Early Days Of a Better Nation

May. 24th, 2015 04:58 pm
marymac: Noser from Middleman (Default)
[personal profile] marymac
I went on holiday and one of my citizenships utterly disgraced me.
I came back from holiday and the other surpassed all possible expectations.

Friday, my friends got married, a cross-border wedding, where the groom's party stopped off to vote in the Marriage Referendum on the way to the wedding. We laughed, we cried, I was named as a guilty party in the speeches*, someone got Sean up throwing shapes, the bridesmaids shed tiny silver flowers all over the dance floor, and yesterday morning I stabbed blearily at my phone to find that the first tallies looked like Yes and all morning it kept going up, so that by the time we bade the newlyweds goodbye and headed home it was past the point of losing.

By the time I went to bed, Dublin was having the party of a lifetime, and the HSE press office were telling inquirers the transition arrangements with gleefully mendacious encouragement to have two parties.

Early days. Early days.



*"They were both very quiet about this whole romance. Sure, we only found out when her Mammy said 'Isn't Mary's boyfriend a nice young man?' and she had to be put straight!"
umadoshi: (Frozen - groggy Anna (herbskillz))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Yesterday was...not an exciting day. It was so unexciting, in fact, that after a normal Saturday morning-and-early-afternoon, it basically went like this:

--I started nodding off at my desk around 4:30, so I caved and went to nap on the couch for a little while, planning to get back to work afterwards.

--I woke up around 6:30, had a smoothie for dinner ([personal profile] scruloose had dozed off too, so by that point we didn't have time to do much else about food), and fell back to sleep when [personal profile] scruloose went out shortly after dinner.

--I woke up again when [personal profile] scruloose got home just before midnight, and we went to bed.

Things have been stressful lately, sure, but that's roughly six hours of "napping" followed by eight hours or so of sleep in bed, which adds up to RIDICULOUS. I don't even know.

reading update

May. 24th, 2015 11:20 am
sixbeforelunch: nick fury on a black background, text reads "i still believe in heroes" (mcu - fury heroes)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
The Best of All Possible Worlds is not working for me. I didn't return it unfinished when I went to the library yesterday, but I might on my next trip.

Library haul: The Clergyman's Daughter by George Orwell, A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse, and The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook.

The last is the only one I've opened do far, and it's full of interesting-looking recipes and helpful hints, but I am quickly growing weary of the introductions to the recipes. They generally run as follows: "All recipes for [foodstuff] everywhere produce terrible, life-draining results. Except ours. Ours is good." Like, I do not need every single recipe to be introduced with a note about how, unless you use this recipe right here, the results will be leathery, soggy, bland, tough, etc. I checked it out from the library to see if I might want to buy it, and I think the answer is no, sadly.

As for the other two, I seem to enjoy obscure Orwell, so I will take a chance, and Wodehouse is straight up comfort reading.

I'm also listening to an audiobook of Persuasion. I've read that book at least 3 times, and I still find myself hesitating to turn the car off because I want to hear what happens next. I know what happens next, but it doesn't matter; I want to hear it anyway.

Book rec: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

May. 23rd, 2015 09:50 am
cofax7: Landry Clark reading (FNL - Landry Reading)
[personal profile] cofax7
On the edge of the dangerous Wood is a village, and nearby lives a Dragon, and every ten years the Dragon demands a daughter from the village. This is that story: except it really isn't.

cut for mild spoilers )

I have liked Novik's work in the past (both professional and non-), but this was significantly better than anything she's done since the first of the Temeraire books, and speaks really well of the work we can look forward to in future.

More than anything else, this novel reminds me of Patricia McKillip's work, with a touch of Robin McKinley. It's now a tossup whether this or The Goblin Emperor is the best fantasy novel I've read in the last two years.
umadoshi: (The 100 - Raven in purple (moneypenneys))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fandom

Via Twitter: Disney is finally selling Black Widow merchandise!

"Life is About More Than Just Surviving: A Strong, Spoiler-Free Recommendation to Watch The 100". This article points out that Javier Grillo-Marxuach is joining the writing staff for season 3, which is fantastic. ^_^

"How Long Is the ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Rogue Cut? [UPDATED]" (The update is director Bryan Singer offering additional/corrected info.)

