual sad note that not only have I never gotten a bingo on one of these, but I often don't manage even one fill--but I can't resist them. ^^; I keep hoping some inspiration will be jarred loose, and occasionally that even happens!

My [dreamwidth.org profile] hc_bingo card is under this cut )

At first glance I didn't see a whole lot of prompts there that work well with my usual-these-years fandom/ship, but on looking again, there are a few that I could theoretically do interesting things with, or that at least can be made to match WsIP that I expect to be on the shorter side if/when I can finish them. And my monofannishness aside, I do always hope that these challenges will twig something in my brain and let me write something new.

(Is this my first time getting an [dreamwidth.org profile] hc_bingo card that doesn't have one of the soulbond prompts? I haven't gone and checked to see if it's literally the first time, but the card generator has traditionally been very keen on giving me "unintended soulbond" and/or "unintended side effects of planned soulbond" [or whatever the exact phrasings are]. I always kinda meant to write the former for Warehouse 13; it could even happen someday. It's pretty perfect.)

And my [dreamwidth.org profile] seasonofkink card and Newsflesh-specific (inherently NSFW) notes are under THIS cut )

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 07:36 pm
skygiants: Drosselmeyer's old pages from Princess Tutu, with text 'rocks fall, everyone dies, the end' (endings are heartless)
[personal profile] skygiants
I recently reread Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death. It remains an onslaught of a book, although being somewhat braced for the barrage of ANGER INJUSTICE GENOCIDE GONNA DESTROY A WHOLE CITY NOW does allow a little more time to, uh, stop and appreciate the occasional non-fraught thing that happens along the way? Onyesonwu makes friends with a camel at one point! That's nice!

(...for the record, my review from 2010 seems to indicate that at the time I understood and appreciated what happened at the end. Well, good job, past self, because my present self has no idea. Spoilers ))

Anyway! Rereading Who Fears Death got me thinking about the kind of books that are constructed around an ancient lore or a knowledge of the world that turns out to be fundamentally wrong, cultures constructed around poisoned lies. The Fifth Season is the other immediate example that springs to mind of a book like this -- not that there aren't other parallels between The Fifth Season and Who Fears Death. It seems to me that I ought to be able to think of more, but since I can't I'm sure you guys can.

When I mentioned this to [personal profile] genarti, she immediately said "YA dystopia! Fallout!" and that's true, a lot of dystopias are built around a Fundamentally Flawed Premise that has been imposed upon the innocent population by a dictatorial government. Those feel a little different to me, though, maybe just because that sort of dystopia very clearly grows out of our own world. We know from the beginning how to judge truth and lies, we're WAY AHEAD of our naive heroine who believes the color blue is evil because the government put an inexplicable ban on it. But Who Fears Death, while it may be set in our future, is in a future so distant from our own that there's no particular tracing back from it, and The Fifth Season is another world altogether, and we don't have any home court advantage over the protagonists as they figure out where the lies are except a belief that something that poisonous has to be wrong; maybe that's the difference.

update to the last: I'm okay

Jun. 21st, 2017 06:41 pm
chanter_greenie: Commander Seth Goddard of Space Cases fame (SC: Goddard - do the best they can)
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
Thank you so much to everyone who commented on that last entry of mine. Much love!

Showed the bosslady the list. She was sympathetic, if definitely a bit thrown. She first asked if I was quitting - "Nooooo no, definitely not." Wound up taking two days off, with her blessing. I need them. The day got better from there on in; I don't know why uncorking, embarrassing though it was after the fact, helped, but it did. Also helping were several messes getting sorted out all at once, and a relatively mellow day. I still need the vacation time, badly. By late morning, I was not flinching at phone rings or e-mail pings, and chatting with friendly customers was a pleasure rather than a chore. Definite improvements, and again, no idea why uncorking helped.

Seriously looking into getting a medical opinion on this anxiety stuff, because it's been bad, lifelong, and it's getting worse, and I have a family history of the same; Mom has it too, though often well-hidden. People at work seem to think it's purely an attitude/reaction thing, of the 'change your outlook' variety. As changing my outlook involves a good amount of what feels suspiciously like plastering on an obviously fake smile, I'm not sure this is something a sunny mindset is going to cure.

