wednesday reading

Dec. 17th, 2014 07:19 pm
cofax7: grasshopper bounce (Bounce)
[personal profile] cofax7
So it's Wednesday!

Erm. What have I been reading?

Current Reading:
Molly Gloss, Jump-Off Creek, which I recently realized I had never read. Must rectify that! But I'm only a little ways in. I did stop by the bookstore the other day and recommend Hearts of Horses and Falling from Horses, and L. said that Hearts may be going into a new print run because Falling is doing well enough to drive interest in its predecessor. Which is nice.

Just Finished:
Patricia McKillip, Alphabet of Thorn, which I found on the bookshelf after I unpacked most (only most! sigh) of my books out of the garage. It was lovely and unexpected, as I remembered very little of it besides that it involved a library, and translation, and a wood and a plain. I love the Floating School, though, and I would read any number of stories about the king's library and the wizard's school.

Up Next: Possibly War Dances by Sherman Alexie, for book club. Also Stranger by Sherwood & Rachel. And in a week there will be YULETIDE to read! (But I will be with family and thus unable to spend 16 hours/day in the archive...)

*

Speaking of librarians, I saw the first hour of the pilot of The Librarians and decided that I liked everyone except Noah Wyle's character. Does he go away? Please? And I have to find a streaming way to watch that is less expensive than iTunes. Maybe TNT has a Roku channel?

In other news, it's RAINING. Yay! Although I could wish it wasn't quite so cold and dark and raining. TNG doesn't like to walk in this weather, and neither do I.

Nope, still not paying attention

Dec. 17th, 2014 03:19 pm
marymac: Noser from Middleman (Default)
[personal profile] marymac
Have now had lengthy conversation with manager about the ongoing issues.

Oh. Sweet. God.

Ye, I am aware that you think it's petty to be annoyed that you merrily told people they could change round the filing system just because I wasn't visible at that instant. I don't care. It's about professional courtesy and that includes letting the office manager manage the fucking office.

No, it is not just banter. The point at which I tell you that it is an issue and I feel bullied is the point where it has not only officially crossed the line, but the point where it crossed the line four months ago and I am done. Yes, my project management training does involve handling difficult people. This is not what is happening.

A few time-sensitive links

Dec. 17th, 2014 01:41 am
umadoshi: (hands full of books)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Well, if I can't be on top of anything but my work deadlines, the least I can do is go fishing in the Sea of Tabs (...that was accidental, I swear, although notice how I'm not rewording) and find some of the things that are time sensitive.

There were a couple of actual non-work accomplishments today, too: we got the Zacharys packed up tonight (and [personal profile] scruloose and Kas kindly mailed them off on their way to rock climbing tonight), and I baked the season's first batch of cookies for the Casual Job holiday party on Thursday. (The "lemon coolers" from this post, which are not actually Christmas cookies, technically, but I felt like doing something lemony. Alas, the finished product, while tasty, is not all that lemony.) I'm also planning to make Rice Krispy squares tomorrow evening (first time ever!) with the pumpkin pie-flavored marshmallows that Nico brought me from her last trip to the US, since I can't think of anything else to do with them but want to try them. (I may have to do the same with the candy corn-flavored ones, but the season for that taste has definitely passed.)

Links:

Via [personal profile] kass, "Advent Calendar for Depressed People". I haven't read through it much yet, and Advent is well underway, but linking in case anyone else also wants to check it out despite the late date.

YA blogger [twitter.com profile] mizgillianberry is holding "Best of 2014: Debut Darlings Giveaway". (Rafflecopter giveaway.)

Via [personal profile] rachelmanija, Andrea K Höst, an indie Australian sf/fantasy/YA author, has all of her books available for 99 cents (USD) each for the rest of the year through a number of ebook retailers. I, uh, may have bought the lot. (I'm pretty sure I have a hard copy of And All the Stars, too. La!)