Brigid Alverson posted her recap of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

Note that I haven't actually read this one, since I haven't seen Fury Road yet: "Crone Wars: on the mythology of Fury Road".

"27 Times Mark Ruffalo Won Tumblr".

"One Character, Different Costumes: Toothless".


Writing

Chuck Wendig posts a lot of writing advice. Here's "Dear Writers: None Of Us Know What The Fuck We’re Doing".

A little while back Neil Clarke posted "the top ten most common short story names" in submissions to Clarkesworld Magazine.

"How To Raise The Stakes In Your Story Without Wrecking Your Characters".


Cute

Via a Tumblr gifset, here's a one-minute video of a woman being cuddled by a foal. SO CUTE.

"Photographer [Max Ellis] Gives Squirrel A Tiny Umbrella To Protect Itself From Rain"

"14 Cats Who Really Regret Their Haircuts". Oh, poor kitties. ^^;

"10+ Animals With Butterflies Look Like Disney In Real Life".


Useful

"Top 30 Flowers For Bees".

Via Lifehacker, the Esoteric Order of Gamers has rules cheat sheets for a wide variety of board games.

At Lifehacker, "The Best Self-Hosted Alternatives to Popular Services", including alternatives to Dropbox and Gmail.


Photography

"Why I Did A Nude Photo Shoot Before My Breast Reduction".


Social Justice

"The real reason young people are the poorest generation in 25 years".


Unsorted

"How Wolves Change Rivers", as demonstrated when wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone Park after 70 years. It's like ecosystems are self-balancing when in their natural state, or as close to it as we can see these days! So it's not hugely surprising that things improved for many other species when wolves came back...but they literally also influenced the river. ^_^ (4.5 minute video.] (Let me be honest--I'm largely there just for the footage of wolves, but it really is a cool thing overall.)

Via [personal profile] alisanne, a faucet design that's gorgeous and conserves water.

The Fabulous World of Japanese Socks!"

"These beautiful flower arrangements are actually desserts from Tokyo Station".
umadoshi: (fangirl (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--It feels odd to use "TGIF" when I need to get a ton of adaptation work done over the weekend, but hey, it's work I get to do at home on something more closely resembling my normal sleep cycle.

--This has been an exhausting week, and admittedly last night I both slept badly and had my alarm go off while I was mid-dream, resulting in a dream hangover, but the amount of caffeine I needed to keep from literally falling asleep at Casual Job was a bit horrifying. (So naturally it's now about 1 AM and I'm not in bed yet.)

--But! On Wednesday [personal profile] wildpear and I saw Age of Ultron (in 2D, thank heaven), which was my second time but her first. I did like the visuals a lot better than I did at the non-IMAX 3D showing I saw first, and I think overall it hung together better for me than it did the first time around, but...I still have mixed feelings about it.

--I think I'm overdue for an icon shuffle.

--Catching up on TV is still a bit of a far-off dream, but [personal profile] scruloose and I caught up on Orphan Black last night, and tonight I caught up on Penny Dreadful and saw two episodes of Person of Interest (leaving two more to finish the season, I think?).

I'm thinking of creating a second Twitter account in the name of having one that's specifically fannish (and probably locked). Since the part of my work I talk about by name online is manga adaptation, it's not like I can't be as geeky as I please on my [twitter.com profile] ysabet_m account, but...I don't know, having some sense of space would be nice. I think. (I say this bearing in mind that for several years I maintained two LiveJournal accounts--a flocked "personal" one and this account, which was specifically meant to be the geeky-and-public one--and ultimately I stopped liking the division and simply stopped updating the other account entirely.)cut for pondering the matter of usernames )

The 100?

May. 22nd, 2015 09:02 pm
cofax7: George from DLM saying Shit (DLM - George shit)
[personal profile] cofax7
So I'm watching the pilot of The 100, and... argh? I hear it's good, but this is not convincing me: everyone is DEEPLY stupid.

What episodes must I watch to be convinced of the worth of this show?

Three ficlets from tumblr

May. 22nd, 2015 07:58 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
I've written three ficlets (so far) for a tumblr meme asking me to do another POV of something I've already written in a story in progress. So these are sort of fanfic of fic I haven't finished writing yet, and I wanted to put them over here just to preserve them in the "orphan" tag. And to preserve them in general.