I need the vacation time. There will be reading up a storm, and radio time as both receiver and transmitter, and *fingers crossed* a blood donation, and kitty cuddles, and maybe a campfire.

Bless my boss, seriously. I wrote her a grateful e-mail before taking off for vacation time. Strongly considering a gift of chocolate out of gratitude for putting up with my self-confessed high-strung self.

Just wanted to update everybody. I'm okay. I'm flipping tired and need a recharge.
umadoshi: (Toronto streetcar)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--With less than a month until Hugo voting closes, it's well past time to admit that there's no way in hell I'm getting even most of the reading done. ;_; (We've moved past "unfeasible" into "the idea is so ludicrous that collapsing into faintly-hysterical laughter is the only real option if I think 'but maybe if I--'" No. It is not happening.)

--To further illustrate how my reading is (not) going lately, [twitter.com profile] seananmcguire's new novella came out a week ago and I haven't read it yet. ;_; I've at least been keeping up with some graphic novels from the library, but that's about it.

--The adorable annual we're planting that I couldn't remember for the life of me is Hawaii Blue ageratum, AKA "floss flower". *charmed* Look how cute it is!

--A happy twofold discovery: while rummaging for something else, I found a small stash of Toronto transit tokens that we'd clearly forgotten about, and I was briefly sad because I'd had the impression that the Presto system rollout in Toronto was far enough along that tokens might not be usable anymore. (Horrifying thought, since the Presto rollout sounds like a clusterfuck in all kinds of ways--which strikes me as extra embarrassing when, as far as I can tell, Presto works fairly well in Ottawa, and unless I'm wrong about that, clearly it can be fine.) But I checked the TTC site, and the header on the "fares and passes" section says "Last year’s tickets and tokens are still valid. Customers paying with tickets and tokens do not need to deposit ten cents." [Emphasis theirs.] So we'll see about using our stash up.

--Related: one of the infinite things I love about having Claudia and Jinksy is that it's much less heartbreaking to come home from Toronto now that we have sweet, soft kitties waiting for us, but the flip side is that I preemptively miss them. I'd cling to them, but they don't like that. ^^;

(That said, Jinksy's currently purring on my lap. *^^*)

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:29 am
bjornwilde: (The Scarlet Siouxsie)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
 Part of my recent self care is trying to do a daily meditation. Nothing huge, just five minutes in the car before I walk into work. Today I forgot and so just took five minutes in my cube, using a guided meditation on youtube. The search 5 min meditation auto filled to either "5-min calming meditation" "5-min mindfulness meditation" or "5-min goth meditaion"...wait, what? I'm all for dark expressions and aesthetics, but goth meditations?

Of course I had to look and there was no results that were actually goth, but I am amused that someone had to have entered that search stream right?
just_ann_now: (Reading: Garden Reading)
[personal profile] just_ann_now
Happy Solstice Day! As well as International Yoga Day ♥

What I Just Finished Reading

The Terror, by Dan Simmons. This was a compelling read, though alternately tedious, depressing, and terrifying. Since I knew that, historically, there were no survivors to the Franklin expedition, I had to remind myself that this was fiction, so who's to say that some of these things didn't happen? Certainly starvation and illness could contribute to paranoia and hallucinations.

The Terror is much, much longer than it needs to be, and without spoiling (I hope), I can say that the book I finished reading is not the book I started with, which was an intriguing turn of events. I'm not going to rate this book. How can I rate 600+ pages of absolute misery interspersed with heart-stopping terror, and then a final 100+ pages of - what?

The Dream Quest of Vellit Boe. Enchanting, lyrical. I think it was listed as horror because ghouls and ghasts? Ghouls gotta ghoul and ghasts gotta ghast but despite them (and they were a very small part of the story) this was a delight in every way.

Two from the LGBT StoryBundle - Silver Moon and Wonder City Stories. Wonder City Stories was quite fun!