I've yet to actually read any of Höst's work, but she's been on my radar since [personal profile] skygiants' post about the Touchstone trilogy. The post (which has a few spoilers) opens with "While we're talking about tropetastic self-published books, I've spent the past few days racing my way through Andrea K. Host's Touchstone Trilogy, which features at least three awesome YA tropes rolled into one." The trilogy also has a follow-up book that's actually called Gratuitous Epilogue, and to be honest, that fact is a large part of why Höst went on my radar. I respect that many things that go on in fanfic don't necessarily belong in a novel/series, because novels are full of all this "plot" stuff (as they should be!), but the idea of getting to know what happens afterwards etc., the things we usually have to rely on fic for, is delightful and I love that Höst made it available.
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
There was a long time this year that I was actively avoiding public convos — for so many reasons — which is why I’ve been pretty silent here. (There have been words elsewhere! So many words! But most of it has been email and fic and spur-of-the-moment “you’re wrong”-ing on tumblr. But cold-bloodedly setting out to say something in a public-ish space, on my own initative, to an audience with multiple people in it… that was been difficult.) I’ve started to pull out of that reticence a little bit, which means I now have the urge to tell y’all about stuff, but then I consider the mechanics of writing a post and feel a wave of exhaustion at the need to organize my words and provide background and make sentences and ugh.

Exhaustion is better than anxiety, I guess? :-/

But in the interest of having to start somewhere, with some topic…

The big news of the weekend is that I did not default on Festivids. \o/

Which, because I have not been talking to y’all, prolly seems like a nothing statement, but believe me, this has been hard-fought over the last several months.

Back in September, I fried my computer. (Looooooong time coming, that.) I limped along sharing [personal profile] grrlpup’s Chromebook for a while, then got a vidding-capable machine mid-October. I spent a weekend playing with some old vid projects, assessing what software still worked on the new machine (everything but my DVD ripper, it seemed), and signed up for Festivids, comfortable that when I turned in my Holmestice assignment I’d be able to drop straight into my Festivids assignment, easy.

However, during the interim before properly beginning my Festivids project, I began watching Strange Empire, got hit by a trio of the worst vid-bunnies ever, attempted to start vidding one of them, and discovered a fatal bug: I could work on pre-existing projects with my old software, I could even begin and edit a new project with my old software, but I could not save and reopen a new project with my old software. It would let me put in eight hours of work on a vid, but then I’d only be able to access that work if I never shut down the program ever.

This is, of course, unacceptable behavior in a vidding program.

So there I was, signed up for Festivids, with no vidding software at hand.

In a panic, I emailed [personal profile] ghost_lingering, [personal profile] frayadjacent, and [personal profile] chaila. (The first two are both Mac vidders, whereas Chaila was my first vidding friend and thus is personally responsible for every bad thing that ever happens to me while I’m vidding ever.) Chaila, in her turn, introduced me to [personal profile] kuwdora, who also vids on Mac.

Kuwdora immediately got on chat with me, and spent six hours ascertaining that the bug was real, immovable, and irresolvable. It was like suddenly having a first responder with big fireman muscles and warm blankets and hot electrolyte drinks giving me small and actionably concrete instructions in an assured voice, it was so exactly what I needed. We ended that chat having only confirmed what I had already been moderately sure of — that iMovie 6 was dead to me for any and all new projects — but those hours of her first-respondering at me made the situation feel manageable again.

Meanwhile, Fray and Ghost were sending me long emails with pro-and-con lists about other editing programs, plus offers to hold my hand through the programs they’re familiar with.

I just. I love everyone in this bar.

So the next several weeks were spent identifying an editing program that I could afford (in both time and money), and then learning to use it. All while finishing up my Holmestice assignment, which was having its own set of problems, I don’t even.