From my 87,000-words-and-counting epic Bucky recovery fic:

For [tumblr.com profile] summercomfort, an original character POV on Bucky Barnes at the start of his recovery:

Staff Sergeant Eric Andrews had seen the videos. )

For [tumblr.com profile] shamwowxl, for the same story as the above, Steve receives a phone call:

It was the middle of a Wednesday morning. )


And from a story that is nearly finished being written as a fill over at [community profile] hydratrashmeme:

For [livejournal.com profile] rubynye, Bucky's view on taking care of Steve after a rough bout of BDSM sex:

Bucky would be content to stand in the shower with Steve hanging off him for more or less the rest of his life. )

Things I Like: Uprooted

May. 22nd, 2015 07:55 pm
fadeaccompli: (risky)
[personal profile] fadeaccompli
I've just finished Naomi Novik's new book, Uprooted, which is totally separate from her Temeraire series. This is more of a classic fantasy story, based on her childhood memories of a grandmother who told her fairytales from Poland. And thus it's got a bit of a fairytale feel, with the protagonist being a teenage girl who lives next to the deep and dark Wood, and there's a sorcerer who lives in a tower at the edge of the Wood who chooses a girl from the villages in that valley to come serve him every ten years...

More details, very minor spoilers, none for beyond the first half of the book )

SHIELD fic recs

May. 22nd, 2015 11:34 pm
astridv: (Default)
[personal profile] astridv
maybe i don't know how to love (but maybe i do) by skyesward
Skyeward; superhero sidekick AU; part 1/2, 4041 words
Summary: She doesn't think she'll ever see him again. It's New York. It'd surprise her if they ever stood on the same street corner again.
As it turns out, fate has a thing for irony.

the one where skye is everyone's favourite superhero, and ward is the damsel that searches for distress.

you live with ghosts by Overdressedtokill (SkyeStan)
Skyeward sorta; semi-canon compliant s3 fic; 2824
Summary: superhero Skye confronts supervillain Ward. Except maybe he’s not that much of a supervillain, and maybe nothing’s ever black and white. And maybe Skye hates him. And maybe she doesn’t at all.

you and i can make our escape by thequeenofokay
Kara/Ward; post S2 fix it fic/ Castle crossover; 1560 words
Summary: ‘We were given a tipoff that you’re in danger,’ the officer says. He checks his notes. ‘Something about a past that you need to escape from.’
// in which kara palamas gets a new identity and a new job with the nypd.

chasing those lies (you spend it all) by shineyma
biospecialist; The Magical Place tag;2754 words
Summary: Jemma is summoned to the Hub three days into their team’s downtime.

Looks like a oneshot but I'd love to see this developed into a full story.

linkspam needs to read more

May. 21st, 2015 09:04 pm
cofax7: Aeryn in gold (FS - Aeryn Gold -- Saava)
[personal profile] cofax7
So I love living in the future. On Tuesday I learned that Naomi Novik's new book was out, and I hopped online and told my local library they should order it. This morning, I got an email that they had, and it was in, and I downloaded it, and I'm 30% through now. Yay! Also, it's very good.

*

Getting old is kind of a drag, but at least there is lots of guidance for dealing with back pain. (Not all of these will work for everyone, etc etc.)

Nom, I shall have to make this at some point.

I did not expect to find in this essay about Watership Down such a clear statement of the thesis of Carpetbaggers: There is ... more to being in a position of authority than getting to boss people around; might does not make right; "leadership" is our society's debased shadow of something more than a mere gimmick to make other people do what you want; that neither having all the answers nor having it all together are the requirement for Kingship nor its identifying characteristic; that the King and his energy are not optional, but not necessarily tyrannical; that for all that some are born with talents and inclinations in that direction, the craft of Kingship is always something learned.

... although, reading on, I can see that there is more I could have done there. Ah, well. Live and learn.

Noted for this weekend: I'm going to taste pinots with my oldest friend in the world. Yay!

The #hometovote hashtag on Twitter is really inspiring. If you don't know what that is: it's Irish expatriates traveling home to vote in the referendum on marriage equality. Rock on.

Planet Money posted a guide to determining whether your job will be automated. My job doesn't even show up on the list, although several similar jobs seem safely un-automatable.

*

I did go see Mad Max: Fury Road the other day, and although my ears are still ringing, it was hella fun.

*

Job situation: not resolved, but signs are looking better.