What I Am Currently Reading

Smoke, by Dan Vyleta, which I am reading with horror and fascination. (Unlike Vellit Boe, this one should definitely be categorized as Horror.) [personal profile] franklinbadger, unless this makes an abrupt turn, much as The Terror did, I'm not sure that this is something you would want to give up your limited reading time for.

What I Am Reading Next

Crossing the Line, the second book in that very enjoyable sci-fi series I discovered last week. And A Face Like Glass, which was recommended with GREAT ENTHUSIASM by both [personal profile] ribby and [personal profile] franklinbadger, is waiting for me at the library!

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 07:41 am
bjornwilde: (i don't know what i expected)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
And once more I am on another day of little sleep. Third day in a row now where I've only managed 6 hours and let me tell you, I am noticing a decrease in my mental faculties. (I had to pause there and figure out how to spell 'row'.)

In the quest of self improvement, I came across an essay about how anxiety can present as anger and it was like a light from above switched on. I've always been fearful of my temper, often thinking of it as the classic Irish stereotype, but all the times I've lost it or snapped, I'm usually feeling overwhelmed, threatened, or panicked. I need to dig deeper into this, but it seems legit and has helped me take a deep breath and step back when I feel like attacking or yelling.

I've also come to realize I suffer much more from impostor syndrome than fear or laziness when it comes to creative things. Like I know I am creative and always have ideas for making art or stories, I can't stop the ideas, but any time I think about making them happen, I hit a wall. I've always read it as fear of making the thing badly or a general laziness, i.e. writing takes so long, but i think it's more a little voice in my head telling me I'm faking it. I'd like to know where I got that voice so I can pommel it.

OK. Time for pain meds, caffeine, and music to see if I can find my way out of my mental fog.

Wednesday Reading

Jun. 21st, 2017 08:30 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
This week's reading was mostly a book for anonymous review. I also caught up on Time.

The real question is, what do I read next? From the TBR, I have the following candidates that I am most interested in right now. Thoughts on what I should choose?

The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London) by Ben Aaronovitch.

The House of Shattered Wings (A Dominion of the Fallen Novel) by Aliette de Bodard.

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott.

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor.

Then you know you're... what?

Jun. 20th, 2017 10:51 pm
chanter_greenie: a panther being stared at by multiple other animals (this panther has been to Colorado)
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
I am 99% sure I'm showing this to my boss tomorrow. I'm scared stiff, but it really is the best idea I can come up with. Then you know you...? Need a new job? Are burned out? Are an overly anxious ball of overreaction? Need to grow the hell up with your wanting-a-slower-pace self?

Bosslady*,

I know this mode of delivery is an odd one, and an oddly formal one, but formality's not what I'm going for here. Very much the opposite; you're a great boss, and you've been better to me than I deserve. I just do better when i'm able to draft something rather than blurting it out. You've probably seen me lock up verbally when trying to get words out in a tense situation, and I don't want to splutter through this.

This is me over the last few weeks. Second person pronouns used because I started this in list form.

When thinking about work, at all, causes you a physical - tightening guts, chills, tangibly elevated heart rate - stress response. This includes when you're doing mundane things, like sitting at home in your rocking chair, or watching a television series you usually love.

When thinking about the next day makes you queasy with dread.

When you don't want to eat, because of both the stomach squirmies, and the time loss sticking a granola bar in your face will cause you.

When you know you're not learning from your mistakes, even though you're trying to.

When you flinch every time your e-mail goes off or your phone rings.

When you don't want to sleep, even though you know you need to, because then you lose a whole night on your own time, and after you lose the whole night of your own time, it'll be tomorrow and work again, where you dread...

When you just can't keep up with anything unless reminders of it are shoved in your face every five minutes, because you're a child, or not motivated, or both.

When you don't want to take a day off, because of what failure of yours might come to light in your absence, and because during your absence, another avalanche will fall into your queue and wait for you, and you know it.

When building pleasantly professional rapport with your customers stops being something you pride yourself on, and starts feeling like a waste of time someone will probably call you on one of these days.