I finally ended up settling on Lightworks, mostly because it was free (its pay-vs-free restrictions are all about export formats, which are no restriction at all to a vidder distributing her work over the web), and they had a really good set of video tutorials, narrated by a guy who sounds exactly like Mark Sheppard. (Given that Mark Sheppard is a villain in all my fandoms, I don’t know why I should find that voice so instantly reassuring, but I swear, I can put one of these videos on, the guy says “Welcome to Lightworks,” and my breathing calms instantly. Go figure.) It took me a few weeks, but I’m now about as comfortable in Lightworks as I was in iMovie. So the vidding-software part of my Festivids drama got resolved, hooray!

But then I ran into source-acquisition issues ([personal profile] ghost_lingering to the rescue again!), so it wasn’t until Thursday that I was finally in a position to put clips on a timeline. And the default-deadline was Saturday.

But! By end-of-day Friday I had thirty seconds of timeline that I liked, and by end-of-day Saturday I had nearly a full minute, so… I let the default deadline pass me by.

And that is my major news from the weekend: there may actually be a vid from me in the line-up when Festivids goes live. Isn’t it exciting?
umadoshi: (kittens - the picture of innocence)
[personal profile] umadoshi
(This turned into a long/sprawling entry, so let's play the "I'll bold the key sentences" game for people who want the gist. ^_^)

I'm not literally behind on everything; I'm not exactly behind on work, although I really want(ed) to be ahead, what with [personal profile] bosonator getting here on Friday, and the Casual Job Christmas party* on Thursday. :/

I've been reading a bit (started The Dream Thieves) and watching some TV (we're up to date on Elementary, and I finished S1 of The 100 on the weekend), but not much of either. And I'm behind on...email, the posting meme, baking (not started), Christmas shopping (not that I do much of that anyway), writing (I've gotten a few hundred words in the last week or so), Tumblr (barely touched), reading/commenting on DW posts or dealing with the Sea of Tabs (currently sitting at 382, including posts to read/comment on, not just links)...

All that said, I did start a "media to consume" spreadsheet (there's no tidy name once you decide to combine the "to-read" and "to-watch" lists onto sheets in one spreadsheet), so a significant chunk of the past 24 hours can be accounted for: I was going through my 385 library holds, adding everything to the spreadsheet, and removing most of them from the library list. As of now, the library holds list is down to something like 67 items; the aim was to only maintain actual holds on books I actually remember something about, whether that's "who recced this?" or what the book is about or if it's something that tons of people have been reading and loving (that didn't wind up on my physical to-read bookcase, which often happens).

There are still a ton of other places I have lists that I'll need to add to the spreadsheet to make it remotely comprehensive, but this is a really satisfying start. Hopefully I can pick away at the others and do it gradually; I'm glad to have the library stuff dealt with, but it felt a bit more compulsive than I'd like.

(Last night Kas was over a few hours before [personal profile] wildpear came over, and for an hour or two there he and I were sitting on the couch with our laptops while he worked on sound files and I went through my library list, and [personal profile] scruloose was putting up lights around the living room. Yay for other introverts among my friends group, is all I can say.)

And since the new downtown library opened on Saturday, I was able to call today and get my default pickup location moved there, which is great--the old downtown branch has been my home base for years, and I didn't really get used to my interim one. I haven't actually been to the new branch yet, but it sounds fantastic. There's a concerted effort to make it into a real community hub, so it's got a ton of meeting rooms, little nooks to sit in, a couple of cafes, etc. etc. etc. I think there's even a recording studio. Or two. My Twitter feed was swamped with it on the weekend, which is abstractly awesome, although I did have to switch off seeing retweets from the library system's main account.

As mentioned above, we have Christmas lights in the living room!!! We always used to, but last year we didn't put any up because the kittens were already cheerfully attacking the little clips we left up year-round. They've spent the whole intervening year continuing to do that, so we figured no lights again; usually the housebeasts are good about not messing with things, but we didn't want to tempt them with electric wires and lights in places they were used to attacking. But then on the weekend we were shopping a bit for new decorations, and I found twinkling rope lights that look like the kittens would have to make a concerted effort to damage/hurt themselves on them, and...they've barely glanced at them since [personal profile] scruloose put them up. Win!