*

I missed reading Wednesday, but:

Just Finished: English Creek by Ivan Doig. So very much a book about a specific place and time. Suffers a bit in comparison with Molly Gloss, although they are doing different things. But so very vivid and well-written and small-towny.

Currently reading: Uprooted by Naomi Novik, as noted above. Fun!

Up next: Maybe Hugh Howey's Silo, or some Flaubert for book club.

And now back to my book, as my laptop battery is dying...

(no subject)

May. 21st, 2015 03:49 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1471 aged 49 King Henry VI of England (my toy,wikipedia). Henry was pious and kind and mentally ill; and none of these things helped him keep control of England, the lack of royal control lead to a lack of general law-and-order and eventually the duke of York decided he should Be King instead and the Wars of the Roses began. Henry founded Eton, King's Cambridge and All Souls Oxford; all of which are still standing today.

Born on this day in 1527 to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Isabella of Portugal, King Philip II of Spain (my toy,wikipedia). Husband of Mary I. Philip married 4 times, lastly to *his own niece* which I'm sure oughtn't be allowed. He ruled huge swathes of Europe and South America, which was a pretty difficult Empire to keep going.

Reading Wednesday

May. 20th, 2015 03:33 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
I'm still reading Rogues, it's long, and bitty.

Next up - Hugo nominated short fiction. I expect a lot of this to be shit, but I shall give it a go...

(no subject)

May. 20th, 2015 03:22 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1837 aged 89 Prince Frederick of Hesse-Kassel (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of George II, the last grandchild of George II to die.

Born on this day in 1315 to King John of Bohemia and Elizabeth of Bohemia, Bonne of Bohemia (my toy,wikipedia). Grandmother of Joan who married Henry IV. Born Jutta, which is a form of Judith but can be read as "good" in English her name was changed to "Bonne" or "Bona" when she married the future King of France.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Give money to Amnesty International's double-page ad in the Times defending the Human Rights act:

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/humanrightsact/

(Even if you can't donate, I recommending refreshing the page from time to time; it's comforting watching the total go up.

ETA: they're now into over-funding and hoping to get an ad in the Torygraph too.)

Also, you can sign https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-our-human-rights

SHIELD fic rec

May. 20th, 2015 01:34 pm
astridv: (Default)
[personal profile] astridv
Switching it Off (and turning it on again) by CaptainSummerDay
Skye/Ward, Fitz, Simmons; IT tech AU; industry spies and IT guys/romance; WIP (15,538 words)
Summary: Skye loves her job at Shield Consulting. There's only one thing that can cast a cloud of grief on her day.

Dealing with Tech Support.

Office AU in which Grant makes a bad first impression.



Cool plot, kickass Skye. Here's a dose of happiness after the finale that should never have been.

CA:TWS Fic: Lay Your Head

May. 19th, 2015 09:54 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
I wandered over to [personal profile] such_heights' MCU kissing fest last night and picked up [personal profile] sholio's prompt for Sam/Bucky, sleep. :D

Lay Your Head (376 words) by Dira Sudis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Sam Wilson
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Kissing, Future Fic
Summary:

Sam sleeps while Bucky keeps watch over him.

(no subject)

May. 19th, 2015 05:05 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1536 aged 35 Anne Boleyn (my toy,wikipedia). Executed for adultery, incest, and treason but really for the crime of "not having a son" and "not being Jane Seymour" (since Henry had got it in his head that he could switch wives, and the women of the court had discovered that if you held out for a ring you could get it... this was a very dangerous time to be Queen). Anne's father was "new money" by Tudor standards - his grandfather had been a Mercer, whilst her mother Elizabeth Howard was a descendant of Edward I. Her father survived Anne's execution, but was stripped of the office of Lord Privy Seal and did not survive for very long after. Anne had fought hard to be Henry's wife rather than his mistress, and fought hard for the church of England to be more Protestant.

Born on this day in 1744 to Charles Mecklenburg-Strelitz , Duke of Mecklenburg and Princess Elizabeth-Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen, Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (my toy,wikipedia). Charlotte married George III. The marriage was arranged and at the time she spoke almost no English. The marriage seems to have been more successful than many, and they had 15 children. When George became ill (likely with porphyria) it is his wife who assumed responsibility for his care (although this doesn't mean she actually *did the nursing*) whilst their son (the future George IV) ruled as regent.

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