When you forget the answers to obvious work-related questions that you knew six months ago, and you know you should know, but the person to ask is either gone, new, or knows as well as you do that you should know the answer by now.

When saving someone's event, or helping someone celebrate their daughter's birthday, or making sure someone has the clothes for work that may well allow them to keep their job, stops making you proud and just feels like another chore to be rushed through.

When you're more exhausted, mentally, then you remember being before February of this year, and there were plenty of times where you were extremely exhausted before February of this year.

When you don't like the woman under your work facade very much anymore.

When you have the bright idea to show this to your boss, and you're scared silly of the reaction you'll get, but it truly is the best idea you've got.

Then, you know you...?

*Bosslady's name omitted.

Happy Pop Day - Belatedly!

Jun. 20th, 2017 05:31 pm
dodger_sister: (animals)
[personal profile] dodger_sister
You may have noticed I didn’t post on Father’s Day. That’s because I was too busy celebrating Father’s Day! Sis and I took a trip out to see Dad. And we brought along a friend, our cat Hiccup! Hiccup loves to ride in the car and will frequently go to the garage door and cry when he sees we are about to leave. He also loves going to see his Pop and will perk up at the mention of the word ‘pop’, even if we meant soda.

But ok, Sis forgot something in the house and ran back inside, leaving me standing in our garage holding Hiccup. Hiccup didn't like this, freaked out, and continued to cry pathetically for most of the 20 minute drive. We had to sing to him to get him to calm down - his favorite lullaby, "Somewhere Out There" from American Tail. I am sure you can picture us driving along, two middle-aged women, singing this song at full volume to our cat in the backseat.

Anyways, we hadn’t taken Hiccup for a visit since Dad got his dog, Baby, as we weren’t sure how Baby would handle a cat. We were waiting for her to grow up and settle down a little - which, grown - yes, settled - not so much.

At first, Hiccup wasn’t having this other animal. He didn’t know there were other dogs besides my mom’s dog, Winston. Baby was just curious and excited, but not aggressive at all. Hiccup, on the other hand, was hissing and punching at Baby. At last he settled though and we were able to hand Hiccup off to his Pop for a snuggle. He did very well, except for the few minutes that his Mommy went out in the backyard with Baby - he didn’t like that, even with me there to reassure him.

It was a good visit and Hiccup was exhausted by the time he headed home. I was exhausted too!

Owwwwwwwww

Jun. 20th, 2017 09:20 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Somehow I strained something in my lower back or upper glute over the weekend, and I'm not sure how, unless it was carrying wet laundry up stairs, but I don't recall any pain at the time. Regardless, it hurts now, and yesterday's workout, despite being all upper body plus some lower back stretching, did not help (I hoped it would). I starting taking naproxen last night and am using my microwave-heated buckwheat thingie while I'm at work today.

Uh! Noy! Ing!

If I knew what I'd done to cause this soreness, I'd be less annoyed about it.

FMK: Fantasy by Women

Jun. 19th, 2017 01:57 pm
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Please feel free to comment! I have not read anything by any of these writers but Johnson.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 60


The Sword of Winter, by Marta Randall. In the cold and dangerous land of Cherek, emerging from an era of magic and confronted by technological advancements, Lord Gambin of Jentesi lies dying and chaos reigns.

View Answers

Fling
20 (55.6%)

Marry
6 (16.7%)

Kill
10 (27.8%)

A Rumor of Gems, by Ellen Steiber. Enter the port city of Arcato: an old and magical town set somewhere in our modern world, a town where gemstones have begun to mysteriously appear . . . gemstones whose mystical powers aren't mere myth or legend but frighteningly real, casting their spells for good and ill.

View Answers

Fling
15 (40.5%)

Marry
7 (18.9%)

Kill
15 (40.5%)

Travel Light, by Naomi Mitchison. The story of Halla, a girl born to a king but cast out onto the hills to die. She lives among bears; she lives among dragons. But the time of dragons is passing, and Odin All-Father offers Halla a choice: Will she stay dragonish and hoard wealth and possessions, or will she travel light?