And having written all that (this was meant to be a short post!), I need to get back to my rewrite. Wish us luck tonight--after [personal profile] scruloose gets home from work and his weekly allergy desensitization shot**, we're borrowing his parents' car to run a terrifying number of errands, most of which will hopefully be brief, and some of which can be postponed if need be. But nearly all of them involve stores, and it's a week and a half before Christmas. Meep.

*I love my boss. *g* The email he sent to remind me and the other casual staff about the party ended with "There will be wine and pop provided. If you feel you would like to contribute a food item appetizers or sweets, you won’t be turned away. (Is that subtle enough?)" At Casual Job, we are All About Food, which is a feature, not a bug. It does also mean that I really want to get at least one batch of cookies baked by then.

[Tangent: I may have to cave and get [personal profile] scruloose to dye my hair without holding off until I manage a haircut. :/]

**Reminder: this has nothing to do with our cats, beyond the fact that having them has made [personal profile] scruloose lose all of his lifelong "I'm seriously allergic to cats and thus have trained myself to always wash my hands IMMEDIATELY after petting them and never, ever touch my face" habits. Plus having them has made him into a cat person (as opposed to someone who likes them fine but has never had a chance to really get to know them as a species), so simply not petting other people's cats isn't much of an option anymore.

Argh

Dec. 15th, 2014 12:56 pm
marymac: Noser from Middleman (Default)
[personal profile] marymac
So, on top of the ongoing situation of my job vanishing to benefit the temp, said temp being amazingly inflexible and didactic about basically everything anyone disagrees with her on, ongoing refusal to let me work in any area that might lead to career development, and the general acceptability to the management of people being complete dicks to my face in work settings, we have now added: You can't get angry.

Yes. Because, see, nobody KNEW that you shouldn't put MILK in an airflask. Nobody KNEW that you putting hot chocolate in a 5 litre airflask might be a bad idea. Nobody thought to check that having created a bio-hazard they should probably make sure it was all cleared up on the day of creation.

Guess who found that this morning!

And having raised this in the management meeting? I shouldn't be angry with the management team members who were involved in the party because it wasn't done to annoy me. No. I'm sure it wasn't. But on the other hand, if I was responsible for that party you would sure as fuck be bitching me out, so yes, actually I am angry. I am ALLOWED to be angry. You just made my life difficult because you couldn't be arsed to check that the interns cleaned up properly. And I'm aware that it was your idea to use the airflasks for the hot chocolate, oh perfect temp.

It's a new job or a murder.
dira: Gwen Cooper, in profile (Gwen - Flyaway)
[personal profile] dira
So [personal profile] riverlight asked me to write about why I chose to go to library school, and I remember that process pretty distinctly, so I'm happy to natter on about it a bit.

I actually decided twice: once in my fresman year of college, and then again during the couple of years I took off between undergrad and actually going to grad school.

The first time... )

And the second time... )

So, short version, I decided to go to library school because it would be easier than getting a PhD in history. Although also because I really like working in libraries and thought I would enjoy being a librarian, which I do.

Insta-Rec: SHIELD fic

Dec. 13th, 2014 01:31 pm
astridv: (ward 5)
[personal profile] astridv
I'll Tell You My Sins (So You Can Sharpen Your Knife) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Lizicia
Gen; Grant Ward & Kara Palamas (Agent 33); 2x10 episode tag; teen; 1811 words
Summary: 'Ward keeps seeing Skye's face right in front of him, the steely determination, the coldness. It was like looking at May because he didn't recognize in her the girl who used to say bang when she fired her weapon or confused the trigger with the magazine release. No, that girl is no more.'

Insightful character piece.

Weekend. Yes.

Dec. 12th, 2014 10:41 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
So in the last 36 hours, I:

1) Finally got told my car was totaled, two weeks after the accident, started making tentative plans to buy a new car, etc.

2) Interviewed for a promotion (basically more money to do the same job). It went well, I think? I came out of it only mildly sweat-soaked. Fingers crossed.

3) Got told my car is not totaled after all and instead will be in the shop until January 9. IN MICHIGAN. WHICH IS NOT THE STATE WHERE I LIVE.

4) Wrote less than 400 words, all not-very-interesting middle bits of my Yuletide story, which still has yet to cross the 1000 word threshold.

5) Forgot to bring pajama pants for my overnight stay at [personal profile] iulia's (less aggravating than forgetting my hairbrush, but still not ideal).

I AM SO FUCKING DONE WITH THIS WEEK.

But tomorrow I get to watch The Nutcracker and then Spy Game with suitably appreciative audiences for each, so things are looking up, right? And I don't have to buy a car! And I still have... a whole week to write that Yuletide story. And maybe also that treat that I spent the whole drive to [personal profile] iulia's happily contemplating when not trying to remember if I had packed my pajamas pants.

And [personal profile] iulia is terrible at surprises and waiting and so gave me my Christmas present Winter Soldier hoodie immediately. So no matter how bad things get at least now I have a zip-up mask to hide behind when they do.
umadoshi: (read fast (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I'm reaching the conclusion that I need to make an actual to-read spreadsheet rather than relying on a combination of seeing what's physically on my to-read bookcase, paying way too much attention to my library holds list (now closing on 400 items), and my Goodreads account (where I basically only list to-read items when the library doesn't have them or I'm not sure I want to buy them).

For any of you who might use spreadsheets for this (or something similar), what info do you track?

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking something like: title, author, series, whether the library has it in hard copy, whether the library has it in ebook, fiction/non-fiction wait, that should just be on a different sheet, whether I own it, who recced it, and a link to the rec if applicable (since it usually is).

Am I missing anything obvious, or anything any of you have found especially useful?

(no subject)

Dec. 12th, 2014 05:25 pm
fadeaccompli: (chores)
[personal profile] fadeaccompli
The spouse and I were cleaning up the driveway today; it's acquired the leaves of...well, of the entire season, at this point, and thus had gotten a leaf cover deep enough that the dog, who is admittedly short in the legs, looks like he's swimming when he walks through it. It was time to go.

Some amount of horrific labor later (hey, I'm a wimp, I make no bones about it), we were staring grimly at a line of bags of leaves. "We could...put them somewhere," I said, "and hope it doesn't rain until next Friday when the trash pickup comes around."

hope it doesn't rain until next Friday was accompanied by giant gray clouds, at this point.

This is when a truck pulled up by the curb with a whole open trailer of leaf bags in the back, and a man hopped out. He explained that he would, in fact, be delighted to take all the leaf bags off our hands, and compost them. Right then! He'd just carry them into the truck! And be around again next Monday, if we had any more ready by then!

Happiness, I have decided, is an unexpected composter showing up right when they're needed. Thank you, compost-happy stranger! We will have more leaf bags for you on Monday, and may all your compost be merry this season!

A weird dream in so many ways

Dec. 11th, 2014 12:40 pm
umadoshi: (Tutu/ItW "tale you tell" (bookelfe))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I don't remember any details, but last night sometime I dreamed that I saw an early screening of the Into the Woods movie and loved it...but then as we left the theater, I realized that basically all of the characters had been cut. (Possibly all but the Witch and Rapunzel.) The weirdest part was that somehow I and other people had already heard enough of the cast recording to know that all the characters' songs had been recorded, so clearly they were supposed to have been in the movie...

I wonder if this counts as a stress dream induced by knowing about some of the changes that've been made in the actual movie? I want to love the movie! I'm so scared! ;_;

(Into the Woods is one of my December topics, and I keep debating whether to write it before or after seeing the movie. Probably before, if possible.)

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