View Answers

Fling
21 (40.4%)

Marry
24 (46.2%)

Kill
7 (13.5%)

Nemesis, by Louise Cooper. Princess Anghara had no place in the Forbidden Tower, and no business tampering with its secrets. But she did, and now the seven demons are loose and her world is cursed, prey to the wrath of the Earth Goddess.

View Answers

Fling
16 (40.0%)

Marry
6 (15.0%)

Kill
18 (45.0%)

Racing the Dark, by Alaya Dawn Johnson. Lana, a teenaged girl on a nameless backwater island, finds an ominous blood-red jewel that marks her as someone with power, setting in motion events that drive her away from her family and into an apprenticeship with a mysterious one-armed witch.

View Answers

Fling
34 (73.9%)

Marry
11 (23.9%)

Kill
1 (2.2%)

My Soul to Keep, by Tananarive Due. When Jessica marries David, he is everything she wants in a family man: brilliant, attentive, ever youthful. Yet she still feels something about him is just out of reach. Soon, as people close to Jessica begin to meet violent, mysterious deaths, David makes an unimaginable confession: More than 400 years ago, he and other members of an Ethiopian sect traded their humanity so they would never die, a secret he must protect at any cost. Now, his immortal brethren have decided David must return and leave his family in Miami.

View Answers

Fling
23 (53.5%)

Marry
10 (23.3%)

Kill
10 (23.3%)

rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I’m afraid I did not like this at all. In fact, it was the first FMK book that I didn’t finish—I ditched it at about the halfway mark. And it’s a very short book, too: 133 pages.

Gabriel is a mason’s apprentice in medieval England. The mason is cruel, so when a troupe of traveling Mystery players comes to town, Gabriel is delighted to briefly escape his wretched life by watching the play. Then, when the mason sadistically tries to chop off his giant mop of beautiful blonde curls that Gabriel’s lost mother told him to never cut, Gabriel flees and is taken in by the players, who whisk him away and cast him as an angel.

Gabriel assumes the man playing God is wonderful and the man playing Lucifer is terrible. But no! Garvey, who plays God, uses Gabriel to create fake, exploitative “healing” miracles which he convinces Gabriel are real. Lucie (Lucifer) is unhappy about this, but that only makes Gabriel think he must be bad.

I have no idea how old Gabriel was supposed to be. At the beginning I assumed he was around twelve, but later I decided he must be closer to ten because he was so stupid and naïve. Then he got even stupider and I wondered if he could possibly be seven or eight, or if that was way too young to be an apprentice mason. Not that young children are stupid, but the less you know about the world, the more likely you are to take everything at 100% face value, as Gabriel does.

In a totally unsurprising turn of events, Gabriel is eventually shocked to learn that people are different from the roles they play. This is exactly as anvillicious as it sounds. And while I often love books in which the reader knows more than the characters, I like it when the reason is that the characters are not privy to information or context that the reader knows, not because the characters are too stupid to pick up on incredibly obvious stuff. I don’t mean to call characters with cognitive disabilities stupid, as “intellectually disabled character fails to understand what’s going on” is a well-populated subgenre. (Which I also dislike.) I’m referring to non-disabled characters who are oblivious because they just are.

It's not that I think a child has to be stupid to be tricked by adults. Even a very bright child (or adult) could be fooled into thinking they're a miracle-worker by a clever con man. It's that the way it's written, from Gabriel's POV, makes him seem like a total idiot.

However, that’s not why I gave up on the book. The reason was the incredibly unpleasant emotional atmosphere: Gabriel smugly stupid, Garvey and the mason smugly awful, Lucie and his daughter sadly suffering (with a side of smugness, because they know the real deal.) I disliked the lot of them and did not want to be around any of them. Which is too bad, because I liked the backdrop of medieval Mystery players a lot.

The prose was good, but not good enough to make me keep reading. However, it won the Whitbread award, so my opinion may be very much in the minority.

A Little Lower Than the Angels

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